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 November
The Martini at Talat Market and Ti’ Punch at Mambo Zombi
I’m kicking off the November “best dishes” beat with two cocktails from Adrian Fessenden-Knoll and Kysha Cyrus. If you don’t already know their names, commit them now to memory. Let’s start with the martini at Talat Market, which Fessenden-Knoll gives a fantastic twist to at the Thai restaurant in Summerhill, adding blanc vermouth, dry madeira, pandan, artichoke, and orange bitters. This wet martini boasts hints of sweet and savory notes on the palate without either flavor overpowering the other. The Talat Market martini comes with a choice of vodka, gin, or pisco, with the latter lending a lightly vegetal quality to the cocktail.
Longtime Atlanta bartender Kysha Cyrus recently opened Mambo Zombi above Georgia Beer Garden on Edgewood with Johnny Martinez and Brandon Ley (Joystick Gamebar). Here, Cyrus once again shines behind the bar, leaning into her Afro-Caribbean and Jamaican heritage and infusing rum-, cachaça-, and mezcal-based cocktails with house-made mango shrub or by juicing fresh corn and sugar cane to make syrups and milks. But her mastery over cocktails is plain to see in the three-ingredient Ti’ Punch, a seemingly simple drink that can easily go sideways from over-pouring and overzealous stirring. Mixing Clément rhum agricole, cane syrup made from freshly pressed cane juice, and a lime wedge, this Ti’ Punch was pure harmony in a rocks glass. A solid choice for folks who love an Old Fashioned.
Vegan pasta e fagioli and pain au levain at TGM Bread
For me, there’s nothing more satisfying on a chilly day than a hot bowl of hearty soup. I was over near Emory recently running errands and popped into TGM Bread at Emory Point for a quick lunch. The bakery is located next door to sister restaurant the General Muir and offers up a daily menu of soups and breads for takeout. As it was a cool 55 degrees outside, I opted for a pint of pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) made with vegan orzo pasta and pain au levain freshly baked that morning. TGM Bread doesn’t include seating inside anymore, but there are a couple of cafe tables out front, which is where I enjoyed lunch that day. My entire meal — pint of hot soup, two pieces of bread for dunking, and a can of sparkling water — set me back $15. Without the water, the soup and bread combo is just under $10.
Lasagna fries at LLoyd’s
I may have found a little piece of heaven in this pile of loaded fries at LLoyd’s. These lasagna fries could probably pass as a meal rather than an appetizer, even for two people. Sitting in one of the cozy booths beyond the bar, this hot dish is an indulgent jumble of crispy French fries layered with meaty bolognese and red sauce, creamy ricotta and stretchy mozzarella, and white sauce topped with strips of fresh basil.
Carbonara and stewed white beans at A Mano
A recent dinner at A Mano in the Old Fourth Ward reminded me that when food, drinks, service, and the vibe come together all in one place, that’s when truly great meals happen. This was just a spot-on night for the restaurant, with attentive service, despite a busy bar buzzing with regulars (seated and standing) drinking wine and cocktails, and a packed dining room. It was hard not to feel the positive energy in the room, buoyed by a playlist shifting from funk and R&B to classic rock and new wave. I caught people singing along to songs more than a few times during the meal. We ordered a bowl of carbonara and the stewed white beans to share. The carbonara at A Mano is topped with an egg for mixing. The white beans come served with a savory broth tossed with carrots and spinach. Chili flakes lend a subtle heat to the dish. A Mano also boasts a tight but wonderful list of wines by the glass and bottle, including natural and orange wines.
BEC biscuit and biscuit doughnut holes at Bomb Biscuit Co.
I’ve been a big fan of baker Erika Council and her biscuits since the days popping up at B’s Cracklin’ BBQ in Riverside prior to the fire at the restaurant in 2019. So, I was thrilled when Council opened her stall at Irwin Street Market in 2020 to continue her biscuit-making endeavors, which included her delicious Glori-Fried chicken biscuit and scrumptious cinnamon rolls. Council expanded again this fall, opening a restaurant with seating in the former Field Day space on Highland Avenue, and she hasn’t skipped a beat. Those fluffy buttermilk biscuits are as good as ever. And while I wasn’t able to partake in the decadent cinnamon rolls on a recent Saturday morning, I did order the B’Onuts (deep-fried biscuit dough balls coated in cinnamon sugar). My biscuit order was a classic bacon, folded egg, and cheese (BEC) paired with a pipping hot cup of coffee. There’s typically a line of people ordering takeout, but ask for a seat in the sunny dining room. Our server popped right over to take our order.
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