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Guten appetit!

October 6 - 
In today's newsletter, we've got cheesy comfort food, a farewell to a beloved vegetarian restaurant, food news from around the metro, and more.

If you're looking for something to do tonight, Taste of Buckhead begins at 6 p.m. with bites and sips from 5Church, Sister, Irby's Tavern, Postino, Henri's, and many more. This year's event is at The Stave Room at ASW Distillery on Armour Dr.

Is Buckhead on your dining radar? What's your favorite "classic" Buckhead restaurant? Let us know!


Enjoy!
The Rough Draft team
Morty's Mac and Cheese 


🧀 Last year, the first of many restaurants to come to the Dunwoody Village opened up.
 

Bar(n), from Dash Hospitality Group owner David Abes, opened up in late 2021 – the first part of a new entertainment complex at the Village. Bar(n), which is a craft wine, beer, and whiskey bar, will soon be joined by four other restaurants – Cuco’s Cantina, the Mediterranean Yofi, a seafood joint called Message in a Bottle, and Morty’s Meat & Supply.

Morty’s Meat & Supply, which will feature delicious barbecue, is expected to open before Thanksgiving. Until then, take a sneak peek at the menu by trying this delicious mac and cheese recipe from Morty’s.

😋 Click here to view the recipe. 

Farewell to The Grit


🥗 It's the end of the world as we know it, and Decatur resident Susan Stephens Wietsma doesn't feel fine.

Her beloved vegetarian hangout, The Grit, is closing its doors in Athens on Friday after 36 years of tofu, poetry, and music.

Wietsma burst into tears after reading the news right here in Rough Draft that her favorite restaurant was closing, so we asked her to write a farewell letter to The Grit. 

"There has not been a trip to Athens in the last 25 years that didn’t involve my being the first in line at The Grit for breakfast," she writes. "I’ve been known to eat there multiple times on one trip, and even manufacture reasons to go to Athens just so I can get my Tofu & Veggies."  


➡️ Read the full letter here.

Chef Vega takes a turn at SF's Turntable  
 

🇲🇽 Chef Maricela Vega, creator of the Atlanta pop-up Chico, has taken her Mexican roots and her love for Southern food to San Francisco.

Vega kicked off a month-long residency Oct. 5 as guest chef at
 Turntable at Lord Stanley, the Michelin-starred restaurant that showcases the cuisine of both world-renowned and up-and-coming chefs.


With intentions to create a brick-and-mortar store for Chico with production space, weekend counter space, and special dinner series, Vega said the residency at Turntable was a perfect precursor. “I am always looking for opportunities to keep learning, and Turntable incorporates all those models I still need to learn more about.”

➡️ Read more about Vega's journey here.

Blood Sweat & Tears

This article comes from Shane Mitchell at The Bitter Southerner. 

🧅 For the eighth installment of The Bitter Southerner's "Crop Cycle" series, Shane Mitchell takes a look at abuse in Georgia's southeastern fields. 

"Dark secrets live on in the onion fields of southeast Georgia, where an unlikely crop with an outsize reputation has coalesced power and wealth not unlike King Cotton and Big Tobacco," writes Mitchell.

Mitchell details the history of Vidalia onions and their emergence as an important and complex crop in the South.

➡️ Read Mitchell's entire story here. 
Quick Bites

🍴Taste of Buckhead is holding a tasting event tonight featuring some of Atlanta’s best restaurants. Check here for tickets.

🥗 MetroFresh is celebrating Pride this weekend with live music on the patio from 7-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and again after the parade from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday. 

🦐 Chad Dillon, the founder of The Boiler Seafood, is planning for seven new restaurants. 

🍎 Riverwood International Charter School's Elissa Oliver (pictured) has won a culinary teacher of the year award. 


🍽 Westside restaurant The Woodall has won a Georgia Restaurant Association’s Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Award.
 
🍱 As of last weekend, Japanese restaurant Nakato has extended its weekend hours and now takes reservations until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
 
🍗 PONKO Chicken now has locations in Midtown, Decatur, Chamblee, Marietta, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Pooler, Athens, and Auburn. Whew!
 
🍺 On Sat., Oct. 15, the Decatur Beer Festival returns as SUDS, or Simply Us Doing Our Share. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit organizations of Decatur’s Legacy Park.
 
🥪 South African-inspired restaurant Zunzi’s is hosting their monthly Zunzifest! on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

😢 The Buckhead Saloon was destroyed by a fire on the morning of Oct. 3. The cause is still under investigation.
 

🏳️‍🌈 As part of Atlanta Pride festivities, Noni’s in Old Fourth Ward is holding multiple events this week. Check our Instagram for the details.
 
🍖 Fox Bros. BBQ plans to open a third location in Brookhaven in 2023.
 
🍛 Delbar Middle Eastern is coming to Alpharetta in the former Traditions Indian Cuisine space.
Look, Listen & Savor

🏳️‍🌈 Since Atlanta Pride takes place this weekend, we are highlighting some of the top LGBTQ+ restaurants and bars to check out if you haven’t already. 

🍸 Eater provides their list of
Atlanta’s top gay bars and restaurants.

🍺 Discover Atlanta lists their top LGBTQ+ owned restaurants and bars

🥘 When traveling out of state, Saveur shares their top LGBTQ bars, clubs and restaurants around the country. 
Behind the Food: Stolen Goods' jackfruit pastor Frito pie


🫔 Chef Maximillian Hines, who leads the kitchen at The Lawrence and created the Stolen Goods pop-up chef collective, whipped up jackfruit pastor Frito pie for the recent Gather'round Soul of the South dinner. 

Chef Hines says the idea for the Frito pie comes from Mississippi tamales and “that lane where Black and Mexican laborers intersect.” The tamales have a rougher texture from the use of cornmeal instead of corn flour, and they pack a punch with spicy heat. Hines’ use of Fritos is both nostalgic and mimics the gritty texture of cornmeal. He also incorporated global flavors through the addition of jackfruit married with the spices and chilis of al pastor.

➡️ Find out more about the dish and Hines' mission for Stolen Goods here.


➡ Behind the Food is a column from the Punk Foodie that highlights some of the most unique and delicious dishes from the Atlanta underground dining scene. Go deeper via Punk Foodie’s weekly guides and pop-up calendar

IG food follow of the week

📸 Harbor Coffee is getting the band back together! On Oct. 8, they'll be back at their old Supremo spot slinging the goods. 
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