The DeKalb Farmer’s Market is the grand daddy of all the large markets in this city, and huge doesn’t begin to cover it.  It’s at the corner of Laredo and Ponce De Leon, and the entrance to De Kalb is one of the four ways you can go at that light.  The parking lot is about a block in size and as large as the lot is, it is equally as large inside. Once inside, there is a vast array of vegetables, about as ordered as any market could be, with the produce marked by country of origin, name, and with a drawing of the produce to boot.

The wines, two aisles of them, are separated by country of origin and type. In between the wine are stacks of beers, everything from Miller Light to Belgian ales. Grains and beans? Just to look at two examples, they had red, green, yellow, brown, and French green (a smaller variety) lentils, along with whole mung beans, and plenty of dals. Quinoa? Not only did they have the white and red varieties, but also wild black quinoa, not seen anywhere else that I’ve looked. Nuts and candied fruits are available in large quantities, neatly sealed in plastic bags.

They have good breads, and one thing I bought the day I was here was a sack full of whole wheat rolls. They were tasty and chewy once I got them home, just perfect. Just past the breads and vegetables is the fish section, which in my opinion is the very best part of this store. When my wife is after the freshest fish she can get, she comes here. She comes here because of the selection of live fish, and the ease with which this place can clean those fish. Perhaps something compares in this city, but I haven’t found it yet.

Meats are past the fish, and they serve a startling variety of product. Besides fine beef, you can get rabbit here, quail and cornish hens, duckling, goat from Australia, and lamb from Colorado. You can get bison, if you want it. A selection of fine cheeses is nearby, slices off large wheels, and the dairy section, also nearby, has items unavailable anywhere else.

Before I do nothing but sing praises to this place, I’ll note a few downsides. It is full of people and often cramped here, more so in the smaller aisles. There are shoppers who park in those narrow aisles with their flock of full grown kids for eternity it seems, blocking everything. If you take a cart inside, PUT SOMETHING IN IT IMMEDIATELY. If you do not, your cart will be taken. Though this is an international market, with international vegetables, it is not a particularly good Asian market, and Asian staples like Asian (often called “Korean”) yams just aren’t here. Go to Super H Mart for those kinds of goods. Meats tend to be pricey and if you want cheap meats, a market like Lilburn International Farmer’s Market is a better choice.

Still, there is nothing like it in the city, and it comes with the highest of recommendations.

From Snellville, perhaps the fastest way to this market would be to head down 78, then south on 285, and take the Ponce De Leon exit westward. An alternative path is to take 78 to Scott Boulevard, Scott down to Clairmont Ave. Head south, and take Clairmont until it ends at Ponce De Leon (hang a left when Clairmont ends). If you get forced left on Commerce, just keep going. It runs into Ponce De Leon as well.

They call them flats, but they look like pizzas to me. They’re oblong ovals, covered with a light sampling of toppings. Mine was an Italian sausage flat, and it was crisp, tasty, and certainly worth the $9.50 I spent to get it.

I wasn’t intending to go to Urban Flats. All I wanted to do was find it. It turns out to be in the same mall area as Red Robin and Ted’s Montana Grill. If you head to Red Robin, you’ll pass Urban Flats on your left.

It was a peculiar time of the day. No one was around, but once I stepped inside I had to see a little more. This is a place with some very promising reviews (here from the AJC and here from Chow Down Atlanta). And it is pretty. Urban Flats has high ceilings, a kind of industrial roof. Most of the clientele this time of the day were female, with cell phones glued to their ears.  Below the roof it has a kind of modern look. I asked to sit at the bar, as it made some sense. They have inside and outside seating, for those wanting some breeze with their food.

Urban Flats is part wine bar, part restaurant and by my count, they had 24 wines on tap, and about 10 different beers on tap. The wines.. I don’t know wine well, but I’m sure they have something you like if you’re into that kind of thing. Beers on tap included Yuengling, Guiness, Bass Ale. In bottles they have a wide range of beers, from Bud Light and Corona to exotic microbrews. I ordered a Guiness and their Italian sausage flat. Atop the glass doors and steel enclosing the wines being tapped is a selection of liquors and liqueurs (I recall a nice big bottle of Drambuie, which my father favors).

Service was very good,  considering the hour I arrived. I had no trouble getting attention when I wanted it, but staff were chatting among themselves, since it was so slow. I can’t give you any indication of how it would be at, say, 9pm at night.

Prices are better than you might expect. If you compare Urban Flat’s prices to Red Robin or Ted’s, they’re about the same. If you compare their flats to Mellow Mushroom‘s small, once you add toppings, they’re about the same. The flatbreads are not competitive with Mellow’s medium or large pizzas, but then again, that’s an entirely different market altogether.

Verdict: I haven’t been here enough to call this more than a first impression, but the restaurant is pretty, the food is good and competitive in price with surrounding restaurants. The beer collection is quite good. Highly recommended if you like wine or beer with your food. Especially recommended if you’re younger and want the possibility of a social scene with your food.

Urban Flats Flatbread Company
1250 Scenic Hwy SW
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
(678) 344-2022

Urban Flats Flatbread Co. on Urbanspoon

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