Eater Atlanta’s editor and contributors spend every week dining out at multiple restaurants and pop-ups in search of the next great bite or cocktail. Some meals and drinks are definitely better than others and deserve a shoutout. Below are the best dishes Eater’s editor ate in October.
Yakisoba with pork belly, kimchi, and a fried egg at OK Yaki
I’ve been following Corban Irby and his okonomiyaki and Japanese street food pop-up OK Yaki since its days at Ria’s Bluebird and Sun in My Belly and was stoked when he finally opened the pop-up as a restaurant next door to Hodgepodge Coffeehouse in East Atlanta two years ago. OK Yaki hasn’t skipped a beat since its pop-up days, as evidenced by the often packed patio and dining room, especially on the weekends. One of my favorite things to order here is a bowl of yakisoba, which I often top with pork belly, OK Yaki’s spicy kimchi, and a sunny egg. I add some chili oil, too. This noodle dish that also includes flakes of bonito (akin to tuna and an ingredient in dashi) oozes umami and is just pure comfort to me paired with whatever bubbles the bar is serving or a medium-bodied red like a gamay.
Ricotta with olive tapenade at Poor Hendrix
My Eater colleague, Bettina Makalintal, recently tweeted about falling victim to years of cottage cheese slander, finally finding herself topping it with olive oil, salt, and pepper and eating it with toast. To her delight, it was good. I responded with a photo of the ricotta cheese spread with olive tapenade served with crusty grilled bread I had just eaten the previous weekend at Poor Hendrix in East Lake. Little did I know my response to that tweet would take off, but it did, with affirmations that cottage cheese done up all sorts of ways is actually great (agree), and my savory, briny olive tapenade ricotta cheese spread at Poor Hendrix looked worthy of seeking out. (It is, and you should.) Despite my photo, I actually sipped a martini (gin with a twist) that afternoon, while my husband was partial to the Oktoberfest beer the restaurant had on draft.
Firedog at Hankook Taqueria
I will rarely turn down any dish with kimchi. There’s just something about the punch of funkiness in this Korean fermented cabbage and vegetable mixture I find hard to resist, especially when it’s bringing the right balance of spice and heat. I’m a fan of the kimchi found in many of the dishes at Hankook Taqueria in Underwood Hills, including on the Firedog — a plump beef hot dog topped with spring onions, gochujang, and a generous portion of shredded green cabbage kimchi. It’s everything I want on a hot dog, and is a major flavor bomb. Make sure to order a side of sesame fries, too.
Waffle House-style pierogies at Brave Wojtek
I’ve already written my ode to this dish in a previous post in October. But it deserves one more shoutout for the month. These Polish dumplings from pop-up Brave Wojtek, now in residence at Full Commission in Grant Park, come with the option to add up to ten different toppings just like Waffle House hash browns, but with decidedly local and Eastern European twists. I stuck to my WaHo order during a recent Saturday morning breakfast trip to the pop-up: scattered, covered, smothered, chunked, and peppered (grilled onions, Porter beer cheese, smoked kielbasa, hot Hungarian wax peppers).
Got a favorite dish you enjoy at a restaurant or pop-up around Atlanta you think Eater should check out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.