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Steak Shapiro’s Guide to Downtown Dining for the SEC Championship

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There are plenty of places to eat in Downtown Atlanta serving a variety of food and drink. You can find a spot with burgers and wings, bars to grab a beer or two at, and yes, even places offering some healthier options. I’m sharing my picks for awesome places to eat, all in the downtown Atlanta area. This year’s Championship will be unforgettable, and so will your food!

Alma Cocina (191 Peachtree St. NW; 404-968-9662)

I love the unique tequila selections and the on-the-money margaritas, but it’s the memorable and unique interpretations of classic Mexican fare that have you wondering, “how long has downtown had food this tasty?”

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Dantanna’s (One CNN Center #269; 404-522-8873)

This may be the closest restaurant to the Dome, but it’s nothing even close to generic sports bar food. The upscale sports restaurant features dark wood, lots of flat screens for great game viewing and large private booths. I love the “Freuben” sandwich, delicious steaks and She Crab soup.

Der Biergarten (300 Marietta Street NW; 404-521-2728)

Yes, it’s Atlanta’s only downtown German Beer Garden, and it really delivers. The brats are killer, the beer is crisp and the patio makes for tremendous people watching before the game.

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Googie Burger (In Centennial Olympic Park at “Fountain of Rings”; 404-223-4664)

No time to sit down? Grab a classic, messy burger in all kinds of combinations at this funky walk up joint in Centennial Olympic Park. Are you really gonna do better than a spiked vanilla shake to get you ready for kickoff?

Legal Sea Foods (275 Baker St. NW; 678-500-3700)

This New England transplant has a downstairs bar with best in the world chowder, fresh oysters and lobster rolls. All go great with the multiple flat screens that adorn the place.

Max’s Coal Oven Pizza (300 Marietta St. NW; 404-974-2941)

Sit out on Marietta Street and eat some superb pie that comes out of a classic Italian brick oven. The meatball subs and fried green tomatoes are as good as you’ll find anywhere in the city.

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Meehan’s Public House Downtown (200 Peachtree St.; 404-214-9821)

Chef Brian O’Rourke makes delicious things happen with shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and killer burgers. This is a place that knows what a cold beer should taste like.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (267 Marietta St./Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park; 404-223-6500)

Time to impress some big-wig clients with mouth watering steaks, New Orleans style sides and a classic martini. Grab a seat on my favorite patio to check out Centennial Olympic Park and watch the madness.

Taco Mac (100 Techwood Dr., 404-835-1192)

This spot offers a beer selection kissed by the gods, which all pair well with as many classic Taco Mac wings as you can woof down. We can smell the testosterone already.

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Ted’s Montana Grill (133 Luckie Street NW; 404-521-9796)

Start with the pickles, throw down an awesome bison burger, and close things out with the heated chocolate chip cookie, — you can’t go wrong. Bar seating beats the wait.

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 Twin Smokers (300 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30313; 404-698-4707)

You’re in for some trouble at Twin Smokers — double trouble that is. This BBQ masterpiece is known for out-of-control brisket, mac n’ cheese, pulled pork…and even their Bourbon Vanilla Milkshake (aka the “double trouble”). Go here for great grub all around — it’s the perfect spot before the big game.

Want more restaurant inspiration? Check out more spots around Atlanta here. Be sure to catch Atlanta Eats on Peachtree TV this Saturday at 8:30 p.m after the Championship Game and Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.!

Best Things We Ate Last Week

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One could say it’s always a feeding frenzy at Atlanta Eats’ HQ, but to us, it’s just another hard day at work. We’re showcasing the best things we ate last week to give you some food inspiration for the week ahead. Check out AtlantaEatsTV on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for a constant stream of food porn if this post doesn’t quite cure your fix.

Sconewiches from Seven Sisters Scones (Johns Creek and surrounding farmer’s markets)

Fresh takes on a whole new meaning at Seven Sisters Scones. Known for their out of this world scones, Seven Sisters decided to breathe life into an iconic savory sammie scone. Brought together in one beautiful sandwich, the freshly baked scone surrounds thinly sliced meats and lettuce to make for an unforgettable first, second and third bite! So, next time you’re in the Johns Creek area, or even at a local farmer’s market, be sure to snag one.

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Johnny Crab Cakes topped with Seasoned Crab from Gunshow (Atlanta)

If you ever find yourself with a craving for crab cakes and don’t know where to turn, look to Gunshow. They serve a dish of Johnny Cakes that will blow your mind! The succulent crab is seasoned and drizzled in lemon sauce, which is very pleasing to the palette. We can say that our Sunday brunch was unbelievably tasty after enjoying these!

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Bibimbap from Breakers Express BBQ (Conyers)

The Bibimbap has taken its rightful place as a fan favorite at Seoul K BBQ Breakers Express. Whether you’re trying to prep for your New Year’s Resolutions or you’re on a healthy food bender, pick up an order of Bibimbap. Served atop fresh vegetables, the grilled beef and rice make for a hearty and filling dish. What’s the best part of this drool-worthy dish? We think it’s the perfectly fried egg on top!

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Did we make you hungry? You’re in luck — Atlanta Eats provides the perfect workday distraction! Peruse our site for videos of Atlanta’s top restaurants, and of course tune in to our show on Peachtree TV every Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.!

Fumi Hibachi & Sushi Bar

Fumi is a restaurant that truly has it all: a gorgeous ambiance, the best quality foods you can find, great pricing, outdoor seating, an extensive bar with an impressive sake selection, private dining, an all-out sushi bar and hibachi for groups of any size. It’s all OTP in one of the hottest dining pockets of Atlanta- Duluth, GA near Gwinnett Place Mall. Stop by for a date, a night out with friends, bring the kids or plan a private event- they cater the experience to meet the needs of each type of customer. There are no “wrong” orders on their menu, so dabble in the dishes we deem “highlights” then experiment with a mix of sushi and hibachi to find your best order.

Chama Gaucha

Who doesn’t love a great night out in Buckhead? Especially with an incredibly classy dining room, a spectacular patio that opens into the street, a fabulous indoor-outdoor bar with craft cocktails like the caipirinha and the finest cuts of meat you’ll ever find. How about mixing that with the passion of Brazil…well it’s time to eat steak with a guy named Steak! Let’s hang at Chama Gaucha!

Noble Fin

Freshly sourced, premium quality seafood is the star of the show at this Peachtree Corners hot spot. Run by the father-son pair behind 4th and Swift, Noble Fin serves daily oysters and is constantly evolving its menu to explore new combinations of flavors. Steaks, chops and poultry are also offered, as well as almost a dozen premium side plates. The restaurant features a full bar, creating signature cocktails and stocking bottled and draft beer, as well as wine.

Bistro Niko

In the beating heart of Buckhead is a French restaurant like no other in the city. With decor that’s reminiscent of the classic dining rooms of the 1920s, all that’s missing to make the place feel like burlesque Paris is a stage and Josephine Baker. Of course, if that’s what you’re missing, Atlanta has other places for you, you just won’t find Atlanta Eats cameras there (or, indeed, any cameras).

But back to the bar, because that’s usually where you’ll find the Atlanta Eats team. Along with an extensive wine list with a giant range of French reds, whites, and champagne, Bistro Niko stocks beers from France, Germany, Italy, England, and right here in Georgia.

And how about the food? Whether the charcuterie Grand Platter is your thing, or Herb Goat Cheese Ravioli, Shrimp En Brique or Steak Au Poivre, there is a classic French dish to match your palate, and the best thing is this: it’s all really good.

Drift Fish House and Oyster Bar

Drift Fish House and Oyster Bar has quickly become an East Cobb Classic. Born from the brilliant culinary mind of Doug Turbush, of Seed, another Marietta favorite, Drift has brought a taste of the coast to the ‘burbs. Drift serves up dozens of fresh oysters, lobster rolls, and crab cake BLTS daily to hungry diners craving a beach vacation. With scrumptious seafood and killer cocktails, Drift Fish House and Oyster Bar is a can’t-miss dining destination for fresh ocean fare and an easy-breezy ambiance.

 

 

 

The Southern Gentleman

Nestled within the new Shops of Buckhead lies a gastropub with an incredible patio serving top notch southern dishes and drinks. Southern Gentleman, focused on using locally sourced ingredients to create fresh, modern takes on traditional southern dishes, has a high end, yet comfortable feel. It’s bar, located in the middle of the restaurant, offers a large selection of difficult to find whiskeys, bourbons and wines. With a menu changing three times a year, there’s a dish for everyone to love that is seasonal, fresh and carefully crafted.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Back in the day, a grindhouse was a theater that showed movies that were just on the border of acceptable to watch. Thankfully, Atlanta’s two Grindhouse Killer Burgers locations, in Sweet Auburn Curb Market and on Piedmont Road, serve burgers that are more than worth the price of admission.

Like most burger joints these days, it’s a build-your-own deal, with beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, with veggies and sauces thrown on for free. There’s a $0.50 charge for cheese and regular toppings, and a $1.00 for premium toppings. For example, a bacon double cheeseburger will cost you around $7.50, and you can add fries and a drink for another $2.50. Yes, it’s more than double what you’d pay at McDonald’s or Burger King, but here they use fresh beef, ground fresh, and cooked to medium (unless you ask for something different).

The Iberian Pig

Edison bulbs, exposed brick walls, and a friendly staff. It’s everything a hip, new restaurant strives to have. The Iberian Pig, located in Decatur, offers this and much more.

The Iberian Pig’s menu practically replicates what one would find in the markets of Spain, truly transporting customers into a foreign, yet inviting environment. Cured meats, a Spanish tradition, are what make this spot worthy of your time. Prosciutto is so passé. Here, Serrano Ham, smoked chorizo, and acorn fed Iberian pig are served thinly sliced on rustic wooden boards. The fatty marbling of the meat alone is enough to mesmerize the eyes, but surely not enough to keep away from a hungry mouth.

A vast array of imported artisanal cheeses complements the charcuteria and an expertly selected list of wines help to complete any afternoon or evening at this Spanish hideaway. The restaurant’s mixologists are also happy to serve up some classic cocktails or some more creative compositions. However, our top pick: the traditional sangria with delicately muddled fruit, wine and spirits. It’s always a great evening on the patio of the Iberian Pig on a warm summer night.

Cafe Alsace

Once you step foot in this petit café magnifique, you will feel as if you have been whisked away to a bistro in the beautiful French countryside.

This quaint French café in the middle of Decatur’s downtown strip has been winning the hearts of the locals, and everyone who samples its exquisite French cuisine, since its opening 15 years ago.

From the French flair all over the walls, to the delicious items for sale such has the handmade jellies and soaps, the food isn’t the only thing convincing people they have made a brief trip to the French countryside.

Chai Pani

The building that used to house The Watershed in Decatur, which stood empty for months, is the new home of Chai Pani. Serving up a variety of mindblasting (their word) dishes, Meherwan and Molly Irani have brought Bombay street food to West Ponce.

Chef Meherwan has created a menu packed with exotic flavors from all over India’s culinary and geographic landscape, with dishes ranging from small plates (chaat) to Indian hand food, to crepes (uttapam), and traditional entrees (thalis).

The brightness of Watershed’s decor has made way for vibrant Bollywood colors, street murals, Tata truck decor pieces, and beautiful photographs that capture the simple beauty of everyday Indian life.