The verdict on 3 new Atlanta restaurants: The Bronx Bagel Buggy, El Santo Gallo, and Owens and Hull BBQ

The Bronx Bagel Buggy Rolls into Chamblee, plus a new traditional taqueria on the Westside and an exciting barbecue collaboration in Smyrna

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The verdict on 3 new Atlanta restaurants: The Bronx Bagel Buggy, El Santo Gallo, and Owens and Hull BBQ
The Bronx Bagel Buggy

Photograph by Martha Williams

The Bronx Bagel Buggy
After building a cult following at the Brookhaven Farmers Market, the Bronx Bagel Buggy opened its Chamblee restaurant in January. The crowds were ready, often waiting in hour-long lines to order (and sometimes just as long to receive their food). On a recent visit, I was lucky and waltzed right in and ordered. While I waited, I took in the space: The well-stacked pastry case and bagel wall take up most of the restaurant, with a handful of tables available for those dining in. There are New York–y accents, like subway tiles in red and white, and a striped awning over an interior window that peers into the bagel oven. Vintage photos of bagel vendors in the city fit the theme. The focus, however, is on the bagels, which are crafted by co-owners Julie Dragich and Steve Novotny. They kettle-boil the bagels before baking them in a revolving oven, resulting in a nice chew on the outside; a little crisp in the first bite gives way to a soft interior. The cream cheeses, in sweet and savory varieties, are all made in-house and have a fluffy, light texture, so even when scooped high—as the scallion cream cheese arrived on my cheddar-jalapeño bagel—they don’t overwhelm. Other treats in the pastry case beckon as well: a cherry-filled play on a Pop-Tart, a knotted chocolate babka, and muffins. The sleeper hit of the Bronx Bagel Buggy, however, may be the bagel bombs: Tender dough stuffed with cream cheese makes an ideal all-in-one treat for eating on the go. Chamblee

El Santo Gallo
After making waves with his Mexican hot spot Palo Santo, chef Santiago Gomez opened his traditional taqueria, El Santo Gallo, in the Westside Paper development. A minimalist yet warm space offers limited indoor and outdoor seating, along with a takeout window. The tight menu sticks to the classics, including a handful of snacks (guacamole, elotes, chips and salsa) and a few protein options—steak, chicken, and pork, with mushrooms available for the veggie crowd. Choose how you want your taco prepared (volcán style, with a crispy tortilla and melted cheese, is a standout), pair it with your beverage of choice, and you’ll be good to go. Westside

Owens and Hull BBQ
Robert Owens of Grand Champion BBQ teamed up with Bryan Hull of the pop-up Secret Pint BBQ to start Owens and Hull in Smyrna. Open only Thursday through Sunday, the joint venture offers a limited menu that changes daily. On Thursdays, the choices include a half-pound smoked-brisket burger with American cheese, smoked-onion jam, and special sauce, and a turkey sandwich with pickled red onions. Fridays and Saturdays offer more traditional barbecue fare, such as pulled pork and sliced beef brisket. Hull’s signature jalapeño and cheddar sausage is always available, as are the sides that make Grand Champion stand out, like pepper jack cheese grits and tangy collard greens with bacon. Smyrna

This article appears in our April 2024 issue.

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