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!
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.
Taqueria del Sol: Great Margaritas
This location is where I used to get my oil changed! It was formerly a service station, but they have done a great job of converting the building and it includes a large outside area which can be open or enclosed by large plastic curtains - even heated in cool weather. It is a very popular place with excellent food and while you might have to wait 10 minutes to get in, the food will be there quickly. Really good margaritas and a small but good selection of Mexican beers as well as some wines.
Favorite Dish: Beef enchilada with red chili, refried beans, Spanish rice, cheese dip and a margarita on the rocks. There are other great menu items, but I do not like cilantro and many have it. All the food is well prepared and has a nice hearty taste without being greasy or heavy. Even with a drink, dinner will usually run $15-20 per person.
Java Monkey: Try the appetizers & sandwiches
This is a neat, funky little place that is always jammed with people. The place itself is very appealing with funky art and they always have a display of art or photography by local artists (see an example in the photo), some quite good. It has regular evening wine tastings, live music and weekly open mike poetry readings. It seems there is always something going on. You can also sit at a counter lined with outlets for your computer and a lot of students seem to do some of their studying here. At least, I assume they are studying.
Favorite Dish: JM serves Fair Trade organic coffee which is outstanding. I love the coffe and appreciate the fair trade dimension which helps cut out the middle man and assure greater profits to the growers. They also serve a limited selection of sandwiches, salads, appetizers and desserts as well as bagels or toast for breakfast. The food is all excellent. We frequently go there and dine on the appetizers and one of the delicious pastries, cakes or cookies for dessert. All the sandwiches, salads and appetizer plates run about $5 or $6. A great atmosphere, wonderful coffee and delicious food - what more could you want?
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.
Brickstore Pub: Fish & chips, Belgian Beer
This is a great pub with a limited and simple but good menu. They have recently opened and upstairs thing I call a "Belgian Beer Botique" where they have about 100 beers from Belgium. That seems to be the latest craze here and I understand because I love Belgian beer. They have a wonderful bar and lots and lots of other beers as well. But they specialize in imported beers and you might not find some of the popular domestic beers here. It is considered by some to be one of the better and more eclectic beer lists in Atlanta. They also have an excellent selection of whiskeys and other potent potables. Their list of single malt Scotch whiskeys alone numbers about 25.
Favorite Dish: Their fish and chips are excellent as are their burgers and other sandwiches and all seem to be handmade to order. They also make a delicious and hearty spinach salad with roma tomatoes, feta cheese and pine nut salad which is one of my favorites for lunch.
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.
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.
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.
Noodle: Good Pan Asian fare
Noodle has been in Decatur for about 10 years. In a town of 4 square miles and 90 restaurants, cafes, etc., that indicates that they are well liked. I am not an expert on Pan Asian cuisine and much of it is not really my cup of tea, but what I have had here is very good and the service is always courteous, professional, timely and friendly. The prices are not bad either as most entrees are under $10.
Favorite Dish: My favorite is the simple, but delicious Masaman Chicken with salad, a brown coconut curry sauce, cashews and avocado. I also really like the Thai Beef Salad – grilled flank steak on mixed greens with tomatoes, cucumbers and peanuts. The interior is an inviting atmosphere of sleek blond wood tables and décor and there is a nice outdoor seating area – nice for people watching in the heart of Decatur.
M - Th : 11-10
Fri : 11-11
Sat : 12-11
Sun : 12-10
Ted's Montana Grill: Bison and Beef
Ted Turner started this chain of excellent steak houses selling his Bison grown out in Montana on his ranches. The house made pickles are great, the drinks are usually good and strong, and I love bison burgers and the bison meatloaf, but they have good beef too. Try the onion rings!
open til 11 fridays and saturdays
Favorite Dish: Bison burger and onion rings!
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
Sweet Melissa's: Great breakfasts and catering
Great omelets, pancakes and waffles, as well as burgers, melts and lots of cool sides like cole slaw, grits, cold noodles and much more. A cool spot on the Square.
fresh squeezed OJ and lemonade!
Favorite Dish: Bavarian Waffle
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Brick Store Pub: Great local Pub
Good food consistently and a great selection of beers and ciders on tap make this spot a local favorite. Small in size, but the food is great including the house made pickles with house made crackers, country chicken pate (MMM), white bean hummus, and more---definitely recommended.
Favorite Dish: Shepherd Pie
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
- School Holidays
Las Brasas: Take home a simply delicious meal.
If you (or whomever cooks at your house) wants a break from meal prep, do yourself a favor and pick up dinner (or lunch) at Las Brasas!
This tiny place produces amazingly delicious food. It is mostly for take out, but not too long after it opened, it added a few tables and chairs, then later umbrellas, in the small space in front. It is owned and operated by a family whom, I presume, is of Peruvian origin since they bill their rotisserie chicken as Peruvian style.
There is a stir fried steak dish, but otherwise chicken is the only meat on the menu and it is all rotisserie roasted. In addition to quarter, half or whole chicken, you can get a chicken wrap or chicken salad.The side dishes feature, beans, rice, salad, guacamole with chips, corn, french fries (either regular or sweet potato), steamed veggies and flan.
Favorite Dish: My last visit was to take home chicken, guacamole, beans, salad and flan. Each dish was outstanding! The chicken is always tender, moist and delicious, the guacamole freshly made on the premises, the salad crisp fresh romain with tomatoes, cucumber and avocado and the sweet potato fries, fresh and cooked to perfection. The flan is about as good as I have ever eaten.
What is amazing is that every single item in our meal was simply outstanding.
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