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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Urban Cannibals Bodega + Bites in East Atlanta Village

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The toothpaste, lip balm and deodorant take their rightful place on the shelves among the tins of English mustard and the freshly baked goods wrapped in crinkly film.

Urban Cannibals Bodega + Bites has to be one of the most carefully curated neighborhood markets around. Every item appears to have been placed on its weathered wooden shelving like a key component to a folk art installation.

What’s in those pretty blue boxes lining one eye-level shelf across the store? Not iPads…

black bean burger

black bean burger

The “bodega” part of the equation may give you a chuckle, but the “bites” are what you’ll find most intriguing.

The married owners Calavino Donati and Doria Roberts have put a lot of thought into the sundry food needs of their East Atlanta Village neighbors. Unfussy dry goods (snacks, mixes, staples) keep company with more gourmet-minded cheeses and prepared sauces in the refrigerator case.

baked goods

baked goods

Rather than watch fresh produce languish in the market, Donati and Roberts have come up with the smart plan to offer CSA packages from Destiny Organics, each one topped off with a loaf of bread, a prepared sauce or one of Roberts’ desserts.

From the small, open kitchen in the back Donati prepares a daily roster of soups, sandwiches and a daily packaged dinner entree to go. Customers know to check out the daily specials on the shop’s Facebook page. Recent choices include turkey meatloaf with poblano gravy or oven-fried tilapia. All dinners come with sides such as spicy collard greens, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and mandarin orange cornbread.

I stopped by for lunch recently and liked what I tried.

half tuna sandwich and chili

half tuna sandwich and chili

Donati — former owner of the Roman Lily Cafe, who knows her way around comfort food — makes a fine, vinegar-edged beef chili and a big, squishy black bean burger served with Monterey Jack cheese and tomatillo salsa. Her “Urban Cuban” is a like a medianoche sandwich halfway morphed into a panini. It’s fine in that gooey-squishy way, but I prefer the clean, lean albacore tuna salad.

If you’re lucky, Roberts may be taking some of her chocolate-cherry quick bread out of the oven when you’re there. In addition to running Urban Cannibals, Roberts is also a well regarded local singer/songwriter. She may not burst into song, but you can pick up one of her CD’s along with your sundries.

Urban Cannibals: 477 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-230-9865. Closed Mondays. www.facebook.com/urbancannibals.

8 comments Add your comment

Petie The Crab

February 2nd, 2010
12:38 pm

Baloney N Bites huh? Now you’re talkin’ my language Big John. I like mine fried with a bisquit and I hope the bites are Vienna sausage. I’m sorta gettin’ hungry just talkin’ bout it. Yummie

Petie The Crab

February 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

I was readin’ bout that “Problemo gravy”. I never have eat none. I’d be a lil’ affraid of it souring on my stomach though from the sound of it.

Laverne

February 2nd, 2010
2:07 pm

Petie, If you can eat vienners you can take on the gravy. Just remember what Slingblade n’ Doyle said they were made of. Mmmhhhh.

Dawg11

February 2nd, 2010
2:46 pm

I ran into Urban Cannibals for a quick bite this past Sunday and was blown away by Donati’s incredible touch. A simple Turkey Club was turned into a wonderfully delectable, scrumptious creation on rye bread. As a soon-to-be resident of EAV, I can assure Urban Cannibals that it has a new customer for as long as they’re in the EAV.

Trace

February 2nd, 2010
3:08 pm

I’ve been following Donati’s food all around this town-Roman Lily, Calavino’s Soul Kitchen, and now Urban Cannibals. This food is super delish-came in last week and picked up the brunswick stew. Yummy! The smoked gouda and smoked applewood bacon queso is SICK! The desserts are so good-the pumpkin chocolate chip bread was ridiculous! So glad I live within walking distance!

Egger

February 2nd, 2010
4:20 pm

We got carry out dinner there a couple weeks ago of beef ribs, broccoli cheddar casserole and mandarin orange cornbread and it was all delicious. We were actually able to split one dinner into two meals so we actually got four homecooked meals for $20. A bargain for sure. Not only that but they threw in a free dessert of homemade pumpkin chocolate bread, chocolate sauce and ice cream that was also outstanding.

JeanneBird

February 2nd, 2010
7:37 pm

I have been going to Urban Cannibals for about a month now, trying out new dishes each time I go. Donati really knows what she is doing in the kitchen. I love the Falafel burger with Harrisa sauce…yum. The soups are great, and almost always a vegetarian selection (thank you).
And Calavino rocks out the desserts!
I really like the FaceBook updates, they keep you up to date on what’s fresh out of the oven.
Stop in to see these girls, they will make you happy, I promise!

Calavino

February 2nd, 2010
8:18 pm

actually, Doria “rocks out the desserts” i couldn’t even come close to the things she can bake.

she is also responsible for all those updates you guys get keeping you informed so you don’t waste a trip or worse, miss out.

very happy you are all happy,

Calavino