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 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, 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&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Ham and High's head chef Joe Wolfson teams up with a troupe of local farmers to craft sustainably delicious seasonal meals of mouthwatering Southern cuisine. Like the pace of Earth’s orbit around the moon, the restaurant’s dinner menu changes from day to day, painting palates with a colorful medley of artisanally crafted eats. Examples of the edibles have included dishes such as the Oakview Farms "fried" green tomatoes ($7) with Belle Chèvre cheese and broken lemon vinaigrette, as well as Back Forty ale-braised pork ravioli ($25). On Sundays, Ham and High's kitchen commandos help diners gird themselves for the work week with a brunch menu featuring bourbon vanilla french toast with rich vanilla custard ($10) and roasted Springer Mountain chicken and waffles served with brown butter and a sweet corn waffle ($11). A selection from the impressive wine, cocktail, and beer list pleasantly enhances the dining experience, just as pyrotechnics enhance virtually all Shakespearean drama.
A haven of hospitality, Rock Bottom treats sports fans and their fun-loving friends to warm meals, spirit-lifting spirits, and a spiriting stint of darts, pool, and video games. The inviting atmosphere is upstaged only by the tempting menu of burgers ($6.95+), wings ($7.95+), and steaks ($8.95+). Touches of Southern flare can also be found in dishes such as southern fried pickles ($7.75), cajun chicken alfredo ($13.95), and yankee fries ($8.25). Beyond its bounty of tongue-tickling eats, Rock Bottom offers outdoor patio seating, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and free casual yet confident chest-bumps daily.
Steak-Out prepares and delivers slabs of protein sustenance secured from 100% grain-fed American cattle. All entrees —such as the 8-ounce filet mignon ($18.75) and the 8-ounce grilled chicken-breast filet ($11.50)—are escorted across the plate by a salad, a roll, and a choice of a buttered and sourly creamed baked potato or garlic mashed potatoes. Spouses of sand-dwelling warlocks, including the sirloin steak sandwich ($7.95), carry extra baggage consisting of cheese, chips, and condiments. Desserts, such as a slice of the New York–style cheesecake ($4.50) or an oatmeal-raisin cookie ($1.59 for two), assist in smoothly transitioning imbibers into postmeal naps. Mini mouths can gnaw on a kids' meal featuring a palate-pleasing cheeseburger ($3.75) or chicken nuggets ($3.75).
Gail’s Down the Street Cafe triggers palate nostalgia six days a week with an ever-changing line up of four distinct, piping-hot lunch specials served with a multitude of Southern-style sides. Meaty entrees include such down-home staples as a juicy fried pork chop and a succulent hamburger steak smothered in a small lake of gravy and onions. Diners can pair their choice of entree with three fresh and filling vegetable sides ($8). A rotating smorgasbord of vegetables includes homemade coleslaw, cream-style corn, squash casserole, and thickly sliced tomatoes—all of which can be matched up in a plated quadrangle ($7). Seafaring mouths can set hook the grilled salmon or fried catfish fillet and reel in the navy beans before heading out to a scheduled debate with a wall-mounted bass. Bathe in the battered glory of specialty fried green tomatoes, or indulge sweet teeth with strawberry shortcake, banana pudding, and other decadent desserts ($2.50 each).
Located in the historic Cloverdale Village, Roux recently opened its modern, art-filled space to serve traditional Southern comfort dishes and New Orleans–inspired seafood for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Prince Edward Island mussels ($19.50) crowned with Pernod sauce rub crustacean elbows with roasted new potatoes and braised leeks with saffron and fresh thyme. The Gulf shrimp po boy ($10) smuggles cornmeal-crusted gulf shrimp between french bread pieces under the cover of homemade coleslaw and a rémoulade sauce, and the Prime Roux burger ($12) combines grilled Meyer ranch beef with smoked onion jam, house-cured bacon, and a choice of cheeses without the use of nuclear fusion. Sunday brunch pleases with eggs benedict ($10.50) dressed up in an avocado purée and hollandaise sauce accompanied by smoked bacon. Cap a feast with a bite of bananas foster ($5.50) or sweet-potato-pecan pie ($5.50).