Upon walking into Prince Hookah Lounge, patrons are enveloped in hues of crimson that set off a sinuous forest of hookah pipes. Merlot-hued curtains draped across the ceiling and walls filter light from hanging globe lambs, casting shifting light across the lounge and through veils of scented smoke. Once visitors settle onto long benches or cushioned banquettes, they pop open BYOB beers or wine and pass around a hookah pipe's mouthpiece. The cool smoke from flavored tobacco rises past mounted TV screens, and hands snag bites from shareable plates of hummus or potatoes sautéed with roasted chili and lemon. In the kitchen, tzatziki sauce brims with cool yogurt and cucumbers near grape leaves stuffed with extra-virgin olive oil, mint, rice, and tomatoes like the backpack of a child who is not prepared for first grade.
Twisted Taco is a cookery cantina that honors the scintillating flavors of the Mexico-Texas border in a family-friendly atmosphere complete with a jumbo HD projector and a game room stocked with arcade games to gnaw on postdinner. Diners can dine on the breezy outdoor patio, or take things inside to comfortably sip house margaritas while appetites percolate over Twisted Taco's menu.
Bar favorites, burgers, and finger-friendly grub pepper the chilly Coldbrew's menu. Start with an order of chips and salsa ($2.95), mozzarella sticks ($5.95), or shrimp-scampi skewers ($6.95). Smaller selections such as the rib basket ($8.95) and the bite-size corn dogs served with mustard dipping sauce ($6.95) appease quieter appetites. Aside from fried fare, Coldbrew's also offers a variety of homemade soups and fresh salads. Try the grilled-chicken salad bedded atop mixed greens and tossed with tomatoes, cheese, and croutons ($7.95) or the glazed salmon ($9.95) with citrus-honey glaze, mixed greens, tomatoes, and sweet carrots. The exhaustive burger, sandwich, and wrap selection covers all bun bases, with everything from a low-calorie black-bean burger ($6.95) to a spicy buffalo wrap with blue-cheese dressing for dipping ($7.95).
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 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.
T J's owner and former Atlanta Flames hockey player Tim Ecclestone founded his restaurant on the fact that, for decades, sports fans have gathered to enjoy big games over burgers, hot wings, and beer. He spent one of those decades helming Timothy John's, a Sandy Springs party spot, and has dedicated two more to running his current show?T J's Sports Bar & Grill. There, a kitchen works overtime on game nights to sling a menu of char-grilled burgers, piled-high sandwiches, and pizzas to throw at the mob of 60-odd televisions when the ref makes a bad call. Behind the bar, bartenders kick open the kegs and pour tall glasses of Miller Lite, Budweiser, Coors, and Michelob Ultra, all represented by bright neon signs mounted on the eatery's walls.