Culver’s, Dawsonville GA

Two months ago, Marie and I took our son to Amicalola Falls, and I had a cunning plan to swing by the new Culver’s that had opened in that long, deeply depressing strip of one-off buildings and drive-thru restaurants on GA-400 along the outlet mall. This is the stretch of road where the Varsity Jr. relocated its iconic store on Lindbergh and added a playground. A playground. You’re shaking your head right now just thinking about it, I can tell. Continue reading “Culver’s, Dawsonville GA”


Cook Out, Kennesaw GA

Cook Out has continued their slow and inexorable and honestly quite confusing expansion into Georgia. There’s no sense to be made in looking over their list of Georgia locations. I think that the presence of colleges must play a role, so that inebriated undergraduates can get a whole lot of greasy fast food at two in the morning and, what the heck, a milkshake while we’re here. That’s why we see restaurants in Athens (albeit nowhere sensible between the bars and the student housing, confounding that theory), Statesboro, Rome, and Milledgeville. But then there’s one in Pooler, and two stores in Augusta, and one in Atlanta off Moreland that serves the godawfulest barbecue ever. Two more Atlanta stores also opened last month, alongside this one, on Northside and in the former Zesto on Ponce. Continue reading “Cook Out, Kennesaw GA”

Pal’s Sudden Service, Johnson City TN

So our spring trip was truncated from four days in western Tennessee to two days in eastern Tennessee. We started the road trip with the main destination, a very good restaurant that I’d wanted to visit for many years, but we weren’t about to leave the Tri-Cities area without a visit to a very neat little restaurant chain. Continue reading “Pal’s Sudden Service, Johnson City TN”

Turkey Tacos at Del Taco

Devotees of fast food retail in Georgia may recall that, prior to Del Taco’s cautious re-emergence in Georgia two years ago, the chain was last seen (from c. 1996-2003) in a half-dozen shared-space locations, joint-menu joints with Mrs. Winner’s. None of these were located anywhere near convenient to where I lived during that period, but there was one in Woodstock on GA-92. In the spring of 2003, I moved – at the time, it was just me, the girlchild, and the rarely-seen older teenage boy – to our current digs in Kenne-rietta, a few exits south of this store. That very first weekend, I drove the children up here for supper, only to find that the franchisee had ended the long experiment a couple of weeks previously, and left these RTM-owned stores selling Mrs. Winner’s chicken only. (There’s a good overview of Del Taco’s history in Georgia at Sky City, if you haven’t already seen it.) Continue reading “Turkey Tacos at Del Taco”

Martin’s, Austell GA

Ages back, sometime in this blog’s infancy, I intended to follow a metaphor to its conclusion and tell you good readers a little about Martin’s. As metaphors go, this is not the most accurate, but you know how Birmingham is home to a fast food chain called Milo’s and it is surrounded in the suburbs by another chain called Jack’s? Well, Zesto in Atlanta is similarly surrounded in this city’s suburbs by Martin’s. Kind of. I mean, there are something like 140 Jack’s all over north Alabama and peeking into neighboring states, and there are only fifteen Martin’s, almost all of which are in the northwestern suburbs and nowhere near an interstate exit, but it’s a little bit similar. Continue reading “Martin’s, Austell GA”