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Atlanta possibilities

As a Texan who may be relocating to the Atlanta area in the next few months, I'm hoping to learn a little bit about what to expect. First, I'm wondering if there is any chance of finding a decent Tex-Mex place. I understand there are good taquerias around, but what about Tex-Mex? Also, any thoughts on real-deal Vietnamese?

I'd also be open to recommendations for just about any type of food around Emory, other than chains.


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  1. not sure about real tex-mex but NAM in midtown should be a good bet for vietnamese.

    1. Nuevo Laredo would give you a tex-mex fill I believe.

      1. dont know much about tex mex. heard good things about the food at nuevo laredo -- but also heard the prices are a bit high for the quality...

        some easy and obvious choices:

        Veitnamese: da loi is widely considered one of the better pho houses in ATL -- and there are 2 - one [kinda] near the airport on jonesboro and one up buford hwy.

        Near Emory? -- many choices from decent to top notch, a good place to start your search is Decatur Square [discussed often here and on atlantacuisine.com]. on the other side of Emory a little gem called floataway cafe lurks down Zonolite road.

        1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the answer to your question is no.

          I'm from California, my wife is originally from Texas, and we moved to Atlanta last July. We have struck out every time we've gone looking for the kind of Mexican food we're accustomed to. Our theory is that perhaps the Mexican immigrants in Atlanta come from a different part of Mexico. Whatever the reason, prepare to be very disappointed.

          I think we've been to 8 or 9 places so far, and none of them have matched up to what I would expect at an average California or Texas Mexican restaurant. There's this weird kind of white cheese that a lot of places use, which tastes funky. Some places drench everything in tomato sauce. Some places don't give you free chips & salsa, and at the places where they do, the chips often have a weird, chalky aftertaste. And then there's plenty of places like Raging Burrito, where their idea of a "burrito" has pineapple, cajun seasoning, or thai peanut sauce.

          It's sad, but the most reliable Mexican food I've been able to find in Atlanta is at Chipotle.

          1 Reply
          1. re: designbot

            I could not DISAGREE with you more. My husband and I have just moved to Dallas and I think the Tex Mex here is LACKING! I loved Taqueria Del Sol, Nuevo Laredo and there are web pages dedicated to that white cheese. If I had the extra $$ I would consider opening a Willy's in DFW.

            I do agree with you on the Raging Buritto.

          2. I just remembered my favorite place Taqueria Los Hermanos in Tucker. It is very good! Please try it.
            Chipotle is not good.

            1. Hey, I said it was sad.

              1. If it's any consolation, there are an abundance of excellent and varied hamburgers at many bars in Atlanta. As far as I can tell, that's Atlanta's specialty (although I do miss In 'N Out).

                1. There are great bar burgers. There is southern cooking with good fried chicken at The Colonnade and Watershed and Matthews cafeteria in Tucker.
                  There is Buford hwy with every ethnic possibility.
                  Alpharetta has some new great restaurants.

                  1. Nuevo Laredo was about the best I found when I lived there, though there may be some places on Buford Highway worth a try, as someone suggested. Whenever I got a craving for Tex-Mex I'd always go to the lone TCs (Taco Cabana for the non-Texans), which is in Midtown. Incidentally, that 'weird white cheese' someone mentioned may be queso fresco, which is 'real Mexican' as opposed to Tex-Mex (both of which I enjoy equally).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kerdragon

                      I've had queso fresco at home before; it can be fresh and delicious. To put it in metaphorical form: The cheese I've had at places like El Azteca is to queso fresco as Velveeta is to sharp cheddar.

                    2. Ah Uncle Julio's Casa Grande, you will like this place for Tex-Mex.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Katj

                        Looking at the menu online, Uncle Julio's indeed looks like decent TexMex, though I'm glad to hear there is a TC is town. The Nuevo Laredo menu looked like NorteƱo food, which I love, but it's not the same thing.

                        chickstein, where were you before Dallas? I agree that Dallas isn't the best Tex-Mex city in the state, but it is at least in Texas. Chile con queso in Texas has been a yellow cheese experience for decades.

                        1. re: mr_drift

                          We hit Taco Cabana every once in a while. Used to be a late-night staple. Admittedly, the only thing my wife and I ever order is the green chicken enchilada platter. Kind of expensive for sorta fast food, but good nonetheless. Their thick, made-on-premise flour tortillas are awesome.

                          I've been to Pollo Norteno on Buford Hwy at Chamblee Tucker once and didn't think it was very good. Taqueria Los Hermanos is a relatively new family fave.

                          1. re: mr_drift

                            I agree, Nuevo Laredo doesn't really qualify as Tex-Mex. BTW, for the person from California, I was under the impression that the Raging Burrito-style chains were a trend that started in California.

                            1. re: kerdragon

                              They call it California-style, and it may have originated there, but I lived in California my whole life without ever seeing a place like that.

                            2. re: mr_drift

                              Atlanta. I lived there for 17 years.

                          2. I love Com off Buford Highway when I get a craving for Vietnamese...great salads and noodle dishes. The lamb la lot leaves are not to be missed.
                            Other favorites in the Emory area: Bhojanic (Indian), Moya (Ethiopian) , Benedetti's (Italian), Chocolatte (coffee)....all located at or near the Clairemont/ N. Decatur Rd. intersection. Everybody's Pizza in the Emory Village is fairly decent.