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Watching Atlanta's Westside develop has been the urban equivalent of witnessing a new mountain range emerge in fast-forward: So much fresh geography, so many uncharted nooks. What is currently the area’s most fertile corridor of businesses—between the junction of Northside Drive and Marietta Street and the intersection of Howell Mill Road and Fourteenth Street—felt forsaken just five years ago. Now you can stop for Thai curry at Spoon, pick up cupcakes in a dozen flavors at Caryn’s Cakes, grab panini at Toscano & Sons Italian Market, and disappear into the clump of businesses dubbed the "Beer-muda Triangle": 5 Seasons Brewing Company, retailer Hop City, and Octane, which serves Belgian ales and microbrews alongside coffee. This stretch also claims its share of destination restaurants—Bacchanalia, Abattoir, and the just-opened Miller Union among them.
To Anglo ears, the word "abattoir" has an almost spiritual chime. Without knowing its meaning, one might guess that it refers to a labyrinth of monastic cloisters, or the dwelling of a particularly devout ascetic. But it’s French for "slaughterhouse," the term being derived from the verb abattre, meaning to shoot, knock down, or demoralize. Abattoir is one of the least onomatopoeic words ever adapted into the English language.