Atlanta GA eats?

Will be in Atlanta in early June; it has been forever since I was here so I have no good idea where to go for interesting regional food. We’ll be staying downtown but I have a car and great desire to sample foods of the SE. I’m a retired teaching chef, living in the SW, with a passion for regional dishes. God knows it need not be fahncy, just delicious.

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Engineers, would-be and proven: are likely to advise:

I was in ATL last June. While there’s not much here (yet) you’re going to find a ton of stuff online. And ATL’s public transpo has gotten great. I’d be disinclined to drive. ATL traffic is outrageously awful.

Cath, I’ve been all over the net and found several spots that sound interesting. By any chance, did you eat at White Oak Kitchen? Watershed on Peachtree? South City Kitchen Midtown? Table & Main in Roswell? Revival in Decatur? All of these seem to feature updated Southern food.
Oddly enough, on TripAdvisor, the #1 spot was Aviva by Kameel - a Middle Eastern food court spot in a mall… odd, to say the least.

On a trip to a craft fair at Stone Mountain, 2- 3 years ago, the locals recommended the Metro Café Diner, 1905 Rockbridge Rd., Stone Mountain. They also have a location at 229 Peachtree St., Ste B-17, Atlanta. What we found was a decadent cake dessert selection, where the slices are 10 feet high (OK, I exaggerate) with multiple layers of frostings or jams… just eye-popping and delicious. We have wanted to get back there ever since. The food there, other than the desserts, was very good diner fare (don’t know how inviting that might be for a retired teaching chef, though), as I recall, but obviously my main memory is the cake temptations. Their website:

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floridahound, thank you for the suggestion. Nothing, especially “very good diner fare” is off base. I have had excellent food in terrible hole-in-the-wall dives; love finding something special. Fahncy is unnecessary, it’s great food that I’m after. I read the menu for Metro Cafe and feel like there is Greek influence - like many diners.That has served me well in the past. I appreciate your answering and will make a stop at Metro Cafe - I look forward to a 10 ft. cake! Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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I will reply to myself. We’re home from our trip. Atlanta is a fun, vibrant albeit hot/humid city in June. We had a delicious time. As several posters noted, the traffic is fierce in downtown so we left the car parked when possible. A half block walk from our hotel was ‘Ray’s in the City’ that an Atlanta-dwelling friend recommended. Specializing in fish/seafood, Ray’s was a “find”. There were four of us and we found we often ordered by twos - that is, two of us choosing the same entree.
Full disclosure: I have never eaten in the same restaurant several nights in a row. Never. This changed with Ray’s. We had several consecutive meals there and enjoyed each more than the previous meal. An unlikely pairing of fish with a horseradish crust turned out to be a favorite, ditto for the scallops with crab & lobster risotto. We drank draft beers (the wine list, while extensive, was pricey) with our meals. Great staff is a “plus”.
I usually eschew desserts but made an exception for the praline basket … addictive!

Another enjoyable meal was at a pub “Six Feet Under”, aptly named for its location across the street from a large cemetery. Again, fish starred. There were six of us at table and everyone ordered something different. There were big smiles around the table at first bite. I don’t often see hard cider on menus but it paired perfectly with great fish & chips. The crabcakes received raves as did some of the chile poppers. (I didn’t ask why they were called “mouse toes” and probably don’t want to know the answer.)

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Thanks for the update, the review of Ray’s, and “welcome home.”
(sidebar) One of my frustrations on a couple of food/ restaurant-related websites (Hungry Onion and others that can remain nameless) is that so many people ask for advice and opinions to help plan an upcoming trip, or a meal idea theme or recipe for an upcoming gathering, etc., etc., and then never get back with the community on how things turned out. So, on that basis, too, Sherri, thanks so much for posting! Your willingness to “keep us posted” is very much welcome and appreciated!

Spondivots by the airport rocks it for strong drinks and excellent seafood…
Love this place!

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo