I know it’s finally cooling off outside, and you’ve probably started stringing your Christmas lights – but believe it or not, it’s still autumn. And that’s a good thing because fall eats are the best! Squash, pumpkin, persimmon – I’m here for all of it. We’re lucky to live in a city where chefs hone in on seasonal ingredients and make the most of them. Here are the seasonal eats you must try now…before they’re gone!
Cooks & Soldiers is a happening spot on the Westside specializing in Basque-inspired cuisine. You haven’t lived until you’ve indulged in one of their bikini sandwiches (white American cheddar, Jamon Iberico, and black truffle). But those are around all year, and right now we’re talking about fall items. Two dishes I tried recently that really stood out are the Cordoniz and the persimmon salad.
The Cordoniz is a grilled Georgia quail served with mojo picon, hazelnut romesco, and Swiss chard. So tender and grilled to perfection, I resented having to share it. Persimmons seem to be more popular than usual this year and I’m here for it. This salad is lovely with buffalo milk mozzarella, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin seed oil.
White Chili and Pimento Cheese Salad at Gusto
Gusto is one of my favorite fast-casual restaurants in Atlanta. Not only do they have plenty of light options, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to eat there. Also, they serve house-made sweet potato chips that are TO DIE FOR. Enough said. Their fall/winter special is the white bean chili puree with pimento cheese salad. I like to put mine on a blend of rice and greens so I can feel like I’m indulging and behaving at the same time.
Who doesn’t love PIE? I’m not going to get into the pie vs. cake debate, but I hope we can all agree that pie is pretty great. Local pie shop Southern Baked Pie Co. slings some of the best pie around, and I’m especially fond of this cranberry apple crumb pie. It’s tangy, sweet, and has a nice crunch factor thanks to that topping.
Chef Scotley Innis took over as executive chef of 5Church last spring and has made his mark on the menu. There are straightforward dishes ( i.e. steak, salmon) but he always adds a dash of flair. Sometimes it’s with Caribbean touches (an homage to his roots), other times it’s just bold flavors. Of the fall dishes I tried recently, the one that stood out the most was the pomegranate pork chop with sweet potato puree, heirloom beans, and pomegranate jus. It just screams FALL and that pork was oh so succulent.
There’s a new pop sheriff in town and his name is Steel City Pops. A rapidly expanding popsicle chain out of Birmingham, Steel City makes pops that pack a flavor punch. Their first Atlanta store is in charming Decatur (where it’s greater), just a few steps away from the square. I tried most of their fall flavors, and besides this cranberry pop, the apple cinnamon and buttermilk flavors were standouts. Sorry, sugared cranberries not included.
I know. “Kale salad” doesn’t sound super exciting, but the kale salad on Saltyard’s lunch menu is truly delicious. Saltyard only recently started serving lunch and it’s been a nice addition to the lunch rotation. The space is quite sunny, and the lunch offerings are light and seasonal. Here, massaged kale gets tossed with pickled shitakes, feta, and pecan vinaigrette. It’s tangy, crisp, and pairs nicely with an order of their grilled chicken.