Well, here’s serendipity. A few Sundays back, our old friend David came by and we drove over to Roswell. We met up with Leslie, from The Food and Me, to try a popular restaurant in Roswell’s incredibly cute downtown stretch. I really love the way that Roswell has managed to maintain and support a thriving downtown scene full of busy independent restaurants just one curve and a parking lot away from the main, traffic-clogged stretch through town. Unfortunately for us, the restaurant that we wanted to try was so busy – they don’t take reservations – that we were looking at an hour’s wait. We decided to stretch our legs and get some exercise while waiting, since the restaurant does at least take your number in order to send a text when a table is ready.
Actually, let me interrupt. I think that not taking reservations is a faintly ridiculous policy, but sending a text when they can seat you is a brilliant one. That makes a whole lot more sense than sitting around in a cramped airlock holding onto a black circular thing, unable to take it far. I would much, much rather get some exercise and maybe do some window shopping than that. If you’re reading this and work in one of the sixty gajillion restaurants that use the little black light-up devices, look into sending texts instead. Now, truly, you do risk losing business to one of your competitors, like what happened on this Sunday night as we elected to give Table & Main a try, but on the other hand, if you’re so darn popular that everybody’s waiting an hour for a seat, it’s not like you’re hurting for business. You can afford to lose a little.
It was a nice evening, only moderately chilled, and the four of us sat outside on Table & Main’s quite dark patio as the sun went down, illuminated only by the natural light of a few warming fires. This made for some worse-than-usual photos, and the amusing sight of our server, Julie, using the flame of a cigarette lighter to shine over everybody’s food to identify what was on the plates. Julie, incidentally, can be found in the text of some of the other blog posts linked below. She’s probably experienced enough by now, overhearing foodie conversations and seeing inept photos being taken, to know that she’s going to be bragged about in somebody’s blog. She was completely awesome, and so was the food.
The restaurant, which opened in 2011, is in a refurbished hundred year-old home. It’s one of those mason jar places, if that helps you visualize the menu. They start each table with a little mason jar of cheese straws, simply flour, cheddar, and paprika. These are a great little starter.
Table & Main prides itself on local, seasonal Southern foods, and Marie found a winner in her veggie plate. That’s the second photo above, and features, clockwise from top left: faroe with pomegranate seeds, sunchokes with chow-chow, roasted yellow carrots, and sweet potato fries. I’d never had sunchokes, more properly known as Jerusalem artichokes, before. They and the chow-chow were completely delicious. I’d have that every day of the week if I could.
My own shrimp and grits, served with a tangy tomato sauce, were completely lovely. Perhaps it’s a little predictable to order shrimp and grits in one of these new Southern mason jar places, but I really enjoy shrimp and don’t mind being predictable. On the other side of predictable, David was very pleased with his burger and fries. Before you raise an eyebrow over ordering a burger and fries at a nice place like this, consider that the burger is made with Wagyu beef and is completely excellent, and the steak fries were better than anything you’ve ever had before. Taking house-made fries to a new level, they first bake the potato to perfection, and then quarter it, and then fry it. Whoever came up with that deserves a medal. We also enjoyed a great little shared side of roasted beets. Man alive, what a great restaurant this is.
But the table’s winner was Leslie’s order of fried chicken. Hold everything. Stop what you are doing, Atlantans, and go get some of this chicken. I can understand your reluctance to motor up to Toccoa to try that chicken up there that I have raved about. Some of you ITP city folk might get a case of the vapors going that far into the mountains. But seriously, if you live in the Atlanta area and want a contender for the best fried chicken this metro area can offer, you have no excuse for not getting your tail to Roswell right this minute. This is game-changing, life affirming fried chicken. And there are no photos of it. Heck, it’s not like I’m talking about Bigfoot in a UFO here. Go eat this chicken.
This was ridiculous. Look, I’ve been known to get menu envy over Marie’s dish a time or a thousand, because she often orders something that ends up being tastier than what I got, but here I had a perfectly fine bowl of very good shrimp and grits, the sort of thing that dozens of lesser restaurants don’t do as well, and I was drooling over absolutely everything else that everybody here got. This demands another visit. If I can get that fried chicken with those sunchokes, I’ll be as happy as can be. How’s tomorrow sound?
Other blog posts about Table & Main:
The Quick + Dirty Dirty (Mar. 22 2012)
Atlanta Restaurant Blog (May 10 2012)
The Trot Line (May 16 2012)
ATL Food Snob (June 8 2012)
Our Libatious Nature (Sep. 10 2012)
Friday Date Night (Feb. 3 2014)
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!