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D Cafe

Restaurants to Try This Weekend in Atlanta

Ideas on where to eat this weekend

Welcome to the Atlanta weekend dining planner, where Eater Atlanta’s editor and contributors recommend restaurants or bars to try. The list includes a mix of newer restaurants on the scene, old standbys worth a revisit, under-the-radar finds, and the occasional can’t-miss food event.

Got a restaurant or bar recommendation? Send a message with a brief description as to why Eater Atlanta should check it out for inclusion in the next weekend planner.


MARCH 22/March 29

For comforting Colombian food on Buford Highway

There are two truths when grocery shopping — never, under any circumstances, venture into a grocery store on the weekends and, for God sakes, don’t shop hungry. Knowing these truths and adhering to them are, of course, totally separate. The day I decided to spend two hours (not by choice) inside Buford Highway Farmers Market, Las Delicias De La Abuela was there to save the day for me. Honestly, when I saw the Colombian restaurant a few steps away from the market, it didn’t matter what food they were serving. After stumbling through my Spanish while speaking with the server, I settled on the pechuga a la parrilla, a grilled chicken dish spiced with aromatics, bell peppers, and garlic. It’s served with a side of simple black beans, rice, and a lightly fried plantain. It hit the spot. Should you find yourself hungrily shopping at the farmers market, Las Delicias is a quick, affordable, and delicious respite just next door. The restaurant also has a location in Duluth. 5600 Buford Highway, Ste. E, Doraville — Ryan Hughley, Eater Atlanta contributor

For Southern comfort near the southwest Atlanta BeltLine

Chef Devotis Lee and her husband, Alexis, have operated D Cafe mainly as a catering business since 2009. Recently, they moved into a new space along Ralph David Abernathy to accommodate more diners and residents as the Westview area continues to grow. Local church congregations have been the biggest beneficiaries of their hearty, Southern soul food, but you don’t have to be religious to feel the spirit in D’s humble-fancy plates. The menu ranges from all-day breakfast (try the tangy shrimp and grits or the expertly fried chicken with waffles), to lunch and dinner portions of stuffed chicken with red mashed potatoes, and sides of collards mixed with kale. It’s not light eating, for sure, but freshness comes through in the flavors here. And, it’s always nice to enjoy a helping of soul food that’s not heavy for heavy’s sake. That said, don’t leave without taking a slice of the indulgent punch bowl cake home with you. You can always walk it off nearby on the BeltLine. 1550 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard SW, Atlanta — Mike Jordan, Eater Atlanta contributor

For when that congee craving strikes

On a recent damp, chilly morning, I found myself craving congee — a warm, rice-based porridge found throughout many Asian countries. Unlike the often bland and mealy breakfast cereal most associate with the term “porridge”, congee is packed with flavor from the meats or vegetables the glutinous mixture soaks up as it marinates and slowly cooks. Congee may be garnished with scallions, pickles, or even a preserved egg, sometimes referred to as a “century egg”. Mamak, a small, congenial Malaysian cafe on Buford Highway, offers three porridge options on its menu: chicken, pork, and pork with preserved egg. I rarely miss an opportunity to order the pork and preserved egg porridge, filled with salty, shredded pork. The century egg and its cured yolk really boosts the umami in this comforting breakfast soup. Mamak serves their porridges in a large bowl with a ladle and corresponding sets of smaller bowls for around $6.25. It’s easily shared between four people. 5150 Buford Highway NE A-170, Doraville — Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor

MARCH 8/March 15

For Jamaican beef patties and jerk pork plates on Northside Drive

Last week, I found myself on Spelman’s campus, when out of nowhere, hunger pangs set in. I was worried I was going to transform into Joe Pesci from that Snickers commercial when my guardian angel — a kindly professor — recommended I head over to Dat Fire Jerk Chicken on Northside Drive to grab a bite. I stumbled into the restaurant blind with the immediate need to eat. I quickly ordered a jerk pork plate, but was told it would take several minutes before it was ready. In order to avoid a full hunger meltdown, I decided to also order a beef patty, which I took back to my car while I waited for my food. Once I bit into the patty, I instantly realized my mistake — I’d only ordered one. The meat hand pie was filled with deliciously minced beef and spices all packaged in crusty warm dough. As soon as I’d finished it, my pork plate was ready. I sauntered up to the register and proudly ordered four more beef patties to-go. By the way, the jerk pork plate was fantastic, too. 226 Northside Drive SW — Ryan Hughley, Eater Atlanta contributor

For when you’re craving the traditional sushi bars of Tokyo

On a recent trip to Japan, I learned the slang term “chodai”, which means “I like it very much.” This was my exact reaction after experiencing the mini omakase at District M, which opened in Sandy Springs this week. Chef Jackie Chang, formerly of Umi in Buckhead and O-Ku in Westside, brings the glamour and precision of a Tokyo sushi bar to every dish he creates for each omakase. From fresh, thick cuts of toro and yellowfin to octopus, grilled miso black cod, and o-toro tartare, I savored every bite — scraping my plate clean. The pièce de résistance was a tie between the Ssam A5 Wagyu topped with uni, truffles, and black caviar served on shiso with dried seaweed and the edomae-style sushi that included seared scallop and seared toro topped with the creamiest, melt-in-your-mouth uni. I swear, when I closed my eyes, I was instantly transported back to Tsukiji Fish market with every bite. Chodai! 6125 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA — Sarah-Ann Soffer, Eater Atlanta contributor and Instagram manager

For those devoted to the BEC — bacon, egg, and cheese — biscuit

Most Sunday mornings, my husband and I cook a family breakfast. It’s one of the few times during the week when we’re all in one place and not running off to this school event or appointment or that interview and working dinner. Sunday mornings have become a moment for deep idiscussions and catching up. Last Sunday, we woke up late. Feeling too lazy to cook, we drove to newly-opened coffee shop Dekalb Athletic Club (DAC) for coffee and biscuit sandwiches to take home for breakfast. The shop is located next door to LLoyd’s on Dekalb Avenue. It’s owned by the same restaurant group. I spoke to owner Ian Jones last year when he announced LLoyd’s and the group’s yet-named coffee shop. He told me the shop planned to sell biscuit sandwiches like those you’d find in warming ovens at gas stations around the South. My curiosity was piqued. A good gas station biscuit is one of life’s greatest pleasures for me. Right behind the counter at DAC, the warmer was filled with foil-wrapped bacon, egg, and cheese (BEC) and sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits. We ordered two of each. I have an unwavering devotion to the BEC. DAC’s version did not disappoint, with smoky bacon, a square egg patty, and melted white cheese oozing from between the fluffy biscuit. This BEC is definitely going on regular rotation. 900 Dekalb Avenue NE — Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor


FEBRUARY 22/March 1

For comforting turkey sandwiches and grilled aged tofu

It’s easy to get caught up in trying what’s new and hot, but don’t forget about the neighborhood restaurant that’s been around forever. I was recently reminded of this when my husband and I had dinner at Muss & Turner’s — our neighborhood restaurant — and re-discovered how excellent it is. The dinner menu has a range of comfort food; the gobbler sandwich with stuffing and lingonberry coulis and their macaroni and cheese side dish are my favorites. There’s also more adventurous dishes, too, like the tofu ala brasa — grilled aged tofu with salsa criolla. 1675 Cumberland Pkwy SE, Smyrna — Lia Picard, Eater Atlanta contributor

For great shawarma in Toco Hills

I recently moved from Piedmont Heights to Toco Hills. I’d be lying if I said being closer to Pita Palace wasn’t a major factor in my choice of neighborhoods. Atlanta’s got plenty of falafel and shawarma places, but few manage to capture the flavors of Israeli-style shawarma like Pita Palace. Unlike Lebanese or Syrian shawarma, which rely on lemon for an acidic punch, Israeli shawarma goes heavier on the cumin, za’atar, coriander, and cinnamon for a warmer, deeper flavor. Pita Palace’s shawarma tastes the closest to the shawarma I’d grab on the street when I lived in Jerusalem. I like mine served in a laffa (think oversized, soft flat bread) layered with hummus, red schug (habanero pepper paste), shawarma meat, Israeli cabbage salad, and a healthy pour of amba (pickled mango pureed into a smooth sauce), and a generous squeeze of nutty tahini (sesame paste). While your food is being prepared, dig into the salad and condiment bar. There are Moroccan carrots, cabbage salad, Israeli cucumber and tomato salad, and, of course, more hummus. Because Pita Palace is a kosher restaurant, you won’t find any tzatziki or yogurt on the menu, but I promise, you won’t miss it. The restaurant isn’t open on Friday nights or Saturdays in accordance with Jewish law, so stop by on a Sunday afternoon or on a weeknight. 1658 Lavista Road — Robbie Medwed, Eater Atlanta contributor

For delicious healthy eats that don’t require becoming vegan

It’s cool to watch someone you know launch a business. It’s even cooler when it’s good food — and is especially dope when the food helps fill a need for healthier options in Atlanta’s historically black westside. Vegan and vegetarian restaurant Local Green, founded by hip-hop music business veteran Zachary “Big Zak” Wallace, sprouted from West End brewery Monday Night Garage. By the way, if you’ve heard the intro for V-103 DJ Greg Street’s 6pm show, that’s Wallace rapping. I got to try Local Green’s barbecue jackfruit slider after convincing Zak to work one of my monthly Lit Atlanta reading events I held at the brewery last year. The slider is a vegan alternative to pulled pork, topped with shredded cabbage and a sweet and spicy sauce. The sandwich won’t fool you into thinking you’re consuming meat, but that’s not really the point. It’s really delicious on its own. They’ve also got killer cauliflower tacos and a quinoa salad named in honor of Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Local Green also offers an awesome salmon slider with mango salsa and Sriracha mayo, a big shrimp burger, and fish tacos. It’s consistent, it tastes undeniably fresh, and the restaurant is yet another example of hip-hop culture being fertile ground for entrepreneurship that benefits the community. Local Green is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 19 Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard NW — Mike Jordan, Eater Atlanta contributor

For tamales, mole, and chill dining in Candler Park

I’ve been eating at Gato in Candler Park for years, and have been a frequent diner at the restaurant’s weekend chef pop-ups like Eat Me Speak Me and Talat Market. So, when owner Nicholas Stinson decided to do his own weekend dinners called Gato Nights at the restaurant, I, admittedly, was already sold. The dinners, which run Friday through Sunday evenings, sees Stinson exploring dishes rooted in the regions of southern Mexico and the Yucatán. On a recent visit, we grabbed a bottle of La Boutanche Trollinger from 3 Parks Wine Shop in Glenwood Park to pair with dinner. Gato is BYOB. As always, we kicked off the meal with the sikal pa’ak (pumpkin seed dip) served with lime jicama and chile salt cucumber and ordered the weekend’s tamale — red corn tamale topped with shiitake crisps, herbed queso fresco, and salsa. We moved on to the fall-off-the-bone tender adobe chicken rubbed with burnt jalapeno powder. It sits atop a bed of seca soup rice. The chicken comes with a side of tortillas, which we used to make mini tacos — filling the tortillas with torn pieces of the chicken quarter and the mole with winter vegetables we had also ordered. Leftover tortillas sopped up the last dregs of mole on the plate — it comes with its own side of cilantro tortillas. Everything on the menu here is easily shared, and the dining experience is always congenial and chill. Stinson is applying for Gato’s liquor license. Until then, Gato Nights is BYOB. If you forget to bring wine or beer, just pop over to Candler Park Market down the street. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. First-come, first-served. 1660 McLendon Avenue NE — Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor


FEBRUARY 8/FEBRUARY 15

For the perfect toast to another successfully completed week

Recently, the owners of Biltong Bar — also located at Ponce City Market — expanded to Buckhead. Unlike its smaller sister bar, the Buckhead restaurant is expansive and richly decorated, with a full kitchen where chef Matt Weinstein creates a thoughtful menu winking at its South African roots. Think dishes such as the Kibbeh lamb tartare, expertly dressed with Peppadew peppers, spicy pickles, cilantro, pita bread, and a spiced yogurt to temper the heat. But, it’s the cocktails at both locations that are consistently under-appreciated — especially next to big names in Atlanta like Ticonderoga Club or Kimball House. In my experience, it’s impossible to order a bad cocktail at Biltong. The drink I’ve been pining for lately is their Smooth Operator made with rum, amaro, chinato, coffee, vanilla, anise and Pedro Ximénez sherry. This drink is the nightcap you deserve at the end of the work week. 306 Buckhead Avenue NE; 675 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE —Ryan Hughley, Eater Atlanta contributor

For solid pizzas and crispy wings to pair with your beer in Midtown

It’s hard to discern if the name of Midtown’s newest beer bar and pub is “City Tap” or “City Tap House.” Name confusion aside, I found the food and drinks at this Philadelphia-based beer pub surprisingly good when they opened their doors a few days ago. Food here isn’t “elevated” but, it’s also not without thought. The wood-fired pizzas use fresh mozzarella and the wings have a delicious dry rub that’s properly crisped (ATL restaurants: please stop making flabby-skinned “artisan” wings — they’re not good.) The big food win for me were the Korean BBQ tacos. If beer isn’t your thing, the sangria is crisp and well-balanced, not overly sweet. City Tap isn’t fancy food but, sometimes the ultimate accomplishment for a restaurant is just giving the people what they want to eat. 848 Peachtree Street NE — Mike Jordan, Eater Atlanta contributor

For when you need a quick Mediterranean food fix in Midtown

There’s an abundance of restaurants serving pub food like wings and burgers in and around Midtown. But, when it comes to getting your falafel and shawarma fix, the in-town choices can be a bit limited. Working in Midtown, my go-to is Olive Bistro; a family-run restaurant which has been an Atlanta mainstay for over 20 years. My order is the Mediterranean platter. It allows me the option to build the meal I’m craving that day. Among the many choices, there’s falafel, their thick and creamy hummus, baba ganoush, fresh and tart tabbouleh, eggplant, rice and lentils, and Greek salad. The platter comes served with pita. All of that food will set you back about $12. Olive Bistro has two locations in Vinings and in Midtown, next door to the Loews Atlanta Hotel. 1075 Peachtree Street NE; 3300 Cobb Parkway SE, Suite 126 — Sarah-Ann Soffer, Eater Atlanta contributor and Instagram manager

For Guatemalan tamales and a bottle of Jarritos on Buford Highway

Every now and then, I crave the bulbous tamales at the small Guatemalan restaurant and market Xela Pan Cafe, located across from Pinetree Plaza on Buford Highway. Unlike tamales made with corn, these Guatemalan tamales use a thick potato dough to encase whatever ingredient they contain. Xela Pan’s tamales contain a whole chicken wing and come tied with a small strip of corn husk, lest their contents burst forth. Unwrap, put a little salsa on top, and dig in. That tamale, alone, is a meal. However, it’s rare I don’t order the garnaches at Xela Pan. These fried corn tortillas are topped with refried beans, cheese, shredded cabbage, salsa, and onion. I usually suck down a bottle of mandarin Jarritos, too. Yes, there were left overs, which made for a great Sunday morning breakfast with the family. Pro tip: don’t skip the wings here, coated in a tangy vinegar sauce that carries a hint of heat. They’re my go-to wings in ATL. 5268 Buford Highway NE C, Doraville — Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor


JANUARY 25/FEBRUARY 1

For tostones and low-key Mexican in Marietta

Sometimes I like to venture up to Marietta for La Carreta, a Mexican-Colombian restaurant situated between East Cobb and Marietta Square. Their tacos are excellent with homemade tortillas, but what usually drives my urge to travel to La Carreta is their tostones con guacamole appetizer. Plantains are pressed into thin discs and fried to a crisp, and garnished with a healthy sprinkle of salt. They’re served with a heaping scoop of fresh guacamole, too. The hot, salty tostones with the cool, lime-laced guac make for a delicious opener to the meal. Although, sometimes they are the meal, they’re that good. 1252 Roswell Road, Marietta — Lia Picard, Eater Atlanta contributor

For when that buffet craving hits

The Super Bowl is upon us all in Atlanta, and that means an influx of visitors taking up space at all my favorite food haunts. Thankfully, Doraville exists and isn’t likely to be on the radar of out-of-towners. One of my favorite things to do when I’m up that way is to grab a gluttonous buffet lunch at La Mei Zi on Buford Highway. This Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant, located in Asian Square (also home to Quoc Huong Banh Mi and Sweet Hut Bakery,) is always packed, especially at lunch and on the weekends for their buffet. If you’re not in the mood for the buffet, order the three-cup chicken. I’m a massive fan of anything salty and fried, and while this dish isn’t overly so, it certainly isn’t shy on the sesame oil, soy, and rice wine that flavor it. It’s served table side and sizzling, tossed with honey soy glaze and topped with whole garlic cloves, ginger, and basil. 5150 Buford Highway Ste. C-310, Doraville — Ryan Hughley, Eater Atlanta contributor

For comforting amounts of spice

I’m the first to admit, I don’t love spicy food. I wish I was better at handling it. However, some of my favorite bites at Botiwalla in Ponce City Market, an Indian street grill from the team behind Decatur’s Chai Pani, has me slowly converting to spicier dishes. I start with chaat like the SPDP — savory puffed flour crisps stuffed with potato, onions, cilantro, and crunchy chickpea noodles, then piped with sweet yogurt and green and tamarind chutney. These messy bites have just enough kick for me. Try the chicken tikka roll, too. The chicken is marinated in yogurt, lime juice, Kashmiri chili paste, and a blend of north Indian spices. It comes with Desi slaw, onions, cilantro, and chutney wrapped in buttery naan. I also top it with raita — a lightly sweetened yogurt, which helps take the edge off some of the heat. 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta — Sarah-Ann Soffer, Eater Atlanta contributor and Instagram manager

For a second breakfast and a burger in Bolton

Residents of the Bolton and Riverside neighborhoods in northwest Atlanta are more than familiar with the delightfully friendly farm market and cafe, Jim Adams Farm & Table (JAFT). Located on the backside of an office complex on Bolton Road, I head here on occasion in the late mornings to write and grab second breakfast and now coffee. Shoutout to the boys from Bellwood Coffee, now serving caffeine at JAFT. I order the open-faced sandwich with egg and cheese, topped with herbs, then take a seat in the bright common area on one of the couches or tables to work until lunch. My order — the bougie burger with peppercorn sauce, mushrooms, and sautéed onion or the Delilah chicken salad wrap. Grab produce on your way out. Jim Adams, owned by former metro Atlanta chamber of commerce vice president Chuck Meadows, stocks fresh vegetables from Meadows’ University Avenue farm in southwest Atlanta. And, yes, this is where Oprah and Stacey Abrams ate lunch last year. 2011 Bolton Road NW, Atlanta — Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor


JANUARY 11/JANUARY 18

For the best fried chicken sandwich around

After a particularly grueling hot yoga class, brunch seemed like the perfect reward. 8Arm, located on Ponce de Leon Avenue near Ponce City Market, has mercifully reopened its doors for breakfast after a brief hiatus. I was pleasantly surprised by the revamped menu, and briefly considered ordering their grain bowl, when I spotted something called the Darby Farm’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. New year’s resolutions were immediately abandoned when I realized the sandwich was, in fact, fried and topped with a hot oil made from bacon fat and dried chilies. It arrived perfectly juicy and bursting with flavor. Hattie B’s who? 710 Ponce De Leon Ave NE — Ryan Hughley, Eater Atlanta contributor

For when Slutty Vegan’s line is too long

It seems everybody is going plant-based in 2019 — at least this month. The big conversation is around those sexy-named Impossible burgers (“One Night Stand”) at vegan food truck Slutty Vegan, which opens its new restaurant, Sunday, January 13, in the former KarbonStar Vitality space on Ralph David Abernathy. And, it’s certain to have an impossible wait — and has since Clark-Atlanta University grad Pinky Cole’s food truck began rolling. In case you show up after Slutty Vegan sells out of the “One Night Stand” or “Super Slut” patties, head to Argosy in East Atlanta Village. Whether you arrive during brunch or dinner this weekend, their smashed, double-stacked Plancha burger (also an Impossible) is just as ridiculously good, but with a simpler construction of caramelized onions, cheese, and house pickles. They don’t even let you add other modifications, besides bacon, but you won’t even miss the lettuce and tomato. It’s 100-percent plant-based, so you’re covered veggie-wise. But, big congrats to Slutty Vegan for going prime-time this weekend, and be sure to try that “One Night Stand” when you’re in Westview. 470 Flat Shoals Avenue SE — Mike Jordan, Eater Atlanta contributor

When winter finally arrives in Atlanta and you just want good soup

One of the many great things about Buford Highway is each section along the road has mini malls containing a slew of restaurants and bakeries. One of my favorite complexes is Asian Square in Doraville, home to the original Sweet Hut Bakery, Quoc Huong Banh Mi, and what used to be Asian Supermarket. While the supermarket seems to have completely closed down, the restaurant stalls inside are still in full swing. A must-visit is Best BBQ, which has the most sumptuous, glistening roast ducks hanging proudly from its stall. They also offer what I believe to be some of the finest dim sum options in town. But, it’s cold, and we’re here for the soup. Make sure to get your hands on the wonton noodle soup with roast duck, featuring fresh egg noodles, fluffy wonton pillows filled with shrimp and fatty, roast duck, nestled in a broth that will warm you up in an instant. 5150 Buford Highway NE, Doraville — Sarah-Ann Soffer, Eater Atlanta contributor and Instagram manager

For a hearty grit bowl that’s anything but boring

I generally don’t eat or really enjoy breakfast. My morning go-to is a smoothie and black coffee. I make no apologies for my lack of enthusiasm for what seems like everyone’s favorite meal, and its occasional evening appearance for dinner. But, I will happily eat (any time of the day) the grit bowls at Full Commission in Grant Park’s Larkin on Memorial. My latest order contained creamy cheddar cheese grits mixed with beets, butternut squash, Brussel sprouts, onions, and was topped with country ham and an over-easy egg. In a word — scrumptious. This is an all-day restaurant that knows its limits and has taken its time growing and perfecting the menus, since opening last July. That patience is paying off. Full Commission is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a weekday happy hour. 519 Memorial Drive SE — Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor

Botiwalla

675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (470) 225-8963 Visit Website

Jim Adams Farm & Table

2011 Bolton Road Northwest, , GA 30318 (404) 343-0882 Visit Website

Ponce City Market

675 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30308 (404) 900-7900 Visit Website

8ARM

710 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (470) 875-5856 Visit Website

Chai Pani

406 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-4030 Visit Website

Full Commission

519 Memorial Drive Southeast, , GA 30312 (404) 941-9102 Visit Website

Argosy

470 Flat Shoals Avenue Southeast, , GA 30316 (404) 577-0407 Visit Website
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