Marlow’s Tavern, Dunwoody GA

Marie and I were invited to visit Marlow’s Tavern and sample their winter menu. This local chain continues to impress us with their slow and careful expansion, with the quality of their food, and with the very fresh rotations of their menu. It changes twice a year, but it doesn’t have a simple A- and B- menu. Each new rollout with summer- and winter-themed selections is a little different, with executive chef John Metz tweaking last year’s popular choices.

Also, Marlow’s uses as many local providers as possible, so the offerings at the twelve Atlanta stores are just a hair different from the two in Orlando. We can get behind that. That brings up what I called a “slow and careful” expansion. We’ve certainly heard of many chains with big plans and big talk, but Marlow’s only opens one or two stores a year, training their staff at length in an existing store rather than going for the boot camp approach. Over the life of this blog (getting close to five years old now!), Marlow’s has doubled in size from six Atlanta stores to twelve, and every visit to every location we’ve tried has been a pleasure. For pub food, there may not be better in town.

Two of the treats that we sampled are examples of favorites that have received a new tweak. The popular hummus appetizer has been given an extra sprinkle of paprika, and the Crispy Chicken Stack has been given a very fun refresh. It’s made with grilled Prestige Farms chicken, snap peas, organic Shiitake mushroom, and grape tomatoes over orzo, fresh herbs and a caramelized dijon onion jus. Both were very good, although Marie, madly, doesn’t like hummus as much as I do. This was really tasty and creamy.

The BBQ Blazed Lamb salad was really terrific. I enjoyed the heck out of this. It came with two skewers of lamb from Colorado Grove Farms, a very mild chipotle sauce, field greens, Roma tomatoes, bacon, and slivered red onions. Everything was very delicious. We also shared an order of the restaurant’s very popular asparagus fries and considered that a perfectly satisfying meal. We were satisfied enough to pass on the creme brulee; we’ve enjoyed this at the Kennesaw store and know that it’s a great little dessert, but we missed the kids and there was a mob in the doorway waiting for a table, so we chose to depart. I’ve been to four of the twelve Atlanta locations and never had a bad experience or a server who couldn’t answer every question about the menu or the company that I’ve thrown their way.

We spoke with the manager of the store for a few minutes about how Marlow’s manages its menu offerings and trains a staff who know the menu inside and out, which is so impressive. I mentioned how the parking situation at their sister Kennesaw store has recently become a little challenging. More on that in the next chapter…

Other blog posts about Marlow’s Tavern:

Food Near Snellville (Duluth GA, June 18 2010)
Roots in Alpharetta (Cumming GA, Aug. 5 2011)
Friday Date Night (Marietta GA, June 23 2012)
Taste Cook Sip (Winter Park FL, Sep. 25 2013)
Bella Vivere (Dunwoody GA, Dec. 22 2013)
Spork Orlando (Winter Park FL, Dec. 4 2014)

(As noted, this was a media event and our meal was complimentary. It’s our policy to always note when we’ve received our meal without charge. If you would like to invite us to your restaurant’s media events or your product launches, please drop Grant a line at .)

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7 thoughts on “Marlow’s Tavern, Dunwoody GA

  1. I’ve always been amused by the argument that being “transparent” about doing something automatically makes that thing OK, and so I was amused by your whoredom apologia over at Eater.

    So, everybody knows you take payola, and so taking payola is a-OK. Furthermore, people know this and yet still follow your advice. Your implication of course is that you write for morons — people who know you are paid by the people you’re “reviewing,” but slavishly listen to what you say anyway. Excellent. Keep reaching for that brass ring.

    1. Poor “Blintz.” I’m sorry that nobody values your opinion. You’re worth very little of a reply, but here’s one: PR companies send me books because they hope I’ll review them, and they have invited me to press screenings and sent me CDs when I did movie and record reviews. Only with restaurants, oddly, is this viewed as “whoredom,” invariably by jealous, sad children such as yourself. Maybe, one day, somebody who makes decisions will consider your opinion valuable.

      Your comments about our readership are noted, and mark you as somebody unwelcome to comment here further. Offensive people who lack basic reading skills we don’t need, so you have a nice life, “Blintz.”

      1. Holy crap. I have no idea what you did at Eater to get on Blintz’s list, but I’ve read you for years, have no problem that you get some free meals, and am not a moron. Keep up the great work.

    2. Wait, so Grant’s a whore and I’m a moron? Glad you’re here to preach the truth, because I was confused and thought that I was enjoying myself lol!

  2. If you don’t mind a comment 90 days later… I think that what makes food bloggers’ work “OK” is… whatever rules the blogger wants to set are “OK.” Grant, it’s not that you’re transparent, though that is nice of you to note, it’s that the blogger makes the rule. Most bloggers go to events and stuff. Most by far. In my experience, the bloggers who make a big deal about how they don’t do events are the same ones who are using pseudonyms and trashing every restaurant on opening day.

    Also, blintz, you don’t know what payola is.

    1. The Eater episode that led “blintz” here was quite bizarre. I don’t know whether Eater Montreal formally retracted their story, but they did delete it after the writer got slapped by the local restaurant community. It led about fifty guests to us- I left a comment on it – so I figure one troll wasn’t a bad return.

      I don’t object to a civil discussion about the subject, but few among the very, very small minority who oppose the culture of food bloggers wish to be civil. They work under the mistaken belief that food writers are meant to be anonymous and unbiased and only serve the greater good of formal restaurant reviews, and I don’t know anybody who’s like that these days. Food writing, thank heaven, evolved away from that model decades ago, behind the curve of popular music writing (Bangs, Marcus) and ahead of the curve of pop-literature writing.

      I banned “blintz” for being offensive, but I expect he’s screaming at Mommy bloggers for accepting free samples of laundry detergent, and screaming at car bloggers for not actually buying the Porsche they’re test-driving, and screaming at the waves for eroding the beach.

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