College Culinary Experience: Georgia Tech

Atlanta is home to Super Bowl heartbreaks, great colleges, and even better Southern food. Being my dad’s alma mater, he was admittedly more excited than me to see the updates to the campus and just relieve his Yellowjacket experience, but I was equally amazed with the beautiful campus located in the heart of Atlanta. More than just the campus, the food around there also impressed. 

The restaurant I wanted to highlight today is the famous Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours headlined by world famous chef, Deborah VanTrece. Chef VanTrece has traveled the world cooking for foreign dignitaries, and even at the ‘96 Atlanta Olympics, and all those experiences have culminated in the soul food masterpiece that is Twisted Soul. The world famous dish here is fried chicken, and I cannot find anything to dispute that. It’s a classic combination of fried chicken (white and dark meat), collard greens and a rich cheesy mac and cheese. To start with, the fried chicken was just perfection all around. It had a golden brown crust, seasoned liberally and incredibly crunchy. The batter on fried chicken can sometimes be too thick, leaving you with an uncooked crust in the middle, or an end product that is almost chewy, but they got it just right, thin, crunchy and not too overbearing. And I think it goes without saying, the meat was cooked really well, with the fall of the bone leg meat, and juicy thigh and breast meat. I’ve recently seen that chicken breasts can often be woody (dry and stringy), especially with more mass farmed chickens, but I didn’t see any of that here indicating that they used what was likely an organic free range high quality chicken. 

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours August 23, 2018 Southern fried Springer Mountain chicken, 3 cheese macaroni, collard green roll, pot liquor, sweet potato apple chutney.

To complement the fried chicken was the rich, creamy, cheesy and slightly spicy mac and cheese. On every bite, there was a picturesque cheese pull and a hint of cayenne to cut through the richness of the dish. I would have loved to maybe see some breadcrumbs on top of the mac and cheese, but that’s just me. Finally, to balance out the rich flavorful bites of mac and cheese and the fried chicken were the collard greens. Presented a little differently than usual, the collard greens were wrapped in one large collard leaf, making it a wrap of sorts. Think dolma, but the filling is collard greens. It brought a pop of color to the plate and a refreshing freshness and bite. To finish it all off, in usual Southern fashion, the dish came with a bottle of hot sauce that was slightly acidic and brought quite the kick, and you can bet I poured that all over the whole plate. 

If the food wasn’t enough, I was also excited to find out Chef VanTrece and Twisted Soul had been featured on Guy Fieri’s hit Food Network show, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. A Food Network staple, Triple D highlights local favorites around the US that cater to everybody, not the typical high end fancy Michelin starred restaurants we so often see on TV. As a side note, the drinks here are apparently great as well as you might be able to tell from the “Pours” part of the restaurant name, but I’m not nearly old enough to validate that claim. 

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