1. Every Kind of Tasty Food.
Unlike some towns or regions where they only are known for certain types of food, Atlanta runs the gamut. You want New South, (who we kidding it’s Southern food) we own it. Fancy steak houses, outstanding Asian, real New York style delis, top of the line pizza, chips and salsa joints, Indian, Turkish, Cajun, we got it all. Folks know that if they build it, and it tastes damn good, they will come. Don’t matter the type we’re talking about.
2. People are Having Fun.
In other cities going out to dinner sometimes feels like a chore, in the ATL it is a friggin’ party. Thomas Wolfe said it in “Man in Full” about our fair city, “Restaurants are the Theater of Atlanta.” We love to go to dinner as our number one means of socializing. We are eating and drinking with a genuine joy that other cities, particularly our friends up North, don’t always share. Split a full table of appetizers, laugh your ass off, drink one or two too many “specialty” drinks and then end the night at Johnny’s Hideaway or some cool spot in the Highlands. You only live once!
3. Waiters are Starting to Get it.
While we might never have the panache and sophistication in our service industry that they do in other more refined dining towns, we are seeing more truly “professional” servers and bartenders. Really, if you know your way around the menu, the wine list, the cool stuff the bartender is doing and don’t be a douchebag, thats really all we are looking for. We’re psyched to be here and it seems like the folks working at Atlanta restaurants are feeling that way as well.
4. The Wonderful Buckhead Mile of Steak.
You dig the whole vibe around the top of the line Steak houses, I got the mile for you. In the heart of Buckhead on Peachtree from West Paces to Lenox Road we got steak joints as good as it gets on the planet. How many towns have the likes of Bone’s, Chop’s, Hal’s, NY Prime, The Palm, Ocean Prime, all a stone throw’s away from each other.
5. Kevin Rathbun.
This dude kicks ass plain and simple. How can you not root for the success of one of the genuinely great guys in our city? Rathbun’s put Atlanta restaurants on the map, Kevin Rathbun Steak is the perfect night out, and you know his new Buckhead place, KR Steak Bar, will teach a younger crowd how super cool Kevin’s places are.
6. Buford Highway.
Look, I can’t begin to educate you the way other “foodies” in town can about this priceless stretch of local Asian spots. I can tell you that I frequent Bo Bo Gardens, Penang, Chef Liu’s, Canton House, Lee’s Bakery, Chan Hun Kong, and the Farmer’s Market, and there are only another hundred fun spots to check out.
7. It’s the Neighborhoods, Cha Cha.
All kinds of great parts of town with their own restaurant personalities. The fine dining of Buckhead, the incredible “foodie” haven that is Decatur, get funky in the Old Fourth Ward, no holds barred in East Atlanta, the simply “great food” options in Virginia Highlands, Midtown, and Downtown’s continued rise up, Cabbagetown, Inman Park… how many major markets can boast this many neighborhoods this close and with this many “foodie” options.
8. Breakfast, Breakfast and more Breakfast.
Atlanta knows from breakfast spots and embraces them. Whether it’s 25-year-olds nursing a hangover, someone looking to splurge after “Boot Camp” or a family looking for an outing, what town has more quality breakfast spots than the ATL? West Egg, Original Pancake House, Thumbs Up Diner, White House, Flying Biscuit, Goldberg’s, J. Christopher’s, Home Grown, Ria’s Bluebird, and of course Waffle House. If you ain’t cooking on the weekends, we’re the town for you.
9. Ford Fry is a Rock Star.
Ford Fry is lighting up the food scene with three distinct super tasty restaurants in JCT, No. 246 and The Optimist. The Optimist by the way is like a runaway freight train of success after winning Best New Restaurant of the Year from Esquire magazine and having folks begging to get a reservation by June. Anyway, he’s taken over Nava’s old space in Buckhead with King + Duke, and got another restaurant coming into the old Blue Pointe. He knows what folks like, delicious food in cool spaces and he’s a great friggin’ dude that we can all root for.
10. We Care.
Expanded coverage in Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing the AJC, and every other publication tells us that folks want more and more when it comes to food and restaurant talk. We got more blogs, Web sites, Twitter accounts, and overall info and opinion getting churned out about chowing down than almost any other town in the country. Now if someone would just start a really fun and engaging TV show that really highlights the Atlanta food scene then we could be onto something. Hmmmmmm……..