Before Facebook or even the World Wide Web, Karen Hilliard packed her bags and left her West Texas eatery to come home and open a southwestern restaurant in Atlanta- this was 1990. During its 20 years, Atlanta has seen many restaurants with big name chefs open with a splash and likewise close but somehow Karen?s formula of creating distinctive foods with amazing flavors has kept her tables full.
Named after Georgia O?Keeffe who serves as the inspiration for Karen?s approach to foods, and like her paintings these creations display brilliant color and amazing flavors.
After kicking off the boots, settle into either a Dan?s or Key Lime margarita both made with an ultra-smooth Sauza tequila. Neither is your coy over-the-top margarita, but instead quite similar to those served South of the Border. While sipping on either of these lively beverages munch on the housemade tortilla chips with a mild salsa, the chunky guacamole, or a zesty queso dip.
A festive parade of flavors is evident in every bite. The somewhat earthy Black Bean Pancakes are graced with large succulent grilled Georgia shrimp and a smoked poblano pepper cream sauce, absolutely divine. But, the one where you can?t restrain from drooling after each bite is the Monterrey Jack cheese stuffed Anaheim pepper, that?s deep fried, then drizzled with an amazing tomatillo sauce and roasted sweet corn, this is truly an OMG experience.
Of the entrees, which are large enough to share, the medium rare Angus Flat Iron Steak is fork tender, but the oh-so juicy flavors are enhanced by a heavenly smoked red pepper jus and a not-to-be-missed spicy Mac-n-cheese that?s stuffed in a fire roasted poblano pepper. One could be totally satisfied stopping here, but it would be sinful not to taste Karen?s creation that won her the 1992 Georgia Seafood Challenge- the otherworldly Lobster Enchilada- 8 ounces of Maine lobster tail meat, that?s cooked to perfection in a roasted sweet red bell pepper reduction then rolled in a flour tortilla and topped with a rich tomato salsa, Monterrey jack cheese, and a dab of sour cream is to die for. This has become the Georgia Grille?s signature dish and has diners coming back regularly to get their fix, this will include me as well; I?m hooked!
So can you help keep it a secret??? This top-drawer caf? is Southwestern cooking at its best and serves as the perfect place to kick back with friends and enjoy the simpler aspects of life.