Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chef Henry's Louisiana Grill - Acworth, Georgia

One of the things I wanted to do while in the Atlanta area was check out the restaurant scene. The place we visited this weekend is in the city of Acworth, Georgia.

From the Acworth, GA visitor's website:
The Civil War brought “The Great Locomotive Chase” through Acworth in April
1862 when James Andrew’s Raiders stole the famous engine, “The General,” in
nearby Big Shanty (now Kennesaw, GA) Sherman was headquartered in Acworth for several days. The town was spared the torch until November 1864; many homes and buildings were burned.

Downtown Acworth offers a big variety of restaurants, cafes, unique shops and places to hear live music. One of those notable restaurants is Chef Henry's Louisiana Grill. The restaurant was featured on ABC's Nightline when Chef Henry won the ABC sponsored People's Platelist Contest. I had heard good things about this place even before we arrived in the Atlanta area. On Saturday we headed out to see what all the fuss was about.

Henry's Louisiana Grill serves a brunch menu on Saturday from 9:00am until 11:30 am. While I love brunch we were there for lunch. We arrived around 11:30 not realizing that lunch service didn't start until noon. No problem, we put our name on the list and prepared to wait. But, the hostess told us that the restaurant pager worked in and around all of the shops up and down the street. Great! No being held hostage in the restaurant's vestibule waiting for a table. We took the opportunity to walk up the street to some of the shops. The whole area had a quaint, historic feel and we enjoyed exploring.

While we were waiting Chef Henry walked out amongst the waiting crowd offering still warm, powdered sugar covered beignets. Things were off to a great start.

 A little bit later the pager went off, our table was ready and we headed in. The interior of the place is all high ceilings, wood floors and big windows. Many of the tables have old church pews for seating. There is a lot of eclectic works of art hung all along the restaurant's walls. Let me stop right here and apologize. While I was able to grab a few pictures of the food I didn't really get the interior. The place was crowded and I didn't have much opportunity to get photos. Besides, I was too busy stuffing  my face.

We were seated right away and asked about our drink orders shortly after. We were told that someone, other than the waiter taking our drink orders, would be our server for lunch. It ended up however to be more of a team effort. Which worked out just fine.

Some moist and delicious cornbread from the bread basket

While we were looking over the menus Chef Henry came through the dining room and stopped by each table. He was armed with Mardi Gras beads and handed them out to all of us. He stopped at our table, thanked us for coming in, and draped beads over our heads. I was left with a warm, genuine feeling. Definitely didn't feel like someone going through the motions.

After looking at the menu and hearing about the specials we made our choices. We started with the Jambalaya Fritters served with a jalapeño remoulade sauce. Jambalaya is a Cajun rice dish with sausage and seafood. This already great dish was formed into a fritter, fried to a crisp on the outside with a delicious creamy interior. Between the plentiful seafood, creamy rice and the jalapeño remoulade it had great flavor. I'd have this dish again in a heartbeat.

Jambalaya Fritters with jalapeño remoulade sauce

I knew what I was going to order for lunch before we even arrived. I was there for Chef Henry's Louisiana Grills' signature dish, the Louisiana Ooh La La. This is a seafood dish (there is also a chicken version available) that features flash fried oysters, shrimp and crawfish all served in a Tasso ham, spinach and roasted garlic cream sauce. The whole works can be had over bread or pasta. (I chose the pasta). I'm not going to try and describe this dish other than to say it was delicious and I enjoyed the hell out of every single bite.

Louisiana Ooh La La

My lunch date ordered one of the daily specials. A breaded and lightly fried pork chop served with roasted new potatoes and an over easy egg. All of this covered with a spicy, fantastically seasoned, tasso gravy. Ok, all of that I just typed might as well have been blah, blah, blah. As soon as this dish hit the table I regretted not ordering it myself. I actually, I kid you not, almost ordered it along with my Ooh La La. Total lunch envy. I was very lucky and my friend decided to share a few bites with me. Damn that was a great bite of food. Spicy without being hot, seasoned perfectly, crispy potatoes with creamy insides, crisp pork and that gravy. Easily one of the best dishes I've tasted so far this year.

Pork Chop Special

There were many tempting desserts on order but for once I was just too well fed and satisfied at the end of lunch to do any of them justice. Next time. Cause let me tell you, there'll be a next time. Chef Henry's Louisiana Grill served up some of the best cajun and creole style I've ever had outside of Louisiana. If you're ever in the area, hell, if you're ever within 50 miles of this place just go.  Maybe you'll get lucky and that fabulous pork chop special will be on the menu board.

Happy travels!


  1. Yes, that's Henry. Genuine to the core. And the food - well, if you walk away hungry it's your OWN fault!

    1. No way to leave there hungry! The food was really great. Thanks for the comment!

  2. When you go back (note, I did not say if) you have to try the Bayou Cakes. Think crab cakes but with shrimp and crawfish added with remoulade sauce and served over hot spicy cheese grits! As the Cajuns say, "It'll make you want to slap yo mama!" I have no idea what that actually means but I get the sentiment. For dessert you must have the bread pudding - a real New Orleans classic. I've never tasted better and I'm from New Orleans and have eaten in most of its famous restaurants.

    1. I have to say Mickierae that I almost ordered the Bayou Cakes. I'll definitely get them and the bread pudding (one of my favorite desserts) WHEN we go back. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I live in Acworth and my nickname is "Ooh La La", the wait person knows its what i'm ordering, i've tried most and its all good, (always sneaking from someones plate) have scars on hand to prove it!!!!!

    1. The Ooh La La did not disappoint. I can't wait to get back to Chef Henry's and try the other great dishes on the menu. Thanks for the comment!

  4. A visit with Henry is never disappointing! The atmosphere, the people, the food ~ always enjoyable!!!

  5. We had a great time. Chef Henry knows how to make his guest feel welcome. Thanks for the comment!