Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday. Today we feature an article from Mike Christensen.
Winter is upon is here in the South. And by winter I mean lows in the 30‘s and highs in the 50‘s, normally. I’ve lived in Atlanta for 40 years and can count on one hand the number of severe winters I’ve seen. Snow drifts and mittens are not why we are all in the great state of Georgia. We love to be outside, hiking on the Greenway, catching some rays on Lake Lanier, and cruising with the top down. We also love to eat outside.
A lot of restaurants in Alpharetta have some sort of alfresco space. No matter how small the patio or how terrible the views, folks flock to these outdoor spaces to take advantage of the 7-8 months of favorable weather.
But what happens in the winter? Most places put portable heaters outside or slap up plastic sheets to keep the cold at bay. Those are both fine, but I was looking for more. I drew back on my college days of bonfires in the field. That’s what I wanted. Fire. Primitive; it speaks to our deepest natures. Are there any restaurants in Alpharetta that would have such a feature? I found two, and oddly, both of them have the fire inside.
The Village Tavern on Haynes Bridge has a huge fireplace in the middle of the dining room. It’s impressive and certainly hot, but only the tables immediately around it can benefit from its warmth. The other is 5 Seasons Brewing on Old Milton Parkway. The mountain chalet feel of the building is echoed with the tall round fire pit near the bar. More show than go, it is a very cool place to hang out with your friends and have an in-house brewed beer.
You could say, why would any restaurant spend money making an outdoor fire feature considering the relatively short amount of time it’s cold here? I say why not? Restaurants are a year round business. Would you rather go to a place and eat outside next to the buzz of a rented space heater, or feast on a meal next to a roaring, crackling fire? Having the fire just makes the food better. Heck, I’d go hang out at a doughnut shop if I could suck down my glazed goodness fireside.
Avalon is on the right track. They have two areas of outdoor fire. There’s the “Living Room” with a fire pit and an outdoor fireplace near the skating rink. They aren’t involved with a restaurant, but you are encouraged to enjoy your open container by the fire.
It’s time we take advantage the worst time of the year called winter. I would love to see more outdoor fire features in Alpharetta’s eateries. Those places would get my cold hard cash.