Atlanta in August
My husband, 11-year old daughter, and I will be in Atlanta for a few days in August, one day of which is my birthday. I have been doing some research on restaurants that won't break the bank, and I'd appreciate some feedback. What can you tell me about Oba Brazilian Grill? I have read some really favorable reviews, and I have always wanted to try this type of restaurant. I've also seen some good things about Savage Pizza. Also, any really good Mexican or seafood places worth trying? Thanks for your input. (FYI, our daughter will try just about anything AND likes just about anything, so kiddie menus are out for her. She's pretty adventurous.)
If you are near The Virginia Highlands (worth the drive if you're not... funky shops, and for a bit more of a walk, gorgeous houses...) I would have to suggest Pozole for Mexican- absolutely killer... My boyfriend's mother lives within walking distance from that restaurant- we're in North Carolina- and although I love his mom, I get SO excited to get to eat there! Their margaritas are the best I've ever had- they make their own sour mix! I have loved everything I've eaten there... make sure you get the habenaro salsa when choosing your three salsas and I know it's a family trip, but order at least one margarita and share it with your hubby! The traditional is great, but the raspberry put me over the edge- they actually use chambord! Prices are very reasonable and atmosphere is very cute. Here's the website- although honestly, the website makes it seem a little cheezy, it's not at all... go to the 'press' tab for a few pics of the place. www.pozolerestaurant.com Don't be fooled by the picture of the bar- if you go by 9 or so, it won't seem like a bar at all... there's a large dining area. Enjoy Atlanta!!!
A much more affordable churrascaria, and just as good, according to a friend who was raised in Brazil is Carro de Boi in north Sandy Springs on Roswell Road. Another Brazilian buffet (although not a churrascaria) is Porto Brasil, also in north Sandy Springs on Roswell Road. Porto Brasil is $8.95 for Sunday lunch - quite a bargain. Excellent food.
i've lived within an hour of atlanta my entire life...so here goes. ;)
fogo de chao is a great brazilian grill. however, it's at least $50 per person. but worth it.
mexican: cheap but very good mexican is in east atlanta village, called Holy Taco (1314 Glenwood Ave SE)
more upscale mexican: No Mas, in Castleberry Hill (just south of downtown. I LOVE the atmosphere and the food).
pizza: I recommend Savage. Excellent choice. :) Also Fellini's is good. And Piebar.
other really good restaurants that use local, organic ingredients (but aren't all that cheap~usually 15 to 25 bucks for an entree): Bacchanalia, The Shed at Glenwood, and The Feed Store (it's down in College Park, close to the airport). The fries at the Shed are heavenly, and the calamari and fried roast at the Feed Store are too. (I know, fried roast sounds disgusting, but oh my lord it was sooooooo good).
Down and Dirty: (Cheap but really good places)
I really love Silver Skillet (on 14th street just west of the connector). I like it better than Flying Biscuit, but they are both tasty. If you can get out to Decatur, Pastries a Go Go has the best breakfast potatoes I've ever had--usually don't like them cause they're dry but here I always want more!
Bar B Q: Fox Brothers, on Dekalb Avenue. Get the Lopez appetizer (it's better than the Tomminator) and you will think you've died and gone to heaven. If you like tater tots and brisket and loads of cheese, that is. If you prefer ribs and blues, Fat Matt's is decent, but if you just like ribs, Daddy D's is EXCELLENT. (Note: Daddy D's isn't in the BEST section of town, so just be aware. But lots of people go there so just don't stray too far).
Also, you should not miss the opportunity to eat the best burger in the country at Ann's Snack Bar on Memorial. Seriously. It is awesome. But you should get there around 10:45 or 11 am, and be very polite. And DO NOT go inside until Ann tells you to.
Italian: Alfredo's is hands-down the best fettucine I have ever, EVER tasted. Get the portofino sauce (I always get fettucine portofino); it's creamer and better than the plain alfredo sauce. And get Rudy as your waiter--he's great.
Ok. I'm done. Thanks for listening, and I hope I helped out a little!
Oh! I forgot Stella Trattoria. Also on Memorial. And uses local organic ingredients and isn't as expensive as some of the other local ingredient places.
And The Old Spaghetti Factory on Ponce is GREAT for kids. It has a boxcar inside that you can sit in, really good pasta and bread, and it's only about $11 and it includes salad with excellent house dressing and spumoni (sp?) after dinner. :)
Oba is awful and over priced. I haven't been to Fogo de Chao, personally, but I hear it's worth it. My non-foodie sister has been and she still talks about it. I reviewed Oba! on my blog back in April.
If you'll be in the Roswell/ Alpharetta area, I recommend either Ceviche or PURE for Mexican.
I have reviews of several area restaurants in my blog, if you're interested.
Assume Oba is a churrascaria. If you're into that kind of thing, Fogo de Chao is the standard bearer. Drove past last night, and you couldn't tell the economy was in the dogpile from the parking lot there and at Kyma. There was about a 1/4-mile cloud of meat-smoke haze around it too.
I haven't been to Savage in a long time. Their chicken florentine pie used to be my favorite pizza, hands down. Still dig the comic-book theme, and your kid may get a thrill out of the neighborhood, Little Five Points (L5P). Criminal Records, one of the few surviving (and thriving) independent music stores is right there. And Junkman's Daughter, which is like an overgrown Spencer's (nick nacks, costumes, water pipes).
For seafood, Six Feet Under is the inexpensive-and-casual version. They have locations across from Oakland Cemetary and near Georgia Tech. The former is still in Atlanta, not far enough E to be in Decatur; scuttlebutt is that it's relocating or something in the next few months.
It's kind of a big corporate chain experience, but Rosa Mexicano is pretty good. And Atlantic Station is kinda neat to see- Ikea is right down the road if that interests you. Taqueria Los Hermanos in Tucker is really good too.
And it isn't really Mexican, but Taqueria del Sol does a good job with tacos, enchiladas, etc. Just FWIW, it's a very polarizing place- of my group of friends, they're about evenly split between "love it" and "absolutely will never set foot in there again." They have pretty strict rules to keep things moving, and they can be inhospitable to little kids. That's mostly the Howell Mill location. We go about once a week (Chowpup eats their guacamole w/ a spoon). That's despite the occasional run-in over the years. It took me years to realize that, on one of my first visits to the Decatur location after it opened, the guy who I thought was trying to start a fist fight with me for walking in the 'wrong' door was the chef/owner.
Was just in Atlanta a week ago and locals we talked to at a bar in Ducatur kept raving about Six Feet Under (across from Oakland Cemetery) for fish. Said it was the best place going but we didn't have time to check it out ourselves.
Another place you may want to look into is Ecco, a tapas kind of place with great food and a wonderful atmosphere, I think a family that like good food would really like it because the small plates format gives you a chance to share and try a lot of different items.
If you're in midtown try Steel.West Peachtree St and Peachtree Place one block north of Eight St. It's new and has Asian food and a real beautiful sushi bar which might be fun for your daughter. She can sit with the chef, who is a Sushi Master, watch him make sushi and he might also give a lesson if you ask. They have bento boxes for lunch for $15. Very good: try the Vietnamese Shaken Beef. www.steelatlanta.com.