I love, love, LOVE following the stories of new restaurants…how they were started, what inspired the name/theme/design/menu, the background of all the staff and their collective experience in the industry… It seriously blows me away what incredible talent we have here in Atlanta’s food scene.
Chamblee’s newest gem, Southbound, has a great story, delicious food and an amazing team of people. Its opening got a slow start, but I know I’m one of many who are so, so glad they’re up and running.
Located in a renovated mercantile factory across from the train tracks, the restaurant has a fantastic atmosphere and some really great design touches, including a vintage wooden bar upstairs from The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. The menu features updated Southern classics with local and farm-fresh ingredients. On our last visit for lunch, Jeff and I split the fried green tomatoes and a chicken salad sandwich with a side of fried okra.
Fried green tomatoes, a staple of many Southern restaurant menus, are served with tangy chevre and spicy-sweet pineapple habanero jam. The breading is incredibly light and crisp – perfect for
having all to yourself sharing.
The chicken salad is made sans mayo – cue collective Southern gasp! – but I can assure you it isn’t missing a thing. Smoked chicken is combined with caramelized onion, balsamic, preserved lemon and avocado for a vibrant, fresh and irresistibly creamy taste.
Finally, the fried okra has the same great coating at the green tomatoes, but they’re served lightly salted with a smoky, creamy side of dipping sauce.
Despite the amazingness I just described, the best part about our lunch may have been the drinks. While Southbound is still working on their liquor license (send them some good vibes, y’all!), they currently offer a fantastic beer and wine selection and a blow-your-mind menu of homemade non-alcoholic (for now) drinks.
Jeff had the smoked pineapple soda, which was just what it sounds like. They smoke the pineapples whole, then turn them into a syrup for the drink. It’s sweet and smoky and just phenomenal. It would make a great cocktail with tequila or vodka…just sayin’.
I could not pass up the white peach sangria and man oh man, it did not disappoint. I called them back afterward to see what all was in it, and a guy named Charles (I think!) told me what they use: ripe white peaches, juicy blackberries, crisp vinho verde and some brown sugar. It wasn’t too sweet and the fresh fruit flavor really shined through.
To make this at home, on a much smaller scale, see below for a recipe based on the beautiful and perfectly-balanced sangria I had at Southbound. To get the real thing and to experience the restaurant’s crazy good atmosphere, I recommend heading there for lunch or dinner ASAP. Here’s the restaurant website, but don’t forget to visit their Facebook page for regular updates and drool-worthy photos.
inspired by Southbound’s white peach sangria
2-3 ripe peaches, sliced
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peach liqueur
1 bottle vinho verde
club soda to top
Mix peaches, blackberries, brown sugar and peach liqueur in the bottom of a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).
Pour vinho verde over peach mixture and stir to combine. Fill large glasses with ice, then fill with wine mixture and top with club soda. Be sure each glass gets plenty of fruit slices and serve with a skewer or spoon/fork so people can eat the fruit when they’re done – it’s the best part!