The Halal Guys
There’s a reason that the corner of Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue and 53rd Street is impossible to navigate at lunchtime; that’s where you’ll find the borough’s (the world’s?) most famous food cart and a never-ending line of customers waiting for fast Mediterranean food. The Halal Guys opened a Chamblee location in late January, and already it’s a madhouse, stuffed with people clamoring for gyros suffused with those signature creamy white and red-hot sauces. The best things in the house are the chicken platters, the baba ghanoush, and the beef gyro with lettuce and tomato wrapped in thick, tender pita.
Just days after Jey Oh closed Craft Izakaya, he reopened it as this fast-casual sushi counter in Krog Street Market. The chef no longer has a dining room—it’s now common seating for the market—and his helpers use technology to achieve consistent results with little training. They feed sheets of seaweed into a contraption that looks like an upright ironing press, which tops them with an even layer of rice. Another clever machine divides the enormous rolls—such as the Pink Lady, with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, crab salad, cucumber, eel sauce, and fish roe—into 10 perfect pieces. Oh also offers rice bowls with chicken teriyaki or pork belly.
Seven years ago, Carson Young rolled out Atlanta’s first food truck, Yumbii, serving soy-marinated beef tacos and sesame fries. Now he’s opened a brick-and-mortar Yumbii restaurant in Brookwood Hills. Although the Korean-Mexican taco craze has died down in recent years and there aren’t many surprises on the menu, the space is fresh and colorful, and the food is worth trying if you’re in the neighborhood. Order the finger-burning, incredibly crisp fries with chipotle ketchup; queso with Sriracha; rice bowls topped with soy-marinated ribeye; and, yes, the original tacos built on floppy flour tortillas.
The second location of Maria Moore Riggs’s popular doughnut shop is right across the street from a cooperative preschool in the kind of walkable neighborhood where many of her customers live. Riggs started out selling her puffy cake doughnuts back in 2010 at local farmers markets, then opened a homey shop in 2012 on West College Avenue in Decatur. In January she expanded to this bright-yellow storefront in Inman Park, where you’ll find an array of flavors—salted caramel with bits of bacon, orange-pistachio, toasted almond—and a few low-gluten and gluten-free options.
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This article originally appeared in our April 2017 issue.