New Orleans–born chef Nick Melvin brings a worldly twist to PARISH's Southern comfort-inspired menu, cooking all the food in a cauldron made from a tuba and using bead-covered banjos to stir. In the tradition of Southern solidarity, PARISH uses fresh ingredients from local vendors for its dishes. Enchanted Mountain trout is used for the cornmeal-crusted Georgia trout ($17), while grits from Jenny Jack Sun Farm ride shotgun with the Big Easy Fried Chicken ($14). Other Dixieland dishes include a crispy eggplant étouffée ($16) with pickled raisins and popcorn rice, and stuffed catfish ($17) served on a bed of smoked maque choux. Appetizers include a chicken and andouille-sausage gumbo ($8) and Creole frites ($9) made with okra grown in the Oglethorpe state.
Steve Masri is a busy man. If you followed him around for a day, you might find the chef and owner of Olive Bistro hand picking fresh salad greens and high-quality olive oil, lamb, and imported tahini to incorporate into his Old-World family recipes. Masri?who, according to a 2010 review by Meridith Ford Goldman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was born in Sardinia and raised in Israel?works hard to honor his heritage with dishes such as from-scratch hummus and fragrant rosemary chicken. But he also adds his own signature twists, including the daily ravioli special and a tomato-basil sauce that replaces traditional marinara in his moussaka and lasagna.
And Masri's dedication has paid off. His pair of intimate bistros were on CBS Atlanta's 2012 list of the Best Mediterranean Cuisine in Atlanta, and Cliff Bostock of Creative Loafing Atlanta was one of several reviewers to recommend the falafel, saying that it has "no equal in the city." The Midtown location earned three Best of Citysearch awards in 2008 for its salads, sandwiches, and small plates. The bistros' outdoor patios make ideal spots to chat with friends over shared meze and a bottle of wine, or construct a replica of the Parthenon out of sliced eggplant.
Situated behind a charmingly rusty edifice, Carroll St. Café provides hearty rustic fare in a comfortable environment. Settle down at a glossy tabletop and peruse the extensive menu options for breakfasty brunch, tasty sandwiches, tapas, entrees, and more. Get your morning off to a fresh Flemish start with a Belgian waffle ($11) topped with fruit and served with scrambled eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage (pork, chicken, or soy), or hurtle yourself ahead to a plate of blackened shrimp and grits ($10). Herbivores might enjoy the veggie wrap ($7), a flour tortilla stuffed with guacamole, pico de gallo, roasted red peppers, and mixed greens, and hunger-havers at the other end of the meat spectrum can delve into the filet mignon ($24), 8 ounces of grilled meat in a house demi-glaze, paired with veggies and a potato of the day.
When the sun comes into direct alignment with your hungry stomach, its powerful magnetic field draws you into a warm embrace and fills your waiting glass with bold wine—it's a scientistic fact. Feel the solar sensations on the velvety folds of your soul with today’s Groupon to Cafe di Sol: $15 gets you $35 worth of culinary comfort and intimate drinks at this charming Poncey-Highlands eatery. Grab your best bros or famished fam for a relaxed lunch, dinner, or brunch, with an array of options for both vegetarians and meat-eaters.Real: Santa Claus; Mrs. Claus; and Emory, “The Mutinous Elf”Not Real: Your childhood memories of kissing Susie Pinkerton under the jumble gym
At Soul Vegetarian, gravy cascades over the burgers and country-fried steaks and creamy cucumber sauce nestles into a gyro pocket. This picture of decadence aside, even as the chefs eschew animal products, they also avoid heavy fats or preservatives. The result is a surprisingly healthy take on classic Southern cuisine, including macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Savory protein comes in the form of tofu, lentils, and a flexible vegetable-protein roast they've dubbed "kalebone."
Even dessert has a healthy side at Soul Vegetarian. Blenders whir with fruit smoothies and soy shakes, many of which incorporate nutrient-dense foods such as coconut milk and almond butter, and even energy or protein supplements. To make perfectly creamy shakes, the restaurant's food inventors created the soy-based Dream Kream?also available by the scoop.