Start/Stop/Continue – Restaurant Edition

Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday.

I received my annual review at work this week. My boss still seems to like me, thank God. A lot of managers use this start/stop/continue nonsense in their peer reviews. The idea here is that someone will anonymously tell you what you are doing well and should continue, not doing at all and should start, or unnecessary things you should stop. Thankfully my boss doesn’t bother with such silliness, but I figured I would use it as inspiration for my weekly restaurant article. So without further ado, here are the restaurant trends I see in Alpharetta what I’d like to happen to them.

Start – Latin/Cuban Cuisine

I grew up in Florida, so I love me some ropa vieja. Unfortunately none of the restaurants in this style seem to make it around here. Mambo’s Cafe on Haynes Bridge is about it (and they are terrific). Cha Cha Bongo’s on Windward closed recently. From Havana to U was a bit north of town on Highway 9 but closed more than a year ago. Cuban Press in Midway made a pretty good Cuban sandwich, but they didn’t make it. There are some other options in Johns Creek and Norcross, but that’s about it.

Stop – Sandwiches

We’re getting inundated with sandwich shops. I appreciate some of the truly inventive joints like Never Enough Thyme and Wildflour. The hoity toity Windward ladies seem to like these places as well! I could do without the impostors and franchises everywhere else. If you are considering opening a new restaurant in Alpharetta, please don’t give us another sandwich shop. That means you, Panera!

Continue – Burgers

I wrote about this a few weeks back. Burgers are everywhere in the northern burbs. Do I think we have too many? Never! But I’m sure some will be dropping off the list in the coming months. I’ve heard rumors that one or two on 141 will be closing up shop soon.

Start – More Dining in Downtown Alpharetta

It is too bad that Alpharetta’s downtown area isn’t a destination like Roswell or Marietta. Both of these cities have terrific restaurants on their squares. Not so much here. We’ve got half a dozen places to eat downtown, with one or two more in the works. I think this city could support much more.

Stop – Silly Franchise Names

Which Wich? Lettuce Souprise You? I cringe every time I drive by these places. Why couldn’t the owners of these joints put as much attention into their food as they did to their cute names? Stop this nonsense, you’re insulting the intelligence of your customers!

Continue – Boutique Barbecue

What is “boutique barbecue”? These are fancified Q joints with expensive price tags. I don’t really know what to think. I’m a big fan of the roadside Q shack, but they are practically nonexistent ’round here. The boutique restaurants are places like Smokejack and ‘Cue. My wallet doesn’t like eating there, but they both crank out decent Q. Yeah, a plate of pulled pork costs almost as much as a steak at Longhorn, but yum.

3 Responses to “Start/Stop/Continue – Restaurant Edition”

  1. Foodie February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Start – Dessert Places

    We know. We’re in the ‘burbs and people don’t go out much in the evenings. But once in a blue moon, we do. And before letting the sitter go, it’s nice to be able to stop somewhere at 11pm for late night dessert and coffee without having to go, or stay, in Buckhead. IHOP just doesn’t quite cut it. Once in a while a place pops up but they close 3 months later. Apparently more groovy burbies are needed to keep them afloat.

    Stop – we BEG you to Stop – Silly Franchise Names

    I refuse to go to Lettuce Souprise You until they change their name.

    Stop – Peddling God or Sarah Palin with Food

    I want to eat. I give you my hard earned money for food. It’s a business transaction. Don’t shove down my throat your God (be it God or Sarah Palin – or even Obama as I once saw) as I patronize your establishment. Fries should be offered with burgers, not Jesus t-shirts. Put McCain signs in front of your house, not on restaurant windows. People are entitled to their beliefs but don’t mix business and politics/religion.

  2. Lee February 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    I agree with your dessert comment. Often times the only chance we get to go out sans kids is for a Saturday night desert. In the city there are a lot of choices. Not so much out here. A future blog article for sure!

    If you don’t like the way an establishment is pushing something, then vote with your wallet! The free market is a beautiful thing.

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  1. Roots in Alpharetta » Start/Stop/Continue – Alpharetta 2011 - January 21, 2011

    [...] and activities they should continue. Here’s my take on stuff I observe in Alpharetta. I did something similar last year with restaurants, so I’ll keep half of this year’s foodie focused. Don’t leave me [...]

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