Streetalk March 25 2004

Where are the best and worst places to dine outside in Atlanta?

Nick: Carroll Street Bakery in Cabbagetown. It’s the closet thing to a New York sidewalk cafe in Atlanta. You’re in the shadow of the mill and it has this timeless, period feel to it. You experience the flavor of the neighborhood you’re in. The worst is Ru San’s across from Ansley. It’s a good inexpensive sushi bar, but outside the tables are set up on a narrow walkway on the second level of a strip mall overlooking a big parking lot. Auto exhaust and sushi is a bad combination.

Britt: The Steamhouse in Buckhead. It’s got a great view, lots of sun, just plenty to watch. The crowd walking by is extremely attractive. Place I hate the most outside is Vortex. It’s covered with tin or whatever, so when it’s a warm day, the tin is heating up to 100 degrees and making it an incubator out there. It’s like eating in a sweaty gymnasium locker room. And the view is terrible. Nothing but a great view of the parking lot. I do like the food, but I’ll eat inside.

Nidia: My favorite is Park Tavern. They’ve got such a large area for you to sit outside and see people and dogs having a good time at the park. The worst is Atkins Park. It’s terrible. And they pack too many chairs and plastic tables in such a small place. The food is great but I’ve never had good service. It’s not attractive whether it’s a pretty day or not. You’re not going to get any sun. You just feel dirty. And there’s no view. The view is brick walls.