Our (frequently updated) guide to Atlanta’s best pop-ups, food trucks and more

Eclairs de Cabbage Maker

Photo courtesy of Choux Maker

In each issue of Atlanta magazine, we’re highlighting another pop-up or food truck worth seeking out, and we’ve compiled all of our recent picks below. We will update this list monthly. By their nature, these enterprises can be fickle; better check their Instagram accounts to know where to find them.

The highlight of the Atlanta pop-up this month:

Guide to Atlanta's Pop-Up Restaurants Choux Makercabbage maker
Some bakers specialize in national cuisines (Mexican, French), others in broad categories (cakes, cookies). He is the rare pastry artist who builds his business around a unique technique. Choux pastry is one of those alchemical culinary processes where a few insignificant ingredients – flour, eggs, butter, water and/or milk – become something else entirely: the delicate golden shells that serve as the base for éclairs, cream puffs , and more. That’s the subject of this pop-up from Paul and Amanda Westin, who recently sold their deliciously fragrant and beautifully crafted pastries on Saturdays at Skate Escape in Midtown, alongside fellow pop-up Tic Tac Coffee. The opportunity this presents: you can choose an airy, crunchy, creme-filled pastry (rotating flavors include pistachio, Meyer lemon, raspberry-rose, salted caramel, and more), have a latte, and enjoy your treats across the street in Parc du Piedmont. The Westins are also hoping to break into the farmers market scene this year.

“Shoemaker” is kitchen slang for someone who sucks in their job; their food tastes like leather. “When I started, I wasn’t very good,” said Paul Westin. “So I was called a cobbler many times.” But since entering the restaurant business in 2004, Westin has risen through the ranks, eventually becoming executive pastry chef at Kevin Rathbun’s restaurants. He and Amanda got into the pop-up when the pandemic hit, finding a way to reclaim the term: in this case, Choux Maker really means something delicious. March 2022 issue

Previously:

so so nourished
“Lao Food in Memory of Grandma Nouphone” is how Molli Voraotsady describes what she serves through So So Fed – by the way, one of the prettiest names a pop-up d Atlanta could have. Her grandmother cooked “the best Laotian food in all of Atlanta,” says Voraotsady, and when she fell ill with cancer, it prompted Voraotsady to learn how to make her family’s recipes: “She always stuffed us with strength. It was his love language. We come from a refugee family, so nobody says “I love you” – they don’t tell us about feelings. It was just like, ‘Here, eat this.’ “

These days, Voraotsady serves these dishes on Tuesday nights at the Bookhouse Pub (736 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Virginia-Highland), and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at Qommunity (477 Flat Shoals Road, East Atlanta Village), as well as other occasional pop-ups around town. Lao food is “very emotional”, says Voraotsady. “It’s like the funkiest Thai food you can imagine. Lots of fermented flavors, lots of fish sauce, lots of herbs and lots of grilled meat. Glutinous rice is the staple food. She also serves laab (aka larb – the spicy and funky meat salad), papaya salad, beef pho, fried chicken hearts, red curry (or tofu) chicken, and more. The menu changes frequently and isn’t huge, which is a hidden plus: Bring a friend or two and you can order just about anything. February 2022 issue

Guide to pop-up restaurants in Atlanta
The Mighty Hans

Photo courtesy of Mighty Hans

The Mighty Hans
“In my mind, it’s like soul food,” says Fu-Mao Sun, describing the Taiwanese cuisine he serves at his pop-up, Mighty Hans. “It’s very near and dear to my heart.” Growing up in Massachusetts, Sun took summer trips to Taiwan, where her mother is from; in Taipei, he falls in love with the night markets. Taiwanese cuisine reflects Chinese and Japanese influences, among others, and the prominence of street vendors means simple, satisfying, easy-to-go food. “Each supplier serves one thing,” says Sun.

For example, fan tuan: sticky rice wrapped around assorted toppings and eaten for breakfast. Sun’s version is stuffed with a fried egg, pork floss, pickled radishes, bean paste and a double-fried cruller for extra crispiness. It’s a marvel of contrasting textures and umami-rich savory flavors, and it’s on the menu this winter at Gato, where Mighty Hans did a pop-up breakfast on Saturdays. Sun, who previously worked in Manhattan at NoMad, puts his own spin on the dishes he loves, like the scallion pancakes stuffed with bacon, eggs and cheddar cheese. (Your McMuffin never could!) At other venues, Mighty Hans also does non-breakfast items – bao, Taiwanese fried chicken. And, best of all, Sun has a sweet side: if you can, grab a piece of cream toast with pineapple and a mochi donut or two. January 2022 issue

Brave Wojtek
Wojtek was the name of a brown bear adopted into the Polish army in 1942, rising to the rank of corporal before retiring to Scotland at the end of the war. A sort of folk hero, Wojtek enjoyed the familiar comforts of creatures: beer, cigarettes. In that sense, he makes a good mascot for this new Polish pop-up from Matt Reeves, a food service vet who was previously the general manager of One Eared Stag. Reeves had thought about starting the project over the summer, but “the heat index just got out of hand,” he said. “Polish food is a bit heavy.”

Reeves, whose maternal side of the family is Polish, grew up eating this kind of food. Dishes this winter range from familiar fare – pierogi, stuffed cabbage rolls, barszcz (aka borscht) – at least, like zapiekanka: a street snack that’s essentially a French bread pizza, topped with wild mushrooms, cheese smoked and onions and drizzled with ketchup. It’s as satisfying as you could imagine. The menu also includes hearty dishes like bigos, a stew with sauerkraut, sausage, “and, traditionally, wild game like wild boar or venison. But I’m not a hunter” – Reeves laughed – “so it will be, like, beef shoulder or pork shoulder. December 2021 issue

Kajun Asian Food Truck
After Hurricane Ida hit in August, Thuan Nguyen made the call: He was coming home to help. Using $2,000 he raised in Atlanta, in part from sales from his food truck, Nguyen bought supplies to deliver to Houma, Louisiana, where he grew up. New Orleans and the surrounding area is home to a hardy Vietnamese population, which has produced, according to Nguyen, a “food pairing made in heaven.” Vietnamese cuisine already has a pronounced French element due to colonialism. In the Delta, it goes well with Creole dishes with French influences; the Vietnamese fondness for herbs and spices, meanwhile – cinnamon, cloves, chili peppers – complements the local African and Caribbean influences. So, yes, Nguyen serves okra.

But he also does kimchi fries, a lobster roll with yuzu aioli, and a fantastic shrimp po’boy with chili mayonnaise and ginger dressing. (Also: great fries.) A classically trained chef who cooks at South City Kitchen and Noble Fin, Nguyen struck out on his own in 2019 and makes regular appearances around town, often in northern suburbs. Find him on Instagram, or via a calendar of upcoming dates on kajunasianfoodtruck.com. November 2021 issue

Sugar bread
Lindsay and Nebi Berhane met on a cruise ship, not to sightsee, but to dance. Both are professional dancers who have performed in New York, Chicago and elsewhere, but when they moved from Manhattan to Atlanta last year, it was in search of a different art: baking. The couple’s booming business, Sugar Loaf, hosts two weekly concerts at the farmers’ market – Avondale Estates and Piedmont Park – selling cookies, biscuits, pies and an assortment of other sweet and savory treats.

“I guess as a dancer I started learning to cook and cooking out of necessity,” says Nebi – not much disposable income. Lindsay previously worked a series of baking jobs while meeting her onstage obligations. Both Nebi and Lindsay were influenced by their mothers (Ethiopian and Albanian, respectively), which helps explain the global flavors of their menu: for example, in their “sticky buna”, topped with Ethiopian coffee-infused caramel (“buna ” = “coffee” in Amharic); in Liège waffles flavored like churros and served with a dulce de leche ganache; and in seasonal specialties such as a Provencal tomato pie. October 2021 issue

Kimchi Joy
If the Korean dishes served on certain nights at Ria’s Bluebird have a particularly homemade flavor, there’s a good reason for that: they are prepared by a family of seven under the direction of Kajo Kim or, as it is sometimes called Instagram posts. , “our mother”. Kim’s parents work in construction and design, where jobs can be unstable. “Whenever it’s a slow time, we’re like, Oh man, we should open a restaurant,” says Onyew Kim, the eldest of five siblings involved in Kimchi Joy, which debuted in April and appears now about twice a month. at Ria’s in Grant Park.

Often focusing on Korean classics such as buhlgogi and japchae, the dinner menu follows the Kims’ whims. One week it might be a subtly spiced dahkdoritang – braised chicken with potatoes and carrots; another, bibimbap and chilled cucumber soup. Come winter, the Kims hope to focus on preparations “where Korean cuisine really shines”, says Onyew Kim: reheating dishes like dduhk mandu guk (rice cakes and dumplings in bone broth) and kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew usually made with pork belly). “I know everyone says their mom is the best cook,” Kim says. “But we say that too – and believe it to be true.” September 2021 issue

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