While I thought it might be overkill to pick another Southern cuisine restaurant for brunch on our final day in Atlanta, it wasn’t. Definitely not. Brunch at South City Kitchen, which is located in the city’s Midtown neighborhood, was perfect. And it was an easy conclusion to come to that when you don’t live in the American South, you can never have enough Southern food, even in the span of just one short weekend.
South City Kitchen is part of the same group (Fifth Group Restaurants) that owns one of the other establishments we ate at, Alma Cocina. That’s how I initially discovered it but after getting a recommendation for it from an Atlanta native on a travel board, the decision was easily made.
If you’re like us and are not staying in the Midtown neighborhood (although there sure was one swanky Four Seasons hotel that we passed by), the restaurant is about a 10 minute walk from the Arts Center MARTA station (both the red and gold lines stop there). I had made reservations in advance and while there seemed to be slew of spots available when booking online a few days prior, when we arrived the place was packed with people waiting. Judging from the diners there, it definitely seemed like a locals kind of place, so I reckoned that they must attract a lot of neighborhood foot traffic too.
The restaurant is located in what appeared to be a former house (lots of charm and character, both inside and out). We were seated on the second floor which had natural light streaming in from the many windows, which I like (it also is great when taking photographs). We were asked if we wanted to dine inside or on their open patio; being Atlanta (i.e. hot and muggy) we opted for the air-conditioned inside. We were seated right by a large group of about 10 people, all of whom were very loud and boisterous so this, paired with the restaurant’s already loud atmosphere, wasn’t the greatest thing but what are you going to do? Of course, the large group left only shortly before we did.
Since I had already checked Fried Green Tomatoes off of my culinary bucket list two days before during our meal at Mary Mac’s Tearoom, I opted to skip them a second time and instead we split the Housemade Pecan Granola which came with seasonal fruit and granola ($5.95). The waitress must have noted we wanted to share it, so nicely, we each got our own individual bowl. This was seriously the perfect starter, just enough to whet our appetite.
For my entree, I went with the Smoke-Roasted Beef Benedict ($11) which was topped with Creole Mustard hollandaise, pickled jalapenos (I did not eat these), and Red Mule grits. They had a couple of different versions of eggs Benedict and while I was tempted by the Crab Cake Benedict, I still feel I made a good decision with the Smoke-Roasted Beef since I have never seen that on menus elsewhere (Crab Cake Benedict I have).
D selected a favorite of his, Chicken and Waffles ($18). I don’t think an explanation is needed for this except that with the Vermont Maple Syrup, it’s a perfect testament to why pairing sweet with savory works. He also ordered a side of the Applewood-Smoked Bacon ($4).
I would have loved to try dessert but I attempted to eat as much of my entree as I could (and even then I still failed) since I couldn’t take home any leftovers and was left feeling incredibly full. I blame this on the grits, definitely the grits. The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake ($8) sounded particularly amazing.
There were a ton of truly Southern things I could have ordered (fried okra, lady peas, pimento cheese), but I was perfectly content sticking with the more Southern nouveau selections.
South City Kitchen offered an amazing brunch and reinforces why I love this special meal so.
1144 Crescent Avenue Atlanta