King BBQ

4195 Avalon Blvd, Alpharetta, GA 30009

When Carey Wise, formerly of Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q in Atlanta, invited me to try out his new barbecue spot at Avalon, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tuck into this ‘cue master’s latest culinary venture.

King Barbecue is in the former Bantam + Biddy location at Avalon, and has a great little patio. It’s a fast-casual barbecue spot, where you order at the counter upon arrival and they bring your food to the table. When we walked in, we were greeted right away. They took our order promptly, and we grabbed a comfortable booth to enjoy our food.

We started with the pimento cheese and crackers, followed by the sliced brisket, chopped pork, smoked sausage, jalapeño cornbread and mac and cheese. Everything was delicious, but I would say the sliced brisket and the jalapeño cornbread were my favorites. They also have a serve-yourself pickle bar!

Overall, the food was delicious, the service was great and the staff was friendly. We also enjoyed the restaurant’s down-home atmosphere, playing a few rounds of Bingo while we ate. On Friday and Saturday nights, King also offers live music. If you’re in the Avalon area, you should definitely check it out. www.kingbarbecueatl.com

Arnette's Chop Shop

2700 Apple Valley Rd NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319

Word of Mouth Restaurant Group opened its latest restaurant — Arnette’s Chop Shop — in Brookhaven in late May, and I couldn’t wait to get back to my old stomping grounds to try it.

The modern steakhouse is located in a renovated warehouse, and offers more than 15 cuts of USDA Prime steak, from a 4-ounce filet to a 40-ounce Tomahawk. That’s a lot of meat!

The restaurant is set up in two levels, with the main dining room and open kitchen on the first level and an open-air bar on the second level. Even if you choose to eat downstairs, definitely check out the second level. On your way upstairs, you walk through a massive steer rib cage!

We opted for a booth on the more casual second level, and dove right in with a few appetizers — Shrimp de Jonghe and Bourbon Bacon. The bacon was so flavorful, but I have to say I prefer my mom’s Shrimp de Jonghe. sorry, Chef Stephen. It's an old family recipe, with lots of butter and garlic.

We followed the apps with the Hearth salad, a filet and the rack of lamb with a side of hash browns. While I missed having mint jelly with my lamb, everything was cooked to order and the service was excellent.

All-in-all, Arnette’s is a beautiful restaurant and well worth a visit. The only drawback might be that the prices seemed a little high, even for in town. I definitely recommend checking it out though — it could be the perfect spot for an anniversary dinner or another special occasion. www.arnetteschopshop.com

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