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Never Ending Soul Food Tour - Weaver D's, Athens, GA

James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment serving memorable vittles. All photos by James Calemine.

Weaver D’s
“Automatic For the People”
1016 East Broad Street
Athens, Georgia 30601

Known for its football and music scenes, Athens, Georgia, also contains some mighty fine eateries. Weaver D’s opened in 1986 and soon became a local favorite among professors, students, town folk, musicians and businessmen.

As a graduate of the University of Georgia——attending in the late eighties and early nineties——Weaver D’s became a staple of my diet. The menu has changed very little in 18 years. Today it read: BBQ pork, pork chops, fish, fried chicken, broccoli casserole, potato salad, collards, macaroni & cheese, squash casserole, string beans, and buttered potatoes.


Dexter Weaver.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I ordered my old Weaver D’s stand by——fried chicken (one breast, one leg), collard greens, potato salad, corn bread and sweet iced tea for $6.45. Hands down, these remain my favorite collard greens.

Since hometown heroes REM asked Weaver if they could use his slogan as a title to their Grammy winning album in 1992, Automatic For the People, he’s become an international cooking guru. Weaver D’s book, Automatic y’all: Weaver D’s Guide to the Soul was published in 1999. In these pages this humble cook explains his hardworking upbringing, tough times, evangelical wisdom, and how his soul food joint became a local mainstay. The fine book (signed by the author), published by Athens Hill Street Press, includes over 50 recipes for some of the best soul food around. As Weaver D says, “Automatic…” 

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