The follow-up review

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

Restaurants change. It’s just a natural progression I suppose. Staff turns over and sometimes ownership. Menus are updated based on customer preferences and choices. Food quality improves or declines.

Many of the restaurants I review as fledgling newcomers might be somewhat different six months to a year later. For that reason I thought it might be worth doing a follow-up review column from time to time. How are these guys adapting to a new concept?

Thanksgiving Spring Rolls - still delicious

BW Tavern

When I reviewed these guys five months ago I talked about taking chances. They took a chance fiddling with a concept that had been in place for years. But now the restaurant seems to be regressing slowly back to their former self. The menu has become more simple and more pub-like. Favorites like the Thanksgiving spring rolls remain, thankfully. And they’ve left their bowls on the menu. I’ve yet to try a bowl entree that excites me though.

MyFavEats

I don’t use it anymore. This location-aware app built, by Alpharetta-based Radiant Systems (now part of NCR), was supposed to be a mobile device version of a rewards card. However their daily specials kept me interested for a while as some were better than Groupon and Scoutmob. But this wasn’t their business model.

I found the app difficult to use. It often required a perfect data connection on my Android phone, something that can be elusive inside the walls of a restaurant. Additionally many restaurants require you to obtain a daily code-word to get credit for a check-in. I don’t want to have to bother a busy waitress to get a word. And the chances are she probably doesn’t know what My Fav Eats is to begin with.

Studio Movie Grill

Amazingly popular. My wife likes going here so much she’ll drive past several other theaters on the way and not miss a beat. North Fulton has fully embraced the eat/movie concept. What surprises me the most is that other theaters are not coming to town to challenge SMG. As best I can tell the new theater at North Point Mall and the Regal at Avalon will NOT have a restaurant component. Strange.

My opinion of SMG’s food remains the same – forgettable. Most times we will plan to eat elsewhere on Holcomb Bridge Road and just do traditional drinks and popcorn at SMG.

Where SMG is earning our business is with deep discounts and specials. They have great deals on their Facebook page and Groupon. There’s no reason to pay full price to see a flick here. It seems their business model is not to make cash at the box office but rather in the restaurant.

Be careful with the popular shows here. They sell out quick as their theaters don’t seat as many as a traditional theater might. We’ve wasted several trips down for this reason.

Crafty Draught

The only thing that’s changed about our first growler store is their popularity. I waited in a pretty long line on my last visit. One customer was filling four growlers at a time.

I’ve tried some pretty cool beers because of these guys. My favorite so far has been the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – a fantastic beer packed with bourbon flavor as well as a creamy vanilla core.

But Crafty Draught will face an Alpharetta competitor probably in late summer or early Fall. I’ll get into that next week in my restaurant news column.

Photo Credits: Robyn Guy Photography

3 Responses to “The follow-up review”

  1. A April 13, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Agree about MyFavEats, although I have noticed that some restaurants don’t require the code anymore…you only have to physically be in the space to get a “check in.” And also agree on SMG. We never order food there but you can’t go wrong with the $5 Groupons that include a drink!

  2. Jimmy April 13, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    We quit doing the app checkin with the word on MyFavEats too but some places now have the touch screen up front (Roaster’s for instance) that makes it easier to check in and get your credit.

    Looking forward to an Alpharetta Growler place. Hope they move in quickly.

  3. Dave Sheets April 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    I invite you to see our website. We’ll be everything beer, including growlers. Home brew supplies, 1500 different kinds of mix and match bottled beer six packs, glassware, man cave items, craft beer kegs… Pretty much everything beer. By the way I’m a huge fan of Crafty Draught and what they are doing in Cumming. Our store is much more than growlers though. We intend to cater to fans of craft beer in all of its forms. Dave Sheets – Blind Murphy Craft Beer Market.

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