Steakhead’s Top 10 of 2006
My year-end recap is structured a little different this year. Because I want this list to reflect places I visited during the year, and that was not possible for me to visit as many places I would have liked, I will not do a “best of” by category. Instead, I am going to recognize and award places I consider to be my “top 10” joints in the city. It was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to 10, and I am in no way saying that these were the only good places I considered. But as the final list began to take shape, these places stood above the rest in that the mere mention of them got me excited and hungering for my next visit. Some are “once a year” places for special occasion. Some are ultra-casual, inexpensive joints where $10-$15 gets you one of the best meals in town. There is even one take-out place on the list.
So, without further ado, I present to you the Steakhead Top 10 of 2006 (in alphabetical order)!
Chops- Chops, and specifically the Lobster Bar for ambiance, continues to be my steakhouse of choice in the city. The bone-in ribeye is aces, and the tableside-prepared steak tartare is my favorite appetizer in town. This is where Lady Steakhead and I celebrate our anniversary every year.
di Paolo- Top-notch Italian cuisine in Alpharetta. Well worth the drive OTP. And I love the fact you can bring your own vino (with a corking fee).
Fogo de Chao- Ahh- the meat palace. This is Steakhead’s birthday dinner every year. How can you go wrong with gauchos carving meat off a spit until you scream “uncle”? There are a number of imitators in town, but from an experience perspective, this place is second to none.
Little Bangkok- This Cheshire bridge location is where to go when you want unpretentious, very spicy Thai food in Atlanta. And, they are one of the few places that serves Papaya Salad- a Steakhead favorite.
Paul’s- Paul Albrecht’s restaurant in Peachtree Hills became one of my favorite places after only one visit. A little pricey, but the deep fried lobster tail is worth trying if you haven’t already done so.
Real Chow Baby- This ever-popular take on Mongolian BBQ is fun, tasty and inexpensive. You are in charge, as you mix your own ingredients of veggies, meats and sauce. I have been many times, and still make a different concoction each time.
Rumi’s Kitchen- Props given here to a local restaurant in my home hood of Sandy Springs that isn’t a chain. Great tasting kabobs, in an upscale environment. The cars outside may all scream expensive, but the entrees are in the low-mid teens.
Sam & Dave’s BBQ1- The best BBQ joint in Atlanta is actually a takeout place. Located on Lower Roswell Rd. in an older strip mall, these guys are BBQ aficionados (with many trophies from world-class competitions to prove it).
Tasty China- Setting the standard for Chinese fare in Atlanta. It has been a month since my last visit and I am having Hot and Numbing Beef Roll withdrawal.
Trattoria il Localino- Localino is all about the atmosphere. It’s a family-run business- the owner is this crazy-looking guy with wild gray hair sort of resembling Einstein- and they are dedicated to make sure your experience is a good one. ABBA and the Bee-Gees will interrupt ballads of Mario Lanza and Jerry Vale, as party hats are distributed to the guests. Weekends are best, as it’s more fun when it’s crowded.
Congratulations to all the winners!