When it comes to putting soul into their food, Georgia’s in Anaheim knows no bounds for the culinary love that fills their hearts.
Located in the Anaheim Packing House, this southern-style restaurant has been in business for over six months serving their customers various dishes of homemade soul food. Georgia’s first began comforting people with their food years before they opened this first location.
The inspiration behind Georgia’s lives and thrives through love. If not for the unconditional love Gretchen Shoemaker possessed for her late husband, then Georgia’s might still be a mere thought. She started cooking for friends and relative’s events as her personal gift to them, and her food became so popular that one of her friends encouraged her to open up a catering business, which is still offered through the restaurant.
Shoemaker shared a very sweet story about a woman who loved to put her heart and soul into cooking just like she does.
“She used to have a jar that she’d take down every time she was cooking. She’d open it up like she’s adding something and then put the jar back. People would ask her about it and she would say ‘oh just made with love, just made with love’ and when she passed away, they took the jar down and opened it to find that there was nothing in there,” Shoemaker said.
It stuck with her because even just the gesture of adding imaginary ingredients of love does in fact add love to the food.
There came a point when Shoemaker felt that she needed something to fulfill the missing void of her husband, so she followed her passion and pitched the idea of opening a restaurant to her daughters and their husbands.
Georgia’s menu ranges from traditional soul food items such as BBQ pulled pork, cornmeal fried chicken, collard greens, and mac and cheese all to a fairly new menu item: chili cheese fries.
Curious on how they get their customers coming back for more, when asked to share what kind of process goes into making some of their dishes, Shoemaker said, “well we’re not going to share too many secrets because it’s a secret family recipe.”
Of course, she has a right to defend their family secrets because that’s what keeps them in business! Marlon Machado, son-in-law and business partner, did slip one little secret and said that it is about a 48-hour process to get the pork as tasty as it is.
The pulled pork sandwich might be their most popular item, but both Shoemaker and Machado shared that their favorite dish is the Shrimp and Grits. It’s exclusive to their weekend menu, so if you want to try it, you’ll have to stop by during their breakfast hours.
Shoemaker emphasized that passion and her husband’s legacy are what keep her doing what she’s doing. In order to become successful in what you do, you must be passionate and give 100 percent by truly loving what it is you’re doing, and cooking is what she loves to do.
Georgia’s restaurant is located at 440 S. Anaheim Blvd. inside the Anaheim Packing District.