Around the World in Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Let’s take a trip around the culinary world, without leaving town. Here are a few of my favorites. I’ll try to stick to authentic eats as best I can.

Jamaica – Caribbean Fiesta

Jerk chicken that will set your mouth on fire! It’s juicy chicken that packs a peppery and spicy kick. You’ll also find oxtails and several other meats on their cafeteria-style lunch counter. Watch out for this location (on the corner of North Point and Old Milton). It’s very crowded for lunch with parking spaces filling up fast.

Chinese – Sichuan House

I’m pretty sure that kung pow and General Tso’s chicken are not authentic Chinese dishes. But if you want them, Sichuan House will make them. But stick to the “authentic” side of their menu. It’s full of Sichuan-style cuisine. While not as spicy and hot as Hunan style, Sichuan cooking will rock your mouth with tongue numbing goodness. Try the hot boiled fish or three cup chicken.

Sichuan House is located at 5900 State Bridge Road in Johns Creek, near Target.

India – Madrass Chettinaad

Alpharetta has an amazingly diverse Indian restaurant scene. We’re starting to see specialized Indian restaurants open up, for example Zafraan Hyderabadi in south Forsyth and the new Paradise Biryani Pointe on Windward. My Indian palate isn’t refined enough to tell them apart at this point. A safe bet for Indian is Madrass Chettinaad on Old Milton (formally Minerva). They’ve remodeled the place since the Minerva days and it’s beautiful. They still have Alpharetta’s biggest lunch buffet yet is priced competitively related to their peers. They’ve also got some social media deals out there. Bonus points if you can pronounce “Chettinaad” as I certainly cannot.

Middle East – Babas Gyro and Kabob

I’ve written a lot about Jerusalem Bakery so let’s give them a rest. Babas in south Forsyth is an uber-popular hole in the wall. But this little gem is no longer a secret. Their gas station location is often slammed on nights and weekends. Their falafel is excellent as are all their kabobs. The menu also has a few Italian options. Say hi to Fred, the friendly owner with the authentic-sounding name.

Baba’s is located at 2310 Ronald Reagan Blvd in south Forsyth. Look for them down the road from the Avenue Forsyth, next to a gas station.

Thai – Satay House

Again, my lack of a refined Thai palate fails me here. I like just about all of Alpahretta’s Thai restaurants. Satay House won the coin flip to get mentioned in this article. It’s probably safe to say they are our oldest Thai restaurant, and the inside of this place shows it. Their coconut soup is by far the best in town. It’s thicker and richer than any other. I also like their prices at lunch, which are not much more than fast food.

Satay House is at 281 South Main Street in Alpharetta.
Sichuan House on Urbanspoon Caribbean Fiesta on Urbanspoon

Madras Chettinaad on Urbanspoon Baba's Gyro & Kabob on Urbanspoon

Satay House on Urbanspoon

10 Responses to “Around the World in Alpharetta”

  1. SCSA June 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    This may not be technically Alpharetta, but any news on that new wing place on Mansell at Hwy 9? I’m trying it for lunch today, and I’ll post my thoughts

  2. SCSA June 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    I went to the J. Buffalo Wings today for lunch. It is on Mansell Road in the same shopping center as The Flying Biscuit Cafe. I went at lunch, so it was crowded, but I have to say, the service was fast. This place is a chain and it does seem to suffer from an identity issue. It says “wings” in the title, but they also have burgers, gyros, fish, shrimp, and fried rice. Yes, fried rice, which I have to say is very good. Go to the counter, place your order, and get your drink, hang out and watch one of many flat screens. They also have beer by the bottle, glass, or pitcher. I overheard one guy say that it was like 9 bucks for a pitcher and that’s why they like the place. Prices are pretty reasonable for the sheer amount of food I got. Any item can be paired with fries or with fried rice as a ‘j. special’. I got the 10 wings with fried rice, and I couldn’t finish it. Too much food. The wings were good, not great, but I would eat them again. My wife got the philly cheeseteak all the way, which means with cheese, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. She loved it. Not a bad place, worth a try for lunch. I’ll be going back.

  3. Ananth June 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I enjoyed Madrass Chettinaad as well until I read about the food inspection rating noting roaches, mold, etc. Have they cleaned up their act since…no pun intended.

  4. Lee June 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    @SCSA – Thanks for the info! I don’t get that far down Mansell very often, but it sounds like I should change that.

    @Ananth – I thought about mentioning this in my article but held off. I recently exchanged emails with someone working for Madras Chettinaad. I’ll see if they want to comment.

  5. Ananth June 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    What other Middle Easter spots would you recommend? We love Jerusalem Bakery and Cafe Efendi. My wife and I are in search of the best gyro in Atlanta, any recommendations? We tried Baba’s recently but thought they gyros were very mediocre, from looking at others’ plates looked like the falafels and kebabs are where it’s at. Thanks!

  6. GA Jim June 28, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Ananth- I recommend you try Cafe Shiraz on McGinnis Ferry Road for Middle Eastern food. I liked the food much better than Cafe Efendi and the service has been excellent for me.

  7. SCSA June 28, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    And the Caribbean Fiesta is the best Jamaican food I’ve had since I was in Jamaica. The beef patties are cheap and so yummy.

  8. Ananth June 29, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Thanks Jim, I’ll try out Cafe Shiraz. Their website and reviews have me salivating!

    I live right down the road form Caribbean Fiesta and have not gotten around to trying them but I’d definitely do that soon.

  9. Lee June 29, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    @Ananth – Jim’s suggestion of Shiraz is a good one. They are very new though. And while it isn’t a gyro, I *love* Jerusalem Bakery’s shawarma wrap.

    Caribbean Fiesta is good, but I was a bigger fan of Anna’s Kitchen down the road. But they closed recently.

  10. Ananth July 8, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    We loved Shiraz! We were in a “wrap” mood and I of course had the gyro and my wife a kebab wrap and both were excellent. The service was attentive and friendly. I thought the ambience was nice but laid back. We plan on going back to try their Persian entrees, they looked delicious.

    Lee – I’m there with you on JB. Their falafels and shawarmas are great. FYI, you can buy $5-$15 size containers of their hummus, baba,shawarma,etc. to go along with a pack of their fluffly pita and set up a nice little “make your own wrap” buffet at home.

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