Since founding Riverside Pizza in Lawrenceville in 1999, Al and Sandy Thompson have expanded their pizzeria business to a total of nine locations across the Atlanta area. The Thompsons oversee each shop, ensuring that pizza chefs top the day's dough with homemade sauce and real cheese grated by real cows. Besides loading pizzas with everything from sausage and mushrooms to barbecue chicken, the Riverside crew assembles roast beef, club, and Italian–style sandwiches alongside caesar and greek salads.
With its fresh menu concept and daily house-made pastas and sauces, Mirko Pasta brings hearty fulfillment to stomachs haunted by a persistent sense of emptiness. Diners control their flavor fates via a choose-your-own-adventure menu that allows them to concoct customized pasta and sauce combinations. The ranks of ravioli come packed with tasty fillings, such as four Italian cheeses and the granny smith apples and sausage ($4.99), while the long pasta and short pasta scrumpitously set aside their superficial differences (both $3.99). With 11 sauces to choose from, including meaty bolognese, basil-pomodoro, and pesto, guests can douse their fusilli in whatever tomato batter strikes their fancy ($3.99). A full roster of wines and domestic and imported beers flood thirsty noodle-holes before desserts, including cannoli ($4.99), cap off the meal.
Barberitos assuages stubborn hunger pangs with a zesty mixture of fresh, made-to-order Southwestern fare. A popular option on the diverse menu, the Heavy D burrito tests tortilla strength with portions of rice, beans, meat, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and lettuce ($6.79). Because meals, like pacemakers, can be fun to put together oneself, Barberitos serves sizzling fajitas that moisten mouths with a platter of meat, three taco shells, and tasty toppings ready for assembly ($8.99–$9.99). On Fridays only, jerk fish tacos prove they're actually quite nice with a medley of grilled tilapia, cheese, guacamole, cilantro, and lime ($3.59). Meat dodgers can indulge in vegetarian options such as the vegetarian quesadilla, a grilled 10-inch tortilla filled with cheese and beans or a choice of vegetables ($5.39). Festive colors accent the cantina's interior, matching the zest of the culinary treats found within its lively confines.
The resident chefs at Azar's Mediterranean Cafe channel Greek, Lebanese, and Italian culinary traditions to craft a diverse menu of Mediterranean specialties. Prime chomping muscles with stuffed grape leaves ($2.25), which cradle rice and Mediterranean spices. Ground beef mingles with herbs and onions on the kafta platter ($9.95) and chicken shish taouk platters ($8.95) skewer garlic chicken, marinated to achieve perfect tenderness. Falafel platters ($9.95) anoint palates with meatless offerings of flash-fried chickpea spheres and grape leaves. Diners can wash down savory flavors or accidentally ingested plates with a variety of refreshing beverages, including mint iced tea and Lebanese coffee.
Named for the historical hacienda in Mexico once owned by Don Miguel Hidalgo—the father of Mexican independence—and known for its artisanal tequila, Corralejo Mexican Flair proffers south-of-the-border eats and tequila-based libations. Chefs in the kitchens of all three locations whip up traditional dishes, hand-mashing fresh avocados for batches of rich guacamole and flash-frying sun-dried-tomato tortillas to serve as a base for chimichangas. Having perfected the science of mixology during rigorous training sessions, Corralejo’s expert bartenders sling tequila-based beverages down the bar along trajectories they've carefully diagrammed on cocktail napkins.