Atlanta Orders In: Chef reaches for his goals with Humble Mumble

Sandwich shop is a one-man show
The Italian Job is amped up with the spicy sausage spread 'nduja. Ligaya Figueras/

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The Italian Job is amped up with the spicy sausage spread 'nduja. Ligaya Figueras/

“I feel like you’re following my entire career,” chef Justin Dixon said as he handed me a brown paper sack with an order of sandwiches, salad, chili and house-made potato chips.

The first time I tasted Dixon’s food was in 2016, at the Shed in Glenwood, his first big gig as an executive chef. In 2019, I supped on small, seafood-centric plates at Bully Boy on the Beltline, where Dixon shared exec chef duties with Michael Bertozzi. A year later, the Art Institute of Atlanta graduate and Georgia native was helming the kitchen at Wonderkid, where his playful culinary style matched that of the retro-mod diner.

Humble Mumble is the first solo venture by Atlanta chef Justin Dixon. Ligaya Figueras/

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

icon to expand image

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Dixon struck out on his own last summer with a pop-up sandwich shop, Humble Mumble, a reference to his favorite OutKast song.

The lyrics are about “going against the odds, keeping your character. It is about achieving your goals in the worst predicaments possible,” Dixon said when we later spoke on the phone.

He began achieving those goals through pop-up appearances at the Pig and the Pearl in Atlantic Station. In November, he secured a spot inside the Collective Food Hall at Coda in Tech Square, where he serves up weekday lunch.

Though humble in name, his sandwiches, sides and desserts are rich in flavor, as well as filling. As usual with Dixon’s food, the offerings are big, bold and comfort to the core.

The standout among the six sandwiches was the Italian Job. A generous pile of sliced salami, coppa, sopresatta, mortadella and prosciutto gets a spicy pop from a swipe of spreadable ‘nduja sausage, with more flavor, color and texture from provolone, lettuce, pickled peppers, onions and oregano mayo.

A house-made sweet-tart cranberry relish makes the Turkey Stack the pick for anyone who looks forward to Thanksgiving leftovers slapped between slabs of bread.

For a taste of Thanksgiving, try the Turkey Stack, with cranberry relish among the fillings. All sandwiches come with house-made chips or a salad. Ligaya Figueras/

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

icon to expand image

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

I’m aboard with the idea behind the Captain Planet — chickpeas given tikka masala treatment — but the only vegetarian sandwich on the menu might benefit from stuffable bread, rather than ciabatta. As it is, the legumes squish out from between the slices, creating a gloppy mess.

I recommend the meatloaf melt, if you can eat this hot sandwich on the spot, or don’t have far to go. The pork-beef loaf is super-moist, and when you add bacon jam and pimento cheese, the bread starts to get wet, if you don’t scarf it down quickly.

Sandwiches come with house-made potato chips or a salad. The chips taste fresh, are airy-crisp, and are seasoned with a measured dose of salt.

Lettuce for the salad gets chef’s touches: pickled red onions, pea shoots, fried garlic and a side of green goddess dressing.

For an upcharge, you can choose chili as the side. Beefy and with pinto beans, this mildly spicy rendition gets capped with big dollops of pimento cheese and sour cream, and a scattering of green onions.

Of course, it can’t be a sandwich shop without pickles. Dixon offers four: a standard dill, garlic herb (my pick), spicy, and a cuke flavored with Kool-Aid, a nod to his childhood.

Humble Mumble is located at the Collective Food Hall at Coda in Midtown. Ligaya Figueras/

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

icon to expand image

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Dixon prepares all the proteins except the charcuterie, and makes the condiments, sauces and sides, but he still finds time to bake desserts, which include a rotation of cakes and pies, plus chocolate chip cookies and brownies. A recent lemon pound cake was on the dry side, but the brownie was cakey on the outside, fudgy in the center and easily a sweet reward for two.

Building sales has been tough, Dixon said, but he is seeing growth, and has developed a following. “The same amount of money I made in the first week at the Coda, I made that today.”

And, he’s enjoying being the one to call all the shots — from branding to social media. “That was something I was never privy to previously,” he said.


Food: lunchtime food court sandwich shop

Service: dine-in and takeout; order in person; delivery via Uber Eats and DoorDash; ordering is easy, using self-serve kiosk or QR code; sandwiches are wrapped before being cut in half, making leftovers easy to store.

Safety protocol: self-serve limits guest interaction with owner and sole employee Justin Dixon, who is fully vaccinated and boosted.

Best dishes: Italian Job, Turkey Stack, chili, chips

Alcohol: no

Credit cards: all major credit cards and mobile pay accepted

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays

Address, phone: Collective Food Hall at Coda, 756 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta. No phone, Instagram: @humblemumbleatl


Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.