(Gerry Furth-Sides) Georgia’s week-end brunch option, new this fall, ranks #1 in hospitality on all accounts. From the calls to the Restaurant, first with a question about hours, and then to hold a table (no easy feat to find the place for an outside) on the phone with Manager Kimberly (below on the left), the sense of being a welcome guest reigned supreme. Happy faces at the full tables were proof enough.
This is no easy feat during a shortage of staff, and in a plain-wrap box of place with order at the counter service. Yet it felt at all times like a leisurely, warm place in the deep south. It was a welcome sight to see full tables inside and out of people of all ages, families and colors.
Southern hospitality has always been a priority with the owners of Georgia’s restaurant, for any meal. Owner Nika Shoemaker-Machado told us, “We want people to come to our tables and enjoy a meal as if they were at our home. We are happy and excited about outside dining. Our staff is trained on hospitality, making each visit feel as warm as possible.” This is especially important since visits by Nika and Nana to the restaurants several times a week “to greet customers and give people a sense of family stopped with COVID restrictions.”
And “homey” is exactly what it feels like. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful, offering menu suggestions and asking if we needed anything.
Georgia’s newly expanded menu for brunch features classic favorites.
Georgia’s Specialties also include: Gretchen’s Jambalaya cooked to order with shrimp, andouille sausage and chicken, served over pasta or rice, and the Louisiana Tilapia & Shrimp made of spicy grilled tilapia and shrimp, with tomato Creole sauce served over rice.
The sweet and savory Chicken & Waffle layers signature Fried Chicken on a Belgian Waffle is served with maple syrup and honey butter. It is not an international favorite and one of the most popular regional exports from the deep south.
Each plate is served with a choice of two of Georgia’s Restaurant’s Soulful Sides. The list includes Red Beans & Rice, Collard Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Rice,Corn on the Cob, French Fries, and Nana Gretchen’s signature Cornbread served with house-made honey butter.
Georgia’s Restaurant is named in memory of patriarch George, with the addition of a single letter from each daughter’s name. The founder of Georgia’s Restaurant is Gretchen Shoemaker (known to everyone as Nana), a native of Philadelphia who married her high school sweetheart, George, and moved west to Lake Forest. While raising three daughters, Gretchen created successful catering business built on family recipes.
The business stopped when he passed away in the early 1990’s. And almost just as suddenly it was revived 20 years later into a brick-and-mortar restaurant by daughter Nika Shoemaker-Machado and her husband, Marlon Machado.
Georgia’s at LBX: 4101 McGowen St., Ste. 155, Long Beach, (562) 420-5637, georgias-restaurant.com
Georgia’s at The Packing House: 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Ste. 209A, Anaheim, (714) 906-1900, georgias-restaurant.com
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