Sometimes, the sides that accompany a dish are so amazing they become the star of the plate. From comfort food to modern fare, here is a list of some of Atlanta’s most intriguing and flavorful sides.
Brussels sprouts – Hearth
Just off Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, this organic pizza place has a surprisingly wide variety of appetizers and sides including the sprouts, roasted in their brick oven until the outer leaves are charred, then topped with crumbled bacon and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
Manchego Mac ‘n’ Cheese – Iberian Pig
Imagine a cast iron skillet of garganelli pasta tossed with pork belly cream and bubbling over with melted manchego, topped with buttery toasted panko and fresh thyme….drooling yet? That’s what makes this mac ‘n’ cheese a standout at this Spanish inspired restaurant on the square in Decatur.
Sweet potato casserole – Carver’s Country Kitchen
A classic Southern dish that blurs the line between side and dessert, the sweet potato casserole is just one of Sharon Carver’s homemade sides that keep the lines at the cash-only lunch spot long and the guests satisfied. Try it with her turkey and dressing for pure Thanksgiving nostalgia.
Onion rings – Chops
Colossal slices of sweet onion are crispy fried and served with pepper steak sauce for dipping at this Buckhead steakhouse. The obvious pairing? An equally thick-cut filet.
Squash brulee – The Spence
Chef Richard Blais strikes just the right balance between savory and sweet with his pureed and bruleed yellow squash. Order it with his pork belly entree served under a glass dome filled with the aroma of bacon. Don’t hesitate to make your reservation….his menu is seasonal so this side won’t be around for long!
Jalapeno cornbread pudding – Goin’ Coastal
This creamy and spicy dish is a perfect compliment to chef Seth Hendricks’ menu of sustainable seafood in the Virginia Highlands. Try it with his signature low country shrimp boil or one of the fresh catch selections of the day.
Garlic rosemary fries – There, Brookhaven
House-cut every day, these fries are among the best in Atlanta. Triple fried then sprinkled with garlic and rosemary, they are extra crispy, never greasy. You’ll get a handful of them with your juicy, messy, mile-high bison burger.
Pork ‘n’ pork ‘n’ beans – Bone Lick BBQ
Nothing goes better with BBQ than a porky serving of beans, and that’s just what chef Mike LaSage delivers at his Westside hotspot. Try this smoky, spicy bowl of goodness with a pulled pork sammie, sure to induce a pleasurable pork coma.
House salad – Serpas
What’s so special about chef Scott Serpas’ house salad you ask? He makes his own blistered grape vinaigrette that is both tangy and sweet. Goat cheese and candied pecans top this simple yet noteworthy salad. Order two and share the enormous veal porterhouse entree.
Fried okra – Six Feet Under
Not at all like your Grandma’s, this Grant Park restaurant that overlooks historic Oakland Cemetary cuts their okra in half lengthwise and dusts them with spiced cornmeal. Great with a bowl of spicy seafood gumbo.
Charred corn with gouda – Rathbun’s
A reinvented comfort dish, chef Kevin Rathbun chars the corn before adding cream, garlic, and scallions, giving it a rich, smoky flavor. It’s topped with shredded gouda that gently melts before it reaches your table.
Brussels sprouts – 4th & Swift
Didn’t get enough of this cruciferous at Hearth? Try ’em at 4th & Swift where chef Jay Swift roasts them, adds sliced apples and dollops of creme fraiche, then finishes the dish with a drizzle of apple cider reduction and toasted pistachios for crunch….a perfect accompaniment to his almost legendary Three Little Piggies entree.