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2008 Restaurant Wrap

I've found one to add to my must-vist list for 2009: Ann's Snack Bar. I've heard of it many times, but I've never made it there. I also want to get to Pasta da Pulcinella and The Bookhouse Pub.

2009 wish list
Places I want to try in 2009, in addition to the aforementioned:


My husband really wants to try Morton's, so I'm sure we'll make it there at some point, even though steak isn't a favorite of mine. Once every year and a half or so is about my speed. I'd also like to give Starfish a shot, based on mumpish's interest in it.

2008 grazing
Looking back, I checked the list I made back in April. Since that time, I've made it to the following:
  • Bluepointe (I'd definitely go back; it greatly exceeded expectations.)

  • Bones (It lived up to its reputation of being a classic steakhouse. While not the best steak I've had in Atlanta, it was good, and the service was warm and friendly. They seem to truly value their clientele.)


It doesn't look like I made it very far, but I did make an effort to seek out new places. I know I tried the following, and I'm probably forgetting several:
  • Barker's Red Hots (It's the best hot dog that I've found in Atlanta.)

  • Cuerno

  • The Diner at North Point (I've been there twice now. It's somewhat hit and miss, but that's to be expected with such a large menu. The kitchen has been slow both times we've been there, but the French toast is quite good. Bang for your buck varies greatly, depending upon what you order. I'll probably stick to breakfast offerings here.)

  • Double's Pizza (Bleh. I'm going to give some of their other menu items a chance, but I found their pizza disappointing.)

  • Falafel Cafe

  • Holeman & Finch (I am a hopeless Hopkins fangirl.)

  • La Petite Maison (The food was delicious. I'd go back on a weeknight, since the noise level was high on the weekend.)

  • Lee Garden (Underwhelming.)

  • Mojito

  • MF Buckhead

  • MF Sushibar (I like MF Buckhead better because of the interesting robata grill offerings.)

  • Nahm

  • Chicago's Nancy's Pizzeria (Yummy deep dish.)

  • Nelayan

  • Panahar This might have to do for our Indian fix since our favorite, Angan, is now gone.

  • Pano's and Paul's (Warm and cozy; some of the best service you will find in Atlanta.)

  • Pure Taqueria, I'm undecided about this place. It merits a second visit, perhaps at lunch time.

  • Relish (Disappointing.)

  • The River Room

  • Sushi Nami

  • Sushi Yoko

  • Sushi Zutto

  • Twisted Taco (This has become a real staple for us. It's inexpensive and consistently tasty.)


Tried and true
Also in 2008, I made it back to the following restaurants:
  • Athens Restaurant (Our local gyro joint. Nothing fancy, but I've yet to find a better gyro in the city. Great Greek potatoes.)

  • Baldino's (I avoid deli meat because it's been linked to colon cancer, but on the rare occasions that I indulge, the subs here are worth it.)

  • Capozzi's

  • Eclipse di Luna (Had a great lunch there just yesterday.)

  • Little Alley (Good, but not quite as good as I recall prior to their renovation.)

  • Little Azio (It had been a long time since I'd been to Little Azio. I still don't know why the quality is night and day compared to the suckage that is Azio, their namesake. The locations of Little Azio that I've visited have been consistently decent for what they are.)

  • Five Guys

  • Fogo de Chao

  • Fuego

  • Nothing but Noodles

  • Pho 79

  • Sushi Huku

  • Taurus (I hadn't been in a while, and was impressed that it was still really solid!)

  • Uptown Breakfast

  • Wild Wing Cafe


Best meals of 2008
Out of all of the above, including old and new, some of my best meals were:
  • Favorite Pub: Holeman & Finch

  • Favorite Tapas: Eclipse di Luna

  • Favorite Brazilian: Fogo de Chao

  • Favorite Vietnamese: Pho 79

  • Favorite Upscale Sushi: MF Buckhead

  • Favorite Budget Sushi: Sushi Yoko

  • Favorite Hot Dog: Barker's Red Hots

  • Favorite Deep Dish Pizza: Chicago's Nancy's Pizzeria

  • Favorite Hand Tossed Pizza: Capozzi's (I recommend their House Special.)

  • Favorite Surprise: Bluepointe (I expect a certain level of quality from Buckhead Life restaurants. While I've had impressive service at every single location I've tried, the food tends to be good and reliable, but also very safe. At Bluepointe, we had both good service and a more innovative menu than I expected. I was very pleased.)


Food trends
Prediction for 2009: You know how a given wine tends to become trendy? I've seen Chablis, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Rosé all have their days in the sun, roughly in that order. (Sideways had a bit to do with Merlot falling out of fashion and raising the price of Pinot Noir, given Miles' infamous line about not drinking any f'ing Merlot.) Malbec has been a favorite of mine for a while, and I think it might be The Next Big Grape in 2009. I'm seeing it in greater evidence on restaurant menus, and I've noticed it getting pushed on wine store endcaps.

I don't think I can pick a worst meal, although Relish was probably my greatest disappointment. I can tell you some food trends I'm ready to see depart:
  • Sliders (I'm okay with them at tapas restaurants, but I'm sick of seeing them everywhere I go. Even Fuddrucker's has sliders now. It's done to death.)

  • Upscale Southern

  • Asian fusion (I can't believe Tom Catherall just launched Aja. To me, it feels like we've been there and done that for ages now. If I want dim sum, I'll head to Buford Highway and have authentic dishes for a third of the price.)


It probably won't happen, but there's a trend I'd really like to see in restaurants: honest labeling on menus about ingredients. If there's tomato on that sandwich, I want to know about it. If a dish is garnished with cilantro or there's egg in that salad, I'd like for the menu to say so. I'm not looking for an itemized list of every component, but if it's big enough to pick out, it's significant enough to list. It creates food waste for me to have to send back a sandwich that has tomato on it because I didn't have any warning. It's not an ingredient that's easily picked off, because it's such a gooey food.

Thank you
I'd like to say a special thank you to my husband, and to mumpish, proftlb, spring_1970, and her husband. Thank you all for indulging me in this hobby. Thank you for your patience, your encouragement, and for your spirit of adventure in being willing to try new things. I love you all very much, and feel grateful to have such fun dining companions!

Thank you, also, to those who have friended me on LJ and who comment on my posts. It's always educational to get your insights and to compare and contrast foodie notes! I know I write about a variety of subjects, but it hasn't escaped my notice that people seem to like my food posts, which encourages me to write more on that subject.

Bon appétit in 2009, and don't let the recession keep you from patronizing restaurants that deserve to stay in business. If you can, go at lunch: it saves you money, and helps them keep their doors open!

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