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Atlanta Chefs on Their Favorite Greasy Spoons

Greasy Spoons Week is coming to a close, so here are some of Atlanta's chefs, bartenders, and restaurant owners on their favorite and most recently frequented greasy spoons in the Atlanta area.

Greg Best, mixologist/owner at Holeman & Finch
1. Favorite Atlanta diner: The Majestic, sausage egg and cheese sandwich.
2. Favorite Atlanta non-diner greasy spoon: Zesto's. Chocolate Malt.
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: The Silver Skillet. Two eggs over easy and a cup of black coffee.

Julian Goglia, beverage director at the Pinewood Tippling Room
1. Favorite Atlanta diner: Majestic. I've been ordering the Olympic omelette at Majestic for years. It's solid. Sub the grits for collards, with rye toast.
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Home Grown. It's solid. I love the service. Probably one of the best staffs in the city. One of the FBBC guys, billy, moved to Florida a few years ago... Home Grown still has the "Billy Boy" on the menu in his honor.
3. Atlanta greasy spoon most recently frequented: I love El Myr. Green burrito.

Drew Belline, executive chef at No. 246
1. Favorite greasy spoon: The Silver Skillet. The fried pork chops and eggs of course!
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: The Colonnade. I always have a tough time choosing between the chicken fried steak and the pot roast!
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Big Tex Decatur. This is our family Sunday go to spot. I can't get enough of their meatloaf with mashed potatoes! I'm a sucker for a good meatloaf!

Nick Anderson, chef de cuisine at Rathbun's
1. Favorite diner: Marietta Diner. I love their Sloppy John with onion rings.
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Fat Matt's. I always get then chicken and rib combo with one side, it;s heaven.
3. Favorite greasy spoon: Waffle House. I get the patty melt with load hash.

Chris Hall, co-owner at Local Three and Muss & Turner's
1. Favorite diner: Diners are are a Yankee thing & I love them as I spent plenty of time in Philadelphia & NY. Not really sure we have classic diners in the South.....So to me the quintessential Southern diner is Waffle House. It fills the same roll: open 24 hours, frequented primarily when you're in an altered state of mind & hungry, endless variations on great drunk get the picture. So I'll go Waffle House as my default. I guess Silver Skillet would be my "diner" choice.
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: You know we chef's always eat healthy......I love the burger at US Cafe and a trip to the Vortex is never bad but there can only be one.....I'm a Tech guy so the Varsity holds so many amazing memories for me. Nothing so fine as a chili slaw dog, rings, & an FO.
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: US Cafe. Cheeseburger and sweet potato fries.

Kirk Parks, pastry chef/owner at Rathbun's
1. Favorite diner: Thumbs Up Dinner (Inman Park). Build your own breakfast plate
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Home Grown. Smothered porkchop with eggs and grits
3. Diner most recently frequented: Waffle House. Sausage,egg and cheese wrap

Alex Brounstein, co-owner at Villains
1. Favorite diner: Ria's Bluebird - Brisket Breakfast. So good and so simple. Just a piping hot bowl of shredded brisket in a pool of tasty beef broth, with poached eggs and a crispy baguette to sop it all up.
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Carver's Country Kitchen - Meatloaf, Broccoli Casserole, Cheesy Bread. No better place for fat kid food than at Carver's.
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Home Grown - The Comfy Biscuit (biscuit topped with fried chicken and sausage gravy. Looks gross, tastes AMAZING)

Eli Kirshtein, chef and owner at the Luminary
1. Favorite diner: I love The Original Pancake House on Lavista. The must-have is the Dutch Baby pancake. It is available in a savory version, but for me, its the sweet one with powdered sugar that is a must have. I also am a big fan The White House on Peachtree. I hold an extreme passion for Atlanta nostalgia, and this place fits the bill. You have to order the fried chicken biscuits, but don't forget to come pretty hungry— they don't skimp on the portions.
2. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: I just hit up OK Cafe. I got a chicken pot pie, which is really solid. The puff pastry that is on top even has an "OK" put on it. Say what you will about kitsch, but that is some serious attention to detail. Some of the decor there makes you feel like you are in Pee Wee's Playhouse, being totally overgrown and cartoonish. Pretty awesome.

Ian Forrest, chef at Flip Burger:
1. Favorite diner: The Majestic: patty melt on rye with grilled onions
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: The Varsity: a chili dog, chili burger and an onion ring
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Waffle House, where you can never go wrong

Lucero Martinez-Obregon, executive chef of Zocalo
1. Favorite diner: Zesto, cheese chubby decker chocolaye malt and tater tots
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Taco Mac, the spiciest chicken wings
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Waffle House, grilled cheese and hash browns with cheese

Jonathan Fox, owner at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
1. Favorite diner: Homegrown does a killer job for breakfast! Their omelets of the day are on point and the Comfy Biscuit really hits the spot! The basic breakfast is perfect for a late lunch! Love me some Home Grown! I called them 10 mins before they opened one Sunday morning to buy 50 sausage biscuits for a staff meeting, they didn't blink! Now I prefer meat and threes to traditional diners, I miss Sons, their collards would sooth any savage beast. Carvers closing was a blow. Late night hunger often gets satisfied at Octopus Bar, but I would say if it isn't Octopus Bar is has to be Waffle House. Scattered Smothered and Covered (with peppers!) I cant wait to see what Ron Eyster does with his diner concept! Imagine the late night rules at that place!

2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Love Nick's Food to Go. Run by a really great family! The Gyros and pasticcio are killer. Other than that, often the Food at our Decatur store Big Tex fills the greasy spoon need! Chicken Fried Steak, Patty Melts, Big breakfast biscuits on Sundays, it has often cured the end result of the night before.

3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: My go-to at Home Grown is The Basic Breakfast, two eggs scrambled with cheese, add hot sauce, cheese grits, bacon and a biscuit?maybe with a side of home fries! At the Waffle House is usually an Ham and Cheese Omelet with griddled onions and peppers, hashbrowns, scattered smothered covered and texas toast. That will fix you!

Robert Phalen, chef/owner at One Eared Stag
1. Favorite diner: the majestic, the burger & fries
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Little's in Cabbagetown, burgers and there great
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Waffle House scattered, smothered, & covered

Rick Watson, executive chef at Big Tex Decatur
1. Favorite diner: I'm a creature of habit, Late night or in a pinch its the Waffle House. It's right down the street and of course it's always open! My Go-to is always the Grilled Chicken Sandwhich with Hashbrowns: Scattered, Smothered n Covered!
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: I love old style Southern Cooking, it seems like the Meat n Three is a dying form in Atlanta these days! Mary Mac's Chicken Livers or their Potlikker n Cornbread are hard to beat! At Big Tex on Wed we run a Meatloaf Blueplate that is great and flies out the door quick!
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: I'm usually in the restaurant for our Bluegrass Brunch so sometime when I get a second to get something to eat its usually a Carnitas Migas In a tortilla or if I'm almost thru with work its gonna be the Brunch Double Cheese burger with a fried egg and slab pork belly! I usually am not working on Mondays so occasionally I'll head up to Rosebud for Monday night Brunch. Love Ron's twist on the classics!

Cameron Thomspon, chef at Farm Burger
1. Favorite diner: Majestic Diner - eggs over, grits, bacon
2. Favorite non-diner greasy spoon: Manuels - Reuben
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Waffle House - pancakes

George Francos, owner at Farm Burger
1. Favorite diner: Rise n Dine, the Pangea
2. Manuels - Grilled cheese n tomato
3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented: Waffle House, waffles

Mikey Files and Daniel Peach, art director and chef de cuisine at Chai Pani
1. Favorite Atlanta diner: MF: The first thing that comes to me is Majestic Diner. I love getting a late night meal there, always with a chocolate milkshake. But actually, literally my favorite place to eat in Atlanta is Gato Arigato, the pop up Japanese place that happens in Gato Bizco twice a week. And that's technically a diner, so that counts right? I'm also a fan of the Thumbs Up right around the corner from my house on Edgewood Avenue. DP: When Meherwan and I go out to eat we basically only eat Indian food. There's this place called Gokul Sweets on Dekalb Industrial Avenue which is basically a diner serving Indian food and running a HUGE sweet production. It has the typical red booths, strange ambiance, and 'regulars' feel... Pretty GREASY too. Get a cheese dosa or a chole bhatura! And, I mean maybe I'm old school, but Waffle House is pretty much the gold standard when you talk about diners... I don't actually eat there that often and really just love the IDEA of it....but they make a delicious waffle and the whole realm of hash brown choices is pretty awesome. By the way, I live next door to the original Waffle House (which is now a museum)...All I'm saying is when you eat at a diner you subconsciously compare it back to Waffle House, don't you?

2. Favorite Atlanta non-diner greasy spoon (and what did you order?):
MF: We also love going to a place called Zyka, also on Dekalb Industrial Way near Patel Plaza. They are more of a counter-service place, but they serve awesome more Pakistani influenced stuff. I love their simple sweet lassi (always with three small ice cubes) and can never resist their Chicken Biryani.
DP: My friend Tehseen and I hit up Zyka on the weekly... Its not so much greasy...but its OILY. Is there a difference? I feel like there is but can't articulate it. We always get Gobi Manchurian and naan.

3. Greasy spoon most recently frequented:
Mikey: The Majestic. Grilled ham and cheese and chocolate milkshake.
Daniel: Zyka
· All Greasy Spoons Week Coverage [-EATL-]

Octopus Bar

560 Gresham Avenue Southeast, , GA 30316 (404) 627-9911 Visit Website

Home Grown

968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 404-222-0455 Visit Website


1397 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 404-347-9747

Marietta Diner

306 Cobb Parkway Southeast, , GA 30060 (770) 423-9390 Visit Website


1660 McLendon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 371-0889 Visit Website