Working downtown Atlanta has its benefits. The office close to all of the sporting events in the city and we have tons of places to walk for lunch. Most of the lunch places are fast food type restaurants, but as busy as our days are, that's what we need most of the time. The downside is that downtown Atlanta has some pretty rough areas and a lot of nice restaurants have closed. They city is going through a revitalization, but change doesn't happen over night.
Two blocks away a new restaurant opened two weeks ago, Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint. I was a little skeptical because it is across the street from Hooters and Hard Rock Cafe and I didn't want another large chain. Boy, was I pleased!
My boss and I went to lunch with two magazine reps, two of the best ladies to lunch with, by far, and met at SWJJ. The food is labeled as "deep south" cuisine, indeed it is. On the menu you'll find a lot of pimento cheese, fried foods, catfish and crawfish. We started with the house-made pimento cheese spread and black-eyed pea hummus along with the southern starter (fried green tomatoes with goat cheese) for appetizers. Both were delicious. Plenty to share between four people. The starter went much faster than the spreads, but I think that was because we didn't get enough flatbread to go along with the spreads, but the
My Big Ol' BLT was just that, huge and full of bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. And this isn't your Denny's bacon, it was thick-cut, perfectly crisp bacon in every bite. My side item was their aged white cheddar macaroni. I think you can tell a lot about a restaurant by their southern mac n cheese. It was very tasty, but probably wouldn't rank in my top 5. Looking at the other sides around the table, the servings are small, but probably the correct portion size for southern food. The other entrees were all given great reviews as well.
The most interesting thing about the restaurant has to be the atmosphere. The far back wall is set up for a live band with the full drum set and key board still set up. While we dined, at lunch remember, there was a sax player playing live music for us. A very nice touch for a lunch. You can tell the space transforms at night for a dance crowd. There is a 2nd floor DJ booth and there is a shelf around the entire dining area that must be used to hold drinks once the tables are gone. It will be interesting to see the crowd Sweet Georgia draws at night.
I will be adding the Juke Joint to our list of options for lunch. I'm thankful for a sit-down restaurant within walking distance to the office!