The Unvegan

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Semi-South at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
Wrapped in Delicious at The El Felix
The $25 Burger at The Spotted Pig
Eating Jongro BBQ in a Compact K-Town

‘Atlanta’

Wrapped in Delicious at The El Felix

Something good inside?
Something good inside?

What’s in a name? Apparently for The El Felix in Alpharetta, Georgia it’s redundancy. While I cannot explain why it’s The El Felix and not simply El Felix, I can say that this nuevo¬†Mexican restaurant seems to be made for unvegans like me. I had a tough time picking from all the great-looking meaty options, but when the waiter made a strong sell for the Tacos Al Pastor.

What’ll Ya Have at The Varsity?

Can you guess which side is mine?
Can you guess which side is mine?

Every city has its share of iconic places to eat. In Atlanta, one of those places goes by the name of The Varsity and has been around since 1928. They still do the paper hat thing and the people taking orders are famous for asking “What’ll Ya Have?” As far as the food goes, it’s basically what you would expect from 1928: hot dogs, burgers, fries and onion rings.

A Whole Lotta Ribs on ‘Cue

One half rib cage, please.
One half rib cage, please.

When you travel for business, you don’t really stop to think about just how much food you’re taking in. Thus, I felt it necessary to follow up my first BBQ dinner in Alpharetta, Georgia with another one. This time I went to ‘Cue and split ribs and brisket in an attempt to get enough meat to compare to the night prior at Smokejack.

Meat Stacks at Smokejack BBQ

Sidejack.
Sidejack.

Alpharetta, Georgia isn’t exactly a food blogger’s destination of choice. Yet, when the day job sends you off to such an exotic place, you make do. And that’s what I did when I made my way to Smokejack, a BBQ that I hoped would represent The South well. Smokejack is located in what can best be described as Alpharetta’s Main Street (because it is), and while all the other restaurants nearby looked good, Smokejack just drew me in.

The Best of 2013

Trying to make the cut.
Trying to make the cut.

2014 is here, but my 2013 may have been the best year of eating in the history of the world, so it’s time for another Unvegan Best of. The past year included a honeymoon, an epic month-long road trip and a move from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, so my list has broadened beyond LA and narrowing down the awesome was quite the process. Nonetheless, I encourage you all to go back through my Reviews section to see what didn’t quite make the cut. Remember that the list only includes places new to The Unvegan and bear in mind that Honorable Nods this year would probably be winners any other year. Without further ado:

True Grits at Waffle House

A little breakfast sandwich.
A little breakfast sandwich.

I can probably be said that any visit to Atlanta without a stop at Waffle House is a failure. This breakfasty 24 hour diner is a staple in the Atlanta area. Furthermore, any trip to Waffle House without has browns is also a failure. Before going any further, I have to admit that I failed at the latter. Be that as it may, take this review with a grain of salt. It won’t be a bad review, but likely won’t be as good as it could have been. Also, I didn’t eat any waffles.

Upscale Atlanta at Buckhead Diner

So much better than Buckeye diner.
So much better than Buckeye diner.

Driving around Buckhead, Atlanta aimlessly attempting to find dinner on a Sunday night, we happened upon Buckhead Diner. Looking like it was pulled straight off of Route 66 in the 1940s on the exterior, Buckhead Diner’s valet-style parking lot betrayed something a little grander indoors. We pulled up to check out the menu and learned that this was nothing like a greasy spoon, and much more like upscale dining.

Elegant Simplicity at Holeman and Finch

More than 24.
More than 24.

Every night on a street called Peachtree in Buckhead, Atlanta, something strange happens. At Holeman and Finch Public House exactly 24 burgers are prepared and served on a first-come-first-served basis. The idea is that such a perfect burger takes time and is impossible to create in mass. How they arrived at 24 is anyone’s guess, but why not? Yet, despite their insistence on limiting burgers, there is a loophole. It’s called Sunday Brunch.

Carpetbagging at Edgewood Corner Tavern

Meet me at the corner of Edgewood and Awesome.
Meet me at the corner of Edgewood and Awesome.

Deep in the recesses of my To-Do Lists, I maintain a list of places I want to eat if I find myself in a particular city. Of course, the list doesn’t get much play, but when I found myself in Atlanta for the Final Four, I whipped out the list and found some delights I had only dreamed of. The first place I went to was the Edgewood Corner Tavern. I didn’t go because of some suggestion that they might have good food, I was there for one thing only.