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FALL 2012 DINING GUIDE: Beyond Restaurants

 Jesus and Dannia Balestena of Dough in the Box (credit: Becky Stein)

Jesus and Dannia Balestena of Dough in the Box (credit: Becky Stein)

THE ATLANTA 50: Great Eats

(Introduction by Jenny Turknett)

I remember the first time I stepped into Pine Street Market. Bacon. I stood rooted to my spot in the doorway, flooded with the heady scent. After I collected my white-paper-wrapped purchases and headed to the car — with a glance behind for hounds attracted to the meaty perfume clinging to my clothes — I reflected on this shop, so dedicated to perfecting its craft.

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

John Kessler, AJC chief dining critic and head of our Dining Team, writes about all cuisines.

Jenny-Turknett-Review

AJC Dining Team member Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and neighborhood fare.

It’s the local producers like Pine Street that we feature in this, our Fall Dining Guide. In this year’s Spring Dining Guide, AJC chief dining critic John Kessler presented “The Atlanta 50,” a guide to the top 50 restaurants defining metro Atlanta’s dining scene. In it, he noted white-linened dining no longer sets the standard, with many casual eateries stepping in to claim spots in the top 50.

We now spend a portion of our valuable dining dollars in places other than restaurants. We purchase handcrafted products sold in boutique shops, specialty grocers and at our local farmers markets. We seek out food trucks at their various weekly events throughout the city.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Dining Team has put together a collection of where we spend our dollars picking up a batch of granola, a box of truffles, an espresso and more. We share our favorite food trucks to chase and our favorite shops to explore.

Tough choices were made. We weren’t able to include every specialty producer worthy of a mention. And that’s a good thing. For metro Atlanta.

We hope you enjoy this guide, where we answer the question we receive daily: “Where’s your favorite place to get…?”

SWEET BAKED GOODS

The Bakery at Cakes & Ale (credit: Becky Stein)

The Bakery at Cakes & Ale (Becky Stein)

Alon’s

Everyone has a favorite item at this robust, ambitious bakery cafe. Perhaps the country French bread, the bite-sized cookies or the ginger-cinnamon scones. We think it makes the definitive chocolate cake. The Midnight Chocolate Cake combines dark layers of devil’s food with white chocolate mousse in lieu of icing. It’s the cake you want to buy for a birthday, then keep snacking on in the corner of the kitchen for the next three days. If no one is looking, try it for breakfast. —John Kessler

1394 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 404-872-6000, and 4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, 678-397-1781

Alpine Bakery

Look for the silos. That’s how you know you’ve found Alpine Bakery in the Crabapple area of Alpharetta. Scan the rows upon rows of layer cakes, pies and pastries until you zero in on the tall red-crumb-dusted mammoth of a red velvet cake. If you like a cheesecake, you’ll strike red gold with the red velvet cake. Moist and perfectly smushy layers of cake alternate with smooth cheesecake-like layers of cream cheese frosting. The portions are fantastically large, yet you won’t wish to share a single morsel. —Jenny Turknett

12315 Crabapple Road, Alpharetta, 770-410-9883

Atlanta Cupcake Factory (AJC Staff)
Atlanta Cupcake Factory (AJC Staff)

Atlanta Cupcake Factory

As a self-confessed cupcake snob, I have one Atlanta spot I can recommend: Atlanta Cupcake Factory. While many cupcakes are either dry and crumbly or have grainy, overabundant frosting, the ones here avoid those common pitfalls. Chocolate- and cream cheese-based frostings swirled with flavorings dress the cakes in a range of flavors. Get your Girl Scout on with the minty chocolate grasshopper cupcake, spice it up with the diablo cupcake that packs a bit of heat, or go sweet and savory with the caramel cupcake complete with the crunch bits of salt. —JT

624 N. Highland Ave. N.E., Atlanta, 678-358-9195

The Bakery at Cakes & Ale

When he assumed his post at The Bakery at Cakes & Ale last spring, pastry chef Eric Wolitzky set out to capture metro Atlanta’s sweet tooth with his no-fuss homey baking style. He’s succeeded with items like his zesty Chocolate Mandarin cookie and Banana S’more Nut Bar. Yet, you’ll also find more refined options like pistachio macarons that melt into a luscious filling or the croissants with a feathery crust concealing a soft interior with a buttery tang. —JT

151 Sycamore St., Decatur, 404-377-7960

The Cake Hag

Everyone always wants to know where to get a great cheesecake. If I’m not going to make it myself, I’ll get it from The Cake Hag. Cheesecakes come in regular, low-carb, gluten-free and sugar-free versions. My favorite is a thick wedge of the perfectly simple New York cheesecake, speckled with crunchy vanilla bean seeds and bright specks of lemon zest. Another popular seller, the sweet potato crème brûlée, is a fluffier and more decadent cheesecake with hints of orange and coconut, laced with caramel on top. The Cake Hag also prepares layer cakes (try the carrot!), pies and other treats, all by order only. —JT

501 Grant Street S.E., Atlanta, 678-760-6300

The Cookie Studio

The fact that Barbara O’Neill donates proceeds from this bakery to support the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children doesn’t make her cookies taste any better. The fact is, these huge, flat cookies stand on their own merits, with an irresistible chewy-crisp texture. The chocolate chippers are definitive, but we go nuts for the butterscotch oatmeal and cherry-ginger explosion varieties, as well as the dark chocolate walnut.—JK

747-C East College Ave., Decatur, 404-373-8527

Dough in the Box

Jesus Balestena spends his nights making the 29 flavors of doughnuts for Marietta’s Dough in the Box, while his wife Dannia manages the store by day. The shop’s yeast dough contains no sugar and is fried in soybean oil, resulting in a doughnut with a big yeasty flavor without the cloying sweetness. The light and exceedingly tender doughnuts come in traditional flavors, with old-fashioned sour cream, apple fritters and simple glazed among the top sellers. —JT

3184 Austell Road, S.W., Marietta, 770-436-5155 (no website)

Pie Shop

Owner Mims Bledsoe left her graduate studies in philosophy to reinvigorate the craft of pie baking. She scours old cookbooks for inspiration and swears by all-butter crusts for the perfectly tender and flaky specimen. Pie Shop offers a weekly menu of both sweet and savory pies.In addition to traditional favorites like apple, key lime and Derby pie, look for playful flavors like watermelon chiffon (summer) and cherry chile. I’ve always been partial to the German chocolate pie and recently discovered a gooey banana-split-like banoffee (banana toffee) pie that could have you snarfing more than a single slice in one sitting. —JT

3210 Roswell Road, Atlanta, 404-841-4512

Piece of Cake (Becky Stein)
Piece of Cake (Becky Stein)

Piece of Cake

This local chain understands something fundamental about layer cakes. No matter how professionally they’re assembled, iced and boxed, they have to feel homemade at some level. We love them all, but wait each Valentine’s Day for the annual appearance of strawberry cake with strawberry icing. —JK

Five area stores (Buckhead, Roswell, Decatur, Dunwoody and Vinings)

BREAD

Pure Knead Bakery (courtesy of business)

Pure Knead Bakery (Becky Stein)

H&F Bread Co.

This wholesale bakery makes the city’s best European-style crusty bread, including a fine baguette that really stands apart in this city. While the bread has long been available in restaurants and at select farmers markets, it is now available daily at the small retail outlet fronting the bakery. Take a chance with the daily offerings or call a day in advance for your pick of the product line. —JK

1401 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd., Atlanta, 404-350-8877 (Also available at area farmers markets and specialty shops.)

Nazifa’s Bakery

Nazifa Garib makes the large, floppy flatbreads called nan throughout the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Her version is Iraqi, and it’s delectable. Large as a manhole cover and pocked with dark blisters, it has become a standard feature at Middle Eastern and Afghani restaurants around metro Atlanta and in local farmers markets, where it headlines her menu of sandwiches and dips. But to try this bread at its best, visit her small storefront and sample it fresh from the oven. —JK

3711 N. Decatur Road, Decatur, 678-698-8871. (Also available at area farmers markets.)

Pure Knead

Pure Knead is an “allergy-friendly” bakery with products free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish. These include breads, crackers, buns, cookies, bread pudding and cupcakes. The bakery hand-blends flours — including millet, brown-rice flour, sorghum and tapioca — which results in a remarkably elastic texture mimicking traditional wheat-flour breads in baked goods like the boule. The sliced sandwich bread and the olive boule, studded with Kalamata olives, are two of our household staples. —JT

186 Rio Circle, Decatur, 404-377-5567. (Available at several locations, including Peachtree Road Farmers Market, many Kroger stores, Piece of Cake and The Cookie Studio.)

MEATS

Spotted Trotter owner Kevin Ouzts (Becky Stein)

Spotted Trotter owner Kevin Ouzts (Becky Stein)

Pine Street Market

Soprasseta from Pine Street Market

Soprasseta from Pine Street Market

Some suggest the bacon fad is done. They haven’t tasted Pine Street’s thick-cut and smoky molasses-and-maple-rubbed version that reignited my bacon lust. And while I am a hopeless bacon fan-girl, I love Pine Street’s emulsified sausages as much or more. It’s the texture of the sausages that win my praise — not too fine and free of gristle. My favorite flavors include roasted poblano with ancho chiles, traditional Italian and yeasty Wild Heaven, none overwhelming the natural porky goodness. —JT

4A Pine Street, Avondale Estates, 404-296-9672. (Also available at several locations, including Dunwoody Green Market and Peachtree Road and Marietta Square farmers markets.)

The Spotted Trotter

The Spotted Trotter, which refers to itself as a boutique charcuterie house, offers a range of salumi, cured and smoked meats, pâtés and terrines prepared with humanely raised, hormone-free meats. Local and organic spices are toasted and ground, chiles dried and spice packs created, all in-house. Owner Kevin Ouzts says he pays homage to Old World-style charcuterie while pushing the envelope to develop his own new American style. The Spotted Trotter is one of my first stops when entertaining. I pick up wet-brined coppa, nutty dried chorizo, beef bresaola smooth chicken liver pâté and maybe a little veal mortadella. The shop also sells southern cheeses and H&F breads to complement charcuterie platters. —JT

1610 Hosea L. Williams Drive N.E., Atlanta, 404-254-4958. (Also available at Peachtree Road, Grant Park and East Atlanta Village farmers markets.)

CHOCOLATE

La Chocolaterie (Becky Stein)

The Chocolaterie (Becky Stein)

The Chocolaterie

Way up in Cumming there’s a little gem of a chocolate boutique owned by husband-and-wife team Michael and Elizabeth Ashworth. Michael shelved his doctorate in computer science in favor of crafting more than 150 flavors of truffles for The Chocolaterie that run the gamut from red velvet to habanero (youch!). Each gorgeous truffle is hand-painted with chocolate (no candy coatings or confectioner’s glaze) and will have you transfixed, paralyzed by indecision. Does your apple pie truffle taste just like apple pie? That’s because it is. The Chocolaterie makes all of its own fillings, including the pies, cakes and candies contained within each glossy bite. While you’re at it, add a little fudge to your ever-expanding take-home box. One of the 30-40 varieties available daily will surely test your willpower. —JT

410 Peachtree Pkwy, Cumming, 678-513-2700

Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co.

Cacao now has three Atlanta locations, each with its own character but all looking like a stunning (but interactive) chocolate museum. You’ll feel compelled to speak quietly so as not to disturb the chocolate gods, who must grin widely at the quality of the bean-to-bar chocolate produced here. The boutique menu includes a slew of truffles, chocolate bark, chocolate covered salted caramels and sipping chocolate (don’t even get me started on the sipping chocolate with Aztec spices). But it’s in the Love bars that you can truly taste the nuances of the chocolate — and the love. My favorite is the single-estate, single-varietal 75 percent cacao Pantanemo Love bar with the characteristic dark chocolate bite and smooth notes of caramel. —JT

Three locations (Buckhead, Inman Park and Virginia Highland)

DAIRY

High Road Craft Ice Cream

High Road Craft Ice Cream (courtesy of High Road)

Atlanta Fresh Artisan Creamery

If you like Greek yogurt but find some of the commercial brands seem too much like sour cream — pasty and chalky — then search out this hometown treasure. This yogurt (both full- and reduced-fat varieties) offers a caressing creaminess that’s truly unique. The Tropical Sweet Heat, with pineapple, mango and a hint of chile pepper, is a standout. —JK

(Available at several retail outlets, including Whole Foods.)

Decimal Place Farm

Some of our favorite goat’s milk cheese is produced on an 18-acre urban farm near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Farmer Mary Rigdon, a self-taught cheesemaker who pursued animal sciences at the University of Georgia, raises Saanen dairy goats and makes a range of goat’s milk cheeses. The chevre masters the delicate balance of tangy to creamy flavor and chalky to smooth texture. It also comes in a party-dip style garlic and dill or a lavender-fennel version. Look for flavored cheddars, one of which won the 2011 Goat Milk Cheese Competition last fall. —JT

4314 Almach Ave., Conley, 404-363-0356. (Available at Peachtree Road, East Atlanta Village and Grant Park farmers markets.)

High Road Craft Ice Cream

In this day of increasingly “inventive” ice cream flavors, the ice cream itself can be an afterthought. Create a quality product without any gimmicks, and you can distinguish yourself from the crowd. That’s High Road’s Valrhona chocolate ice cream. Concentrated chocolate and creaminess. Yet, that’s not to say High Road’s other small-batch-made ice creams like coffee and cream (my favorite) and peanut butter brittle won’t linger in your memory for lengthy stretches. Oh, did I mention the Aztec chocolate and caramel? And then there’s… —JT

2241 Perimeter Park Drive, Chamblee, 678-701-7623. (Also available at several locations, including The Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Whole Foods and The Fresh Market.)

Izzy’s Cheese

Here’s a match made in stretchy cheese heaven. Mozzarella maker Antonio Lo Russo has teamed with Newborn dairy farmer Russell Johnston to turn fresh local milk into the city’s best mozzarella. The fior di latte cheese is gorgeous — soft, with that gentle springiness that gives way to buttery waves of flavor. The creamery also makes an aged scamorza and a burrata. Look for wider distribution in coming months. —JK

Johnston Family Farm, 2471 Broughton St., Newborn, 404-229-3086. (Also available at Peachtree Road and Decatur farmers markets.)

Orobianco

This artisanal mozzarella maker has just started to gear up. But if you can get your hands on its burrata, you’re in for bliss. This mozzarella filled with a tender stracciatella of cheese and cream is superlative. Cut it open and serve with nothing more than a drop or two of good olive oil or balsamic. Make sure to let it come to room temperature first to fully appreciate its buttery finish. —JK

2296 Henry Clower Blvd., Snellville. (Available at the Snellville Farmers Market and some gourmet markets.)

COFFEE

Octane Coffee/Little Tart Bakery (Becky Stein)

Octane Coffee/Little Tart Bakery (Becky Stein)

Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters

Batdorf & Bronson, our own local coffee roaster, sources certified organic, fair-trade-certified and shade-grown coffees from farms around the world. The coffee is roasted in small batches at the company’s facility on Atlanta’s westside. Beans are roasted to each bean’s individual “sweet spot,” highlighting its optimum flavor profile. The coffee is served at many of Atlanta’s upscale restaurants, including Miller Union, where I first discovered the intensely rich and chocolatey coffee. You can also find it at one of Batdorf & Bronson’s Dancing Goats Coffee Bar locations. —JT

1530 Carroll Drive N.W., Atlanta, 404-351-0071. (Also available at several locations, including Peachtree Road Farmers Market, Alon’s Bakery and Artisan Foods.)

Steady Hand Pour House
Steady Hand Pour House (courtesy of business)

Steady Hand Pour House

The owners of this little spot in Emory Village have mastered the art of the pour over. Starting with beans from primo roaster Intelligensia, they prepare each cup by hand in a cone filter — first letting the grounds bloom in a thin drizzle of hot water, then increasing the pour with a measured hand to get the desired extraction. If Ethiopian Debello is on the daily menu of bean varieties, don’t think about ordering anything else. —JK

1593 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, 404-687-5177

Octane Coffee

There are a lot of milky, frothy, cinnamon-dusted coffee drinks that call themselves cappuccino. But if you want a cappuccino done right — 1/3 coffee, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 froth — then go to Octane. It’s a drink to savor, one that coats your tongue in soft milkiness before the bitter insistence of the espresso cuts through. The Grant Park location offers the added bonus of great sweets and savories from the attached Little Tart Bakery. —JK

437 Memorial Drive, Atlanta, and 1009-B Marietta St., Atlanta; 404-815-9886

DRY GOODS AND PASTA

pasta

Storico Fresco Pasta (courtesy of Storico Fresco)

Storico Fresco Pasta

Mike Patrick apprenticed all across Italy to assemble his most idiosyncratic collection of fresh pasta recipes. He has a special interest in the stuffed pastas of Lombardy, such as Pi Fasacc, an intricately folded dumpling filled with herbed taleggio and other cheeses, and Casonsei, a half-moon stuffed with a hot pink paste of beets and smoked cheese. He also makes a full line of fresh dried pastas, including memorable nutmeg-scented garganelli that will best any factory penne in your cupboard. He plans to open a Buckhead storefront where you can buy the pastas and snack on Roman street food. Can’t wait. —JK

3210 Roswell Road, Atlanta, 678-701-7537. (Available at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market and from the Farm Mobile delivery truck.)

Sweet Georgia Grains

This small-batch granola company, based in Carrollton, sources organic ingredients locally when possible. It prepares seven different varieties of granola, including the Good Morning, Granola, which it calls “the original hippie granola from the 1960s.” Our family favorite is the Heirloom Oatmeal Cookie granola. Based on a family oatmeal cookie recipe, this variety mixes it up with organic rolled oats, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, maple and Georgia pecans. Hey, kids, here’s your best chance at eating cookies for breakfast. —JT

477 Rome St., Carollton, 770-301-0616. (Also available at The Boxcar Grocer, Urban Cannibals and East Atlanta Village and Grant Park farmers markets.)

BOTTLED AND JARRED GOODS

Hope's Gardens Pesto (AJC Staff)

Hope's Gardens Pesto (AJC staff)

Atlanta Bee Company

Beekeepers from throughout northeast Georgia supply this packager with all-natural honey, free of additives and artificial preservatives. Varieties include Wildflower, Orange Blossom and Tupelo, but what we really love is the Sourwood honey. Its rich flavor and perfume are unlike any other honey we’ve tried. —JK

(Available at local markets, farmers markets and festivals.)

Hope’s Gardens Pesto

The freshly made basil pesto from Atlanta-based Hope’s Gardens is one of my ultimate comfort foods. It’s a simple harmony of ingredients: rich olive oil, nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano, sharp raw garlic, earthy pine nuts and sweet licorice-scented basil. Hope’s Gardens also prepares pestos like the tangy (and nut-free) sun-dried tomato (great on baked fish), jalapeño-cilantro and the mint, green pea and almond pesto (vegan). What a great way to celebrate the season’s bounty. —JT

(Available at several locations, including Whole Foods and Peachtree Road Farmers Market.)

Fairywood Thicket

Fairywood Thicket, local producer of jellies, jams and chutneys, took inspiration for its name from the wild elderberry bushes growing on its Fairburn farm. Eclectic jars hold products containing only fruit, pectin, sugar and spices. Nothing artificial, no corn syrup here. The product list began with elderberry jelly and has grown to include a number of savory jellies and chutneys like the scorching hot inferno jelly to a mild cranberry and serrano pepper jelly. Images of fairies frolicking in the thicket will dance in your head as you sample the vanilla blackberry, strawberry lavender and the white peach fruit jellies. —JT

4545 Cochran Mill Road, Fairburn, 678-278-5460. (Also available at several locations, including Peachtree Road Farmers Market.)

Phickles Pickles

Want a pickle with some pop? Try Phickles Pickles, an Athens-based pickled veggie company. Each jar of pickled local produce is hand-packed with vinegar, garlic, dill and peppers by owner Angie Tillman and company. Pickled snap beans will pucker you up, carrots pack some heat and the okra plays it just right — smooth and crisp with a slow burn. Also look for pickled green tomatoes, jalapeños and asparagus. Anything can be crafted into a pickle, right? —JT

100 Athens Town Blvd, Athens. 706-338-6957. (Also available at several locations, including Peachtree Road Farmers Market and Pine Street Market.)

FRESH PRODUCE

Crystal Organics farmer Nicholas Donck (AJC Staff)

Crystal Organics farmer Nicholas Donck (AJC staff)

Crystal Organic Farm

So many great local farms now supply Atlanta restaurants and farmers markets with game-changing farm produce. But you can’t help but award special recognition to this Newborn farm headed by Nicholas Donck. Donck’s weekly stand at the year-round Morningside Farmers Market tells you all you need to know about the growing seasons, the trends in fresh produce and the state of the good food movement. Here’s where you go to try your first padron peppers, new varieties of endive, sweet baby roma tomatoes and torpedo onions. If you get there early enough to snag a dozen eggs from his mom’s chickens, you’re living large. —JK

(Available at the Morningside Farmers Market, the Local Farmstead at Star Provisions and at Whole Foods throughout metro Atlanta.)

WINE AND SPIRITS

Wild Heaven Craft Beers (AJC Staff)

Wild Heaven Craft Beers (AJC staff)

H&F Bottleshop

You might find some of the bottles of wine and spirits on the shelves here cheaper by a dollar or three at your local liquor store. But you won’t find a better introduction to the contemporary cocktail scene. If you’re planning to build a home bar, this should be your first stop for bumping barware, bitters, mixers and craft spirits. We’re particularly smitten with the do-it-yourself cocktail kits for sale on the counter. —JK

2357 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, 404-841-4070

Hop City

Kraig Torres’s store is a veritable beer wonderland. Craft brews from around the country and the globe come by the bottle or the case, and the staff are all too willing to go into full-tilt beer-geek mode as you explore the different styles. Every trip is an education. —JK

1000 Marietta St., Atlanta, 404-350-9998

Le Caveau Fine Wines

If your wine taste skews Old World, then get thee to this small shop in Chamblee. The owners focus on wines from Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and the Loire Valley in France, as well as Tuscany, Austria and Germany. Here’s where you can find that $12 Rhone red with real character, that $30 Burgundy that tastes like one that could fetch three times the price, and that really weird chardonnay from the Jura region of France. —JK

5256 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, 770-837-0710

Wild Heaven Craft Beers

After Paste publisher Nick Purdy found himself without a magazine to publish, he turned his attention from music to his other love — beer. His microbrewery has caught on quickly, thanks to the distinctive character of his brews. His Ode To Mercy imperial brown ale, with its high alcohol content and touch of locally brewed coffee, is a hit with serious beer drinkers. But his home run may be Let There Be Light — a hoppy, citrusy beer that goes down by the pint. —JK

(Available at local craft beer shops and in many area pubs and restaurants.)

SPECIALTY GROCERS

Star Provision Cheese Counter (Becky Stein)

Star Provision Cheese Counter (Becky Stein)

Buford Highway Farmers Market

If you need an unusual ingredient for a recipe, look no further. This outstanding international market arranges its department by global geography, so whether you’re cooking from a Nepalese, Czech, Peruvian, British or Filipino cookbook, all you could hope to find is right here. This place is a marvel. —JK

5600 Buford Highway, Atlanta, 770-455-0770

Oli & Ve

Oli & Ve, the new olive oil and vinegar boutique and tasting room, is Roswell’s newest specialty shop. The shop works with a respected supplier who imports extra virgin olive oil from around the world and balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy. All oils are tested both chemically and by professional tasters to ensure quality and claims of origin. The shop’s oils range in intensity from mild to robust and each are available for tasting. Owners Suzanne Davidson and Deborah Hardee train customers on proper tasting methods, much like wine. Look for a second location to open in Buckhead this October. —JT

1003 Canton St., Roswell, 770-587-4244

Star Provisions Cheese Counter

There’s a lot to love at this west Atlanta market, from the bakery to the house-made sausages and pâtés to the well-curated selection of dry goods. But there’s something world-class about the cheese department, where Tim Gaddis offers a mouthwatering selection. Gaddis smartly features farmstead cheeses from around the world, around the country and around the South. The latter seems his real love; he knows and supports the farmers, bringing them recognition. —JK

1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, 404-365-0410

Also in our FALL 2012 DINING GUIDE: The Atlanta 50: Beyond Restaurants

Great Eats — A Visual Sampler

A Dozen Top Food Trucks | Map: Where you’ll find them

Our most recent previous dining guides:

• Spring 2012: THE ATLANTA 50: Where To Eat

• Fall 2011: Distinctive Culinary Voices | Spring 2011: Where To Splurge!

– For the AJC Food and More blog

42 comments Add your comment

Anton Chigurh

September 27th, 2012
7:10 am

I wish you could still buy the Atlanta paper outside the metro. Online is fine, but for something like this, I’d like to get the actual printed copy. Darn.

lookaround

September 27th, 2012
8:29 am

I love Dough in the Box…but if you haven’t tried REVOLUTION DOUGHNUTS in Decatur…well you haven’t lived. Unique flavors that never end. You MUST go there!!! And in regards to cupcakes? While they are a chain…GiGi’s in Marietta is simply AMAZING!

HoneyFern School

September 27th, 2012
8:38 am

Dough in the Box has the best doughnuts in Atlanta, hands-down. Not only that, but the coffee is good, and the prices are awesome. Well worth the trip from anywhere.

Oh, and when you buy a dozen (for just $7.20!), there is some space in the box, so they throw in a handful of doughnut holes. Nice people, great product!

lookaround

September 27th, 2012
8:40 am

HoneyFern…you REALLY need to go try REVOLUTION DOUGHNUTS. Pumpkin-ginger spiced glazed, Banana Cream sliders, Caramel bacon, oh my…I am telling you they are amazing! Located in Decatur…and no…I don’t work there! LOL

The Atlanta 50...Really?

September 27th, 2012
9:15 am

No Sublime Doughnuts? No Pie Hole in Roswell? Fail!

Becky

September 27th, 2012
9:40 am

I love Dough in the Box also…Drove by there for many years before I ever stopped in there and will not make that mistake any more..

@lookaround..I’m going to have to try Revolution Doughnuts just for the caramel bacon one..How could anything taste better than that?

Kar

September 27th, 2012
9:51 am

Wow, a bump for Buford Highway Farmer’s Market rather than the obligatory comments about Dekalb Farmer’s Market. In truth, the produce is just so much better, the range amazing and much easier to navigate.

bongostella

September 27th, 2012
9:59 am

Agree with Kar, BHFM is better in every way than YDFM. Am there at least twice a week.

FoodieBeast

September 27th, 2012
10:35 am

YDFM still has BHFM beat on pricing, sorry. Great selection but I still prefer YDFM.

I need to try Dough in the box. Sublime still holds my #1 spot. I’ve had a yeasty donut from Revolution but not a slider yet.

High Road is the best ice cream around! Keith rocks!

The Atlanta Food Truck Scene « Books I Read

September 27th, 2012
10:45 am

[...] part of their 2012 Fall Dining Guide, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution rounds up the dozen best food trucks in and around Atlanta. A lot [...]

James

September 27th, 2012
10:52 am

So glad you didn’t jump on the Sublime bandwagon. I imagine all the hype is thanks to its location, but man what a disappointment. Weird how the in-town spots get so overhyped.

Penny

September 27th, 2012
11:09 am

Sooooo glorious to see that you too have finally discovered The Chocolaterie. Although we live in Buckhead, it’s been my secret go-to for great gifts for years, and I truly am delighted to see them receive some well-deserved notoriety. The chocolates are something you have to see and eat to believe, and the shop itself is spectacularly beautiful.

Kevin

September 27th, 2012
11:50 am

Local coffee roaster J. Martinez & Co. is my favorite coffee source. Worth the trip to Chamblee.

Wornout

September 27th, 2012
12:19 pm

****

September 27th, 2012
12:35 pm

I love BHFM but find the prices a bit steep for my budget. I usually default to DFM, HMart or the State Farmer’s Market in Forest Park.

weena

September 27th, 2012
1:21 pm

Bitch please, you can now buy bacon flavored doughnuts in Tifton, GA. The whole food as trend movement is over. Humans have been eating for millions of years. It’s not like these tattooed, self- promoting “chefs” just discoved food. Just go to Publix, buy some ham and make a sandwich. Otherwise, you will be looking back in ten years realizing what a fool you were to buy into the hype.
Anyone remember the term “daytrader”? Seems rather foolish now, doesn’t it.

FoodieBeast

September 27th, 2012
3:13 pm

Umm, no. But nice try Weena. I’ll take whole food from local businesses any day over Publix ham.

[...] A Guide To Great Eats | A Visual [...]

mrb

September 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

Never tried Dough in the Box. Too far from home. But I have been to Revolution, and as much as I appreciate this addition to my neighborhood, it doesn’t compare to Sublime.

FoodsAndGoods

September 27th, 2012
4:48 pm

Ha! Kevin (O’Gara) works for J. Martinez, hence his comment. Do you think he thinks J. Martinez is his favorite coffee? Gee…. Nothing like a little self-pimping?

bongostella

September 27th, 2012
5:04 pm

BHFM may be a bit more expensive but the aggravation factor at DFM far out weighs
the difference. That parking lot at Dekalb makes me want to pull what hair I have left
out.

Dave

September 27th, 2012
9:24 pm

Pie shop doesn’t hold a candle to The Pie Hole on Canton Street in Roswell. Pie Hole is without peer no matter what you choose.

Kar

September 27th, 2012
10:08 pm

What the heck are you people buying at BHFM?

The imported Russian caviar and blinis? The vegetables and most of the packaged goods are dirt cheap. A bottle of chili sesame oil costs $3 compared to $10 at Hmart.

Koot

September 28th, 2012
1:45 am

Mixed emotions on Cake Hag making the list – best cakes we have ever had but kind of like to keep them as our secret

LBK

September 28th, 2012
7:31 am

I haven’t tried Dough in the Box, but can’t believe the list omitted Sublime Doughnuts. Love Piece of Cake, Alon’s anything from Star Provisions. Thanks for highlighting some new places I haven’t tried!

Jo

September 28th, 2012
8:55 am

Dutch Monkey Donuts in Cumming, across from The Avenues. Yum, yum, yum!!!! Tiny shop in a non-descrip strip mall tucked in next to a Burger King – truly a hidden gem!

FoodieBeast

September 28th, 2012
9:42 am

Kar, for myself, it’s the produce and YDFM DOES have them beat. I cook/bake for a living and find myself holding out for YDFM on many items. You’re right though, there are some items to be had for cheap at BHFM, I was just responding to the remark that they have YDFM beat on everything. They don’t.

Jman

September 28th, 2012
10:32 am

Meats….How about Patak Meats HELLO?!?!?! You have had cured or fresh meats until you have eaten there. I also like Patton’s and Whole Foods Meat Counter in general. FAIL!

[...] FALL 2012 DINING GUIDE: Beyond Restaurants [...]

Jerry

September 28th, 2012
2:56 pm

John K., love the market line up. Have you ever ben in the “church of pork”, Patak Meats retail shop in Powder Springs? Speaking of locally made, in the back of the store…around an hour and half wait before holidays, little shorter before weekends. Even though some of his product is found in Harry’s Market in Alpharetta and perhaps some other places, the freshness, low prices and ambience cannot be duplicated elsewhere. Glad to see that at least one other foodie concurs.

HoneyFern School

September 28th, 2012
9:37 pm

Patak, definitely left out a good one. Go on Thursdays between 3 and 4 for shorter lines and homemade pastry. Prices are awesome, also. No nitrates in their meat.

I like a good donut, but I’m not driving to Decatur from Powder Springs to get one!!

Daughter of a Farmer

September 29th, 2012
6:55 am

I live in Coweta and get home delivery. I think they also have a weekend package,

Maggie

September 29th, 2012
9:38 am

The AJC food section has lost all credibility and good judgement since MFG left. Sad when the people leaving comments have more culinary knowledge than the food writers.

Theresa

September 29th, 2012
10:53 am

Wow, Maggie! I think your comment is way over the top. I couldn’t disagree more. MFG was a good writer, but she reviewed McDonald’s! I don’t think that showed “good judgement.” I was delighted when Kessler came back to the AJC. I don’t always agree with his reviews, but his culinary knowledge is above reproach. Have some class. Just because you disagree with a review, doesn’t mean you need to insult the reviewer.

Theresa

September 29th, 2012
10:55 am

Maggie

September 29th, 2012
11:32 am

AzCat

September 29th, 2012
4:00 pm

Theresa, JK has had more than one blog post about McDonald’s, as well. What’s your point? And as far as the ‘review’ that you so lovingly (or insultingly) posted a link to, it contained one paragraph about McD’s, stating that they had the best fries of the fast food outlets. Follow your own advice next time.

And yes, Maggie was over the top.

Beverly

September 29th, 2012
10:11 pm

Drove up to see The Chocolaterie today. Wow, when you actually see everything there in person, it’s even more beautiful than the picture. They had a sweet potato pie truffle that was out of this world – absolutely amazing!

Marti

September 30th, 2012
10:42 am

Is there some kind of doughnut mafia in this city? There were lots of other super interesting places highlighted in this article. I really loved the whole thing about the food trucks. In San Francisco, we used to live off these things every day. Thought it was cool to see them get some press! Why so many complainers in this city??? This food guide shows plain enough there is a LOT that Atlanta has to show the world.

Robin

September 30th, 2012
11:21 am

Endulge Cupcakes at Moreland & Ormewood has the best cupcakes I’ve tried in town – tender cake and simply amazing silky buttercream in just the right proportion.

Mar -Atl Foodie

October 1st, 2012
9:47 am

I love to hear about places I didn’t know about, like Endulge and The Chocolaterie. I just can’t figure out how the Pie Shop got such rave reviews when there is a place like the Pie Hole which tastes better, puts more into their pies and has a great crust. I have eaten at both many times, and the only reason I go to the Pie Shop is because it is open late Fridays. The DeKalb Mkt and Buford Hwy Mkt are both good, each having the edge in different areas; like the BHW Mkt is much easier to get around and their fish dept is great. The cafeteria in the Dekalb Mkt is great.

Jason

October 1st, 2012
2:44 pm

The Buford Highway Farmer’s Market has really stepped up their cheese selection. I used to have to go to Star Provisions for Cowgirl Creamery cheese, but they are now at BHFM for less and I live closer. The deli section is also great with all the weird stuff I like such as head cheese.

BHFM also has the best selection of shrimp in town, usually 10-12 kinds with or without heads.