It can take an artist years to apply the right brushstrokes to a canvas, but at Corks and Canvas, it only takes one night. During each three-hour painting session, a professional artist walks classes through every step of duplicating a piece of acrylic art. Made up of participants aged 16 and older, the group classes convene at a public venue such as a restaurant. Students can buy food and drinks to snack on throughout the night or smear onto their canvas if they’re tired of painting. For scheduled sessions and private events for adults or kids, Corks and Canvas supplies canvases, paint, brushes, easels, and aprons.
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 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and 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, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Barberitos assuages stubborn hunger pangs with a zesty mixture of fresh, made-to-order southwestern fare. A popular option on the diverse menu, the Heavy D burritotests tortilla strength with portions of rice, beans, meat, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and lettuce ($6.79). Because meals, like pacemakers, can be fun to put together yourself, Barberitos serves sizzling fajitas, a platter of meat, three taco shells, and tasty toppings ready for assembly ($8.99–$9.99). On Fridays only, jerk fish tacos prove they're actually quite nice with a medley of grilled tilapia, cheese, guac, cilantro, and lime ($3.59). Meat dodgers can indulge in vegetarian options such as the vegetarian quesadilla, a grilled 10-inch tortilla filled with cheese and beans or a choice of vegetables ($5.39).
In the early 1960s, fried chicken restaurateur Albert Constantine found himself in direct competition with Colonel Sanders. Constantine knew he had to step up his game. "He had a line outside his store every day,” the restaurateur told Baltimore City Paper. “I figured I could do business like that too." He devised a breading that would feature 21 herbs and spices, and he used his trusty broaster―a type of pressure fryer used for frying poultry―to fry bone-in chicken in 100% peanut oil. The result: crispy chicken that wasn’t greasy. Maryland Fried Chicken was born.
Today the franchise has restaurants in a few different states, and they all serve Constantine’s original recipe for Maryland-style fried chicken. The most popular menu items are the individual and family-size chicken dinners, which come with white or dark meat chicken, southern sides, and buttery biscuits. There are also some bite-size snacks available at the restaurants, such as buffalo wings, hush puppies, and ice cubes.
Drawing inspiration from two timeless influences, Finch & Fifth embraces the spirit of a European bistro while incorporating elements of upscale southern cooking. In between sips of wine or one of the bar's specialty cocktails, diners can construct their own shareable charcuterie boards by adding anything from artisan cheeses and dry-cured olives to pickled cherry peppers and pâté that is made in-house. The menu, termed "delectable and affordable" by Augusta Magazine, grows more eclectic from there, featuring dishes such as roasted mushrooms with wilted spinach and manchego cheese, as well as blackened catfish with corn, okra, and tomatoes served over stone-ground grits. Even with this dose of experimentation, Finch & Fifth exudes a refined atmosphere thanks to touches such as the espresso-hued wooden accents, the rolling library ladder affixed to the wall of wine- and spirit-filled cubby holes, and opera glasses guests may borrow to read the menu.
When the grill masters at Augusta Dawgs top one of their Nathan-brand all-beef franks, they don't limit themselves to spicy mustard and relish. Those classic condiments are available, of course, though dogs can also be customized with more inventive fixings, such as A.1. steak sauce and crushed red peppers. With their specialty dogs, however, Augusta Dawgs' culinary team truly flexes its creative muscles. Cinnamon baked beans coat Boston-inspired franks, creamy Kraft noodles cover macaroni and cheese dogs, and chili cheese fries smother the aptly named FryDay. To round out their menu, cooks fry sides of onion rings, serve crunchy kosher pickles, and treat sweet teeth to Sno Balls.