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Georgia Brown's, McPherson Square - Chef J.J. Nassar Comes From Paolo's


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Just today a co-worker told me he went to Georgia Brown's this weekend and enjoyed it greatly...I recall reading recently that there has been a chef change, but haven't heard that anyone has gone there until today.

My +1, my mother and I went to GB's for the Jazz Brunch on the 26th (it's been really busy at work), and the buffet was delish, including the best grits ever. Didn't get a chance to judge the entrees, since we weren't in a position to get the leftovers to refrigeration any time soon.

Nice place, if a bit tightly packed. The music, however? Loud enough for a room five times the size!

I'll have to see if I can talk my sweetie into trying this new deal, when we can be assured of peace and quiet. :P

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Some friends and I had a lovely dinner at GB's tonite. The atmosphere was really nice and the food was quite good. I did not know exactly what to expect... I was expecting very heavy food. I was wrong -- we had some excellent crab cakes and a gentle smoked salmon salad. The cornbread -- someone must have sung to it -- it was superb.

A nice, fun place to visit and easy on the wallet too.. .. (we did not do appetizers/alcohol)

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The Carolina Gumbo here is a fine, fine dish to enjoy on a cold, blustery day. I'd even consider go to the G.B. bar to order it after work, if only my meal wouldn't be ruined by somebody else's cigarette smoke. The DC City Council can't push through a smoking ban soon enough, as far as I'm concerned. (As a recent California transplant, I dont think I'll ever again get used to the smell of smoke in a bar, club or restaurant where the bar smoke wafts into the designated dining area.)

Not that this has anything to do with Georgia Brown's, per se.

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I'm glad to see Georgia Brown's getting some love here, because I have sensed a general decline in the amount of love it's been receiving. I haven't been in a year or so, but I have always had good food and good times there. The brunch is not only good but, if you get the entree boxed up for home, it's a spectacular deal.

(On top of fond food memories, I met Bill Clinton at Georgia Brown's. I, for one, count that as a fond memory too.)

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I too canceled my Indebleu rezzie after calling and being told that their very limited RW menu was all that was available this week. Yuck.

Against my better judgment, I joined friends who had reservations at Georgia Brown's last night. RW menu was very limited (find it here )

Scallops were good but room temperature. The waiter warned us away from the BBQ sampler due to very tough brisket. Trout was quite good but again barely warm. Dessert was fine, but not worth the calories. Service was friendly, but the smoke wafting from the bar area was a downer for me.

They get points for putting their current menus online - it's too bad the RW menu is so short, though.

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Ate dinner at Georgia Brown's last night. My girlfriend had a buy-one-entree-get-one-free coupon, so we took advantage. Thoughts:

Beer selection: terrible, but I didn't expected much. still, would it kill you to carry sierra nevada or something with at least a tiny bit of hops? I had a passable amber (J Paul's or somesuch) but it didn't stand up to the food at all.

Fried Green Tomatoes (appetizer): quite good, possibly the best thing I had. nicely fried, crispy tomato inside, and the sauce ("Lemon-Cayenne Mayonnaise") was excellent

Fried Catfish (entree): Good, but nowhere near as good as fried catfish can be (the cornflake-crusted catfish I had at kramerbooks was better, imo, and was much cheaper). The side of cajun rice that came with this was suprisingly excellent.

Macaroni and cheese (side): not my favorite. a bit too oily and not creamy at all.

Overall, a quite good meal (lots of food as well), but I'm not sure if I'll go back anytime soon without another coupon or the like.

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Caught the jazz brunch a few weeks ago for my first visit here. We got there at 11 am, but it was already packed! I like the dining room's warm, neutral colors and rounded inner walls, but it was weird to be walking back and forth from the buffet in a more upscale restaurant, especially once the waiting area started to fill up and we had to push past them to get back to our table (in the bar area).

Lots of decent steam-table brunch fare: crunchy french toast, potatoes, fruits, various salads and meat roasts (turkey, ham, and beef) with amazing cheezy grits (more cheese, butter, and salt than you'd ever allow at home, such that they could pretty much stand up on their own, and sheer heaven) and a to-order egg/omelet station. The middle "course", which is a served entree, is usually packed to go, so I took home the turkey meatloaf because I thought it would suffer least in being transported and eaten later. It was...ok. Kind of dry (could have been the transport factor) and not very flavorful (not the transport factor). I wanted to try meatloaf and I'm not sure this was a good introduction, but the collard greens were great!

The dessert table was mostly cakey things, cookies, and bits you could dip in the chocolate fountain. I liked the fountain items for their novelty (chocolate dipped rice krispie treat!!!), but the desserts I tried - a brownie? thing and a lemon tart-like square - were pretty dry and very sweet.

It's a LOT of food and the atmosphere is buzzing. An interesting experience.

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A group of 9 went last night to Georgia Brown's to celebrate a friends birthday.

On the up-side, the food was superb. At least half the group (including myself) had the Devil Shrimp, which is 3 shrimp stuffed w/ crab on a mac & cheese & spinach mound. Saw 1 Delmonico, a grouper (quite good, crispy), a fried chicken, and another dish or 2. The apps -- fried green tomatoes & deviled eggs -- were both quickly gobbled up. I had the sweet potato cheesecake w/ pecans for dessert. This was heavenly.

I was a bit surprised & very disappointed by the service however.

First, the host got a call 10 days ago pulling our group's time up to 6:30 from 7pm. Struck me as odd, but I guess they were trying to pace the kitchen. We did see a number of large groups. But why not give another group the earlier time and leave a set reservation alone? (There was a bachellorette party and other 8+ groups.) They were not going to get another seating in behind us, so it wasn't a churn issue.

My wife asked "what wine goes well with the grouper?" Waiter said he'd find out. When he returned a few mins later wineless, she asked if he'd gotten a recommendation. He then quickly returned and poured a glass of wine. You'd expect the waiter to offer a few suggestions, describe them, offer pricing info & let the diner choose. Nope. Wine for grouper is this. He didn't even bother to tell her what it was. I noticed it was pinot grigio since the label faced me as he poured.

The group was having a great session of reminisciing when the entrees were mostly cleared. This was after several of us had to fend off waiters & busboys alike as they tried to take unfinished plates away from anyone resting & disgesting. After 7 plates were cleared, 2 women however weren't done, still had their plates & were still eating. The dessert menus were brought to the rest of us. Wow, rude, unprofessional and pushy. I couldn't believe it.

At the end, we split the check among the non-birthday celebrators. Waiter brought back the charge slips. Someone thought to ask "is tip included already?" He confirmed it was. But he didn't offer this info, which is a bogus way for wait staff to try to get add'l tip. Bad form, bordering on fraud. I'd already written a 20% tip on, but was able to leave the other slip for him, leaving the 18% only. I had added 20% (despite the odd service issues), but my thinking was he'd tried to get away with duping us.

Beer selection: terrible, but I didn't expected much. still, would it kill you to carry sierra nevada or something with at least a tiny bit of hops? I had a passable amber (J Paul's or somesuch) but it didn't stand up to the food at all.

Know this post is dated, but I'll provide this update: Last night, they had Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA on tap. Hoppy goodness.

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We had a group of 7 girls out to celebrate a friend's birthday and say goodbye since she's leaving DC. She's moving to Portland, OR, so she asked if we could go to Georgia Brown's since she wouldn't have many opportunities for southern fare in the Pacific NW. I had been to GB's once probably 6-7 years ago and remember it being fine, but nothing spectacular. This visit pretty much reinforced my opinion.

The place was packed when we arrived around 6:30 on a Wednesday night, so they certainly aren't lacking for customers. Wednesday nights they also have a jazz band playing, so that was fun. It wasn't too loud to overwhelm our conversation, but added some nice background ambiance. And I have to say, our service was all around really good. I just came away thinking the food wasn't quite worth the price being charged.

We started with the complimentary biscuits, cornbread and peach butter. It's a lot of bread, but I like that they bring out enough for everyone to have one of each. Part way through our meal they even replenished the dish. That being said, I didn't think either bread was that good. I love biscuits, but these were a little dry for my taste. The cornbread didn't have a lot of flavor either. Both needed the peach butter to make them half-way decent.

Around our table we had:

Louisiana "Devil" Shrimp (Tender Gulf Shrimp stuffed with Georgia Brown's Crab Cakes, served with sauteed Spinach, Macaroni and Cheese, and a sweet and spicy Chipotle Sauce $29) - I had this and did enjoy it. It's three shrimp stuffed with crab cake surrounding a large scoop of mac and cheese on top of spinach. The seafood was well-seasoned and there wasn't too much filler with the crab, but the mac and cheese was sort of bland and probably not worth the calories. The chipotle sauce offered some nice flavor though. For $29 I think I would've appreciated a fourth shrimp though.

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake (Sweet Corn & Edamame Succotash, Three Potatoes, Cocktail Sauce and Crab Ravigote $27) - This was one crabcake (the waiter said about 6 oz?) served on the succotash. I didn't try it, but my friend cleaned her plate.

Carolina Gumbo (A stew of Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, Crab, Chicken and Duck, with Okra, Celery, Onions, Peppers and Red Rice $19) - This was ordered next to me and smelled delicious. The stew looked dark and rich and there was quite a large serving of rice in the middle.

Low Country Shrimp & Grits (Seven Head-on Shrimp sauteed with Shallots, Andouille Sausage, Garlic and Scallions served atop Organic Stone-Milled Grits $25) - Despite the menu description, there were no heads on these shrimp. I don't think my friend really noticed or cared, but it's odd to tout something on the menu and then not serve it. The serving is also very brothy, almost like a soup. Not the best shrimp and grits presentation I've seen (especially considering this is one of their "signature dishes").

"Jambalaya" (De-constructed with Pinto Bean Dirty Rice, grilled Andouille Sausage, Gulf Shrimp, Blue Crab, Duck Confit and Cider Brined Grilled Chicken Breast, served atop an Etouffee Gravy $23) - This was across the table from me, so I didn't get a great look at it, but it was certainly an interesting presentation, and there's a reason "Jambalaya" is in quotation marks. Each ingredient is plated next to each other with nothing mixed together.

Sugar and Spiced Pork Chop (Hickory grilled Pork Chop served atop Honey Laced Yams, grilled Granny Smith Apples, fried Brussels Sprouts and Red Eyed Gravy $26) - This pork chop was HUGE. I think my friend finished a third of it.

A few of us got our leftovers boxed up to go, and here's an aspect where I was impressed with the service (or I guess with the restaurant's business practices). Each person taking leftovers was asked if they would like some cornbread and/or a biscuit boxed up with their meal. They also packed up a little packet of napkin, salt and pepper, and plasticware to put in the to-go back. Very handy for bringing in leftovers to work!

On my Opentable reservation I had mentioned we were celebrating a birthday and a goodbye. I didn't really think anything would necessarily come of it, but I put it in there anyway. I forgot completely to mention it to either the hostess or the waiter, but when all of our plates had been cleared, the waiter surprised us by bringing out an order of Peach Cobbler a la Mode with three candles in it for the birthday girl. It was very thoughtful and we passed it around the table for everyone to share. I'm not a huge peach person, but my bite was good. The others seemed to like it. The gesture certainly helped to win us over.

In the end, I guess my criticism is more about the value. Nothing we had was bad, per say, but nothing was amazing either. But, if you're looking for southern food in a nice setting with good service, it's probably worth a trip.

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I have been to Georgia Brown's once, maybe eight or nine years ago, on a first (and only) date that ended up with my date getting mugged later that night (after I dropped her off at her apartment).

I figured that my experience couldn't be as bad as that first one, so I tried the $25 luncheon menu today (appetizer, entrée, dessert). There were a good number of appetizer (3) and entrée choices (7, I think), but you got whatever dessert they want to serve that day. I appreciate the choices and the price and the portions (not huge, but not miniscule either).

I picked the gazpacho for my appetizer (a bit too much sweetness from the apple in there), the fried chicken for my entrée (very juicy, good collard greens, mashed potatoes were a bit gummy) and they gave me coconut cake for dessert (I really liked the whipped cream, the cake was average at best). I ate at the bar and the bartender was pleasant and helpful. I wanted to sit outside, but even on this nice day, there was no shade and I didn't want to end up with a burnt scalp at the end of my meal.

I would go back for lunch.

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