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Moving to Alpharetta


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Hi All,

In a little over a week we will be proud residents of Alpharetta(N. Fulton). I have been in and out for work many times and did the house shopping thing with the Mrs. so I have good maps and know my way around fairly well.

Are there any EGers that know the area and can help with my list? The krogers/whole foods/publix are like 100x as big as the one we currently use in Manhattan(1st time the kids saw it they were afraid of getting lost :raz: ). Do they replace the need for specialty stores?

-Butcher

-Fish Monger

-Wine/Booze shop

-Farmers Market/CSAs

-Ethnic Grocery (mexican, asian, carribean)?

-Best take out Pizza and Chinese?

Thanks,

-Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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In a little over a week we will be proud residents of Alpharetta(N. Fulton). 

Hey, Mike. Welcome to Tennessee!

Oops, meant to say "Welcome to Atlanta." We have friends in Alpharetta and joke that we're halfway to Tennessee when we get there.

Since I don't live in Alpharetta I can't give you any local specifics, but will point out that you should make every effort to visit the many and varied ethnic markets in town. Many are located in the northeast quadrant of town, including Buford Highway. Many are mentioned in threads here at eG.

Your single "go to" market will likely be Harry's. This is now owned by Whole Foods, but they've reportedly kept some of the original qualities that made Harry's so popular.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Hey, Mike. Welcome to Tennessee!

Oops, meant to say "Welcome to Atlanta." We have friends in Alpharetta and joke that we're halfway to Tennessee when we get there.

HA! I said something similar but not nearly as kind on my first trip. I flew into ATL rented a car and hit rush hour having to get to Alpharetta. :blink::wacko:

Since I don't live in Alpharetta I can't give you any local specifics, but will point out that you should make every effort to visit the many and varied ethnic markets in town. Many are located in the northeast quadrant of town, including Buford Highway. Many are mentioned in threads here at eG.

When you say "in town" you mean Atlanta proper?

Thanks!!

-Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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another discussion on why moving to Atlanta (Alpharetta as well) can be a culinary blessing :wink:

therese.... on Alpharetta ....

The good news about Alpharetta is that it's affluent and growing very rapidly, so you can get a very fancy enormous 'burb sort of house for the money that would buy you a two bedroom Craftsman bungalow in town. The surrounding countryside is lovely, rolling hills and very green (which Atlanta also is) with small farms, etc. But don't assume that the small farms in your neighborhood will be there for long, as they're very rapidly being turned into enormous shopping centers.

Because it's affluent there is an increasing number of good restaurants and markets there. Many of these restaurants would be considered outstanding in most of the U.S., and tend to get short shrift here because the competition is so strong.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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another discussion on why moving to Atlanta (Alpharetta as well) can be a culinary blessing :wink:

therese.... on Alpharetta ....

The good news about Alpharetta is that it's affluent and growing very rapidly, so you can get a very fancy enormous 'burb sort of house for the money that would buy you a two bedroom Craftsman bungalow in town. The surrounding countryside is lovely, rolling hills and very green (which Atlanta also is) with small farms, etc. But don't assume that the small farms in your neighborhood will be there for long, as they're very rapidly being turned into enormous shopping centers.

Because it's affluent there is an increasing number of good restaurants and markets there. Many of these restaurants would be considered outstanding in most of the U.S., and tend to get short shrift here because the competition is so strong.

Awesome info GG, thanks!

-Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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When you say "in town" you mean Atlanta proper?

In this instance I actually meant anywhere in the gi-normous metro Atlanta area.

But when Atlantans use the term "in-town" as an adjective they're usually referring to an area "inside the perimeter" (the perimeter being I-285), aka ITP. You live (and, I fervently hope, work) OTP. Waaay OTP.

And thanks to Gifted Gourmet's link to earlier info re the northern 'burbs. I've blogged twice here at eG and discuss local shopping there as well.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Milt on Alpharetta ...
The Alpharetta area is close enough to a good many good to excellent restaurants to keep me happy. I live in the northeast corner of Cobb County, and find myself in Alpharetta frequently enough. The area is full of chains - but there are a number of independent winners also. Zola on the far north side of Alpharetta has great pizza and good Italian cuisine, in general. dick & harry's on Holcomb Bridge Road just east of Ga 400 is very well thought of for upscale dining OTP. Swallow at the Hollow on Green Street in Roswell has (in my opinion) the best barbeque in the Atlanta area. Across the street is Greenwood's on Green Street - which serves excellent southern food in huge quantities. Harry's Farmers Market on Hembree Road will be reasonably convenient for you. Since they were acquired by Whole Foods I have found myself less impressed with the operation - but they are still convenient and they have an excellent selection of fruits, vegetables, spices, and harder to find canned items.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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But when Atlantans use the term "in-town" as an adjective they're usually referring to an area "inside the perimeter" (the perimeter being I-285), aka ITP. You live (and, I fervently hope, work) OTP. Waaay OTP.

LOL! Oh yes, this I am familiar with, I am living and working OTP. Lots of trips to ATL but those will be of my scheduling and never during rush.

-Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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Hi All,

In a little over a week we will be proud residents of Alpharetta(N. Fulton). 

-Fish Monger

-

I am a frequent customer at Harry's Farmers Market/Whole Foods in Roswell, but have gotten into the habit of stopping in at Gulf Coast Seafood Market about once a week.

I think their fish is very fresh and they seem to be a buck or two / pound cheaper than Harry's.

He almost always has tuna, snapper, grouper, shrimp. Sometimes he has harder to find selections like cobia and triggerfish.

The owner, Tom Wilder, is a very nice guy.

Check it out and let me know what you think - 4055 Old Milton Pkwy 678 624-9997

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Hi All,

In a little over a week we will be proud residents of Alpharetta(N. Fulton). 

-Fish Monger

-

I am a frequent customer at Harry's Farmers Market/Whole Foods in Roswell, but have gotten into the habit of stopping in at Gulf Coast Seafood Market about once a week.

I think their fish is very fresh and they seem to be a buck or two / pound cheaper than Harry's.

He almost always has tuna, snapper, grouper, shrimp. Sometimes he has harder to find selections like cobia and triggerfish.

The owner, Tom Wilder, is a very nice guy.

Check it out and let me know what you think - 4055 Old Milton Pkwy 678 624-9997

Thanks Greg!

-Mike & Andrea

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Alpha Soda right off the main drag in beautiful down town "Alpher Tater" used to be a great little "meat & three" type that we used to frequent quite often when we lived up in that direction but I have not been that way in a while so can not vouch for it. Hopefully some kind soul will give a report.

Also check out Sia's, Rainwater, Red Garlic (I think is the name but can not remember--if not it is similar--for pretty decent Italian food).

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Butcher and Fishmonger: though Harry’s is not as good since Whole Paycheck took over, they are still a good option. I know our leader Gifted Gourmet is also a fan of Fresh Market. For just a butcher, try NY Butcher.

Best takeout Chinese is Xian China Bistro. Pizza, it depends on which part of Alpharetta you live in. Alpine Bakery & Pizzeria is worth driving a little further. Right in Alpharetta, Alessio’s and Carmine’s are worthy options.

They are many, many ethnic groceries along Alpharetta Highway. There are a few in the shopping center at 11235 Alpharetta Highway. Booze, try the Haynes Bridge Cellar or on certain days my house.

Therese is loved.

Nobody eats at that restaurant anymore. It's always too crowded.

---Yogi Berra

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I live in NE Cobb County and find interesting places to eat all over the Cobb, Cherokee and north Fulton area. Alpha Soda is a worthy stop. Pure Taqueria is also. Midway Meal House on the way to Cumming a one of the best meat and vegetable places around. I have not yet visited their new restaurant (the original place was destroyed by fire last year and took about a year to be rebuilt), but reports are that MMH is as good as ever. Rhae's is a very small local chain with very good burgers. Silos Grille in Crabapple is quite good. Just a couple of miles south of Silos Grille is Van Gogh's, for an excellent upscale meal. A block east of Van Gogh's is Slope's BBQ, which is one of the better bbq places. I would suggest the rib plate with okra and black eye peas and sweet tea - to make you feel that you are really in the south. Sometimes around Alpharetta you won't realize that you are in the south. Mr. Taco is a fast food place on Holcomb Bridge at Warsaw Road (midway between GA 400 and Alpharetta Hwy) and is quite good. It is directly across Warsaw from Olive Garden - behind a CVS Drugs. Azteca Groceria on Alpharetta Hwy a quarter mile south of Holcomb Bridge and Taco Mas (across the street from Azteca Groceria) offer excellent sandwiches, burritos and tacos. Carniceria San Miguel on Holcomb Bridge at the first traffic light west of GA 400 is also worth a visit. English is limited in these three, but generally is not a problem. harry & david's is just east of GA 400 on Holcomb Bridge and is another upscale opportunity. Zola Italian Bistro is on Alpharetta Hwy just north of Alpharetta on the right in a shopping center. I always miss it and need to make a U-turn to return to it. The only entrance to the shopping center is on the south side of the center and Zola is the northernmost tenant.

There are more, but this is enough to get you started. If these sound of interest, I would be happy to continue with suggestions.

Edited by Milt (log)
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Hi All,

In a little over a week we will be proud residents of Alpharetta(N. Fulton).  I have been in and out for work many times and did the house shopping thing with the Mrs. so I have good maps and know my way around fairly well.

Are there any EGers that know the area and can help with my list?  The krogers/whole foods/publix are like 100x as big as the one we currently use in Manhattan(1st time the kids saw it they were afraid of getting lost  :raz: ).  Do they replace the need for specialty stores?

-Butcher

-Fish Monger

-Wine/Booze shop

-Farmers Market/CSAs

-Ethnic Grocery (mexican, asian, carribean)?

-Best take out Pizza and Chinese?

Thanks,

-Mike

Nobody has yet pointed out the most important thing for a newcomer to know about living in Georgia. You can't buy booze on Sunday, liquor is only sold in liquor stores, although you can buy beer and wine in the grocery store, you can't buy alcohol to take home with you on Sunday (after noon on Sunday, you can buy alcohol in a restaurant to consume in that restaurant.) Nothing was a worse feeling than a Sunday of unpacking boxes only to realize that I couldn't buy a six pack and sit in my garage drinking beer and breaking down boxes to recycle.*

Perhaps it was a worse feeling when I went to the house next door to borrow a beer. "Don't mind me, I'm Dave, your alcoholic neighbor from the North"

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Thank you all for the great recomendations, I plan on trying them all!! I'll take lots of pics once the we find the box it fell into.

Alpha Soda right off the main drag in beautiful down town "Alpher Tater" used to be a great little "meat & three" type that we used to frequent quite often when we lived up in that direction but I have not been that way in a while so can not vouch for it. Hopefully some kind soul will give a report.

We had breakfast there our first hotel day, it was very close to the marriot we were staying. Very good biscuts and gravy with eggs! :wub: Kids were also very happy with their buttermilk pancakes.

Best takeout Chinese is Xian China Bistro. Pizza, it depends on which part of Alpharetta you live in. Alpine Bakery & Pizzeria is worth driving a little further. Right in Alpharetta, Alessio’s and Carmine’s are worthy options.

Great chinese food! Kids had the standard chicken with brocolli. We had a very good pine nut chicken dish. A little pricey for regular friday night takeout but really exceptional quality.

We are right by Alessio's and will try soon.

One surprising bonus for this NYC native is the Mexican food! Its everywhere and it is really good! NYC is remarkably void of any edible mexican food past tacos and we love mexican food!

Lastly, a biscuit question. How many of you make your own biscuts and if so, do you use White Lilly flour?? Our inagural<sp> kitchen use was a batch of buttermilk biscuts! :biggrin:

-mike

-Mike & Andrea

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Also, what do you all think of the quality and prices at the DeKalb Farmers Market? We went by yesterday, the prices are very good compared to what we were used to in ny.

It was quite a hike from the house though.

mike

-Mike & Andrea

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Well, neither of these are in Alpharetta, but they're at the bottom of 400 where it meets 285 (you've got to leave A-retta sometimes, right?): Five Seasons Brewery and Summit's Tavern. Five Seasons is a microbrewery (is that still the term?) with excellent food, overseen by an exyakitori bar owner. Great beer and wine, nice bar, good grub. Summit's is strictly a beer visit, although their food has been getting better through sheer overambition...the wings are still great if you like em hot. But the real reason to go is that they have a nice selection of NW ales, they carry most of the Rogue stuff and now that you can sell high-alcohol beers in GA they're really digging into Belgians and the like.

Anyway, good luck man....that traffic doesn't seem real some days.

Which brings up another great thing about these two spots, if you've got business downtown and you're done at 5, there's absolutely no point in trying to get to Alpharetta at that point, so finish at 4:30, have some friends meet you at Five Seasons (it's right on the way home), and wait out the traffic there. It works!

best of luck,

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Lastly, a biscuit question.  How many of you make your own biscuts and if so, do you use White Lilly flour??  Our inagural<sp> kitchen use was a batch of buttermilk biscuts!  :biggrin:

-mike

Fuss makes the biscuits and we are not allowed to show up for foot ball games w/o her biscuits. She prefers in descending order: Martha White, White Lily, Gold Medal but will use what ever if she has to do so. Just find real butter milk and not that low cal imitation slop they are peddling.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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NYC Mike, it sounds like you are then right down the street from Rasa Sayang. Though Malaysian, they also have a Chinese menu. I think that will fit the bill for inexpensive takeout.

I’m guessing China Pearl is even closer and probably the most convenient. Though not as good as RS or Xian, good enough if you're as close as it sounds.

Edited by CoolPapaBell (log)

Nobody eats at that restaurant anymore. It's always too crowded.

---Yogi Berra

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Fuss makes the biscuits and we are not allowed to show up for foot ball games w/o her biscuits. She prefers in descending order: Martha White, White Lily, Gold Medal but will use what ever if she has to do so. Just find real butter milk and not that low cal imitation slop they are peddling.

Thanks for this, I did see the lowfat buttermilk but thought it kind of defeated the purpose! We have gone through a few jars of jam already over here!

Another question. In the Krogers by us they have many kinds of "instant" grits and I couldnt find any other kind. Now don't laugh but I saw My Cousin Vinny where the guy says "no self respecting southerner uses instant grits"....question is what do y'all use.

Cool Papa, thats for the take out recs, I've seen China Pearl it is very close. We will be trying Rasa Sayang this weekend. Loved Xian too, will do them again.

Mark, thanks for the pub recs, I needed that!

-Mike

Edited by NYC Mike (log)

-Mike & Andrea

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Fuss makes the biscuits and we are not allowed to show up for foot ball games w/o her biscuits. She prefers in descending order: Martha White, White Lily, Gold Medal but will use what ever if she has to do so. Just find real butter milk and not that low cal imitation slop they are peddling.

Thanks for this, I did see the lowfat buttermilk but thought it kind of defeated the purpose! We have gone through a few jars of jam already over here!

Okay, once and for all and forever, there is no such thing as full fat buttermilk. You can culture whole milk and call it buttermilk, but it is actually farther from the real item than the cultured skim milk product marketed as buttermilk. Real buttermilk is the liquid left after butter's been churned from clabbered (cultured, soured) cream, and it is essentially fat free (because all the fat's been globbed up into the butter). You can only buy it from somebody who makes butter this way, and because there's almost no cultured butter made for the U.S. market you cannot buy real buttermilk in the U.S.

Also, what do you all think of the quality and prices at the DeKalb Farmers Market? We went by yesterday, the prices are very good compared to what we were used to in ny.

It was quite a hike from the house though.

Quality and price both generally excellent at DFM. I live quite near, so it's my every day market (I was there last night, in fact) but I didn't mention it to you as it's such a hike from where you live and I didn't want to give you an envy headache. Don't bother with the bread, though, as it's not worth the trouble.

Another question. In the Krogers by us they have many kinds of "instant" grits and I couldnt find any other kind. Now don't laugh but I saw My Cousin Vinny where the guy says "no self respecting southerner uses instant grits"....question is what do y'all use.

Instant grits are the work of the devil. Instant cheese grits are too foul for words. Fortunately it's not too hard to find decent normal grits. I get mine at DFM, where you'll find them in the aisle with the pasta and flour (look in the back left corner of the "U" shaped aisle). I can't remember the name, but they're fine.

And while I'm at it, don't ask about putting sugar in cornbread. That's corn cake, not cornbread.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I noticed that you'd posted a query re a recipe for gulab jamun here, NYC Mike, and since I'm feeling a wee bit penitent for having insinuated that you might, just possibly, be the sort of person who puts sugar in cornbread, I'm going to provide you with a really, really great tip re gulab jamun and other Indian sweets: Royal Sweets.

Royal Sweets is an Indian sweet shop/chat stand located at 1766 Lawrenceville Highway (conveniently close to Dekalb Farmers Market, so you can stop on your way home). It's a small, family-run place, and the owners are some of the nicest people I've ever met. But even if they weren't I'd still go there for the food: burfi, ras malai, dhokla (usually only on Friday), julli (my favorite, like ras malai without the sauce), samosas, spiced nuts, etc.

While googling the address I came across this link to a video (click on the little TV icon) that was filmed for our local PBS station. The mom (Anita) is not shown, as she is away in India during the filming, but her husband and kids are. There's even footage of Mr. Desai spooning gulab jamun out of the container into a to-go box. They usually have both light and dark gulab jamun, and if they're cooking them (or anything else) when you arrive they'll run into the back and get you fresh.

There are lots of Indian resources in the immediate neighborhood, including several Indian markets (I go to Cherian's) where you can get the Gits mix if you'd like to try it. Though why on earth you'd bother with Royal Sweets right there I can't imagine.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Another question. In the Krogers by us they have many kinds of "instant" grits and I couldnt find any other kind. Now don't laugh but I saw My Cousin Vinny where the guy says "no self respecting southerner uses instant grits"....question is what do y'all use.

Instant grits are the work of the devil. Instant cheese grits are too foul for words. Fortunately it's not too hard to find decent normal grits. I get mine at DFM, where you'll find them in the aisle with the pasta and flour (look in the back left corner of the "U" shaped aisle). I can't remember the name, but they're fine.

And while I'm at it, don't ask about putting sugar in cornbread. That's corn cake, not cornbread.

No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits (according to my assistant, who, being that rare thing -- a native Atlantan -- is also my gold standard for practical southern foodways. She says instant grits "taste like poo"), but a lot of them use quick-cooking grits. Read the labels carefully and you'll see them -- just about everyone who makes one makes the other. That's not to say that quick-cooking grits are acceptable; it's to say that southerners, like most everyone else, is susceptible to the argument of convenience over quality.

Luckily, as a patron of Kroger, you have another choice. Go to the natural foods section, and seek out "Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits (also known as Polenta)." They're not made in the south (I think they're from Oregon), and they're not white (you'll get some static about this; ignore it), but they're very decent. You can get Logan Turnpike Mill grits at DFM, and they're better -- but not by as much as Bob's are better than Quaker Quick.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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