Last week, we visited a new restaurant located at Anaheim Packing District. A friend of a friend introduced us to Nika Shoemaker Machado and Marlon Machado, a husband and wife team who owns Georgia’s. We were lucky enough to have Nika sit down with us while we ate to listen to her story.
Georgia’s is a tribute to Nika’s mother who owned a catering business with her father, but gave it up when Nika’s father passed away many years ago. Even though the business was no longer, the love of home-cooked meals remain a fixture within their family, which eventually turned into the birth of Georgia’s.
Nika was born and raised in southern California and insists that the menu at Georgia’s is not southern soul food by any means. She calls it southern-inspired comfort food, the kind of meal friends would enjoy if they were visiting her home.
In order to do that, Nika uses her mother’s recipes as the bulk of the restaurant’s menu. It is a family affair with Nika, her mother, Marlon, as well as Nika’s daughter who works the front of the house.
We began with some complimentary corn bread muffins, a delicious morsel with good textural bite. It isn’t overly sweet and a smear of butter gives it a hint of saltiness I do love.
I want to point out that none of the photos depict the a la carte portions. Thanks to Nika, we were able to taste a wider variety of menu items in small bite-sized portions. To give you an idea of what you will get, I have a photo or a full size sandwich as guidance.
Chicken Wings ($8.95/6pcs) come in four flavors: BBQ, hot, mild and lemon pepper, we tried the latter two. I definitely preferred the buffalo sauce flavor even though it is mild. I was told the hot is nice and spicy — definitely for next time.
There are four sandwiches available and we were able to taste three of them. Grilled Chicken ($9.45) has nice flavors and I like its simplicity with just tomato and lettuce and a little aioli.
The BBQ Chicken ($10.45 — full portion shown) is topped with onion straws which gives a wonderful textural contrast. I think when you’re very texture-oriented like I am, this will appeal to you a lot more, however, I liked the flavor of the grilled chicken itself over the BBQ. I forgot to ask if we could add onion straws to the grilled chicken sandwich, but that would be perfect!
I’m not usually a fan of pulled pork so I wasn’t all that excited about the BBQ Pulled Pork ($10.95) sandwich, but surprisingly, I enjoyed it. The barbecue sauce is not sweet and does not overwhelm the pork — a very important thing in my book when eating this style of cuisine.
Of course, if you’re a fan of barbecue, the BBQ Ribs ($13.95) are not to be missed. These incredibly delicious ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and not smothered with sauce. There is just the right amount to season the meat, while still keeping the integrity of the natural flavors of the pork. The barbecue sauce — like the pulled pork — was not overwhelmingly sweet. My son will love these ribs!
Of course, I always prefer Fried Chicken ($11.45) over ribs and these are definitely worth eating. The chicken is first brined which means you will taste seasoning all the way inside the chicken and not just on the surface. I was delighted to find how moist it was on the inside. The exterior is coated with a cornmeal crust, giving it an extra crispy crunch that is different to the usual batter fried chicken is usually covered in.
The same cornmeal crust can also be found on the Fried Catfish ($11.45). Again, the fish is very moist and flaky, which makes for really enjoyable eating. With the chicken, catfish and ribs, there is also a choice of two sides which comes with the plate.
My favorites are always the sides and the Collard Greens are pretty good and I don’t say this lightly because I make it at home.
Other sides which I really enjoyed was the Hoppin’ John ($7.25) which is black eye peas and rice. There is also Red Beans and Rice ($7.50) but I am partial to the Hoppin’ John for sure.
The Mac and Cheese was also delicious! It is creamy and decadent! I brought a tub home for my son and when I went to pick him up from school he couldn’t even wait until we got home, he ate it in the car!
If you have some room for dessert, try the Peach Cobbler. It will definitely end your meal on a sweet note.
While you’re dining, if you happen to see Nika roaming around the restaurant, make sure you say hi. She is the heart and soul of the restaurant and will be happy you stopped her. And ask her how she met her husband! It’s one of the cutest stories you’ll ever hear!
440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805