If you’ve been in business for 27 years you must be doing more than (just) OK! The OK Cafe has become an institution in Atlanta, and even though it’s 30 years younger than The Big Chicken (in Marietta), it also serves as a landmark for directions. It’s a centrally located place for meeting, as well as a terrific place to eat.
There is a large seating area, but at peak times there can be a crowd and a significant wait for a table. Luckily for my recent lunch date on a Friday, it wasn’t too bad.
The decor never lets you forget where you are, the wood carvings all remind you that it’s all OK.
The owners have worked hard to make this cafe have the diner feel. The staff dresses in “old-time” outfits, the kitchen is visible and the food comes out to a pickup area right in the middle of the eating counter.
The portion sizes are huge! When lunch is served, I ask for a to-go box before I even start eating. I have picked the lunch blackboard special because I am a sucker for trout. It is served with my choice of 2 sides and a cornbread or biscuit.
This trout is lightly breaded, fried and topped with toasted almond slivers. The fish is moist and flavorful and I am glad that I have already removed half from my plate because it’s so good I could overeat and be sorry later. The veggies are a bit crunchy, just the way I like them. I am happy to report that there are no overcooked, over salted, or buttery veggies on my plate!
Ruth has met me for lunch and she orders one of her favorites, the chicken pot pie. It also comes with 2 sides and a bread. This is a tremendous amount of food and Ruth also goes home with a full tummy and a to-go box.
Don’t miss the OK in the pastry atop the chicken pot pie – I didn’t notice it until I was looking at the picture and that’s why it’s upside-down.
Ruth’s lunch is so big I need to take 2 pictures.
The verdict: This place is more than OK as far as I am concerned. The menu is extensive and there is much to choose from. You can go with breakfast anytime, the blue plate specials, burgers, sandwiches and if you don’t care about the calories, you may want to indulge with a thick, rich shake. My only complaint is the noise level. The tables are large to accommodate massive quantities of food. That’s nice, but it can also make it very difficult to carry on a conversation. I find that Ruth and I are talking and leaning across the table to hear each other. If you haven’t visited the OK Cafe, or it’s been a long while (as it was in my case), you should stop by because you won’t be disappointed.