Comfort food comes best in a formula: mix a protein with some sides, and make sure it’s served via a tray, styrofoam container, or a really big plate. Structure is key, and counter service or cafeteria-style is the best service. Such are the laws of the meat-and-three, one of the greatest dining treasures to emerge from the American South.
For those unaware, or who haven’t spent enough time in the South, the “meat and three” is a restaurant, buffet, or diner with a menu listing a choice of Southern proteins like fried chicken, country fried steak, meatloaf, or beef tips and two to three starchy vegetable sides, such as bacon-soaked collards, lima beans, or mac and cheese. Yes, in the South, mac and cheese is considered a vegetable. Atlanta has plenty of such establishments offering the ultimate Southern feast to check out, too.
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