Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Church's Chicken Eyes Atlanta Expansion

IN THE NEWS: San Antonio-based Church's Chicken, operator and franchiser of more than 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants in 18 countries, announced a new partnership with a business brokerage outfit that will accelerate its new store opening program through strategic franchisee-recruitment methods, CoStar.com reports. Markets targeted for growth include Jacksonville, Orlando, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit, Raleigh/Durham, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Nashville. ... Fatburger, a Los Angeles burger chain, is planning to beef up its presence in Atlanta, the Atlanta Business Chronicle atlanta.bizjournals.com reports. With one existing Atlanta store, Fatburger Inc. believes Atlanta is prime for 10 more locations in the next two years, and possibly more. The 55-year-old burger chain isn't another Five Guys Burgers and Fries, another newcomer to the ATL. Five Guys limits its menu to burgers, fries and hot dogs. Instead, Fatburger has made its name on a variety of burger toppings, like bacon, chili and eggs. Fatburger already signed a 10-unit franchise deal in Atlanta with Willie Anderson, a former NFL pro who played for the Cincinnati Bengals through 2006. Anderson owns Atlanta's first and only Fatburger location, in Buckhead Crossing at 2625 Piedmont Road near the Lindbergh MARTA station. Anderson's next store is slated for Windy Hill Road in Marietta. ... ChowDownAtlanta.com visits Brazilian steakhouse Fogo De Chao (3101 Piedmont Rd.) and Tacqueria Los Hermanos (4418 Hugh Howell Road, Tucker) . ...

The AJC's accessatlanta.com Meridith Ford gives three stars in her review of Farmhouse At Serenbe (10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Palmetto), while the paper also reviews 5th Earl Market (309 E. College Ave., Decatur), Entree Vous (8465 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell), J.R. Crickets (4479 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna), and AJ's Famous Seafood and PoBoys (2100 Roswell Road, east Cobb), while also plugging five great vegetarian-friendly places, including Buckhead's Cafe Sunflower. ... Ford reports on: the May 30 opening of Kevin Rathbun Steak; Tamarind Seed Thai Bistro owners Charlie, Eddie and Nan Niyomkul's quiet opening in Colony Square on June 10 -- it's the reincarnation of much-beloved Tamarind Thai Cuisine; James Beard nominee and chef-owner Hugh Acheson of Athens’ Five and Ten's new venture, The National, which is scheduled to open Aug. 1 at 232 Hancock Ave. in downtown Athens, with Peter Dale, Acheson’s sous chef from Five and Ten, running the kitchen; Linton Hopkins' fall opening in the Aramore directly across from his Restaurant Eugene of Holeman & Finch Public House; the opening of Tap, the American gastropub from restaurateurs Bob Amick and Todd Rushing (Trois, Two Urban Licks, One Midtown Kitchen, Lobby at Twelve, Piebar), on June 8; and the June 1 closing of Saga, the South African, Southern restaurant in Midtown. ... Creative Loafing's atlanta.creativeloafing.com Besha Rodell awards four stars to Quinones at Bacchanalia (1198 Howell Mill Road; www.starprovisions.com), while Cliff Bostick visits Tamarind Seed Bistro and the newest Figo (1021 Virginia Ave.), and blogs about Tap (1180 Peachtree St.), Middle Eastern mainstay Nicola’s (1602 Lavista Road), Vietnamese joint Saigon Basil (1870 Piedmont Ave), and barbecue spot Daddy D’z (264 Memorial Drive) ... Cheap Eats stops by BiBa's Italian Restaurant (4850 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville.). ... The Blissful Glutton blissfulglutton.blogspot.com visits Fiesta Plaza, and has a hanger steak burger at Star Provisions. ... Atlanta Eats atlantaeats.blogspot.com stops by Tap.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Alpharetta's Trattoria Monaco Closes

IN THE NEWS: Reports the AJC's H.M. Cauley: "Taking home the "best of" award at the Taste of Alpharetta two years in a row wasn't enough to keep the kitchen going at Trattoria Monaco. The 2 1/2-year-old eatery on Windward Parkway shut its doors last week. "We gave it our all, but, unfortunately, the dream didn't pan out," said owner Don Monaco. "We made a lot of friends and had a great time here, but it's a matter of economics. There were not a lot of options." ... Cauley reviews Triple Play Sports Bar (2606 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw; tripleplayga.com) and Loafing Leprechaun (3070 Windward Plaza, Alpharetta; loafingleprechan.com), while Jon Waterhouse visits Mellow Mushroom Pizza (6100 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs; mellowmushroom.com). accessatlanta.com ... Creative Loafing's Besha Rodell reviews Geisha House (1380 Atlantic Drive, Atlantic Station. www.dolcegroup.com), while Cliff Bostick stops by Kevin Rathbun Steak (154 Krog St.). Bostick also reports: the opening Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe, a storefront to be operated by an online supplier of vegan goods, a few doors down from the old Roman Lily location (CosmosVeganShoppe.com). The Roman Lily location has been taken over by Across the Street, a Mexican restaurant that is scheduled to open in about two weeks. ... The openings of Tamarind Seed and Tap are blogged. atlanta.creativeloafing.com ... Nan Fine Thai Dining (1350 Spring Street) is reviewed by The Blissful Glutton blissfulglutton.blogspot.com ... A Florida-based restaurant chain is putting out feelers that it wants to greatly expand its reach, the Denver Business Journal reports. Earl of Sandwich, founded in 2004 and based in Orlando, says it's looking for franchisees around the United States, including Atlanta. ... ChowDownAtlanta.com visits Great Harvest Bread Co. ... New Orleans-based blogger YatCuisine food.yatpundit.com reviews Max Lagers (320 Peachtree St. NW).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trois Makes 'Bon Appetit' Hot List

The June issue of Bon Appetit magazine epicurious.com/bonappetit lists 10 restaurants as "summer's hotspots," new foodie destinations around the country. Prices range from $10 pizzas at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles to the $54 and $67 prix fixe menus at Bijoux in Dallas. Here's the full list:

Momofuku Ssam Bar, 207 Second Ave., New York City
Central Michel Richard, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
Trois, 1180 Peachtree St., Atlanta
Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, 641 N. Highland Ave., and 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
Tavolata, 2323 Second Ave., Seattle
Radda Trattoria, 1265 Alpine Ave., Boulder, Colo.
Aigre Doux Restaurant & Bakery, 230 W. Kinzie St., Chicago
Bijoux, 5450 West Lovers Lane, Suite 225, Dallas
Osteria, 640 N. Broad St., Philadelphia
Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington St., Yountville, Calif. (Napa Valley)

IN THE NEWS: The AJC's Meridith Ford awards two stars to new chef Jesse Perez's Southwestern cuisine of Buckhead staple Nava (3060 Peachtree Road 1, Buckhead Plaza, Suite 160), while Bob Townsend stops by Fune Sushi Bar and Ultra Lounge (860 Peachtree St.) and Jennifer Brett visits Tarahumata Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar (6195 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta). ... H.M. Cauley previews last week's opening of C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar -- carved out of a former Eckerd drugstore — at 3240 Cobb Parkway. ... Cauley also notes, "Head inside the Perimeter for the annual Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week, August 13-19. This year, the cost of a three-course meal at participating eateries will be $25. Among the places that have already signed on are City Grill, Dailey's, French American Brasserie, Hsu's Gourmet, Luckie Food Lounge, Max Lager's, No Mas! Cantina, Pittypat's Porch, Pleasant Peasant, Ray's in the City, Thrive and Trader Vic's. See the complete list at www.atlantadowntown.com." accessatlanta.com ... Creative Loafing's Besha Rodell chats with Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement. atlanta.creativeloafing.com ... Popular Detroit tapas-style restaurant Small Plates is opening a second, larger location in downtown Royal Oak and plans to add more local venues over the next five years, including Atlanta, the Detroit Free-Press freep.com reports. ... ChowDownAtlanta.com visits Bob’s Home Cooking (3455 Peachtree Industrial, Duluth). ... Blogger The Blissful Glutton blissfulglutton.blogspot.com reviews Pho Dai Loi in Forest Park and stops by Element Gastro Lounge. ... AtlantaCuisine.com reviews chef Richard Blais' Element (1051 West Peachtree St., Midtown). ... Atlanta Foodies atlantafoodies.blogspot.com reviews Twist (In Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Rd.). ... A small, health-conscious fast food chain is getting ready for prime time. Tampa-based Evos recently inked multi-unit franchise agreements with two area developers. One will develop a minimum of 21 stores in Atlanta and North Carolina over the next five years, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reports. Evos currently has three units open in Tampa, one in St. Petersburg and one in Las Vegas, and it has two under construction, one near the University of South Florida and another in Sarasota.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

French American Brasserie Draws Raves

IN THE NEWS: The AJC's Meridith Ford awards a whopping four stars in her review of the new French American Brasserie (30 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.), while Bob Townsend visits The Corner Pub (627-D E. College Ave., Decatur). ... Ford's Table Talk blog spotlights restaurants who do a great job with grouper, including: Thrive (101 Marietta St.), Lobby at Twelve (361 17th St. inside Twelve Hotel at Atlantic Station), The Inn at Serenbe and Farmhouse at Serenbe (10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Palmetto) and Element Restaurant & Lounge (1051 West Peachtree St., Atlanta). accessatlanta.com ... Blogger The Blissful Glutton blissfulglutton.blogspot.com also visits French American Brasserie as well as MF Sushi Bar. ... Steakhead's Atlanta Eats blog atlantaeats.blogspot.com is one of the first to weigh in on Kevin Rathbun Steak, which opened May 30 ... AtlantaCuisine.com's Tom Maicon reviews star chef Richard Blais' cutting edge work in the kitchen of Element (1051 West Peachtree St., Midtown). ... Atlanta Foodies atlantafoodies.blogspot.com reviews Nava (3060 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta). ... Chow Down Atlanta chowdownatlanta.com reviews PURE Taqueria (103 Roswell St., Alpharetta). ... From Anya Martin of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Given the city's size, it's no surprise chefs shuffle from one high-end restaurant to the next. However, Atlanta restaurateurs tend to accept that as par for the course, rather than seeing it as a threat. A look at one Atlanta restaurant company tells the tale. Over 27 years, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group Inc. has nurtured many of Atlanta's top chefs including Kevin Rathbun, chef and owner of Rathbun's; Ian Winslade, who first cooked for Bluepointe, then Tom Catherall's Shout and recently became chef de cuisine at Posh, the Catherall concept that replaced Seeger's; and Tom Harvey, who left Nava last fall for ONE. midtown kitchen. ..." The Chronicle also reports that Newport Beach, Calif., chain zpizza says Atlanta is on track to get 19 stores, three in 2007, as part of the company's ambitious expansion plans. ... Creative Loafing's Besha Rodell hangs out in North Carolina with Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, in the States in part to plug his latest book, Slow Food Nation (Rizzoli, $22.50). ... Cliff Bostick reviews 5th Runway Café (420 14th St.), while Maureen McCarthy visits Lee's Bakery (4005 Buford Highway, Suite C). atlanta.creativeloafing.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com