12 Favorite Dishes from 2014
As you likely know, I love sampling tastey dishes from among the many great Atlanta restaurants. This year I've been particularly attentive to the Best Dish list from Creative Loafing, and, sadly, I'm nearing the end of that particular adventure. I'm still sorting through my 2015 plan, but you can count on future exploration!!
Until then, since most of you aren't willing to tackle 100 dishes, I thought I'd give you a dozen of my favorites from this year. Many of these are on the "official" list, but many are my own finds. I'll give you the links to the full reviews (click on the restaurant name), but here are the quick headlines from this year's hits!!
They appear in the order of discovery. I can't begin to rank them against each other!
Handrolls from Miso Iszakaya
If you live near Old Fourth Ward, this place should be a frequent stopping point. The official list sent me there for the duck buns (which were as tasty as they were unusual), but it's the sushi that will bring me back! We especially loved the soft-shell crab and shrimp!Grilled octopus at St. Cecilia
I'm convinced the only reason St. Cecilia doesn't have an item on the list is because it opened prior to the list being published. It is a remarkable restaurant. If the octopus isn't available (I haven't seen it on the menu recently), go for the razor clams. Both are divine, but I still dream about this octopus!!Chicken Soup at Gios
I gushed about this soup and went back for takeout multiple times this year. I can't believe how crazy good this is. I mean, how exciting can soup be? If you ask this question, you haven't been to Gios. Get yourself there. Thank me later.Chicken and Biscuits at Homegrown
I still don't really care for fried chicken and I don't really eat biscuits, but this breakfast topped with SAUSAGE gravy made me question my taste (which most Southerners do! NO BISCUITS???). Thank goodness The List pushes me out of my comfort zone!Original Texas Red Hot with Slaw at Barkers Red Hots
In the realm of ordinary dishes, a hot dog ranks among the most predictable. However, a hot dog over a charcoal grill with a fabulous hot sauce is anything but predictable. This place is now a regular stop for us!Croissant from Little Tart Bakeshop
If you're looking for a touch of Paris in Atlanta, the Little Tart Bakeshop in Octane is where you find it. This spot isn't near me AT ALL, but it's SO worth the effort. Roasted cauliflower & eggplant sandwich at Bocado
This sandwich won me over with its gorgeous appearance, but the taste was better still. This has to be the most satisfying vegetarian dish in town.Kale Pakoras at Chai Pani
Speaking of vegetarian, the fried bites of kale at Chai Pani are just the tip of the iceberg for a fabulous Decatur restaurant. Such deliciousness in little morsels. Mmmmm. Even if you don't like kale, you'll like this dish!!!
Fried Chicken from The Bishop
Remember how I said I don't care for fried chicken? Well, I need to carve out the dish from The Bishop in Avondale Estates. This new restaurant has raised the bar on every other place that serves fried chicken by serving a dish where the chicken is both smokey AND fried. I love, love, LOVE this meal!!!
Plus, as an added bonus, Avondale is hassle-free in terms of a dining experience!L'arrosoto Pork Shoulder at Double Zero
If you're in Sandy Springs, you have no excuse for not hitting Double Zero on a regular basis. This is a neighborhood spot for us. The kids always get a pizza where they can cut their pieces with scissors (brilliant) and Billy and I split this slow-roasted pork dish. Click through for the full review (and more pictures) to get a full sense of the fun flavors!Mushroom crepe from Kimball House
In my review on Kimball House, I gushed about the service (the best I've seen!), but the food deserves huge praise as well. Our entire meal was great, but I'm still dreaming about the mushroom crepe. It's not always on the menu, but if it is, you must try it!!Finally, the last favorite spot of the year is The Gunshow.
This place is the most unique of Atlanta dining experiences where multiple chefs are in the kitchen and then come around to the table with their dishes. You look them in the eye and say, "yes" or "no." The pressure of making decisions on the fly is worth the exceptional food. The menu changes constantly, so whatever I recommend probably won't be there again.
Go and enjoy.I hope this inspires you to break out of your default restaurants in 2015. Atlanta dining is far too diverse to get stuck eating at chain restaurants!!