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  • Writer's pictureAFG

It’s Baked Baby

Maybe you’ve heard this saying and maybe you haven’t, but more than a few people have described American cuisine as meat and potatoes. For as long as I can remember potatoes were always portrayed as merely a side dish, a starchy companion to a variety of proteins. In the last few years potatoes have began to ascend to the front stage, becoming the base for more than a few concepts around the city. You would think, what more can someone do to a potatoe? I would be more than inclined to agree, but that was before I tried “It’s Baked Baby” in the new west midtown food hall Chattahoochee Food Works(dubbed The Works for short). I ventured there on a rainy Monday to meet with Chef Owner Dianna Palmer, a true New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx and resided in Harlem before migrating below the Mason/Dixon line to Atlanta. Classically trained with over 11 years of experience behind line, it was her time as a sous chef in the Georgia Tech kitchens that gave birth to her baked baby. Dianna explains that in 2018 there was a bbq concept that she worked and the students would go crazy for plain baked potatoes. These potatoes would only have pulled pork or pulled chicken and nothing else, and would be their bestseller. In January 2019 suffering from a fall in the kitchen, Chef Palmer had to be out of commission for 3 months. This downtime was the spark that created It’s Baked Baby. Through the pandemic, she worked on pop ups while figuring out her next move to bring IBB to a brick and mortar space. We actually talked on the heels of her grand opening weekend, and needless to say IBB is a hit and looking at the menu you can see why. Chef Palmer checks every box from carnivore to vegan, everything fresh and housemade, from the béchamel she generously ladles over ginormous spuds, to the fresh pickled jalapeños you can add for a spicy kick. I had the pleasure to try the russet potato with the blackened chicken thighs, that dreamy béchamel, bacon, and pickled jalapeños. First thing you aren’t leaving here hungry at all, and you may be leaving with lunch for the next day. You can taste the love and attention to detail with the tender chicken thigh kissed on the grill and just the right amount of char. The béchamel had a delicious velvety texture and really got into every nook and cranny of the potato. I topped mine with bacon and her pickled jalapeños(which she may be selling in the future) but the toppings here are endless. I barely made it through this behemoth but never intended to stop eating as if I could! To summarize, if you plan on visiting The Works make sure you stop at It’s Baked Baby, bring your appetite and Dianna will be there to greet you with a smile and a potato that will send you into orbit and slumber.

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