Food & Drink

Savoring Soul Power

Southern staples shine at the Charles Village eatery.

When the vacant corner spot that once housed the venerable M &
J’s Soul Food at 25th and St. Paul streets began to show signs of
activity earlier last year, we were giddy with anticipation for the
comfort foods it promised. Finally, Georgia Soul Food opened in August
and has already amassed a loyal following. Some hardcore enthusiasts may
decry the absence of soul-food pillars like hog maws and feet as
heresy—the menu being a fairly vanilla roster of home-style dishes—but
what Georgia does, it does well. The menu is straightforward with
sections for chicken boxes, fish baskets, side dishes, desserts, and
drinks. An “Everyday Meal” ($9.99) includes a main dish, like a turkey
wing, two sides, and cornbread, and can be embellished with à-la-carte
items that are almost anachronistically priced—for example, tilapia for
$2.29, a pork chop for $2.19, and a fried chicken breast for $2.69.

On the restaurant’s website,,
the new proprietors promise satisfying Southern soul food culled from
the recipes of six generations and three families. And they follow
through. The collard greens—always a reliable barometer—offer plenty of
smoked neck flavor with a little bit of a kick. The other sides are
impressive, too, from the flavorful mac and cheese and green beans to
gooey candied yams. The usually humble baked chicken is outstanding,
seasoned from the skin right down to the bone, and the fried chicken and
fish are crispy and juicy. Salisbury steak with rice and gravy is a
sleeper hit, and the fried pork chop (get it with gravy) is down-home

Whether you choose to carry out or sit in the sunny,
cozy dining room, steal yourself for a lengthy wait (usually at least 30
minutes) for your food. Call ahead for to-go orders, and, for dining
in, expect earnest but not exactly polished service. If your sweet tooth
hasn’t already been sated by the yams, you can count on desserts like
banana pudding and sweet-potato pie to do the job.

We liked the
peach cobbler, but, for a truly monumental sugar buzz, wash down your
food with some cherry Kool-Aid. There is so much sugar in it that it
actually feels heavy—but then, that is the proper soul-food way.