Metro Weekly

Savor: Georgia Brown’s offers gourmet Southern classics to go

Enjoy vibrant, high-quality classics at home

Georgia Brown’s: Shrimp and Grits — Fredde Lieberman Photography

It’s possible you don’t even recall — or know — a time before Georgia Brown’s was the go-to restaurant for gourmet Southern cuisine in Washington, D.C. Also known as a go-to spot for celebrating special occasions, the restaurant opened in 1993, well before Washington’s restaurant scene gained national recognition as a destination in its own right.

Yet after all these years, the fine-dining fixture off McPherson Square, just two blocks from the White House and Black Lives Matter Plaza, remains committed to serving up high-quality classics from the Lowcountry. And serving them up in classic ways as well, from a menu that has remained essentially unchanged for over a decade.

The vibrant and rich African-influenced, seafood-focused cuisine of the region, which spans the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Georgia, closely resembles that of New Orleans and Cajun country. As a perfect case in point, fans of jambalaya will be well served at Georgia Brown’s by ordering Carolina Gumbo, a medley of dirty rice with spicy andouille, okra, duck, shrimp, chicken, and lump crab bound in a thick dark roux sauce.

Georgia Brown’s: Chicken — Fredde Lieberman Photography

You also can’t go wrong with the restaurant’s signature Shrimp & Grits, served with large chunks of andouille sausage in a rich garlicky, buttery seafood broth. Yet the true standout from a recent order was the classic Buttermilk Fried Chicken, soaked, breaded, and cooked to flavorful perfection, from crisp crust to succulent center.

The more you make your way through Georgia Brown’s menu, the more you come to appreciate that this is a hearty cuisine where bold, robust, fiery flavors dominate. Unfortunately, our present circumstances aren’t an ideal time to enjoy that boldness, at least not in the traditional dine-in way. After this weekend, the city is planning to enact tighter restrictions on indoor dining, mandating that venues drop down from 50-percent to 25-percent maximum capacity to help minimize the coronavirus surge. So Georgia Brown’s, which recently underwent an interior redesign, is switching to carryout and delivery exclusively for the foreseeable future.

The good news? Impressively, Georgia Brown’s food holds up to scrutiny — and the heat of a microwave — if you’re unable to eat it the moment you get it home. Even the fried chicken crust avoided turning soft and soggy a full 30 minutes after a recent carryout order. Talk about pluck. Georgia Brown’s is located at 950 15th St. NW. Call 202-525-2403 or visit www.gbrowns.com.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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