Destination dining in Duluth, Georgia.
Organic, sustainable and humane are on the menu.
By Hope S. Philbrick
The new Uncle Jack’s Meat House, which opened in September, is located in a strip mall that you might easily drive past without noticing. That unassuming approach is part of the charm of this place: Step inside and there’s an unexpected ‘wow’ factor. (Like when a seemingly-average date proves to have the greatest sense of humor.) The dining room has an industrial-chic décor, a welcoming hippie-meets-hipster ambiance, and top-notch service that starts when a staffer greets you at the door with a smile.
Since Duluth, Georgia is approximately 27 miles northeast of Atlanta, plus or minus depending on where you start the drive and traffic conditions, it’s the sort of place that you might decide to skip if your visit or routine is concentrated in Atlanta. Don’t. This restaurant makes that drive OTP (outside the perimeter) worth your time. (Still, it’s great to avoid rush hour if you can.)
Uncle Jack’s Meat House offers a quality dining experience with a focus on natural, organic and sustainable ingredients.
This is a new restaurant concept by founder and CEO Willie Degel. The self-taught chef and big-time foodie has been in the restaurant business more than 30 years; his previous restaurant concepts include Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse, Steak Sandwich Shop and Jack’s Shack. Credited as the first restaurateur to bring kobe beef to New York City, you may know Degel as host of Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout.
The interior features an open kitchen, a dining room with various seating options, plus a well-stocked bar you can belly up to. Quirky items like flying pig statues add personality to the brick, metal and wood dominating the décor; the result is a space that feels more relaxed than pretentious.
Start with a cocktail. This is no place to skip that grownup indulgence; the bartenders here mix well-balanced lip-smacking libations. Order a creative spin on a favorite or try something new. Even if you don’t think you like the negroni, this honeyed version may win you over.
The cuisine is billed as driven by “current eating trends…with an emphasis on natural, organic and sustainable ingredients.” Some things, like honey and cheese, are local. Others may be sourced from leading vendors, such as New York beef.
Don’t miss the Maine lobster and avocado mini tacos. The taro root shell adds creative crunch.
The 35-day dry-aged prime rib chop weighs in at 24 ounces and is easily shared. Top it with a sauce or savor it on its own alongside sides like warm roasted root vegetable salad, organic cauliflower gratin, five-cheese mac n cheese, or slow-cooked collard greens.
Save room for dessert like the decadent fudge brownie soufflé.
Our meal here was one of the best we’ve enjoyed in recent memory.
Uncle Jack’s Meat House
6590 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097
Open Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to Midnight; Saturday 5 p.m. to Midnight.
Complimentary valet parking Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to Midnight.
Odds of Encountering Children: Possible, but we saw few on our recent Sunday evening visit.
– Photo Credits: location images courtesy Uncle Jack’s Meat House; food images © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.