A bowl of girls topped with roasted shrimp and red peppers

Nothing says southern comfort food like some good ol’ fashioned grits. When this dish is topped with wild Georgia shrimp and dry roasted peppers swimming in a vodka cream sauce, you get delicious shrimp and grits served up by the Old Lady Gang.

A bowl of girls topped with roasted shrimp and red peppers
Old Lady Gang’s shrimp and grits. Image: OLG Instagram.

If you live in Atlanta or if you’ve ever watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), you’re probably familiar with the OLG Southern Eatery. OLG–birthed by its famous owners, Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker is made possible by three sisters who love to throw down in the kitchen.

We came to know these ladies: Mama Joyce, Aunt Bertha and Aunt Nora, through their larger than life personalities every Sunday on RHOA. Their outspoken voices remind many of us of our own mamas, grand mamas and aunties. They’ve bragged about their soul food cooking on RHOA and now they’ve brought their recipes to life for us to try. So, it was only right that I chose Old Lady Gang for my first edition of Soul Food Before Love in Atlanta.

While the menu features signature dishes like Aunt Bertha’s Fried Chicken, turkey-stewed collards and mac and cheese, I opted for the popular grilled lamb lollipops. The lamb came drizzled in a balsamic glaze. It was topped with a fruit salsa, which added a sweet kick to balance out the flavors. Though odd, this was a perfect pair with the shrimp and grits.

Four cornbread muffins on a plate with honey dipping sauce.
Mini cornbread muffins served with a honey syrup dipping sauce. A must try! Image: OLG Instagram.

A dish you won’t find on the menu: the mini-cornbread muffins, served with a honey-flavored syrup. They are little pieces of golden brown heaven. The first basket is complimentary, but be prepared to pay $4 for another round. One basket is truly not enough.

There’s more to love about OLG than the food. It’s nestled in the thriving Castleberry Hill Historic Arts District. The multi-level space is adorned with canvas-sized family photos-turned-memes and even includes an outdoor patio with a block party vibe. This is an ideal place for close-knit social gatherings with folks ready to have a good time.

Marquee letters spelling OLG hanging on a brick wall.
A wall in the restaurants dawn the letters “OLG” which stands for Old Lady Gang.

Beyond the delicious southern comfort food and the friendly atmosphere, on any given day OLG is full of celebrities. You can find Kandi and Todd onsite keeping an eye on things; and you never know when the Xscape member’s famous friends will walk in.

Be sure to join us at our next meet up in Atlanta and share these experiences with us!

The Italian Grinder Fred's Meat & Bread

Food halls seem to be popping up all across the country and Atlanta is definitely embracing this growing food trend. So when it came time to decide on a location for the second installment of Sandwiches Before Love, I knew that one of Atlanta’s popular food halls, that features Fred’s Meat & Bread, must be on the list! One of the first food halls to pop up was Krog Street Market, which is home to a variety of food options – like dumplings, a bakery, Tex-Mex, BBQ, sushi and of course, sandwiches at Fred’s Meat & Bread.

The wall in front of the Fred's Meat & Bread stall at Krog Street Market

From the outside, the menu at Fred’s Meat & Bread looks pretty basic — classic sandwiches, hand-cut fries and old-school sodas. But the flavors are FAR from basic. With options like the ‘Shroom Shire Cheesesteak, the Korean Cheesecake, the Blackened Tuna, the Italian Grinder and the Crispy Smoked Catfish Po’Boy, it was super hard for me and the crew to decide what to eat! In the end, we all decided on cheesesteaks.

I went with the ‘Shroom Shire Cheesesteak with house blended cheese, grilled onion, garlic aioli and mushroom worcestershire. It was SO good! One bite and I was instantly transported to Philly! Gooey cheese, perfectly grilled onions and seasoned meat.

An order of the Garlic Fries, 'Shroom Shire Cheesesteak and a O-So Cherry soda

You can’t forget the fries! Fred’s menu features hand cut fries in a variety of flavors, including Old Bay Fries and BBQ Fries. I was there for the Garlic Fries served with a side of house made ranch.

The Italian Grinder from Fred's Meat & Bread

Let me tell you, the food at Fred’s was SO good that I went to visit their second location the very next day! Instead of another cheesesteak, I chose the Italian Grinder with salami, mortadella, pork, provolone, tomato, iceberg, cherry peppers, oil & vinegar. It might have been one of the best Italian sandwiches that I’ve ever had! You better believe I’ll be back to Fred’s…and soon!

Location #2 of Fred’s Meat and Bread (along with sister restaurants Yalla, TGM Bagel and Square Bar) can be found at The Canteen Atlanta, the micro food hall located at Tech Square! You can find cheesesteaks and the Italian Grinder at both locations, but some menu options differ.

Interested in some handheld deliciousness and exploring Atlanta’s food scene? Join the Sandwiches Before Love crew…we’d love to have you!