Good Eats 

Our critics' guide to Atlanta restaurants

Page 6 of 13

Violette, 2948 Clairmont Road NE, 404-633-3363. The unassuming structure belies the peaceful interior where you can get high quality French cuisine without breaking the bank. Dinner is just a few dollars more but where else can you get a plate of coq au vin for under eight bucks? $$$
College Park/East Point
The Brake Pad, 3403 Main St., 404-766-1515. Sister location to the popular Oakhurst Universal Joint, the restaurant bar is the hangout for the growingly hip crowd in College Park. The bar food choices are augmented by interesting daily specials. $

Zab-E-Lee, 4837 Old National Hwy., 404-768-2705. Longtime leader in authentic Thai cooking continues to please Hartsfield-area workers, Southside regulars and everyone lucky enough to find their way to the hideaway location in a run-down stripmall. Curries, salads, seafood and rice dishes are reliably authentic (if sometimes underspiced) and delicious. $$
Decatur/Oakhurst
Adam's Garden of Eatin', 1451 Scott Blvd., 404-370-0550. This college hang-out is high on service as well as large helpings. The strombolis and "rollies" are huge as are the sandwiches and beer selection. $$$

Cafe Alsace, 121 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-373-5622. Three young French owners cook such traditional Alsatian dishes as a superb onion tart and an equally superb berry tart. In between are a trio of tender spaetzle dishes, beef Burgundy and a slew of salmon entrees, all served in a small, charming, colorful dining room. $$

Crescent Moon, 174 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-377-5623. Long noted for hearty brunch and lunch plates, platters and skillets, the no-nonsense diner sports a retro-'50s "Jetsons" look and entrees (fried catfish, beef)plus sandwiches, omelets and Benedict variations. A combination of smiling service and updated American in a booming intown suburb. $$

Diesel's, 537 W. Howard Ave., 404-378-3151. Casual bar-cafe offers solid, retro-American comfort food, slick, assured service and scruffy-scrubbed ambience. The latest take on folksy-industrial integrity, it's a family operation offering stellar salads, fun finger-food appetizers, regional sandwiches and homemade cakes. Entrees are hit or miss but the shrimp and crabcake po'boys always deliver. $$

Hodge's BBQ, 2141 Candler Road, 404-289-1804. Offering home-style, working-class Southern cooking for a quarter century, this family style cafeteria is light on charm, big on value, convenient for takeout and friendly as a church supper. No smoking or credit cards. $

Los Loros, 1248 Clairmont Road, 404-633-3103. A popular college kid hangout near Emory the order by number Tex-Mex combos are present as well as out of the ordinary items like flaming fajitas and a hearty chicken soup.

Mediterranean Grill, 2126 N. Decatur Road, 404-320-0101. The small storefront is a a quick-fix for falafel and gyros as well as take out. Not the fanciest establishment but solid grub. $

Mexico City Gourmet - Decatur, 2134 N. Decatur Road, 404-634-1128. Teaser to come. $$

Mojo Neighborhood Pizzeria & Pub, 659 E. Lake Drive, 404-373-1999. A bohemian hangout that resembles a bigger and brighter Fellini's, Mojo offers a wide variety of pizza toppings, pasta dishes and beers at the bar. Distinctive touches include the kicky tomato sauce, the sesame seeds on the pizza crust and such atypical toppings as garlic shrimp, smoked bacon and BBQ pulled pork. $$

Moti Mahal, 763-C DeKalb Industrial Way, 404-294-8989. In a grungy, out-of-the-way place, but inside is good service and great Indian with an Indo-Pak influence. The lunch buffet is a bargain. $

Mr. Delicious, 1524 Church St., 404-370-0031. The Atlanta area's most visually entertaining drive-thru restaurant, purple-pink with green trim and awnings, could be a grounded Mardi Gras float. Seating is a mere pair of picnic tables in a strip mall parking lot, but the Creole cuisine is worth a visit, particularly the ample-sized fried seafood po'boys, the home-style bread pudding and the spicy jambalaya and gumbo. $$

Noodle, 205 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-378-8622. Stylish, moderately priced noodle bar features appetizers, noodle bowls, soups, rice plates and entree salads, four or five of each, all more or less Chinese, Korean, Thai or Vietnamese in derivation and presentation. Oversize crockery, decent wine-and-beer list and touchy-feely industrial decor emphasize the distance Asian-American-style restaurants have traveled -- from mainland to mainstream. $$

Our Way Cafe, 2831 E. College Ave., 404-292-9356. You'll find basic, good and cheap home-style food at this mellow, egalitarian hole-in-the-wall in Decatur. Vegetables, casseroles and sides are particularly appealing here; I like the black-eyed peas, greens, mashed potatoes and spicy cornbread. If you owe someone lunch, this is the place to bring 'em, whether it's your mechanic, your debutante niece or that philosophy professor you want to butter up. $

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