When talking about food, ‘medium rare’ refers to cooking meat so the outside is browned with just a hint of red in the middle, striving to provide the perfect combination of tenderness and flavor. This column, much like its namesake, strives to provide the perfect combination of epicurean insight and Atlanta-area atmosphere.
Have you ever fallen in love with an idea or a concept that’s so good, it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not? If not, the weekend brunch at Inman Park’s Folk Art is enough to make you contemplate never-ending nuptials with its comfortable atmosphere, sinfully good food and an overall experience that all the money and planning could not replicate.
Situated cozily in the sleepy Inman Park neighborhood between Little Five Points and The Carter Center, at first glance Folk Art seems like a hipster enclave where cool, young Millennial Atlantans seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of the week over a nice, homey meal.
Step inside and you’re greeted by a cornucopia of small-town diner-meets-grandma’s-kitchen-meets-”American Pickers” episode.
The walls are adorned with various local artwork, ranging from a “Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” sign straight from the side of the interstate to more abstract homages to Atlanta and Southern culture.
Beyond the bric-a-brac littered along the brick walls, the restaurant is small enough that you’re tempted to ask your neighbor for a bite of whatever they’re having, but also intimate enough that your conversations take place in their own world.
While conversation is great, the main attraction is the food. For those of you who may know, pimento cheese holds a special place in my heart.
Folk Art made that special place even happier with their Redneck Cheese Dip, a combination of homemade pimento cheese and giant saltine crackers.
As a bit of a side note, after experiencing much difficulty keeping the dip on the cracker, I learned a valuable culinary (and life) lesson from my friend: you have to have support in order to balance everything that you want on your cracker.
By keeping one cracker stationary and scooping with the other cracker, you ensure maximum cracker coverage with little chance of the dip falling off.
My inability to be a functional eater aside, I would be remiss to not recommend the French Toast (made with fresh challah bread).
With the choice of banana nut fosters, cinnamon pecan sticky bun or peanut butter and banana to top the warm, fresh bread, the enticement of options ensure there must be return trips in the future.
For the more meat inclined, Southern staples such as chicken and waffles (aptly named Foul Play), shrimp and grits and fried chicken and biscuits are sure to please any palate.
Thankfully, Folk Art is not quite on the mainstream brunch circuit in Atlanta so the wait time is never too long.
Although nothing on the menu particularly stands out as superior above anything else in the Atlanta food scene, it’s the entire package that makes Folk Art a must-eat.
I could very easily spend hours upon hours eating cheese dip and talking the day away with anyone and everyone around and hardly notice the time pass.
For a tasty meal that’s augmented by an irreparable atmosphere of familiarity, Southern comfort and connectedness, Folk Art is hands-down the place for brunch in Atlanta.
4 out of 5.
– By Stephen Fowler, Student Life Editor