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Atlanta revisit: Cafe at Pharr, Buckhead

Chicken salad plate (credit: Becky Stein)

Chicken salad plate (credit: Becky Stein)

In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Cafe at Pharr, an Atlanta staple.

Cafe at Pharr opened in 1993 as a bakery, selling an array of cakes and pastries. The Pharr Road location proved to be a bit of a gaffe given that it was located next door to a Pepperidge Farm retail outlet. The heavy competition forced owners Mike and Shirley Liu to quickly modify the bakery concept, adding lunch options, like its signature chicken salad.

Even though they resisted transitioning to a cafe, the Lius watched their business grow over the next few years as Buckhead embraced the model. While still baking breads in-house, the restaurant, now run by son Johnny Liu, has increased its lunch offerings and reduced its baked goods to a few quick-grab items like cookies and Rice Krispy treats.

Today Cafe at Pharr has five locations throughout the metro area, with a sixth opening in Dunwoody later this fall. Its success no doubt stems from its streamlined methods for processing the crowds that move through to purchase the no-frills chicken salad and simple deli sandwiches.

If you need a local spot for a quick lunch, one of Cafe at Pharr’s locations may be your bet. I gave it a grade of 2 stars.

Subscribers can read the full review on myajc.com.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

5 comments Add your comment

[...] Atlanta revisit: Cafe at Pharr, Buckhead [...]

Local

October 3rd, 2013
11:01 am

I miss their old neighbor on Pharr, New Yorker Marketplace & Delicatessen…

Local

October 3rd, 2013
11:03 am

AKA the old Harold’s Butcher Shop

Marsh

October 4th, 2013
11:55 am

I used to work in E. Paces Ferry. The New Yorker was GREAT. Cafe Pharr was serviceable, haven’t been to Buckhead in years.

Judy and Sam Appel

October 4th, 2013
7:19 pm

We have been buying tuna and chicken salad from Cafe At Pharr for many years . It really is not a deli–it is a cafe that excels in fresh, healthy salads and sandwiches. Immaculate to a fault, quick and friendly service make it an all around great destination. Far from having mayonnaise laden chicken or tuna salad, the salads are filled with beautiful chunks of white meat and that is why Cafe at Pharr is recommended by leading Atlanta Nutritionists. Perhaps you should pay them another visit.After all, Cafe At Pharr is an Atlanta institution.