Spring Break in Sandy Springs? Try Hammocks!
Written by Carl Danbury
When I look back upon the memorable spring breaks we spent with our kids during the past 15 years or so, like many of you, I fondly recall those weeks spent in Fort Lauderdale, Destin and Pensacola Beach. This year, however, I’ll spend a few of my vacant evenings at one of my favorite “beachside” eateries right here on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.
Hammocks Trading Company, owned by Jason Sheetz and Chef William Sigley, may not be able to provide warm Gulf breezes, squawking gulls or the serenity of the lapping aquamarine waters found at our favorite beachside hangouts, but there are few restaurants in the Atlanta area that emanate the alluring quirkiness and good-natured, laid-back vibe that Hammock’s does. Combine the family-friendly, yet funky neighborhood environs with coastal cuisine and Sigley’s interpretative dishes, and the result is an invigorating concept with the power to outlast others.
Sheetz said they built the restaurant to fit the neighborhood, not the physical construction necessarily as much as the target market, which includes both families and friends that require a meeting place midway between Alpharetta and Buckhead, for example. Located near the intersection of Dalrymple Road, Hammocks’ deck fronts Roswell Road and is a fine spot from which to enjoy springtime sunsets with one of their vintage cocktails, a fair-priced glass of wine or a craft beer while slurping down a dozen oysters on the half shell, peel-and-eat shrimp or steamed PEI mussels with white wine, garlic and herb butter. Northeast transplants looking for clams will find that Hammock’s will hearken you back to those you enjoyed at those seaside towns from Cape May to Marblehead.
For those who may not enjoy fish or shellfish, Sigley has provided such dishes as roasted quail, Butcher’s steak, ribeye, beef brisket, lamb ribs and roasted half-chicken. However, the small plates and entrees that shine like a shimmering moon over the Gulf are Sigley’s grilled octopus served with white bean salad, preserved lemon and salsa verde, smoked trout (smoked in-house along with Hammocks’ brisket and salmon) salad, spicy pickled shrimp served atop a fried green tomato with Tabasco vinaigrette, lightly-seasoned fish soup and grouper tacos – which are guaranteed to turn those served with tilapia (elsewhere) into a four-letter word. If you have never enjoyed Grouper en Papillote and see it on the specials’ menu — order it, and Chef’s baked salmon is another dish you’ll enjoy time after time. Last but not least — try the house-made jalapeno cornbread and a bowl of seafood gumbo.
I get it if you think some of these menu items don’t sound family-friendly, but never fear, mac-and-cheese, corn dogs, chicken fingers, popcorn shrimp and spaghetti tacos adorn the $5 kids’ menu. For adults, don’t worry about stopping at the Happy Hocker Jewelry & Loan next door, as few of the regular menu items ever exceed $20. Shorts and a t-shirt, sandals and a sundress, floppy hats and cheap sunglasses all are welcome at Hammock’s, but this Sandy Springs’ haunt is a little more beach club than dive. That will be very evident from your first bite to your last.
Spring break or your beach vacation starts today — right here in Sandy Springs — and no sunscreen is required!
Hammocks Trading Company
7285 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs 30328
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week