At first glance, it’s hard to believe that The Roswell Tap’s building is more than 100 years old. Pals and business partners Sean McDonough, Michael Rozmajzl, and Ron Harvey have worked hard to restore the two-story home, enhancing its original wood beams and hardwoods and adding modern touches such as a second-floor lounge and an expansive deck out back. Today, refurbished red stairs lead to the front door, where the Tap's skilled kitchen staff prepares comfort food from neighborhoods across the states. Smoked salmon board, fish-n-chips, Tap Pittsburgh salad, and southern sliders topped with collard greens and friend green tomatoes grace the vast dinner menu. At lunch, an express service simplifies things with sandwich-and-salad combos as well as half a dozen wings dressed eight ways.
The Roswell Tap encourages patrons to stick around after dinner with plenty of late-night snacks and weekly events, including a singer-songwriter series. Held every Tuesday, the series welcomes crooners to take the stage and compete for cash prizes or the chance to receive a firm, satisfying handshake and a gig for a Friday or Saturday night at the Tap. As others perform, customers can kick back with a signature tap tea drink, infused with tequila or vodka or an irish coffee.
At Lulu’s Bakery, students learn the art of decadent desserts in five weekend baking classes taught by Chef Rawl, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York. Teach fingers to shape truffles of two varieties, mold caramel treats, and slip a chocolate coat over toffee's shoulders in the chocolate candies class. Dough reinvents itself as edible art in the sweet and savory tarts course, tastily enveloping quiche, creating a chocolate short crust around delicious ganache filling, and forming pastries more elegant than a powdered-wig fight. A bakery breakfast class teaches a.m. eaters how to construct fruit and cheese danishes and bake buttery scones, while a French desserts class whispers the mysteries of the crème brulee and the éclair into ears hungry for pastry knowledge.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
The owners of Café 33 get their inspiration as well as many of their recipes from their mother, and chose to name they restaurant after the year she was born. For breakfast, guests can dig into biscuits and country gravy or homemade doughnuts, or just build their own omelets from a spread of fixings such as grilled chicken, mushrooms, and goat cheese. At lunch, chefs create homemade hummus and assemble signature paninis with smoked turkey and pepper-jack cheese. Orange or apple juice is available to cleanse palates, and frothy lattes and cappuccinos give diners the energy they need to spend another day repainting their collection of classic pogs.
White walls and a red-topped bar—this minimalist decor distinguishes Boga Taqueria's interior, but the restaurant's cuisine is anything but simple. The staff serves tapas South American–style, which means they’re shared. The kitchen staff may pack these plates with grilled pizza topped in panela cheese or the signature Boga ceviche: fish that chefs cook in citrus and serve alongside crispy chips. Solo dishes are also available—slow-cooked pork and tacos are stuffed like envelopes with everything from fish and steak to marinated credit card offers. Bartenders pour wine and other beverages to complement these South American meals.
Although it seems hard to imagine now, less than a third of the population had ever tasted a bagel in 1983. Back then, it was pegged as an ethnic food and unpopular outside of New York City. Thankfully, two Vermont residents by the names of Nord Brue and Mike Dressel realized that the rest of the nation needed, nay, deserved to experience the deliciousness of boiled and baked yeast with it's crusty exteriors and doughy innards. They knew it was finally time for America to put cream cheese on something other than cats.
So, after two and a half years of diligent baking research, they honed their formula to create Bruegger's Bagels, starting the craze that has become a breakfast staple for millions. Now with more than 300 Bruegger's across 26 states, the franchise beckons bagel fans to come enjoy the bevy of breakfast and lunch options at their casual cafes. In addition to baking up a parade of bagel varities that range from classic poppy to cheddar pesto, they make a slew of their own Vermont-churned cream cheeses, including bacon scallion and smoked salmon. A wealth of sandwiches, soups, and salads round out the menu, and Rainforest Alliance Certified hot and iced coffee drinks pack a caffeinated punch and a social conscience.
ZenTea’s menu begins simply enough, highlighting hot teas served by the cup or in pots for one, two, or three people. But regular sips quickly evolve into presentations more often seen at serious cafés or craft beer bars. Things start small with a mini tea tasting, which features a flight of three 9-ounce pots filled with your choice of brews. Servers also up the theatrics with their iced matcha lattes, which are blended from green-tea powder, organic milk, and agave sweetener before being chilled in a martini shaker. Owner Connie Miller has collected more than 100 teas from around the world, and introduces patrons to their distinctive nuances during tasting classes, afternoon high teas, and even casual stops at the café counter. There, guests can also order lighter food items such as quiche, salads, soup, baked goods, and seasoned air.
Considering that ZenTea’s century-old building once housed Chamblee’s town hall, it’s not surprising that the shop has become something of a community hangout: locals stop in to listen to live music, host showers and book clubs, and take zen-inspired classes in meditation, reiki, yoga, and even reflexology.