Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday.
So I’m sitting in one of my favorite Windward restaurants chatting up the manager. We’ve known each other for a few years so he knows my schtick about keeping up with the latest restaurants in town. He leans over and whispers to me “There is a new place almost across the street, K Cafe. They’re kind of a competitor.” Not that he was afraid of them, nor should he be, I just didn’t think he wanted his other customers to hear.
But I was disappointed in myself. How could a new restaurant open on Windward and do it almost completely under the radar? I drive Windward daily, surely I would have noticed something, right?
That night I googled this place. No website, no social networking presence, nothing. The only thing I find are a few articles on restaurant business websites. It seems that Krystal, the nasty little fastfood joint with the steamed burgers, is behind this operation. It is purely a test concept, the first of its kind. They are a fast-casual restaurant similar to Panera. Great, we need more chain concepts like Panera.
I dragged the kids, against their will, into K Cafe last weekend. They are located in the old Caravel spot in front of Costco, directly across the street from Five Guys. The joint feels classy with jazz music playing and nice decor. They have an amazingly big ceiling fan which mesmerized my youngins. The menu is mostly sandwiches, salads, burgers and hot dogs. What the menu doesn’t have is a kid’s section. Strike one. I had to order my kids adult entrees. This won’t fly in Alpharetta.
I kinda had my mind set on a burger, so I ordered what they call the “Basically Awesome Burger”. I love to see hyperbole on the menu, especially in the burger section! The burger patty tasted like a larger version of a Krystal burger. It was probably steamed and had little to no flavor. Strike two. However the bread was basically awesome pretty decent. It was ciabatta bread. There are other joints in town serving burgers like this, so they’re hardly new with the idea. But nevertheless it was good, as were the fresh toppings.
My kids got hot dogs and grilled cheese. Again, nothing spectacular. All of our entrees came with a huge serving of shoestring fries. They were actually pretty good.
The staff were obviously new and still being trained yet were nice and pleasant. The prices were on the reasonable side for Windward. I paid more than I thought given the lack of a kid’s menu. But lunchtime cubicle dwellers can probably get in and out of here for less than a Hamilton.
So there you have it. Given that this is a this is a test concept, they could gut the place tomorrow and try something completely new. Keep that in mind when you read my review. And even though they have carefully concealed the name “Krystal” behind the single letter “K”, there is a Krystal section on the menu. If nothing on the menu strikes your fancy you can always fall back on a three Krystal platter. Ick.