Georgia’s Restaurant Opens in Long Beach

When the Anaheim Packing House opened five years ago I couldn’t wait to try all the new dining spots it offered. In the ensuing years I’ve made my way through practically all of them and have developed some favorites. One of those is Georgia’s Restaurant which offers an array of delicious Soul food dishes. Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I heard the restaurant would be opening its second location in Long Beach and I was even more excited when I was invited to stop by and sample the menu.

Georgia's Restaurant
Nika Shoemaker-Machado and Gretchen Shoemaker by acuna-hansen

Georgia’s Restaurant is a family enterprise, owned by Nika Shoemaker-Machado and her husband Marlon Machado. Nika’s mother Gretchen, aided by her husband George, ran a successful catering business for several years providing folks all over Southern California with delicious Southern dishes. After George’s passing the catering stopped leaving Nika with memories of her mother’s mouth-watering food. Eventually, Nika decided to open her own restaurant and with her mother’s blessing (and recipes!) Georgia’s was born.

Thanks to Gretchen’s many years of catering, Nika had several recipes to choose from and Georgia’s has an extensive menu. There are plates of fried chicken and catfish, bowls of jambalaya and mac & cheese, salads, sandwiches and more. One constant is the cornbread which accompanies every in house meal. I’m a cornbread fan and have had my fair share over the years and, let me tell you, Georgia’s ranks among the best. Moist and crumbly, topped with melted honey butter it’s a mouthful of delight.

When I was little I was a pretty picky eater but one thing I absolutely loved was ribs. That holds true to this day. Well not the picky part – I’m pretty adventurous but I still love me some ribs! And Georgia’s? Whoa nelly! Ab-so-lute-ly delicious. They are melt in your mouth, caramelized, honey tinged goodness that you’ll want to eat over and over again.

Of course, you can’t have Southern food without a ton of sides and Georgia’s delivers with over a dozen options! My sister swears by their mac & cheese but I’m partial to the red beans & rice. Deliciously seasoned, wonderfully moist and chock full of andouille sausage it’s practically a meal in itself. The potato salad is also delicious and that’s coming from someone who generally avoids the stuff!

And if you still have room for dessert be sure to grab a slice of peach cobbler. Topped with some vanilla ice cream it’ll be the perfect ending to your meal.

Georgia’s Restaurant officially opens tomorrow (7/18/2019) at the Long Beach Exchange and if you visit between 4 and 9pm you can get one of their tasty pulled pork sliders for only $2.25 (limit 3 per person).  You may be lucky enough to meet Ms. Gretchen herself and if you do give her a big hug for me and thank her for making such delicious food!