At barbecues during his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs, Al Boyce took pleasure in cooking for his fellow teammates. Faced with the free time of retirement and the new responsibilities of being a father, Boyce took his passion further by experimenting with preparation and seasoning techniques and calling on the grilling wisdom passed down to him by his own father. His ventures bore succulent, lean barbecue, which he now plates at Chazz's Place, a southern-inspired, home-style eatery named for Boyce's young son. Each cut of meat that cooks in the grill's aromatic smoke retains as little fat as possible to keep morsels well-textured but healthy. Filets of tilapia, salmon, and catfish adorn dishes grilled, deep-fried, or blackened, which harnesses the traditional method invented by Cajun chefs to protect meals from the monsters under their beds. Though hours of careful cooking go into each entree, the Marietta Patch heralds that sides are Boyce's specialty—especially the yams, which reporter Melissa Kory says have a "flavorful punch" and "the traditional zing with an extra pow."
Generations-old Thai family recipes and established Japanese cooking techniques continue to inspire the cooks at Fuji Hana & Thai Peppers. Hibachi chefs man the dining room's six tabletop grills and sear entire orders of scallops or filet mignon right in front of transfixed guests. Hibachi-grilled lobster tail even makes its way onto the restaurant's sushi menu, which includes 12 specialty maki selections that attempt to elevate sushi with sriracha sauce, dried cranberries, or cleverly disguised helium balloons. The Thai menu items remain more grounded in familiar flavor combinations, such as spicy basil fried rice and panang curry with coconut milk and dried chilies.
The colorful cuisine stands in stark contrast to the deep, soothing earth tones that fill the dining room. Hand-laid mosaic tiles complement the dark leather booths, and a 31-foot oak bar surrounds the sushi chefs and bartenders as they dexterously assemble orders.
Hand-painted murals of the Caribbean enliven Presto Latin Cantina?s brick fa?ade, hinting at the vibrant decor, flavors, and Latin American influences that wait inside. Over steamy stoves, chefs prepare Colombian-inspired dishes such as marinated steaks topped with fried eggs as well as grilled chicken drizzled with sweet mango sauce. Slow-cooked brisket absorbs the flavors of garlic and Latin spices before chefs turn it into classic ropa vieja by shredding it and plating it with rice, beans, and plantains. To wash down spoonfuls of Spanish-style paella, loaded with seafood and colored with golden saffron, diners can sip on the fresh juices of papaya, guava, passion fruit, or tender top sirloin. Presto Latin Cantina also offers homemade sangria and margaritas with traditional or tropical flavors, including mango, passion fruit, blackberry, and pineapple.
For 15 years, Baby Tommy's Taste of New York has been serving up authentic New York-style pies topped with everything from traditional pepperoni, to artichokes, feta, or breaded chicken. Atlanta magazine recommends the lasagna pizza, which piles the chewy thin crust with meatballs, ricotta cheese, and meat sauce, while those with a taste for travel may want to explore the cheesesteak pizza, which pairs steak and caramelized onions atop a creamy white sauce.
Of course, Baby Tommy's New York-style eats don't stop with just pizza. The menu also includes a medley of sandwiches named for the state, including the New Yorker, a combination of corned beef, pastrami, and Swiss cheese, or the Manhattan, a salty stack of ham, Genoa salami, and Provolone.
Kiosco Restaurant owners Eddie Bermudez invite mouths on a transcendent voyage to their native Colombia, using a celebration of traditional dishes packed with unexpected herbs and spices. The meat-centric menu pivots on seven steak entrees, including flank steak simmered with green onions and sautéed shredded beef with thick slices of fried plantain. Other delicacies include colombian sausage and fried slices of yucca and andean potatoes. Guests can enjoy these with tall pitchers of housemade sangria, sipping on a shaded sidewalk patio or inside where sunlight pours through stained-glass windows to cast a warm glow on vibrant paintings and enable patrons to act out their orders with shadow puppets on the muted yellow walls.
Mediterranean Grill’s authentic kebabs, fresh hummus, and overflowing pitas have earned it not just one but six Best Middle Eastern awards from Creative Loafing—including those for 2012, 2010, and 2009—as well as a gushing news profile by CBS Atlanta. The eatery’s chefs earned these laudations by charbroiling tender cubes of sirloin and chicken, frying falafel patties to the perfect crisp, and layering phyllo dough with a blend of spinach, feta, and ricotta for spanakopita triangles that precisely illustrate the Pythagorean theorem. Guests can sit down to eat their wraps and kebab plates at the intimate dining room’s two-person tables and booths or call ahead to place orders for pickup, delivery, or catering.