Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday.
I received my annual review at work this week. My boss still seems to like me, thank God. A lot of managers use this start/stop/continue nonsense in their peer reviews. The idea here is that someone will anonymously tell you what you are doing well and should continue, not doing at all and should start, or unnecessary things you should stop. Thankfully my boss doesn’t bother with such silliness, but I figured I would use it as inspiration for my weekly restaurant article. So without further ado, here are the restaurant trends I see in Alpharetta what I’d like to happen to them.
Start – Latin/Cuban Cuisine
I grew up in Florida, so I love me some ropa vieja. Unfortunately none of the restaurants in this style seem to make it around here. Mambo’s Cafe on Haynes Bridge is about it (and they are terrific). Cha Cha Bongo’s on Windward closed recently. From Havana to U was a bit north of town on Highway 9 but closed more than a year ago. Cuban Press in Midway made a pretty good Cuban sandwich, but they didn’t make it. There are some other options in Johns Creek and Norcross, but that’s about it.
Stop – Sandwiches
We’re getting inundated with sandwich shops. I appreciate some of the truly inventive joints like Never Enough Thyme and Wildflour. The hoity toity Windward ladies seem to like these places as well! I could do without the impostors and franchises everywhere else. If you are considering opening a new restaurant in Alpharetta, please don’t give us another sandwich shop. That means you, Panera!
Continue – Burgers
I wrote about this a few weeks back. Burgers are everywhere in the northern burbs. Do I think we have too many? Never! But I’m sure some will be dropping off the list in the coming months. I’ve heard rumors that one or two on 141 will be closing up shop soon.
Start – More Dining in Downtown Alpharetta
It is too bad that Alpharetta’s downtown area isn’t a destination like Roswell or Marietta. Both of these cities have terrific restaurants on their squares. Not so much here. We’ve got half a dozen places to eat downtown, with one or two more in the works. I think this city could support much more.
Stop – Silly Franchise Names
Which Wich? Lettuce Souprise You? I cringe every time I drive by these places. Why couldn’t the owners of these joints put as much attention into their food as they did to their cute names? Stop this nonsense, you’re insulting the intelligence of your customers!
Continue – Boutique Barbecue
What is “boutique barbecue”? These are fancified Q joints with expensive price tags. I don’t really know what to think. I’m a big fan of the roadside Q shack, but they are practically nonexistent ’round here. The boutique restaurants are places like Smokejack and ‘Cue. My wallet doesn’t like eating there, but they both crank out decent Q. Yeah, a plate of pulled pork costs almost as much as a steak at Longhorn, but yum.