Six Feet Under has a pretty shaky reputation among food lovers, I’m sad to say. I’ve always enjoyed the meals I’ve had here, ever since my daughter came home about seven years ago after a weekend with her mother, breathlessly exclaiming how they went to a cemetery and had crab legs. That took a little work, getting to the bottom of that story.
At the time, her mother lived in town, and would have liked to have made this a regular destination for the kids, but it was always a special treat, owing to her low finances. On one occasion, among many, she had grumbled that she hadn’t any money to do anything nice with the kids on one of her weekends. I succumbed to generosity and packed up my children with $40 and a note that the girlchild, aged maybe six, haltingly penciled from my letter-by-letter dictation, explaining that she and her brother wanted fresh fish and had robbed a convenience store to get the enclosed money, and to please take them to the graveyard for fresh fish. We know that nostalgia is a prime ingredient in the very best restaurants, but how can you not absolutely love a place that inspires stories so darn cute?
Looking around, however, I do see many mixed reviews, and discouraging grumbling from quarters who find their prices too high and their portions too small. Sadly, they might be right in that one regard. I visited for lunch a few Fridays ago, and the prices on their web site are no longer accurate. They have gone up, and I paid $14.50 for what turned out to be a fistful of shrimp and scallops baked in parchment.
Oh, but they were such good shrimp and scallops…
Six Feet Under, in one of the most deliciously appropriate names in the business, is indeed across the street from Atlanta’s gigantic Oakland Cemetery, with a high deck overlooking the beautiful view. Actually, I enjoy the view of the restaurant’s second location, on 11th Street, even more. That’s just about the best view of the city’s skyline. I have eaten at each location twice now. On one of my evening trips to the 11th Street store, when Marie and I were eating downstairs, there was a power cut that knocked out the electricity for about five blocks. Fortunately, we pay with cash and weren’t held up when we wanted to leave. Driving around all those blocks of Northside and Howell Mill without any lights was eerie and wonderful; I’d have hated to have missed that while waiting for a credit card machine to come back online.
The original location is the real destination for travelers, and I would certainly rank it among Atlanta’s best seafood places, though I think that I enjoy Tin Can in Sandy Springs a little more. It’s a fabulous, ramshackle building in the lovely Grant Park neighborhood, and very popular with a big crowd. There is a small lot behind the building, but I ended up joining many others in parking on the streets behind the restaurant, about two blocks away.
I sat at the bar and really enjoyed that pricey order of shrimp and scallops. They’re baked in parchment with butter and lemon and are just wonderful. I had them with a spinach salad, homemade chips and hush puppies. Everything was completely delicious, and the ladies and gentlemen working the bar did a great job paying attention to all their guests.
Six Feet Under prides themselves on being a green business, with a composting program and, at their 11th Street store, a windmill. It’s definitely a place to show off to out-of-town guests, and, every once in a while, a nice treat for us. Don’t even have to rob a convenience store to eat here. Well, one more price hike and you might have to, but until then, it is good eating.
Other blog posts about this restaurant: