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Soul food 

Collard Green Cafe

James Paige made a wise move in relocating his operation from Toco Hills to this smaller but more attractive location right off the Shallowford Road exit. The wonderfully unctuous oxtails top our list of soul food indulgences in the city. Go for the catfish filets or the meaty beef ribs slaked with sauce if the 'tails aren't available. For those of you who eschew swine, know that Paige makes his slow-cooked, real deal collards with smoked turkey necks. If the sweet tooth strikes, indulge in a slice of the red velvet cake displayed on the counter. 2566 Shallowford Road, Suite 112. 404-634-3440.

Geraldine's Fish and Grits

Geraldine's is the sort of place that no Southerner could visit and escape unscathed by nostalgia. Fish and grits alone create tides of memory: One need look no further than the annals of hip-hop culture, where the dish features in almost as many songs as Cristal champagne. The fried catfish and grits breakfast is quite a spread, complete with a puffy biscuit and an egg to round your cholesterol count right up. The chicken wings are kicky with garlic and almost too salty to eat alone: Order them with a crunchy waffle (Gladys Knight, eat your heart out). 971 N. Hairston Road, Suite 1-B, Stone Mountain. 770-498-3660.

Son's Place

Come during the lunch rush -- which never seems too harried, anyway -- to catch Son's fried chicken when it comes out in hot batches from the back. It's juicy, saline and crispy in all the consummate ways. This is a place to savor the classics: ribs, mac-n-cheese, green beans, collards. The hoe cakes, lacy and buttery around the edge with a satisfying cornbread bite in the center, are a singular treat. 100 Hurt St. 404-581-0530.

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