Natalie the Nomad: Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant (Columbus, GA)


Monthly Feature
Natalie is on the move…this time in Georgia!

Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant

104 8th Street
Columbus, GA 31901

The Scene: Minnie’s is a peculiar place, only open Monday through Friday, and from 10:30 to 2:30 in the afternoon. We quickly noticed that ‘parking’ was limited to picking a spot around the restaurant and the surrounding neighborhood. Minnie’s is a homely place; patrons ranged anywhere from blue collar folk to people in suits traipsing in from a downtown job. While we were fortunate enough to not run into this issue, we were told to arrive early or else food would run out rather quickly.

The Drink: Summertime in Georgia “is hotter’n a hookers doorknob on payday.” The perfect ying to that yang is sweet tea. When in Georgia, live off of sweet tea and you will not be disappointed. Especially if said sweet tea is coming from Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant… the sweet tea in and of itself is a treat, but the massive amounts of down home Southern soul food definitely puts the icing on the cake.

The Grub: The setting is a quaint country buffet style cafeteria set up, complete with desserts and your choice of soda/water. The smorgasbord was complete with greens, turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, cornbread stuffing, green beans, and a plethora of desserts. The popular choices at our table were fried chicken, candied sweet potatoes, grits, rice & gravy, cornbread, creamed sweet corn and hush puppies. The sides complimented the friend chicken perfectly. I’ll have to admit that the cornbread was a little dry, but I also think that it is a personal opinion… the rice and gravy were “nothin’ to write home about”, and I was kicking myself for not getting mashed potatoes and gravy. While I’m not a fan of grits, I was assured that they were great – in between heaping spoonfuls of grits of course. Now onto the nitty gritty… hush puppies were perfect. I honestly was afraid of attacking these first, as they were huge and sure to be filling. I was right, but it did not stop me. The creamed sweet corn was downright awesome. All too often, creamed corn is bland and watery; but this stuff was almost fluffy and full of flavor. Being a runner, my heart screamed upon seeing all the fried food on my plate, so I’m glad I could manage to combat it with some veggies… ;) I’m just going to pretend the creamed sweet corn counts! The candied sweet potatoes were probably my favorite. I could have eaten an entire tub of this deliciousness. While mashed, there were still chunks of sweet potato, but also in the mix were tiny little bits of cooked brown sugar. Whoever thought of this little bit is a GENIUS. I’m tempted to try and duplicate this recipe on my own, but I know for certain it would not compare to Minnie’s.

The Chicken: Now onto the fried chicken. Words cannot describe… I’m pretty sure this chicken came straight down from Heaven and onto my plate. The breading was perfect; so thin yet incredibly decadent. The chicken itself was juicy and moist, cooked to perfection. I will admit that I went all ‘Neanderthal’ and even licked my bone clean. Everyone at the table got fried chicken and not one person had a complaint. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I am the last person to ever eat fried food, but if I could have this stuff daily I would.

The Grand Finale: At this point I was barely functioning and was pretty much a walking zombie in a self induced food coma. I could not have another bite, but from what I understand the banana pudding “tastes so good it makes you wanna slap your mama”. The bowl was gone within minutes, but from the glance I stole, it did look pretty tasty. Had I not have been up to my eyeballs in soul food, I would have tried the red velvet cake. Or the key lime pie. Or the brownies.

The Verdict: I literally just wanted to eat chicken skin and candied sweet potatoes all day long and wash it down with Sweet Tea. If you are ever in Columbus, Georgia – this place is a MUST GO. Just go early, and you will leave fat and happy. I will warn you though, if you are on any kind of diet… you should go anyway, purchase a tub of candied sweet potatoes and send them to me!!!!!!!!

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