For Alison, cooking up delicious, welcoming meals is second nature. In her 35 years in the restaurant business, she's gathered traditional and modern culinary influences into a menu of New Southern comfort cuisine that features good old-fashioned meatloaf and mashed potatoes, buttermilk fried chicken, liver and onions, and her popular crab cakes. There's an abundance of seafood dishes—Alison prepares fish tacos, cedar plank salmon, and lobster mac 'n' cheese, to name a few. She even offers a pecan-crusted fillet of North Georgia mountain trout, served with a creamy mango sauce. The restaurant's meatier offerings include beef fillets and oven roasted pork tenderloin with a peach bourbon chutney. Bourbon tastings at the full-service bar are popular among Alison’s Restaurant and Bourbon Bar's regulars. On warm days, she opens the fenced-in patio to let customers enjoy the sunshine.
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Gianmarco began helping out at his family’s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Gianmarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three different types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat’s kitchen operations, although these days he has considerably more help. Marco's Pizza has 350 locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.
Ray’s New York Pizza offers a menu filled with delicious New York–style pizzas, pastas, salads, sandwiches, and more, all made from fresh ingredients. Start out by throwing on your best bomb-squad costume and carefully approaching an explosive plate of chicken bursts ($6.75) served with ranch, garlic, or hot sauce, and top it off with a warm bowl of chili ($2.99). Alternately, use bits of candy corn you saved from last Halloween to lure a chicken, gyro, or veggie-filled pita wrap ($7.50) into your mouth trap. Pizzas can be procured in classically foldable slices ($2.75–$4.25) or in 14-inch ($14.15–$18.70), 16-inch ($16.50–$21.25), or 18-inch ($17.75–$22.75) sizes. Meat lovers will appreciate Ray’s meat pizza, which features pepperoni, sausage, ham, and meatballs, while the gourmet veggie pizza will delight herbivores and herbivoyeurs with a conglomeration of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and other legumes.
Local ingredients infiltrate a menu of inventive, from-scratch entrees at The Porch at Collier, a violet-drenched eatery that Thrillist Atlanta deems "unpretentious and nostalgic." Starters slide onto tables, kicking off feasts and competitive-eating portions of family reunions with noshes such as the twice-baked goat-cheese soufflé, served with red- and gold-beet salad, walnuts, and greens. House-smoked bacon, mushrooms, red peppers, and green onions balance atop the shrimp and cheese grits, slathered in Red Eye gravy. Forks plunge through a pool of melted blue cheese and red-wine sauce to impale the rib-eye steak, a time-tested cut hearty enough to sate appetites accrued while moving bales of apple pies. Patrons hasten courses down cuisine canals with sips of house wine, well cocktails, or one of an arsenal of draft brews, which include Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA and Stone Ruination.
Pizza Patron has a wide selection of menu items such as Specialty pizzas that take on Spanish names, including La Mexicana, packed with chorizo, ground beef, bell peppers, and jalapeños, and the Spinach Clásico, which gets layered with alfredo sauce, baby spinach, and cheese. Crispy pies pair with sauce-drenched wings and churros for dessert.
Little Azio's imbues its casual-dining menu with generous pasta portions and brick-oven pizza topped with made-from-scratch sauce. Crunchy salads kick-start each meal with romaine lettuce and caesar dressing or tomato, olives, cucumbers, and mozzarella on a bed of greens. Dough disks silently hover below noses, beaming up the savory aromas of the margherita pizza's roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, or the meat lover’s array of sausage, ham, pepperoni, meatballs, and Protein Lovers Anonymous membership cards. Pasta options include turkey ragu, made with turkey sausage and tomato sauce, or the wild-mushroom marsala, a fusion of marsala-wine sauce and cage-free mushrooms. Thick, malty glugs of domestic brews such as Sam Adams and Bud Light or savory sips of house wine bathe palates in between saucy bites.