When I was a kid, The Dessert Place was an Atlanta institution. It was where my mom would go when she wanted a special cake for company and where my parents took my sister and I for treats. When you walked into the Buckhead location (where Buckhead Atlanta now resides), a long glass display case full of every homestyle dessert you could ever crave welcomed you. My parents would let us choose something—mom always got the carrot cake—and I always went for either something chocolatey or for the cream cheese brownies. I would eat it off a plate with a cup of steamed milk my mother fooled me into thinking was a real cappuccino. When The Dessert Place closed in 1996 after nearly two decades, Atlanta lost a dessert powerhouse, and I lost a fond piece of my childhood.
Hot dogs are, well, hot right now in Atlanta. Doggy Dog just opened a brick and mortar (The Dogg House in Decatur). The team behind the Mercury launched “the Helpful Hot Dog,” a weekly nonprofit event along the BeltLine entrance of Ponce City Market. And Atlanta now has its own New York-style hot dog vendor (well, kind of) with a cool backstory. Enter the Midnight Marauder.
The Marauder, aka Ian Nathanson, moved here from Long Island as a teenager and watched Atlanta’s culinary scene grow through the lens of his dad, a vegetarian chef. Nathanson saw firsthand how limited the options were for industry folks fresh off a late-night shift. “Man cannot live on Waffles and Houses alone,” he says.
So he launched the Midnight Marauder in East Atlanta Village’s We Suki Suki: The Global Grub Collective, which he credits with helping a guy with no culinary industry experience (him) get his idea off the ground.
Cafe + Velo owners Jeff Demetriou (an Atlanta artist and cyclist) and Benjamin Boisson (owner of Atlanta Beltline Bikes) want you to drive your car less. The duo opened a cozy, unpretentious coffee shop on Edgewood in hopes that it would appeal to Atlanta’s cycling and pedestrian community—it’s easily accessible by foot, bike lanes, MARTA, and the Atlanta streetcar, and has rack space for over twenty bikes.
Inside, you cannot escape the cycling theme. Black and white videos of cyclists project on the walls, which are also decorated with the vehicles themselves). A “Wall of All” gallery prominently displays 75 photos of famous cyclists, civil rights leaders, artists, poets, thinkers, and activists. The cafe also rents 8-speed city commuter bikes ($35 per day/$200 per week), and a vending machine, “The Bike Box,” dispenses bike parts, tools, and accessories.