Passover starts before March ends, and the anticipation is starting to set in.
Before you trade your bread for matzah and beer for potato vodka, enjoy these gluten-laden days. Some of our favorite restaurants around Atlanta can provide that over-the-top, carby satisfaction you need before the eight days without. You can fill up on so much bread that you’ll almost be happy to clean out your pantry with all the chametz.
Three Sheets Signature Grilled Cheese
If you want a full meal dedicated to crunchy, griddled bread, journey to Three Sheets in Sandy Springs (www.threesheetsatlanta.com). One of the restaurant’s staple menu items has created quite a following. The grilled cheese is filled with Applewood-smoked cheddar and Tillamook and is served with a side of tomato bisque.
Varuni Napoli Margherita Pizza
Varuni Napoli’s (www.varuni.us) pizzas are quickly cooked in signature wood-burning ovens that transform dough to pizza in a matter of seconds. The restaurant pays special attention to every ingredient, especially the flour. Varuni uses double-zero flour, water, yeast and salt for the dough.
Order the Margherita pizza topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, basil and extra-virgin olive oil for a true taste of Italian comfort food. Visit either of Varuni Napoli’s locations, in Midtown and Krog Street Market.
Rhodes Bakery Petit Fours
Everything is specially crafted at Rhodes Family Bakery (www.rhodesfamilybakery.com), from cookies to cakes and pastries to cheese straws, but the petit fours from Rhodes provide the perfect portion-controlled bite of good, old-fashioned, simple, light and sugary cake.
The Rhodes family still owns this lovely bakery and was even recently recognized by Food Network for having best caramel cake in Georgia. Try either of the Rhodes locations, in Roswell and in Midtown (the original bakery) off Cheshire Bridge Road.
Il Giallo Spaghetti e Polpette
Spaghetti e Polpette — aka homemade spaghetti tossed with tomatoes, marinara, garlic and fresh-made meatballs (or without if you opt for a vegetarian version) — at il Giallo (ilgialloatl.com) is impeccable.
In our culture, we’re always searching for what’s new and trendy, but sometimes the classic dishes are the ones that can delight and impress us the most. Il Giallo will attend Food That Rocks on Saturday, June 9, the inaugural event at the City Green at City Springs.
Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop I-40 Pie
For a crunchy bite of something sweet before Passover, try Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop in Sandy Springs (www.buttermilkskypie.com). The I-40 Pie is worth devouring before bread is no longer a part of your diet for eight days. This crunchy slice is loaded with pecans, chocolate chips, toasted coconut and pecan pie filling with a sweet shortbread crust.
Buttermilk Sky is also on board to serve delicious bites of its signature pies at Food That Rocks on June 9.
Once you’ve consumed an exorbitant amount of matzah in all forms (soup, brei, stand alone, toffee, etc.), you’ll be ready to get back on that gluten-filled train. If you miss any of these spots before Passover, they also make for a satisfying spread once you break your bread fast.
Skye Estroff is the marketing and media manager for Atlanta’s largest food festival, Taste of Atlanta. She is an Atlanta native, a University of Georgia grad and an expert in Atlanta’s best food. Stay up to date with food and restaurants by following Taste of Atlanta on Facebook (Taste of Atlanta), Instagram (@TasteofAtlanta) and Twitter (@TasteofAtlanta) and following her food stories on Instagram (@skyemichelle58).