City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Best dish of 2011

Matt Hinton of Bell Street Burritos, the man who created your pick for best dish of 2011. Hinton, shown here at his stall at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in August, has now expanded, with a new location on the Westside. Photo: Bita Honarvar,

Matt Hinton of Bell Street Burritos, the man who created your pick for best dish of 2011. Hinton, shown here at his stall at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in August, has now expanded, with a new location on the Westside. Photo: Bita Honarvar,

1. Green chile burritos at Bell Street Burritos
You say “A pork and green chili burrito from Bell St. burritos is about as good as eating gets” and “Chicken/green chile/potato burrito from Bell Street Burritos. With lots of green salsa. YUM.”

2. San Gennaro pizza at Antico Pizza Napoletana
3. Ribeye at Hal’s
4. Smoked wings at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
5. (tie) Sticky toffee pudding at 4th & Swift
5. (tie) Pulled pork sandwich at Heirloom Market BBQ

Ajiaco from Lilburn's Las Arepas de Julia is among our best dishes of 2011. Photo: Gene Lee

Ajiaco from Lilburn's Las Arepas de Julia is among our best dishes of 2011. Photo: Gene Lee

Ajiaco at Las Arepas de Julia
The AJC dining team’s specialist in International Cuisine Gene Lee says, “My favorite dish in 2011 is Colombian ajiaco, a chicken potato soup made (with love) at Lilburn’s Las Arepas de Julia. Ajiaco contains shredded chicken, corn (on the cob), a few types of potatoes and guascas herb floating about.”

Gluten-free boule at Pure Knead Bakery
The AJC dining team’s specialist in Southern and Neighborhood Fare Jenny Turknett says, “My favorite dish of 2011 is the gluten-free boule ($6) at Pure Knead Bakery, which specializes in allergy-friendly fare. What I love about the boule here is the surprisingly elastic real-bread-like texture, lacking the gumminess traditionally associated with gluten-free products. This is the first GF bread I’ve tasted that I wouldn’t immediately identify as an “alternative.” The bakery hand-blends flours including millet, brown-rice flour, sorghum and tapioca, enabling them to achieve a lighter and less dense product than most other wheat-flour substitutes.”


Burrata at Cakes & Ale. Photo: Becky Stein / Special

Burrata at Cakes & Ale
Chief Dining Critic John Kessler says, “Vermont burrata — that cream-filled bundle of tender mozzarella — come with a pale green herbed walnut salsa and a chiffonade of curly kale in zippy cranberry vinaigrette. Hot, buttered toasts come on the side, encouraging you to build piles of head-exploding yum. Serious awesomeness here.”

Huevo con Trufa at The Iberian Pig
The AJC dining team’s Popular Eats specialist Jon Watson says, “Though their tapas menu is meant for sharing, I knew that we should order a second round of the Huevo con Trufa after my first bite, as I had to have one all to myself. Be sure to cut through the poached egg before digging in, mixing the yolk in with the tender braised pork cheek and shaved black truffles. Served with a few slices of grilled rustic bread, this small plate will get you out of the sharing mood in a hurry.”

Pappardelle carbonara at No. 246 in Decatur. Photo: Becky Stein / Special

Pappardelle carbonara at No. 246. Photo: Becky Stein / Special

Pappardelle carbonara at No. 246
Keeper of Best of the Big A Shane Harrison says, “A big bowl of comfort becomes an artful masterpiece at Decatur’s No. 246. This combination of silky ribbons of pasta and chunks of crispy bacon is showered with parmesan and fresh herbs and topped with a deep-fried, golden brown egg. It’s a thing of beauty and a joy you’ll wish lasted much longer.”

129 comments Add your comment


December 12th, 2011
2:11 pm

The best food I have had this year is at Heirloom BBQ near the Cumberland area. My favorite dish there is the Korean BBQ Pork sandwich with a side of Tempura Sweet Potatoes. Incredible!


December 12th, 2011
2:22 pm

My favorite food item this year is Chicken Fingers at O’Charleys. They really are the best in town. I have tried BBq, Honey Mustard and Ranch and haven’t found a better meal in the Towne Lake area or Atlanta in General.


December 12th, 2011
2:28 pm

My favorite dish this year is the Fried Chicken at Greenwood’s in Roswell. They have excellent sides and their pies are to die for. Last time I checked they are cash only so be aware of that.

YellaJacket, you need to broaded your horizons more if you think O’Charley’s Chicken Fingers are the best meal in town! Pathe-TECH! 31-17 Dawgs


December 12th, 2011
2:40 pm

San Gennaro Pizza at Antico Pizza

salciccia, sweet red pepper, bufala, & cipoline. Dag-gum it’s awesome!!


Empire State South

Smoked Duck Breast


December 12th, 2011
4:07 pm

yellowtail, truffle soy, salt at MF Sushibar


December 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

The “monster” from Yumbii!

Tech Guy

December 12th, 2011
4:47 pm

Chili Cheese Slaw Dog from the V or the McRib.


December 12th, 2011
4:58 pm

Cajun chicken egg rolls from The Pickle truck. Yum!


December 12th, 2011
5:14 pm

It was the crab fritter at Bacchanalia, but they’ve changed it and it isn’t quite as good as it once was. I will also go with with San Gennaro Pizza at Antico Pizza – the pizza is flat out amazing. One other the fried okra at Miller Union – pure awesomeness.


December 12th, 2011
5:24 pm

San Gennaaro is a good pick. Also, while no means “fine dining”, a pork and green chili burrito from Bell St. burritos is about as good as eating gets. Finally, the kadhai chicken (along with everything else) from Zyka is fantastic.

Doc Hollidawg

December 12th, 2011
5:31 pm

Porchetta at Local 3 is high on my list. Also had the 3 Little Pigs, but mine didn’t look like the picture. It was better.

Mary Mallory

December 12th, 2011
6:44 pm

The “Kleftico” at BLU Greek Taverna SLow-baked lamb shank.

Paul Johnson

December 12th, 2011
6:56 pm

Any big fattening burger from The Vortex! I also like a good fish fry every now & then.

Ron Smith

December 12th, 2011
7:04 pm

My vote goes to the illustrious truffles at Quinones. Yes, a meal there costs around $125-150 a head but the food is righteous and the service is glorious. I mainly eat Meuslix for lunch when I know I am going to Quinones, it is worth saving yourself for. Definitely right up there with big brother Bacchanalia!

Jim White

December 12th, 2011
7:13 pm

Beef Carpaccio at Brio Tuscan Grille will flat out make a tadpole slap a whale!

if L’Il Jon ever eats there I would expect him to immediately write a song about it that would hit the TOP of the pop charts!

Roll Tide Roll!

December 12th, 2011
7:16 pm

My favorite is definitely the Big John Pork Sandwich with sides of stew & cole slaw from Dreamland, but I am biased since I grew up in Tuscaloosa! We killed Auburn this year as they are a different team without $cam Newton. RTR! Beat LSU!!!

Mary B

December 12th, 2011
7:50 pm

Ribeye from Hal’s….mouthwatering

Chrissy S

December 12th, 2011
8:43 pm

Fried Chicken and Mac N Cheese from JCT Kitchen. Outstanding every time!


December 12th, 2011
9:30 pm

NY Prime. Best steak I’ve ever had. And most expensive.

Sprezzatura B. Madagucci III

December 12th, 2011
10:19 pm

Having worked with Ford Fry and Jay Swift I would have to agree with Chrissy and Doc on their selections, these two gentleman deserve accolades for their Southern Cuisine, sadly I’m residing in St. Thomas and no longer get to taste their creations. On the upnote Kevin Rathburn did visit last year for the taste of St. Croix ( was fortunate to work under him as well)

Best Food

December 12th, 2011
10:52 pm

Falafels and Gyros at Gyro Gyro in dunwoody, ga.


December 12th, 2011
11:13 pm

Farm egg baked in celery cream with rustic bread from Miller Union

Southern Man

December 12th, 2011
11:29 pm

Duck meatloaf @ Local Three is divine!!


December 12th, 2011
11:36 pm

Koo’s Canoli Pasta and mini fish filet. Gave me the hot canolis but I loved it.


December 12th, 2011
11:41 pm

I have to second the Ribeye at Hal’s. I know, a great steak isn’t an Earth-shattering innovation, but the dinner at Hal’s was the one truly exemplary meal I had this year. We haven’t been able get out as much in this economy and sometimes you just need a great steak.

B. Thenet

December 12th, 2011
11:41 pm

The best thing I ate all year was smoked pork ramen served with boiled peanuts at La Pietra Cucina,


December 12th, 2011
11:54 pm

I like the Cafe Sababa lambburger. Their falafel kicks butt, too.

Too Many to Choose

December 12th, 2011
11:55 pm

Best Apps:

1. Risotto with aged balsamic and carmelized onions at Sotto Sotto
2. Duck spring rolls at Serpas
3. Maple bacon popcorn at Local Three
4. Bacon wrapped dates at Iberian Pig

Best Entrees:

1. Cobe beef short rib at Floataway Cafe
2. Venison Tenderloin at 4th & Swift
3. Burger with pancetta and cheddar gratin at One Midtown Kitchen

Best Dessert:

1. Sticky Toffee Pudding at 4th & Swift
2. Gateau Victoire at Floataway Cafe

Best Casual/Cheap Eats:

1. San Genarro Pizza at Antico Pizza
2. Smoked wings at Fox Bros. BBQ
3. Pulled chicken sandwich at Heirloom Market BBQ
4. Mole chicken enchiladas at Nuevo Laredo Cantina

If I have to pick one, it was the kobe beef short rib at Floataway…or the San Genarro at Antico…


December 13th, 2011
1:04 am

The Sicilian Pie with extra cheese at Italian Pie on 29 in Lilburn in front of the closed down Publix at Bethesda Road!


December 13th, 2011
1:05 am

I second Mary’s motion “Kleftico” at BLU Greek Taverna! bar none the best lamb in town!


December 13th, 2011
1:07 am

I vote for the baked lamb at BLU also!

El Guapper

December 13th, 2011
1:36 am

I’m glad to see the San Genarro at Antico get the respect it deserves. The smoked chicken wings at Fox Bros too. My wife and I really enjoy the porterhouse for two at Rathburns Steakhouse and the chicken fried steak at Big Tex Cantina as well as their cheese enchiladas are off the charts for Tex-Mex. Vamos Perros!!


December 13th, 2011
1:40 am

Fried chicken and butter beans at Matthews in Tucker sometimes the simplest pleasures are the best.

Gizelle Simoni

December 13th, 2011
2:06 am

Hands down.. BLU Greek Taverna’s Citrus Red Snapper with mixed vegetables is my favorite dish of the year. I go there at least once a month to enjoy it and BLUs eclectic atmosphere.


December 13th, 2011
3:14 am

Best steak I had all year was at Porterhouse on the square in Dahlonega…the bourbon steak rocks. Best Chinese food ever is at Mandarin Garden in Conyers. Any dish there will do-they’re all exemplary. Overall the best dish I had all year had to be the beef ribs at Daddy D’z downtown. Simply amazing.


December 13th, 2011
6:26 am

@Too Many to Chose – that is a strong list. I would also add a vote for the San Genarro at Antico, oustanding as are all of their pizzas. My current favorite is the “meat and potatoes” at JCT Kitchen – a great interpretation of steak frites with hangar steak and especially good when upgraded to the “truffle fries”.


December 13th, 2011
7:19 am

Rathbun’s – Sea Scallop Benedict on Country Ham Grits


December 13th, 2011
7:25 am

Grilled swordfish with jalapeno pesto over lemon risotto with grilled asparagus at Bat and Ball in Chamblee.


December 13th, 2011
7:28 am

San Genarro at Atico is a beautiful thing. My favorite entree, though, has to be the Carbonara at No 246 in Decatur. Classic dish done very well with a little tweak. Break open that panko fried egg and the yolk coats the pasta. Mmm…Heaven.


December 13th, 2011
8:03 am

Hands down the new kobe beef short rib at Floataway. If folks are entering that dish it means they haven’t tried it. Truly a masterpiece.

Purple Drank

December 13th, 2011
8:31 am

Golden Corral

All you can eat!

Nuff Said


December 13th, 2011
8:31 am

The San Gennaro at Antico……..sublime!


December 13th, 2011
8:35 am

Too many you need to get out of 285 at some point.


December 13th, 2011
8:36 am

flat rock grill Stone fried chicken and Gravey

My Two Cents

December 13th, 2011
8:38 am

I don’t eat french fries that often but the best I’ve had lately were served at the Lil City Cafe in Lilburn.


December 13th, 2011
8:38 am

For the vegans out there:

The Pita Falafel from the raw food menu from the cafe at Life Grocery.

It is amazing.


December 13th, 2011
8:40 am

BBQ sandwich and stew at fresh air in Macon. Just passing through and had heard how good it was..
Oh yes….on death row, it would be my request. If you dig pig, it may be the best ever. Good stuff. I’m planning a Saturday visit and I’m 2 hours away.


December 13th, 2011
8:42 am

The country fried steak at Manuel’s Tavern.


December 13th, 2011
8:51 am

We need some OTP love on this blog… One of the best meals I had all year was at Chicken and the Egg in Marietta – sauteed scallops with pimento cheese grits. Their spoon bread with molasses butter is also DIVINE.


December 13th, 2011
9:03 am

OTP – Mussels a’ la Puerco with cilantro, ginger and bacon at Local Republic in Lawrenceville
ITP – Grilled Octopus at ECCO
Can’t go wrong with either place