15 Favorite Dishes of 2012

Is eating out a hobby? Date night adventures, challenges of sampling "The List," and a general propensity to explore make our search for fun restaurants an ongoing sport/hobby for me and Billy!

If you're similarly inclined, here's a list of the favorite Atlanta dishes we discovered in 2012.  The items appear in the order you'd eat them during the day as opposed to ranking them.  I wouldn't know how to compare a donut with a steak! For links to the restaurant, be sure to click the names in the headlines.

Here we go....

Sublime Donuts

I grew up in So Cal, the land of a donut shop on every corner.  I am a tough sell in this category. I could never understand the excitement of Krispie Cream "Hot Donuts Now" sign because EVERY strip mall had hot donuts in CA.   That said, I was AMAZED by the variety and yumminess of Sublime.  I was lead to the Orange Dream Star from The List on Creative Loafing and it was nothing more than divine.

Post from the original visit here.


Cafe Jonah

There are plenty of great breakfast options in Atlanta, but if you're looking for a hearty meal AND a cozy location, this Buckhead spot has both.  I LOVE the Roasted Veggie Frittata and now schedule breakfasts there as often as possible.  More thoughts here.



There's so many tasty treats to order at this Midtown hotspot, but when the special Salmon Tartare makes an appearance on the menu (it's not always there), MAKE sure you order this dish.  Perfectly seasoned and oh so tasty.  A more extensive review here.


Table & Main

This summer Table & Main rocked my palate when they served pork in thin crepes with a tangy bbq sauce.  I could make a meal from the Pulled Pork Crepes. Other things to order here.


The Optimist

This fun new seafood restaurant on Howell Mill has an impressive space and tasty food; however, the show stopper is what they do with the Grilled Octopus.  Isn't the picture mouth-watering?  Get thee there!  More from my original review here.



I'm not sure there's anything on the Tomo menu that I wouldn't recommend (review here), but the Kampachi Serrano is on every order.  The thinly sliced yellowtail with a chili on top is about as perfect a sashimi dish as ever you'll find.


Sometimes a dish is so good I immediately start trying to make it myself (the picture below is from my version of the salad - recipe here!); such is the case with the Insalata di Cavoletti from Double Zero.  This mixture of Brussels Sprouts, egg, candied walnuts, and a light dressing are worth the trip to Sandy Springs.  More things to order here.

White Oak Kitchen


This beautiful downtown space is equally impressive in its menu options.  For all that I love here, however, the MushroomSalad makes my heart skip a beat. Perfectly balanced flavors so nothing overpowers the tasty mushrooms.  MMM.  If you're interested in other dishes, the full review is here.

Breadwinner Cafe


Easily my favorite lunch spot in Atlanta, the Breadwinner Cafe also inspired a home brewed version of a Broccoli Salad (recipe here, though different from what you'll find at BC).  There's lot to sample at the Sandy Springs location.  More ideas here.

Fox Brothers BBQ

I blame my Texas friends for not teaching me about Frito Pie, but I'm so happy I found it now!  Better still, you can feast on the rest of the excellent Fox Brothers food when you're there.  Enjoy!


Sure, this Atlanta favorite is known for its street tacos, but if you want something exceptional, order the Shrimp & Grits.  This "special" seems to be on the menu about once a year for me when I'm there, but this might be the best version of shrimp & grits in town.  YUM!  Full review here.


This spot is definitely my favorite seafood restaurant in Atlanta.  Everything is super fresh and so tasty!  For me the Grilled Octopus & Pork Lettuce Wraps were only to be topped by the delicious Vietnamese dipping sauce.  I could eat this dish every meal!  Full review here.


Little Alley Steakhouse

Considering how Buckhead steakhouses have dominated the buzz factor for years (for good reason) and STK has all of the "cool factor," it's surprising how fantastic Little Alley Steakhouse is.  Loved our dinner there in general, but the Chicago version of a Tomahawk Cut is as great a piece of beef as anywhere in the city.  Phenomenal!  More of the review here.


Sushi House Hayakawa

The sushi is amazing at this Buford Highway location (don't even think about showing up without a reservation!), but what sent me over the moon was their Mochi.  This is standard fare in NYC sushi restaurants, but I never seem to see it in Atlanta (outside of Trader Joes). LOVE this version.  Other highlights of this restaurant here.


As much as I love the food at Cardamom Hill, what I think about most was how I finished the meal with the most incredible Chai Tea.  I don't even like Chai Tea, but our server insisted that I give their version a try.  Good grief!  What a find!  If this restaurant was closer to home I'd be stalking them for this cup of goodness!  If you want to read about the food, my review is here.

I hope you enjoy some of these dishes in the coming year.  As for me and Billy, we can't wait for some new discoveries!