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Baroni - Courtesy TFL
One of the worlds most famous chefs failed. Wolfgang Puck is arguably the world's first celebrity chef, and certainly the first to capitalize on his name and endorse a seemingly endless list of food and food products. But sometimes even the best strike out. Such was the case with the only outpost of Wolgang Puck Express in Atlanta, located in SoBuck. Woodfired pizzas, fresh tossed salads, and international sandwiches just did not seem to fit the SoBuck tastes and after several years, Puck finally retreated.

Fast forward months later and in comes a veteran of the Atlanta restaurant scene. The same group who operates Barondi, and Publik House in Midtown decided that where Wolfgang failed to succeed, they could do different. Up goes the paper on the windows; dust, construction, and crews follow, and then opens their newest concept - Baroni.
Baroni on Urbanspoon
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Dining Room - TFL




While there was definitely something different, the place seemed eerily the same. It is as if the ghost of Puck would just not let go. The bar is in the same place. Check for the wood burning pizza oven. Check again for the minimilast decor, and European touches. Check for the pared down menu of wood fired pizzas, fresh prepared salads, and international sandwiches. Obviously the operators here thought Puck must have done something wrong other than the above mentioned similarities.

In one of our earliest review, we named Barondi the best and most authentic pizza in Atlanta. Several years later, we still stand behind this proclamation despite the influx of several strong contenders.

Replicating this format could not possibly fail. Or could it? (as of this publishing, no failure) On one of our first visits, the most delicious Italian bread was delivered table side. Olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and real parmesan cheese ensued and satiation was immediate.
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Sorry Bread, no Fresh Pepper
Subsequent visits the bread morphed into poorly made pizza crust, and the pepper mill never materialized. We begin to think that Puck could have cursed this location for ever. But then we had the pizza. Thin, hot and with just the right amount of char - Baroni makes a mean pie. Fresh ingredients are evident with prosciutto sliced so thin, you could read the menu through it. Arrugula tasted young and fresh, and the olive oil was always top rate.
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Yum - TFL
The Marghartia pizza was spot on most visits. The crust tended to be somewhat inconsistent, perhaps owing to temperature problems the entire restaurant had been experiencing. We will write that off as opening jitters, and move on.
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Margharita Pizza - TFL
All things said, Baroni is a decent replication of the uber successful Barondi. Whether this concept will appeal to the Eugene loving SoBucks more than the Puck Express did will remain to be seen. This will certainly be a challenge, and there are few better operators in Atlanta. We wish Baroni the best, but will more than likely continue to visit Barondi when that Italian urge surfaces.
 
 
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Fox Bros BBQ, Courtesy Fox Bros BBQ
BBQ can have many meanings to many different people. We will not even begin to dissect the many different styles and regions often cited in BBQ conversations. Instead we will simply state that Atlanta offers almost every style of BBQ known to man, and most are exemplary. There are shacks burning hardwood for over half of a century, and there are glistening new shrines burning wood chips and cooking in huge metal boxes with rotating racks and more sensors than the space shuttle. We are most certainly proponents of "old school" as long as food prep and handling is safe and clean. But as always, QUALITY is job one, and we will endure significant failure in all other areas of experience if the product quality exceeds (our ridiculously high) expectations.
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Fox Bros Bar, Courtesy of Fox Bros BBQ
A recently new entry into the "sauce" is L5P's Fox Bros BBQ. Twins, Justin and Jonathan, began serving pulled pork sandwiches between band sets at Smith's Olde Bar in Midtown Atlanta. Cult status soon followed, and a location on Dekalb Ave was transformed into their first restaurant. Fast forward an entire 12 months, and we find Fox Bros packing in the crowds from open to close, winning numerous "best of" awards, being a featured product in Whole Foods, and creating some unbelievable hype.
Smoked BBQ Wings
Smoked BBQ Wings, courtesy of the bittenword/Flickr
In the case of Fox Bros, where there is hype, there is smoke. Hickory smoke to be precise. Located on Dekalb Ave, just outside of L5P proper and bordering Candler Park, Fox Bros consists of two buildings - the main, and the shack. With all of the traditional fare, Fox Bros steps up the game immediately with creative and delicious appetizers. Smoked chicken wings definitely make the list with sloppy wet buffalo/bbq sauces that hits on all notes. House made blue cheese dipping sauce is the perfect compliment to these smoky, spicy, sweet, and toothy wings - some say the "best of" Atlanta.
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Fox Bros 'Burger' - TFL
The bbq cheese fries are also outstanding. Topped with cheddar cheese, chopped beef brisket, fresh jalepenos, bbq sauce and served with a side of ranch, these fries will satisfy even the most demanding eater. Tater tots, and various other meat, sauce, starch combinations are available and the pimento cheese (all the rage in Atlanta) is made in house.
Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon
There are racks of baby back ribs, smoked chicken halves, ubiquitous chopped pork sandwiches, and Texas style smoked brisket. All of these are excellent variations, and the brisket is the best we have had outside of Texas. Our favorite menu item is the "burger" (pictured). This is a pile of all that's good at Fox Bros. First chopped brisket is piled onto a big sesame bun. Next follows the house made pimento cheese, thick sliced bacon, pickles, tomato, and a generous slathering of jalepeno mayo finishes this masterpiece. One hundred times over your lifetime will surely add to your cholesterol problem but the occasional "burger" is nothing short of bbq brilliance.

Fox Bros is seemingly always crowded and this keeps the food hot and fresh. Saturday's feature a Flinstone sized smoked beef rib that sells briskly - go early! Sides are large and well made, the bar is fully stocked. The brothers Fox are relatively newcomers to the Atlanta food scene, but we believe they are here to stay and a bbq force to be reckoned with.

(404) 577-4030
1238 Dekalb Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307