Henri’s Bakery is an Atlanta institution, which has been in town, according to their sign, for 80 years. By my arithmetic this store should have opened in 1929, the year of the great stock market crash. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a testament to the quality of this place, and its ability to adapt to the times. There are two locations, one in Buckhead and another in Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs location is found at the northeast corner of the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Roswell Road, in a strip mall that has, among other patrons, a Trader Joes.  This review is exclusively about the Sandy Springs location.

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I came in largely for sandwiches, and after having read Foodie Buddha’s two excellent reviews (here and here), mostly focusing on the Buckhead location. Therefore, I knew what I wanted to try and I was going to be sure to have it made fresh. And even though I arrived at the peak of lunch hour on a week day, the crowds were light and I obtained my smoked turkey sandwich on an onion roll pretty fast. I accompanied that with a black bean “salad”. (Just what is the difference between a black bean “salad” and black bean salsa, anyway?)

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Both were good. The serving size of turkey is generous, the roll was good and fresh, and I do like *cough* black bean salads *cough*.  It’s good enough to raise the question of whether it’s comparable to or better than Wright’s Gourmet and Alon’s, both nearby. And I think comparable is about the right scale. All three have strengths and weaknesses compared to the other. But while Henri’s would take me out of my way heading home from work, Alon’s is along the way. That peculiar fact of geography tips my preference to one after work. As a lunch spot,  however, you could roll dice and end up with a delicious sandwich no matter which one was chosen.

Henri’s Bakery
6289 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 256-7934

Henri's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Matthews Cafeteria is in a low lying, single story building along Main Street in Tucker, next to the railroad tracks. A decade ago the building, the cafeteria and its food was a landmark in Tucker and it retains that status to this day. These days, having been featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, it has suddenly acquired a fame it didn’t have before. And I have to be grateful for Matthews new ‘rock star’ status, because without it I couldn’t have convinced my wife to go back there and try it once again.

We were lucky: the line merely began right by the trays and silverware this time. It’s not uncommon to see the line out the door. As in a classic cafeteria, you get to choose what you want to eat. It begins with salads and desserts, proceeds through to the entrees, then sides, then drinks. I had the chicken pot pie, my wife and daughter had the fried chicken. My accompaniments were turnip greens and green beans, my wife had green beans and carrots, my daughter mash potatoes, gravy and fried okra. Serving size, for the most part, varies between large and extra large. The chicken breast my wife received was enormous.

The seating inside is plain, red and white checked tablecloths on tables that easily seat 4. Need more space? Scoot some tables together. The food? I think their sides are excellent, and they are made in the southern style. I tried every side we ordered and they all were very good. The pot pie was extremely good, real chunks of chicken (and the occasional small bone) in the serving. I had a bit of fried drumstick, also good. The desserts suffer a bit compared to the excellent entrees and sides, but overall, the food is quite good.

Afterwards, I was stuffed.

Verdict: Highly recommended, excellent food, exceptional value, if you can get there during their regular hours.

Matthews Cafeteria
2229 Main Street
Tucker GA 30084
(770) 491-9577

Matthews Cafeteria on Urbanspoon

PS — For those who wonder, the episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” that features Matthews can be found on Youtube. And Wayne Wolf, a food blogger who started about the same time I did, has a nice brief review of Matthews.