Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop’s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, original chocolate chip with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Patrons at cafe nineteen savor Illy-brand coffee, fresh-baked bread, and sandwiches picked from a diverse menu while admiring art displayed around the café. Stop by after work or during a unicycle rugby match for a cappuccino ($4) or mocha ($4), or sample the creamy interplay of espresso and condensed milk in a bombom ($5). Savory sandwiches, such as the rosemary turkey ($8) or vegetarian ($7), relieve midday hunger pangs, while four-cheese pizzas ($6) and an arsenal of beers bandage late-night hunger stabs. Desserts are baked daily, creating a rotating roster that may include muffins, croissants, and cheesecake. Cafe nineteen stays open until 1:30 a.m. Monday–Saturday and midnight on Sunday as late-night diners swap spine-chilling stories about ghosts made of pie.
Not very many people get inspired by tacos served out of the back of a nondescript van. But when Nacho Mama's Street Taqueria founder Ray bit into one of those freshly prepared tacos, he found his calling: make quality Mexican food. After attending Le Cordon Bleu, he began serving tacos from the back of his own food truck. Now, he's got his own restaurant.
Each taco, burrito, or rice bowl comes with your choice of meat, such as pork cooked with green chilies, chicken in a chipotle sauce, and traditional braised carnitas. For vegetarians, there's roasted corn and poblanos instead. The final product is paired with a side of chips and salsa. Meals can be washed down with Jarritos soda, which comes in an array of unique flavors, much like jelly beans after merging with that spice company.
R. Thomas Deluxe Grill offers the sort of over-the-top kitsch that must be seen to be believed. The vibrant décor offers a bit of the tropics in the middle of Atlanta, laced with the bright colors of the wild and hippie-chic touches that will have you smiling through your meal. If anything, R. Thomas Deluxe Grill is a little escape in the middle of your workday. It’s also a great place to get flavorful California-leaning food that won’t leave you full of regret afterward, with healthy touches that play into the warm, peaceful vibe. Look out for the exotic birds that call the patio garden their home, and don’t be afraid to swing in after-hours for a curious bit of fun; R. Thomas Deluxe Grill is open 24 hours.
Surprise your sweetie with doughy breakfast in bed, reward your coworkers for making you look good, or treat yourself to doughnuts because they bring you doughnutjoy. Today's Groupon to Sublime Doughnuts gets you six gourmet doughnuts for $6 (up to a $12 value). Give morning the sweet start that will make your grumpy grandpa and snotty sister melt into rivulets of dark-chocolate glaze and cream.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Steamhouse Lounge has long been one of Atlanta’s favorite down ‘n’ dirty seafood restaurants. Unexpectedly located on West Peachtree in Midtown, this kitschy local favorite is known as much for their annual Oyster Fest as they are for an excellent lobster bisque, both of which come with a heavy side of neon lights and beachy accents. Patrons can sit in a cozy upstairs patio or sidle into one of the downstairs booths before making their way to the bar for drinks with friends. This may not be the best place to head for a first date or late dinner with the family, but Steamhouse is a great fit for anyone in the neighborhood looking to relax and enjoy some seafood. And if they’ve saved room, maybe a touch of chocolate peanut butter mousse cake as well.