Cheap Eats - Have you heard the Good News?

Read all about it — East Atlanta's latest food story

Opening a new restaurant is always a risky proposition. Opening one at the same site where two others have failed during economic hard times? Downright ballsy. Good News Cafe takes over where Kiva and Twang recently departed in East Atlanta.

James Crocker and David Corley already have a restaurant of the same name way north in Ellijay. The bright yellow walls, exposed brick and kitsch of their new location fit with the rest of the neighborhood and lighten up the breakfast and lunch spot. And unlike the former restaurants, menu items have come down in price. If anything, that's what's currently packing the tables.

Nice try: When I heard "good news" I thought about bible thumpers and agape spreaders. You know, the Good News Bible? I didn't expect a news spin. But that's what you get: Entrees are Today's Top Stories, appetizers are Advertisers, sandwiches are News Briefs and wraps are Let's Go To the Movies! All right, I get it. But the jumbled menu is hard to handle and having to name the paper that you desire for a turkey and ham sandwich is a bit much. And, hey, where's Creative Loafing on the menu?

What we ate: With so many convoluted options on the menu, it becomes hard to decipher, and we almost gave up. We chose the vegetable plate ($5) with mashed potatoes and gravy, black beans, fried green tomatoes (the vegetable of the day) and green beans. Despite waiting for a while, the black beans still weren't fully cooked and the gravy on the mashed potatoes appeared store bought instead of homemade. The fried green tomatoes on the other hand were great, albeit lacking any accompaniment.?
The Jaws, a blackened catfish, romaine, Parmesan and tomato wrap with a "special dressing," was not too shabby. The dressing appeared to simply be Caesar and drowned out any flavor the fish may have possessed.

The server couldn't locate the BLT on the menu until we called it by its proper name, the St. Louis Dispatch ($5). Not bad, but nothing to write home about.

Breakfast options fared much better. The Ellijay ($5.75) is two thick pieces of apple bread French toast, two scrambled eggs with a choice of bacon, sausage links or patties. The food arrived much sooner, much warmer and much better than at the lunch ordeal.

Service: The place was slammed during a weekday lunch. With only a dozen or so tables in the place, it was still easy to get quick seating, but quick food was another thing. We waited patiently for our meal for longer than 30 minutes before hearing the collards for the vegetable plate weren't available. And then we waited some more. Soup never showed to accompany the BLT, biscuits had to be requested and the cake that was expected with the entrees appeared late. All these things are easily forgiven, but then we were overcharged at the end for an entree.

Cheapest item: For breakfast, you can get a biscuit with egg or bacon for two bucks. You want egg and bacon with the biscuit, it's only $2.50. That's almost Waffle House prices. At lunch, check out the quiche of the day for only $3. A bowl of chili is just $3.50.

Most expensive item: The meat- and-three rings up at $6.50. You get a choice of meatloaf, country-fried steak, pork roast, grilled chicken, blackened catfish or chicken tenders. Then a whole slew of hot and cold vegetable options.

Who to take? I see big things on the horizon as a breakfast location. Don't want to stand in line at the Flying Biscuit for a weekend brunch? You don't get the same granola feel, but the eggs and starch here are a cheaper substitute and (at the moment) no wait.??