Chef, world traveler, and television personality Andrew Zimmern recently launched the first season of his latest travel and food show, The Zimmern List, on the Travel Channel. During the fifth episode, which premiered on the cable network last week, he eats his way across Atlanta, which he calls “a city with a dozen different food personalities.”
His first stop is old-school Southern: Mary Mac’s Tea Room. He half-jokes he wants a table for one but food for three—and proceeds to order fried chicken, collard greens, tomato pie, and dumplings, among other things. His favorite is the fried green tomatoes, which he calls “one of life’s greatest pleasures.”
Zimmern hits the other end of the Southern food spectrum at Miller Union, calling it “Southern cooking at the peak of its expression” and gushes over chef Steven Satterfield’s boiled peanut and field pea salad.
He next descends on upscale Jewish deli the General Muir and raves about the chopped chicken liver, calling it one of the few perfect versions he’s encountered. He also finds an ideal burger—perhaps the best in the country, he says: the world-famous Ghetto Burger at Ann’s Snack Bar in Kirkwood.
From there, Zimmern heads to “the hottest market in all of America,” Ponce City Market, where he tries the spicy pork buns at Simply Seoul (which unfortunately closed earlier this year), Georgia coastal oysters at W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, and a Cuban sandwich at El Super Pan.
Zimmern ends his Atlanta culinary tour at the one-of-a-kind Gunshow, Kevin Gillespie’s format-busting spot where “cooks have free reign to make whatever they like and then the cooks themselves bring the food to the table and convince you to order what they made.”
Zimmern’s takeaway? “Atlanta isn’t easily defined, and I think the more you try to define it, the less you’re going to enjoy it. So when you come down to Atlanta, just live it.”
Want to see the episode? The next re-airing is Tuesday, June 26 at 9:30 p.m.