Photo above: Bite was the first in the area to feature a lobster roll and it’s still the best.
By Joe Duffy
My raison d’être, at least at The Current Hub, is to assiduously keep a dossier of the meteoric rise of Alpharetta from dining irrelevance to the superior half of the imposing one-two dining punch that is AlphaRoz. In the never humble opinion of your infallible restaurant whisperer, the seminal moment that pronounced the beginning of the end of Alpharetta’s Bloomin’ Onion Acres dark days of dining was the launch of Bite.
August of 2011, I was perusing the Alpharetta Patch and found out about a brand-new establishment in Alpharetta, Bite Bistro & Bar. My first meal there personified how owner and Chef Leif Johnson was at the leading edge of emerging food proclivities. Without reluctance, I ordered the lobster roll with a side of Mexican street corn. Though both items are conspicuous on menus throughout the area now, each was a paucity then. Perhaps hard to fathom, but now-ubiquitous lobster rolls were quite cosmopolitan back in 2011.
I’ve had countless versions around town since, but Bite remains the preeminent in the area (rivaled only by Kathleen’s Catch). As explained in past ramblings, my modus operandi isn’t to eat at a restaurant and advise on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Instead, I eat everywhere in the vicinity (you think I’m kidding, don’t you?) and focus on the ones that implore me to gush the most vigorously.
As is generally the benchmark to get featured, Bite is another locale in which I’ve adored pretty much anything I’ve had. Since my first meal here, I’ve made several voyages to the Webb Bridge Road trailblazer. Apart from the lobster roll, the house-smoked pimento cheese I’m sure would be graded a hole-in-one in Augusta. Johnson is an accomplished chef. Pimento cheese isn’t his most ambitious dish by any means, but it’s all a race for second-best I’ve ever had. Bite raised the bar.
The seasonal menu does not currently feature one of his very best masterpieces of scallops and pork belly grits, but it does flaunt a braised pork belly dish, as an appetizer, as well as smoked chicken, shrimp, and grits. To top it off, he also has a diver scallops main course. Whether amalgamated in one dish or distributed over three, Bite eclipses excellence in all.
Atlanta’s Holeman & Finch has arguably received more national acclaim for their burger than any other Greater-Atlanta restaurant—including being deemed “Best Burger in America” by Alton Brown on the Food Network, among different accolades. There are more grand burgers inside and outside the perimeter than any other food item, and H&F’s is a sensible nomination for the best. Yes, I’ve eaten the burger (at the original location in addition to the outposts at Braves games).
Bite’s burger belongs in this conversation. Don’t believe it was intentional, but Bite’s burger mimics Linton Hopkins take on it as well as any, straight down to the Holeman & Finch bun employed at Bite. Both burgers are double-patties, American cheese, topped with onions (caramelized in Bite’s case), and pickles. H&F condiments are homemade, and so is Leif’s krussian sauce (his take on Russian dressing). Bite’s burger and thinly cut truffle fries are both cum laude. I’ve articled assorted other excellent burger and fry one-two punches, and Bite is nobody’s runner-up.
Several years ago, this Alpharetta trend-setter expanded to the adjacent unit and went upscale. It’s an excellent option for a date or if you are just a regular guy (like me) who has no time for average meals. Johnson was a successful caterer for six years before debuting his standard-setting restaurant. The catering part of the business is still going strong.
I’ve always paralleled Bite with Roswell’s Foundation Social Eatery. Bite has been putting out fantastic food, long before Avalon and City Center became enticing synergistic hubs for great dining. You’ve seen me tout said modish axis of eateries too, so certainly no knock on the symbiotic restaurants perfect for a commencing night of bar crawling. If a great meal is your priority, the less alluring location of Bite should never deter. Alpharetta’s first significant dining destination remains one of the best.
Bite Bistro & Bar
11500 Webb Bridge Way Suite A9Alpharetta, GA 30005
A farmers market mainstay, Seven Sisters has been forging tasty scones for years. A few months ago, the bakery beget a little café (mostly grab-and-go prepared takeout), but with limited seating capacity. In addition to a few scones, I abducted a shepherd’s pie and heated it up a few hours later. It was terrific. The sisters serve breakfast and lunch, from “sconewiches” to a nice variety of dishes that vary from day-to-day. Spaghetti bolognese, chicken parmesan, and chicken or cheese enchiladas are just a sampling. I liked my pie more than enough and would certainly like to work my way around the menu. Seven Sisters Kitchen, 6955 McGinnis Ferry Road #107, Johns Creek, GA 30097…
I’ve gotten several questions about the best sports bar. I always ask for specifics about criteria. I want multiple TVs with as many different games playing as possible. With those conditions in mind, it’s tough to top Dave & Busters on Northpoint Parkway. Week two of the NFL, there were ten early games, and I had nine in front of me – all on substantial high-definition TVs (never having to move). Plus, bartender Danielle is diligent. I do eat beforehand, and the beer selection is not top-tier. However, for multiple game watching, this is the place.
When he’s not eating, which is rare, the author is CEO of Sports Handicapping website Offshore Insiders. His bride’s gift site, Duffy Gifts is the place to go for gifts for all occasions from My Thirty One Gifts.