Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
We’ve done this article five times now here on Roots, and each year my “start” picks never seem to materialize. We’ll trudge on anyway.
If you’re not familiar with this idea, I’ll explain. At the office we are finishing our yearly reviews. Many bosses perform a peer review exercise where your coworkers are asked to list things you should start doing, bad habits you should stop and activities to continue. It’s sort of a nicer way to dish on your coworkers I guess.
The idea gets adapted here at the start of the year and applied to Alpharetta’s restaurant scene. Last year I wanted to see a craft dessert or ice cream joint open up. That’s still not happening. The doughnut scene has expanded though. We’ve kicked around the fro-yo joints, but their demise was easy to predict. And many more failures are still likely.
So let’s get to it.
Start – Healthy Kids Menus
My wife will love this one. We’re trying to get our kids away from eating highly processed foods. Frozen chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese ain’t gonna cut it anymore. Restaurants put almost no attention into their kids menus. Yet surprisingly the costs seem to go up and up.
How about devoting a little culinary creativity to the little guys? Create something unique and healthy that kids will actually want to eat! If a restaurant could pull this off and get a few food and mom bloggers behind the effort, families would beat a path to your door. Restaurants, are you up for the challenge?
Stop – Pizza
It’s hard to say this because I love the pizza options we have in Alpharetta, especially New York-style. The relocated Yankees brought their pies with them and they’re outstanding. The problem is that the bar is set so high. Don’t you dare open a new pizzeria here unless you can compete with the best.
And then there’s Neapolitan style. It’s about to go gangbusters here. 850°F Bar Pizza will open likely within the month in Crabapple. Campania, my pick for best new restaurant of 2013, is doing terrific business on North Main Street. But they’re keenly aware of the coming competition, especially Antico at Avalon. Their arrival in the ‘burbs is huge. It’ll be interesting to see how they settle into their new Alpharetta digs. It’s doubtful they can recreate the hip midtown vibe and communal dining experience at Avalon. But we’ll see.
Continue – Downtown Alpharetta
The restaurant scene here is growing organically. The city doesn’t have to build high density residential over retail to make this happen!
Hop Alley was a huge success last year, as was Salt Factory. South Main Kitchen has the potential to generate the same amount of buzz yet isn’t getting a lot of attention at this point. It’s a concept from Louis Soon, an alum of Salt Factory going independent. They will transform the boring old building across from City Hall and add a rooftop bar.
And then there’s Roswell Street. The spec restaurant built by Coro Realty has been sold. Rumor is that the Sedgwicks have bought the place. We’re anxiously awaiting news on what’s coming here.
What’s next for downtown Alpharetta’s restaurant scene? How about transforming the abandoned gas station on Main Street into a hip little restaurant?
Photo credit: Mike Murphy