As we all know by now, popular TikTok food critic, Keith Lee recently paid a visit to the Atlanta food industry and left some of our restaurants a less than positive review. There’s been a lot of drama surrounding his visit, but… what really happened? Fear not! We’ve got everything you need to know about Keith Lee’s visit to Atlanta!
First of all… who is Keith Lee?
Keith Lee is a famous TikTok food critic who travels all over the U.S. making personalized TikToks about local restaurants. He sticks to mostly small, owner-operated businesses that might not have the money to market as much as bigger spots. Lee tries to avoid celebrity treatment by having family members pick up his food for takeout instead of dining in the restaurant and he never “skips the line” to eat in a place ahead of people waiting just because he’s an influencer.
The 27-year-old former MMA fighter is charismatic and honest, and because of this, his TikToks are relatable and personal. People value his opinion, so when he loves a spot, it normally explodes in popularity! But when he doesn’t like a place, well… that’s when the drama happens.
So what was the drama?
During his visit to the A, Lee tried nine local restaurants, including the Real Milk and Honey, Atlanta Breakfast Club, Lil Baby’s the Seafood Menu, Toast on Lenox, Old Lady Gang, Jamaican Jerk Biz, Juci Jerk, and the Dining Experience.
Lee ran into some rules that he considered “unique” and frustrating, for example, Atlanta Breakfast Club charged $1 for butter.
He also ran into some problems with restaurants being closed when they said online that they were open, like the Real Milk and Honey. He didn’t actually ever get to try the Real Milk and Honey, but that didn’t stop followers of his from sending angry reviews to the restaurant. The only thing is… some of them got confused and instead of sending their angry messages to the Real Milk and Honey, they sent it to Milk and Honey on Cascade Road, a completely unrelated restaurant. Now, of course Lee had said not to come for the business owners and businesses, but that didn’t stop the drama from happening. Milk and Honey on Cascade Road even reported that they received death threats from angry people after the mix up.
Lee called the Atlanta food scene “insane” and commented on how clout-focused a lot of the spots were instead of focusing on a great dining experience for everyone. Overall, he said for Atlanta to do better.
But it wasn’t all bad!
Keith Lee did find three spots on his list that stood out as great experiences. Jamaican Jerk Biz, Juci Jerk, and the Dining Experience, all small family-owned spots he liked. These three small businesses, due to the difficulty of having consistent resources, often struggle to attract customers. But after the exposure Lee provided, all three spots saw customers flocking to their doors!
All of this comes, of course, right at the same time as the brand new Michelin Guide in Atlanta. The food industry here is going crazy and probably needs a little break!
As always, don’t take anyone else’s word for it, go try all these spots for yourself!