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April 27, 2008

Warming the souls (and stomachs) of Washington, D.C.

by Julia Mazerov, Online Entertainment Editor
It doesn't take a long car trip to get a taste of some traditional Southern hospitality. All it takes is a hop onto the orange line and a quick two block walkto Georgia Brown's, which will immediately have a Southerner feeling right at home and a stranger just as welcome.
Georgia Brown's is located at the McPhereson Square Metro stop. Julia Mazerov
Georgia Brown's is located at the McPhereson Square Metro stop.

Opened in 1993, Georgia Brown's sports décor reminiscent of a Southern street on a lazy summer day, complete with bronze sculptures in the shape of oak trees stretching the length of the high ceiling. The lights are dim and the jazz music is subtle, but the flavor certainly is not. Be prepared for a mix of spicy New Orleans and tranquil South Carolina in every bite.

To begin, there is an array of appetizers, each staying true to the theme of Low-Country cuisine. From Fried Green Tomatoes to Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish Fingers, everything is fried golden brown and served with an extensive supply of sauces to add to the already explosive flavor.

Though offered at hefty prices, the entrees cater to every desire, and every customer is guaranteed something they'll love. For the seafood lover, Georgia Brown's Trio of Crab Cakes is a must-try. The dish includes crab cakes composed of classic crab meat, smoked trout and a zesty crawfish, an enticing surprise compared to the usual crab cake. The trout cake is undoubtedly the best, offering the perfect blend of sweetness from the crab meat mixed with the smoky, salty flavor of the trout. The crawfish, unlike regular crab meat, gives the third cake a chewy texture, again perfect for the adventurous crab cake connoisseur. Each cake is smoked to perfection and offered with an accompanying sauce that brings out the hint of citrus in each delectable bite.

For the true Southerner, the Charleston Perlau offers a wonderful mix of Carolina Red Rice, sausage, duckling, clams and scallions, each with its own spicy and distinctive flavor but blended together to produce a delicious jambalaya. This traditional rice dish is topped with three jumbo shrimp, accentuating the succulent variety of seafood in this Carolina classic.

And finally, way back to the basics but far from a highway pit stop at KFC, is Georgia Brown's Southern Fried Chicken. Perfect for the kids at table who were turned off by the more exotic dishes or any adult wishing to embrace their inner child, the chicken is marinated in buttermilk and served steaming hot over red-skinned mashed potatoes, collard greens and spicy pan gravy. With a different blend of herbs in every bite, the chicken is sure to please any audience.

Before that last delicious spoonful is tucked away, out comes a gorgeous display of tempting deserts. Best on the menu are the peach cobbler and the cheesecake. The cobbler is served piping hot and topped with a scoop of creamy, homemade vanilla ice cream that melts over cinnamon spiced peaches. The cheesecake is served with a mountain of strawberries and piled high with whipped cream, guaranteed to satisfy even the most cultured cheesecake eater.

If you're in the mood for the tailored side of the South, Georgia Brown's is perfect for you. But come hungry, and don't dare leave food on your plate.

Georgia Brown's is located at 950 15th Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20005. and is open all days except Saturday for lunch and Sunday for dinner.



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