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Atlanta is a city that looks outward far more than inward, or even nearby. Outward, say, to the Lower East Side (the General Muir’s pastrami), or to China (Gu’s Dumplings), or to France (Bread & Butterfly’s tender, airy omelets). With the glorious exception of Ryan Smith at Staplehouse, I didn’t find a posse of young, or youngish, chefs all cooking as much for each other as for the public. The priority in Atlanta is less innovation based on local ingredients, as at Staplehouse, than finding a formula that works and then pumping out food to fit it. This makes for generous, untweezed food. But it also means food that, once successful, can become rote.
When chef Todd Ginsberg set out to open The General Muir in 2013, he wanted to create a restaurant that paid homage to the delis that he and his parents grew up dining at. He planned to serve his childhood favorites, like matzoh ball soup, corned beef, and a pastrami sandwich, but there was one problem. “When I told my parents I was going to open a deli, my dad looked at me and said, ‘Todd, you don’t know how to make pastrami.'"
You’ve probably been brown-bagging sandwiches since kindergarten. But eventually you reach a point when PB&J doesn’t cut it anymore.
Alvin Diec is arguably the most in-demand brand guru on Atlanta’s dining scene, and you’ve never heard of him. The unassuming graphic designer with thick-framed glasses is the quirky brain behind the websites, menus, trucker hats, and souvenir postcards of more than 44 Atlanta restaurants and retailers.
We spoke with H&F Bread Co. general manager Roger Hodge about the company’s national push, a forthcoming branded flour product, and the possibility of a third production facility.
The bun on that famous H&F cheeseburger? The bread for that banner cheesesteak at Fred's Meat & Bread? You can thank Rob Alexander for both—and a whole lot more.
Chances are neither your kitchen nor mine would get a perfect score from the public health inspectors who show up unannounced at restaurants and issue ratings. Plus, rum is enjoying a cocktail revival, but there are more uses for sugarcane.
Chef Todd Ginsberg remembers watching his mom and aunts dance around the kitchen during Passover. They cooked heaping plates of charoset, matzoh ball soup, and brisket for more than 40 family members. It was a special holiday, one reserved for the family. When Ginsberg opened the General Muir in 2012, he wanted to extend the tradition to the rest of Atlanta.
The culinary equivalent of a first impression, a restaurant’s name is the quickest way to stand out from the competition. Can you figure out what could have been for these 8 Atlanta restaurants?