Twisted Soul, Happy Stomach
314 East Howard Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
Cover Photo by TryCaviar.com | Photos Below by Lexi Scott
What first drew me to Twisted Soul was the name—what was the inspiration behind it? Growing up in the South myself, I’ve seen my fair share of both Southern eateries and soul food hole-in-the-walls, but never the seemingly taboo fusion of the two. Chef Deborah VanTrece has managed to take the best flavors from both cuisines to create a menu that is completely unique, even for the colorful city of Atlanta.
One step through the door and my guest and I were immediately welcomed with a warm smile and genuine atmosphere. Everything from the décor—rustic, wood pallet tables, each topped with a red mason jar and greenery—to the brick walls holds true to the soulful, Southern theme while remaining simplistic. I loved the open floor plan, allowing the entire restaurant to be graced with natural sunlight from the full window. Seated immediately at a table near the window, we were greeted by our waiter shortly after.
Considering that I am just short of 21 years of age, I brought a guest to enjoy some cocktails in my stead. First came the ginger beer, but if you’re not a fan of beer, don’t turn up your nose just yet. Ginger beer is simply a stronger ginger ale, though not as dry, with not a drop of beer to taste.
What’s brunch without a mimosa, you say? A twist on a classic, Chef Deborah’s cranberry mimosa indeed shared a space at our table. This citrus embellished drink resembled more of a cranberry infused champagne than your average mimosa, but still a refreshing way to begin brunch.
A Basket for Grandma
Like many restaurants, Twisted Soul’s signature bread was served first, but this basket of goodies would have made grandma proud. Instead of the typical savory bread, a basket of assorted bite-sized muffins and sweet breads made their way to the table. From blueberry to cinnamon to sweet potato, each bite was just as moist and delicious as the last.
Pimento Cheese grit Casserole with Chicken Sausage
I will start by saying that I ordered this entrée with exceedingly high expectations, as I have a great love for pimento cheese, grits and chicken sausage; a combination of these savory flavors seemed like pure heaven to me. Although very flavorful, the grits had more of a liquid consistency than I like. The chicken sausage as well was very flavorful with just a little bit of spice, but very rubbery and tough to cut.
Red Pepper Hoe Cake
Believe me, this dish is tastier than the name lets on. A simple side item of caramelized onions, sautéed red peppers and potatoes boiled to perfection rolled into a gently spiced ball. At first I thought this was an odd pairing for cheese grits, but to my surprise the flavors pair very well.
Chef Deborah’s Classic Creamy Seafood Grits
Now this was the award-winning grand finale of the afternoon; rich, creamy, the perfect consistency and generously loaded with shrimp and scallops. Shrimp and grits is a Southern classic, but with a few dashes of spices and seasonings, Chef Deborah has raised the bar to new heights.
Twisted Soul is one of the few non-chain restaurants where you can get down and dirty with family and friends, indulge in a night out with your significant other, or simply enjoy a martini at the bar. All in all I’d say that Twisted Soul has a unique perspective on food to offer the Atlanta area and a trip back will be made again. With many more delicious items to try, from Southern marinated fried chicken with sweet potato apple chutney to filet mignon, Twisted Soul’s flavor-packed menu is definitely worth it.
As an aside, Atlanta has food delivery down. As an Editor in Los Angeles, I’d have to say, LA might want to take a play right out of Atlanta’s playbook. This is an ingenious way to order!