Restaurant Listings 

What we recommend

Page 10 of 12

PIEBAR, ** 2160 Monroe Drive. 404-815-1605. www.piebar.com. Local restaurateur Bob Amick transformed a flying saucer-like bank building into this chic pizzeria. Pizza is undoubtedly the soul of Piebar's kitchen. Most of the concoctions read as unexpected and jarring, but many of them work. Dine outside on the patio or on the rooftop under a white circus tent. At night, blue and purple lights illuminate the tent creating an ethereal and glamorous vibe. Winner of "Best Patio Dining" 2005. L, D $$

SAVAGE PIZZA, 484 Moreland Ave., 404-523-0500. Among the best local sources of real, hand-thrown pizza, this slightly bent independent in L5P is notable for fresh ingredients, homemade sauces and clever, knowing service. Wide selection of pizza toppings and calzone fillings. L, D $

SHORTY'S, *** 2884-B North Druid Hills Road. In an area of town not known for the high quality of its restaurants, this cozy pizza joint-plus stands out. Go for the guacamole and a pie loaded with fresh, gourmet-ish ingredients. L, D $$

VILLAGE PIZZA CO., 186 Carroll St. 404-586-0040. If you ever wondered what restaurant embodies the funky feel of Cabbagetown, then wonder no more. Village Pizza has all the genial slacker ambiance of its patrons combined with excellent hand tossed pizzas. The large menu includes panini, pasta and subs in addition to pizzas. Avoid the fettucine or eggplant parmesan sub in favor of the incredible tuna melt, which comes on slices of buttery foccaccia bread, smeared with pesto and topped with mozzarella and fontina. L, D $

Pub food

BRICK STORE PUB, 125 E. Court Square. 404-687-0990. www.brickstorepub.com. The outstanding pub, complete with an upstairs Belgian bar that has potent brews on tap, offers no fewer than 215 beers -- 188 in bottles and 27 draft. The menu's beer descriptions are humorous and approachable. The service is so friendly, no one will look you askance if you simply order a bottle of Sweetwater 420. Great food as well. Winner of "Best Bar Food" 2006 and "Best Beer Selection" 2005 and 2006. L, D $$

THE EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. Not only do staffers serve up chili dogs and burgers that cushion the belly for a long evening out, but their brunch is heaven-sent if your Saturday night lasted well into Sunday. The loaded steak is as much sloppy fun as making out in one of the bar's dark booths. Winner of "Best Bar Food" 2005. L, D $

Soul food

BUSY BEE CAFE, 810 Martin Luther King Drive, 404-525-9212. www.thebusybeecafe.com. This venerated soul-food joint dishes up some of the city's best Southern cooking at a price that's hard to beat. From corn muffins and fried chicken to field-fresh vegetables and banana pudding, these folks know their way around comfort food. L, D $$

MARY MAC'S TEA ROOM, 224 Ponce De Leon Ave Ne. 404-876-1800. Atlanta's best known home of soul food, Mary Mac delivers quality Southern favorites like fried chicken, collard greens, Hoppin' John and fried okra. L, D

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. Vegetables, casseroles and sides are particularly appealing here; we like the black-eyed peas, greens, mashed potatoes and spicy cornbread. L, D $

RED'S TASTY EXPRESS, 209 Edgewood Ave. 404-681-0054. Lunch at this counter inside the Sweet Auburn Curb Market is the best test of your statin and beta blockers we know. The fried chicken is superb, but we also dig the meatloaf and just about any special the ladies here produce (including cakes). Winner "Best Soul Food" 2006.

SON'S PLACE, 100 Hurt St., 404-581-0530. A fixed intown favorite for soulful Southern grub, Son's Place supposedly still uses the same cast-iron pans used by the legendary Deacon Burton. Local hospitality and cafeteria-style service give the crispy fried chicken, pork chops in gravy, fried catfish and comfort sides an authenticity those made-for-tourist places miss. Winner of "Best Soul Food" 2005 and "Best Restaurant to Take Visitors" 2006. L $

Southern

CHIP'S SOUTHERN COOKIN', 8290 Roswell Road. 678-822-2200. The food lineup here could make a good ole boy cry with joy and still please all the urban sophisticates. Southern delights like country-fried steak, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and fried okra headline a menu that is made to order instead of sitting in steam trays. L, D $

GERALDINE'S FISH AND GRITS, 971 Hairston Road, Stone Mountain, 770-498-3660. Fish and grits seem to have an inspirational influence over hip-hop and R&B lyrics these days, as OutKast's ATLiens and Jill Scott's Whatever can attest. Should you seek similar inspiration, look no further than the grilled trout with cheese grits for breakfast or lunch at Geraldine's. Winner of "Best Fried Catfish" 2005. L $

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