ATLANTA, GA – When we walked into Old Lady Gang located at 177 Peters St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313 we encountered a noticeably unclean dining room, perpetually un-bussed tables, and an inattentive serving staff. I usually don’t trip about these types of things, but as I continue critiquing restaurants across the U.S., I find a correlation between a restaurant’s appearance, service, and the quality of the food.
This visit confirmed my theory. We started out with their fried chicken and French toast, which had a lot of potential, but was poorly executed. The overly sweet toast was too thin for its flavor components and became incredibly soggy with the butter and syrup. This dish calls for a thicker brioche to provide the space and support necessary for what should be a hearty breakfast bread. The chicken was fried to a perfect tenderness and had an amazing flavor that unfortunately only lived on the skin. The meat itself was completely bland and would have benefitted from a flavorful brine.
Following the French toast, we had their OG flavored wings that were so dry they could have been used to create Leather Face’s mask in David Blue Garcia, 2022 reboot of the American slasher film Texas Chainsaw Massacre. One of the wings was about to take flight with a lone feather sticking out from its side. The sauce was an uncategorized combo of tart, sweet, and salty flavors – a complete distortion of the umami needed for this dish.
Next up, we endured the destruction of quintessential soulful sides. The collard greens were overcooked with a fermented and earthy Spinach and Cabbage taste. The mac and cheese would have depressed Chef James Hemmings. Overcooked elbow pasta and indiscriminate cheeses were disappointing in this rushed and amateurishly prepared dish.
Next up was the fried catfish, which had a beautiful coat, but the mushy interior seems to have resulted from an accelerated thawing process before being tossed in hot oil. It was difficult to enjoy the coating’s delicious flavor because the texture was so soppy and offensive.
Finally, the flavorless cornbread was entirely too sweet and as tough as Laffy Taffy. We tried to share it, but it was unbreakable.
This place has tremendous potential. The uncaring cooks who obviously rush the food and the prep team’s mindless efforts that leave whole feathers jetting out of chicken wings were bad enough. Throw in a super large table filled with dirty dishes and cups in the dining room and it warrants management taking a long, careful look at how they’re operating.
I hope this spot is inspired to take their diners seriously by elevating their overall efforts, from improving the quality of the food to significantly enhancing the dining experience and service. With the right approach, this could be a much better restaurant.
If you would like to check it out for yourself, give them a call at (404) 748-9689.