(Editor’s note: We were partially compensated for our visit but all opinions are our own)
I love food but I don’t consider myself a “foodie.” I once had a job writing about fine dining but had to give it up. Growing up, my idea of fine dining was the Western Sizzlin’ and I still miss their awesome salad bar. I am also not sure about Cajun or New Orleans’ style cuisine. I find the appearance of crawfish a little offsetting. It’s the same with crab legs and any type of seafood with eyes.
So when Gilda Stanbery, executive director of the Forsyth Convention and Visitors Bureau, said we had to eat at Her Majesty Kitchen, I was a bit worried. I am all about being authentic, so if I don’t like something, I don’t recommend it. Luckily, Chef Chelsia Ogletree changed my mind about crawfish and New Orleans cuisine.
Ogletree hails from New Orleans and her knowledge of Creole, Cajun, Spanish and French cuisine shows in her cooking. She moved to Georgia with her husband, a former New Orleans Saints football player. Ogletree has showcased her skills catering to Georgia’s booming film and television industry.
Her Majesty Kitchen in Forsyth is a pop-up kitchen. Ogletree serves a different menu every week. This gives patrons a chance to sample a wide variety of entrees, side dishes and desserts that are hard to find elsewhere.
Her Majesty Kitchen at East Johnston Street in downtown Forsyth is cozy and welcoming. We went on a Friday night. A large group was enjoying their meal, and we saw several people come in for take-out, all raving about the food and asking about next week’s menu. I loved the floral arrangements in the painted Mason jars on the tables and the little touches of New Orleans. Our table has a small slide trombone that made me think of the Big Easy’s music history.
A great beginning to our meal
We started with one of the cutest charcuterie boards, including salad, pasta and crawfish. I had never eaten crawfish before and I like to try new things. Steve plied out the tasty bites of meat for me. I am not sure if I want to eat one again, but I will try them at least once more.
I have to talk about the salad dressing, though. Again, I am not a food expert. My favorite salad dressings are ranch and any form of ranch. I wish I could tell you what made this one so amazing to my palette. Rest assured; it was the best salad dressing I have tasted.
Another dish I won’t forget–the cornbread! I don’t like sugar in my cornbread. But Chelsia has changed my mind. This was the moistest cornbread I have ever eaten. To me, it tasted like cake.
The cornbread was not part of my meal–I stole it from Steve. He had the Bourbon brisket and Creole red beans and rice. I was jealous of his brisket. It was so flavorful and tender. The red beans and rice had just the right amount of savory spices, perfectly offset by the rice.
I chose the crawfish Monica, fried rainbow trout and bacon-seared green beans. I confess I have been on a mission to find green beans that good since eating here. That mission has failed and probably will because I can’t imagine green beans that good.
I love fried fish, but this was not your standard fare. Chelsia is a master at adding the right spices to make it the best you have ever had. But that crawfish Monica. Again, I am no cook and I don’t eat traditional New Orleans fare that often. I could have eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also learned that I love crawfish if I don’t have to look at them.
The perfect ending to a great meal
I normally don’t do desserts because I am a diabetic. Steve usually orders one and I take a bite or two. We ordered the blueberry cobbler with French vanilla ice cream. I am always a little skeptical about cobbler. Sometimes it’s too “doughy” for me and sometimes it’s not seasoned well. This cobbler had the right amount of flavor–not too sweet for me. And it was cooked perfectly. I ended up eating a lot more than a bite. We ate it so fast we didn’t’ get a picture.
Forsyth is a short drive from Macon and just under an hour from Atlanta. Her Majesty Kitchen is worth the drive. While you are there, check out all Forsyth has to offer. You will be surprised at what you find in this charming small town.