Dessert


Cute. Fun. Has my family completely hooked. Those are just a couple of the phrases that describe Five Spot Frozen Yogurt on Scenic Highway. It’s located next to the Panera’s near the corner of Ronald Reagan and Highway 124.

The deal? Choose one (or two, or three) of dozens of yogurt flavors, pour on toppings, and then have your creation weighed and pay for what you buy. It reminds me a bit of Chow Baby or Genghis Grill, but for yogurt instead. I can’t say that I’ve seen many of the modern yogurt outlets, but if this is an example of frozen yogurt, 21st century style, I’m giving this style my wholehearted approval.

Five Spot Frozen Yogurt
1905 Scenic Hwy
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 979-8008

Five Spot Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

The Pie Hole is Alayne Graham’s homage to one of the oldest and most treasured desserts, the pie. The shop is small, neat, and pretty, but clearly the work of a single individual. The day we arrived she was replacing her freezer. She had managed to outgrow her old one.

The offerings are seasonal, based on what Alayne can get. What you as a customer can get are marked on a blackboard. To my untrained eyes, the costs seem entirely reasonable for a hand made product. To note, many of the pies are simply huge, especially Pie Hole’s apple. My wife was openly comparing this restaurant with Houston’s House of Pies, which we both love.

I wasn’t able to eat anything, so comments on taste are based on second hand experience. My wife had a slice of the cherry pie, liked it immensely, and called the cherries ‘humongous’. My daughter had a slice of the mango key lime pie, which she liked. The conversation went something like this:

“I just had the mango pie. It was good.”

“Pretty good, good, or really good?”

“It was good.”

In any event, the Pie Hole is away from the street in a small building, up in the part of Canton Street that are remodeled homes. It’s perhaps 1-2 blocks north of Ceviche, on the right hand side as you’re heading north. A small waist high sign is the only thing you see as you’re traveling along the road.

Verdict: As good as its reputation, the Pie Hole is a must-stop-by in my book. Very Highly Recommended.

The Pie Hole
1025 Canton Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(678) 461-3776

The Pie Hole on Urbanspoon

Seen on Holcombe Bridge near the merge with Jimmy Carter, in the same spot where a Black Eyed Pea stood some 15 years ago, is a new Taiwanese eatery. It’s not quite open yet, but the bright yellow color scheme makes it stand out.

I know of one other Taiwanese eatery, and that’s the Bento Cafe, in the same strip mall as Kokai Thai, just east of Jimmy Carter and I-85 in Norcross. It will be interesting to compare the two when this thing opens. Bento was a place I’d eat at regularly three-four years ago, when I was working in Norcross. I now have a review of Bento Cafe.

I’ve also wanted for many days to capture the look of the Bakery Cafe Maum “Castle” on Buford Highway. Here are some photos of that eatery.

Fenton’s Creamery and Restaurant is well over 100 years old, and it maintains its heritage by making its own ice cream on site, keeping quality high and serving size large.  We were taken here by friends in Oakland, though it took a couple trips around the blocks to actually find parking. Once there, the ice cream was rich and memorable, the cream content high, the flavors delectable. Fenton’s is able to handle large groups well, and as we had about twenty kids aged 12 to 72 at our table, we felt well served.

Verdict: Excellent ice cream, good for families and friends. Very Highly recommended.

Fenton's Ice Cream Parlor on Urbanspoon

The first time I noticed Bruster’s Ice Cream was when they replaced Holt Brother’s Barbecue on Jimmy Carter. Since that time they’ve expanded and put locations in many parts of the Atlanta metropolitan area.  The one in Snellville is just to the south of the Highway 78-Scenic Highway intersection, on the portion of Scenic Highway headed towards Stonecrest/Lithonia.

I think the first time I tried Bruster’s Ice Cream was in Snellville, in a moment when I was thinking nothing could be as good as the super premiums I used to get in Houston TX (As John Scar notes in this thread, Neal’s Ice Cream we miss you). Well, to say that Bruster’s surprised me was an understatement.

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Brusters offers an excellent premium ice cream, with a lot of flavor and a lot of fat. I’m not going to name many specific flavors, though this night I believe I had a raspberry white chocolate. They serve cups, cones, and a good frozen yogurt. And they attract crowds – perhaps two dozen on the summer night we visited, some in front and others in the back, as the Snellville location has a gazebo in the back.

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To my taste buds this is some of the best chain ice cream in Atlanta, no questions asked. My only mistake was in not trying Brusters sooner.

Verdict: Excellent premium ice cream. High in fat and flavor. Highly recommended.

Bruster’s Ice Cream
2324 Scenic Highway
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 985-6660

Bruster's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

The Blue Rooster Cafe and Bakery is a small restaurant on Main Street in Lilburn, a pretty building with a blue and cream color theme. The cafe itself is connected to a red colored annex called “The Hen House”, a larger structure that’s easier to see. It’s in a tiny connected ‘strip mall’ in the old section of Lilburn, not that far from the police station and city hall.

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I came here with my daughter around 11:30am on a weekday, to see what the place was like. Inside, it has an old country look, with cream walls and a lot of blue trim. Paintings of roosters and ceramic roosters are everywhere. The roof is industrial, painted in blue, and in the main portion of the restaurant, there are about 4 booths and 8 tables. There are additional tables in the annex, some of them long, and suitable for families or parties. There is also outside seating, about 5 sets of black iron tables and chairs, under umbrellas.

Inside, there are bakery cabinets in an ‘L’ shape in the back of the room, and blackboards on the walls have the offerings of the day written in colored chalk.  The menu tends to breakfast items, soups and salads, sandwiches, both cold and grilled on panini bread. This day, they had a special, fried chicken with two sides for $6.95. My daughter ordered the special and I ordered a Cuban panini sandwich ($8.50).

My daughter’s meal came out almost immediately. Cutlery is plastic and sealed, and the plates are also disposables.  My sandwich took a bit longer, but pretty soon they called my name and I received a healthy sized panini, grill marks evident on the bread.

My daughter’s chicken came with macaroni and cheese and also green beans. I got a taste of all of her dishes. The chicken was tender, salt and pepper evident in the batter but not overwhelming. I found the chicken to be reasonably spiced. My daughter liked it better with some hot sauce on it. The macaroni and cheese was good, the green beans were decent. The panini was a healthy chunk of ham and pork, pickles and cheese, and it tasted really good. I’m happy I got my sandwich, to be honest.

By the time we started eating, the restaurant started filling up. They had clientele of all ages, from teens in party dresses to grey haired elders. The atmosphere was a lot like an old fashioned southern tea house, and there were a lot of people just taking their time while they ate.

One of the more exotic visitors

One of the more exotic visitors to Blue Rooster

Verdict: A slice of the old south in old downtown Lilburn. If you like to relax a little while you eat, highly recommended.

The Blue Rooster Cafe and Bakery
107 Main Street
Lilburn GA, 30047
(770) 931-2445

Hours:
8am to 4pm Mon-Thurs and Saturday
8am to 8pm Friday

Blue Rooster Cafe on Urbanspoon

The easiest way to get to the Blue Rooster Cafe, if you’re coming from Snellville and heading west down Killian Hills Road, is to look for Poplar Street on the left and exit there. Poplar will run into Main Street. Blue Rooster is about a block away on the right if you turn left onto Main.

Marble Slab Creamery is an ice cream chain that resembles Cold Stone Creamery in their interest in providing not ice cream, but mixtures of ice cream with other products, called “mixins”. This makes their introductory products a bit more expensive than say, Carvels, as their one scoop “Original” runs about $3.50 (with one “mixin”). Like Cold Stone Creamery, there were only about 15 ice cream flavors available that day. Also like Cold Stone Creamery, they have a very cold stone slab on which they mix ice cream with whatever bit of goodness you choose. Notable however are the list of “tested” mixes already available. These “Tasty Creations” were combinations of ice cream and one or two additional mixins from the “Original”.

It was mid day when I went with my daughter. She ordered a Peanut Butter Crunch ‘Tasty Creation’ on a waffle cone and I ordered the ‘Tasty Creation’ White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl, also on a cone. There was a line that day and it took a while to get there, but our server was both efficient and gracious and the final product quite good. She was low on White Chocolate that day, so used some Sweet Cream Ice Cream to make up the difference. Personally, I really didn’t notice. Caramel, chocolate, and raspberry flavors dominated in my cone, and my daughter’s cone had the nutty flavor she craved.

The cones were melting quickly once we got outside; and serving size is large. So we ate what we wanted, discarded the rest. It’s good ice cream, and a nicely done mixin concept. They also offer smoothies and ice cream cakes, and you can cater their services as well.

Verdict: Very nice ice cream based products. If you’re willing to pay the small premium for their Tasty Creations, it’s well worth it.

Marble Slab Creamery
1690 Scenic Highway North
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 982-1049

Marble Slab Creamery on Urbanspoon

Alon’s Bakery and Market, Dunwoody edition, is the bigger, brasher, brighter counterpart to the Virginia Highlands location. Gone is the small quaint shop, but in return there is more access, and more space. Included in the size increase is a richer selection of sweets and breads, more market items, a coffee shop, substantial amounts of inside and outside seating, and loads more parking space.

For people who commute along 285 to get home, this location offers much more access to Alon’s sandwiches and goods. I’ve been here at least three times since I located it.  It’s relatively easy to get to once you exit 285 onto Ashford Dunwoody and head north. It’s opposite Perimeter Mall, and it’s the largest component of the complex of restaurants and shops it is found in. Like Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, it’s close enough to the loop to make it a very short detour on the way home.

Things I like about this Alon’s: they have a lot of sandwich sized breads, and they are inexpensive. Between the breads, a lot of vegetarian prepared foods, and at least one vegetarian sandwich, they make it easy to drop meat for a day or more, should you desire. If you want to feed your inner carnivore, the meats they do offer are high quality and delicious. Need something cold and sweet? They have gelato and sorbet at this location.

Verdict: Great sandwiches, prepared foods, exotic soft drinks,  quality breads and desserts. Highly recommended.

Alon’s Bakery and Market
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346
(678) 397-1781

Alon's Bakery and Market on Urbanspoon

Cold Stone Creamery is next to Macaroni Grill in the Avenue Webb Ginn  shopping center, and it’s mostly glass, neat and clean. There are maybe a dozen flavors of ice cream in the place, or maybe 15, but ice cream isn’t the big deal here. It’s all about the “mix ins”.

You choose an ice cream and they take a big hunk of it and start working with it on this “cold stone”. And yes, it’s really stone and I saw them scraping ice off it, so it is really cold. And between the spot where I ordered my ice cream (butter pecan) and the middle of the stone are dozens and dozens of things to mix in, from Butterfingers and Heath Bars to jelly candies, sparkles, bits of chocolate and bits of nuts. I asked the store clerk what he liked, and so we mixed in “graham cracker crust”, I believe.

What you end up with is something more malleable and immediately edible than the cold spheres of pralines and cream I remember from my childhood, and because of the mix in, there is a serious contrast in flavor and texture.

In short Coldstone Creamery isn’t about pure ice cream as much as making something good that starts with ice cream. And the result was creamy, cold, and had wonderful contrast going from the cold butter pecan to the warmer, crumbly bits of graham cracker. I would never know exactly what I would bite into.

If there is a downside to Coldstone, it’s that a single cup is a dollar more expensive than Carvel’s, and that doesn’t count the mix ins beyond the first one.

Verdict: Recommended. Cold creamy ice cream products. Better for those who want to mix stuff up and eat it.

Coldstone Creamery
1350 Scenic Highway N, #824
Snellville GA 30078
(770) 982-4030

Cold Stone Creamery on Urbanspoon

This was a last minute choice on a day when my wife wasn’t feeling well. She asked me to pick up some food and bring it home. Usually that means heading to an ethnic restaurant and getting a few items to go. But we had been wanting to find Alon’s Bakery and Market for some time. So I didn’t tell her I was heading that way. I wanted it to be a surprise.

Alon’s can be difficult to find. As you near it from the north, it seems a dozen roads spin off in every direction. It’s easy to get lost. This time, though, I stayed to the right when the road split. Soon, I spied the sign I had seen in so many web pages and managed to find a parking spot. Once parked, I called and let my wife know where I was.

Once inside of Alon’s, the store has a way of just making you stop, look, and stare at the items they offer. I can’t begin to encompass all they sell, but the first thing you see are danish and cookies, then small desserts. Alon’s sells breads as well, but I didn’t see any, as it was late in the day. Next was a sandwich ‘booth’, then prepared foods. And that’s just the left side. On the right there were fine cheeses, other dairy products, items like truffle oil, an assortment of hard to find soft drinks, and fine canned goods.

So, to start, I got some cookies and a danish. I picked up three desserts, a lemon square, a small apple based dessert, and a cheesecake tart. Three sandwiches followed (turkey, pastrami and ham), then small salads: chickpea and feta, a tabouleh salad, and orzo, chicken and cashews.  I ended with a couple sodas (Fentiman’s Ginger Beer, and Gale’s Root Beer).

Once home, I unpacked everything and people took what they wanted. I ended up with the roast beef sandwich and the beef was fresh and cool, the bread crusty and excellent, the sandwich quite good. My wife really liked the turkey, commented on the quality of the meat and my daughter’s sandwich was finished before I could ask her about what she ate. The salads went over well. I like the orzo salad the most, my wife was partial to the chickpea salad. My daughter came back for seconds on all of them.

The desserts were very good. I thought the apple dessert was exceptional, the cheesecake tart very good. My daughter liked the lemon square, but wanted a bit more flavor from it. The cookies, oatmeal raisin bites, were popular as well.

For those who don’t want to treat this as a place ‘to go’ there is outdoor seating though not a whole lot of it. The sightseeing in the area is pretty special, though. It’s not every day you see someone park their greyhound outside and then go shopping for food.

Verdict: Unusually good place to buy sandwiches, bread, prepared foods and desserts. Charming, a visual eyeful. Highly recommended.

Alon’s Bakery and Market
1394 N. Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 872-6000

Alon's Bakery and Market on Urbanspoon

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