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Jan 31, 2014 09:03 PM

Perimeter Center / Dunwoody

Hello Everyone,

I'll be in town for business Monday Night (Feb 3rd) arriving at about 8pm at ATL and leaving on Thursday right after my meeting ends at 5pm.

I'm staying at the Marriot in Perimeter Center.

I have all day meetings, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with breakfast and lunch at the hotel, so it looks like I have two nights to work with.

Walking Distance or a Reasonable public transportation ride preferred, however, I could possibly rent a car for one of the nights.

I'd prefer the hometown sort of vibe, like the diners drive in's and dives sort of places, but if there is something that is absolutely not to be missed, I would definitely consider it.

So far on my ideas:

Gladys Knight and Ron Winan's Chicken and Waffles
Vortex Bar and Grill
The Varsity

I based these ideas on Man vs Food, although I know that these might not always be the best.

Could you please point me in the right direction?

Thank You

PS: I also noticed there is what seems like a fair amount of Greek gyro competition going on. Being from Jersey where there's a Greek owned diner every few miles, is this something to consider?

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  1. I'm far from an expert on Atlanta, but I know a little, and since responses on this board this can sometimes be sparse, I'll jump in. The only reasonable public transportation option is the MARTA light rail, so the first thing you need to do is see how far from your hotel the nearest station is. There is a Perimeter Center station, so hopefully it's close, or your hotel may have a shuttle.

    As far as good eats within walking distance, I don't know, but again, hopefully someone will chime in. Previous posts have indicated there is little that is good in that immediate area.

    I love the Varsity, but I don't think it's a dinner destination spot, frankly. I have never been to the Vortex, but it is popular, and is about a 5 block walk from a MARTA station.

    You might want to read through the board for existing threads on Buckhead and Midtown, as those areas have a high concentration of restaurants and are accessible via MARTA.

    Some places I really like are Empire State South, Buckhead Diner (not a diner) and Ecco, but they are more "fine dining" than you may be looking for.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful!

    3 Replies
    1. re: carolinadawg

      Transportation's going to be the main challenge. It looks like the Marriott is near the MARTA station, but then you have to go places that have good eats in a reasonable walking distance. Buckhead somewhat, Midtown definitely, Decatur definitely.

      If you want a top-dollar steak, McKendricks is probably the place in the Perimeter area. Chequers right by the MARTA station is less pricey but very good and does good seafood. I haven't been to Joey D's in a long time, but it used to be good also.

      As for the diners and dives, I'm a bit stumped. Most of the true ones, Varsity excepted, aren't close to transit. I'm not a big Varsity fan- not what I grew up with and I generally go elsewhere when I want a calorie-bomb fix.

      We have lots of good, newer places doing pub/burger/BBQ/hipster food that are really good. Thinking Heirloom Market BBQ, Fox Bros, Brick Store, The Porter Beer Bar, Victory Sandwich Bar, or Farm Burger, to name a few.

      Good luck and please report back on what you did/thought.

      1. re: ted

        agree with Ted--- Firebirds is the closest dive that has decent bar food and excelllent bugersFRom the Marriott id say a 20 minute walk.Goldfish in the Mall is very good also

        1. re: bobstripower

          Hey Everyone,

          Thanks for your help. My travel plans got messed up with flight cancellations and delays, so I only ended up having one night to go out for dinner. There were also no rental cars available from the hotel, so I took the MARTA. I decided to go to the varsity because I had to check it off the list, ie: (When I see it on the tv, I can say I've been there).

          Having talked to you guys, I wasn't expecting much. Please don't take this the wrong way, but it was pretty horrible.

          I'm glad I went there because now I can say I did, but I don't have to go back :-D.

          We caught a buzz at a bar by the Theater, and headed back to continue drinking at the hotel bar with customers.

          The next day, I had to leave ASAP to catch a flight to Miami.

          I have to complement you guys on your airport. It's so organized, and calm, and beautiful. It's like a high end shopping mall. Nobody is trying to run you over or steal your stuff like I'm used to up here.

          Anyways.. I ended up getting a Burger and Fries from checkers in ATL, and that was amazing. Just about all the checkers up here closed up a few years ago, and they just weren't all that good. Quality control issue? Maybe..

          If I'm traveling to ATL again, I'll probably rent the car in advance.

          Thanks for your help.

    2. The Dunwoody Marta station is a quarter mile walk from your hotel. Buckhead will have higher end restaurants; From the Midtown station you can walk to Empire State South the Spence, and The Lawrence, I think all are good choices. If you're wiling to take Marta a bit further, the Decatur station puts you in an area with lots of choices - I like Farm Burger, 246 (Italian), Twains (brewpub), Leon's full service, Taqueria del Sol (mexican), Colbeh (Persian), Iberian Pig (Spanish)

      1. vortex is a smoke allowed deal--brgers are OK,but i cant stand smell of smoke.I love the varisty,but it more of a very casual fast food spot-Great chili cheese dogs,Its more of a lunch place--have car hops too.

        I live near Perimeter and the best steak place youll vere go to is at McKendricks--Tooka friend of mine,a fellow NYer who owns the COPA there a afew wesks ago, and he said best rib eye hes ever had.Also have lobster potatoes,au gratin, great lamb chops if you go ask for Taco as your waiter,tell him Bob sent you.Gold fish is also nearby, very varied menu. LaGrotta is in the Crown Plaza too,very good Italian--alll walkable. For hamburgers Flemings is very good, and Firebirds ,close but maybe 15 minute walk. If you gte car or want to cab it Gu's Bistro is the best Chinese in town.Its Szechuan,and very good.Maybe a 10 miniute cab ride on Buford Highway.Claosed on Mons Have fun

        2 Replies
        1. re: bobstripower

          I'm sure McKendricks is great, but since the OP asked for "diners, drive-in and dives type places" I'm not sure a $40 a la carte steak is what he is looking for. I may be wrong, obviously.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            Thanks for the replies everyone.

            Work is picking up the tab for food and drink, so a $40 steak would probably be doable, its just my preference to go to the small greasy spoon kind of places.. direct contrast to what chow-hound is about :-P.

            I got "permission" from the wife to rent a car (which I would have to cover, but some coworkers might want to split).. so its really not a big deal anymore as far as the transportation.

            These types of meetings are tough sometimes since groups of customers or higher up's sometimes invite to a specific place, and its hard to nail down a specifics time or day, say like a reservation.

            But I do appreciate your recommendations!

        2. if you read the whole post youd see this comment

          "but if there is something that is absolutely not to be missed, I would definitely consider it."

          McKendricks fits that bill. Flemings and Firdbirds are priced pretty fair for a burger

          1 Reply
          1. re: bobstripower

            No steak fits the in the "can't miss" category for me, sorry.

          2. Next time you come to Atlanta and stay near Perimeter, go to Matthew's Cafeteria in Tucker which is pretty close by and was on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. If you are actually staying in Atlanta, Marietta Diner in Marietta (west of ATL on 75) was also on DDD.
            If you want incredible food one small plate at a time, go to the Iberian Pig in Decatur and stick to the tapas menu. I also recommend the salad with Marcona almonds and pickled cherries. To Die For.
            I, personally, would not recommend that my worst enemy eat at the Varsity except to get a Frosted Orange. But I don't like greasy food. The only time I ate at the Varsity, the grease from the O rings dripped from the bag onto my shoe. yikes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slp007

              Marietta is as close, or closer, to Dunwoody as Tucker.