By Frank Mack
Do you love to eat? Do you love great food, warm rooms, big smiles, local brews and crafty cocktails? Are you with me? Perfect. Then I got the place for you at the grub gastro pub (all small lower case!) located at 1090 Alpharetta Street in Roswell in an old historic house. This spot is totally fantastic, comfortable, and features a stunningly creative menu designed by chef Dave Fast, a man noted for his former restaurant Phish Phood.
Fast has reformed this location, which has been home to a couple of failed concepts, and the ambiance is comfy and inviting. But that has been true in the past. What makes the grub gastro pub stand out is the stove stud running the kitchen. Fast is simply a man who was born to cook so foodies all around take note. I first met chef Fast and his wonderful wife Terry about five years ago. I was absolutely agog at what he created at Phish Phood but terrified of the location and the name. As usual, location (in this case a horrible one) won the day and we lost chef Fast to a cheesy easy 9 to 5 corporate thing. Then a miracle happened in the form of his new location, which is smack in the middle of Roswell. This area of town, that runs parallel to Canton Street, is ripe for a rebirth as the location across the street, formerly the Southern Skillet, is going to be rebuilt with a mixed-use concept. The view afforded from the grub gastro pub will be a great place to watch this area grow. I can’t imagine a better thing to exist right here, it is a great family place. Forget the culinary history of the building, chef Fast is writing a new book… heck the man is changing the language. The menu is insane…the good type.
Fast dreamed up the whole ridiculously creative menu in one evening over three… or ten cocktails on a beach. This is a menu I almost can’t describe or gush enough about. Let’s just say it’s eclectic American.
First I’ll mention there is a full bar and plenty of culinary options to chose from. Fast’s menu runs the range of gastro pub burgers and wings, to sandwiches, salads and entrees. The nomenclature is from another world, as you’ll marvel at items like the Mud Fish Fondue (pictured) or the Country Fried Cordon Bleu. I’m going to end up with half a dozen favorites. And then he’ll get bored and reinvent it anyway. The long-term promise of this family team is just out of sight. I’ve had seven different meals in just three days so far. I’m a critic, not an idiot. If I go back and back and back that should tell you plenty.
Some highlights have been the Cozzie, which is steamed P.E.I mussels finished in an anisette cream broth. The Country Fried Cordon Blue is happiness on a plate that features buttermilk biscuits, fresh chicken and more love than a momma gives to a baby.
Other goodies are the Shrimp and Grits, which I’m putting up as the best in town and the El Cerdo which is a smoked pig butt served with a side of gordo gringo salsa.
Who thinks like this? Who looks at ingredients and dreams up these combinations that I have not seen in 60 years of restaurant experience? It appears a man on a beach with a couple cocktails and the girl he loves, that’s who.
Chef Fast is an artist born to create with pots, pans, knives, and stove. I am flat out impressed and grateful that we have him back doing double shifts in his own place. A place where everyone can enjoy his talent.
Overall, the grub gastro pub is downright inexpensive. It was born to be a Roswell classic and a favorite watering hole for all. The surrounding shops and eateries are changing fast. When the bulldozers hit the Southern Skillet location Roswell will change, and change for the better. So please, to the powers that be, build a walkable bridge over that highway. Sew the two sides of Roswell together. Pretty please with au jus on it 😉
Here’s something I rarely say. The take out is well done, which is really important and good to know. I tried the Salmon BLT and got rave reviews from a very discerning lady. Every step, the execution was perfect. The Orzo Salad killed as well. I’ve got a happy home, got to love it. It’s up to us to make the grub gastro pub a part of us. I’m laying claim to a spot in a corner. I guarantee you’ll be seeing me there. Good grub, what’s not to love about that? Enjoy, and, happy New Year!