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

Who wants to be a restaurant critic?



Hey, y’all — Looking for a little help…

The AJC is seeking a freelance food writer/photographer to contribute weekly posts to our Food & More blog and write occasional restaurant reviews for print. We’re looking for someone familiar with the restaurant scene in metro Atlanta who has discernible taste in food and a lively, original writing style. Home cooking skills, familiarity with restaurants outside the Perimeter and knowledge of AP style and blogging software recommended. Please send a resume and three writing samples by August 30 to Suzanne Van Atten at

NOTE:  No phone calls, please, and no follow-up emails. We will contact qualified candidates directly.

58 comments Add your comment


August 16th, 2010
5:12 pm

Finally, the AJC is getting a clue and will devote extensive space to outside the Perimeter restaurants. The best meals are served where there are REAL PEOPLE.


August 16th, 2010
5:22 pm

@FoodieAuthor – so all the people who live and dine within the perimeter are imaginary?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic, Laura Scholz, Jennifer Walker, Jordan Worrall, Tina and others. Tina said: Hey @foodiebuddha @Livetofeast -> RT @AJCFoodandMore Who wants to be a restaurant critic? [...]

Holly Moore

August 16th, 2010
5:30 pm

Dang, I guess a lively, interesting taste in food and a discernible writing style won’t do.


August 16th, 2010
5:35 pm

“familiarity with restaurants outside the Perimeter” is this because the AJC has places Inside the Perimeter covered already? most of the Atlanta food bloggers I know are ITP.


August 16th, 2010
5:59 pm

Great. Just what this place needs is reviews of TGI Friday’s, Applebee’s and Chili’s. Don’t forget Outback and Red Lobster for those special occasion meals…


August 16th, 2010
6:33 pm

Nice one Ken I was thinking the same thing:)

jean louise may bell

August 16th, 2010
7:04 pm

well papa dont know which applebees is the best: the one ova here or down yonder.
we don’t go to ‘local’ rest rants cause they cook out of a trailer.


August 16th, 2010
7:22 pm

“and we could build TWO denny’s so we can say, ‘let’s not go to that one, let’s go to the good one.’”

Elliot Garcia

August 16th, 2010
7:56 pm

Ken and Hilary sure don’t get out much….OTP rules! and I don’t mean Chili’s


August 16th, 2010
8:05 pm

Once you’ve reviewed all of the Chili’s OTP, what else is there?

Davey Boy Smith

August 16th, 2010
8:08 pm

Please, do tell about the OTP restaurants…I would be more than willing to head out that way for something worthwhile, but as most others have mentioned, all of us “imaginary” folks see nothing but cliched steak houses and crappy chains when we head out to the ‘burbs.


August 16th, 2010
8:09 pm

Ya sure OTP rules. Top restaurants and Chefs make it a habit to open their establishments in places with low population densities and low disposable incomes.

Soupy Sales

August 16th, 2010
8:26 pm

@AJC: Do yourselves a favor and hire Jennifer Zyman of The Blissful Glutton. She meets all criteria and is a terrific writer with a fun prose style. (And, no, I don’t know her aside from her blog posts and Creative Loafing articles.)


August 16th, 2010
8:40 pm

Gwinnett County has some of the most diverse restaurants I’ve ever visited. You can literally travel the world of food and get some of the most authentic dishes EVER. I travel from Atlanta to Gwinnett almost every weekend to try their Indian, Greek and Korean restaurants. Superb!


August 16th, 2010
8:44 pm

Do the restaurants have to be licensed? The only ones I know serve shots and slots.

SLK 65

August 16th, 2010
9:05 pm

Hey mike,I live OTP and i can bet you that my income is a lot higher then yours. Because there is no money in Alpharetta at all. Idiot!


August 16th, 2010
9:07 pm

LOL – thanks, everyone for the laughs, too funny! We had made a concerted effort to avoid Denny’s for a great many years until we had to eat breakfast there while on the road. We were most surprised to find that not only was the food palatable, it was quite memorable. Or else we were that hungry…. Incidentally, we just discovered a gem that is very much OTP, it is an Indian restaurant in Duluth called Poona. No AP style here, and I certainly have no blogging software so it is with regret that I won’t be submitting my CV. A restaurant critic is a dream job, to be sure and my English major could have been put to good use at that….

real foodie

August 16th, 2010
9:09 pm

Hey-anything is better than what we get here.


August 16th, 2010
9:19 pm

Hey! I can qualify! Ms. Ford taught me how to steal restaurant menus! Want to see my collection?


August 16th, 2010
9:27 pm

Hey, hire someone who can actually do their job correctly. Tired of all the poorly written articles and blogs on this crappy newspapers site. Also, maybe hire a spellchecker and a grammer checker while your at it….


August 16th, 2010
9:49 pm

Excuse me, ITP snobs that probably live next to a crack den. Up here in redneck Johns Creek we know nuttin about good eatin or any kind of money. Lucky for us CC of the South has outside bathrooms. I think most of the money IS in North Fulton, you morons. As well as some very good restaurants, which I hate to admit. Wouldn’t want you posers venturing up this way…… I would love for us to finally have Milton County so the funds could stay up here and Fulton could go to pot….. As for food, the point of this forum, ONE41 is excellent, Wildflour, Greenwoods on Green Street, etc., etc…..


August 16th, 2010
10:08 pm

I see a bunch of uninformed snobby comments here from ITP folk. I live ITP. I used to live OTP. I have found great places to eat in both “TP’s.”

In it’s heyday, when Biba’s was stilled owned by Krist Biba and had his brother’s Larry and Kenny there along with Tony, I would put it up against any froo froo Italian place ITP. It’s not the same now, but it’s still good and the tiramasu beats any I’ve tasted elsewhere. I have yet to find ANY Mexican place, ITP or OTP that has a dish to compare with Liburn’s La Sabrosita’s shrimp La Sabrosita. Of course the OTP Las Hermano’s comes close with many of their dishes, just not an awesome Tomatillo based sauce like La Sabrosita. Dominic’s in Norcross beat’s the hell out of either of the crappy buckhead life group’s Italian places and definitely outclasses that over rated Maggiano’s.

I’ve never been for supper at Norman’s landing up 141 near Cumming, but I ate lunch there all the time when I was working that way. Bill Norman’s BLT and his potato soup will make you slap your momma for short changing you. Heck, before he (Bill Norman) sold it, the Third Coast Grille near Flowery Branch was the best seafood place in the Atlanta area. Now it’s just mediocre.

I haven’t even touched upon the Southside ‘burbs, or North Fulton, Cobb, ect………. John has hipped you to many Asian food (especially Korean) places. The Marietta Diner has a menu about 5,000 pages long and everything I ever ate there was good. by the same token, I ate at the Buckhead diner last week and found the crab cakes to be crap cakes. Yet the fish taco’s at the Brake Pad in College Park rock (crap, it that ITP?).

You arrogant asses like Ken and Hillary wouldn’t know good food if it came up and kicked you in the ass. You just go to the trendy places or to places someone like John has told you were good or to places with a “trendy” chef. Not every good “chef’ has been discovered by the trendy. Trendy people are fickle and not worth the effort to follow IMHO. None of the places I have mentioned is a chain. Ruth’s Chris, Fogo, Maggianno’s, and The Capitol Grill are all chains though. You snobs lap up those places don’t you? there are so many good places to eat OTP that it’s tough to name to even remember them all.


August 16th, 2010
10:19 pm

Can’t wait to read why the Olive Garden in Alpharetta is so much better than the one in Duluth.


August 16th, 2010
10:26 pm

Can’t wait to read why Martin has such a fascination with Olive Gardens………


August 16th, 2010
10:29 pm

Fred, it is all about high school waitresses . . .


August 16th, 2010
10:31 pm

Fred, if you think Atlanta foodies “lap up” Ruth’s Chris, Fogo, Maggianno’s, and The Capitol Grill, or Buckhead Life restaurants for that matter, you really have no clue about ITP dining. With the exception of a few ethnic restaurants, OTP restaurants are a poor imitation of what’s offered intown. They’re good enough to satisfy those who don’t know any better, and definitely better than your beloved Macaroni Grill, but wouldn’t last 6 months in the ITP competition.


August 16th, 2010
10:36 pm

I think Jennifer herself doesn’t know any better and eats ITP b/c she thinks it makes her cool, when actually it’s just uninformed. Or maybe b/c she has to ride Marta and we don’t need it in the burbs.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dan J. Matthews Jr, jenniferro10. jenniferro10 said: Atlanta paper looking for food critic> [...]


August 16th, 2010
11:51 pm


My beloved Macaroni Grill? While that place pretty much sucks, it is one step ahead of Maggiano’s (not that that is saying much). My dear Jennifer, I can’t think of too many places ‘of note’ ITP in which i haven’t dined. There are a butt load of places OTP which I have never even heard of much less dined.

I have lived all over the world in my short 48 years of life and have sampled the cuisine of even more. But when it all boils down, I am just a simple redneck who likes what he likes and isn’t swayed by the ‘in” place. I don’t need to have a celebrity chef to make me think I’m having a good meal. I can tell when the emperor is wearing no clothing. I doubt you can.

I read the local food blogs, see what you hoity toity folks “like” and where you flock. Most times, I have to admit, I just have to laugh. Educate yurself Jennifer on what your fellow sheep say. Right now in this on line edition of the AJC Ruth’s Chris is one of 5 steak places up for “best in atlanta.” The Buckhead life group offering is there as well. I can’t remember if it is Bones or Chops (both are on the list of 5 for voting)), but either one is equally bland.

Your ignorance is only exceeded by your arrogance. You should apply for the AJC food blog job.


August 16th, 2010
11:53 pm

I left out the o in yourself. Since your are a blithering idiot Jennifer, I’m sure you will point that out in your “rebuttal” as if it has some bearing.

Dunwoody Don

August 17th, 2010
7:02 am

The following is an abbreviated list of locally-owned OTP restaurants I like to visit: Bistro VG, Relish, Palomilla’s Cuban Grill, Swallow in the Hallow, Marietta Diner, Joey D’s, Pastis, Greenwood’s on Green St., Thai House, Rhea’s, Slope’s, Byblos, McKendrick’s, Rumi’s Kitchen, La Petite Maison, Chequers, Garcia’s, Hovan Gourmet, Royal Oak Pub, Pure Taqueria, Satay House, Atlantic Seafood, Alpha Soda, Superior Wok. I like several nearby OTP chains, too – McCormick & Schmick’s, Brio Tuscan Grille, Wildfire, Tin Drum, Sage, Village Tavern. Are they all better than their ITP peers? Of course not. But neither are they all worse.


August 17th, 2010
8:04 am

If I knew how to write, and knew something about food, I’d totally be all over this


August 17th, 2010
8:36 am

Some of you people are crazy on here. First of all, if you don’t like reading AJC restaurant reviews then why come on here and bitch about how crappy they are. Just stop reading them and get off the blogs. Next, there are great restaurants both in and outside of the perimeter. I happen to live inside, so I tend to visit more local restaurants, but there are plenty of fantastic locally owned, non-chain restaurants outside the perimeter as well. Both you OTP and ITPers need to get off your high horses and appreciate that Atlanta as a metropolitan city consists of 10 counties which means there are a lot of good eats out there no matter if you are in the city or in the ‘burbs.

John Kessler

August 17th, 2010
9:05 am

Thanks, Brenda and Dunwoody Don. As the immortal William Shatner once said to a roomful of Trekkies in the classic SNL skit….


August 17th, 2010
9:24 am

i’m good enough to do this!!!!!


August 17th, 2010
9:41 am

Some people gotta have enemies, even if they have to make them up. Lots of good places to eat all over town. I don’t know anybody with deep roots in the area who lives or eats exclusively ITP or OTP. There’s great pho in Norcross, authentic Mexican in Jonesboro and Conyers, and killer BBQ all over the place, just for a few examples. Buford Hwy runs ITP and OTP, and if you can’t find a great meal on either side of the Great Divide you just ain’t trying.

Peebo Vandersloot

August 17th, 2010
9:57 am

This OTP/ITP argument has always been so lame. We lost friends who live ITP because they would always rag on the loooong drive, almost to Chattanooga, when they visited us in Roswell. We have favorite places near us and also love going to the beautiful neighborhoods in VH, Inman Park, etc. to dine as well.


August 17th, 2010
10:24 am

The OTP/ITP thing is comical. Anyone who has been in Atlanta more than the last 10-15 years knows we all got by just fine before somebody dreamed up the OTP/ITP labels.

It’s just a highway, people. It means nothing. It doesn’t separate good restaurants from bad, or wealthy people from poor ones, or chains from non-chains. They all exist all over the metro area.

Cecilia Dominic

August 17th, 2010
11:42 am

I second Sydney. I’m ITP, but I’ve had memorable meals on both sides of the Perimeter, and I’d love the excuse to meet up with my friends in Roswell, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Alpharetta more often. Just not early evening on weeknights. :-)



August 17th, 2010
12:21 pm

I’m sort of surprised that the AJC doesn’t start of by approaching one of the hundreds of foodie bloggers. You’e got what, twenty linked on this one. You can already get a sense of their taste judgement and writing skills. Not to mention their frequency of updating their sites.

John Kessler

August 17th, 2010
1:14 pm

Kar – Who says we haven’t? :)


August 17th, 2010
3:24 pm

Really? I thought that the implicit goal of a foodie blogger would be able to make it a paying job and be read by more than twenty-forty people.

They’d have to stop taking twenty minutes photographing their meal first as that might be a tip-off but otherwise I thought that they would jump at the chance.

ATLDawg, ya dig?

August 17th, 2010
4:33 pm

“There ain’t nothing out 285 but a bunch of trees.”

Name the song (well, post-song outro) and you get a gift certificate for a free fried fish basket at Fred’s favorite seafood restaraunt. (can’t be combined with other discounts please).

Fred – when I think ITP italian, I think La Grotta, Sotto Sotto, Nino’s. I think most people at Maggiano’s came on in to the big city shopping mall.

Jim Bob the Reproducer

August 17th, 2010
4:34 pm

I am quiting my job, selling my house in East Cobb and moving into the beautiful urban ITP utopia that is Atlantic Station!


August 17th, 2010
7:57 pm

Fred cracks me up!!!! I wish we could talk. I am a food writer and would love to talk to you!

REAL ? Reviews ?

August 17th, 2010
11:25 pm

Many of the supposed reviews in the AJC review section are merely advertisements for the restaurants. No actual critiquing, just publicity for the restaurant. I realize times are tough, but there ought to be some way to fund some semblance of a real low down on a place. Maybe take the best comments from a few different people and make a review out of it.


August 17th, 2010
11:33 pm

This is a great idea, having someone focus on OTP places. Truth be told, I don’t get outside my Midtown bubble for dinner often, but for the times when I am on the road in unfamiliar OTP territory I’ll appreciate having some good choices lined up. Request: make sure the new writer hits spots all over the OTP area and not just the northern suburbs.

I become the Sad Man reading all these juvenile turf-war comments. I’ll lived in ATL all my life and always meet the nicest people here. Where do all these wacky, angry commenters live — in some bizzaro, parallel Atlanta?


August 18th, 2010
9:10 am

Tosh.No — you mean “grammar”

krypto facto

August 18th, 2010
9:14 am

what’s the pay?