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Best of Atlanta 2013 Oral Pleasures

 

Best Of Atlanta 2013 Oral Pleasures (large)


Oral Pleasures



Every night is a busy night at Holeman & Finch Public House. Burger pilgrims arrive hours early to reserve one of the limited-edition, double-patty delights in advance. They camp out at the bar or around high-top tables, waiting elbow to elbow for an amplified voice to announce that Burger Time has arrived at last. Regulars chuckle at the nightly spectacle.

Atlanta diners are an enthusiastic bunch. Hip to the latest hot spots, the fooderati flock to newly opened restaurants, always hungry for what's next. Holeman & Finch was no exception when it opened to a packed house and much fanfare back in 2008. But five years later, it's still tough to find a seat in the house that former bar manager Greg Best, Linton Hopkins, and team built.

In the last few years, we've seen Atlanta's restaurant culture evolve and reinvent itself with an explosion of exciting new restaurants. In many ways, staying power is a restaurant's true currency these days. This year, when setting out to highlight the best Atlanta has to offer, we searched for restaurants that anchor our current dining scene and will continue to mold it for years to come.

Empire State South remains a bastion of modern cooking in the South, tackling three meals a day like nowhere else. Tasty China in Marietta reminds us that we're still willing to venture OTP in the name of incredible ethnic food. We were once again seduced by the harmony of Octane Coffee and Little Tart Bakeshop. There are newcomers, too. This year we found smart, memorable cocktails at Paper Plane, daring and authentic Italian at BoccaLupo and Storico Fresco Pasta. Deft hands at the General Muir brought us a refined take on the Jewish deli.

Every year, it gets harder to create the list of Best of Atlanta winners. But having too many great restaurants to choose from is a problem we're happy to have.

— Stephanie Dazey

Best place to eat like you're in China BOA Award Winner

Located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall's food court, Hong Kong BBQ gets you in and out quickly. In fact, taking the food to go is a great way to enjoy the Chinese barbecue and Cantonese specialties. Whether sliced in clear soup with thin noodles or as a platter with steamed rice, watching the chefs carvemore...
Located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall's food court, Hong Kong BBQ gets you in and out quickly. In fact, taking the food to go is a great way to enjoy the Chinese barbecue and Cantonese specialties. Whether sliced in clear soup with thin noodles or as a platter with steamed rice, watching the chefs carve the glossy ducks and barbecued pork with a menacing cleaver is always fun. The large menu also features addictive dishes such as the sour cabbage and sausage fried rice and a stellar version of Hainanese chicken rice. Cash only or you'll go hungry. less...

Best wine list BOA Award Winner

The Spence
In the age of industrialized food, experts recommend you stay away from anything made with ingredients you can't pronounce. But in the wine world, bizarre varietals you've never heard of are treasures waiting to be uncorked. At the Spence, Justin Amick, general manager, wine director, and advanced sommelier,more...
In the age of industrialized food, experts recommend you stay away from anything made with ingredients you can't pronounce. But in the wine world, bizarre varietals you've never heard of are treasures waiting to be uncorked. At the Spence, Justin Amick, general manager, wine director, and advanced sommelier, is obsessed with finding odd, obscure specimens for his list of 90-ish wines. Try the tight but juicy cinsault/syrah/cabernet sauvignon blend from Lebanon, just to say you've had a wine from Lebanon. Or the puzzling pelaverga piccolo from Piedmont because it's really fun to say and tastes like dried strawberries and white pepper. If you must, you'll find your California chard and Napa cab under the heading Tried and True. We'll be at the bar testing out the inky black vranec-kratosija from Macedonia and the herbally hondarribi beltza from Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain. less...

Best barbecue BOA Award Winner

A lot of people say Atlanta doesn't have a distinct style of barbecue, but they are wrong. Our town excels at creative takes on classics. No barbecue spot exemplifies this more than Heirloom Market BBQ. Chefs Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee took a small spot located next to a gas station and transformed itmore...
A lot of people say Atlanta doesn't have a distinct style of barbecue, but they are wrong. Our town excels at creative takes on classics. No barbecue spot exemplifies this more than Heirloom Market BBQ. Chefs Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee took a small spot located next to a gas station and transformed it into a barbecue destination. Lee's Korean influences find their way into condiments such as the sweet and spicy Korean-style sauce and sides such as kimchi. And the meats, oh the meats - the super tender and smoky brisket, the fall-apart pork ribs, and moist pulled pork. The tiny restaurant has become so busy, it's now standing-room only on the patio. The owners are looking for another location with space for all of their devotees. less...
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