Unexpected star dish at Luda’s airport restaurant isn’t fried chicken

Dish of the Week: Battered Catfish at Chicken + Beer

The fried chicken at rapper Ludacris’ new eatery at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is as good as you’d expect, considering it headlines the restaurant’s name, Chicken + Beer, a reference to the artist’s double-platinum 2003 album “Chicken-n-Beer.”   But the unexpected star on this Southern menu is the battered catfish.

<< First Look: Ludacris' Chicken + Beer at Hartsfield-Jackson

The fish, a fresh catch sourced from Halpern’s Steak & Seafood, is lightly battered and holds hints of Sweetwater’s Hop Hash double IPA. But Chicken + Beer executive chef Andrew Tabb goes further with this entree by orchestrating sweet harmony among back-up singers: corn edamame succotash, parsnip puree and tomato corn relish.

For the succotash, Tabb opts for edamame instead of lima beans and seasons the colorful, crunchy mélange with rice vinegar. He subtly seasons the pool of pureed parsnip with onion, garlic, S&amp;P and bay leaf. And he spikes the corn relish with house-made ale mustard. This is not your typical airport offering and a fine greeting after a long flight from Timbuktu.

“We’re trying to continue to change the perception of airport food,” said Tabb, who, prior to helming Chicken + Beer, was part of the culinary team at the airport’s fine dining venue, One Flew South, since 2009. “We want people to feel like they are getting their best bang for their buck, where everything is presumably overpriced.”

If the world’s busiest airport figures into your next travel plans, Chicken + Beer is a worthy destination before your final destination.

Chicken + Beer, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (near Gate D6), 6000 N. Terminal Pkwy, Atlanta. 404-209-3905, ChickenandBeer.com

Watch the opening of Chicken + Beer:



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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.