As a child of baby boomers, I have a bit of second-hand nostalgia for the 1960s and ’70s. Many of my parents’ best stories come from that era, and I grew up reading my dad’s dog-eared James Bond novels and listening to classic rock and soul.
So, there’s something familiar and comforting about an old-school meat-and-three like K&K Soul Food on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. No matter what era you were born in, a plateful of meatloaf, gravy and collard greens is a balm for the soul in hectic, contentious times.
K&K Soul Food was, in fact, born the ’60s, and the food has changed little over the years. The meatloaf is excellent, with a hearty, toothsome texture that’s not mushy or mealy. The rich, beefy entree is enhanced with a slightly sweet gravy that’s much subtler than the traditional ketchup or barbecue sauce.
One of the pleasures of a place like K&K Soul Food is the cornucopia of side dishes that reads like a list of the South’s greatest culinary achievements, from candied yams to broccoli and rice casserole. Collard greens are cooked well — tender, but not falling part — with a lovely, earthy flavor. The collards are a little more finely chopped than you usually see, so they drink up hot sauce or pepper vinegar. Mac and cheese also is tender, with enough creamy sauce and extra cheese to taste decadent, without overwhelming you with dairy. You can choose several different types of bread for your meal, but the cornbread muffins are a classic for a reason.
While K&K Soul Food has been a popular breakfast and lunch destination for nearly 60 years, the pandemic has created an especially challenging environment for cafeteria-style restaurants. Luckily, K&K is available on Grubhub, so you can enjoy the restaurant’s authentic soul food without leaving home.
K&K Soul Food. 881 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway NW, Atlanta. 404-468-1073, kksoulfood.com.
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