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Best Of Atlanta 2014 Oral Pleasures (largel)


Oral Pleasures

The last 12 months in Atlanta food could be described in one word: aspirational. Thanks to a rash of mega-mixed use developments in the works, dozens of new restaurants are headed our way. A handful of these will be flagship restaurants, such as Hannah Chung's Simply Seoul Kitchen and the Cockentrice from the team behind the Spotted Trotter, our 2014 Readers Pick co-winners for Best farmers market food stall.

More common are side projects and sister restaurants from top dogs such as Bacchanalia chef Anne Quatrano's Dub's Fish Camp, Linton Hopkins' H&F Burger in Ponce City Market, and Cakes & Ale owner chef Billy Allin's Bread & Butterfly Café in Inman Park.

The mood has been anticipatory, we, the food obsessed, stuck in a holding pattern awaiting the onslaught of shiny and new. It's easy to let a future as bright as Atlanta's distract from the present, but there is so much worth celebrating here and now.

The success of chef Jarrett Stieber's edgy Eat Me Speak Me pop-up (Critics Pick for Best pop-up) serves as a barometer for the city's robust, food-friendly startup scene.

Kimball House, this year's Critics Pick for Best new restaurant, wowed locals with its revolutionary cocktail and oyster programs, ultimately earning a spot on Bon Appétit magazine's 5 Best New Cocktail Bars in America 2014 list.

The East meets South Decatur diner Sobban (Critics Pick for Best creative diner food) and Buckhead newcomer Lusca (Critics Pick for Best breath of fresh air) each had breakout years, winning praise locally and beyond for inventive, culture-crawling cuisines.

This year, we tried to pull the curtain back to shed light on where the wonderful food in front of us comes from and who put it there. We deconstructed the best, most impeccably sourced local vegetable plate in town — find out what makes Restaurant Eugene's Seasonal Vegetable Tasting a triumph. We also caught up with expert knife sharpener Geoff Edges, who shares what it's like to maintain one of a chef's most beloved and important tools.

The future of Atlanta dining is bright. Here's to all those working to give us something to look forward to.

— Stephanie Dazey


Best neighborhood restaurant BOA Award Winner

BoccaLupo

Best way to drink wine you can BOA Award Winner

Poppin' Bottles

Best Public Art Project BOA Award Winner

Living Walls
Atlanta was many things before Living Walls began painting the city anew: Civil War remnant, civil rights bastion, Southern rap capital. But like the proverbial phoenix symbolized by the city's continual rise from ashes, an organization co-founded by a Peruvian transplant has helped spark the latestmore...
Atlanta was many things before Living Walls began painting the city anew: Civil War remnant, civil rights bastion, Southern rap capital. But like the proverbial phoenix symbolized by the city's continual rise from ashes, an organization co-founded by a Peruvian transplant has helped spark the latest rebirth. In the past five years, the volunteer-run public art nonprofit Living Walls, the City Speaks has hosted more than 100 street artists from all over the globe to paint murals throughout the heart of Atlanta. In many neighborhoods, they've turned decay into beauty. The street cred hasn't come without criticism. Yet even that has sparked at LW conferences the kind of public conversation — surrounding issues of urban decline and gentrification, class privilege and the role of public art — that usually only happens in private. Led by feisty visionary Monica Campana, Living Walls is transforming the look of the inner city, and knocking down some long-standing walls in the process. (Go backstage with Living Walls Communications Director Jasmine Amussen.) less...

Best Popsicles BOA Award Winner

King of Pops
It started as a mysterious painted wall with a colorful logo for the King of Pops, and then it turned into a popsicle empire built on flavorful frozen treats made with seasonal ingredients sold by smiling skater/surfer girls and boys. The King of Pops made fresh fruit popsicles hip again. Kids and adultsmore...
It started as a mysterious painted wall with a colorful logo for the King of Pops, and then it turned into a popsicle empire built on flavorful frozen treats made with seasonal ingredients sold by smiling skater/surfer girls and boys. The King of Pops made fresh fruit popsicles hip again. Kids and adults line up for pops at farmers markets, weddings, festivals, or at the King's original location at the corner of North and North Highland avenues. Whether the puckery and spicy pineapple habanero or the now legendary chocolate sea salt is your favorite, the King of Pops has in fact become the king of pops as far as Atlanta frozen treats are concerned. less...

Best Veggie Plate BOA Award Winner

Restaurant Eugene (Permanently Closed)
With an ever-changing selection of vegetables prepared using myriad cooking techniques such as ash roasting and skillet searing, Restaurant Eugene's vegetable tasting is the city's ultimate celebration of the seasons, local agriculture, and culinary skill."If I had any signature it would probably bemore...
With an ever-changing selection of vegetables prepared using myriad cooking techniques such as ash roasting and skillet searing, Restaurant Eugene's vegetable tasting is the city's ultimate celebration of the seasons, local agriculture, and culinary skill."If I had any signature it would probably be that vegetable plate, even more than the Holeman & Finch cheeseburger, just because I still continue to learn from it," says chef Linton Hopkins, executive chef and owner of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch. A recent tasting included ash-roasted baby carrots, confit potatoes, stewed black-eyed peas, roasted shiitake mushrooms, luscious creamed corn, pepper jelly-glazed eggplant, skillet pole beans, blistered sweet peppers, tempura-fried squash blossoms, and zucchini ribbons. (Get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into Eugene's legendary veg dish.) less...

Best breath of fresh air BOA Award Winner

Lusca

Best food for a cause: Pace changers BOA Award Winner

Slow Food Atlanta

Best pizza BOA Award Winner

Don Antonio by Starita

Best chef BOA Award Winner

Robert Phalen

Best chef-to-table restaurant BOA Award Winner

GUNSHOW

Best ice cream BOA Award Winner

Jen's Splendid Ice Cream

Best new restaurant BOA Award Winner

Kimball House

Best of local beer: Beer festival BOA Award Winner

Georgia Craft Beer Festival

Best of local beer: Sign for Georgia beer BOA Award Winner

Georgia Craft Brewers Guild

Best burritos BOA Award Winner

Bell Street Burritos (Tucker) (Permanently Closed)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Cuban BOA Award Winner

Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill (Featured)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best cupcakes BOA Award Winner

CamiCakes Cupcakes
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best food festival or event BOA Award Winner

Taste of Atlanta

Best frozen yogurt BOA Award Winner

Yoforia (Permanently Closed)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best juice bar BOA Award Winner

Arden's Garden Little 5 Points
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best place to dine alone BOA Award Winner

Waffle House
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best supper club BOA Award Winner

PorKman's Table

Best chef BOA Award Winner

Chad Crete

Best farmers market food stall BOA Award Winner

Simply Seoul AND The Spotted Trotter

Best grits BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit (13 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant to bring the kids BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers (5 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Farm-to-table

Best tacos BOA Award Winner

Taqueria Del Sol (Featured)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best deli BOA Award Winner

The General Muir

Best film series BOA Award Winner

Splatter Cinema
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Best burritos BOA Award Winner

Bell Street Burritos (Tucker) (Permanently Closed)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Cuban BOA Award Winner

Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill (Featured)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best cupcakes BOA Award Winner

CamiCakes Cupcakes
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best food festival or event BOA Award Winner

Taste of Atlanta

Best frozen yogurt BOA Award Winner

Yoforia (Permanently Closed)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best juice bar BOA Award Winner

Arden's Garden Little 5 Points
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best neighborhood restaurant BOA Award Winner

BoccaLupo

Best place to dine alone BOA Award Winner

Waffle House
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best supper club BOA Award Winner

PorKman's Table

Best way to drink wine you can BOA Award Winner

Poppin' Bottles

Best chef BOA Award Winner

Chad Crete

Best farmers market food stall BOA Award Winner

Simply Seoul AND The Spotted Trotter

Best grits BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit (13 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant to bring the kids BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers (5 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Farm-to-table

Best tacos BOA Award Winner

Taqueria Del Sol (Featured)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Public Art Project BOA Award Winner

Living Walls
Atlanta was many things before Living Walls began painting the city anew: Civil War remnant, civil rights bastion, Southern rap capital. But like the proverbial phoenix symbolized by the city's continual rise from ashes, an organization co-founded by a Peruvian transplant has helped spark the latestmore...
Atlanta was many things before Living Walls began painting the city anew: Civil War remnant, civil rights bastion, Southern rap capital. But like the proverbial phoenix symbolized by the city's continual rise from ashes, an organization co-founded by a Peruvian transplant has helped spark the latest rebirth. In the past five years, the volunteer-run public art nonprofit Living Walls, the City Speaks has hosted more than 100 street artists from all over the globe to paint murals throughout the heart of Atlanta. In many neighborhoods, they've turned decay into beauty. The street cred hasn't come without criticism. Yet even that has sparked at LW conferences the kind of public conversation — surrounding issues of urban decline and gentrification, class privilege and the role of public art — that usually only happens in private. Led by feisty visionary Monica Campana, Living Walls is transforming the look of the inner city, and knocking down some long-standing walls in the process. (Go backstage with Living Walls Communications Director Jasmine Amussen.) less...

Best Popsicles BOA Award Winner

King of Pops
It started as a mysterious painted wall with a colorful logo for the King of Pops, and then it turned into a popsicle empire built on flavorful frozen treats made with seasonal ingredients sold by smiling skater/surfer girls and boys. The King of Pops made fresh fruit popsicles hip again. Kids and adultsmore...
It started as a mysterious painted wall with a colorful logo for the King of Pops, and then it turned into a popsicle empire built on flavorful frozen treats made with seasonal ingredients sold by smiling skater/surfer girls and boys. The King of Pops made fresh fruit popsicles hip again. Kids and adults line up for pops at farmers markets, weddings, festivals, or at the King's original location at the corner of North and North Highland avenues. Whether the puckery and spicy pineapple habanero or the now legendary chocolate sea salt is your favorite, the King of Pops has in fact become the king of pops as far as Atlanta frozen treats are concerned. less...

Best Veggie Plate BOA Award Winner

Restaurant Eugene (Permanently Closed)
With an ever-changing selection of vegetables prepared using myriad cooking techniques such as ash roasting and skillet searing, Restaurant Eugene's vegetable tasting is the city's ultimate celebration of the seasons, local agriculture, and culinary skill."If I had any signature it would probably bemore...
With an ever-changing selection of vegetables prepared using myriad cooking techniques such as ash roasting and skillet searing, Restaurant Eugene's vegetable tasting is the city's ultimate celebration of the seasons, local agriculture, and culinary skill."If I had any signature it would probably be that vegetable plate, even more than the Holeman & Finch cheeseburger, just because I still continue to learn from it," says chef Linton Hopkins, executive chef and owner of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch. A recent tasting included ash-roasted baby carrots, confit potatoes, stewed black-eyed peas, roasted shiitake mushrooms, luscious creamed corn, pepper jelly-glazed eggplant, skillet pole beans, blistered sweet peppers, tempura-fried squash blossoms, and zucchini ribbons. (Get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into Eugene's legendary veg dish.) less...

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