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19 restaurants good for going ham

Where to tell swimsuit season to screw off

Acg Seedo Cheatday1 1 Magnum
Photo credit: Joeff Davis/CL File

Ever notice how the moment you tell yourself you can’t have something — a cookie, a piece of fried chicken, a glistening Little Tart Bakeshop almond croissant, whatev — you start craving that forbidden thing like 10 times more? For most mere mortals, the arduous pursuit of a beach bod is about as enjoyable as cruising the Downtown Connector at 5 p.m. on a Friday, and you’re already five minutes late. On the other hand, some people seem to thrive almost exclusively on raw kale leaves and possess an infinite supply of self-restraint. What’s their secret? Who the hell knows. But here’s some stuff we (aka the experts) do know: Willpower is an exhaustible resource and strict dieting is often a gateway to binge eating. This is why the cheat day was invented, right? To help you stay on track in the long run and keep you from going insane? Here are 19 places totally worthy of your next (totally deliberate and self-sanctioned) cheat day.

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The menu, mercifully, is not an endless list of plates like it is in most Mexican restaurants. Instead, you get to mix and match tacos, enchiladas, sopes, quesadillas and burritos with soups and side dishes of your choice. | more...

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At owner David Robert's (of Marietta's Sam & Dave's) Community Q table runners pinch your kids' cheeks, seem genuinely concerned whether you're enjoying your meal, and just "get" what it means to make someone feel at home in an establishment. And the food definitely doesn't hurt the impact. Pleasant... | more...

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Founded in Greensboro in the late 1980s, Cook Out is a fixture in college towns across the Tar Heel State. (Locations exist all over nearby Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, too.) For many college grads and transplants from the region, Cook Out triggers happy memories of late-night,... | more...

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With 14 beers on tap, 40 bottled selections, and a fully stocked selection of wine and spirits, Cypress has become a local favorite neighborhood haunt for beer lovers. | more...

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This fun, spruced up barbecue joint features barbecued meats, wings, sides, and selections of whiskey, moonshine, bottled and draft beers, and signature cocktails. D.B.A has plenty of TVs for sports fans and a covered patio. | more...

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Black-owned Business
The funky run-down shack is packed with crowds looking for 'cue. Blue collar, white collar and no collar at all — folks gather to dive into plates piled high with sweet, savory barbecue (beef, pork, ribs and chicken) and traditional sides. | more...

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Next door to sister stall Yalla, Todd Ginsberg of the General Muir brings his signature deli style to house-made deli items, sandwiches, and burgers. | more...

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No matter how late (early?) it is, there's always fresh joe and a red velvet or maple-glazed nightcap at Happy Donuts. In fact, Olivia Newton John's "Magic" never sounds quite as good as it does a few hours before sunrise. | more...

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UPDATE: This business has been reported as Permanently Closed.

The brick-and-mortar restaurant from Steven Lingenfelter opened in February 2014 and serves fan favorites such as the Hank burger in addition to a full menu of appetizers, entrées, sandwiches, and desserts.

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Neighborhood dive for dollar beers, well shots, wings, and a slice. | more...

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When you can't decide between a sandwich and a burger, eat a torta. Mexicanos love a good sandwich and they take them seriously. Las Tortas Locas makes other things such as flautas and tacos, but the tortas are where it's at. The best is the Torta Nortena: beef milanesa, pounded thin, breaded and fr... | more...

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Mae's Bakery offers cookies, cupcakes, whoopie pies, bars, muffins, croissants, moon pies, cream rolls, cinnamon rolls, and savory rolls inspired by Beth Castro. The bakery also has gluten free options. | more...

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UPDATE: This business is reported as Permanently Closed. Originally a mobile food truck, founder Jim Stacy has set Pallookaville in a brick and mortar location in Avondale Estates. Let's not make total pretend. Beside the salads for your vegetarian friends, you're not going to eat anything at Palloo... | more...

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UPDATE: This business has been reported as Permanently Closed. Located in the short-lived Bureau's location, the new restaurant features build-your-own pizzas and nine house-designed ones named after the world's volcanoes. If you're a purist looking for the perfect margherita, you won't go for this,... | more...

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For those Smyrna-bound, the first thing you see when exiting I-285 at South Cobb Drive is a long impersonal stretch of gas stations, motels, and fast-food joints. If you're stopping to get refueled food-wise, it's worth veering just slightly off the main thoroughfare toward this tidy haven of brothe... | more...

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As for the food to go with that beer, Slice & Pint is not “just another pizza joint.” There’s a green curry pizza, housemade Riverview Farms pork rillettes, even a salad of kale and quinoa tabouleh. Words like pasture-raised, local, seasonal, and (most prominently) housemade pop up all over the menu... | more...

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Black-owned Business
Kamal Grant has his dough down — his doughnuts ($1/each and $10/dozen) spring back into shape after each bite and taste like butter instead of fryer oil. His take on a Boston cream doughnut is whimsically shaped into a proud "A" for Atlanta, filled with silky custard and dipped in premium Belgian Ca... | more...

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UPDATE: This location has been reported as Permanently Closed. Walking into this cupcake-exclusive bakery is like walking into someone's kitchen; the young, motherly energy is part of its appeal. The 25 different types of cupcakes could be a part of it, too, from the utterly absurd snowball, with it... | more...