I first met Beth of Atlanta Culinary Tours on her tour of Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward. Since then, I've attended a tour of Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roastery, Beth's little company has grown to include eight different tours, and she's been featured on CNN! The latest addition to Atlanta Culinary Tours' schedule is a tour of Historic Roswell, which I was lucky enough to preview before it opens next month!
The tour meets in downtown Roswell, and walks its participants up and down historic Canton Street. We started at Rice, a Thai restaurant.
There we met Chef Kris, owner of Rice. Chef Kris has a thirst for art and flavor, and he was eager to share his passion for life and his passion for his food.
I loved the unique decor in the restaurant. Chef Chris adorned the walls and ceilings with recycled magazines...hey, that can be art!
One dining room featured his graphite drawings...
...while another featured his wife's oil paintings. How many animals can you spot in this one?
Once we had soaked in the quirky atmosphere, it was time to chow down on some Thai dishes. We started with a vegetable spring roll and chicken larb salad, accompanied by a Singha beer.
Next, we had a sampling of a tiger shrimp dish with vegetables. The red onions added a nice kick...and pretty much any Thai dish with peanuts makes me happy.
We finished up with a Thai favorite: coconut sticky rice with mango.
Next, we visited the new restaurant on the block: Table & Main. I'm in love with their logo design.
We started out at the bar...
...which set the tone for a Southern meal, with its impressive display of bourbons.
Table & Main aims to produce "familiar food" rather than comfort food. I liked this concept - no sense in competing with Grandma's mac and cheese, right? As an example of familiar food, we were served meatloaf meatballs, topped with a brown sugar ketchup.
The art in the main dining room was purchased locally and intended to reflect the nearby landscape of the Chattahoochee River.
Next, we visited Artisan Foods Bakery & Cafe, which is located next to one of Roswell's gems, Raiford Gallery.
How beautiful is this building?
The interior matched the exterior: delightfully rustic.
Artisan Foods serves everything from pastries to sandwiches. There's currently a Scoutmob for them, so I'll be back to use that deal! We were treated to beignets, and yes, our little group did consume this entire pile.
We were also given a yuzu basil orangeaid, as well as chickory coffee to wash down our pastries.
Next, we visited Oli & Ve, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting room.
I had never heard of such a thing, so I was really excited to try it! We learned to pour a few drops of oil and/or vinegar into a small plastic cup, then to rub the bottom of the cup in the palm of our hand to warm the liquid. We then sipped, the same way you try wine, or we could also dip little pieces of bread into the cup.
The oils and vinegars vary by robustness, and some are even infused with different flavors. My favorites were the truffle oil and the espresso balsamic.
I think these would make a great gift. Each bottle is about $10, which is cheaper than most cheap bottles of wine. Plus, Oli & Ve carry lots of olive-themed gifts and spice packets, so it's easy to combine a few things to put together a nice basket for a friend.
Also, I liked this table:
For our final stop, we visited the famous Fickle Pickle.
I'm not much of a pickle fan, but I loved these pickles and their accompanying remoulade sauce.
Next, we sampled Caribbean clam chowder. Now, my family is from New England so I had some reservations about trying this. Let me just say that "Caribbean" is the most important word in this dish's name. There was nothing New England about this chowder, and that was a good thing. Undertones of lime and coconut made this a very unique dish.
The Fickle Pickle might be just as famous for their sandwiches as they are famous for their pickles. This fried green tomato sandwich lived up to its reputation.
We finished up with assorted cookies.
I had never been to any of these restaurants before, and I plan to go back to each of them. I was so happy to have been introduced to such a beautiful, delicious, and walkable area just a suburb away from me!
If you're interested in attending a tour of Roswell, you can purchase tickets at Atlanta Culinary Tours' website. But hurry! These tours tend to sell out!