West Cobb Magazine

Dine Out – Kennesaw

KennesawBangkok Cabin is a small family owned and operated Thai restaurant in a log cabin just down the road from the   heart of Kennesaw. Besides the small dining room, you can eat on their covered porch when the weather permits. The large and very reasonably priced menu has all of the traditional Thai appetizers, salads, and noodle dishes. Curries and other Thai dishes. The service  is very friendly and the atmosphere relaxed. 3413 Cherokee Street, Kennesaw, (770) 427-5287,  www.bangkokcabin.com

Barbecue Street will remind you of an old- fashioned country BBQ place where great BBQ and sweet tea are the things. At Barbecue  Street  they also serve some of the best catfish you will find anywhere in the area. Their pork has a zesty Vinegar sauce on it . They also have sweet and hot sauces on the table. The staff is very friendly and helpful. During busy times they are lined up out the door a lot of times. If you are looking for a real old – fashioned BBQ place this is one you should try.  3815 Cherokee Street St, NW , Kennesaw 30144, 770-419-2626, http://www.bbqstreet.com 

Big Shanty Smokehouse serves great BBQ with lots of old fashioned Smokey flavor. It is a family owned place operated by the Dillard family. They took over the old location of the Buckhead Burrito and added a smokehouse outback. As the name implies they specialize in slow smoked BBQ. The pork sandwiches are good, but the real star of the show is their pork ribs which are hand rubbed with their own dry rub and then smoked to perfection with very little sauce on them so that you can really taste the wonderful Smokey flavors. While the sauce is brushed on lightly it is still one of the best tasting piquant sauces in the area and can be purchased to take home. They offer traditional sides and a variety of cobbler, pies, banana pudding and cookies for dessert.  3393 Cherokee St., Kennesaw, (770)499-7444, www.bigshantybbq.com

The Boxcar Cheese Cake Café is a small restaurant in downtown that serves lunch Monday – Saturday and dinner on Tuesday – Friday.  They serve sandwiches and salads for lunch. Their signature item are their homemade cheese cakes.  The offer a limited dinner menu mostly costs of delicious pastas. They serve dinner from Tuesday-Friday till 8pm,   2893 North Main Street, Kennesaw, 770-919-7740, http://theboxcarcafe.blogspot.com

Capers on Main is the type of charming small restaurant that you would expect to find in Buckhead, not just outside of the downtown Kennesaw. It is owned and operated by Chef Steven Dudley, who many feel, is one of the best chefs in all of suburban Atlanta. This small and charming spot is always busy at lunch and dinner. They have an open air porch where you can enjoy dinner and a nice breeze on a fall or spring evening. The lunch menu offers a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads. The regular dinner menu is a seasonal American menu with international touches and a good mix of pasta, seafood, steaks and poultry dishes. Make sure you save some room for dessert. They have a great dessert menu which includes Georgia Peach Pie and Chocolate Intemperance. For a restaurant ofthis quality, the prices are very reasonable.  2756 South Main St, Kennesaw, (678) 594-7735, www.capersonmainst.com                      

Elevation Chop House is a newcomer to the Kennesaw restaurant scene. It is located at McCollum Airport in Kennesaw. You have a fantastic view of the small planes taking off and landing. Helicopters come and go. They also have a second level bar, where you can watch the action outside the windows while enjoying your drinks. The menu is very sophisticated and will remind you of a Buckhead or Midtown place. The menu consists of steaks, chicken and seafood. They are open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. They are open Tuesday – Sunday. The food here is good, but the real story is the wonderful atmosphere as you sit and watch the planes come and go.  1723 McCollum   Parkway, Kennesaw, (770) 485-7469, www.elevationchophouse.com

Trackside Grill is a family owned establishment right in the middle of downtown Kennesaw within walking distance to the Kennesaw Civil War & Locomotive Museum. They serve classic comfort food with a southern twist. Brett and Laura Olszesk are long time Kennesaw residents who opened Trackside in the spring of 2003. Trackside Grill offers a casual atmosphere adorned with railroad-themed memorabilia which makes for a unique dining experience. They serve lunch and dinner and have a great Sunday brunch with all the traditional brunch favorites and several very creative Southern specialties their chef has created. One of my favorite dishes are the Fried Green Tomatoes with red peppers with goat cheese. During the spring and fall when it is not too hot, you can enjoy outdoor dining on their terrace.  You won’t go wrong with anything you try at the Trackside Grill from burgers to comfort foods. Checkout their weekday dinner specials. 2840 South Main Street, Kennesaw, (770) 499-0874, www.tracksidegrill.com

Whistle Stop Cafe is located right in the middle of downtown Kennesaw, next door to Wildman’s Civil War Shop. They serve traditional breakfast seven days a week. Forget about watching your cholesterol here. The décor is simple but bright and colorful all built around the model railroad going around above you.  Breakfast at the Whistle Stop is all about eggs any way you want them with bacon, sausage, grits, potatoes and biscuit and gravy. At lunch they serve a traditional Southern meat and vegetable menu with a really wide variety for a place of its size.  Kids love this place, just as do most people who have discovered this little gem with great country food and very reasonable prices. This is the best place in the area to get a late breakfast. They serve breakfast till 11am during the week and noon on weekends  2871 North Main St, Kennesaw, (770) 794-0101


Johnny new store topper

Keegan’s Public House  This new Irish Pub on Barrett Parkway in front of Ridenour has an extensive menu that covers all the basics – hamburgers and sandwiches – and quite a few surprises in its salads and “starters.” Their Black Angus burger and the mini sliders are a real winner. The Spring Rolls – egg rolls stuff ed with corned beef, cabbage. As you would expect from an Irish pub, the corn beef is great as are their Rueben’s. They serve a wonderful Sunday Brunch. drink specials during the week, a dozen beers on tap, and another dozen kinds in bottles. This is Kennesaw’s Cheers. 1625 Ridenour Parkway NW, Kennesaw,  678-213-2460,  

 Johnny’s New York Style Pizza & Subs  This is the newest location of Johnnys, an Atlanta based pizza chain that serves great New York style pizza’s with all of your traditional toppings, plus a few of their own combina tions.Their  pastas and toasted subs are always great. On weekends, plan to wait at night for both locations are always  busy. They also have Wesr Cobb locations in Acworth  and Marietta.  1615 Ridenour Bvld # 207, Kennesaw, Ga, 678-996-0911,   Website


CALIFORNIA DREAMING is part of a small chain that owns Joey D’s Oak Room in Dunwoody, New York Prime in Buckhead and the Tavern at Phipps Plaza. The menu off ers lots of variety, but the true stars of the show are their large and delicious steaks and prime ribs. All f their steaks and the prime rib weigh from 10 to 14 ounces and cooked under a super hot broiler like at Ruth Chris’s. The steaks come with a crispy outside but are cooked they way you order them. For those who don’t want a full dinner, they off er great salads and prime rib sandwiches. The house salad is great and comes with their signature hot garlic croissant. If one of their signature garlic croissants isn’t enough, you can order a basket of them. 745 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, 770-428-2055, Website

Varsity Town Center – The Varsity,that great Atlanta monument to hot dogs, fries and rings has a branch right on the back side of the Town Center Mall. This smaller outpost of the famed Varsity on North Avenue has the same menu and specializes in the same greasy but great Southern food that has made them a true landmark. 2790 Town Center Dr NW, Kennesaw, (770) 795-0802, Website

Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean Grill is right across the parking lot from California Dreaming is a wonderful little Cuban restaurant. If you’re from South Florida and want some authentic Cuban food, you don’t have to fl y home but just head over to Chastain. They also serve a nice variety of Jamaican, Puerto Rican and Caribbean dishes. The real signature item here is their classic Cuban sandwich fi lled with ham, pork, cheese and dill pickles and a zippy splash of garlic sauce. Their Jamaican jerk chicken and Cuban steak are also delicioso. All of the entrees come with rice and such delicious Cuban side items like fried plantains, yucca fries or frijoles negros (slowcooked black beans with onions and garlic). Besides off ering really great authentic Cuban food, this is a real value for the money.  Kennesaw, (678) 797-0502, Website

Fuji Hana Thai Peppers – This location of a small chain is right by Town Center. What makes this location unusual is it offers three distinct dining experiences under one roof. They serve up above-average sushi rolls, grill up all the traditional steak, chicken and seafood dishes on their hibachi grills and off er a full menu of traditional Thai favorites. They offer a$1 Sushi special on Monday nights. Fuji Hana is a good place to go if you want to mix and match various Asian favorites or if diff erent members of your party have diff erent tastes. 2700 Town Center Dr., NW, Kennesaw, (770) 419-9500, Website

The Melting Pot – If you want a fun and unusual evening and can’t find that fondue set you packed away in the basement, you’re in luck. The Melting Pot is located in the Cobb Place Shopping Center on Barrett. The menu has lots of different combinations like steak and lobster or maybe an Asian combo. It is lots of fun to try for a special occasion, but it is also a lot like eating crab legs, lots of work for not that much food. The Melting Pot is a place to remember yesterdays fondue craze, something diff erent and a fun place to take older kids.  2500 Cobb Place, Lane, Kennesaw, (770) 425-1411, Website

Penang is the little sister of a long time Buford Highway favorite with the same name. If you are looking for authentic Malaysian and Thai cuisine this is a must try. The menu is not that of your typical neighborhood Thai place, but they serve some of the best curry and noodle dishes you will ever try. While it may sound trite, you know you’re in a really authentic place for the majority of the customers on most nights are Asians. The names of the dishes may not be familiar, but the ingredients are all fresh and the portions large.  The friendly wait staff can help you navigate around their large menu and fi nd some dishes that you will enjoy.  491 George Busbee Pkwy NW, Kennesaw. (678) 213-4848

Zucca Bar and Pizzeria, also on Chastain by Busbee Parkway, offers a wide variety of thin crust pizzas with lots of different toppings as well as a wide assortment of pasta dishes including some unusual ones like lobster ravioli. What makes their pizza so good is that the crust is thin and crunchy. If you are by the mall and want a good thin crust pizza, Zucca is a good choice. 745 Chastain Rd NW, Kennesaw, (678) 290-9313, Website

Marlow’s Tavern The Chastain location is the fourth Marlow’s. Their menu is a combination of bar foods with a more upscale twist like shrimp and crab nachos and some rather good entrees. Marlow’s fits the bill if you are in the mood for a casual bar atmosphere but want more than just a burger and wings  to go along with a cold brew. Marlow’s has four beers on tap and over 60 different ones by the bottle. They also have live music on their patio.  745 Chastain Rd NW, Kennesaw, (770) 425-8777, Website

The Mellow Mushroom is part of a medium-sized local pizza chain know for its great pizza, subs and sandwiches. This location is very popular with the Kennesaw State students and offers live music on the patio. Many people that I have talked with feel that this is the best of all the Mellow Mushroom locations. 2700 Town Center Dr NW, Kennesaw, (770) 426-9900, Website 

Los Reyes Mexican is part of a local Mexican chain. Their menu is like that of most Mexican restaurants and the food is usually fairly good. This is a good place to stop off for a bite of Mexican if you are coming or going to the Mall. What is really special about this location is that upstairs turns into a night club on the weekends  This is a good place to go for a quick bite and hear some Mexican and Latin music on the weekends.     777 Townpark Ln NW, Kennesaw(770) 420-9181,  Website 


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