Omnivore - Lunch and more chocolate...more

Meat and three at Parish Market


Three of us went to Parish Market (240 N. Highland Ave.) for lunch today. It's been over a year since I visited the cafe-grocery-bakery in the lower level of the historic building that houses the more formal Parish upstairs.

In the past I've always ordered the muffaletta here. It's probably the city's best version of the classic New Orleans sandwich. But today, I ordered the day's "meat and three," which included beer-braised chicken thighs, roasted red potatoes, fried green tomatoes, salad and an oatmeal cookie. The Market serves the specials in brightly colored, partitioned trays that reminded us of dining in grade-school cafeterias. Or think: TV dinners served in Peewee's Playhouse.

My friend Frank ordered the same thing I did but our companion Lee ordered a big bowl of very rich beef stew and a salad. He polished the bowl and then ordered a serving of tomato soup.

Everything we ordered was delicious and the cafe was quite crowded. Most seating is at a communal table but we managed to get a tiny individual table to ourselves — after waiting a bit. The Market provides free wi-fi and does the unusual favor of providing electrical outlets at some of the tables. I thought I'd never say this, but the laptop campers did add to the seating problem. Suddenly I understand why so many New York restaurants have pulled the wi-fi plug.

After lunch, I insisted we stop at the Sugar-Coated Radical . I've been craving Taria Camerino's chocolate ever since my 10-piece binge a week ago. Today, though, I allowed myself only a single piece — a rectangle of dark chocolate with praline notes. Lee and Frank bought more, but they don't suffer the compulsion to eat an entire box in one sitting.

By the way, Jenny Turknett of the AJC's "Food and More" blog is reporting this news about another chocolate shop in town:

Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. is preparing to open its second location on Peachtree Road at the end of January. The new boutique will offer a number of customizable items including bean-to-bar chocolates, hot cocoa and espresso. The space will seat 10 people and will be available for showers and birthday parties. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2815 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. No phone available yet.

I should also remind readers of the city's original purveyor of handmade chocolates, Maison Robert. Robert Reeb and his wife Patricia have been feeding our city's chocolate addiction since 1977, beginning with a popular cafe-bakery in Brookhaven. They are now in downtown Chamblee.