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!

Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird Atlanta

Located in West Midtown and usually known for their breakfast and brunch menu, West Egg hosts a monthly dinner pop-up called Oddbird, a “restaurant within a restaurant,” Oddbird takes place on the second Wednesday of the month. Oddbird is known for their chicken sandwiches and chicken biscuits, so I knew that it would be the perfect location for the first installment of Sandwiches Before Love.

When you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by one of their friendly staff at the counter and the three featured pies for the month. Once you reach the counter, you place your order, grab your silverware and choose a seat at any table.

Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird Atlanta

Oddbird’s menu features 4 different fried chicken biscuits, 4 different fried chicken sandwiches, both regular and Nashville-style hot fried chicken & waffles and The Oddbird – a seasonal fried chicken & waffle option that changes monthly. The menus also offers a featured salad called Eat Like a Bird and a variety of hot and cold side items.

The Oddbird and Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird

Everyone in the Sandwiches Before Love crew decided to order something different. Initially, I had my taste buds set on the Chicken Biscuit #2 with spicy honey and bread & butter pickles….BUT I just couldn’t pass up July’s Oddbird chicken & waffle — fried chicken served with a macaroni and cheese waffle, local heirloom tomato & corn salad and buttermilk vinaigrette. So I did what any dedicated food lover would — ordered both!

PB&J Chicken Sandwich Odd Bird Atlanta

My taste buds were not disappointed. The Chicken Biscuit #2 was spicy and delicious. The biscuit was moist and buttery, and the added crunch of the bread & butter pickles bought the entire sandwich together. The Oddbird chicken & waffle was AMAZING! The chicken was fried perfectly, the tomato & corn salad was refreshing and the mac & cheese was hidden inside of the waffle, so every bite was a surprise of cheesy deliciousness!

One of my favorite items on the menu to suggest for first-timers is the PB&J Chicken Sandwich. A piece of fried chicken on local TGM Bread served with pimento cheese, bacon and house-made tomato jam. The tomato jam is so good, that I’ve been known to ask for an additional side of it to take home with me!

S'mores Blondie Pie Odd Bird Atlanta

Don’t forget when you visit Oddbird, you MUST save room for one of pastry chef Carrie Hudson’s pies! July’s selection included a Raspberry Lemonade pie, Berry Mascarpone pie and a S’mores Blondie pie.

Though it wasn’t my first visit to Oddbird, it was the first visit for everyone else in the Sandwiches Before Love crew…but thanks to the great food and service, it surely won’t be their last! The lovely people at Oddbird are taking the month of August off, but they’ll be back on the second Wednesday in September – September 13th!

STATS Dirty bird Atlanta

When I’m off the eaten path, I try to go to as many places as possible since I don’t know when I may be in that city again. On my last visit to Atlanta, I was staying near a sports bar named STATS and I was very reluctant to check it out despite the length of my stay and proximity to the location. Right before my flight, I finally gave in.

STATS is such a sports bar to its core but the menu is right out of a show on food network. It was still early so the place was close to empty but I snuggled into a booth to see what they could possibly be working with. I ordered a drink recommended by the down to earth waitress attending me, and the drink was everything I imagined it to be. There’s nothing worse than ordering a drink and it tastes off from what you expected.

STATS Dirty bird Atlanta

The menu was the kind that will leave you ordering 4 items because it all sounds good. My waitress didn’t steer me wrong on my drink, so I went with her judgment on the Dirty Bird despite my dislike for coleslaw. She mentioned what a good pairing it was with the crispy chicken and she was spot on. The sandwich was a little bigger than I was hungry for but every bite was perfection. It was perfectly crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and came with the right size french fries needed. I tip my hat off to the chefs at STATS for making my food experience memorable and being more than just your average sports bar.


The BBQ sauce at Fat Matts is a winner. I encountered this amazing sauce on my last visit to Atlanta and immediately asked if it was for sale. Thank goodness it was and for no more than $5, so I bought two! I’m almost done with my bottles and realized that I can order my sauce online, thank God for the internet!

Fat Matts
Photo Credit: JessicasDinnerParty.com

Fat Matts BBQ sauce is really the best bbq sauce that exist. Not only does it go well with almost everything, but it has a tangy kick to it that exploded on my flavor palette. The craziest part is that I don’t even like BBQ sauce! But this BBQ sauce almost broke some friendships because it’s too good to even share. When I do share it, it’s all about portion control! Don’t drop that alcohol bbq sauce. You should probably get some.

American Roadhouse Philly

Considering I got food poisoning in Atlanta at the daiquiri factory (good drinks, bad food), I surprised myself by posting this. Anyway, I hope my opinion isn’t biased because I was then malnourished and had worked up a huge appetite. I came alive the following day though, fully recovered with brunch on my mind and a list of places to go and eat.

My friend Faizah and I opted for American Roadhouse here in Atlanta, we found a groupon deal right before we walked in and it made everything much better. I thought everything is done bigger in Texas, but sheesh! The portions here were out of control.

I ordered the chili fries which could have easily fed four people properly but it was all for me. These (perfect) fries came with beef and jalapeños on top, spicy as ever. I was filled with delicious regret because I had already orded the Philly cheese steak. Had I not been so overwhelmed by it all, I could have finished it.

American Roadhouse Philly

Okay, let me say this. My friend Faizah only had two bites of her Philly and was instantly full. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, I was hoping and praying the same wouldn’t happen to me. I made it to three huge bites…but they were fabulous!

The American Roadhouse’s Philly cheese steak fits right into my top 5 all time best. Only Lord knows why I got fruit on the side because I was already being fat, but it was fresh and sweet and just what I needed to recover. Any who, I was told to go there for brunch and I went. Would I go again? Yes, and next time I’m definitely drinking.