Keith Lee: The TikTok Food Critic Who’s Shaking Up Atlanta’s Restaurant Scene

Bold and Controversial Food Critic Keith Lee Shakes Up the Atlanta Food Industry with Scathing Reviews - Dividing Opinions and Stirring Up Buzz

Food critic Keith Lee caused a stir in Atlanta’s food industry with his critical reviews. Some restaurant owners questioned his expertise, but others are embracing the controversy. Here’s the scoop.

Keith Lee at the opening of Kevin Hart’s QSR Hart House held at Hart House Hollywood on May 7, 2023. Keith Lee became known for his taste tests and food reviews on TikTok. (Gilbert Flores/Getty Images)

Move over, Michelin Guide! There’s a new critic in town, and he’s serving up more than just hot takes. Meet Keith Lee, the TikTok food critic who recently embarked on a food tour through Atlanta’s culinary landscape. But let’s just say, his reviews were anything but conventional. In fact, they sparked a storm of controversy and had restaurant owners both praising his brutal honesty and lashing out at his audacious critiques.

Keith Lee, a former MMA fighter-turned-social media sensation, achieved viral status on TikTok in early 2022 with his restaurant reviews. Armed with over 14.2 million followers, he has emerged as a champion for small struggling restaurants, shining a spotlight on mom-and-pop shops and hidden gems that even locals didn’t know existed. From the bustling streets of New Orleans to the windy city of Chicago, Lee has taken his tastebuds on a gastronomic adventure.

But what sets him apart from other food critics? Well, for starters, he insists on experiencing the restaurant as a normal patron, refusing special treatment. And boy, did he uncover some jaw-dropping revelations about Atlanta’s dining scene. From ridiculous rules to exorbitant butter prices, Lee left no stone unturned.

In his viral review of Atlanta Breakfast Club, a popular brunch spot, Lee exposed their peculiar dining rules. Apparently, customers were forbidden from ordering takeout and had to be seated to place an order. Don’t even get him started on the dollar charge for extra butter. Yes, you read that right, folks. Butter for a dollar! Who knew cholesterol could be such a luxury?

But the drama didn’t end there. In his review of The Real Milk & Honey, Lee encountered a phone-ordering fiasco. Despite the restaurant’s online listing proclaiming it was open, an automated voicemail directed customers to order via a delivery app. Talk about a digital dead-end.

Of course, where there’s controversy, there’s always Cardi B. The queen of rap weighed in on the Atlanta restaurant drama, sharing her own experiences and frustrations with the city’s dining establishments. According to her, ordering in Atlanta restaurants feels like trying to crack a secret code. Perhaps it’s time for chefs to trade in their aprons for James Bond tuxedos?

But not all restaurants were left reeling from Lee’s critiques. Some welcomed his honest feedback with open arms. Take The Dining Experience, for example. Lee described it as the ultimate Southern-style food destination, praising both the mouthwatering brunch and exemplary customer service. So impressed was he that Lee left a jaw-dropping $1,000 tip for his waiter. You heard that right, people. One thousand dollars! That’s a tip that could buy you a lifetime supply of biscuits and gravy.

Now, let’s address the elephant at the table. What does all this mean for Atlanta’s restaurant scene? While some critics argue that Lee’s reviews expose the city’s baffling dining rules, others believe it’s an opportunity for improvement. Monique Sneed, owner of The Bodega, a sandwich spot reviewed by Lee, acknowledges the challenges faced by Atlanta’s restaurants but believes that collective effort will lead to growth and success.

So, whether you’re a foodie seeking the inside scoop on Atlanta’s dining scene or a restaurant owner praying that Keith Lee won’t grace your establishment, one thing’s for sure—this TikTok sensation has forever transformed the way we view and critique food. Who knew that a few bites and a smartphone could stir up so much excitement and controversy? It’s a feast for the eyes and food for thought.

Now, dear readers, it’s your turn. Have you ever encountered bizarre dining rules or eyebrow-raising practices at restaurants? Share your own hilarious or cringe-worthy experiences in the comments below. And let’s keep the conversation cooking!