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Friday, April 5, 2013

Quick Bites: A Guy Wong empire on the rise, Googie Burger reopens, chef Hector Santiago makes moves, and more

Googie Burger reopens

Once Yum Bunz, Guy Wong and Mike Blum's quick-serve dim sum restaurant, finally opens this spring, Wong will shift his attention to three new ventures. First, Big Boss, a Cantonese restaurant in Decatur inspired by a famous Bruce Lee film. Additionally, TON TON Ramen & Yakitori Bar will debut in the forthcoming Krog Street Market development, and further along the timeline, in 2014, Wong plans to open Rickshaw Kitchen Stand in Home Park, a concept that will serve Asian street food at real street food prices.

Treat your late-night hankerings with Old Fourth Ward's new Kabu's Kebabs cart, now infiltrating the back patio of Noni's Bar and Deli at 357 Edgewood Ave. The cart serves Turkish delights from midnight till 3 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night.

Chef Hector Santiago shocked the foodie community last December when he announced that his longstanding restaurant Pura Vida would close after 12 years in Poncey-Highland. However, it appears that Santiago is ready to dust off his toque and return to the kitchen. After traveling through Peru and Chile, the chef is back in Atlanta and currently scouting locations for his new burrito restaurant, with plans for another Latino concept on the horizon, LuxeCrush reports.

Steady Hand Pour House will close at the end of the month with plans to reopen in a new location soon. With their building's longtime owner, Andy Kurlansky, turning over the lease to 5 Seasons Brewing Company's Crawford Moran, Steady Hand owners Jordan Chambers, Dale Donchey, and Jamie Pair will have to find a new space for their shop. In the meantime, though, they're scouting new locations across the city, and considering resurrecting their Rattle Trap coffee van so you can get your fix.

Centennial Olympic Park's walk-up burger joint Googie Burger reopens today for the 2013 season, just in time for the NCAA Final Four tournament weekend. To commemorate the occasion, Googie Burger is offering new menu items including sliders and a $8.95 "Quad-Burger," formed from ground beef, brisket, and short rib, then topped with bacon-cilantro slaw and cheesy Googie sauce.

Atlanta's first transgender strip club and bar, Black Diamond, is opening April 24 at 708 Spring St. downtown. Its roster of diverse perks includes VIP rooms, two stages, and "the most exquisite transgender dancers in Atlanta." Get to the club - and back - safely via its signature limo service, offered at affordable rates. Learn more at the facebook page.

Russian-inspired downtown restaurant Nikolai's Roof has found a new executive chef in 27-year-old Stephanie Alderete. The young cuisinier has taken over for her predecessor and mentor Olivier De Busschere, already reinventing the restaurant's classic dishes to enhance their flavor profiles - forgoing elaborate garnishes in favor of letting seasonal, local ingredients shine.

National chain BurgerFi is heading to 12th & Midtown in late 2013, rounding out a slew of summer arrivals to the Peachtree Street development - among them Taco Diner, Tabla, and Panera Bread - plus the fresh locale of Fig Jam this fall. BurgerFi's healthy menu concept will bring the neighborhood all-natural Angus beef burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, frozen custards, craft beer, and more.

Newk's Eatery will make its debut in Midtown soon, probably as early as spring. The Shops at Metropolis will welcome the fast-casual concept from the founders of McCalister's Deli, serving made-from-scratch sandwiches, personal pizzas, salads, and desserts in cafe and to-go formats, making this a stellar workday option for the neighborhood's professional fleet.

H&F Bread Co. has a new head baker. After serving on the team for five years - and making Dessert Professional magazine's list of Top 10 Bread Bakers in America - Robyn Mayo has risen through the ranks to the new post.

Three top-shelf Atlanta pastry chefs are up for Food & Wine magazine's 2013 The People's Best New Chef award, which you can vote for online until 5 p.m. on Mon., Apr. 8. Atlanta's own are among the 50 nominees nationwide - Empire State South's Melanie Durant (formerly of Cakes & Ale and Woodfire Grill), The Spence's Andrea Litvin (formerly of Livingston Restaurant + Bar, FLIP Burger Boutique, and New York's ABC Kitchen), and Cakes & Ale's Eric Wolitzsky (who moved South last year after helming award-winning Brookyln sweets shop Baked).

Seasons 52 (3050 Peachtree Road) launched a new lunch menu on Tuesday. It features dishes like quinoa and citrus salad with jicama, cranberry and mint, and a Rocky Mountain buffalo burger with truffle sauce and blue cheese. Don't leave without trying a mini dessert; you can't go wrong with pecan pie or Belgian chocolate rocky road.

Turner Field offers its fair share of eats, but if you're not satisfied by the sheer might of Kevin Rathbun's monster steak sandwich, or if the suddenly handy Holeman & Finch burger has lost some of its allure, Eater Atlanta has compiled this nifty guide to eating well at every Braves game, including a Smokehouse BBQ joint and a grill cart from Dantanna's.

It looks like the return of Polaris, the iconic restaurant that once crowned the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel at 265 Peachtree St NE, is a go. Well, technically, it will be a whole new concept - one welcomed in a highly anticipated downtown venue that's remained vacant for more than 10 years. Reports suggest that funds for the renovation are pending and plans should set in motion soon. Details as they arise.

Birmingham-based Zo√ęs Kitchen is continuing its Atlanta takeover, entering the Alpharetta market with a new locale near the intersection of Haynes Bridge Road and North Point Drive, just off GA 400, Tomorrow's News Today reports. This will mark the homestyle eatery's sixth Atlanta-area location.

Roswell is getting its first outpost of Asian-fusion eatery Tin Drum Cafe, Roswell Patch reports. Opening April 16 in the Roswell Market Place shopping center at 10800 Alpharetta Highway, it'll serve up spring rolls, street-style tacos, mango stir fry, tikka masala, and more. Better yet, the first 50 guests at the grand opening (from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 5 to 6 p.m.) will get free Tin Drum food for a year.

1001 Nights Persian Cuisine opened at 10305 Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek on Monday, offering Halal-certified, upscale comfort cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients. Menu items include kabob salads, hearty stews, and Fesenjoon chicken, along with a number of vegetarian options - black cherry rice, anyone?

ROOM at TWELVE is reviving its popular all-you-can-eat sushi specials. Now, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday, patrons can scarf down as many rolls as they want, ranging from spicy tuna, to salmon, to California, for just $15 up front.

La Tagliatella is embracing the spring season with new midday eats, as well. The European favorite, with Stateside locations in both Midtown Atlanta and Emory Point, is introducing smaller portions and lower prices for the warmer months ahead. These specialty items, available on weekdays, include dishes such as minestrone soup, a lunch-sized Affumicata salad, pesto rosso panna with rigatone pasta, and the signature Tagliatella pizza.

Rosebud and Chef Ron Eyester reassert their passion for fried chicken with the second-annual Mother Clucker Fried Chicken Festival, happening Saturday, April 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. The Morningside restaurant will host 11 metro-area chefs, from Chick-a-Biddy's Scott Weaver to Haven's Stephen Herman. Each talent will attempt to play up the protein's best perks, and patrons of the festival (entry is $35) will enjoy the tasty results - as well as SweetWater beers, cocktails, High Road Craft ice cream and live music from Pioneer Chicken Stand.

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