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21. One Eared Stag
Edison lightbulbs cast a warm, inviting glow inside this quintessential neighborhood restaurant, anchored by a big, friendly bar and a long communal table at the front of the kitchen. Robert Phalen exudes tremendous effort in a menu that swings from quirky to comforting. Boiled peanuts, fresh peanut puree, and heirloom tomatoes with cornbread is a summer study, while pasta carbonara or the two-inch-thick heritage pork chop grilled to pink bliss are fall pleasers. On occasion, Phalen errs with dishes that are overthought or oversalted. When in doubt, order the off-menu meatstick, a heart-stopping burger of American cheese, pickled onions, and two patties made partly out of ground bacon.
1029 Edgewood Avenue, 404-525-4479, oneearedstagatl.com