If you ask George Villnave about his favorite meal at South City Kitchen, he’ll face a bit of a dilemma. As a server in the restaurant’s Midtown location on Crescent Avenue, George has had many opportunities to sample Executive Chef Chip Ulbrich’s contemporary Southern cuisine.
“If I have to pick just one, I would have to go with the shrimp and grits with smoked tomato gravy, tasso ham and poblano peppers,” said George, who has worked in the service industry for 20 years.
The single Norcross resident’s close second favorite is the buttermilk fried chicken with garlic collard greens, red bliss whipped potatoes and a honey-thyme jus, which he said is the most popular dish with patrons.
These two Southern specialties will run you $19 for the shrimp and grits and $17 for the fried chicken. Other standout entree items include the Sweetwater 420-braised beef brisket ($25), Creekstone Farms filet mignon ($36) and Southern Boo-Yah!-Baze featuring shrimp, crawfish, catfish and mussels ($21).South City also offers a variety of delectable desserts, such as its signature individual pecan pie with buttermilk caramel and vanilla ice cream and the chocolate ganache torte with toasted coconut crème anglaise.
The restaurant’s menu seems to perfectly complement its homey location within the updated, historic bungalow across from Opera Nightclub. George described South City’s vibe as “vibrant, energetic, fun and constant.”
Perhaps its ambiance and food are responsible for attracting so many celebrities to the Midtown eatery.
“Just off the top of my head, we have had Usher, Cameron Diaz, LeBron James, Jane Lynch, Elizabeth Banks, Kiefer Sutherland, Craig T. Nelson, Keisha Knight-Pulliam and Charles Barkley,” said George, who unknowingly served the actress from “40 Year Old Virgin” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.”
“I had the opportunity to wait on Elizabeth Banks. I really had no clue who she was until my boss told me. When I worked at the Vinings location, I waited on two celebrities I had always dreamed of meeting—Billy Dee Williams and Jennifer Holliday.”
With so many celebs popping in to munch on fried chicken you never know who may be sitting across from you while dining at South City Kitchen. Just be sure to ask for George.
South City Kitchen Midtown
1144 Crescent Avenue
Lunch: 11AM to 3:30PM
Dinner: 5-10PM, Sunday-Thursday; 5-10:30PM Friday-Saturday