Marie and I were invited to check out a very interesting business with four locations around Atlanta, putting together really interesting grab-and-go meals to eat at home. Sure, lots of stores do this sort of thing, but few do it with such efficiency and ease and with as many unique choices. Christophe’s to Go, with dinners and lunches designed by Executive Chef Christophe Le Metayer, emphasizes organic and healthy eating, with no preservatives or artificial elements in the meals, and the four dishes that we tried were very successful around our table.
Christophe Le Metayer trained at Lycée D’État de St Quentin en Yvelines and has been a chef at several Michelin-starred restaurants. In Atlanta, he worked as a chef and then sous-chef in The Café and The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. When the hotel closed The Dining Room in 2009, it sent many a foodie in this town into mourning. He’s since turned his talent and experience into cooking for home meals, and works daily at the original location of Christophe’s to Go in Johns Creek, where the meals are prepared. Additional storefronts can be found in Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, and Brookhaven.
Marie and I met after work at the Brookhaven store to pick up our order and check out the very neat curated collection of olive oils, spices, and other things to help out with your cooking. The two employees were completely awesome, answering all of our questions and explaining more about Chef Christophe’s commitment to organic, healthy eating. I was particularly curious about the Smoked Beehive Spice, which they say goes very well with either vegetables or fish.
We sampled four dishes from Christophe’s over two nights. On the first evening, we tried the Kung Pao chicken and a very neat version of lasagna. The chicken was far better than just about any restaurant’s take on this American-Chinese dish. Turns out, when you cut out the chemicals and the processed flavors that all the Happy-This-Golden-That restaurants serve, with ingredients bought in bulk from Sysco of Szechuan, you’re left with very good, fresh vegetables and a tingling spice level that’s brought out by the peppers alone. It’s a quite good little dish, but not as amazing as the next one that we tried.
My favorite meal, and one that we will definitely have again, was the Paleo Turkey Lasagna. Now, you may well wonder how you’re meant to have a paleo lasagna when this diet’s restrictions against processed foods would seem to shut out both the cheese and the noodles, which most people would agree are pretty integral to a good lasagna. Well, in this version, the noodles are replaced by eggplant and the cheese by a homemade egg white mayonnaise. Add some ground turkey, tomato sauce, carrots, and onions, and the result is completely terrific. It’s a novel and surprising dish and one that I would love to have again.
On the second night, the results were a little mixed, but Marie and I each enjoyed one of the two things that we tried and we finished our samples very pleased overall. Marie was not so keen on the Saffron Tomato Soup, but I loved it and happily enjoyed her portion. On the other hand, I’ve never much cared for savory pies with mashed potato “crusts,” and so the Braised Beef Burgundy Pie didn’t thrill me, but Marie thought that it was amazing and was very happy to have most of my serving as a leftover for her lunch the next day.
Christophe’s had not been our radar before, but I’m glad that we had the chance to try them. Maybe if I play my cards right, Marie will bring home another order of that paleo lasagna from the Sandy Springs location, and possibly try some of the many other interesting things on the menu.
(As noted, this was a media event and our meals were 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 product launches, please drop Grant a line at firstname.lastname@example.org .)
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!