It’s cold, it’s windy, it’s month 2,139,095 of a global pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I think what I need is a little more comfort in my life. That means melted cheese, potatoes, soups, and decadent, rich flavors.

Going out to eat is something I have sorely missed during the isolation and seclusion of the past two years, so when I was presented with the opportunity to visit some of my favorite restaurants I jumped at the chance.

This month, I am presenting four of the tastiest dishes that will fill your belly and warm your heart. These local eateries are staples of the local restaurant scene, and offer a casual, comfortable vibe. You can come as you are to share a meal with friends, a loved one, gather with family, catch a soccer or football game, and enjoy delectable dishes and cocktails to match.

The Bookhouse Pub

The Bookhouse Pub
736 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE.
(404) 254-1176
Grilled cheese sandwich with havarti and gouda on a bakeshop white bread, served with spicy tomato dipping sauce. Shown here paired with a bowl of creamy tomato soup, offered on special on the night that I visited. I also ordered some of their delicious fries because YOLO. Dipping fries in tomato soup is one of the greatest joys in life.

Hampton + Hudson

Hampton + Hudson
299 N. Highland Ave. NE
hamptonandhudson.com
(404) 948-2123
Baked hash scramble, featuring a delectable concoction of scrambled eggs, mixed cheeses, red potatoes, roasted peppers and onions, and topped with bacon. Served in a mini cast iron pot, this dish is heavenly and rich. Gooey hot cheese is infused throughout the scramble, providing a dreamy unity for the ingredients therein.

Brick Store Pub

Brick Store Pub
125 E. Court Square, Decatur
brickstorepub.com
(404) 687-0990
Chicken pot pie with locally sourced, all natural chicken breast, carrots, and crimini mushrooms. Available after 5 p.m. only, this dish is definitely worth waiting for. The crumbly, flaky crust is not only delicious but also fun to break with a spoon, and inside the chicken and vegetables are nestled in a creamy, rich sauce.

Thinking Man Tavern

Thinking Man Tavern
537 W. Howard Ave., Decatur
thinkingmantavern.com
(404) 370-1717
Mound of rounds, you say? A giant pile of potatoes smothered in hot, gooey cheese, you say? Why, yes, it’s exactly as delicious as it sounds. Add on some fresh pico and sour cream, and definitely add bacon, for one of the most indulgent savory dishes I’ve had recently. I paired the dish with a cup of tomato soup which is garnished with a dollop of goat cheese and comes with grilled bread slices. This is one of those flavor combinations that keeps me coming back again and again, I just can’t bring myself to order anything else on the menu because it’s just that good!

Isadora Pennington

Isadora Pennington is a writer and photographer based in Atlanta.