By Brian Benefield
This is the last of Brian Benefield’s Second Helpings columns, highlighting food in Cobb County. To read more of his reviews, follow this link
Time is a precious commodity and something we cannot get back. I love cooking at home and often try to use recipes from some of my favorite local chefs, but to be honest, we’re tired of washing pots and pans and loading the dishwasher every evenings. If you feel the same and want to be in the moment more with your family and friends than in front of the stove, try these local businesses to give you the night in the kitchen. Meals at these locations are prepared fresh, reheated and eaten, or frozen to thaw, reheat and dine at your convenience.
Carriage catering has been making elegant dishes for weddings and private events since 2006. Founded by Jeff Brister and Alfred Freeman, they have smartly pivoted during the pandemic by creating delicious family meals to go, and they can also deliver them right to your door in town Marietta and West Cobb areas. It became so popular that CHC still offers these services today, and their website is very user-friendly for easily ordering meals online. We can personally attest to the quality of the food they prepare, as we have ordered from them several times.
The family meal changes weekly, and some of the recent offerings are slow-cooked pulled pork with house barbecue sauce, mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans and rolls. Talk about a perfect summer meal. For a special treat, get the Teres Major Grilled Steak. This mostly unknown cut is exceptionally tender and served with corn salad, cilantro vinaigrette, mixed green salad and roasted baby potatoes.
Carriage House also offers a la carte items such as bourbon-glazed meatballs and spinach-artichoke dip if you want to impress your friends with these mouth-watering appetizers at your next get-together. They also have an excellent selection of beers, wines and Tito’s vodka to take away.
Neighborhood kitchen and provisions sprung up in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, and their gourmet dishes provided a valuable niche that the community needed more than they could have imagined. I met Dominic and his partner Jonathon during the transition of our food touring business to new ownership and learned about their vast experience in food service dating back over thirty years. Both are super friendly guys and cook memorable meals which are take out only and conveniently located in Marietta Square. Family meals serve four to six people and also offer half orders.
Start your meal off right by ordering their chilli cheese, and don’t forget to add a salad from a selection of many versions to include a palate-cleansing cucumber tomato or a more traditional caesar salad.
We tried the aromatic butter chicken, made with many different spices but not spicy. Instead, it has a hearty flavor with tender bits of chicken and a silky sauce that keeps you coming back again and again for another bite. For a taste of Louisiana, try their Jambalaya, which features Cajun dirty rice, shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage. If you have a large family, order a few extra sides like grilled zucchini or yucca fries, which I often crave. The neighborhood offers many more family meal choices, sides and provisions, so visit their website for the updated list of their unique culinary creations.
As much as I love to cook, sometimes it’s nice to take a break, put the phones down, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, relax, and just heat up a well-crafted family meal. It is named so for a reason. To truly enjoy a meal in the company of family or what I like to call framily, the people you choose to be in your life because of what they bring to the table. Voluntary pun.