STRAIGHT UP: Atlanta’s Food Scene

“Loving you too much baby, is not a thing… my heart belongs to you!” (My Heart Belongs to U, Jodeci 1993). It’s almost like Jodeci’s song could be used in regards to any situation. It’s almost like this is how I feel about food. Not almost, actually, this is how I feel about food. I’ve been a foodie for as long as I could say “mama”, honestly and coming to college in Atlanta didn’t seem to change that either. Atlanta is home to many things, including some super delectable food joints. Despite what many may think, I’ve found some really good restaurants that seem to hit the spot (when the café just doesn’t do it for me). Here are the meals that I’ve had, rated from “10/10 would recommend” to “it’ll get the job done:"

MEAL 1: Grindhouse Killer Burgers “Don’t @ Me- Jay Critch”

Hands down, the best burger joint I’ve been to. From top bun to cheese, patty, lettuce to the bottom bum; this burger is top-notch, in my eyes. Initially, I thought that Grindhouse would be like Five Guys or Steak n’ Shake, however, I was proven wrong. The atmosphere of the restaurant was extremely welcoming. Around the time that I went, it was busy (like out the door busy). Though the line was long— the meal itself made up for the wait. I ordered the Grindhouse Style Double Burger (no onions, no pickles) and the Dirty South Fries Starter (no Pico de Gallo). I had this thought that the fries would be this small portion, but boy was I wrong. Upon my 1st bite, of both the burger and the fries, I was pleasantly surprised. When I say, AMAZED, I promise I had no better burger than this one. I requested well done on my burger (in which I always do) and got well done yet juicy! I went with friends, so we sat on the patio on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The vibe was nice. The food was on 10. My stomach was on overload! Grindhouse receives a rating of 10/10 from me! Don’t @ me.

MEAL 2: Kelz Kitchen “Nothing Compares- Marc E. Bassy” 

“Nothing compares to the feeling…” that I got when I opened that hot and steamy tray from Kelz Kitchen. The aroma of my jerk shrimp, jerk salmon, cheesy macaroni & cheese and cajun seasoned fries. It sent me into the alternate universe. When I say I was so happy to eat, I literally meant that! The shrimp was shell sucking. The salmon was so delectable I had to savor it. The well seasoned and prepared macaroni and fries were both great side dishes. Additionally, the generously buttered and crispy toast was the cherry right on top. I got my food delivered through DoorDash, but it still didn’t take away from how fresh my food was. The portions are generous as well, so, it’s enough for dinner for two nights. Kelz Kitchen receives a rating of: 9.5/10 from me. Nothing compares to such a mouthwatering meal.

MEAL 3: Slutty Vegan “Can’t Get Enough- K Camp”

WHEW! Slutty Vegan has got a prize up under their belt! Prior to my personal experience with Slutty Vegan, all of the “rah-rah” was literally all hype to me. I seriously did not believe anyone when they said that the burgers tasted just like beef. But, when Slutty Vegan pulled up to Morehouse in their food truck I figured “why not give it a try?!” So, to be completely honest, the line got long (exceedingly long) I was like the 12th person in line, so I decided to wait it out. The order-taker was nice, customer service was “A1." I ordered the “One Night Stand," it was a vegan beef patty, vegan bacon, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and Slutty sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun. The burger came with fries (vegan as well) and it was about $16-$17 in total. As I was handed the brown paper bag, it felt pretty hefty. I opened the bag and saw lots and lots of “bag fries” and some in the container. I took a bite of one fry, next thing I knew I was reaching for more and I was out. The fries were fresh and “finga-lickin" good! When it was time to eat the burger, I was so excited, that I took a bite before I could even snap a photo! When I bit it, it looked like beef. It tasted like beef. But it wasn’t beef. I was astonished at how well and high quality this vegan beef was. For a second, I believed it was real beef until after I finished it all and wasn’t bloated. “Can’t get enough of you!”, as said by K Camp. I could seriously eat Slutty Vegan every day. I almost went vegan that night. I applaud Slutty Vegan. The Slutty Vegan food truck receives a rating of 9/10 from me!

MEAL 4: Gu’s Dumplings Kitchen “Hot- Young Thug ft. Gunna”

“Everything litty, I love when it's HOT" Gu’s Dumplings legitimately felt Gunna when he said this, they had to. Now, I enjoy spicy foods. You know, the hot wings, hot sauce, normally spicy stuff. But, this particular dish was… DEATH BED SPICY. I ordered the Sautéed Chicken with Chili Peppers, though it said, “WARNING: fire extinguishers might be needed, no returns!!” I was used to “hot” stuff, so I felt I would be ok. #SIKE. I was on the verge of death. The first bite was good, super flavorful, but when the gravy started to kick in, I was through three bottles of water already. I also got a side of Spring Rolls. Crispy. Seasoned. Delicious. I finished those within a span of 2 minutes. The Sautéed Chicken with Chili Peppers, on the other hand, took me TWO whole days to finish. I had to muster up enough strength to finish it. The meal itself was good, but, way too spicy for me. I still recommend you try it, though! Gu’s Dumplings Kitchen receives a rating of 7/10 from me. 

MEAL 5: USA DELI “Restroom Occupied- Yella Beezy ft. Chris Brown”

Do you know that one spot where you’ve exhausted all of your choices and they are the only ones who offer food that’s edible and a bang for your buck? That’s exactly what USA Deli is to me. The food is cheap but good (eat it maybe once a week though). Every time I order here, I get a 15pc (all drums; Honey Hot) with Shrimp fried rice, a side of fries, peach drink and an egg-roll. I’ve never paid more than $5 for my food (thanks to Grubhub giving me a promo code) and that’s what I love about it. It’s good for the time being but it’s guaranteed to have you on the Porcelain Throne. Hence, “Restroom Occupied!" The wings are small but with the rice and fries, your stomach will be more than full. It’s my go-to spot when I’m broke but also hungry and can’t find anywhere else to eat. USA Deli receives a rating of 4.5/10 from me. 

From Meal 1 to Meal 5, these are my top 5 places in Atlanta right now. When you are tired of the cafe and looking for something that will hold you off until you can get home to a home-cooked meal, these 5 places will help you out along the way!