Hidden Hometown Gems: Marietta
Written by Heather KW Brown
For more photos of these Gems, click here.
Seed Kitchen & Bar
As far as neighborhood restaurants go, Seed Kitchen & Bar, though not necessarily hidden, certainly qualifies as a gem. Anchoring the end of a row of shops in East Cobb’s Merchant Walk Shopping Center, Seed could be missed, but it isn’t likely. The outside patio is itself a draw to passersby, and when it comes to approachable American cuisine in a stylish but laid-back setting, Seed can’t help but shine. The menu, in the talented hands of owner and Executive Chef Doug Turbush, changes frequently but you can always expect locally grown ingredients and simple creativity. Try the pimento crostinis served with Benton’s country ham, apples and micro celery … you can thank us later for the recommendation. When deciding what to drink, the options are equally enticing as you’ll find craft beer as well as vintage and modern cocktails, but it’s the wine program at Seed, led by General Manager and Sommelier Jason Raymond, that has garnered its own attention among wine enthusiasts. So much so, Turbush and his team behind Seed’s success are opening Stem Wine Bar, where the wine list will be focused on North American, Spanish, Italian and French wines. Complementing the meticulously curated wine list is a menu of European-inspired small plates, charcuterie, artisan cheeses and casual fare. Basically, you can’t go wrong either way — as long as you make a reservation. 1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 504, 678-214-6888, eatatseed.com
I confess that my kiddos and I have been legally stalking this new addition to our side of town. Rarely does a franchise that brings so much icing and joy to our faces open its doors so close — one without willpower might even say dangerously close — to home. At long last, we spotted the chalkboard announcing the day’s specials at Smallcakes Cupcakery. A counter greets sweet-toothed guests with 15 cupcakes baked fresh daily then deliciously displayed with specials that rotate weekly. Thoughts of splitting each of our three cupcakes lasted about as long as the walk from the counter to our seats. My son dove into a Birthday Cake cupcake while a Pink Vanilla cupcake kept a hue of cotton candy frosting smeared across my daughter’s face. With a Red Velvet cup- cake in one hand and a frequent flyer card boasting three holes already punched in the other, I decided my answer to their slogan “Maybe a cupcake will help?” should be found in an empty cupcake wrapper. 3718 Dallas Highway, 770-421-9720, smallcakescupcakery.com
White Rabbit Cottage
Newcomers to West Cobb might mistakenly believe residents on this side of Marietta have few, if any, best kept secrets when it comes to shopping, but those of us who have passed White Rabbit Cottage and given in to the irresistible urge to stop and check it out know better. As a matter of fact, this gem has been attracting locals since the early 1920s when it humbly began as a general store set up in the front room of a temporary house facing a dirt thoroughfare called Due West. Times have changed, of course, and while The Cantrell-Huggins House no longer sells commodities ranging from flour and cold remedies to chicken feed and farm equipment, the walls within the wildly popular White Rabbit Cottage and the Gallery building that opened in 2007 continue to provide for a community that wouldn’t be the same without it. Inside the cozy cottage awaits a wonderland of incredible home furnishings and the best gifts you’d ever want to give and — who are we kidding — receive. Among the many eye-catching categories to peruse are options from kitchen and gourmet goodies to jewelry, candles, furniture, garden and decorative accessories. Some of us have been known to go in religiously every season to discover a new find that will enhance an already growing collection that most likely needs little encouragement but sufficiently benefits nonetheless. Each of the two buildings provides plenty of excuses to savor one of West Cobb’s most unique shop- ping experiences. 3760 Due West Road, 770-919-1100, whiterabbitcottage.net
Coggins Shoes for Kids
Not long after my neighbor found out I was only a few months into expecting our first child, she started raving about where to buy shoes for children. New to the area, I had no idea where the Big Chicken was, much less the best shoe store for my child who had yet to arrive. That was seven years ago and I’ve been a loyal customer of Coggins Shoes for Kids ever since. Originally opened on the square in Marietta in 1925, Coggins is now owned by David Coppedge, a third generation children’s shoe retailer, who bought the store from the Coggins family in 1955 and moved it to Eastlake Shopping Center in the late ‘80s. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion footwear from trendy names like Morgan & Milo, Livie and Luca and See Kai Run or household names like Crocs, Stride Rite and New Balance, you’ll find it here. 2207 Upper Roswell Road, 770-973- 5335, shoesforkids.com
Tucked among the restaurants, shops and services found in Marietta Square, dk Gallery not only brings a breath of artistic air to the mix, it’s considered by many to be the premier art gallery outside the perimeter. Providing seasoned as well as first-time collectors access to a world of contemporary fine art at the hands of both emerging and established Southern painters and sculptors, dk Gallery has become a local favorite. Set your sights on original landscapes, abstracts and figures, especially now through October during the popular First Friday Art Walks. 25 W Park Square NE, 770-427-5377, dkgallery.us
Nine tabletops plus several seats at the bar is what you’ll find inside Kiosco. And while you’re looking over the menu thinking of how cozy this Colombian restaurant is and whether the food will be as good as the reviews, a waiter will dart out of the kitchen to serve someone sitting at the next table with an entrée that quickly quiets your mind and suddenly stirs your appetite. It could be an appetizer of empanadas — one beef and one chicken, served with an in-house habanero ahi sauce (it’s worth noting this has nothing to do with tuna). Or main dishes most likely to turn heads such as the paella marinera (seafood paella packed with copious ocean delights) and the medio pollo al horno (half-roasted chicken with raspberry sauce). It’s culture on a plate … unless you get the paella, then it’s in an aluminum pot. 48 Powder Springs St., 678-337-7999.
If you happen to howl for hops and you prefer your draft to be craft, then head over to Moondog Growlers and prepare to stare. I say this because with more than 30 options to tap into, well, deciding which beer will fill the growler can be the toughest part. Luckily, the self-professed beer fans who founded Moondog knew this could be the case and offer both 2- and 4-pint growlers. Take home, let’s say, Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit in one size and a growler of Coffee Ale by Boulevard Brewing in another. And in the spirit of being green, not to mention enthusiastic about good beer, just rinse out your growler and bring it back, ready to refill with the wide variety of brews awaiting you. The biggest thing to remember about growlers is that they have a shelf life in the fridge for 7 to 10 days before opening. Once you’ve popped the top, experts say to enjoy within 36 hours. 688 Whitlock Ave., Suite 3B, 678-354-6268, moondoggrowlers.com
Cool Beans Coffee Roasters
If the heavenly aroma doesn’t make you a believer in good coffee, the menu at Cool Beans Coffee Roasters, an independently owned and operated micro- roaster located just off Marietta Square, certainly will. A visual feast for those in search of perhaps the best caffeine fix in all of Marietta as well as hot-but-not-coffee drinks and smoothies, the menu features house specials like the T-Man — three shots of espresso, chocolate flavor, plus one flavor, steamed milk and whipped cream — and the Ponch Via, which kickstarts pretty much anything with a whopping four shots of espresso and a flavor in the coffee of the day. Coffee beans are roasted to perfection in a 12 kilo Sasa Samiac roaster better known as “Big Red.” The result is a flavor that doesn’t taste burnt, bitter or sour like the drive-thru coffee stops, where sugar, flavoring and a drenching of dairy are oftentimes required. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to … well, maybe I am.
31 Mill St., Suite 100, 770-422-9866, coolbeanscoffeeroasters.com