I mentioned before that I’m helping Mom become a bit more adventurous every year when it comes to trying new activities. Where I haven’t succeeded was in getting her to be adventurous with her food. She loves to eat at Houston’s, so for every anniversary, birthday, Mother’s/Father’s Day, graduation, and in town guest visit, she wants to go there to eat. Not that it’s not delicious food, because it’s friggin fantastic, but Atlanta and Georgia constantly rank in the top 20 cities/states for having some of the best restaurants in the country according to Thrillist, US News, WalletHub, and The Daily Meal! I refuse to let this palate neglect go on any longer, so I have decided to force her to go on a food tasting tour of the restaurants owned by none other than Ford Fry.

How are you only eating at Houston’s, Pappadeaux, and Benihana chain restaurants, Mom?!

Knowing the greatness of Atlanta food, I’m constantly asking, “How are you only eating at Houston’s, Pappadeaux, and Benihana chain restaurants, Mom?!” She always gives me some lame hope that she’ll try something new, but when left to her own devices, she ends up going to one of her 3 faves EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not anymore, not with us having this great avenue where we’re specifically trying new things and experiencing new places together.

Chef Ford Fry

Chef Ford Fry

If you’re not from Atlanta, Charlotte, or Houston, you may be wondering who the hell is Ford Fry, and why are his restaurants worthy of a full-on food tour. Well, I’m here to tell you that this dude is a culinary genius. He has 12 restaurants, 10 of which are throughout Atlanta and the surrounding cities. Although I’ve only eaten at 7 of them (Superica, St. Cecilia, King + Duke, The Optimist, Marcel, and JCT Kitchen), I’m certain they’ll all be delicious.

If you love food documentaries as I do, then you can catch Ford Fry on The Chef Show on Netflix. They featured The Optimist, 1st up on our #FordFryFoodTour, and El Felix on episode 2 of the show. According to his website, “His culinary inspirations cover many years and much of the country.” He grew up in Texas, eating out with his family, he studied the culinary arts at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and was a fine-dining chef in Florida, Colorado, and California before moving to Atlanta. So, now that you know all about the chef behind our food tour restaurants, let’s talk about the tour itself.


My husband is actually the reason I know anything about Ford Fry. He loves the chef’s food so much that we tend to go to one of his restaurants for important occasions. Don’t confuse this with my Mom only going to 1 of 3 options every single time, we have yet to get through all 12 together (we try a different one each time, though).

My Mom has actually been to Marcel, a Ford Fry restaurant, last year when I invited her to come to a pop-up lunch day. Marcel had this one on a random Friday in March. I had never been to that restaurant before at the time. We were glad we got there early. The line was wrapped around the building and down the street just for a chance to taste a burger. The burgers were definitely worth the wait because on the pop-up day, the food was MUCH cheaper than usual. Marcel is one of the most expensive in the Ford Fry restaurant lineup.

List of Ford Fry Restaurants in Georgia

Below is a list of all the Ford Fry restaurants you can find in Georgia. They’re in the order we plan to visit them for our 10-restaurant food tour. As we visit each one, I’ll link to the blog post.

  1. The Optimist
  2. El Felix (Vinings)-
  3. JCT Kitchen
  4. Beetlecat
  5. King & Duke
  6. Marcel
  7. Little Rey
  8. No. 246
  9. St. Cecilia
  10. Superica

Trying New Things Is Fun

I highly recommend that if your spouse, best friend, kid, or parent isn’t an adventurous eater, you try to do something like this with them. It’s the kind of experience you 2 can share and laugh about together for many years to come. You’ll be helping each other too. For them, this is an opportunity to learn a little more about themselves. From things they never knew they would like to eat, to things they will never eat again. They’ll feel more brave, more adventurous, and more connected with the town they’re eating in. For you, it’s an opportunity to help someone in a small, yet satisfying way. You’ll get the chance to spend more time with someone you care about. And hey, who doesn’t love a good meal?!

I’m a big fan of eating local, so anytime I can go to a unique restaurant rather than a chain, I’m all for it. My goal at the end of this is to have a Mom who had a few more menu items she is willing to select, and a brand new list of restaurants to visit for her life events.

Join Us or Share Your Ford Fry Restaurant Food Recommendations

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If you live in Atlanta and want to join in on our #FordFryFoodTour, email us! Maybe we can all go together! If you have a review to share your experience or a dish you’d recommend at one of Ford Fry’s restaurants, please email us using the form below!

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