Atlanta - South City Kitchen
A Taste of Atlanta, Georgia
By Heather Barton
Published Jul 2014
Atlanta’s best restaurants don’t have a line of patrons around the block waiting to experience the latest in culinary evolution. What they do have is a food culture that represents our country’s gastronomic slow cooker, producing pork-centric dishes the old-fashioned way: low, slow, and with no surprises. Local chefs will agree that greatness can only be achieved with patience, skill, and adherence to traditional methods. Slow food and Southern classics are a staple in nearly every menu across the metropolitan area. It’s not that we are afraid of change—just look at the list of Hollywood and Silicon Valley companies sprouting up and taking progressive hold within our Civil War–era factory lofts. It’s that natives and newbies alike find something inherently nostalgic about a wood-fired meal with a dignified Kentucky Bourbon on a warm, breezy summer evening. Plant some shade-providing Crepe Myrtles around the essential outdoor patio, and you’ve got a restaurant that city residents will flock to like white on grits. In Midtown, South City Kitchen’s menu is a showcase of our sophisticated Southern heritage, featuring authentic classics like fried green tomatoes, buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and Georgia trout, each of which pairs harmoniously with butter peas, sweet Vidalia onions, or collard greens on the side. It’s a mouthful that’s as soulfully plated as it is delicious to eat. Unless you’re a veteran menu surfer with years of wild catfish Reubens and chicken livers under your belt, there is no reason to glance over the Kitchen’s slow-roasted BBQ pulled pork for lunch or the smoked pork chop for dinner. Surrounded by the warm ambience of an updated 1920s bungalow and waited on by the friendliest staff east of the Mississippi and south of the Mason-Dixon Line, you may just die and go to heaven as you’re savoring that last bite of pecan pie. This is true, and it’s the self-proclaimed “dining the way the South intended.” As for the other restaurants that have also taken the time to develop a slowly cured, trusted menu? Atlanta has them in spades and in many different forms. Folks love Sweet Auburn BBQ’s pulled-pork tacos from the food truck park, Woodfire Grill’s Sonoma-style pork belly, and The Porter Beer Bar’s homemade pork ginger sausage and eggs for brunch—mimosas included. A handful of others top local Yelp reviews: Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q’s chicken fried ribs, Rathbun’s pork-belly tacos, and Bacchanalia’s local Berkshire pork in a preparation that changes seasonally. A lot of variety may come and go from other states and countries, but the one constant is Southern popularity—what chef Ulbrich of South City Kitchen describes as “a need to identify with an authentic, honest culture.” And the Southern capital does just that. It parades its hospitality on the front porch like Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress—a symbol of its will to survive the way it knows best: with timeless charm, grace, and a surplus of homemade cuisine. Dixie’s food culture has yet to fully embrace modern cooking—we are a city of foodies addicted to the pork of our past. From Heirloom Market BBQ, with its killer Korean-inspired pulled-pork sandwich and Hotlanta sauce, to Woodfire Grill’s exceptionally fancy yet completely worth-it wood-grilled Cheshire white pork chop with melted leeks, mustard seeds, pigweed, and bacon jus, our tastes are as classic and consistent as our very own Coca-Cola. Experience Atlanta Dining at SOUTH CITY KITCHEN 1144 Crescent Avenue NE Atlanta, Georgia TNE NEW AMERICAN CUISINE - foreword by Jeremy Joven America’s Cuisine is known to the rest of the world as fatty, sauce dribbling, pre-packaged foods. We’re famous for hamburgers and hotdogs and just about anything that is entirely unhealthy, riddled with sodium and food you would never serve royalty. This gross idea of American Cuisine is not exactly a misconception, but a reflection of our Corporate Food Culture. The type of food we are famous for around the globe are the foods served at global chains like McDonalds and KFC. There’s nothing wrong with that image, although - after centuries of evolution, a new American cuisine is taking hold - the Locavore movement. It is not a novel idea, or even a publicly accepted one. Though now more than ever, the locavore movement is wildly popular from coast to coast. It’s roots have been growing in top restaurants for decades and it is now reaching a tipping point as it penetrates even the lowest of the food chain; fast foods. The New Asterisk explored 6 American Cities, showcasing this trend in “New American Cuisine” (not to be confused with New American restaurants - this is an exploration of the "New" ways of how Americans eat) with the help of local writers in each city, from our home city, San Francisco, all the way to Denver, Kansas City, Atlanta, Charleston and of course, New York - we dove in to find out what every city’s food culture is like and where it is leading with a sampling of each area’s most popular restaurants and chefs. In regards to exploring the ‘New American Cuisine’ by means of its ingredients - we asked 6 chefs featured to tell us their most used ingredient in their kitchens - many are things you most likely do not have in yours, something you can aspire to create and use in home cooking. read our exploration of other foodie towns - SAN FRANCISCO | NEW YORK CITY | CHARLESTON | ATLANTA | DENVER | KANSAS CITY