By Joe Duffy
It’s habitual that I will zealously anticipate a restaurant opening. In some instances, it is because the cuisine fills a void, other times being the ownership has a notable resume, and often a combination of both. Commonly, I will steadily monitor the debut date of awaited openings.
Such was the circumstance when The Savory Gourmet Market thumped my radar. Located in the Teasley Place building on the western edge (for now) of bustling and ever-broadening downtown Alpharetta, my interest was piqued (not to mention peaked) when chef/owner Adam Hyzdu promised to import top-shelf ingredients from Italy and New York via Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
Hyzdu is also the chef/owner of popular Mari’s Cucina and Social House in Johns Creek. The Brooklyn native comes from a lineage of restaurateurs as his uncle owns five of them in New York stoked by the proverbial “grandmother’s recipes.”
As the name implies, the eatery is as much a market as a restaurant, though there is some seating for in-house consumption. Suppliers include Georgia’s own Patak’s for bacon, Citterio, Di Lusso, Mastro (among many others) for the Italian sandwich meats… and sit down for this one. Are you ready? Katz’s Delicatessen for corned beef and pastrami. Didn’t someone recently write about the 0-to-60 speed that the area has enjoyed on said items? The rye bread is also from Katz’s.
Yes, I have engorged at THE Katz Delicatessen and certainly had a Sally Albright type reaction when devouring both the corned beef and especially the pastrami. The Katz-in-Alpharetta manifestation confirms their Gotham City supplier can mass-produce the magic, and it travels well. You must go now. Do you want the pastrami or corned beef on rye? I’ll help you—order at least one of each. Then again, there is also the corned beef Reuben sandwich.
If your appetite will only permit one (until your next visit), while I generally prefer corned beef, Katz’s is an exception. It is the pastrami that most detonates the “I’ll have what she’s having” titillation.
Three-plus decades a southern boy, this God-made-me-born-a-Yankee (H/T Emily Saliers) has lamented the lack of a great Italian hoagie. My fellow AlphaRozwellians, our long regional nightmare is over. Under “cold sandwiches” is the Italian combo option with soppressata, prosciutto, capicola, genoa salami, and provolone, topped with sweet vinegar peppers. The Alon’s Bakery baguette is the no-brainer bread option for that sandwich, effectively making it a hoagie. Call it a sub if you want. Or grinder. Or just a cold lunch. I will call it must-get countless times in my near-future. This creation is South Philly/Manhattan quality flawlessness.
My missus dotes on chicken parmesan as much as any human adores any feedstuff. The Savory Gourmet’s chicken parm sandwich, also on Alon’s baguette, is her all-time favorite. The “small tastes” opportunities include mouth-watering, baked meatballs. Made with Braveheart Beef, these are as tender as any all-beef, ground meat rolls I’ve ever gobbled. I’ve swallowed an elite few veal polpette as soft and delicious, as well as some multiple meat mixtures, but as all-beef goes, these balls are exceptional in both taste and texture.
Chef’s personable wife Carrie told me all the years she’s been married to Adam she had no inclination he could render potato salad as impressive as what is served here. We are all indebted that this supplemental dish has emerged from the shadows and is no longer clandestine.
Oh dear, there is so much more to partake of here. As mentioned, it’s a “market” that includes grab-and-go family meals. Chef tells me the early runaway favorite is a short-rib manicotti. “I can’t keep it in stock,” he elaborates. There is a protein optional salad bar, homemade sauces to go, desserts flown in from New York (including Carnegie Deli cheesecake), cheeses, olives, and more.
The peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone is a bargain at $12.95 a pound. These are first-visit must-haves. Alternately, try them stuffed with breadcrumbs and EVOO at the same price.
The enviable “problem” we have is that the Alpharetta area has a wealth of terrific pizza vendors. But at some point, of course, I have to gauge how The Savory Gourmet stacks up. Of the unique creations, shrimp scampi with roasted garlic may be the first one I order.
My city slicker food snob confederate and New York apologist “Moonie” has preposterous expectations that Atlanta (population 498K) is supposed to match New York (population 8.6 million) tit for tat when it comes to restaurant options. “Why can’t Atlanta (insert a foodie rant) be like New York…?” Newsflash intown boy, the suburbs are holding their own. Alpharetta truly has a genuine taste of Manhattan to call its own. Throw in free and ample parking, inject genteel, southern charm in place of the Big Apple attytood, and you have The Savory Gourmet Market.
The Savory Gourmet Market
50 Canton Street Suite 109
Alpharetta, GA 30009
Alpharetta/Roswell is the undoubted ground zero of uOTPian dining. Mystifying is why support for breakthrough restaurants is limited to west of GA 400. Neighbors, Foundation Social Eatery and Circle Noodle, lead a short-list of first-class restaurants on the east side but are also the two most under-supported restaurants within miles. Use them or lose them East Roswell. I fear the latter. The carbonara at Circle Noodle is a must for any true fan of elite cuisine…
“Sound Bites” is concise this month because I was away for two weeks eating Cuban food in Miami, Sunday gravy in Philly, cheesesteaks in South Jersey, and scallops at the Jersey Shore. During my sabbatical, the family loved Elsie’s sandwich shop in Haddon Township, New Jersey. If you are on social media, you may have seen them go viral in the last few months. Featured on The Today Show, Delish.com, and elsewhere, they use pickles instead of bread for their sandwiches. It went over quite well with three generations of Duffys. I’m just dropping subtle hints for local restaurateurs looking for a lead-pipe cinch concept. Rightfully so, Elsie’s was a revolving door of patrons when we paid a call.
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.