Best New Restaurants 2015: Georgia Reese’s

Gary Brackett’s casual restaurant focuses on soul food families can relish around the dinner table.

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Brackett already owns six Stacked Pickle sports bars in Indiana, and his business partner, Jeff Smith, most recently served as the operating partner at Harry & Izzy’s.
Brackett already owns six Stacked Pickle sports bars in Indiana, and his business partner, Jeff Smith, most recently served as the operating partner at Harry & Izzy’s.

Photo by Tony Valainis

Tucked into a strip mall off of 86th Street and Michigan Road, Georgia Reese’s doesn’t pretend it’s pushing the envelope. Former Colts linebacker and owner Gary Brackett and chef Bridget Brown instead simply focus on what they know best: soul food that families can relish around the dinner table. The menu emphasizes traditional comfort fare with a playful Southern twang, like a shareable plate of rib tips basted in a tangy orange–Coca-Cola sauce. Sandwich options range from Cajun-style po’ boys to the Big 58 (a nod to Brackett’s jersey number), a beef patty with bacon, pimiento cheese, spicy mayo, lettuce, tomato, and an over-easy egg. Well-charred St. Louis–style ribs and a bone-in pork chop swiped with peach-barbecue glaze stand as safe bets, but don’t be afraid to try riskier dishes like an inventive take on pork and beans cooked with pig’s feet and pork belly. During Sunday brunch, gospel music hums in the background as dolled-up church ladies flock to the buffet for a slice of cream cheese–stuffed French toast and another piece of fried chicken. Brown serves up some of the best fried poultry in town: hulking, plump pieces under a light, peppery skin that lends just enough crunch. Bless her heart.

 

The slow-smoked barbecued wings stand out among the shareable plates.
The slow-smoked barbecued wings stand out among the shareable plates.

Photo by Tony Valainis

Sound Bites

Concept: Southern swank

Seats: 175 inside

Owners: Gary Brackett and Jeff Smith

Chef: Bridget Brown

Pedigree: Brackett owns six Stacked Pickle sports bars. Smith is a former partner at Harry and Izzy’s. Brown is the former owner of New Orleans on the Avenue.

Try it if you like: Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles

Check It Out: 3454 W. 86th St., 876-3454, georgiareeses.com

 

 

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