Our humble list of the top 5 and the bottom 5
Atlanta's restaurant scene in 2010? Blown to smithereens.
And those that survived? Well, they're picking up the pots and pans.
Reflecting on the blood bath of restaurant closures in Atlanta had us thinking: What restaurants would we want to stay and which ones would we want to close. So, we put together the best and the worst of 2010, old and new.
Restaurants that made our top five had to be an everyday eatery located in Metro Atlanta and meet this criteria: affordable, consistent, and delicious. Subjective? Sure. That's the idea.
And look, we get it, Bacchanalia is the nectar of the Gods. But we're looking for places you can go to without taking out a second mortgage.
With out further adieu, here's our top 5, in no particular order:
Urban PL8 | 1082 Huff Road Atlanta, GA 30318
Bargain basement prices for sophisticated palettes. Note worthy: The Elledge-- a grilled Krispy Kreme doughnut, cut in half with vanilla ice cream in between. It will re-affirm your belief in God.
Antico-Pizza Napoletana | 1093 Hemphill Avenue Atlanta, GA 30318
Dining in is like sitting on the counter of your Italian aunt's kitchen, waiting for homemade pizza from the oven. Everything, including the brick stone ovens, are straight from Italy. It's like visiting Europe without TSA being able to cop a feel.
Lottafrutta | 590 Auburn Avenue Northeast Atlanta, GA 30312
This quirky restaurant (it seats like, seven) has fruit so fresh and so big James Cameron wanted to use it in Avatar but didn't think anyone would believe it. Our favorite combo: The Cremolatta fruit cup and the Pavo del Ocho panini polished off with a Mexican Coca-cola.
Lunacy Black Market | 231 Mitchell St SW Atlanta, GA 30303
If you don't like eating in your living room, this ain't your place. It's like they didn't have enough space in the dining room so they shunted you off onto the couch where you end up having a relaxed conversation over homemade tapas. It's like eating in somebody's home with out clearing the dishes afterward.
Top FLR | 674 Myrtle Street Northeast Atlanta, GA 30308
The closest thing to a NYC style restaurant that this city has to offer. It's too small. It's too cramped. It's too loud. And you can't wait to get there. It almost feels like you've discovered something nobody else knows about. Except of course, the people you're ass to elbows with.
Before we get to the top five restaurants that should die before you visit, let's qualify it a bit. Atlanta has so many terrible restaurants we can't simply select them on the basis of bad food. We'd be here forever.
So here's our criteria: The restaurant must have a "must-go" element (it's a beautiful space, has a fun atmosphere or is filled with terrific people) but gets f*cked up by serving food your starving dog would offer your overweight cat or service so bad, you'd never actually make it to the food.
Here's the top five that should die before you visit:
Parish | 240 N Highland Avenue Northeast Atlanta, GA 30307
Parish needs to be spelled with an "e." It's undeniably beautiful, but all of Bob Amick's restaurants are. What they can't get right is the food. And Parish is Exhibit A in "HE CAN'T GET THE FOOD RIGHT."
Ra Sushi | 1080 Peachtree St NE Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Cream cheese smothered fish fresh from the freezer and labeled sushi is the first problem, but expected for a chain like Ra. They've got a great bar and outdoor seating area but good luck getting your order in over the blaring music. This sushi restaurant is a fish out of water.
Hobnob | 1551 Piedmont Avenue Atlanta, GA 30324
Awesome patio and great energy. But canned gravy over fries and frozen flounder fillet's served from a hungover wait staff is a deal breaker.
Bakeshop | 903 Peachtree St NE Atlanta, GA 30309
0.25$ for a glass of tap water? REALLY? And to add confusion to the ripoff they make you guess which food items are self-service and which are full. The employees are as confused as the customers and as short tempered. The baked goods look yummy but they might as well have an electric fence around them, given all the obstacles stated.
Metrotainment Cafes, Inc.* | Everywhere, unfortunately.
This restaurant group provides a truly fun environment and then completely wrecks it with food that birds would refuse to regurgitate to their young. Adding insult to injurious food, their third world service makes you wish you would have stayed home and opened a can of Chef Boyardee.
*And yes. We mean the whole damned brand (Einsteins, Joe's on Juniper, Hudson Grille, etc, etc).