As Midtown West continues revitalizing, more restaurants are springing up and relocating there. They reflect the activity of the area, reinventing American Southern cuisine by spotlighting the local flavors and giving them a contemporary twist.
Many of the restaurants use seasonal ingredients, so it’s recommended to call or check websites for updated menus.
Building on his enormous success from the Inman Park bistro Shaun’s, Chef Shaun Doty will open YEAH! BURGER in the old West Provision complex, at 1168 Howell Mill Road, with the help of partner Erik Maier of Better Brands. The fast-serve restaurant will serve burgers—and more—daily for lunch and dinner this month.
But this is not just another burger joint, of course. “This is an eco-friendly restaurant that uses organic and all-natural ingredients where guests can feel good about dining—hence the YEAH!” explained Doty.
The space, designed by Stacey Kirby and Matt Redden of Seiber Design Inc., is farmhouse chic, with concrete floors, raw steel chairs, white subway tile, heart pine tables and wall paneling made of reclaimed wood recovered from river bottoms.
Doty and Maier designed YEAH! BURGER as an easy option for customers, who want a quick meal but don’t want to give up flavor and quality. While the menu focuses on customizable burgers, it also offers other items like chili, Niman Ranch hot dogs, salads, hand cut fries, milkshakes and something called a ‘concrete’ (similar to a Blizzard). In addition to spirits, beers and wines, unique beverages like biodynamic wines and organic bottled beer will be available.
There’s a focus on organic ingredients throughout the menu. Everyone can customize their food, beginning with the bun (white, wheat or gluten free), patty (beef, veggie, bison, chicken, etc.), cheese, free or premium toppings and sauce. The concept is especially friendly to people with special diets, like gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan. Doty and Maier are also planning a second version of YEAH! in the Virginia Highland neighborhood. www.yeahburger.com
Beginning this Spring, Miller Union, located at 999 Brady Ave., opens for lunch. The meals are definitely creative cuisine, yet still manage to be affordable. Executive Chef Steven Satterfield’s evolving lunch menu features homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, meat and seafood entrées and vegetables.
Recent features include cranberry-walnut toast, housemade fennel sausage with slow simmered white beans and parsley pistou, and hanger steak salad with farm lettuces, cucumber & red onion vinaigrette. And for dessert, housemade ice cream sandwiches.
The menu is inspired by Southern classics, but stays based on fresh, local foods. Located in a refurbished 20th century warehouse at the former site of the Miller Union Stockyards, 999 Brady Avenue, the restaurant is casual with an air of sophistication.
Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner, Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.
Something special is planned at Miller Union on the third Tuesday of every month, when Chef Steven prepares a family-style Harvest Dinner, using top ingredients from the local harvest. It’s a communal dining experience with two seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (678) 733-8550, www.millerunion.com
West Egg Café
West Egg has been around for the last six years building its reputation as the “Best Breakfast in Georgia,” according to Southern Living magazine. Now the local favorite is in its new home at the White Provision development, 1100 Howell Mill Road.
And West Egg is now serving dinner, along with breakfast, lunch and brunch. There’s also a bakery and coffeehouse, complete with free wi-fi and locally-roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffee. Open seven days a week, the hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Breakfast is served all day—and it’s not just eggs and grits. They’re on the menu, too, but Executive Chef Patric Bell has more surprises in store, like the fried green tomato wrap and build-your-own biscuits, with optional additions of egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, ham, or turkey sausage—even vegetarian sausage. For those who prefer more predictable fare, there are the requisite omelets, buttermilk pancakes, old-fashioned oatmeal and Belgian waffles. (404) 872-3973, www.westeggcafe.com
Stepping into Bocado’s space at 887 Howell Mill Road, there’s an immediate sense of the philosophy and the menu—simple, organic, communal. The restaurant’s design and furnishings incorporate organic and reused materials for a distinctive setting that’s inviting and relaxing.
Bocado means ‘taste’ in Spanish, and that’s the focus of what Executive Chef Todd Ginsburg does as he prepares meals that are both comfortable and surprising. The food is basically holistic American, with a farm-to-table sensibility that emphasizes fresh, locally grown ingredients.
Lunch is served Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some lunchtime sandwiches are roasted cauliflower, Chinese and Thai eggplant with cilantro and spicy mayo, and grilled ham and cheese with Dijon sauce, caramelized onions and apples. Sides include garlic herbed fries served with ranch, as well as signature salads and soups.
The dinner menu, available Monday through Saturday beginning at 5 p.m., is broken into ‘plates’ and ‘small plates.’ Among the plates: blackened tuna “BLT” with applewood smoked bacon, arugula, avocado, chipotle mayo and fries and Chesapeake flounder with chickpeas, fennel, black olives and preserved lemon.
The small plates feature avocado and roasted carrot salad with cilantro, citrus and cumin vinaigrette and chicken thigh, served with asparagus, young turnips, baby carrots and jus. A selection of artisanal cheeses is offered at both lunch and dinner. (404) 815-1399, www.bocadoatlanta.com
The Westside has a neighborhood tavern – Ormsby’s at 1170 Howell Mill Road – that serves as a gathering spot as well as a watering hole. They have extensive hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday noon to 3 a.m., and Sunday noon to midnight.
The full bar has classic cocktails and an impressive craft beer selection, draft and bottle. And there are all the activities you’d expect, along with elbow-bending. Patrons enjoy competing at darts, pool, bocce, shuffleboard and backgammon.
What isn’t expected is their pub menu. They’ve got bar snacks, but with a fresh twist, like Parmesan rosemary popcorn and a choice of housemade pickles—there’s sweet and sour watermelon rind or crisp okra with sweet onion. Every day there’s a new feature. For example, on Monday it’s shrimp and grits while Friday brings horseradish prime rib.
The solid menu has starters like cheddar and scallion fritters with tomato basil cream and Mimi’s New England clam chowder with crispy bacon. Not quite your typical pub grub, and even their ‘bangers, links and wieners’ list is intriguing. Sandwiches include the Bruno burger, made with grass-fed ground beef and topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and provolone and a Reuben that’s piled with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island on grilled pumpernickel.
Don’t forget dessert with indulgences like maple sugar cotton candy and chocolate bread pudding. (404) 968-2033, www.ormsbysatlanta.com
The Brunch House is nearby at 1465 Chattahoochee Ave. Its name may mislead a bit, since the menu is basically breakfast and lunch, and it’s closed on Sunday. But from Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the atmosphere is relaxed and the folks are friendly while they prepare and serve up fresh and hot Southern-style dishes.
The prices also make diners smile. A person can eat hearty for less than $10, and there’s a lot to choose from. Breakfast choices include omelets, French toast, pancakes and a Country ham and egg platter. Of course there’s grits and biscuits with gravy, too. For lunch, the menu offer deli and specialty sandwiches, like the blackened garlic roast pork or the spicy Cajun chicken breast. Standard fare like burgers and gyros, salads and homemade soups are also available.
A special spot at The Brunch House is the baked potato bar, set up for customers to load spuds with goodies like sour cream, cheese and steamed veggies to their hearts’ content. (404) 350-9665