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.
An electric neon sign draws passersby inside this festive Mexican diner, where rustic décor surrounds savory dishes arrayed on tables. Flat-screen televisions offer the only hint the modern world still exists, as exposed brick walls, rough stone borders, and dark-brown tile distract diners from passing cars, smartphone screens, and androids comparing memory banks. On the restaurant's outdoor patio, patrons dine on traditionally prepared steaks, fluffy tortilla shells, and rich sauces while basking in the sunlight.
Once a title carried by the top government officials in British India, the term "viceroy" connotes a regal finery and splendor. The word serves well for The Viceroy Royal Indian Dining, where the aroma of roasting spice, the warmth of clay tandoori ovens, and the taste of curry are all intended to make a luxurious impression. Like a bespoke suit of beef jerky, each meal bursts at the seams with flavor. Chefs pepper garlic naan, lamb kebab, and tikka masala with freshly ground herbs and spices, ranging in potency from mild to traditionally spicy. The restaurant's decor makes for an elegant backdrop, sporting high ceilings ringed with bright saffron hues and crystal chandeliers, and walls covered in colorful paintings of Indian wildlife and marble palaces.
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.