Finding a great brunch outside the Perimeter with offerings beyond the usual breakfast fare isn’t easy. But there are hidden gems tucked in places like Stone Mountain and Woodstock, along with places in popular districts such as Alpharetta’s Avalon. Here are our top picks.
Sweet Potato Cafe
The warmth of home beckons you to this unassuming yellow wood-frame house in Stone Mountain Village. Chef Karen Patton’s brunch honors the restaurant’s name. You’ll find sweet potato biscuits, sweet potato soufflé and, yes, sweet potato pie. On a recent visit, the waffles with chunks of sweet potato sprinkled with nutmeg were the big hit. Since then, the cafe has switched to pancakes. Other things to try on this $16.95 per person buffet include the herb roasted chicken, thinly sliced potatoes with onions and green bell peppers, and the creamed collard greens.
5377 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain.770-559-9030, thesweetpotatocafe.net. Brunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays.
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Freight Kitchen and Tap
Choose the $16 buffet or order a la carte. Just don’t miss the humongous flaky biscuits or the hot and spicy shrimp and grits with okra and fiery andouille sausage. Also noteworthy here are the mimosa and bloody mary bars, affordably priced at $6 and $7, respectively. The bartender gives you the base and you mix your own. For mimosas, choose from pineapple, orange or cranberry juice along with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. On the bloody mary side, there are more than 25 spices, relishes and other add-ons.
251 E. Main St., Woodstock. 770-924-0144, freightkitchen.com. Brunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
The brunch at Avalon’s handsome steakhouse is special not just because of its modern, refined setting, but because the food and service are outstanding. For starters, order the flaky cinnamon rolls. Move on to poutine; the chunky house-made cheese curds and pork gravy ladled over crispy shoestring potatoes are heavenly. Don’t bother to argue whether Oak Steakhouse has the best Belgian style waffles in town — just order. Another star on the menu is the shrimp and jalapeno grits: gulf shrimp and Anson Mills grits with smoked bacon.
950 Third St., Alpharetta. 678-722-8333, oaksteakhouseatlanta.com. Brunch: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays.
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Chicken and the Egg
A bonus to brunch at this eco-friendly farmhouse diner is the shopping you can do before or after at the whimsical stores nearby. The hard part is deciding whether to try Bubba’s Benedict (the name successfully entices), the Yo Holla (vanilla challah bread with cinnamon, apple compote, cream cheese and bourbon caramel) or the buttermilk fried chicken that comes with bragging rights. Don’t leave without ordering the trio of old-fashioned donuts.
800 Whitlock Ave. N.W., Marietta. 678-388-8813. chickandtheegg.com. Brunch: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
Ray’s on the River
Who can resist splurging on a massive buffet while taking in a lovely view of the Chattahoochee River? There are more than 50 items on this buffet ($37.95 per adult; $18.95 per child ages 5 to 10), including peel and eat shrimp, flank steak, mac and cheese, French toast, seafood gumbo, grits and fabulous made-to-order omelets. An attentive wait staff wastes no time clearing plates and guiding you to your next food coma.
6700 Powers Ferry Road N.W., Sandy Springs. 770-955-1187, raysrestaurants.com. Brunch: 10 a.m-3 p.m. Sundays.
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