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Oct 15, 2012 09:42 AM

Downtown Decatur - help me out hounds!

I will be staying in Decatur for one Saturday evening in a few weeks and I'm looking for some good watering holes, gastropub-type restaurants and maybe some live music.

Some places I've put on my list are Leon's Full Service, Iberian Pig, Brick Store, #246, etc.

Here's the deal - I'll be traveling with a friend who isn't much of a food-lover. She's a pub grub kind of gal and domestic beer drinker (that sounds so condescending but it isn't intended that way). I am pretty much the exact opposite of that. I love small plates of charcuterie, offal, house-made pastas, locally-sourced fare, artisan cocktails, good wine, etc. I know that's a stretch to find something that would meet both our needs but surely it's not impossible, right? Extra points for a lively bar and/or atmosphere in general . She loves good burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. and would be happy with any of those options.

After dinner we'd like to hang out at a pub with live music or pool tables or something fun.

Any recs are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Your initial list is a good one.
    You should also consider Farm Burger, Cakes and Ale, Eddie's Attiic (for live music), and Twain's (for pool tables).
    Maybe you should split up for your meal, and then meet up for beer and pool (just kidding).

    3 Replies
      1. re: bobstripower


        I didn't get everywhere I hoped to visit. One night was simply not enough time. We made it to Leon's around 8:30pm and had a couple of small plates and drinks. I ordered the roasted bone marrow w/ green olives, parsley and orange. I'm a huge bone marrow fan. It wasn't my favorite preparation (I would have liked a little more sweetness, like a marmalade in place of the tapenade) but it was good. We also got the ham & gruyere smorgas w/ cherry jam and pineapple. They were tasty and a good match w/ our beer and gold club cocktail. The atmosphere was fun, lively and lots of friendly folks and staff. I would have expected a more extensive crafted cocktail menu - given that impressive bar and all the lovely high end artisanal liquors.

        After Leon's, we headed over to Eddie's Attic and had planned on checking out the 10pm show. The opening act was a singer/songwriter dude who was so unbelievably depressing that we stayed for one drink & 3 songs and then hit the bricks.

        We then headed over to The Brick Store and were fortunate enough to score to seats at the bar. Great atmosphere and an impressive beer menu. We ordered some interesting brews and the bartender rec'd the fish & chips for me and my friend had the primavera pierogies. Great fish & chips. Again, great atmosphere and lots of friendly people.

        We walked over to Twain's and were unimpressed with the atmosphere and were feeling kind of tired so we decided to call it a night. Decatur is an absolutely lovely town and I walked by Iberian Pig and Cakes & Ale and wanted so badly to go in but sadly didn't have the time. We also never made it to the farmers market or Pinewood Tippling Room but all are on my short list for next time.

        Many thanks again for all the advice. I can't wait to return to Decatur. :)

      2. re: rcburli

        Hahaha!!! I know, right? Maybe I can get a couple of beers in her and then get her to eat some sweetbreads or foie gras or something. ;-)

        Looks like y'all have some amazing little restaurants in Decatur. How have you kept this so quiet?! Of all the menus and websites I have visited, there isn't one that looked uninteresting.

        I put your recs on my list. I'm going to have to map this out and narrow it down. Thanks so much for the recs!

        bobstripower, I've got Universal Joint on there too. Thanks!

      3. DH and I really love Brickstore... he loves the beer and pub food, I love the wine (they have a good selection by the glass) and some of the more interesting food. I'm dying to try some of the other places, but we only get to Decatur about once a year.

        1 Reply
        1. re: onrushpam

          Wow, they do have an interesting wines-by-the-glass selection. Very diverse and some off-the-beaten-path bottlings. Nice!

        2. Split the difference: go to Iberian Pig first, you can have charcuterie and cocktails, and your friend can have a beer and an appetizer. Then walk across the way to the Brick Store, where she can have pub grub and you can have wine.

          1. DeeCee, good advice, thanks!

            Just curious, is there anything in Decatur that is unique to the area or a "must try" for breakfast, lunch or dinner that you would suggest? I love to explore regional foods.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lynnlato

              If you cook at all, you should make a pilgrimmage to the DeKalb Farmer's Market. Other than that, I don't know that there's anything especially regional to try.

              I'd just go to Leon's for dinner with your compadre. They'll have some sort of lighter beer (but no macros) for them to try. Much as I love the Brick Store, it seems perpetually jammed whenever I get free to go there. Can't blame the guys for their success.

              1. re: lynnlato

                Try the Cakes and Ale bakery for breakfast and/or lunch.

                1. re: lynnlato

                  Sun in my Belly for breakfast! Fantastic cheese grits - the kind your friends reach across the table to steal off your plate, leading to fork battles.

                2. leon's & brick store will both be great spots to meet both your sets of criteria. iberian pig is not to be missed... it is a foodie, pork-centric establishment, but it's one of the best meals you will find in the atlanta area. even if you have to drag your friend kicking & screaming.. you should. add the pinewood tippling room to your list for either brunch or night-cap dessert. both leon's and the pinewood have some of the best craft cocktails in the city.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: colouringbook

                    Damn you colouringbook for suggesting Pinewood Tippling Room! I think brunch there is in order. My God, I have been reading about shrubs online (including on CH) but have never seen one on a cocktail menu. I checked out PTR's menu and low and behold - a peach, ginger & rosemary shrub w/ bubbly. SOLD!

                    It's been really hard to narrow it down. I am a diehard food explorer and y'all have a lot of interesting places to choose from. I'm so torn! I need to stop obsessing and just go with the flow.


                    I think I have my plan, for this Saturday - Leon's & Brick Store (maybe) and then Twain's. Pinewood on Sunday for a little hair-of-the-dawg-that-bit-ya. (p.s. I desperately want to go to Iberian Pig but I don't want to torture my travel buddy)

                    THANKS Y'ALL!!! I'll report back!

                    P.S. @ted, I really would LOVE to get to the DeKalb Farmers Market. I just visited their website and am confused - are they open daily? If so, I am SO going there. Thanks!

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      The Dekalb Farmer's Market is worth the visit and open 9 am-9 pm M-Sun. The Market gets really crowded on weekends and would suggest going early and grabbing a pastry and coffee to wander around with then enjoy a larger, relaxing meal after. They do have an excellent selection of so many things you wont be disappointed. If you decide to go Sunday morning remember the beer and wine selection will not be available until after 12:30.