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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will Atlantans eat more pie?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Nation's Restaurant News has posted a list of the "top 2011 restaurant trends." Pies are number one, according to Andrew Freeman, head of the San Francisco consulting firm that composed the list for a "webinar."

Freeman specifies that he's talking savory pies as well as sweet ones, both in restaurants and in new pie shops. I haven't noticed an increase in pies in Atlanta restaurants lately, but I'd certainly welcome it. (I confess I used to hang out with friends at the House of Pies on Westheimer in Houston during my years there.)

Many trends on the list have already hit Atlanta, if not strongly. One good example is Home Grown GA (whose grits pie is shown here). It's a small restaurant — "the new mom and pop" — in which the owners are highly involved. It stresses veggies, another accelerating trend at many restaurants here. And, like a growing number of restaurants, it shares space with another business — Cornbred, an art gallery.

One-ingredient restaurants are another trend. I don't know if Atlanta is big enough to sustain these kinds of restaurants. The list mentions hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders. It's certainly true that these dishes are occupying more space on menus, especially pub menus. A good example of the grilled-cheese trend is Republic Social House in Grant Park.

We've got the kinky popsicles (King of Pops) and soft-serve ice cream (Yeah! Burger, among others).

Check out the trends. I'd love to see "meatless Mondays," more mini-portions (Seasons 52 has mini-desserts), "dirt" that replaces sauces and Swedish-inspired restaurants. Atlanta actually had a smorgasbord restaurant — in Peachtree Center, as I recall — when I was a kid.

(H/T: James Oxendine, Atlanta Magazine)

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