NFT Atlanta Midtown

Midtown

A true live-work-play community, Midtown boasts a dynamic gay population, a bustling business center, and a lively arts scene. Piedmont Park is a city treasure. Ponce De Leon Ave retains its seedy charm, despite yuppie development. Much of the work on shiny new condo high rises is nearing completion in Midtown, and the construction cranes have flow south to erect similar creations in the Poncey Highlands.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Biking Atlanta

By Sara Cheshire
In this car crazy city, it's a wonder anyone gets around by bicycle. But more and more folks (thankfully) are taking the plunge. Web Contributor Sara Cheshire hops on her bike and takes a death defying tour around Atlanta. Come along for the ride...
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Guide to Entertaining Tourists

By Sara Cheshire
It's not just peach tree climbing anymore.

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Atlanta's BeltLine Is A Reality

By Jason Cent
Like Atlanta's crazy traffic? Didn't think so. So how is Atlanta doing to deal with its ever-growing congestion? Jason Cent is here to examine the issues and offer Atlanta some hope.

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A Walk in the Park

By Mariam Qureshi
A dog in a park, like a dog in a bun. Has there ever been a more decorous union? No, there has not.



Read More...
...But My In-Laws Don't Drink

By Jared Cobb
So find a nice place to walk with them then. Like a sports bar, a Civil War burial ground or a park.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Mediterranean Grill
For big eaters like moi, a fulfilling meal under $7 is about as common as a Black Bear sighting in the suburbs. It happens, usually near garbage, but not often. After years of driving by, I decided last week to try the Mediterranean Grill in Midtown, tucked in a tiny shopping center where Virginia Ave. spills into Piedmont Park. The Chicken Kabob Sandwich, Kufta Kabob, the Shish or tasty Gyro can be married with a wonderful Greek salad and fountain drink for $6.49. We ordered the large (i.e., Frisbee-sized) hummus, which was overkill given the sandwich portions. During the week, don’t miss the Business Lunch Special, a veritable cornucopia of Mediterranean fare (also $6.49). My only gripe: the "patio" leaves one wanting. Two tiny outdoor tables don’t suffice when Piedmont/Midtown views are so prominent.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Richards Variety Store
Richards Variety Store is like the Dollar Tree with a philosophy degree. It gets it on some higher plane. A staple in the Buckhead area for 60 years, this family-run biz branched out to Midtown cattycorner Piedmont Park a while back. I bought my mother a book for Christmas there, "The Friars Club's Dirtiest Jokes." I was reading it in line, LMAO. I treated myself to the Salman Rushdie-edited Best American Short Stories of 2008 and a good half-hour of wandering. They sell toys for kids whose parents smoke pot. Their greeting card aisles shine with witty one-liners and vintage photography. Wacky without being too kitschy or downright vulgar, Richards Variety Store is an unexpected jewel.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Las Palmeras
Aficionados of Cuban cuisine swear by the country's eponymous sandwich at Las Palmeras. They call it the most authentic offered in our fair city. Most authentic or not, I think it ranks with that of its Midtown brethren, Papi's, as the most delicious, especially since the sad, fiery demise of Havana Sandwich Shop. Las Palmeras, a quaint eatery on a quiet and leafy residential street, is worth the labyrinth of one-ways you'll traverse to find it. Try the authentic BBQ for a starkly non-Southern version of smoked pork. Top that with the moros, a combination of rice and beans, and you're skating out for under $9. The nearly $4 house salad is tiny and overpriced--though the dressing is killer--and the fried yucca can lean toward greasy. The primary drawback to Las Palmeras (and I don't consider the plastic tables and chairs to occupy that category) is that it's open only Wednesday through Saturday. Which makes those haphazard visits that much more difficult. Pop in the tiny market next door for a decidedly odd shopping experience. Dusty, 2004 NCAA Tournament hats, anyone?



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Silver Midtown Grill
Look, you won’t find the Silver Midtown Grill in the pages of Haute Cuisine. What you will find here is ceaseless hospitality and big, hangover-friendly meals a stone’s throw from Piedmont Park. The amiability of the Silver’s waitstaff could put a boatload of Wal-Mart greeters to shame. They value your patronage, and you leave with not only a happy belly, but with the too-rare satisfaction that you’ve actually helped, in some small way, keep a good place afloat. They’ve been serving breakfast staples here since World War II. They’ve diversified in recent years with offerings like the tasty grilled chicken omelet and Thursday and Friday night all-you-can-eat catfish specials. Amazingly, in this zone that seems to predate technology, there’s free Wi-Fi. Open daily before the crack of dawn.  



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Amsterdam Walk
This oft-forgotten nook off Monroe Avenue plays host to an array of shopping and nightlife. Here you can do pilates, sample the city's most famous tapas, buy outlandish doggy toys, and tote home a several thousand dollar couch. Amsterdam Walk abuts Piedmont Park and is girded by tony Intown enclaves like Morningside and Virginia-Highland. Perhaps the coolest part is that Amsterdam Walk bucks the trite, boxy, stacked-stone look of the city's shopping-center abyss. It's a cool shade of red, with the Midtown skyline peeking over. I've never had to search more than five seconds for parking, but then again I've only found myself at this concealed Walk twice.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Papi's East Cuban Cuisine
For such a prominent storefront, it's amazing how few people know about Papi's, the cheapest and most flavorful route to East Cuba in the ATL. Those who know this corner shop with towering windows at Ponce and Myrtle Street swear by it. What's not to love about a gut-busting $6.75 lunch plate--heaps of beans and yellow rice, lovely when mixed together in a runny pile, and your choice of delectable sandwich. There's a revolving menu with daily specials, and the plantains are syrupy morsels of glee. Recently I tried the Ropa Vieja, a surprisingly tender shredded beef concoction that melts when chewed. The Pollo Cuban (pronounced: po-yo) is drenched, much like the original Cuban, in Papi's dynamite secret sauce, only with juicy chicken. The staff--a friendly, inviting crew, aside from the cross cashier--seems to have these recipes threaded through their ancestry. I hear there's a subsidiary of Papi's out in some Kennesaw mall, but who the hell cares?



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

The Tenth
For all its bizarre clash of interior decorative themes, The Tenth seems viciously focused when dolling out authentic Thai cuisine, even the stuff that's sans curry. The food is direct and unpretentious, the wait staff eerily good. You've probably seen the place a million times--oh, honey, what a cool patio--but neglected to stop. You should. The Masaman Curry ($10.95) is coconut-infused and light but deceptively filling, what with the tall cone of rice and all. The Pak Kee-Mow ($9.95) is a more basil-heavy affair, buoyed by sauteed flat rice noodles and spicy chili sauce. Delicious. On Sundays stop in for $5 sangria martinis--yeah, you read that right--and despite the pucker-inducing visual, they're tart, sweet, joyful concoctions. There's also $3 beers, but don't get your hopes up. The beer's Bud Light. Enjoy the no-frills Tenth while you can. Rumor has it a real estate magnate plans to turn this entire block into an office-tower/tourist-attraction, should the economy ever resurface from the toilet.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

F.R.O.G.S. Cantina Midtown
Tequila, it's been said, should come with bail money. Sixty thousand people leaving a concert who collectively decide to down tequila by the fistful should come with riot police. The last time I hit F.R.O.G.S., one of the largest outdoor shows in Atlanta's history had just dispersed from Piedmont's lawn, and all these clamoring idiots made a break for this tequila haven and its famed patio with sweeping, parking-lot views. It was like Oz, only golden. Goddamn they've got a lot of tequila here. A whole wall. The bartender handed me samples in a tiny ladle. I don't know why. The food seemed okay, but who knows? Popular logic bashes the service as something akin to cooling lava. Advice: drink tequila when you don't give two fucks what time it is. And that acronym...it stands for absolutely nothing.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

MetroFresh
Eating here makes you feel cleaner. That's the only way to explain it. Like you’ve done your body a favor, purged some long-lodged McNugget crumbs from your intestines. Everything about the Midtown Promenade’s MetroFresh--from the day-glow interior, to the chipper staff and go-green ideology of the place--feels disinfected. Enough to make you rise up and gaily shout their catchphrase “I’m a “MetroFreshual!” Featuring a constantly reshuffled menu, the deli/restaurant is a vegetarian’s wonderland that caters to carnivores as well (the turkey chili is the shit). Should you belong to a gym, you’d be well-advised to bring your pass these days and get 10 percent off after 5 pm. Yeah, it’s that kinda place. Fun facts: MetroFresh was started by a Hollywood-actor-turned-cook who once played Doogie Howser’s sidekick, was eaten by a shark in Jaws, The Revenge and who, most interestingly of all, raped Reba McIntyre onscreen.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

MetroFresh
The dystopian modern world: individuals strive solely for their own personal gain. Families don't see each other, friendly neighborhoods are subdivisioned and "selflessness" is usually only seen under "S" in the dictionary. Enter a twist on the 21st century: MetroFresh--a highlands-based bistro ready and willing to give back, without undue self-satisfied humanitarianism. Imagine: menus that change daily to reflect and support fellow friends in the restaurant industry. Community service beyond the boundaries of pro bono organizations and state penitentiary sentences. Sure, MetroFresh asks a lot from its band of loyal customers. But it’s no more than what they already expect from themselves. And the return is never short of priceless--where a portion of sales is donated to charities like Gilda's Club, AIDS Walk Atlanta, and PALS, while in-store fundraisers continue to heighten awareness and funds. Quite admirable, really. It's citywide, fresh, forward thinking toward a better tomorrow.




Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Einstein's
You know a restaurant's onto something in relentlessly evolving Atlanta when it claims a history dating way back to, say, 1991. That' practically Mesozoic in The Big Peach. Einstein's--the pretty, stony cafe/lounge at the corner of Juniper and 12th--is old school like that, and understandably so. Einstein's spans the length of three interconnected 1920s bungalows in the heart of Midtown, literally in the shadows of the city's cosmopolitan revolution. The gigantic outdoor patio--nearly a quarter-block long--offers ample seating and spectacular views, even as the grabby brunch herd stomps in on Sundays. For lunch, don't miss the tantalizing Einstein Grille, a blend of turkey and bacon between what tastes like two thick slices of French Toast. If you can stomach the thwack of jackhammers and the whiz of buzz saws--all courtesy of the massive 12th & Peachtree development rising to the skies next door--Einstein's is a can't-miss for casual, flavorful dining with style to boot.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

Nickiemoto
I don't know what it is: the big honking rainbow pride flag billowing over the entrance way, the hospitality of the transvestite host (ess), or the unmistakably unique array of nigiri and raw bar rolls that set this midtown sushi spot apart from the competition. Nickiemoto's is all about standing out in a crowd. And why not dive into the sea of something different? Who knows, maybe the eel isn't as intimidating as it looks (or as chewy). Maybe, just maybe, it falls into a taboo category, plays with our inhibitions and when we cower with fear, pokes a pointy finger and laughs with a hearty Nelson "Haw Haw!" Maybe we should just get over ourselves and try the damn thing. And damn, it's pretty good. No worries, your server will hopefully refrain from singing "I told you so."



Posted By:  Carrie Neal Walden
Photo:  Carrie Neal Walden

Mary Mac's Tea Room
Want a taste of the Real Deep South, even in this modern world? Then Mary Mac's Tea Room is your spot. Whether you're a Yankee transplant or a born-and-bred grits-eater, Mary Mac's will take you back. Pics of Old Atlanta line the walls and you can tell not much has changed about the place (despite the three owners) since it first opened its doors nearly 60 years ago. Try the pot likker--it's famous, trust me!--and save room for dessert. You won't be disappointed. Oh, and in case you thought they were too old school . . . you can also order Mary Mac's to-go online!



Posted By:  Paul Francis
Photo: 

Easily the best Latin dancehall in Atlanta, Loca Luna also boasts an impressive menu. Loca Luna recently moved to a new location on Amsterdam Avenue, but they managed to preserve their excellent and unique vibe. It still feels like you just stepped into a local, hip, South Beach club, especially when it’s warm outside, the music is blaring, and the number of patrons—usually a mix of beautiful young people and some aging hipsters—is at its peak for the night. There’s a competent house band that plays on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. Chances are that you’ll find yourself returning to Loca Luna for more fun nights and excellent Latin cuisine.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

Jock's and Jill's Midtown
Jocks and Jills can get their fill of sports, of poker, and booze. Wednesday at eight, order a plate; bring all your friends and schmooze. Practice your scream at every big screen; choose a burger to have and to hold. The game begins, collect your wins, follow in suit with finger-food and a fold. If it’s lucky you feel, then on this deal raise the stakes before the flop. Beaming with wit, that you’re full of shit, a lucky turn of the River and you’re back on top. Back in the game from behind, you’re now the big blind so you might at well give it a go. Sip your third glass of the night, the pot is right and you’ve got pocket sevens to show. When the game is done and you’ve had your fun collect your house cash at the door. Or you can stay and watch the (cough) Falcons play then come back next week for more.



Posted By:  Mark Rogers
Photo: 

Nancy Solomon’s space on Monroe is unassuming; you would not know it was there unless you were heading to an opening. Here, you can get a good long look at visual art in a variety of mediums—it’s not like the MOMA or the High where you are herded past masterpieces with a crush of tourists whose cameras seem surgically mounted to their faces. At Solomon Projects, you can reflect unhurriedly on a handful of well-chosen pieces. I am no elitist, but this work is created by esteemed artists; Nancy has an eye for the unique and the cutting edge; she is a buyer for some of Atlanta’s discriminating patrons. I have seen cutting-edge photography exhibits one month and come back for lectures and talks by a visiting artist the next. The gallery is spacious and the clientele is inquisitive and personable. I’ve had enlightening conversations with artist and art-enthusiast alike and have walked away moved by the passionate opinions as well as their observations. Recently, a lecture series was launched; in the recent past, there was a thunderous opening featuring the indie-rock outfit Hot Young Priest; live music rockin’ at an opening is just another thing that makes Solomon Projects such a destination. Take that, High Museum!



Posted By:  Lauren Begnaud
Photo:  Lauren Begnaud

Piedmont Park
That’s right…you heard me! Over in Texas we’ve heard of their whopping 20+ inches (everything’s bigger right?), and up in the north, flooding has been prominent. But now, in a technical draught, Atlanta is finally getting a drop or two of its own. And believe me, the rain is long overdue. The days have been escalating to the mid 90s in temperature, and many counties are on severe water restrictions. The garden savvy and lawn lovers will be happy to know rain is in the future forecast. Grab your goulashes and roll your car windows up during the day, well…unless you want to get your butt wet.



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Beth Malone

Good, cheap eats, plenty of parking, and quick service. If Majestic is the place that everyone goes for breakfast at least once, then Eats is the place we all try for lunch. Boys with Rod Stewart haircuts work behind the counter. A few questionable folks hang outside the doors on Ponce, be prepared. There are two lines to choose from once inside Eats—pasta and vegetable/meat. Be quick and pick wisely. In the pasta line, go with the tortellini in alfredo sauce topped with broccoli. It’s delicious. The pesto is oily, avoid it. Another wise option is the spinach fettuccine and turkey marinara. In the meat line, get the turkey meatloaf. I have a real personal problem with chicken, but I suppose if you like it, give the jerk chicken a taste. It put them on the map. The cous cous is dry, sweet potatoes are small and the broccoli is perfectly blanched—I love all 3. I always over eat at Eats. They give you way too much food; I solve this problem by drinking a $3 PBR.



Posted By:  Deanna Jue
Photo:  Deanna Jue

Tucked away in the Ponce Springs building, the exceptional food hopefully distracts diners at Re’past from the occasional siren—wielding police car whizzing down North Avenue. Owned by husband and wife chefs Joe and Mihoko, they’ve poured passion and expertise into the creation of the menu and atmosphere. The space has patio, indoor and private dining with an open kitchen covered in casual elegance. No pretense here. The menu includes everyday dishes dressed up like tomato fennel soup and a kobe beef burger, but also has more adventurous dishes like Mihoko’s macrobiotic composition and spiced rubbed quail. Specialty dishes like sweetbread (thyroid gland of some animal or another) also grace the menu. As we ate dessert, Joe came to our table and chatted about the Atlanta dining scene and a bit about their philosophy. Natives of Louisiana and Japan, the duo have combined chef experience spanning several New York restaurants and an impressive roster of hotels, and their diversity of experiences translates well onto a dinner plate. Re’past has quietly been gaining a foothold in the Atlanta marketplace through word of mouth and critical acclaim. Pass it on.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

Trader Joe's
In a country of gluttons, it’s a wonder we have so many health food stores. Yet unlike Harry’s and Whole Foods, you don’t feel like you’re paying off student loans when you go grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. This market’s popularity in California has brought its organic and all-natural goodness to the East. Although smaller by comparison to its bigger brothers, Trader Joe’s spices up the competition with Two Buck Chuck wines that keep their register lines full and their party hosts happy. Think it can’t get any better than wine for three bucks? Anyone whoever told you there’s no such thing as a free lunch has obviously never been to Trader Joe’s. While you shop, you’ll sip gourmet coffee and munch on free samples normally destined for the likes of surveillance cameras. On the contrary, despite their name and unbeatable organic food prices, try to refrain from bartering with the cashier.




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Restaurants (34)
Nightlife (11)
Shopping (10)
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