City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
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 13th, 2011
12:30 pm

The Salsiccia e Broccoletti or the Tagliatelle with Lobster Sauce at Vingenzo’s in Woodstock.


December 13th, 2011
12:35 pm

Places I’ve been this year

Antico Pizza – real good
Vortex Burger – can you go wrong there?
Ann’s Snack Shack – interesting place with an outstanding burger. Had to wait too long though
Ippolito’s – always good, but over-priced at this point.
Fatt Matt’s – fantastic bbq
‘cue – real good, meat is higher quality, sauce is interesting but cost is not great.
Jim N Nicks – kind of like going to chili’s for a burger. you know you’ll be full and it will be ok, just nothing to write home about.
Tim’s BBQ in Dacula – Not a fan, went in middle of summer and no AC, I was more wet then any of my meats.
Sazon in Dacula – Loved the food, placed got knocked on here, but everytime Ive been the food has been good and the people who run it seem awfully nice.
Fuego in Buford – Good and fun time.
Shogun – Hibachi is ok, probably a little pricey, but what hibachi place is not?
Dekalb Farmer’s Market – love their stuff baked goods and then even their buffett is of good quality.
Dutch Monkey Doughnuts – will drive 1/2 hour on a Sat/Sun morning 4 these religiously


December 13th, 2011
12:38 pm

Best steak “the Brick” at Pampas in Alpharetta

Fatguy from Georgia

December 13th, 2011
12:40 pm

I have 2 to offer:
1) Bangers and Mash from Irish Bred in Douglasville
2) Fried chicken from Big Chic in Carrollton.


December 13th, 2011
12:45 pm

Short-rib ravioli at Pricci.

AJC Reader

December 13th, 2011
12:52 pm

Pionono – Teirra
Pastor De Puerco – Tex Tacos


December 13th, 2011
1:04 pm

I experienced the best burger this year at Local Republic in downtown Lawrenceville. The “Mr. Jones” is smoked bacon, homemade pimento cheese and jalapenos. I was in heaven.


December 13th, 2011
1:13 pm

Veal Rollitini (sp??) at Casa Nuova in Alpharetta. Delicious!


December 13th, 2011
1:18 pm

Anything Eddie Hernandez, chef at Taqueria del Sol, cooks.


December 13th, 2011
2:07 pm

Chicken Hot Pot and Beef Fried Rice at Mah Jong in Snellville, don’t forget to ask for a side of the house mustard


December 13th, 2011
3:01 pm

Spinach & artichoke dip, ribs, fries, and coleslaw from Houston’s

Soupy Sales

December 13th, 2011
3:06 pm

Best “new” dish tried this year was Chef Guy Wong’s Ramen at Miso Izakaya. It’s only available late.

Also “new” and deserving of some love from local foodies is Chef Todd Richards’ ever evolving menu at the Cafe at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead. The Lamb Tasting dish was amazing, as was the Panna Cotta French Toast.


December 13th, 2011
3:28 pm

Western Luau Steak at Cherokee Cattle Company, Marietta. Best kept secret in metro Atlanta!

under $20

December 13th, 2011
3:34 pm

I must have hit some of the places on ‘miss’ days, some on more than one ‘miss’ day.
Nuevo Loredo?
Have yet to have a good meal at either.
Lee’s, has at times, served up some of the best beef stew I’ve ever had. Inconsistent though.


December 13th, 2011
9:43 pm

BLU Greek Taverna-LAMB SHANK!


December 14th, 2011
1:07 am

I love Greece and its food. I must say that BLU Greek Taverna’s Kleftiko is delicious and gets my vote hands down.


December 14th, 2011
9:36 am

Nana’s pizza with pepperoni at Varasano’s. To. Die. For.

pig out

December 14th, 2011
11:12 am

just added to their menu (after 60 years)………the ribs and chicken at Deans BBQ in Jonesboro Ga.

southern opinion

December 14th, 2011
1:28 pm

Tokyo in Conyers excellent – great prices


December 14th, 2011
1:31 pm

the heirloom tomato and lady pea salad from Miller Union is so simple, yet so outstanding.
also, the pimento cheese from Empire State South and any pizza from Antico.


December 14th, 2011
1:41 pm

steamed coconut buns at pura vida!


December 14th, 2011
3:25 pm

The balsamic and caramelized onion risotto at Sotto Sotto is truly glorious. I also want the short rib torta from Holy Taco as my last meal. Some other good dishes that come to mind are the beef tartare from Abbatoire, the crispy beef from Steel on W. Peachtree, and the pasta arrabiata from Alpine Bakery and Trattoria in Alpharetta (along with any of their amazing desserts.) I also have an especially soft spot for the potato salad and the sweet potato fries at the Vortex, as well as their amazing specialty burgers, of course!

Not Alton Brown

December 14th, 2011
3:30 pm

#1 Chef Eddie Hernandez’s, Hatch Green chile relleno at Taqueria del Sol
#2- Wild Mushroom Risotto…Soto Soto
#3- Tortelli di Michelangelo…Soto Soto
#4 -Waco Taco– Taqueria del Sol


December 15th, 2011
1:56 am

Lamb Stroganoff @ Sprig Restaurant


December 15th, 2011
3:07 pm

The short rib ravioli at di Paolo is divine. The braising jus is so luscious it is to die for. I’d take it any day of Pricci.


December 15th, 2011
9:13 pm

The Kleftiko (Roasted Lamb Shank) at BLU Greek Taverna is wonderful! Hands down my favorite!


December 16th, 2011
12:21 pm

Chinese Breakfast at Steinbeck’s of Oakhurst.


December 17th, 2011
10:00 pm

I fashion the motion for BLU! Lamb Shank!


December 18th, 2011
12:29 pm

The Seared Scallops and Pork Belly with cider butter and butternut squash at Seed in Marietta