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Best Of Atlanta 2009 Header Large


2009 Index of Winners

Best slice of prime-time schadenfreude BOA Award Winner

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"
Say what you will about Bravo's "THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA" — they've kept the city (or more specifically, Duluth) in the national media spotlight. The housewives — former Xscape singer Kandi Burruss, obligatory-wife-of-an-athlete Lisa Wu Hartwell, socialite NeNe Leakes, divorceemore...
Say what you will about Bravo's "THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA" — they've kept the city (or more specifically, Duluth) in the national media spotlight. The housewives — former Xscape singer Kandi Burruss, obligatory-wife-of-an-athlete Lisa Wu Hartwell, socialite NeNe Leakes, divorcee and would-be designer Sheree Whitfield, and "country singer"/wig lover Kim Zolciak — ferry themselves to parties, charity events and restaurants while offering up varying degrees of fabulosity, vanity and over-the-top interpersonal relations. (Burruss, a new addition to the cast and a Grammy-winning songwriter who co-wrote "No Scrubs" for TLC, seems egregiously grounded. Here's hoping she catfights someone in a fountain by season's end.) The franchise is founded on two principles: Shiny things are better when they're expensive, and oblivious people make wonderful television. www.bravotv.com/the-real-housewives-of-atlanta. less...

Best uplifting local news story BOA Award Winner

Cabbagetown post-tornado

Runner-up
Jenn Hobby's dog

Filthy Pick: Best way to explore the city without spending a dime BOA Award Winner

Bike culture
Atlanta has always been known as a car-centric city. And with its endless hills, dangerous intersections and crazy drivers, it’s never been a particularly hospitable place for cyclists. Yet, despite all hindrances, BIKE CULTURE persists and even thrives here. And it’s not simply spandex-cladmore...
Atlanta has always been known as a car-centric city. And with its endless hills, dangerous intersections and crazy drivers, it’s never been a particularly hospitable place for cyclists. Yet, despite all hindrances, BIKE CULTURE persists and even thrives here. And it’s not simply spandex-clad racers or gear-headed mountain bikers taking to the streets. The current two-wheel craze has become a low-tech, egalitarian social movement that embraces all kinds of bikes — three-speeds, fixies, cruisers, road bikes, junkers — for the purpose of riding for recreation and basic transportation. Neighborhood rides have become commonplace all across the city, most notably the monthly Critical Mass gatherings, in which sometimes hundreds of riders take over the streets of downtown Atlanta. Because that’s how we roll. less...

Rich Pick: Best place to commune with nature BOA Award Winner

The most beautiful — and predictably, the most tourist-heavy — of the local parks, SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK is still best experienced by leaving aside the official trails and activities. With nine miles of hiking, it isn't hard to set your own path. For the athletic, the creek —more...
The most beautiful — and predictably, the most tourist-heavy — of the local parks, SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK is still best experienced by leaving aside the official trails and activities. With nine miles of hiking, it isn't hard to set your own path. For the athletic, the creek — especially post-rainfall — makes for an excellent kayaking run. For a more peaceful Sweetwater experience, there's usually ducks to feed along the reservoir, not to mention multiple docks for fishing. And while not technically a part of nature, the New Manchester Manufacturing Co., a textile mill burned during the Civil War, connects the site to the area's conflicted history and provides an imposing spot to take photos, have a picnic, or use as a landmark during treks. 1750 Mt. Vernon Road, Lithia Springs. 770-732-5871. www.gastateparks.org/info/sweetwater. less...

Best affordable caterer for impressing your foodie friends BOA Award Winner

If you’re looking for a spread that’s beautifully presented and masterfully executed yet doesn’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with ENDIVE FINE CATERING. The menu revolves around elegantly simple dishes, plated in a classy but organic way, that are sure to passmore...
If you’re looking for a spread that’s beautifully presented and masterfully executed yet doesn’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with ENDIVE FINE CATERING. The menu revolves around elegantly simple dishes, plated in a classy but organic way, that are sure to pass the muster of even the fussiest food snob. Think watermelon-mozzarella-balsamic brochettes, Roqeufort pizza with duck confit and fig preserves, and mini lamb chops with mint pesto — at a price well below comparable competitors. There’s no skimping on service, either. The unpretentious and attentive staff, headed by chef/owner Drew Ihrig, will impress your guests as much as the food will. 1468 Mecaslin St. 404-504-9040. www.endiveatlanta.com. less...

Best barbershop BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
American Haircuts
20 10th St., Suite 100, 404-407-3227
11255 Woodstock Road, Suite 300, Roswell, 770-998-3610
americanhaircuts.com

Best boutique for dropping obscene amounts of cash BOA Award Winner

Its sister store in Manhattan is such a landmark of trendiness that it’s been lauded by Time Out and lampooned on “SNL,” but JEFFREY ATLANTA is best known for bringing the season’s must-have frocks, shoes and accessories to Atlanta’s well-heeled fashion mavens.more...
Its sister store in Manhattan is such a landmark of trendiness that it’s been lauded by Time Out and lampooned on “SNL,” but JEFFREY ATLANTA is best known for bringing the season’s must-have frocks, shoes and accessories to Atlanta’s well-heeled fashion mavens. Between items by Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Dries Van Noten, Prada, Lanvin, Manolo Blahnik, Pierre Hardy and YSL, if you can’t manage to drop a small fortune at this Phipps Plaza mega-boutique, then you haven’t been trying. You may not be able to eat or pay rent after shopping at Jeffrey, but we guarantee you’ll be the best-dressed gal at the shelter. 3500 Peachtree Road. 404-237-9000. www.jeffreynewyork.com. less...

Best cigar store BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Buckhead Cigar Bar
3400 Around Lenox Drive, Suite 304, 404-844-0400, www.buckheadcigarlounge.com

Best cooking classes BOA Award Winner

The Cook's Warehouse

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Viking Cooking School
1745 Peachtree St., 404-745-9064, www.vikingschool.com

Best cosmetics BOA Award Winner

Sephora

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
MAC Cosmetics
3393 Peachtree Road, 404-231-9311, www.maccosmetics.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best furniture for hip trust-funders BOA Award Winner

If you get ditzy for Danish Modern or go nuts for Knoll, then CITY ISSUE is your one-stop shop for furnishing your loft with a stylish, mid-century vibe. Sectional sofas, teak cocktail cabinets and funky Lucite lamps? Check, check and check. The store, expanded since relocating to Inman Park from Buckhead,more...
If you get ditzy for Danish Modern or go nuts for Knoll, then CITY ISSUE is your one-stop shop for furnishing your loft with a stylish, mid-century vibe. Sectional sofas, teak cocktail cabinets and funky Lucite lamps? Check, check and check. The store, expanded since relocating to Inman Park from Buckhead, also carries colorful vintage rugs, abstract paintings from the ’50s and such vital home accessories as rocket-shaped seltzer bottles and space-age table-top planters. If you’re into names, how about Herman Miller, Charles and Ray Eames, and a bunch of guys with names like Jens and Hans? There’s something to be said for living in the past. 325 Elizabeth St. 678-999-9075. www.cityissue.com. less...

Best garden shop BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Habersham Gardens
2067 Manchester St., 404-873-2484, www.habershamgardens.com


Best gay-themed store BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Brushstrokes
1510 Piedmont Ave., #J, 404-876-6567, www.brushstrokesatlanta.com

Best gun store BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Bulls Eye Marksman Gun Club
6190 Parkway North Drive, Cumming, 678-965-5504, www.bullseyemarksman.com

Best laundromat BOA Award Winner

Laundry Lounge

Runner-up
Midtown Cleaners
650 Ponce de Leon Ave., #660-A, 404-733-6900

Best natural hair salon BOA Award Winner

Sweetgrass Wellness Spring

Runner-up
Oh My Nappy Hair
237 Mitchell St., 404-221-8900, www.ohmynappyhair.com

Best pawnshop: Tie BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Cash America Pawn
1202 Moreland Ave., 404-627-6464, www.cashamerica.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best piercing parlor BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Piercing Experience
1654 McLendon Ave., 404-378-9100, www.piercing.org

Best Pilates instructor BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Emily Christianson
www.coreatl.com

Best place to get champagne out of your silk suit BOA Award Winner

Modern Specialty Dry Cleaning
Let’s get one thing straight: MODERN SPECIALTY DRY CLEANING is not the place to take your everyday work shirts and barely soiled blouses. Your corner dry cleaner can handle that, for a more reasonable sum. Modern is where you turn when you need damage control — the Mr. Wolfe of laundrymore...
Let’s get one thing straight: MODERN SPECIALTY DRY CLEANING is not the place to take your everyday work shirts and barely soiled blouses. Your corner dry cleaner can handle that, for a more reasonable sum. Modern is where you turn when you need damage control — the Mr. Wolfe of laundry services. Red wine sloshed on a wedding gown? Yep. Bourbon splashed on an Armani jacket? Uh-huh. Caviar unceremoniously dumped on pale suede stilettos? Sure. Blood splattered on the white upholstery of your vintage ride? We won’t go there. 3833 Roswell Road. 404-261-1971. modernhandclean.com. less...

Best taxi cab service BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Lenox Taxi Co.

Runner-up
Checker Cab
563 Trabert Ave., 404-351-1111, www.atlantacheckercab.com

Best appetizers BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Eclipse di Luna
764 Miami Circle, 404-846-0449, www.eclipsediluna.com

Best beer selection BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Taco Mac
1006 N. Highland Ave., 404-873-6529, www.taco-mac.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best breakfast BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Thumbs Up Diner
573 Edgewood Ave., 404-223-0690, www.thumbsupdiner.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Chinese BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Tasty China
585 Franklin Road, Marietta, 770-419-9849

Best coffee BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Starbucks
240 Peachtree St., 404-589-4522, www.starbucks.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best cookies BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Whole Foods
650 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-4853-1681, www.wholefoodsmarket.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Cuban BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
La Fonda Latina
2813 Peachtree Road, 404-816-8311, www.fellinisatlanta.com/lafonda.htm

Best French BOA Award Winner

Au Rendez Vous
For all the upscale, high-falutin’ French places in town, our favorite is the decidedly homey AU RENDEZ VOUS, tucked into a residential neighborhood in Brookhaven. The cash-only, Vietnamese-owned restaurant serves exactly the kind of food you’d find in a real working-class French neighborhoodmore...
For all the upscale, high-falutin’ French places in town, our favorite is the decidedly homey AU RENDEZ VOUS, tucked into a residential neighborhood in Brookhaven. The cash-only, Vietnamese-owned restaurant serves exactly the kind of food you’d find in a real working-class French neighborhood – traditional recipes cooked with love. You won’t go wrong with any of the crepe appetizers, or rich, hearty meat entrees (try the rabbit cooked with red wine). The diminutive prices and feeling of eating in someone’s jumbled living room only add to the appeal. 1328 Windsor Parkway. 404-343-4983. less...

Best Grits BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
West Egg Cafe
1168 Howell Mill Road, 404-872-3973, www.westeggcafe.com

Best Italian BOA Award Winner

Sotto Sotto

Runner-up
Alfredo's Italian Restaurant
1989 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-876-1380, alfredositalianrestaurant.com

Best Japanese BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Ru San's
1529 Piedmont Ave., 404-875-7042, rusans.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Korean BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Honey Pig
3473 Old Norcross Road, Duluth, 770-476-9292

Best maitre d' or general manager BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Ryan Gallagher

Best Mexican BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Taqueria del Sol
359 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, 404-377-7668; and other metro Atlanta locations. www.taqueriadelsol.com

Best restaurant design BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-352-3547, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best restaurant to bring the kids: Tie BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Offal
Mmm, livers. Yuumm, tripe. Sweetbreads? Oh, yeah. More and more restaurants are jumping on the OFFAL bandwagon, and that’s just fine with us. While many upscale restaurants (as well as ethnic spots) have been serving organ meats for years, the past year has seen an explosion in whole-animalmore...
Mmm, livers. Yuumm, tripe. Sweetbreads? Oh, yeah. More and more restaurants are jumping on the OFFAL bandwagon, and that’s just fine with us. While many upscale restaurants (as well as ethnic spots) have been serving organ meats for years, the past year has seen an explosion in whole-animal cooking, most notably at Holeman & Finch Public House and at Abattoir, the new restaurant from Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. The good news is that the public seems to be gobbling it up with gusto, meaning this is a delicious trend that’s not going away anytime soon. Chicken hearts, anyone? Yes, please … . less...

Best soul food BOA Award Winner

Soul Vegetarian

Runner-up
Busy Bee Cafe
810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 404-525-9212, www.thebusybeecafe.com

Best steaks BOA Award Winner

When chef Laurent Tourondel's Atlanta outpost of his successful New York restaurant opened, people were skeptical that any Frenchman could make a steak better than our local institutions. But BLT STEAK (short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) does beef proud. The restaurant's blazing-hot oven broils eachmore...
When chef Laurent Tourondel's Atlanta outpost of his successful New York restaurant opened, people were skeptical that any Frenchman could make a steak better than our local institutions. But BLT STEAK (short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) does beef proud. The restaurant's blazing-hot oven broils each steak — the New York strip is tops — until the surface is caramelized and crispy with char. Each steak is served in a sizzling cast iron pan, topped with a round of herbed butter and pierced with a whimsical plastic cow pick indicating its temperature. The long list of sides changes daily, but the gooey perfection of the potato gratin must be ordered when available. Chef Tourondel's signature complimentary Gruyere popovers arrive piping hot from the oven alongside soft butter and an oversized metal salt shaker. 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. (inside the W Atlanta downtown). 404-577-7601. www.bltrestaurants.com. less...

Best Sunday brunch BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Flying Biscuit Cafe
1001 Piedmont Ave., 404-874-8887, www.flyingbiscuit.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Vietnamese BOA Award Winner

Co'm Vietnamese Grill Restaurant

Runner-up
Nam
931 Monroe Drive, 404-541-9997, www.namrestaurant.com

Best Wine Bar BOA Award Winner

The Grape

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
Krog Bar
112 Krog St., Suite 27, 404-524-1618, www.krogbar.com

Best wine list BOA Award Winner

Runner-up
Murphy's
997 Virginia Ave., 404-872-0904, www.murphysvh.com

Best advocate for the arts BOA Award Winner

Runner-up Jan Selman allga.org

Best art exhibit in a museum BOA Award Winner

Runner-up Louvre Atlanta at the High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree St., 404-733-4444, www.high.org

Best improv group BOA Award Winner

Runner-up Whole World Theatre 1226 Spring St., 404-817-7529, www.wholeworldtheatre.com

Best local arts website BOA Award Winner

www.atlantaperforms.com Runner-up burnaway.org

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