The Marley House: Wonderful Irish Pub
I haven't spent a lot of time in pubs in Ireland, but this one reminds me of some I found there. I love their dark and heavy wooden booths and bar. Maybe part of it's Irishness is that the owners are from Ireland and have picked a name that links to their Irish heritage. We went for a light dinner one night and ended up sharing nice salad and delicious huge burger. That night their dessert special was a wonderful bread pudding. They have a really nice beer list (I had a Orval Trappist) and a limited but very acceptable wine list. Also, the coffee is Dancing Goats which is wonderful. We have been once for a weekend brunch which was okay, but there are several other places in Decatur with better ones.
A side note: the pub opened originally as the Angel, then closed for a while and reopened as The Grange but had to change names when the organization with the same name challenged the use of the name. The Grange had been a pub they knew back in Ireland but which later became the Marley House. So when they had to change, they went with the Marley. A good place under either name.
Favorite Dish: Opens daily 11.30am - Monday to Thursday closes at 1am, Friday close 3am & Saturday close 2am
Brunch from 10.30am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday
Farm Burger: Grass-fed burgers
I am not sure of the dietary advantages of grass-fed beef, but Farm Burger serves only that and the burgers are delicious. The beef also has no hormones or antibiotics and not fed grains. The standard $6 burger comes with standard choices of toppings and for $1 or $2 more you can add more “exotic” toppings like bacon, special cheeses, chili, carmelized onions and several others. They have the usual assortment of soft drinks, about a half dozen wine choices and 15-20 different beers. My favorite beer here is “Pork Slap Ale,” but that is mostly because of the name. Really good burgers and fries and you can eat for about $8.
Carpe Diem: Unique setting, great food
A somewhat unique setting in the old ice house in Decatur yields a really good meal. Carpe Diem is reasonably priced with excellent food served in the unusual but attractive setting. Our usual trips here for their Sunday brunch which features some unusual and tasty omelets and frittatas as well as a nice selection of sandwiches and salads. I am pretty basic and love their Belgian waffles (and real maple syrup) with nuts and berries on top and accompanied by scrambled eggs.
In the photos here are VT freinds, Lori, Hans and Chris. Everyone had a different dish and no one left anything on their plate. You can see their full menu on the website (the one referenced says directions but has everything there) as well as their nice variety of mixed drinks, wine and beer.
This is not an issue with everyone, but the ambience in this place is quite nice. Good decor and the music is soft enough to allow conversation. A big plus for me.
There is an attractive bar/lounge area and a large deck for outside seating as well.
Melton's App & Tap: Neighborhood Bar
If you are familiar with the old US television show, "Cheers," you will understand why I call this place my "Cheers." While not everyone in the place knows me, most of the wait staff do and are frequently eager to tell me about the latest new beer (they have rotating taps). The will usually even bring me a small taste to see if I want a mug or glass of it.
I have no idea what the "App" in the name means, but this is as close as you can get to a good pub. They have a great selection of beers, including some not run-of-the-mill imports and the rotating taps. I have a special fondness for the place as my "Friday night drinking group" meets here. This is about 6 of us who worked together for about 20 years (all but me are still working, poor stiffs!) The menu is typical but really good bar food with some good additons of their own. The best lunch bargain in town is their salad, half sandwich and waffle fries with blue cheese sauce for about $7.
Favorite Dish: Besides their lunch, they have great appetizers like superb cheese puffs, fried broccoli bites, Irish nachos, artichoke dip as well as nachos, etc. Their burgers are good as well as their pastas. If you try their ice cream covered brownie with chocolate sauce, be VERY hungry or share it with 2 or 3 other people.
Iberian Pig: A pig comes to Decatur
Ensalada de Marcona– Butter lettuce, Marcona almonds, Griottes cherries, shaved Manchego cheese, shaved chorizo, caramelized parsnips, crispy shallots, champagne vinaigrette – 7
My grandchildren think “Iberian Pig” is a terrible name for a restaurant but loved the food. Run by the Catallucci family, this one of about 4 or 5 restaurants they have in the Atlanta area. The family’s resume is impressive, going back 3 or 4 generations and featuring several degrees in hospitality. Of course the proof is in the pudding and in this case they deliver. Replacing a beloved Sage restaurant on the Decatur Square, the restaurant features a rich and warm atmosphere with lots of wooden booths and bottles of wine decorating the walls and a charming and well stocked bar. I love places that serve tapas as we can get a variety of things to share and the portions are just right for that.
Favorite Dish: We basically shared our whole meal, starting with the excellent Ensalada de Marcona with butter lettuce, marcona almonds, girottes cherries, shaved manchego cheese, shaved chorizo, carmelized parsnips, crispy shallots in a champagne vinaigrette. The next item the waiter warned us was so good that we would have it again on our return. It was bacon wrapped dates and he was right. Other tapas plates included a 3 sausage plate, rustic bread with tomato spread and garrotxa cheese and olive oil and a wonderful pasta (tortoloni) stuffed with goat cheese. Of course we had to finish with churros dunked in a cinnamon and chili infused rich thick chocolate.
thumb's up diner: american
the thumb's up diner is located on ponce deleon ave. a couple of blocks west of the old courthouse. the thumb's up servers casual inexpensive american fare. a good place to have breakfast when in downtown decatur.
- Historical Travel
- Business Travel
ted's montana grill: american
the decatur ted's montana grill is a chain restaurant owned by ted turner. this restaurant serves steaks, hamburgers, and american fare. good food moderately priced. i usually don't tip chain restaurants but ted's montana grill is above average.
- Historical Travel
- Business Travel
The Yogurt Tap: Healthy ice cream alternative (maybe)
This little place just opened in 2009 and sells only yogurt (and toppings). They bill their yogurt as having only 90 calories per serving but don’t specify what amount that is. My grandson found a way to increase the calorie count with toppings of raspberries, M & M’s, candy corn and chunks of Oreo cookies, and observed that it was “healthier than DQ, but maybe not the toppings.” They feature 6 flavors which rotate and tons of toppings. I like the fact that you serve yourself the amount you want and put on the toppings of your choice. They have about a dozen fruit and berries for topping and then about a dozen nuts and candies. It is priced by weight and is quite good.
Duck's Cosmic Kitchen: Fresh and good
I think Duck’s started as a bakery and still features freshly baked breads, cinnamon doughnuts, cookies, baby cakes and desserts made with natural, preservative free ingredients. My first knowledge of them was at a coffee shop which features their wonderful donuts. But they also serve amazing meals in their out-of-the-way funky place (if you don’t know Decatur get a map or good directions.) I love the quote from Virginia Woolf on their menu: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” They add “or as she said on many occasions: ‘VIVE LE DUCK!”
Favorite Dish: We have tried their soups, sandwiches and pies and found all outstanding. My favorite sandwich is one they call the James Calvin, slow roasted pulled pot roast, their own horseradish sauce & Dijon mustard on walnut leek bread which is also my favorite bread. Their salads are fresh and varied and they make at least some of their own dressings. I am not sure of their hours but it is a place not to be missed for a very good, reasonably priced lunch.
Cafe Alsace: Best Pate in the World!
People always want to eat "where the locals eat." Well when you drop into Cafe Alsace you will likely see the owner, Benedicte, visiting with half the patrons because it has a large and regular local clientele. It is a small room beautifully decorated with a French/Alsatian theme. The food is all freshly prepared on site and we have not been disappointed in any dish we have had there. The owner is adelightful young French (Alsatian) woman and the chef is a native of Orlean and the Auvergne. They are a most creative combination. They have a great many special dinners throughout the year: Bastille Day, Beaujolais Nouveau Fest, Valentine's Day, etc.
Favorite Dish: Their chicken liver pate is incomparable. We have tried pates and foie gras in several places in the US and Europe and found none that approaches it. They vary the menus frequently and have other wonderful appetizers but the pate is a perennial, Their Spaetzle Alsacienne (my spelling is woeful) is delicious as is the beef bourginan and coc au vin. Their cassoulet nights are special as the chef makes this entree from his grandmother's recipe and it is superb and a huge serving. Benedicte makes fresh tartes each day and they are marvelous. They are not American style pies, but French with a custard and fruit filling - pears, blueberries, apples, plums, rhubarb and they are all to die for. The chef also makes desserts for special occasions like delicious lemon tart or Delice au Citron or orange and lavendar tart or one we had a while back was a wonderful anise flavored creme caramel with fresh fruits (strawberries, blueberries, cumquats, kiwi and betle. They have recently started to make ice cream themselves and it is wonderful - caramel, vanilla or chocolate cinnamon. You can tell we love the place and find all the food great. Lunch can be purchased there for about $10, dinner entrees usually run less than $20. They feature wonderful Alsatian wines and beers as well as a few other French wines. Unqualified highest recommendation!
Capozzi's: New York style Italian
When my granddaughter and her brother were pretty young they loved to go to Capozzi's. It was a family joke that I always asked if they wanted to go to Capuccino's which elicited several hearty corrections. Finally my grandson explained to his father that Capuccino's was just some French word Grandad called Capozzi's.
This is a different one and a bit more upscale than the first we visited but has very good basick Italian cuisine, bruschetta, pasta, pizza, paninis, etc. I had a very nice salad and other family members had the special Hero of the day and pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs. The portions were all quite large and very tasty. It is a lovely little place with nice and quiet decor, a separate bar and a patio for outside dining. My granddaughter loves the spagetti as you can see from the photo.
Dancing Goats: A good cup of coffee
Dancing Goats is the signature blend of Batdorf and Bronson coffee roasters and the name of their coffee houses. I have sampled several coffees here and find them all rich, full bodied and delicious. Our local shop is a crisp modern design with a welcoming ambience enhanced by numerous comfortable chairs and tables where you can sit and enjoy your coffee. I haven't checked but assume the wi-fi is free as there are always a lot of people working (or playing) on their laptops. There is a limited but nice selection of pastries and bins where you can bag and grind your own coffee for use at home.
They have homemade donuts that are really tasty. I have also had a very small sandwich for a light lunch - very good as well. Prices are typical of coffee houses in the US.
They open at 6:00 weekdays and 7:00 weekends, closing at 7:00 p.m. Sun-Thur and 8:00 p.m. Fri and Sat.
Pastries-A-Go-Go: Best breakfast in town
I listed this as a bakery only because the owner is a great pastry chef and makes all their breads and wonderful scones, croissants, lavosh, brownies, sticky buns, cookies, etc. He also makes his own pork sausage. In spite of the retro sounding name, it is the best place in town for a wonderful breakfast and also has an excellent lunch menu.
Favorite Dish: Southern "cat's head" biscuits are to die for and large enough to feed two normal people. With some eggs and applewood smoked bacon, you can't beat it.
For lunch I love the simple but delicious tuna salad plate with greens, boiled egg, tomatoes and lavosh (a crispy thin bread).
Sticky buns are the best this side of Chicago.
All his pastries are hand made and delicious. He also does custom baking - I once saw a child's birthday cake that looked like a volcano!
Feast: Italian/Mediterranean Feast
This place is a lovely and inviting setting with a nice full bar and wood fired oven/grill and wonderful food. The food is not overly complicated which adds to its wonderful taste in a setting that has a definite European feel. Tables are separated by only inches which encourages pleasant exchanges with strangers. It has a neighborhood atomosphere and we ran into half dozen people we know including the mayor of Decatur and his family.
The menu is basically good Italian cuisine but has a little broader range. There are lots of small dishes which we enjoyed as we got and shared a starter, a salad, an entree and a dessert. The wine list is varied and we had a very good Merlot which was quite reasonably priced.s. They boast "in-house infused olive oils and homemade vinegars" which are delicioso with their great tasty freshly baked bread (we were served olive bread with olive oil & fresh grated parmesan when we sat down).
It is only about a half mile walk from our house but that is not the only reason for us to return soon. The food and service were excellent and I highly recommend it. If you are going on the weekend you would do better to make reservations as they were completely full when we went and when we left and they have only been open a couple of weeks.
Favorite Dish: We loved the "Trio of Dips" starter: lemon/artichoke pesto/roasted eggplant and herbed goat cheese all served with a nice crispy lavosh.
The "Feast Salad" of mixed greens, sugared pecans, blue cheese, pears and portobellos is a great combination and the balsamic vingarette is a light sweet one which does not overpower the salad.
The grilled polenta is well complemented and very tasty with marinara and mozzarella.
The roasted shrimp in lemon marinade was good but could use a little boost to give it more flavor.
The creme brulee is a very nice dessert served with fresh blueberries & a strawberry on top. It is delicious but the top could have been carmelized a bit more.
Wahoo A Decatur Grill: Southern Seafood
Wahoo calls itself eclectic but emphasizes seafood with a southern twist. The food that we have had there has all been excellent and the ambience is quite pleasant both inside and out. You can see the lovely terrace and patio seating in the back of the restaurant. It is a fairly new place but has received rave reviews in the Atlanta press and does quite a good business.
They have "ladies night" on Thursdays and groups of 5 ladies (no guys) or more receive a free dessert with the purchase of an entree.
The also serve a really nice brunch on weekends: a good buffet for $13 or a la carte items for less.
Favorite Dish: Parmesan crusted chicken is wonderful as is the Rainbow trout sauteed and topped with herbed pesto butter and sugared pecans. There veggie sides are sometimes just okay but the white cheddar grits and buttermilk mashed potatoes are sinfully delicious.
Appetizer - coconut fried shrimp - crispy but tender and very tasty.
Salad - Wahoo spinach salad, a bed of baby spinach leaves topped with maple bacon, tomatoes, bleu chees, wilted red onions, sugared pecans and a mustard vinaigrette.
Dessert - Bread pudding, warm and gooey topped with a lucious bourbon glaze.
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