NFT Atlanta East Point / College Park

East Point / College Park

College Park and East Point have had their share of crime in the past. But with gorgeous older homes and smart new development, the area is enjoying stability. The neighborhood is home to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, the Georgia International Convention Center and Woodward Academy (the city’s most prestigious private school and haven for spoiled rich kids), which all provide jobs and revenue. Main Street is thriving and (dare we say) pretty damn cute.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  Katherine Dean

East Point Corner Tavern
A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste. But thanks to the East Point Corner Tavern's X-rated trivia on Friday nights, you won't have to. Just brush up on your naughty bits (or someone else's) and come equipped with nasty thoughts, because all things sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll are on the table during this titillating game of Q&A. And even if raunchy questions involving glass-bottom boats don't exactly get you in the mood, the grand prize of $4,000 in house cash is sure to get your blood flowing. Still, if you're one of those folks who need a different sort of stroke, just catch the Tavern any other night of the week. There's always something going down. Saturdays feature wild and crazy Karaoke and you can always shoot pool on one of the Tavern's five regulation-size tables. Heck, join in any of their weekly league tournaments for a chance to prove your poking prowess and score some 9-ball celebrity.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  Katherine Dean

Taco Rico
I'm a big fan of the taco. Fish? Sure. Lengua? Fine. If chunks of meat are tucked into a warm tortilla with any sort of jalapeno-poblano-chipotle-or-ancho-infused sauce and a sprig of cilantro, you can bet I'm in for it. What I'm not such a big fan of is standing in a line 45-deep, complete with screaming brats, only to be smirked at by a disgruntled employee who acts all holier-than-thou over ho-hum tex-mex in order to acquire said taco. His uppity retort that the only two seats available (at the bar) are "reserved" doesn't help either. Since I discovered Taco Rico in East Point though, I can tell the sourpusses at other taquerias to shove it where the sun don’t shine. The tacos at Rico's are scrumptious, served on corn tortillas (if you choose) and just as affordable as Atlanta's more popular taco chains. And though I'd happily stand in line to get a basket full of 'em, thankfully, there's never a need.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  Katherine Dean

White Elephant Thai Restaurant
Despite the valiant efforts of a handful of pioneering restaurateurs, dining out in East Point is the same as it’s always been--an unpleasant stumble through a wasteland hot wing shack punctuated every now and then by a taquería or fast food hut whose fare could, very likely, leave you hanging ten on the toilet all night. With prospects like these, Jefferson Park gentrifiers usually head to even hipper neighborhoods in search of a good meal. That was until a couple of weeks ago. From the creators of WASABi in suddenly-hot Castleberry Hill comes White Elephant, which offers south-siders traditional, super tasty Thai specialties in a sleek and modern setting. The menu even boasts sake cocktails (coming soon)--a far cry from the run-of-the-mill bottles and pints you’ll find in East Point’s nearby eateries. Be warned though: portions are a bit small for the price, but with selections that transcend BBQ or lemon pepper and offerings that include all the colors of curry, White Elephant is a most welcome addition to the neighborhood.



Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

The Brake Pad
Your friend calls you as you turn into your seventh loop around the airport, informing you that she is not on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson, she’s still in Buffalo or Memphis or wherever the hell she’s been for the past week. This gives you two hours to either: A) park the car and rack up a garage bill while you down beers at the soulless Houlihan's in the airport atrium; or B) drive a couple miles north on I-85, get off at the second Virginia Ave exit, and find your way to Brake Pad Restaurant and Bar. Part of the group of sister bars that includes Moe’s & Joe’s and 97 Estoria, Brake Pad is an ideally located spot to have a drink and a bite before heading back to the airport--not to mention the fact that it might entice you to return to College Park before the next friend goes out of town.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  J.E. Kemp

Day & Night Cab Co.
I have a theory that Atlanta cabbies are the burnouts who couldn’t cut it in New York City. Sure, they share the same utter disregard for their fellow drivers and basic traffic laws as their Big Apple brethren. But what they lack is a fundamental knowledge of the city, a characteristic considered prerequisite in every city except Atlanta. Nor do they hold convenience in any esteem. More than likely, you won’t be able to flag down a cabbie when you really need one. Instead, find them: 1) at the airport or possibly the MARTA station; 2.) stopped on some random residential road in the tri-Cities area; or 3) camped out in the parking lots of some of the Atlanta’s smarmier hotels. Be sure you know where you’re going before dealing with one of our fair city’s cabbies because chances are they won’t.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  J.E. Kemp

Starlite Cantina
They never get my Chimichanga right. Never. So why do I keep coming back? I’ll tell you why. The cheap ass drinks. $2 frozen margaritas early in the week, 16 oz. draught beers for $1.25 on hump day, $1.50 bottles on the weekend, and ginormous on-the-rocks (the best way to go) pitchers for $17 all week long. That and it’s the only chips-and-salsa-givin’ margarita-pitcher-pourin’ patio-havin’ hashery that’s close enough to my house to stumble home from if I absolutely have to. Sure, the grub they’re shlepping—complete with yellow rice and a puddle-o-beans—ain’t that great. And it can be a little, um, odd. Once I found two soft cubes of carrot and potato that couldn’t possibly have been a garnish perched on the rim of my Combo #3. But it’ll do in a pinch. And hey, they’ll top your entire plate with gooey, mouth-coating cheese dip (which is actually pretty good) for just a buck. What’s not to love about that? Word to the wise: The margaritas are strong. If you can spare the extra change, upgrade to top-shelf. Your hangover will thank you for it.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  J.E. Kemp

Manchester Arms
Ah, Virginia Avenue in College Park. Sure, you’re only down on the south side because your old college roomie’s flight arrives soon, but damn it, you’re hungry! Your choices: crappy chain, crappy chain, crappy chain specializing in toxic fish (we’re not naming names but feel free to Google “deadly dining in Atlanta”). Not quite up for it? Then head west a few blocks from I-85 to the charming and reasonably-priced Manchester Arms. Sure, the only true “British” food on the menu are predictable standbys—Shepherd’s pie, Bangers and Mash, Yorkshire pudding—you get the idea. But the Fish and Chips are quite possibly the best in Atlanta, the cheeseburger (yes, the cheeseburger) is surprisingly something-to-write-home-about and they always pour a nice pint of Boddingtons. Oh, and the specials are consistently good, too. Added bonus: For you suckers who took MARTA down, Manchester Arms is conveniently located a few blocks off the infamous “+” that our transit system carves through the city.



Posted By:  Jennifer Kornder
Photo:  Jennifer Kornder

I arrived at the Steak and Ale to meet Grandma’s cousin from Florida, a lovely septuagenarian named Rayanne who washed her steak down with a gin martini and Rayanne’s lovely granddaughter Amber, who drank beer alongside her Grandma while discussing her ardor for hippie music festivals and botany. I assumed the cuisine at this establishment would include the most sumptuous steak and heartily foaming ale that was ever set before me. Alas, Steak & Ale: you do not deliver the riches your name promises. The steak was serviceable, but I could have done better in the privacy of my own kitchen, where I would not have been subjected to the insipid offerings of the tiny, iced-over salad bar. Although the plates were frozen together, I did manage to gather a heap of lovely mayonnaise-coated delicacies such as pasta and potato salad. In spite of its shortcomings, I have to recommend the Steak & Ale not only for its high camp appeal, but for its utter lack of pretense. In the holiday season they offer such delights as the Waldorf salad and a roasted hazelnut martini. If only Grandma weren’t going on a cruise, I would have invited her back there in an artery-clogging heartbeat.




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