J.Christopher’s in Decatur Fails Health Inspection

Atlanta food maven, John Kessler, doesn’t have time to mince words

J. Christopher’s in Decatur fails health inspection. “Employees seen washing hands with gloves on.”

It looks like the restaurant scored a failing grade of 62 during a December 14th inspection.

What happens now?  From the full report

Voluntary Closure: A food service establishment that is graded as a “U” and does not earn at least a grade “C” within ten days of receiving the “U” will be requested to volunarily close untill all violations are corrected and/or have enforcement action taken to suspend or revoke the food service permit.

“Eat 2” To Replace “Thai Me Up”

Back in October we reported that “Thai Me Up” at 225 West Ponce de Leon Ave had a bad case of “changing sign syndrome”.

Last week, marlatiara wrote to DM with this report via Twitter…

Thai Me up has a new sign – “Coming Soon” and says “Eat” on one side “Thai” on the other (name?) and Jan 2.

Well, the agenda for tonight’s city commission meeting clears up the confusion.  Applicant Pitchit Pornsopone has filed an alcohol application for a new spot at the location called “Eat 2”.  Though the name doesn’t give away much, from previous mumblings it sounds like this will be another Thai restaurant “under new management” in our fair city.

Critical Love for Community Q BBQ

Though his assessment is based only on one takeout container, AJC food critic John Kessler echos a couple recent comments here calling Community Q BBQ “some of the best barbecue I’ve eaten in Atlanta.”

And lucky for Decaturites, it’s just a quick ride up Clairemont to Clairmont in the former Epicurian catering space!

Farm Burger Seeks Parking Variance For Old Viola Space

Among the items on tonight’s Zoning Board agenda is a parking variance request from WPD Center LLC, which hopes to open up a burger joint called “Farm Burger” in the old Voila space.

According to the city’s summary, the site (which includes Watershed, Your Best Cleaners and the vacant space), currently has 54 parking spaces, but the parking code requires 65.   Viola got around this obstacle by entering into a shared parking agreement with 402 West Ponce (Ponce Preventative Care), however that agreement has since been terminated.

54 spaces for that modestly sized restaurant?  Am I the only one that finds that a bit ridiculous?

But a heated parking debate is only one half of this multi-layered story.  The other is this intriguing new restaurant called “Farm Burger”.  Luckily there’s a “Farm Burger” concept statement is among the enclosed documents for the Zoning Board to consider.  Here’s a taste…

“Farm Burger will take product sourcing  as serious as it takes crafting one of the world’s finest burgers.  Our belief is that a great burger starts with exceptional beef from exceptional cows raised on sweet Georgia grass alone.  With that guiding principle, Farm Burger’s ingredients will be: 100% grass-fed, 100% locally grazed Georgia beef, 100% organic (or beyond).

It starts with a $6 burger…From there we will offer a wide-range of seasonal accouterments, many grown on our 100-acre organic farm in Athens, Georgia, as well as diverse artisanal cheeses, housemade pickles, local eggs, and culinary delicacies, such as roasted bone marrow, house-cured bacon, and charcuterie.”

For more, see pages 11 and 12 of the ZBA’s packet for tonight’s meeting.

h/t: InDecatur

Iberian Pig: A Spanish “Gateway” Restaurant?

Creative Loafing’s Besha Rodell hopes the Iberian Pig will serve as a “stepping stone” for Spanish food in Atlanta, but also labels the popular Decatur spot’s offerings as “bastardized Spanish food” in her recent review.

A 90 minute BSP-style wait at the Pig on Saturday (“Do you have a reservation?” “Um…maybe?”) sent me and the wife down to Feast for a satisfying, walkable alternative.

5th Earl Terminates Lease After 8 Months of Waiting

I sent a note to the owners of 5th Earl yesterday after someone inquired about the status of rebuilding and reopening the space.

Last night I received a note back from 5th Earl co-owner Brian Bressler informing me that after months of waiting, they had terminated their lease with the landlord of the burned space and would not be reopening there in the future.  To put it modestly, it seems there was a major falling out between parties.

Brian said that he has no immediate plans of reopening elsewhere, as they “are still muddling thru the last portion of our insurance claim, to see where we end up.”

I wish them the best, and am optimistic that one day they can do another great rehab around town and start serving up those great sandwiches again.