The Local Coco is a new Atlanta pop up spot focused on brining Latin food to the vegan space. Tacos always boost my mood! Let’s get into it:
The Local Coco popped up during my search for black owned vegan spots in Atlanta. I have never heard of the place, and I soon found out they were new to the game and here to stay. If I had three words to describe their brand, it would be: culture, authentic, and innovative. They are a pop up shop, but they surround their space with classic R&B records, fresh tortillas and chips, and lots of love in the air. Their menu changes but you can find their well battered cauliflower wings, street tacos, and loaded nachos most of the time. I could tell it was going to be good when they were eyeballing the seasonings and portions!
I took on the loaded nachos and cauliflower biscuits since they had sold out of their normal supplies to make wings. Those housemade chips were to DIE FOR! Crunchy goodness with the freshest vegetables topping them along with their jackfruit al pastor. But seriously, their vegetables were top of the line. I feel like they had just come outside with this parsley LOL. The jackfruit al pastor was put together admirably and gave me the feel as pulled chicken on top of nachos! The cauliflower biscuits felt so innovative that I couldn’t do anything but respect it. They were fluffy and battered up excellently. However, that chipotle sauce was the best chipotle sauce I’ve had! It was tangy and also had a little kick of heat. You can debate your mom or whoever you want, because I said what I said! If I offer you a bite and you do not like it, I will look at you like…
Tom, Dick, and Hanks is also known as Happy Hour Hanks for their fantastic deals and drinks. Goodie Mob helped inspire the name, and the culture inspired his flavorful style of cooking. Let’s get into it:
Tom, Dick, and Hanks is an experience, because it was started after Hank was promoting nightclubs and exposed to short order cooking. Could you imagine you leaving the club at 2am while off a few shots, and your friend is like “hey.. I have some dry rub wings and a fried fish sandwich for you”. You would probably drunk cry, because someone cares about you. This restaurant is located near downtown, so the rooftop patio is a perfect vibe for food and drinks. You will find menu items such as BBQ chips, brisket sandwich, crab legs, and more. Either way, you’ll leave this place a little messy from barbecue sauce or crab leg juices on you LOL.
I treated myself to the dry rub wings and BBQ chips with chicken. I must admit.. I had no clue what these BBQ chips were going to look like when they arrived. I expected some type of nachos, but these were insane! A pound of juicy pulled chicken layered on top of queso dip, jalapeños, and housemade BBQ chips. It had an abundance of flavor. It was like every bite a new component stood out as the favorite. I need to run these backs and explore other proteins, because this was good! Also, I ordered the dry rub wings (with ranch of course). They were smart for not saying what’s in the house rub, because it was exquisite and yummy. I bodied those wings before I could process them. When I noticed they were only $5 for happy hour, I looked at the waitress like..
iScream Ice Cream is not just black owned, they are more specifically black woman owned! They provide fully customizable rolled ice cream and treats. Let’s get into it:
iScream Ice Cream presents a ‘stay for awhile’ vibe with lots of modern seating, board games, and a neon sign for all of your Instagram pictures. My favorite part of all of this was the menu and the creative names. Nobody wants to be at the register like “uhh I’ll have chocolate”. Instead, you’ll run into signature names such as Campfire Favorite, Old Town Roll, and Saturday Morning Cartoons. I always enjoy ordering something something creative and hoping it tastes good!
I had to order the Saturday Morning Cartoons and Campfire Favorite. Where do I begin? The Cartoon ice cream including fruit loops in the cream which I loved! The cream was natural and not store bought tasting. The fruit loops added a nice crunch between bites. Also they topped this with mini Pop-tarts, so I was on a sugar high for sure. It all came together well! My ass really felt like I was watching an episode of the Flintstones while eating that. On the other hand, I felt like I was outdoors on a high school camping trip trying to eat the Campfire Favorite. They really put toasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate chips with ice cream.. How could I not want to smile excessively?! The flavor ran deep, so every bite was heavenly. It wasn’t just ice cream, it felt like an experience. I’d take my family here instead of the zoo LOL. They just opened during a pandemic, owned by a black woman, and lots of options. Please don’t be surprised when you try this place, and I look at you like this..
Old Lady Gang is Kandi Burress’ baby in Atlanta. She gives credit to her old ladies who whipped up some of the best food as she grew up! I had to give it a shot, so let’s get into it:
Old Lady Gang is more than a restaurant, it is an experience which I believe Kandi was looking for. You are going to find groovy music, modern seating, and a busy environment. When I went, I think someone was shooting a movie outside. I was mad confused, but it fit the aesthetic perfectly. Their menu presents down south classics with a twist. You will find fried then grilled wings, deep fried deviled eggs, shrimp and grits w/ vodka cream sauce, and more! I felt the itis already creeping up on me before I even ordered.
I ordered the OLG fried then grilled wings and a cajun shrimp po’ boy, because who doesn’t love po’ boys. I didn’t even have take a bite before my mouth started salivating. the wings were heavenly. They really shook the game up with that fried then grilled method, because the wings were perfectly crunchy and juicy. The sauce was for sure made from grandma’s recipe, because I did’t have a clue what was in it yet it was delicious! The po’boy was exactly what I needed. The shrimp had great spice and flavor throughout, and the sauce was damn near better than being hugged. The shrimp and sauce combo still sits on my mind till this day. I wonder if i’ll ever have a better combo than that…
Grass VBQ Joint is bringing vegan smoked meat to Atlanta. Chef Terry ensures that they use fresh, local ingredients to put together these vegan handheld bites! Let’s get into it:
Grass VBQ Joint is black owned and connected within a brewery which adds to their aesthetic! I went here knowing that I wanted something vegan and something that will remind me of a summer barbecue. Side note: Summertime by Will Smith is always my mood. At Grass VBQ Joint, you will see a variety of sandwiches on the menu such as the Clucker, Nashville Hot Chic’n, Smoked Brat, and many others. I felt like I was on Deal or no Deal, I was analyzing and debating between sandwiches hoping I chose right. I knew I couldn’t choose wrong though!
I picked the clucker as my lunch, and I was pleased when I saw it. The bun was glistening, sauce was gushing, and the smell was sensational when I opened the box. Before I dove right into it, I snapped my pic and sat their cheesing at how good this baby looked. First bite in, I was bombarded by the taste of this Bama BBQ sauce. It was amazing. I could taste the freshness and smokiness in the fake meat. Grass VBQ makes their fake meat in-house, and that eliminates all that thought of “what if it tastes too processed or fake?”. This was eliminated in my mind after taking bites in the sandwich. Also, the pickles and onions add that nice touch to enhance that freshness component. By bite #4, the sandwich was on its last leg! Even though I was about full, I looked at that last bite like..
The Food Shoppe is located right by Centennial park in Atlanta. This is a warm and clean shop where you can find coffee, snacks, and NOLA themed foods. Let’s get into it:
The Food Shoppe offers people a cozy and friendly environment ran by Black women. I felt the love as soon as I walked in the door. I stared at their menu in awe when I saw items such creole omelette, gumbo, and BBQ chicken mac & cheese. Mind you this was at 12pm, so my stomach had something in store coming its way. LOL I couldn’t help but be intrigued by this mac & cheese. I knew it was different, because the chef looked like she would have the best mac & cheese at the cookout.
So, I ordered! You know when you can’t decide between two items… so you order BOTH. I got the BBQ chicken mac & cheese and voodoo jambalaya. When I tell you I was ready to hug the cook after I opened this plate, I was too excited. It looked great, smelled great, and tasted great. The mac & cheese was baked to perfection and extra tasty with the tangy BBQ sauce. The chicken was extremely juicy. It felt like they had it marinating all night. The smoked sausage added authentic NOLA feel to this plate. The jambalaya won my heart, because I already obsess over jambalaya. The sauce was rich with flavor. The shrimp could not have been fresher! The spices made the sausage impeccable. I never understand how dishes seem simple yet taste so good. I finished about three bites and began celebrating like I won a championship, because I was so happy discovering this place.
Endulge Cupcakes is black women owned and began as a dream for two former educators! They pride themselves on baking fashionably scrumptious cupcakes. Let’s get into it:
Endulge sits a colorful neighborhood surrounded by other various stores and stops. However, Endulge catered to the customer with their drive-thru window! Call me fat, but why don’t more cupcake shops have drive thrus? I pulled up to the window and noticed their appetizing menu. They have your typical basics such as vanilla, strawberry, and lemon. Or, you can step your taste buds up and get their banana pudding, cinnamon toast, or red velvet cupcake. Before she even could say how can I help you, I blurted out yes one red velvet cupcake for me please. I looked crazy and apologized, but real fat boys know how tasty a red velvet cupcake can be.
When I took that first bite from of that red velvet, I had to go back to the window and ask “WHO MADE THIS CUPCAKE?”. It was perfectly moist (we all hate this word but it fits). The cream cheese icing was light and worked impeccably. 5 star rating for me! I also, had the chocolate w/ peanut butter cupcake. This was stunning as well. I have never had a more similar reese’s experience. The cake part was superb even with the strong peanut butter icing. Lastly, I had the strawberry cupcake. I am not sure who needs to hear this, but strawberry cupcakes are a top 5 flavor. And this one was quality as hell. The freshness of ingredients was noticeable. The icing was packed with flavor. Next time I hear someone say “it’s dessert time”, I am going to look at them like this and say Endulge..
Dat Fire Jerk Chicken is bringing Atlanta authentic Jamaican food with a healthier agenda. With a name like Dat Fire Jerk Chicken, I can’t help but be interested to try it. Let’s get into it:
Dat Fire Jerk Chicken prides itself on providing healthier Jamaican food but keeping those distinctive flavors alive. Just by looking at their menu, I notice their unique menu off rip. Besides that fire jerk chicken, you will find curry tofu, jerk chicken hoagie, and the infamous oxtails. You could smell the spices and sauces brewing as soon as you step in the door. It was like mature and bold just like your grandmother’s perfume cabinet. You know Jamaicans will give you a bang for your buck and stuff your plate, so I was pleased with how affordable this was. I came in with a $20 and almost left with 3 plates LOL.
Well how the jerk? Was it fire?? It sure was! It caught me by surprise, because I have seen multiple types of jerk sauces. However, their sauce is light and tangy almost. It wouldn’t be jerk without the spice! Every bite left you craving a little more sauce. It wasn’t but spiciest jerk I have had, but it definitely felt like the healthiest. The rice and peas were plentiful as they were the perfect combo for the jerk chicken. The chicken was falling off the bone and grilled exquisitely. The greens were off the charts also! They did not have that heavy sodium feel to them which played into their healthy vision. I should have put the jerk sauce on everything bruh! Moral of the story: The flavor satisfied every Jamaican craving I wanted, but it also was a healthier alternative. With that being said, it is time to dance off this food..
Trederick’s Seafood is known for preparing their fresh seafood daily and packing it with flavor. Who doesn’t want fresh seafood and great flavor? Let’s get into it:
I stopped in Trederick’s in search for some seafood since I was tired of my normal meals during the week. However, I came to discover their variety of menu items that all screamed “try me”. Per usual, I stopped by when I was already hungry and ready to eat. I’m scanning the menu to see items such as Trederick’s seafood bucket, shrimp & grits, lemon pepper wings, and more. Have y’all ever asked the worker “which would you get?” LOL that was me in there trying to decide, but I came to the conclusion that I need something fresh and something fried.
I ordered the seafood bucket which includes crab legs, shrimp, corn, and potatoes. My hungry ass also ordered teriyaki wings and fries. Let’s just say this seafood bucket was nothing to play with. They seasoned everything like their job was on the line! Every bite gave me life. The potatoes were broiled to perfection. The corn was marinating in the broil juices, so that was tasty. That seafood though was everything they talked it up to be! It was all super fresh and always tastes better dipped in butter. You guessed it, the wings were also bomb too. The teriyaki was not overwhelming, and the skin was not too tough. I will for sure be back. You will see me with a chicken wing in one hand and a crab leg in the other as I am dancing like..
Sweet Stack is an odd but fun inspired dessert bar in Atlanta. If there is one thing they know how to do, it is being innovative with their delicious ice cream! Let’s get into it:
As soon as I arrived at sweet stack, I noticed the youthful environment which meant the flavors would probably take me on an adventure. They immediately saw me grazing the menu and offered a donut sandwich. My crazy self entertained the idea..”yes! let me go ahead and get that”. I noticed they had cookie sandwiches also along with cones and cups. The customer service was so helpful, because I had no clue what the heck to throw on this donut ice cream sandwich LOL. You will find flavors such as Amber Rose, Black Panther, cereal milk, and many more. Also, THEY HAVE VEGAN OPTIONS. That’s always a plus.
Back to my freaky order, I got the donut sandwich with cookie monster ice cream along with a side scoop of Black Panther. They cooled the donut, so that it was more firm to hold the ice cream in place. The cookie monster flavor consisted of blue icing, vanilla ice cream, and cookie dough & Oeros. That first bite sold me that I was not that crazy, because it was delicious. The donut was not overwhelming the flavor of the ice cream at all. The ice cream was actually amazing! The Black Panther consisted of vanilla ice cream, hints of coconut, and charcoal. STRANGE COMBO I KNOW. However, it was extremely well put together. The balance of the flavors worked perfectly. The coconut was not overpowering at all. It was sweet with a touch of freshness! The charcoal was more so to add color to the ice cream. And before you all comment on having charcoal in ice cream, I must ask..