New/Closed Restaurants – May 2010

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

My mother and step-father are coming to visit this weekend. They live in a small town in North Carolina with just a handful of restaurants. They always look forward to eating at one particular restaurant while here. Any guesses what it is? The answer is at the bottom of this column. You’ll be disappointed! At least I always am.

Here are the new and closed joints I’ve noticed over the last month or so…

Woody’s Bar-B-Q – Northpoint

Just what Northpoint needs, another chain/franchise restaurant. And to top it off, it is a barbecue joint. Famous Dave’s tried this idea in almost the same location. Didn’t work so well for them. Woody’s has set up shop in the old Pizza Hut. I haven’t tried it, but I’m almost never a fan of franchise barbecue. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m not in a huge hurry to try their contrived down-home Q.

Mango’s Cuban Cuisine – Northpoint

…but on the other hand, what Alpharetta does need is more Cuban food! I’ve written about this before. And the Northpoint area certainly needs more locally owned joints. So I was excited to try this double whammy of a new restaurant. They are located next to Figo Pasta, a prime spot for cubicle dwellers, but terrible with the parking layout. Inside they look like a chain joint, with fancy printed menus, complicated ordering computers and chain restaurant decor. I’ve been assured they are not a chain.

I was there for lunch on Wednesday. Lunch specials cost $7.75 which includes a soft drink. Not a bad deal. My ropa vieja was tasty but the beef wasn’t as tender as it should have been. The black beans lacked flavor and were just blah. They also didn’t serve real Cuban bread but rather dinner rolls. I really wish a local Cuban joint would make the attempt to offer authentic Cuban bread. It is terrific. All in all, I think Mambo’s on Haynes Bridge beats these guys hands down. They are not that far away either.

East Side Pizza in Johns Creek – CLOSED

I just discovered this place a few weeks back. They were in a location that was saturated with pizza joints. I suppose the competition was too much, because they closed. Kinda stinks because I was growing fond of their pie and cheap prices.

River Tavern – Milton

They have been open for just a few weeks and I’ve already reviewed them. Check out my review if you haven’t seen it. This restaurant confirms my theory that the number of tattoos on the chef is directly correlated to the quality of the grub. I have no tattoos and have a hard time boiling water. See what I’m talking about?

Gyro King – Windward and Highway 9

Not sure if they are open yet. They’ll be setting up in the shopping center with Taco Mac and La Parilla in the space formerly occupied by Burger House and some teriyaki place. Looks like a cheap franchise joint.

…and the answer to my quiz above… Moe’s Southwest Grill. Yeah, I know, yuck. I’ve tried turning them onto other burrito options. They didn’t like any of them, even Chipotle. So think of me while you’re having something delicious for lunch on Saturday.

5 Responses to “New/Closed Restaurants – May 2010”

  1. Amy @ Atlanta With Kid May 21, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I love Mambo too.. By far I think it’s the best Cuban in this area hand down.

    Maybe they love to hear ‘Welcome to Moe’s’ greeting? My kids love Moe’s too. :)

  2. Jumbo May 21, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Better than my guess: Cracker Barrel.

    Are they from one of those small towns where all the “restaurants” have numbers glued on top of each table to, presumably, help waiters remember who’s where?

  3. Resto May 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Ben and Jerry’s on Windward: closed.

    Yogurt Joint on Windward, replacing B&J: opening soon.

  4. Lee May 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Please tell me you’re kidding about Ben and Jerry’s. I love that place. I don’t care if those guys are Communists, they make amazing ice cream.

  5. Obama May 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    No kidding about Ben and Jerry’s on Windward. Gone.

    PS: I think that the guys who started Ben and Jerry’s are actually Socialists-Light (I know – who cares about the difference – Bad is Bad.) Those who own the outfit now are definitely voting for Sarah Palin.

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