How Far Would You Go?

Over the last several years writing for this blog, I have seen the Alpharetta restaurant scene evolve from a chain wasteland to a thriving, diverse, indy hip place. Yes, there are a great number of pizza parlors. A lot of them have really good pizza and different styles from Neapolitan to stuffed Chicago style to classic NYC pies. The taquerias, the brew pubs, the Indian places, we’ve got ‘em all.

Sometimes, though, when I cruise through downtown, Windward Parkway, or even across 400 to the “other” side, I want what I can’t have. I want restaurants that don’t have a location in our area, places where I love to eat that aren’t close by. Lots of really great places from around Atlanta have opened Alpharetta locations. Antico at Avalon, Cafe at Pharr on Windward (psst, it’s near Firefly under the trees. You still don’t see it? It’s ok, sadly not many will find it), Big Pie in the Sky on Mansell. Ok, that last one isn’t that great, but you get the idea.

Many people I’ve spoken to don’t want to drive a long way to visit one of these spots, and by a long way I mean Cumming is too far. Come on guys, it’s a couple of exits north and there are some really good options. Georgio’s for example. Excellent Italian and Greek food. Plus that guy from the Bachlorette’s family runs the place, so you’ll probably see him.

Bub-ba-q logoThere are places that I will make the drive to because I love them so much and can’t get them here in Alpharetta. Bub-ba-Q is one of them. They have locations in Jasper and in Woodstock, each is about 30 miles from my front door. I will make that drive. Yes, Cue and Grand Champion BBQ are good and a lot closer, but the ribs at Bub-ba-Q are something to behold. Skip the sauce and order them dry. They’re tender, but not fall off the bone sloppy. The millions of competition trophies littering the place are testament enough that this is Q worth the journey. I don’t go on a regular basis, and folks say I’m nuts for spending 40 minutes in the truck to get there, but I don’t apologize when my mouth is full of delicious ribs.

There are a handful of other spots scattered throughout the metro that I visit. Guthrie’s and the Mad Italian in Dunwoody. The buffalo chicken pizza at the Mad Italian draws me down to the perimeter every time. I was sad when the one on Windward closed. My wife went to Alabama (Roll Tide), so Guthrie’s is a staple to her.

There was a frozen custard place in Tucker called Sheridans that we went to all the time. It closed several years ago, and with it, went the best desert place I can think of. Creamy custard made on site mixed with fresh fruit and toppings or blended into a smoothie was the best. Wild cherry mango was my smoothie of choice. Can we get a custard place up here please?

Let’s not forget the 57th Fighter Group and the Downwind at PDK. Sometimes the drive down 400 isn’t pleasant, but the view at these Atlanta institutions always is.

What are the faraway places that you will make the trek for to get some good grub? How far do you travel to answer the siren song of your favorite place? Now is your chance to voice your desires for the next restaurant to either pull up stakes and transfer to Alpharetta or to open a new location. Comment, and we’ll see just how far you go for that elusive meal.

30 Responses to “How Far Would You Go?”

  1. Lionel Thompson July 10, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    I’ve mentioned before that we have no shortage of decent Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and Indian options as well as brew pubs and the likes. While I never found the time for Breadtime, Gasthaus in Cumming is well worth the trip, http://www.gasthaus-cumming.com/ for good German food.

  2. Jim Gilvin July 10, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Pretty sure Cheeseburger Bobby’s on 141 has custard if you need a fix.

  3. Raj July 10, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    The places I go most often to seek quality food are Chat Patti and Bagelicious. Chat Patti is an authentic chaat place, that recently moved from their North Druid Hills location to Decatur. Think Auntie’s Kitchen, but with actually authentic tasting food. Just thinking about it makes me want to make the trek over there. Bagelicious is only place in town where I have had a truly authentic, New York style bagel. Give this place a try, and you will taste exactly what makes it better than places like Goldberg’s and BB’s. I am a Red Sox fan, and I look past the obnoxious Yankees memorabilia on their walls so that I can taste the delicious food.

  4. Travis Allen July 10, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    Grindhouse Killer Burgers or The Vortex.

    Of course The Vortex would have to make adjustments to come up to this area…starting with allowing those under 21 to enter.

  5. Caren Goode July 10, 2015 at 9:28 am #

    My husband and I will go to Midtown to Oceanaire occasionally

  6. David July 10, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    26.4 Miles
    Although there is always a glut of BBQ joints around, and I agree with everything you said about Cue and Bub-Ba-Q, we like to go to Big D’s Bar-B-Q straight up 400 in Dawsonville.
    Start with the Corn Nuggets then move on to the Brownie Sandwich or Brownie Plate. They describe their Brownie as “Hand pulled outside pork, with all the smoke and rub flavorings”. Wow. Yum.
    They don’t get fancy and deliver down home french fries and hush puppies. Although it’s a small joint and seating is tough to find sometimes, it’s worth it.

    I love the open ended question format for a change on the Friday Foodie.

  7. John July 10, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Rocco’s Pub in Marietta in the Fall. Also have one in Jasper. Best Chili pie in Georgia, cheap beer and lots of TV’s with Football. No other chili places anywhere near other than Steak and Shake.

  8. Josh July 10, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    It’s Giorgio’s, not Georgios.

  9. Robin July 10, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Hubby and I make a weekly trip down to Chattahoochee Ave to Nuevo Laredo down on the Westside. Cadillac margaritas, pork tacos, shrimp enchiladas, holy tacos (if you want meatless), ALL amazing! Go on a Sunday when you can avoid the hour and a half wait. Leave the Alpharetta/Johns Creek attitude at home and enjoy home style food, drinks, and service by waitresses who’ve been there since the place opened. Great mix of customers from the local area as well as far away places like north fulton.

  10. Scott Dumon July 10, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    It’s a chain, but I would love to have a Newk’s in Alpharetta. Their sandwiches are a thing of beauty!

  11. Jeff July 10, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    Have to agree with you on two things for sure….Bub Ba Q is worth the drive and Roll Tide!!!

  12. Big Meat July 10, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Bub-ba-q does have great ribs, and GC is fantastic but Cue has put the stamp on great BBQ. Cue service is friendly without being overly annoying. The atmosphere is unique with great live music that constantly changes (Tom & Julie.. whom I like but do have their critics are on rotation.) The food is the greatest part. Cue delivers quality 100% of the time, and I’ve eaten at Cue hundreds of times (that’s a conservative est.) The price is reasonable, and the beer selection is always commendable. If you want the best of the best go to Cue.

  13. Adam July 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    Bone Garden Cantina downtown is my favorite mexican place. We go to plenty of places around here but for solid authentic mexican there is no other place i’d go.

  14. Julie July 11, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    I work in midtown so I get all kinds of good options, but I live way north of town. So these are the places I’ve actually driven into Atlanta to visit – just for the food and nothing else: Colonnade on Cheshire Bridge, Taqueria del Sol, also on Cheshire Bridge, Leon’s in downtown Decatur, and Superica – another one of Ford Fry’s restaurants.

    Hey Lee – totally in agreement with you on Bubba Q !!!!

  15. J July 11, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    We will drive to Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge and Nino’s in Atlanta.

  16. Scratchy225 July 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    My husband and I (and our 20-year-old son when he’s around) will happily make the trek to Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge (or Howell Mill, depending on where else we might want to go). Certain recurring weekly specials they offer, like shrimp tacos, cheeseburger tacos, BBQ chicken with blue cheese grits, and tilapia with a sweet habanero glaze cannot be missed. Their chips and salsa (especially the salsa fresca) are perfect, and their margaritas deliver the perfect nerf hammer punch :-)

  17. Karon July 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Farm Burger in Dunwoody– grass fed beef,
    yummy buns, BEST salted caramel
    milkshake in all the
    land.

  18. J July 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    I forgot about Vortex and Rocco’s. Both awesome spots.

  19. Dan July 13, 2015 at 12:39 am #

    Came to say what Adam said – Bone Garden Cantina is worth the 30 minute drive down town. Best food and margaritas in the metro.

  20. chain guy July 13, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    sometimes we travel Cumming to hit Applebee’s for a Blondie. Or maybe to Cumming for Red Robin endless fries. Or perhaps to O’Charleys for the rolls. Sometimes we trek to Roswell for Olive Garden or Red Lobster.

    These places are packed with people from Alpharetta, but it’s usually worth the drive from Milton.

  21. Jeff Parker July 15, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Sadly the Guthrie’s in Dunwoody closed down. Th nearest now is in Norcross.

    Willy’s is the #1 place towards the city worth the drive (tragic they haven’t put up in Alpharetta/John’s Creek yet). For cheap bbq, Daddy D’z is excellent down on Memorial Drive. On the other end of the bbq spectrum, Fox Bros. is another great in-town spot.

    While there are plenty of good pizza and wing spots around ALP, Galla’s in Dunwoody and Brookhaven is a must-hit a few times a year.

  22. Shawn D. July 17, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    I’ll make the trek downtown for Bone Garden Cantina, Nuevo Laredo, or Manuel’s Tavern.

  23. Linda July 19, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    We love Minato Japanese steakhouse right of Cobb parkway. Thanks for posting all these great ideas!

  24. Cool Papa Bell July 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    Jeff Parker, do you mean Willy’s the middling Mexi-Cali burrito shop? There is one on Holcomb Bridge Road where it turns into JCB.

    Fox Brothers, Gio’s Chicken and Restaurant Eugene are city slicker places worth the drive.Though I was not a blown away by General Muir as much as I was led to believe, there is such a dearth of good homemade pastrami and corned beef places, I’d put that on the list.

    Tasty China to the west and Myzenes to the east do what they do better than anyone else.

  25. Dave July 23, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    What’s the place for good Chicago style stuffed pizza in Alpharetta? I only know of Nancy’s down in Atlanta. Bobby G’s is closed but I don’t know if they had it or not.

  26. Travis Allen July 24, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    TIMEOUT! Bobby G’s is NOT Closed!

  27. Raj July 25, 2015 at 1:18 am #

    Bobby S’s is not closed, but they have never had deep dish Pizza, as far as I know. There used to be a Chicago style Pizza place in the little shopping center next to Sweet Tomatoes by Northpoint Mall. Been torn down for years now.

  28. Cool Papa Bell July 30, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    The last place in these parts that made real deep dish Chicago pizza was Roswell Tap, but only on Saturdays. Bobby G’s never did deep dish and they are still open.

  29. Mike Christensen July 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    That place by the mall was called Chicagos and it was awesome. It’s been gone for over 7 years. To get my Chicago fix, I get italian beef and stuffed pizza at Rosatis near the Avenue. The pizza’s not awesome, but passable. The italian beef is good though.

    Thank you for the recommendation for Taqueria del Sol. Went there last weekend and it was wonderful. The fried chicken taco was the best.

  30. Cool Papa Bell August 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    Chicago’s Pizza and Sports Bar has early success in their original locations. Roswell Road and Roberts, then they moved across the street to where the DMV is. They had a second location on BuHi ITP.

    They were ahead of the curve insofar as sports bars, with multiple TVs using the old dishes pre-DirecTV. As DTV led to the explosion of sports bars, the subpar product caught up to them. Both locations shut down and they tried to monetize the mall mafia crowd.

    Yet again, the sports bar concept was no longer a novelty and there were cheaper option for subpar food. May they RIP.

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