Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South – Atlanta, GA

by Julius Mayo Jr | December 22nd, 2012 -

No trip to Atlanta is complete without eating some Southern cuisine. The city is full places featuring traditional Southern food & I’ve eaten at a few in the past for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For our last day on our Atlanta trip, we wanted to go out for Sunday brunch with our friends. Since we spotted Chef Hugh Acheson the day before at Umaido, we looked up his restaurants and found that his Atlanta restaurant, Empire State South, serves a Southern Style brunch. A perfect combination for the food we had yet to eat on this trip. 

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Empire State South is in the heart of midtown Atlanta and is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner. They have a full bar serving wines, classic cocktails, and specialty drinks for brunch. Our group of friends grabbed a few seats at the bar and we ordered a few drinks as we waited for our table.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Classic Bloody Mary Tomato Juice, Worcestershire, Olive Brine, Horseradish, Celery Salt, Lemon Juice 9

My food partner O.D. ordered the Classic Bloody Mary which she enjoyed.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Cappuccino

I started with a cappuccino from the ESS coffee bar.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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A view of the ESS Coffee Bar that serves a variety of coffees: cappuccino, macchiato, cortado, latte. Perfect to go with breakfast which they serve daily.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Pimento Cheese w/ bacon marmalade

This was our starter, the Pimento Cheese w/ bacon marmalade. A savory and creamy spread with a touch of sweetness from the bacon marmalade. Pimento Cheese is a true staple in the South and is made very well here.

Our friends ordered the following two dishes. I had to snap a photo of each, both beautifully plated.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Mixed Lettuces pickled egg, cauliflower, radish, ESS goat cheese, pecan, smoked onion

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Crisp Pork Fritter pickled mustard seeds, sunny side up egg, pickled stems, shaved radishes, bronze fennel

The following are the dishes O.D. and I ordered. We are both suckers for any pork belly dish so we had identical plates. I really like how these brunch plates are plated inside of a small cast iron skillet.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Griddled Pork Belly with anson mill grits, sorghum, pecans, swiss chard, coddled egg

The grits were super smooth and creamy and the grilled pork belly was just rich and savory goodness. Pecans added a good crunch for texture and the swiss chard kept the dish fresh and cut through the overall richness of the dish.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Another angle of the Griddled Pork Belly with what I like to call Egg Drool action. The egg yolk made every bite even more enjoyable.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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A good finish to the meal was the Goodie Plate – a selection of 3 baked goods

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Iced Coffee served in a jar and a custom ESS koozie.

 
Southern Style Brunch at Empire State South

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Our brunch was very enjoyable at Empire State South. A more chef inspired take on Southern cuisine, the dishes highlighted quality ingredients from the area. This visit was during the summer time, so different ingredients or vegetables may be presented in the dishes according to season. Owner / Chef Hugh Acheson has a created a great place for turned up Southern fare in Atlanta. We spotted him come during brunch, chatted with some guests and disappeared into the kitchen. As a judge on Top Chef, I’m sure he’s making sure everything is on point in the kitchen and on each plate. I look forward to coming back for dinner on a future trip to Atlanta and see what they have cooking up next.

Empire State South
999 Peachtree Street NE
Suite 140  
Atlanta, GA 30309
www.empirestatesouth.com
www.facebook.com/EmpireStateSouth
Twitter @ESSouth

 
Words and photos by Julius Mayo Jr.
Content and photos © Droolius.com 2012

 

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