The Smoke Ring, Atlanta GA

I had heard of the Meat Week craze about three years ago, but didn’t pay the lovably silly tradition the attention that it deserved. Then, there had been a branch in Athens, and Hillary Brown at Flagpole had reported on one of its week of barbecue activities. That was when I first heard about the excellent Big Al’s BBQ Pit, a joint that left us far, far too soon. Continue reading “The Smoke Ring, Atlanta GA”


Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria, Atlanta GA

Since I work downtown, the main objection to heading that way when there’s a big sporting event in the city – the price of parking – is not an issue. So while all the surface lots and some of the decks started raising their rates upward of $40 to rip off the fans of Auburn and Mizzou who had come to town to see the SEC Championship Game, Marie and the baby and I enjoyed the crowds and seeing everybody having a great time at no additional cost. But we also got a reminder that there’s no substitute for common sense when there’s a big event in any downtown district. When we returned to our employee lot, Marie and I caught a scam artist “selling” spaces in our lot for $20 a head before beating it. We made sure that none of his victims got towed, but it’s worth a minute to remind everybody reading this to only park in a legitimate space, and give your money to somebody who has a right to take it. Continue reading “Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria, Atlanta GA”

Daddy D’z, Atlanta GA

I’m pretty certain that, after Daddy D’z, there aren’t any more of what we might call the “iconic” Atlanta-area barbecue places waiting for us. It has been on my to-do list for many, many years and, one Thursday last month, I finally made my way over to Memorial Drive, near the state capitol building, to give it a try. It has been what you might call a “seasonal favorite” for quite some time. Its location is perfectly suited to drivers coming to see the Braves at Turner Field, and does most of its business during the baseball season. Continue reading “Daddy D’z, Atlanta GA”

NaanStop, Atlanta GA

The last time that I went out to try some local Indian food, I found myself choking back the tears at the nearly too-hot-for-words Planet Bombay. So, a couple of weeks later, when the sidewalk took me to NaanStop at its first brick-and-mortar store in Atlanta, I decided to sample a wider range of flavors other than “painful.” The restaurant has joined many others on the shaded lane of Broad Street, next door to Rosa’s Pizza, serving up quick “street food”-inspired Indian meals for GSU students and bankers in the area. I had read a little buzz about NaanStop opening, and walked the six-tenths of a mile from my job to get there as they opened a couple of Fridays back. Continue reading “NaanStop, Atlanta GA”

Ted’s Montana Grill, Atlanta GA

A couple of Fridays ago, I got an incredible treat. I had been inspired, earlier that week, to start doing a much better job simply photographing old buildings. Start following Roadside Rustic and you might be similarly moved. Maybe, every once in a while, I might come up with something a little better to share with you good readers, or maybe I’d just find a few good things for the old hard drive, or perhaps even something worth printing out one day. (Wouldn’t that be novel?) Continue reading “Ted’s Montana Grill, Atlanta GA”

Tin Drum Asiacafe, Atlanta GA

One of my favorite musicians is a guy named David Sylvian, who’s recorded dozens of weird and wonderful boundary-stretching albums, often in the company of similarly innovative egghead musicians like Mark Isham and Robert Fripp. I figured that Steven Chan, owner of the small, local chain of Tin Drum Asia Cafes, might be a fan when I thought about the name of his restaurant. Tin Drum was the name of the last studio album by Sylvian’s first group, Japan, who were on Hansa and then Virgin Records in the late seventies and early eighties. Chan also used to have a second pair of restaurants called Wonderful World. Sylvian had a beautiful song by that name, too. Then I walked past the downtown location of Tin Drum last year and saw a huge mockup of that album’s front cover staring back at me from the front hallway. That settled it. Inside, there are a few more bits of Sylvian paraphernalia, including posters from his 1988 tour, and some installation or public art project from his brother, Steve Jansen. Continue reading “Tin Drum Asiacafe, Atlanta GA”

The Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Atlanta GA

Over the years, I’ve taken my share of potshots at a certain type of Atlantan – and these are a very, very small minority of us, I trust – who cannot countenance the idea of traveling anywhere outside I-285. Now, I understand a reluctance to make long, unnecessary journeys, but having been raised as a suburbanite who would, in high school, ride or drive all over the city and the northern ‘burbs looking for certain scarce comics or records, my mindset might be a little different from some. When I was trying to assemble a complete run of Mark Evanier and Will Mueginot’s DNAgents, arbitrary boundaries like an interstate didn’t mean anything to me. Plus, we walked either under or across the darn road all the time. It was just a road, and certainly not a barrier keeping people from tracking down a really good hamburger. Continue reading “The Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Atlanta GA”