Ponce City Mar­ket: Chomp­ing at the bit

GA Voice - - Out Spoken -

This Hal­loween, stow the candy corn and minia­ture Kit Kats. Treat your­self in­stead to a good meal at one of At­lanta’s newer and cheaper eater­ies at

Ponce City Mar­ket’s Cen­tral Food Hall (675 Ponce de Leon Ave.).

You’ll likely not find a trick in the cav­ernous space, but you al­ready know you’ll be trolling Grindr af­ter you win the Ea­gle cos­tume con­test for dress­ing like Cait­lyn Jen­ner drag­ging Vi­o­let Chachki around on a leash.

Not every­thing is open yet, but progress is brisk. Please un­der­stand that this is not your typ­i­cal food court. Like the Krog Street Mar­ket, PCM’s food stalls fea­ture quick cui­sine of first-rate chefs. You re­ally need that in a de­vel­op­ment that rents apart­ments start­ing at $1,500 for a stu­dio.

The open­ing stalls that are gain­ing the most at­ten­tion now are and

Th­ese are the work of Lin­ton Hop­kins, who is chef/owner of the ac­claimed Restau­rant Eu­gene and Hole­man and Finch Pub­lic House.

Hop’s is my fa­vorite of the two. It’s noth­ing but per­fectly fried chicken and some pretty clas­sic, but com­par­a­tively dis­ap­point­ing sides like mac and cheese, bis­cuits, and a weird cold sal­ad­like ver­sion of succotash. But, oh, the chicken. The but­ter­milk-mar­i­nated meat re­tains full mois­ture, burst­ing with fla­vor un­der a crunchy coat­ing that in­cludes a dash of cayenne, whose heat builds slowly in your mouth. And the prices are dirt cheap. You can, for ex­am­ple, get a breast for $4 and half a chicken for $9. Get at least one of the sev­eral sauces avail­able. The frim-fram is ba­si­cally a re­moulade. Black-pep­per gravy is my sec­ond choice—if it’s hot.

There is no din­ing room at Hop’s. You must take your feast to a ta­ble in the hall. On the other hand, H&F Burger in­cludes fairly roomy bar seat­ing. This stall mainly vends the dou­ble-cheese­burger for which Hole­man & Finch be­came fa­mous a few years ago.

The burger is in­deed de­li­cious, and do get the dou­ble, in­stead of the sin­gle-patty ver­sion. It’s pure meaty plea­sure un­fet­tered by ex­ces­sive top­pings. Granted, I don’t think

Hop’s Chicken.

H&F Burger

it’s the best burger I’ve ever tasted, as many do. But we all know, burg­ers are iconic in Amer­ica and peo­ple lit­er­ally bond around their fa­vorite. This is the foodie burger.

Also now open at PCM is Farm to La­dle, which should help keep the up­stairs res­i­dents from be­com­ing obese. I’ve only vis­ited once, a few days be­fore this writ­ing. You can or­der sal­ads, sand­wiches, and soups here. Sounds Pan­era-es­que, huh? It’s about 10 times tastier. Pic­ture a salad made of sweet pota­toes, pump­kin, arugula, and pe­cans with a bal­samic-sriracha dress­ing. Try a sand­wich of shaved chicken lay­ered with sriracha mayo on a parme­san bun. Add a root-veg­etable soup. To get a good sam­pling of the menu, or­der a $12.99 “trio spe­cial” in one of four dif­fer­ent com­bos.

A warn­ing. There’s a me­tered fee for park­ing in the lot and garage. The garage in par­tic­u­lar is so huge that find­ing my car to leave was dif­fi­cult. A friend had to en­list the help of one of the golf-cart-rid­ing at­ten­dants to find his. You prob­a­bly don’t want to be call­ing for help in full leather or a black slip as I did two years in a row long ago.

Cliff Bo­s­tock, PhD, is a long­time At­lanta food critic and former psy­chother­a­pist who now spe­cial­izes in col­lab­o­ra­tive life coach­ing (404-518-4415), www.cliff­bo­stock.com.

Hop’s Chicken (Photo cour­tesy of restau­rant)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.