The Porter Beer Bar, Atlanta GA

One Friday last month, Marie and I had a date night and went to visit The Porter Beer Bar, a deceptively cavernous restaurant in Little Five Points. Even reading beforehand that the narrow space is incredibly long and opens up in the back, we were still pleasantly amused by just how far back this space goes! There is room inside for almost a hundred guests at a time, even if some of them might have to go up some stairs and down some more to make it to their table.

The Porter is probably neck-and-neck with Decatur’s Brick Store Pub in regional popularity for having a see-it-to-believe-it beer menu. It can be found on a clipboard that fits on a hook underneath each table, and it goes on for about thirty pages of drafts – I think there are 36 taps – and regular bottles and some higher-priced vintage bottles, for those aficionados who know beer by the year. I had a pint of Terrapin’s Liquid Bliss, a very smooth and sweet porter, and Marie surprised me by ordering a glass of JK Scrumpy’s Organic Cider.

Marie very, very rarely drinks alcohol, but she’s slowly taking to hard cider. While I selected a local-ish brew – Terrapin is the best-known of the breweries in Athens GA – JK Scrumpy is based in Michigan. Their cider is preservative-free, just juice and yeast. Marie enjoyed it so much that we may have to get some bottles of hard cider for her the next time that the road takes us by Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge.

Bizarrely, I was back in Little Five Points the following day, because the girlchild wanted the chance to photograph some murals, and to visit some record stores. That’s when I snapped the pictures above. It was pitch dark both inside and outside when Marie and I visited, which is why we have no pictures of the food. Little Five twice in two days; I think that I was the girlchild’s age the last time that happened. Mind you, new Arctic Monkeys records (or their 1987 equivalent) cost a whole lot less than $27 then.

Marie and I ordered the first two things on the dinner menu: the completely delicious half-pound cheeseburger, made with a house-made beef patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato, though Marie passed on the bacon, and slid the wonderful homemade pickles and pickled onions over to me. I ordered the falafel, which was huge, and came with a little cup of a cilantro yogurt to pour over the lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Both sandwiches came with a mountain of really excellent homemade fries. Word of advice: if you are dining with a date, and both your meals come with fries, ask your server to hold one order. They really do give you more than enough on a plate for two people.

Table turnover at The Porter can be very, very slow during peak times. This is a place to stay and linger – and shout a bit to be heard – and talk with the people at the next table and enjoy several beers. Even though Marie and I are lightweights and were finished after one each, we enjoyed our meal completely, had a short chat with the people at one of the tables next to us – recent-ish transplants from the Raleigh-Durham area looking for new and good places to eat in Atlanta – and enjoyed two drinks that we’d never tried before.

This is our 1150th post! Stay tuned; lots more to come from restaurants around Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee over the next couple of months!

Other blog posts about The Porter:

Amy on Food (Mar. 30 2009)
Hominy Homily (Apr. 16 2011)
ATL Food Snob (May 26 2011)
Friday Date Night (Feb. 18 2012)
Reuben Ranger (Mar. 1 2013)

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!