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Best of Atlanta 2005 Index

 

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2005 Index of Winners

Best Pet Store

Petsmart
650 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-872-2363; and other locations www.petsmart.com

Best Piercing Parlor

All or Nothing Tattoo
2569 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna 770-435-9966 www.allornothingtattoo.com

Best Place to Shop for Local Designers

Beehive Co-op
It’s all too easy to find knock-off handbags, home furnishings and more that claim to be unique, yet inexplicably line every window and display case in the mall. But over at BEEHIVE CO-OP, things are a little different. The co-op showcases clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, home decor,more...

It’s all too easy to find knock-off handbags, home furnishings and more that claim to be unique, yet inexplicably line every window and display case in the mall. But over at BEEHIVE CO-OP, things are a little different. The co-op showcases clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, home decor, bath and body products, and even kids’ stuff, all made by local and regional artists. With each artisan renting a space and sharing the duties of minding the store, prices for the literally unique items stay reasonable. Stop in the first Friday evening of each month for a fashion show, refreshments and 15 percent off your purchase.
1831-A Peachtree Road. 404-351-1166. www.beehiveco-op.com.

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Best Theater

Actor's Express
For its second full year under artistic director Jasson Minadakis, ACTOR’S EXPRESS lived up to its rep as Atlanta’s most vital theatrical venue. Bookended by the darkly comic Killer Joe (the season’s most delightfully disturbing play) and the more challenging examination ofmore...

For its second full year under artistic director Jasson Minadakis, ACTOR’S EXPRESS lived up to its rep as Atlanta’s most vital theatrical venue. Bookended by the darkly comic Killer Joe (the season’s most delightfully disturbing play) and the more challenging examination of Southern character, Hazard County, Actor’s Express produced the plays most likely to start arguments — in a good way. Even the shows that didn’t quite click, like The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, had more ambition and ideas than most other playhouses’ best successes.
887 W. Marietta St., Suite J-10. 404-607-7469. www.actorsexpress.com.

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Best Used Bookstore

A Cappella Books A Cappella Books
We’ve said it once and we will say it again: A CAPPELLA BOOKS is the smartest bookstore in town. Its wide selection of progressive, counter-culture and music books is complemented by an assortment of modern first editions, rare and out-of-print books, all at affordable prices. Plus, with itsmore...
We’ve said it once and we will say it again: A CAPPELLA BOOKS is the smartest bookstore in town. Its wide selection of progressive, counter-culture and music books is complemented by an assortment of modern first editions, rare and out-of-print books, all at affordable prices. Plus, with its move around the corner to the plaza that holds Criminal Records, and its recent addition of regular in-store performances by indie bands, we’ve got a whole new list of reasons to keep checking A Cappella’s website to see what’s coming up. less...

Best Used CDs

Criminal Records
466 Moreland Ave. 404-215-9511

Best Used CDs

Ella Guru
While the CD market is fading in the MP3 era, you wouldn’t know it at ELLA GURU, an expansive storefront tucked into a pleasant corner of the Toco Hills shopping center. The store doesn’t hedge its bets by selling vinyl, concert tickets or comic books; it’s all CDs, all themore...

While the CD market is fading in the MP3 era, you wouldn’t know it at ELLA GURU, an expansive storefront tucked into a pleasant corner of the Toco Hills shopping center. The store doesn’t hedge its bets by selling vinyl, concert tickets or comic books; it’s all CDs, all the time, with the occasional in-store appearance. Don’t go expecting an edgy atmosphere — or the attitude that goes with it — just one of the larger selections of used and new CDs in town. If you’re selling, Ella Guru pays close to the local top dollar, and its own prices are pretty reasonable, considering that even Best Buy has jacked up costs for new music.
2993 N. Druid Hills Road. 404-325-1350. www.ellaguru.com.

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Best Vinyl

Wax n' Facts
Crowded into a narrow space in the heart of Little Five Points, WAX ‘N’ FACTS is home to thousands of vinyl records, new and used CDs, imports, DVDs, music magazines and posters. This is as close to an old-fashioned record store as you’ll likely ever see because the emphasismore...

Crowded into a narrow space in the heart of Little Five Points, WAX ‘N’ FACTS is home to thousands of vinyl records, new and used CDs, imports, DVDs, music magazines and posters. This is as close to an old-fashioned record store as you’ll likely ever see because the emphasis is on used, new and collectible records. The staff knows its stuff; there’s no searchable database or website of any kind. Proprietor Danny Beard has been selling records for longer than many of his customers have been alive, and he still takes the time to actively support the music scene.
432 Moreland Ave. 404-525-2275.

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Best Bar Food (Tie)

The Earl The EARL
488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950 www.badearl.com

Best Biscuits

Pastries a go-go
PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even farther out the door. Famished? Here’s a tip: Fight your way to the counter and order a biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese to go. In less thanmore...
PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even farther out the door. Famished? Here’s a tip: Fight your way to the counter and order a biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese to go. In less than five minutes you’ll have a fluffy, flaxen beauty in your hands that is layered with just the right amount of wake-you-up ingredients. Just don’t smirk too broadly as you dodge envious looks on your way out the door. less...

Best Breakfast

Radial Cafe Radial Cafe
Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn’t a professional sport. The space is cozy but not too cramped, and funky art on the walls could perk up even the most bleary-eyed night owl. Don’tmore...
Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn’t a professional sport. The space is cozy but not too cramped, and funky art on the walls could perk up even the most bleary-eyed night owl. Don’t miss the hearty buckwheat pancakes and the giant breakfast burrito topped with spicy salsa, black beans and a drizzle of sour cream. less...

Best Burger

U.S. Cafe Express U.S. Cafe Express
Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. Beef burgers — available as hearty single combinations (with the usual topping suspects of lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon) or as hefty, gotta-squash-’emmore...
Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. Beef burgers — available as hearty single combinations (with the usual topping suspects of lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon) or as hefty, gotta-squash-’em doubles — deliver pure red-meat gratification. But it’s the turkey burgers that are unexpectedly supreme. The thick, juicy burgers are as rich as their beef brethren and as satisfying to your meat-craving animal heart, but almost completely fat free. Until you slather them with mayo, that is. less...

Best Chef

Kevin Rathbun Rathbun's

Best Coffeehouse

Starbucks Coffee

Best Cookies

Alon’s Bakery and Market
1394 N. Highland Ave. 404-872-6000 www.alons.com

Best Cuban

Havana Sandwich Shop

Best Cupcakes

Belly General Store Belly General Store

Best Expense Account Lunch

Nan Thai Fine Dining
How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is a 3-year-old Mercedes Benz, you’ve got a mergers-and-acquisitions-over-lunch winner. The cars driven off by the valet look mighty shiny at NAN THAImore...

How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is a 3-year-old Mercedes Benz, you’ve got a mergers-and-acquisitions-over-lunch winner. The cars driven off by the valet look mighty shiny at NAN THAI FINE DINING, where Midtown movers and shakers rub Brooks Brothers-suited shoulders over lovely Thai cuisine. Prices are the same day and night, with entrees running up to $32. Elegantly understated yet thoroughly royal, Nan’s dining room is the perfect spot for those who like to make people listen by whispering, not shouting.
1350 Spring St. 404-870-9933.

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Best French Fries

Woodfire Grill Woodfire Grill
French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be slicing potatoes into sticks and cranking up the deep fryer. But we can eat Michael Tuohy’s meaty, crispy/floppy pommes frites at WOODFIRE GRILLmore...

French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be slicing potatoes into sticks and cranking up the deep fryer. But we can eat Michael Tuohy’s meaty, crispy/floppy pommes frites at WOODFIRE GRILL by the fistfuls (and have, unfortunately). Though typically served with his succulent roasted chicken and steel pan greens, if you ask nicely the staff will bring you a side of frites and a bit of aioli for dipping. Somehow they seem to complement most everything on Tuohy’s kaleidoscopically seasonal menu.
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road. 404-347-9055. www.woodfiregrill.com.

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Best FrouFrou Martini

Roy's Hawaiian Martini

Best Hamburger

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Best Italian

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Best Local Brew

Sweetwater Brewing Company

Best Mexican

Taqueria La Oaxaquena

Best Mojito

Park 75 Lounge and Terrace
As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND TERRACE is an addictive wonder. The refreshing elixir features passion fruit puree, dark rum, mint and soda for one of the best combinationsmore...

As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND TERRACE is an addictive wonder. The refreshing elixir features passion fruit puree, dark rum, mint and soda for one of the best combinations since vodka, limes and tonic. Smooth as they may be, the mojitos are also deceptively potent. Best to take delicate sips of this heavenly nectar while seeing and being seen at the Four Seasons’ swanky, newly remodeled lounge.
Four Seasons, 75 14 St. 404-881-9898. www.fourseasons.com.

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Best Restaurant to Bring the Kids

Chuck E. Cheese’s

Best Signature Cocktail

Eclipse di Sol Cafe 640
Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos to radiate bed-head and post-coital bliss. And the drink that will impress that special someone the night before and/or help revive them the morning after is the mint-garnishedmore...
Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos to radiate bed-head and post-coital bliss. And the drink that will impress that special someone the night before and/or help revive them the morning after is the mint-garnished GRAPEFRUIT AND ROSEWATER MARTINI. Sugary yet tart, this adult martini features a discernible floral bouquet that can cut through the smell of last night’s clothes like sex musk. In other words, it brings a dewy grin to your face. less...

Best Signature Cocktail

One Midtown Kitchen

Best Thai

Tamarind
The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s nearby swanky sister, Nan. Much of the food appears on the surface to be the same as you find in the countless Thai restaurantsmore...
The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s nearby swanky sister, Nan. Much of the food appears on the surface to be the same as you find in the countless Thai restaurants in Atlanta — nua nam tok, basil rolls, pad Thai — but, believe us, one taste will quickly dispel your long-held belief that all Thai food tastes the same. less...

Best Art Trend

Indie Craft
A new generation of artists, DIY types, post-feminists, lowbrow fans and out-of-the-box thinkers are erasing the usual high vs. low art world hierarchies, but no where is that tendency more evident than in the rise of INDIE CRAFT. Local groups like craft blogger Garth Johnson (www.extremecraft.com);more...
A new generation of artists, DIY types, post-feminists, lowbrow fans and out-of-the-box thinkers are erasing the usual high vs. low art world hierarchies, but no where is that tendency more evident than in the rise of INDIE CRAFT. Local groups like craft blogger Garth Johnson (www.extremecraft.com); the monthly Kraftwork neo-handicraft fair at Young Blood Gallery; and the grrls at the Indie Craft Experience, which staged a craftapalooza at Eyedrum in June, have incorporated aspects of indie-rock counter-culturalism and Bust magazine-era newfangled feminism to create something new and valuable in the homemade, the recycled and the crafted-with-love. less...

Best Art World Exit

Helena Reckitt
Always leave them wanting more. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center curator HELENA RECKITT weathered some hairy financial uncertainty at the Atlanta art institution and still managed to produce some stellar shows before she headed off in August for a fresh start in Toronto.

Best Club DJ

Brandon Sutton
It’s not easy being DJ BRANDON SUTTON’s stalker. Yes, there are plenty of chances to ogle him each week, with his residency at Halo and frequent gigs at Bazzaar. He’s always friendly to well-wishers who pop into his booth to gaze into those dreamy DJ eyes of his. But the problemmore...
It’s not easy being DJ BRANDON SUTTON’s stalker. Yes, there are plenty of chances to ogle him each week, with his residency at Halo and frequent gigs at Bazzaar. He’s always friendly to well-wishers who pop into his booth to gaze into those dreamy DJ eyes of his. But the problem is all the other stalkers getting in the way. Move over, bitches — Brandon is ours! less...

Best Dance Company

Coriolis Dance Project
Artistic director Elizabeth Dishman’s newfound mission is to create dances that even you double-left-footed movement newbies can at least partially appreciate (you seem to be laughing and clapping at the right places, anyhow), and the dances she creates for the CORIOLIS DANCE PROJECT continuemore...

Artistic director Elizabeth Dishman’s newfound mission is to create dances that even you double-left-footed movement newbies can at least partially appreciate (you seem to be laughing and clapping at the right places, anyhow), and the dances she creates for the CORIOLIS DANCE PROJECT continue to be the best brain-buzz you can get outside a Mensa meeting. We loved this year’s playful Falling, a study of balance and its absence that included the debut of Israeli import Hila Kerekesh, a sublimely subtle new dancer on the Atlanta scene. Dishman is moving to NYC, so the Oct. 1 performance of a reworked Falling (at Emory University’s Performing Arts Studio) will be the company’s Atlanta swan song.
404-931-0212. www.coriolisdance.org.

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Best Electronic Act

Larvae
Nobody stomps harder in the local electronic scene than Matthew Jeanes’ mostly solo, sometimes three-man electro outfit, LARVAE. This year, Jeanes launched sonic assaults on both American and European soil, dropping bombastic, head-nodding beats and bass swells while hooking up with the Berlin-basedmore...

Nobody stomps harder in the local electronic scene than Matthew Jeanes’ mostly solo, sometimes three-man electro outfit, LARVAE. This year, Jeanes launched sonic assaults on both American and European soil, dropping bombastic, head-nodding beats and bass swells while hooking up with the Berlin-based Ad Noiseum Records. Using guerrilla-style tactics, Larvae’s digital audio/visual dirges have manhandled some of the most recognizable sights and sounds of pop and corporate icons, manipulating everything from Nike to Kill Bill and Star Wars (think Uma Thurman wielding lightsabers instead of samurai swords), all the while avoiding any imperial entanglements such as licensing.
www.zeroplate.com.

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Best Gallery

The Seen Gallery

Best Gothic Delight

The Death Show
While we wish it hadn’t turned out to be such an appropriate year for THE DEATH SHOW, (re: Iraq, London, Niger, Indonesia, the Gulf Coast, etc.), there’s no denying that death is prominent in our present collective conscience. Ty Macabre and a bunch of other artists with graveyard namesmore...
While we wish it hadn’t turned out to be such an appropriate year for THE DEATH SHOW, (re: Iraq, London, Niger, Indonesia, the Gulf Coast, etc.), there’s no denying that death is prominent in our present collective conscience. Ty Macabre and a bunch of other artists with graveyard names woke the dead for a Good Friday variety show at the Inner Sanctum that included electronic voice phenomenon ghost hunters, a death processional of dancers, and two poets sharing their near death experiences. less...

Best Graffiti

Krog Street Tunnel
Atlanta’s own Berlin Wall and the city’s favorite soapbox, the KROG STREET TUNNEL is a trippy kaleidoscope of politics and explosive color thankfully overlooked by the city’s anti-graffiti law enforcers. The colorful display significantly adds to the city’s beleagueredmore...

Atlanta’s own Berlin Wall and the city’s favorite soapbox, the KROG STREET TUNNEL is a trippy kaleidoscope of politics and explosive color thankfully overlooked by the city’s anti-graffiti law enforcers. The colorful display significantly adds to the city’s beleaguered funky quotient. Shows change daily.
Between DeKalb Avenue and Wylie Street at the border of Cabbagetown and Inman Park.

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Best Graffiti/Guerilla Art

Krog Street Tunnel

Best Kinetic Political Cattle Prod

America! Question!
Here’s something we noticed immediately after Several Dancers Core’s performance of AMERICA! QUESTION: Even people who weren’t so sure they had liked the dance were doing precisely what the dance intended them to do. (Dance little marionettes! Dance!) On the anniversary ofmore...

Here’s something we noticed immediately after Several Dancers Core’s performance of AMERICA! QUESTION: Even people who weren’t so sure they had liked the dance were doing precisely what the dance intended them to do. (Dance little marionettes! Dance!) On the anniversary of 9/11, the company posed questions about what it means to be American and prompted passionate debates about the critiques implicit in the dance. Some of the dance was avant-awesome. Some of it was just plain weird. But we’ll take that over a gas-guzzling SUV any dancing day of the week.
404-373-4154. www.severaldancerscore.org.

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Best Local Author

Hollis Gillespie
Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories www.hollisgillespie.com

Best Local International/World Music Act

TIE Crumbling Arches/Miguel Romero

Crumbling Arches www.crumblingarches.tk


Miguel Romero www.miguelromero.com

Best Museum Makeover

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART is hoping to pull some serious attendance with the Nov. 12 unveiling of its $130 million expansion designed by revered Italian architect Renzo Piano. Three new buildings linked to the original Richard Meier-designed museum will more than double the museum’s size. Expectmore...
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART is hoping to pull some serious attendance with the Nov. 12 unveiling of its $130 million expansion designed by revered Italian architect Renzo Piano. Three new buildings linked to the original Richard Meier-designed museum will more than double the museum’s size. Expect blockbuster crowds for the inaugural exhibition, a retrospective of the 88-year-old legend Andrew Wyeth. Let’s hope that what’s good for the High is good for the rest of Atlanta’s arts scene. less...

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