246 Bellini & Lemon Basil Mint Cocktail (The Day’s Special)
Calabrian chiles, anchovies, olives, garlic and San Marzano tomatoes… this was one delicious pizza. This dough was clearly given time for proper dough development. It was evident in the rich, mature flavor.
Porchetta, Rocket, Pickled Onion, Aioli with Roasting Jus
The Roasting Jus & Rocket Salad
Tender, succulent pork and that gorgeous roasting jus, the richness of it was brought to life by those fresh, bitter greens.
Blackberry Ice Cream & Cantaloupe Sorbet
A deliciously fabulous end to the meal. The bright, fresh taste of the cataloupe contrasted delightfully with the rich, creamy blackberry ice cream.
What a great first meal… and one of our favorites this year.
129 East Ponce De Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
678 399 8246
Enter Through The Front Porch
A Peek In The Window
The Front Room With A View Of One Giant Oak
Ribs & Fries
With A Huge Side of Mac & Cheese
Beef Rib, Brunswick Stew & Garlic-y Green Beans
We arrived as the live music was setting up for the evening in the screened porch of this charming little house in Grayson. Lavender and herbs fill the front yard, sounds of warm-up music spill out the door, and friendly faces greet you at the door. Charm, it oozes here. You’re guided to a wooden table in one of the little rooms. Or, maybe you’d prefer a table on that screened porch? This place truly is pretty as a picture.
But, then reality rears its ugly head.
We glance at the time and realize the drive was over 30 minutes to the east of 285. And, that’s the second nail in the coffin that will prevent a return visit any time soon. The first? Sadly, that’s the food. Still Waters offers home-style cookin’, but, not in a good way. Both beef and pork ribs were well past their prime. They were quite dry and chewy in that way that overcooked meat tends to be. The sides were all tasty and perfectly “fine”. The garlic-y green beans were by far the best dish of the night. That’s not a sentence you hear every day, right? Even so, nothing was a standout or particularly memorable.
Did you ever see the Dance 10, Looks 3 number in “A Chorus Line” on broadway? This is a… Looks 10, Food 3.
We’d love to give them a second chance. But, time and money are both precious things.
516 Grayson Parkway
Grayson, GA 30017
678 376 3001
These beautiful pretzel rolls are formed into mini baguette shapes (AKA mini ficelle). And, they couldn’t be more perfect in freshness, flavor, or texture. Though, we might appreciate a touch less salt. But, that’s an easy fix. We simply brush off the excess with our fingers. Very simple.
Just slice ‘em, stuff ’em with roast beef and add a light slathering of dijon. Now, that’s DIY sandwich perfection in your very own kitchen.
Check out H& F Bread Co.’s website to find them at a farmers market near you.
H&F Bread Co.
Duck Eggs By The Dozen
Duck eggs… each egg is gorgeously unique in size, shape and color. Aren’t they lovely? Garmon Family Farms offers duck eggs for sale by the dozen ($6 a dozen) at the Dunwoody Green Market. They might skip a week here and there. But, Garmon Family Farms has a beautiful stand bursting with farm raised fruits, veggies and those lovely (and delicious) duck eggs.
Dunwoody Green Market operates on Wednesday mornings from 8am until noon.
Dunwoody Green Market
Chicken, Ribs, Potato Salad and Mac & Cheese
These Fall-Off-The-Bone Tender Ribs Have A Nice Bit of Char
Ribs With Collards & Cornbread
This half rack had a bit less charring. But, it was equally tender, succulent and delicious. There’s significantly less smoke than we would normally crave. Yet, somehow, that doesn’t matter with Maddy’s ribs. We love them a little more with each new visit.
And, these Collards & Cornbread Are Worthy of Equal Billing
Where the potato salad and mac & cheese play second fiddle to the ribs. That’s just not the case with Maddy’s collards and cornbread. We would happily make a meal out of this perfect pairing.
That cornbread is a little bit fluffy, a little bit dense, mildly sweet and all-around delicious.
(A Rib & Blues Joint)
1479 Scott Blvd.
Decatur, GA 30030
404 377 0301
The Tableside View of Georgia’s Lake Lucerne
After a hike up Stone Mountain (By the way, did you know that you’re officially a slacker if you only hike up and down once?), we discovered that the nearby Starbucks has morphed into an Alcove Coffee. Major (Major) Improvement.
Red Velvet Cupcake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Breakfast of Champions
Not great. But, we were ravenous. So, it’ll do.
Dancing Goat Iced Coffee
Last, but certainly not least, the coffee is Batdorf & Bronson. This is the very reason that Alcove Coffee Shop is a significant improvement over that old Starbucks.
That Roast Date Was Within One Day Of Our Visit
(Decaf?? No, thanks. We’ll take full-on caffeine, thank you. Whew, that was a lucky catch.)
They offer a number of blends sold by the bag (including Dancing Goat, obviously).
4615 Highway 78
Lilburn, GA 30087
770 979 3030
Easily the best thing on the menu, these tender pork kebabs have plenty of crispy bits. And, the tzatziki sauce is oniony, herby and very yummy.
Served with Athens Potatoes, Tzatziki Sauce, Pita, Lettuce, Tomato & Onion
If you’ve ever gone to Emory (or lived in the Emory area for any length of time), chances are good that you’ve eaten at Athens Pizza. It looks a bit like Epcot Theme Park spit out a Greek diner …more than a few years ago. Murals coat the walls and flags of every nation fly sky high. We’ve had a love/hate relationship with this place for over ten years. (Hate Mostly) But, over the years, this place has grown on us like that comfy pair of ugly shoes you just can’t throw away.
And, it’s hard to hold onto the hate when their staff is so very friendly.
Jr. Greek Salad
Even the Jr. Greek Salads are loaded with feta. Old school style, these salads are served with a basket of assorted crackers. No, not house-made crackers brushed with herbs and olive oil like those fancy new spots around town. No… think real old school… These crackers are wrapped in plastic like Saltines, Wheat Thins and Clubhouse.
Santorini Special Pizza
(With Feta, Kalamata Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Spinach, Garlic, & Artichoke Hearts)
Sadly, we’ve always hated the raw doughy-tasting crust at Athens Pizza. But, these toppings make for a really nice Greek style pizza. On a better crust, this would be a real winner.
Sausage & Sundried Tomato Calzone
If it weren’t for that doughy crust and sauce, we could like this …some day. Give us a few more years.
Oven Roasted Lamb
(With Athens Potatoes, Green Beans in Tomato Sauce, & Mint Jelly)
Simply put, this was a very well-done lamb pot roast Athens Pizza style. This was a first for us. Somehow, we’ve never ordered this before. And, if it’s always this well-done and salty, it’s unlikely that we’ll be ordering it any time soon. But, we’re sure to give it another chance …some day.
1341 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA 30033
404 636 1100
Blue Willow Inn
The front lawn is littered with tables topped with striped umbrellas and the front walk is lined with benches for lingering.
Daisies Grace the Table
What to drink?
Sweet tea, of course.
Oh, you have homemade lemonade. That would be lovely.
Fried Green Tomatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Salmon Cake, Parmesan Chicken & Fried Chicken Livers
Smothered Pork Chop & Collard Greens with more Chicken Livers & Sweet Potato
Custard Pie, Blue Willow Squares, & A Fruity Trifle
Ask about the Blue Willow Inn Squares and they’ll happily try to sell you a cookbook. Buy the cookbook and it’ll tell you that those yummy little squares are also called Park Avenue Squares.
Slivers of Chocolate Cake
We weren’t being greedy. Those slivers of chocolate cake were super-thin… really.
Who doesn’t love daisies?
Time For A Walk
A Glance Across The Street
This old general store was closed.
We couldn’t help peeking in the windows. We spotted an assortment of sundries cluttering the shelves. Everything from shampoo and deodorant to vintage coca cola and pepsi bottles, the past and present mingle together in silent harmony. There’s a story to be told here. And, this isn’t the only unusual shop on the street that’s inviting us to come in and listen.
Most of the shops on this street were closed. But, there’s still an antique shop or two, an art gallery, a Mexican restaurant and an attorney’s office under construction. This charming little town is trying to survive on the tourist traffic generated by Blue Willow Inn. But, there’s more to see here than the Blue Willow Inn. There’s a quiet town oozing with charm, nearby sunflower farms, plenty of farm fresh peaches to buy and people to meet. This little town has a story to tell. We owe it to them to listen. We owe it to small towns… everywhere.
There’s beauty out there waiting to be discovered.
Blue Willow Inn Restaurant
294 North Cherokee Road
(GA Highway 11)
Social Circle, GA 30025
770 464 2131
Applewood Smoked Bacon
The rich, sweet yet smoky taste of this bacon is out of this world good.
Applewood Smoked Bacon in front, End Scraps in back
That little package of bacon ends in the back was an absolute bargain at $3. It’s the perfect size for adding flavor to a pot of greens, beans, or stew. Or… we might just dice those strips into tiny little squares before a good crisping in the frying pan. Sprinkled over a baby green salad for two, it’s sure to make a perfectly simple lunch.
Check out their shop. Or, if you’re lucky, you might find them at your local farmers market.
Pine Street Market
4A Pine Street
Avondale Estates, GA 30002
404 296 9672
Flaky, buttery, and very generously stuffed with richly scented marzipan… we’d love to start every morning with a cappuccino and one of these beauties.
That toasty bite of marzipan was perfection.
Peach & Blueberry Fried Pies
Super-ripe peaches and blueberries make the perfect filling for these crispy hand pies.
Cheddar & Bacon Croissant
Cheese was oozing from both ends. And, that cheese got crispy in the oven as the croissant baked. So delicious.
There might not appear to be much inside. But, the quality of both the cheese and bacon shines when wrapped in these buttery, fluffy layers.
Holeman & Finch Bread Co. offers their incredible pastries and breads at a number of specialty markets, restaurants and all of the best farmers markets around town. Check out their website for a full list of places to find them near you.
Holeman & Finch Bread Company
Dunwoody Green Market