With two of the SEC’s great programs coming into Atlanta for the National Championship game this weekend, we can’t help but see the connections between players & coaches on each team and some of our favorite restaurants in Atlanta. Take a look below and see if you agree, or tweet @steakshapiro or @atlantaeatstv and let us know what players you think match certain restaurants in Atlanta.
Jake Fromm & C. Ellet’s Steakhouse
Sometimes being the new kid on the block can be intimidating, but not for Jake Fromm. The GA freshman hasn’t let any pressure get to him and has taken the team to the championship in his first year. It’s kind of like C. Ellet’s Steakhouse from Chef Linton Hopkins at the Battery Atlanta. The new kid on the block at the Battery, the restaurant is an ode to Southern Steakhouse dining and one of the best at the Battery. Fromm, from Warner Robbins, GA, is in some ways, also an ode to the South.
Nick Chubb & Bone Garen Cantina
Nick Chubb’s got some of the fastest feet in college football and maybe the best vision of any back. That’s why he reminds me of Bone Garden Cantina, a place with delicious food, fast service and decor that has some of my favorite visions in Atlanta. A perfect match!
Sony Michel & Bon Ton
Sony Michel is known for his explosive burst ability, which gives him an edge over the competition. You’ll probably see a lot of video highlights from him once he joins the NFL. Kind of like Bon Ton, which produces a lot of video content on their Instagram feed (they are bizarre and funny, you should really check them out) and has spicy, Vietnamese inspired seafood plates with explosive bursts of flavor.
Nick Saban & Gunshow
Nick Saban is one of the most innovative coaches in college football. That’s why he reminds me of Kevin Gillespie and his innovative restaurant Gunshow. Inspired by Brazilian Churrascaria-style dining and Chinese Dim Sum, Chef Gillespie combined the two for a fun and delicious result. Kind of like Alabama’s hybrid defensive front.
Kirby Smart & Andre Gomez
Like Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi (or more recently, Rey and Luke Skywalker), every great master began as an apprentice. Kirby Smart has graduated from Apprentice under Nick Saban to Master of his own universe – just like Andre Gomez, owner, Executive Chef of Porch Light Latin Kitchen, and Master of the art of Puerto Rican/Caribbean food who apprenticed under Kevin Rathbun, one of Atlanta’s own Masters in the culinary arts.
Da’Ron Payne & Kevin Rathbun
Kevin Rathbun might be one of the most versatile big men in Atlanta dining with his restaurants Rathbun’s (American Cuisine), Kevin Rathbun Steak (Prime Steakhouse), Krog Bar (Mediterranean Wine Bar) and KR SteakBar (Italian Steakhouse). Defensive Tackle Da’Ron Payne is one of the most versatile big men in college, playing a premium defensive position but also having the athleticism to score a touchdown at the Sugar Bowl. Da’Ron should probably visit one of Rathbun’s restaurants to take care of that big boy appetite.
Jalen Hurts & Hal’s Steakhouse
Jalen Hurts is a reliable, know-what-you’re-getting-and-loving-it QB. He’s only lost two games in his career at Alabama. Hal’s Steakhouse is a know-what-you’re-getting-and-loving-it restaurant. They’re the perfect match.