Farewell Atlanta 4: Trader Vic’s

I was planning for our “Farewell Atlanta” week at the blog and wanted to visit four Atlanta restaurants that I enjoy that don’t get very much hobbyist press at all, the sort of fun, ultra-regional places that really only Atlantans know about. I wanted to write about the sort of places that, if Marie and I had been based in some other city all this time, we’d come to Atlanta on our road trips to sample alongside its barbecue. Honestly, Trader Vic’s wasn’t on my radar for such a visit, as I never really thought twice about this restaurant. It’s just a hotel restaurant, right? Oh, was I ever mistaken. Continue reading “Farewell Atlanta 4: Trader Vic’s”

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Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Atlanta GA

Earlier this year, I saw advance word that the small Memphis-based chain Gus’s was going to open its eleventh location, and first east of I-65, in Atlanta. In Peachtree Center, of all places. It wasn’t April 1, and I didn’t have a single brandy at lunch. It’s in one of those weird off-the-path corridors of that strange little mall that doesn’t get any foot traffic. We’ve had dinner here once and I promise, I was not hallucinating. Some of the very best fried chicken on the planet is available in Atlanta. You can go get some today. Continue reading “Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Atlanta GA”

Bludso’s BBQ, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)

Is it possible that Atlanta’s actually transitioning from a pork town to a brisket town?

Yeah, I know, and the next barbecue joint to open will be serving unicorn meat on solid gold plates. But we are certainly seeing at least a little evidence of this. Honestly, and I say this as somebody who’s been championing the quality of Georgia barbecue as loudly as I can for years, I’ve had a surprising amount of downright average pulled pork in the Atlanta area in the last twelve months. Some of these meals were at newer restaurants which got a little bit of a grade on a curve for being new. Blue Sky in Woodstock and Anna’s in Kirkwood come to mind. I’ve also stopped by old standards like Pappy Red’s and Bub-Ba-Q to see that the quality had dipped a lot, and some joints, like Pigs-N-Heat in Kennesaw, were so disappointing that they weren’t worth the time to write about them. Continue reading “Bludso’s BBQ, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)”

Nick’s Food To Go, Atlanta GA

“Be careful of this guy,” cautioned a lady in the very small ordering room at Nick’s. Referencing Seinfeld, she whispered “He’s the souvlaki Nazi.” You sort of wish the writers of that show had come up with just about any other nickname for their pastiche of Al’s Soup Kitchen International. Continue reading “Nick’s Food To Go, Atlanta GA”

Twin Smokers BBQ, Atlanta GA

I think at this point, a little skepticism about many of the newer barbecue restaurants to open in Atlanta might be reasonable. Over the last eighteen months, we’ve seen several upscale places with more corporate muscle than family tradition behind them break ground, with executive chefs rather than pitmasters, owned by restaurant groups with a portfolio of concepts. I’m not calling that a bad thing, just that an eyebrow might genuinely be raised. In the case of Twin Smokers BBQ, I’m glad to say that I think that they’re doing a couple of things correctly enough that even the most cynical among us might leave a little satisfied. Continue reading “Twin Smokers BBQ, Atlanta GA”

Just Around the Corner, Atlanta GA (take two)

This is Marie, contributing a take-two of a place we used to visit often. (Here is the original story, from March 2010.) Grant and I have a slightly odd schedule, in that he has a half day on Fridays and I have every other Friday off. So we wind up going to lunch in Atlanta every once in a while. Back when I used to work three and a half blocks away from my husband, however, I worked a standard weekday shift with an hour for lunch, and once a week or so we’d get together and eat something I’d picked up. Just Around the Corner was easily the most convenient and delicious option. Continue reading “Just Around the Corner, Atlanta GA (take two)”

Back to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market

I genuinely was not planning to pop back down to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market on this warm March Friday – here’s the story of my first visit, with all the attendant background – but darned old Atlanta Magazine messed up our plans. See, Marie had the day off and she was going to bring the toddler downtown to play, and then we were going to have a picnic lunch from a favorite place on Marietta Street in Centennial Olympic Park. Then Christiane Lauterbach wrote a story for the magazine, and there she went and mentioned Marie’s greatest weakness: crepes. Turns out, Christiane wrote, that Gwen Denninghoff and her mother Christine Taylor opened a creperie in the market just two months ago. They have savory crepes. The picnic was off. Continue reading “Back to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market”