The Rook & Pawn, Athens GA

This is Marie, contributing an article about Rook & Pawn, the new board game café in Athens. First of all, I am an utterly biased observer. I love board games, have been a gaming geek for decades, and would have had a positive view of the place even if it had been a bit of a disappointment.

Spoiler – it’s not at all a disappointment. Continue reading “The Rook & Pawn, Athens GA”


Bill’s Bar-B-Q, Hull GA (take two)

The only really disagreeable part of this hobby is noting when a restaurant that we’ve visited has closed. It’s especially irritating when it’s a place that we never really gave a fair chance. Many years ago (mid-nineties, I guess), I decided that Bill’s Bar-B-Q in Hull, just north of Athens, wasn’t quite as thrilling as Zeb’s, about twenty miles up the road. Over time, this deteriorated in my dingbat head into thinking it wasn’t all that good. We revisited the place in 2011, and I was half-aggravated about how I gave them a shorter shrift than they deserved, and half-thrilled by how good it was. Continue reading “Bill’s Bar-B-Q, Hull GA (take two)”

Preserve, Athens GA (CLOSED)

In the previous chapter, I mentioned how some restaurant spaces seem cursed. You might think that one particular building on Broad Street is another contender for that name. For about the last nine months, it has been home to Preserve, a modern American place that boasts a really nice brunch and is owned by local musicians Ella Sternberg and Lenny Miller. The building, erected in the late 1950s, was the home of a drive-up dairy bar called Arctic Girl for many years, but it has also been the home of three barbecue joints: Walter’s, JB’s, and Hollis Ribs. Just to put things in perspective, I mentioned Hollis Ribs in January 2011 and intended then to get over there, but never did. Two different restaurants, a hot dog place and a coffee shop, have come and gone since that story. Continue reading “Preserve, Athens GA (CLOSED)”

Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Athens GA

Last month, Marie and I celebrated our anniversary, but instead of having a simple date night – or a complicated date night – we decided to have a family day in Athens. This resulted in a little grumbling from the teenager, who wants to be included when she’s left behind, but left behind when we include her. Happily, even she had a good time in the end. We tried to juggle several things that everybody would enjoy, starting with a long stop at Washington Farms, outside Watkinsville. We picked three buckets of strawberries, and the four year-old probably ate a fourth on his own, so we didn’t complain about the price. Four for the price of three’s not bad, really. Continue reading “Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Athens GA”

Pouch, Athens GA

This is Marie, contributing an article about baked goods – one savory, one sweet.

I had taken my boy for a day out in Athens. We had fun picking strawberries together, and wearing out the boy in the always delightful “World of Wonder Playground” in Southeast Clarke Park, working up quite an appetite in the process. We then went downtown to get some lunch. Continue reading “Pouch, Athens GA”

Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Athens GA

As Atlanta-based burger chains start getting large enough to leave town, most of them head toward Nashville. Flip Burger Boutique, Yeah Burger, and Farm Burger have all put the Music City on their radars; in fact I believe that Flip just opened in Tennessee this week, or is about to. However, one of my favorites of that pack, Grindhouse Killer Burgers, is happily staying small and scrappy for the time being. Several months back, they chose to open their third location in nearby Athens, entering a very large space on Lumpkin near Five Points. I don’t recognize the building, and wonder whether it was built for this restaurant. It’s a two-story place with seating for a hundred downstairs and a hundred (21+) on the smoking-allowed patio upstairs. The three year-old complained mightily about not being allowed upstairs. Poor fellow. Continue reading “Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Athens GA”

Rooter’s BBQ, Athens GA (CLOSED)

Last month, I was writing about how Brunswick stew in Georgia can contain any ingredient under the sun. We’ve found it at dozens of places around our state and tasted all sorts of recipes, but the diced sausage in the stew at Rooter’s was a very pleasant surprise. I don’t think I’ve ever had sausage in stew before! Technically speaking, however, this isn’t Brunswick stew, but rather “Bundrick stew.” That’s the family name of one of the owners of Rooter’s BBQ on Whitehall Road in Athens, and their lovely old recipe. It was delicious sausage, and really changed the flavor of the stew from what I was expecting. Isn’t it nice to find new things? Continue reading “Rooter’s BBQ, Athens GA (CLOSED)”