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Freckled & Blue

For husband and wife team Juliana and Tyler Lindley, a Clemson University marketing class started more than just a budding romance.

“We both went to Clemson and met in class there,” Tyler said. “We graduated and got corporate jobs, but it wasn’t the best fit. I decided I wanted to start my own business, and we moved back to Atlanta.”

The couple’s move back happened to coincide with the rise of home grown food trucks in the city, and the burgeoning food truck frenzy spoke to Juliana’s longstanding passion for food. The rest, as they say, is history.

After a lot of research (that included dining at many of these new four-wheeled eateries), Tyler wrote a business plan and launched Freckled & Blue, a reference to Juliana’s freckles and Tyler’s baby blues, in September 2012.

“Our menu is modern Southern,” Juliana said. “We took things that were familiar and put a spin on them. We had our truck and this was just our commissary. We found out truck season really slows down when the weather gets cold, so we ended up opening this [brick and mortar] sooner than we thought.”

Just a few months later, in January 2013, the Smyrna storefront was open to the public, serving up elevated Southern cuisine in a comfortable, casual environment.

“We don’t wear chef jackets everyday,” Tyler said. “We just wear t-shirts, but this is how we look on our catering jobs. We want to be approachable, but our biggest thing is quality in food and service.”

In May 2013, chef Daniel Craft joined the FAB team, using his full service dining experience to spearhead a bit of culinary innovation and begin rolling out seasonal menus and signature sauces.

“Since Daniel came on board, it’s revived my passion for food,” Juliana said. “He’s technically trained and gets creative. I’m the finesse, Tyler is the brain and Daniel is the brawn. That’s why it works.”

Whether the team is dishing up menu items in the fast casual restaurant, catering events from large to small, selling its renowned pimento cheese at Farmer’s Markets or behind the wheel of the truck, work it does.

The FAB Deviled Eggs are a tasty twist on a beloved picnic favorite. They come in three varieties: Artichoke & Feta, Sweet & Sour Pickles and Traditional and are so good they’d make grandma jealous. But, they’re not to be outdone by the Fried Green Tomatoes with herbed goat cheese and cider vinegar glaze. The zingy goodness of these tart green tomatoes balances effortlessly with the sweet cornmeal breading, rich goat cheese topping and herby freshness.

Entrees like the Pulled Pork & Grits exemplify the modern Southern menu, showcasing all the best things about living in the South in one dish. The super tender eight-hour smoked pork shoulder is served on a heaping pile of stone ground bacon cheddar grits and topped with spicy ranch, BBQ sauce and chives. It’s lip-smacking, finger-licking fare that will have you wanting more.

If burgers are more your speed, the FAB Pimento Cheese Burger comes in a single or double size on a Holeman & Finch bun. Choose your pimento cheese from among the flavors on the wall and get your fixings on the side. These perfectly seasoned certified Angus beef burgers are juicy and delicious (even though served well done— who knew that was possible?!) and make for the perfect lunch break from your busy day.

Before you leave, be sure to grab a to go container of one of the popular FAB pimento cheese flavors— the classicly mild Original, the smoky Pepperjack Poblano or the spicy Jalapeño Bacon—so you can take a little bit of FAB yumminess home with you.

Though, trust us, you’ll be back soon!

As an aside:

FAB’s Give Back program is a part of the fabric of its business. Through this philanthropic arm of the Smyrna eatery, a portion of profits goes back to hyper local organizations helping the community, such as The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children and St. Benedict’s Church.

*Originally published in the March 2015 issue of Cobb Life.