As football season arrives, Summit’s in Snellville is one of the better football options because of the beer, the food, the screens. Summits will put every NFL game up on Sundays. Their menus are seasonal, a base menu plus extras for the occasion, and as we’re smack in the middle of October, Oktoberfest options are available currently.

This is not the only eatery with Oktoberfest options in the region. Red Robin, in the Shoppes (formerly the Avenue) has an Oktoberfest burger, if you like that kind of thing. But Summit’s tends to provide both unique beers this time of year (for example, a plentiful supply of German wheat, or wit, beers), food options you don’t get any other time (a lot of sausage, or brat, options), on top of the seasonal football.

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One thing I didn’t know they provided were beer flights. This is a pre-selected set of 5 or 6 beers, starting around 10 dollars, that present a range of options to the drinker. The serving size is usually smaller, about half a normal serving per beer. Summit’s has three beer flights at this time, a light to dark flight ($10), an IPA flight ($15), and a high gravity beer (high alcohol content) flight ($25). In the photo above is the light to dark flight, which I had while watching football one Saturday. I recommend this flight. It’s not expensive, in bar terms, for the beers you get. The taste and flavor contrasts are worth the trouble.

Summits Wayside Tavern
3334 Stone Mountain Highway
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 736-1333

Summits Wayside Tavern on Urbanspoon

While many of my peers were at the Atlanta Food and Wine festival, I snuck out to this spot on the first day it opened.

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Local farms attended.

Local farms attended.

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Either there were fewer tents than in year’s past, or the tents were placed more compactly. I don’t recall open spaces in the first couple of these, though there was some open space towards the 78 side of the field this time. Again, the timing was not good, and folks who had become common sights in year’s past (e.g. King of Pops) were probably more focused on other competing events.

The best thing about Baby Jane’s might be their stuffed salmon patties: thick as the tip of my thumb, as round as a quarter, browned and a little toasty. They were breaded salmon goodness, evoking memories of sucking the last little bit of flavor out of a stuffed crab.

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Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, chicken fried steak, salmon patties.

Or it might be Baby Jane’s cheesecake, rich and delicious.

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Almost everything we tried was good; one exception was the brussels sprouts (overcooked, really impossible to avoid in a buffet). If you stuck to vegetables that can handle steaming over a period of time (greens, cabbage, corn), then the veggies were entirely satisfactory. The meats? There was plenty of fried chicken, but they also had good pork chops, a good fried fish, and the aforementioned salmon patties.

My wife, something of a picky eater, went back three times for plates of food. Drinks here are huge and often refilled. Staff were a pleasure.

Baby Jane’s Home Cooking
2054 Main Street East
Snellville, GA 30078
(678) 502-7055

Baby Jane's Home Cooking on Urbanspoon

My wife had been talking about this place a while, a Walmart that was going to be mostly a grocery. Time passes, and it opens up, at the corner of McGee and 78, perhaps five minutes drive from my house. The first available weekend, my family went.

The new grocery in town.

Inside, it’s nice and roomy, with some of the widest aisles I’ve seen in a market. Meat here is often “choice” grade (Patton’s is the place to go for prime), and steaks run about two dollars a pound cheaper than do the alternatives at Kroger and Publix. I looked at some other items: sodas seemed more expensive than Kroger/Publix, the frozen section was enormous, and the selection of certain sweets and snacks – ice cream, cookies, chips – almost disturbingly large. The beer selection, by contrast, was small and unimpressive compared to either Kroger or Publix.

Greens and veggies were housed in a small neat section. The store brand of greens was pretty good looking and had a decent share of “organic” alternatives. Store brand “organic” eggs were also available. Understand, this place was more interested in selling gallon buckets of cheap ice cream and family sized pizzas than being a Whole Foods clone, but good real food is here, if you’ll look for it.

Best buys to me seem to be the meats, and the frozen items. The store brand of canned goods had some shockingly inexpensive meat and seafood options.

While I was there, I was tweeting what I saw. The curious and ironic replies I understood, but not really the nasty, venal, Heather-esque responses (ironically, the cheap shots were coming from folks who describe their lives as “fabulous”). So a warning: my diet isn’t a joke and I have about zero tolerance for any amount of disinformation about food. Check your facts, please.

So let me say this: You can, if you shop this Walmart carefully, get good, cheap, healthy food, and foods that would fit almost any diet. It may pander a bit to the sweet tooth in all of us, but push come to shove, it’s a grocery store, one that’s immaculately clean, with large aisles, an interesting product mix, and I suspect, as time goes on, plenty of customers.

Niko’s was one of the first shops I reviewed when I started this blog. I remember thinking that I hoped he’d make it. I haven’t been back in a while, and not only has Niko survived, but he’s also expanded into the square in Lawrenceville. Recently I went into Niko’s, to window shop and pick up a bottle or two, and ended up with a case of assorted beers. For me, that day, yes, his selection of beers was that good.

Niko’s has singles, four packs and six packs of beer. There are cold beers in the fridge, and the brown carousel to your right has plenty of quality Belgian ales.

I find his tastes complementary to the supermarkets, and also a complement to Summit’s Tavern. There isn’t a whole lot of overlap between the three. So I would suggest it’s worth your while, especially if you’re into Trappist ales and Belgians, or simply a change of pace, to take a gander over to Niko’s, and cruise the beer section of his store.

Niko’s Wine Corner
2050 Scenic Highway, Suite G and H
Snellville GA, 30078
(770) 979-3111

Niko’s Wine Corner
178 Crogan Street, Suite 210
Lawrenceville GA, 40046
(770) 962-0348

I didn’t get to opening day of the 2012 Snellville Farmer’s Market but I did manage to make it to the second day. My wife was preparing that day to meet a friend she hadn’t seen in over 15 years, so it was my daughter and I that prowled the grassy lanes of the market. Parking is harder than it was the first two years, and I recommend showing up as early as you can to get a decent parking space.

Support by Snellville’s finest is gratefully appreciated.

Hours, dates, and sponsors listed here.

The vendors that show grow more interesting and diverse each year, and the arrangements they have for live music more professional. If you want the freshest produce, and the most reliable source of grass fed meats in the Snellville area, the Farmer’s Market is the place to be.

I like the new stage for performers.

The King of Pops, back again.

In all, enjoyable, and wonderful to see how this market is maturing.

Little Mexico is showing some interesting lunch specials on their blackboard.

We were able to take advantage of those recently. Shown below is their hot and spicy burrito. Ground beef, beans and rice, along with a spicy salsa mark this lunchtime choice.

The chile relleno lunch special is also a whole pepper, as opposed to a ring of pepper with a little beef poured inside.