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Atlanta native returning for a visit, and more questions....

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I grew up in Atlanta, but haven't been there for years, and have some old faves that may not even be around anymore (or greatly changed), so I thought I'd ask you hounds before experiencing heartbreaking disappointment after driving all over town- it's all up to you! No pressure, of course ;-p

And please, I understand that some of these may not be particulary "chowish", I just want to know if anyone knows if they are as they were, say 15 years ago. It's a childhood memory thing.

The one place I've missed more than any other- The Colonnade on Cheshire Bridge. Meat-n--three to remember. Trust me on this- nobody even understands the meat-n-three concept in Colorado. I used to go with my Dad every Sunday, and it has a place in my heart. The wedge of lettuce before it was re-popularized by the steak house, the turnip greens simmered forever, ahhh, memories.

Jalisco for mexican at Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. We lived just down the street from this shopping center- what was that great bookstore called? I even worked as a teen at the Baskin & Robbins that was next door, and I just miss the place. It may have been my virginal mexican experience outside of taco bell. Since it was just across P'Tree, we went often.

My first cheesesteak was at the Mad Italian just south on Peachtree, but I'm pretty sure that's looong gone. They used to serve us alcohol underage when we were in high school. ;D

The Silver Skillet on 14th Street, down near Tech. The country ham and the red-eye gravy for breakfast (not the awful floury stuff I get everywhere else) has never been forgotten.

And what about the Pleasant Peasant? Down near what was Doctor's Memorial Hospital near the Fox theater, but those medical facilities are now part of Emory I think. South of North Avenue by a block. The first Peasant restaurant, and always my favorite. What about the Peasant in Phipps Plaza?

And please tell me that Manuel's Tavern is still there at North and Highland, with some member of the Maloof family still at the helm. Manuel's is the location of the first beer with Dad- he went to Tech, and it was his hangout back in the '50s.

And enough with the memories- where's the best Dim Sum now? We used to go up Buford Hwy. to some big place on the left, I believe it had a "title" in the name, like Empress or Princess- and that got me hooked on the stuff. But that was a long time ago- Where's the best now?

Thanks Y'all! (must remember to say "y'all" again)

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  1. Well, can't answer all the questions, but yes, Manuels is still there and as you remeber it - Manuel has died, but the vibe remains the same.

    Silver Skillet and Colonnade still remain and serve up some good southern fare.

    I think Jalisco is still there - Oxford Books has sadly closed - it used to be a late night stop for me after work - I always thought it was cool I could go at 11pm to a bookstore...

    1. For dim sum, try Oriental Pearl (5399 New Peachtree Rd Atlanta, GA 30341). The place is packed with natives on weekends. It's near Buford Highway.

      1. The Colannade only serves dinner now, but it is as good as ever. Mad Italian on Peachtree is gone, but there is still one on Savoy Dr. in Doraville.
        I am pretty sure the Pleasant Peasant is still around. I am sure Jalisco's is still around packed with Buckhead families, not my favorite, but I understand memories.
        Welcome home!
        Oh has it changed!

        1. I'm guessing you went to Lovett or Westminster. Remember the old Los Mariaches on Piedmont and Roswell. It's a Mexican place again and not too bad. Don't think Jalisco is still Jalisco, but it's still Mexican food. The Silver Skillet hasn't changed at all. Haven't thought about Mad Italian in years -- I could so go for a cheesesteak right now!

          11 Replies
          1. re: dinner belle

            I graduated from Northside High, which I think is also changed. My next-door neighbor was a Lovett guy. I confess to doing 1st through 4th at Westminster.

            Piedmont and Roswell meet about where Habersham comes in, right? I vaguely recall a mexican place in the area there.

            The Mad Italians soft bread, melted cheese and thin sliced meat. The serving of beer to underaged us. All morphs into a great memory.

            And Oxford Books! I couldn't remember the name- but yes! I remember being soooo jealous of a friend that had a job there. I thought that was the coolest place to work ever.

            I think I knew Manuel had died, then his brother (Robert?) took over, and he and Dad were pals and classmates from Tech, always got a big greeting, but I didn't know if a Maloof was still in house.

            Thanks everyone for the tips and memories. And I'll be hitting the dim sum place for sure.

            To anyone- keep them coming!

            1. re: cheesemonger

              Yeah, I served all 13 years at Westminster. If you haven't been to Atlanta in a while, you're in for a surprise. All of Buckhead (from what I understand -- I live in St. Simons now) is going to be razed and rebuilt. Sure miss the days of Aunt Charley's and Good Ol' Days. Someone told me the Steamhouse Lounge closed yesterday. Thank goodness Henri's isn't going anywhere!

              1. re: dinner belle

                Here's a blast then for you. My Dad had an interest in a bar/burger joint that was at the Peachtree and Roswell junction- there's a park there now, but it used to long ago be biz. If you drew a line between Aunt Charley's and the old Moviehall then concert hall, it faced the concert hall- starts with a "G"? I recall it was very narrow, and you climbed steps to get to the bar. He then owned an interest in Clarence Foster's, just south and across the street from Piedmont Hospital. Where Collier (?) road intersects.

                Remember Cloudt's? The "Gourmet" grocer near the Clarence Fosters?

                Henris is still there? What a great suggestion! I used to walk to ballet classes as a little girl (from Slaton Dr.) on Cains Hill Place. They had Dr. Brown's Sodas, which I loved. That was when Sears was still there.... I would cut through the "woods" between my house and Sears, cross W. Paces and proceed to ballet. Any parent would be hauled to CPS for letting their 8 year old child do such a thing now.

                Does anyone recall the Bistro at Andrews Square? That was my uncle's place. At Andrews and Cains Hill place. Time frame- 1988-1992ish.

                My brother worked at Good Ol Days in high school- the flowerpot bread! Another older musical brother occasionally played guitar there- way back when.

                This is fun- there are so many places that are springing to mind!

                Thanks Y'ALL! Keep them coming! My mind is still unadulterated by change!

                1. re: cheesemonger

                  Don't remember the burger joint, but if it's across from the old Cinema 'n' Drafthouse (now The Roxy), I know where you mean. I took gymnastics from Arden Zinn on Cains Hill Place.

                  And I do remember Cloudt's -- my best friend from jr high and high school lived around the corner. Then I pretty much lived at Clarence Fosters whenever we came home from Athens. I think it's a Chik Fil A now. The whole strip where the Beer Mug was is gone the way of the dodo.

                  What year did you graduate and where in Colorado do you live now?

                  1. re: dinner belle

                    I'm an 82 graduate. I've been in Boulder for the past 15 years, but I'm currently driving slowly across country. So far I've made it as far as Highlands, NC, where my brother has some property. I think I'm coming to Atlanta in a couple of weeks, when I'll be needing some ethnic foods, both prepared and grocery.

                    Funny you mention the Beer Mug- used to play pool there all the time. I also took gymnastics from Arden Zinn but in the location down off of Piedmont near 85.

                    Oh- is that little English Pub still on Cain's Hill Place?

                    1. re: cheesemonger

                      I graduated in 83. Love Boulder (especially Peppercorn!) -- was in Denver and Aspen for 5 years. Do you know Ross Kamens? He's the executive chef for Noodles & Co.

                      Anyhoo, as far as I know Churchill Arms is still around. County Cork across the street moved, but I don't know if they're still around.

                      You really should try Restaurant Eugene when you're in Atlanta. It's just south of Peachtree Battle shopping center in the building next to where Imperial Fez is (was?). Went to high school with the chef/owner (Linton Hopkins) and can't open a cooking magazine these days without reading something about him.

                      The Dekalb Farmers Market is still the bomb -- it's one of the things I miss most about Atlanta. A culinary hotbed St. Simons is not.

                      1. re: dinner belle

                        My brother, who lives in Dunwoody now, berated me into driving down yesterday. We went to Chris Hinton's wine bar up on Holcomb Br. Rd. with some friends of his, which was really fun. They have an interesting set up- where you pay with a card by the ounce for wines (automated), and they also have some bottles. We shared a nice Turley Zinfandel, the meat and cheese plate (Speck, Proscuitto, Fourme D'Ambert, Manchego and some kind of brie) and kept tasting wines long after palate fatigue set in. I kept sneaking to the counter and adding money to the card so I could try more wine. I was NOT driving, so I was free to indulge.

                        I drove down to Buckhead today- I don't think many of those roads have been paved in ages- and is it me, or do the lanes seem really narrow?

                        I saw the Fez- the site of my going away party in 92, Jalisco and Henri's. Picked up some cheeses at Savor (Ossau-Iraty and Piave Vecchio). Cute shop. I wanted to go into Jalisco, but I had my dog with me, and it was way too hot to consider leaving her in the car even with all the windows down.

                        Looking forward to coming back and being able to go into places!

                  2. re: cheesemonger

                    Does anyone know what happen to Sally and the Good Ol Days group? Did they open another chain? We spent many many nights there. Worked in Buckhead location for a while but really liked Sandy Springs. It was best when they had wooden fence you could sit on then they added the heaters and other distractions. Flower pot bread, potatoes wonderful, music it was very cool.

                    1. re: lincolnstern

                      there is one in Cumming way up 400
                      http://www.goodoldayscafe.com/home.asp
                      not sure if it is the same ownership

                      1. re: lincolnstern

                        I worked at Good Ol Days in Buckhead in the early 80's. Buckhead became "Buckhead Cafe" or something last time I was in Atlanta about 10 years ago or more. Sandy Springs location was still open but had a totally different vibe...mud wrestling and such! The Cumming place mentioned doesn't seem affiliated, different owners. Someone should put together an online reunion for former Good Ol' Days staff...there must be thousands of us! Sophie Register was the Mgr. in Buckhead when I was there. And the Indigo Girls used to play there regularly!

                2. re: dinner belle

                  >Piedmont and Roswell meet about where Habersham comes in, right? I vaguely recall a mexican place in the area there. <
                  EL PINTO!!!! They were fantastic. Authentic Mexican! Great food and the best cure for a hangover we ever found (and made use of frequently...ah the 80's). My sister and I still talk about how much we loved this family run restaurant. Man, what memories. Good Ol' Days Buckhead (where I worked), Aunt Charley's, Carlos McGee's, Henri's Bakery and their Po' Boys. Wow!

                3. Oh, the memories y'all are bringing back! I am a native too, and love the Colonnade. Pleasant Peasant is still in business. I've heard mixed reviews from my boss, whose family went there for a birthday meal a few months ago, but the other group of folks who just went told me it was great. I miss Oxford Books so much - sigh...

                  1. yeah this thread has definitely brought back some memories.
                    the Beer Mug was our usual spot for years

                    1. Haven't gotten down to Atlanta as much as I had wanted- TOO HOT- so I didn't get to hit my old haunts before I leave... but.

                      Havana Sandwich Shop (aka Havana Restaurant now). Damn, that is one fine sandwich. How do they do it? The bread so tender and crisp that you can bite through like it's nothing, but still manages to hold that pile of pork, ham and cheese together. I got a whole sandwich, meaning to take half to my sister in law, but being a little piggy I ate it. I had been forced to make my own in CO, and thought my results were pretty good, but after a visit, I see how inadequate my attempts were.

                      Damn, now I want another one.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cheesemonger

                        WHY did I have to read your post at lunchtime?! Now I'm gonna have to go in search of decent Cuban bread -- not likely on this little island. Harris Teeter, do me right!

                      2. On par with Havana Sandwich Shop - if not better - is Kool Korners on 14th street. Best Cuban in Atlanta, IMO. They crank them out everyday..and the space looks like a dumpy corner store. If you're in town, gotta check it out.

                        Jalisco is still Jalisco and still Mexican...I haven't been in years...but they still do a booming business for "gringo" Mexican food.

                        I spent a good bit of time this time last year at Crawford Long Hospital...and ate many meals at The Pleasant Peasant. Every time I enjoyed my meal. It wasn't fine dining or anything...but the food, wine, and service was always good and up to par.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: runningwithtweezers

                          runningwithtweezers (love the nane, by the way)..

                          I used to live on State Street and also on Atlantic Ave, many many years ago- Kool Korner is on 14th at Atlantic, right? Is that old guy still begrudgingly cranking out sammies?

                          I regret I didn't go that far down, but happy I got to relive the Havana. I wish, however, that I had gone to the Silver Skillet on 14th.

                          1. re: cheesemonger

                            hah...thanks :)

                            I am not sure of the cross street...but yes...right there on the corner of 14th and ____ is Kool Korners. Yes..its owned by the same old guy. There have been mumblings for years that he is going to quit or sell the place. Never happens. I would imagine he just makes too much money there. Eventually that land there will get bought and developed like everything on that part of town, now called the Westside district.

                            The Silver Skillet is classic diner/breakfast grub..but I can't eat there. I dont know why...but every time I go in the place..I imagine rats skating on butter pats on the griddle like in The Muppets Take Manhattan.

                            1. re: runningwithtweezers

                              i have never been a huge fan of the Silver Skillet either. too many other good bfast spots in that area to choose from

                              1. re: runningwithtweezers

                                We eat at the Silver Skillet about once a month so we can have a little nostalgia moment. It just seems like the places I used to eat at around Marietta, where I grew up, that are long gone. Mostly, we love the fancy shmancy breakfast places like Ria's (my fave), West Egg, Grandma Lukes, etc. - but it's cool that there's still an old southern place like the Silver Skillet around, especially since the Silver Grill on Monroe Dr closed. I needs my nostalgia.

                                1. re: reet

                                  'zactly reet- it's the nostalgia factor that draws me to the Silver Skillet. And I used to get the country ham, fried egg and grits and.... wait for it.... pile it all up together. Forgive me, I was a mere child...

                                  1. re: cheesemonger

                                    I was in Atlanta recently and thought that the
                                    Silver Skillet had closed. At least it looked like it when I drove by.