At first, Tin Drum Asia Café's rapid service and bright decor evoke the aromatic street stands of Hong Kong, where founder Steven Chan ate throughout his childhood. The traditional ambiance is no accident—the franchise's name also harks back to a bygone era, when a tin drummer would awaken citizens and regale them with current events as they ate the day’s first meal. The electronic kiosks dotting the café, however, plunk this traditional scene in the middle of a cyberpunk setting. They allow patrons to customize their orders based on taste preferences and nutritional content, accommodating dietary endeavors such as vegetarianism and weight-loss goals.
This merger of technology and urban convention reflects a penchant for edgy ideas that also affects the menu. Items inspired by the culinary techniques of Japan, China, Vietnam, and Thailand share space in the savory catalog, taking the form of street tacos, soups, and mango chicken, a take on the general tso's staple that's sweeter than a syrup-soaked army helmet. Music is the final ingredient that charges the atmosphere. Nation's Restaurant News reports that it typically plays at an energizing 120 beats per minute and was a factor in attracting the café's initial college crowds.
Humanitarian and spiritual leader Supreme Master Ching Hai is the mastermind responsible for Loving Hut, a vegan restaurant chain awarded VegNews' Favorite Restaurant Worldwide in 2010. Each Loving Hut location's menu and philosophy is rooted in the idea that a plant-based diet is healthier and more sustainable for the planet. The restaurants span 13 countries including Taiwan and New Zealand, and each offers a 100% plant-based menu of gourmet vegan cuisine. Traditional meat dishes are replicated with tofu, soy proteins, and fresh vegetables. The menus are customized to reflect local cuisine and include chef’s specials that recreate regional dishes, which diners eat as the staff plays the country’s anthem enthusiastically on the tambourine.
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.
Cuisine Type: Gluten free, vegan friendly, Island Fusion
Most popular offering: Heaven's Famous Lamb Burger
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 25?50
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Ask for the Chef's Special
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We assure the quality of everything we serve. We pick up fresh, organic produce from right next door; grind all our own meat from happy cows; source our chicken from local farms such as Prestige farms; bake our own breads and desserts; and craft our signature sauces and dressings in house.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
When you visit A Little Bit of Heaven, it's like you're on vacation.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Chef Tiffany Gray food network star brings her experience from attending culinary school at The Art Institute of Atlanta to A Little Bit of Heaven. This restaurant is a product of her passion and provides a unique oasis for everyone to enjoy. Chef Gray?s farm to table fine dining experience in a casual atmosphere makes dining at A Little Bit of Heaven a must. Along with her talent and focus on food and wellness, she provides Alkaline water to all guests from the in house Kangen machine.
In ancient times, a man known as the "Tin Drummer" would bring communities together with his titular instrument. Calling people out of their homes as he marched down the street, the Tin Drummer led his followers to the marketplace where they'd tell each other stories, listen to music, and share a meal together. At least, that's the story founder Steven Chan heard as a child in Hong Kong. Regardless of the veracity of the legend, Chan wanted to play a similar, community-building role in his adopted home of Atlanta, even if he couldn't play the tin drum. And so he founded a chain of pan-Asian restaurants known as Tin Drum Asiacaf?.
And by pan-Asian, they really mean they aren't leaving anyone out. Curries from Thailand to India include everything from a creamy panang with coconut sauce to a fiery tikka masala with tomatoes and sauteed chicken. From the street-noodle section, diners can choose from the Singaporean sing chow mein, Cantonese wheat noodles with beef, bean sprouts and spinach, and spicy Japanese spaghetti, made with tomatoes, jalape?os, and yakisoba. And the caf?s aren't afraid to look even further afield. Genre-mashing tacos can be made with teriyaki or hoisin-soaked chicken, or with panko-crusted shrimp; and many of the basic entrees can be requested gluten free.
Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.