Wyatt’s Country Bar-B-Que, Atlanta GA

For the past eleven years, Wyatt’s has defined the word “ramshackle.” This colorful shack looked like it was about to fall down when the restaurant opened in 2002, but it houses some wonderful and friendly people and some very good, and very interesting, barbecue. It’s on Memorial Drive, about three miles east of the better-known Daddy D’z, and near Ann’s Snack Bar. Continue reading “Wyatt’s Country Bar-B-Que, Atlanta GA”

Holy Taco, Atlanta GA

From what I know of Atlanta’s history, the East Atlanta neighborhood was thriving from the 1920s through the 1950s, which is when the building that is home to Holy Taco was built. It’s an old service station and garage that, like its peer on the other side of the street, was abandoned in the late 1960s, around the time that East Atlanta itself suffered the economic strain of white flight to the suburbs. Continue reading “Holy Taco, Atlanta GA”

Miss Betty’s House of Ribs, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)

I’ll confess that there are some times when I select a new barbecue place purely by geography. I looked over our barbecue map – see the link down below – and reflected that Marie and I just don’t get south of I-20 all that often unless we’re leaving Atlanta entirely. So a few months back, I looked for places in that direction and set out for Miss Betty’s House of Ribs on Bouldercrest. I found it easily enough. It’s in a doublewide between a gas station and a house that, while technically abandoned and posted with no trespassing signs, has an awful lot of clothes hanging out to dry out back. It also wouldn’t open for another hour. My unusual schedule leaves me with a short day to go get some lunch in the city once a week around 10 am. I’m used to bringing books to read to pass the time until most places open for lunch at eleven, but joints that open at noon require a lot of patience. I decided that I would come back some other time. Continue reading “Miss Betty’s House of Ribs, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)”

Tomatillos, Atlanta GA

A couple of Fridays ago, I was driving through East Atlanta on my way to get some ribs. I found that place, but they weren’t going to be open for another hour. I decided that I would try again some other time and thought about where else to eat instead. Amazingly, this would be the first of two occasions that weekend where I could not get the barbecue that I wanted to try; more about that in tomorrow’s chapter. Continue reading “Tomatillos, Atlanta GA”

Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, Atlanta GA

When Marie and our friend Victoria were each in the later stages of their respective pregnancies, we met up near their new apartment in the East Atlanta neighborhood for ice cream at Morelli’s, and resolved to get together again after our babies were born. Victoria and James were raving then about Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, a collaboration between Delia Champion, who started our city’s much-loved Flying Biscuit Cafe, and Molly Gunn, who I understand co-owns The Porter. Weeks went by, babies were born and I started getting impatient about when the heck we were going to get together so’s I could try one of these dogs. Or slingers, as the restaurant would like to term them.

Make no mistake, though. These may be called slingers or chicken sausages, but they are definitely from the same mold as hot dogs. This is a good thing, as Marie and I certainly love good hot dogs. The new take on them here is incredibly neat and fun and very tasty. Champion and Gunn are using buns baked by the popular Holeman & Finch and locally-sourced, organically-grown chickens for their meat. The results are just a little different from even the best hot dog places in town – America’s Top Dog, Barker’s, Brandi’s – and make for a very interesting and unique taste. Plus, they’re open absurdly late. Like four in the morning late. If I lived in that neighborhood, they’d be seeing me pretty frequently in the middle of the night!

The one thing about Delia’s that does not please me is the lack of seating. There’s only a small indoor area with air conditioning to place orders, and six picnic tables outside to eat. As Atlanta enters its utterly miserable summer, this is going to keep us from paying them another visit for a few months. This is a real shame, because the food is quite wonderful.

Acting like I had not eaten anything in a month, I ordered both a Naked Slinger – far from naked, it was the sausage with their “comeback” sauce and a little of the firey five-pepper mustard – and their signature Hot Mess, a slinger buried under melted cheese, chili and jalapenos. This really is too messy a thing to eat in polite company, but somehow I avoided spilling any of it on Victoria and James’s couch.

Honestly, though, the sausage is so good that it doesn’t need all the crazy toppings. I really preferred the Naked Slinger, and thought that the meat’s flavor was really brought out by the mustard. Meanwhile, my daughter enjoyed eating the chicken as traditional sliders, and Marie had the Italian Stallion, which has the slinger served with onions, peppers, mozzarella and marinara sauce. Everything was really quite excellent.

I just amused myself, wondering whether the slinger could turn into an iconic Atlanta variety of dog, just like half-smokes are in Washington. I wish I had a TARDIS so I could pop forward a few decades and check that out.

Other blog posts about Delia’s:

The Food Abides (Mar. 17 2011)
Mr. Kitty Eats Atlanta (Aug. 2 2011)

Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream, Atlanta GA

Over the previous two chapters, I’ve related our wonderfully fun barbecue tour of some areas south of the city. We capped this off by getting some ice cream in East Atlanta. I read about Morelli’s on Urbanspoon and added it to my wishlist a couple of months ago. By a happy coincidence, our friends Victoria and James moved over to that neighborhood – just around the corner from it – a few months ago and have been raving about it. When we met them for lunch last month, we agreed that we needed to get together again and see whether all the fuss over this ice cream was warranted.

What happened here is that the owner, Donald Sargent, was looking for a new business opportunity, found a space that a Bruster’s was leaving, invested in all their equipment and started turning out some of the most decadent and wild flavors in the city. They go through 150 or more gallons of heavy cream each week making their ice cream. They have the expected chocolate and cookies and cream and other fun, traditional flavors, but they’ve also got some pretty wild ones. These include the very popular maple bacon and the possibly more popular salted caramel, and some that are way off in la-la land like olive oil, feta and sweet corn.

Two years ago, Bon Appetit named Morelli’s one of the five best ice cream parlors in the country, singling out their coconut jalapeƱo and ginger lavender. There’s been a line ever since.

Service here can be a little slow, in part because the terrific, friendly staff will let guests try one or two samples before making an order, but we got here between rushes around 3:30 and didn’t have a very long wait. My only quibble was that they didn’t assemble Marie’s chocolate sundae very well. It was delicious, but it was a challenge for Marie to eat it before it toppled over!

I had a cup of salted caramel, and, still stuffed from barbecue, could not finish it, but boy, I enjoyed what I had. Even more critical than the flavor was the texture of the ice cream. This just really tasted freshly mixed. It hadn’t been sitting in that freezer for very long at all. Oooh, and apparently, I have since learned, they’ll let you mix half-scoops in a single cup. I bet a half-vanilla half-caramel is just amazing.

Victoria’s just a couple of weeks from having her boy, and so she and Marie had a lot to talk about. We enjoyed kicking back on Morelli’s patio for probably a little longer than etiquette might have suggested, since there were plenty of people in line and looking for a table, but you know, we ate an awful lot last Saturday and I needed to sit down for a while. We’ll have to go visit our friends again very soon, once we have some babies to introduce to each other, and try another restaurant in the neighborhood… and then pop back for some dessert here.

Other blog posts about Morelli’s:

Amy on Food (Mar. 16 2009)
Foodie Buddha (May 20 2009)
Atlanta etc. (Jan. 7 2011)