It may be no longer than a quarter of a mile, but Carroll Street bustles. It is the heart of the small neighborhood of Cabbagetown, a residential area on the other side of Krog Street Tunnel.
Cabbagetown is chock full of eateries and coffee spots that service locals and visitors alike, no matter what you crave. Visit on an empty stomach and check out college-friendly spots like Cabbage Pie and Sweet Cheats.
Live Music and Cheap Eats at Cabbage Pie
For those looking for a slice and a beer from a place residents love, Cabbage Pie might be your restaurant of choice.
“Cabbage Pie is an Italian pizzeria style restaurant,” Manager Charles Redwine said.
Cabbage Pie opened its doors last July after much anticipation, according to the Cabbagetown Neighbor, the neighborhood’s monthly newsletter. Following the closing of its predecessor Village Pizza, residents buzzed about the new spot for almost a year.
“We didn’t have a particular deadline or target day for opening…We wanted to get it right,” Owner Richard Baum said. “We wanted to be sensitive to the neighborhood about what they wanted and what they liked. We were really committed to creating a place that felt like it was already part of the neighborhood.”
When the wait finally ended, the opening proved a rousing success for everyone and this lively joint has been serving pizza, sandwiches and drinks ever since. It brings a touch of Italy, as well as classic recipes in both its pizzas and eclectic appetizer and brunch menus.
Cabbage Pie is equipped with a porch-style seating area separate from the main indoor seating, which includes a full bar, mismatched furniture and long tables that suggest a community-oriented restaurant. TVs play football and news, and the vibe is chill, warmed by red and yellow hanging lights that keep the space lit but subdued.
The menu is deceptively simple: apps, sandwiches, soups, salads and most importantly, pizza.
Co-owner Tim Lance generates many of the dishes, according to Baum.
“Tim is the brain and the creative mind behind the concept of the menu, a good deal of the recipes even,” Baum said.
Lance’s signature dish, a spicy seafood stew called “Stewnami,” won the 2014 Beltline Boil, according to Creative Loafing. It is available here and at Bantam Pub in Old Fourth Ward, which Lance also owns.
As a self-described pizzeria, the pizza menu is the most extensive. Standard cheese and pepperoni are available for cheap, but more adventurous recipes include such ingredients as jalapenos, bolognese sauce, calamari and macadamia nuts. The fourteen inch pies fall anywhere between $11 and $18, according to the online menu.
Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu offers a variety of recognizable items like the two egg plate and french toast, as well as more adventurous dishes, such as duck confit over waffles or blackened scallops and grits.
Redwine also described the non-food attractions of Cabbage Pie. For college students, he highlighted the affordability of the restaurant for food and drink.
“We have $2 draft beer and $10 for twelve wings,” Redwine said.
Baum expressed the convenient distance as well.
“We’re so close to downtown, we’re so close to both [Georgia State and Georgia Tech] campuses, [and] we’re really still an undiscovered gem, I think.”
Redwine appreciates the community of Cabbagetown, noting the number of artists and musicians who inhabit the neighborhood. On Thursday nights, Cabbage Pie indulges the artistry of the area with a live music.
Recent performances have included South City Revival, the Ede Wright trio and the Jacob Deaton Trio, according to the Facebook event page.
“[I wanted] an artistic outlet that sort of represented the neighborhood in terms of art and brought the music element into it with local artists, local performers and musicians… I really want to encourage musicians to come Thursday night and network,” Baum said.
This art-friendliness extends to the local paintings for sale on the walls. Baum explained he works with Cabbagetown artist Donna Howells to bring in new art to display and sell.
“We don’t take any commissions out of it. We want to keep art on the walls and create interest for people to come in and check it out,” Baum said.
Cabbage Pie continues to grow and expand, with Baum hoping they up their plant-based options and keep creating quality gluten-free pizza.
“We’re trying to be sensitive to whatever is changing out there in terms of what people are really looking for and still be a good value.”
Fresh Flavors at Cabbage Pie
Fried Calamari Steak, served with sweet chili sauce, $10
Polpette Veal and Parmesan Meatballs, served with arugula greens and herbed pesto sauce, $9
For dessert, stroll through the residential streets to Sweet Cheats. While Cabbage Pie sits on visitor friendly Carroll Street, this homey coffee and sweet spot is nestled a few blocks over on a relaxed corner that’s perfect for hanging out away from the crowds.
Surrounded by homes and located right across from Cabbagetown Park, Sweet Cheats’ exterior resembles just another home, but inside is a smorgasbord of handcrafted goodies.
The name comes from owner Shirley Hughes’ time training for figure competitions. To keep in peak physical condition, her diet excluded the sweets she craved. She used her cheat meals to indulge in desserts for the team and herself, and founded the business with her husband Robert Tubbs, based on the positive reactions from her friends and family, according to their website.
Her previous job as the owner of a PR, marketing and advertising recruiting company paved the way for a business to grow out of her popularity among friends.
“The demand was there, and I’ve always been an entrepreneur in one degree or another,” Hughes said.
Now Hughes sells her creations to everyone from a small, bright coffee house. With wooden benches and tables in one spacious, well lit room, “Sweet Cheats” keeps things decoratively simple, saving the pomp and flash for the colorful desserts on display. The swirling text on the wall sums up her attitude: “If you’re going to cheat, it better be worth it!”
Racks upon racks of confections there are not; Sweet Cheats is interested in quality over quantity.
“We are a small-batch bakery specializing in single-serving desserts,” Hughes said.
Only one case of baked goods stands next to the counter, but inside is a varied collection of treats. The selection includes cupcakes, cookies and brownies.
The menu fluctuates depending on the week and season. A new flavor rotates in every week, and the weather dictates whether they are light and fruity or hearty and rich. Spring cupcakes include mango and papaya, while the chill of winter requires “comforting” flavors like mint and eggnog, as listed in the cupcake archive.
However, some favorites stay the same regardless of season.
“Chocolate Dream is our most popular cupcake,” Hughes said. “It’s a milk chocolate cake with chocolate chip cookie dough baked into the center. It has vanilla buttercream cream cheese icing and half a chocolate chip cookie on top.”
More uncommon recipes are offered as well, such as the Bourbon, Bacon and Caramel brownie and the Southern Seduction Cruffle, a carrot cake pop with pineapple, coconut and cinnamon flavors.
Sweet Cheats is not all sugar, however. It is an all-in-one shop, serving coffee and snacks too.
“We also have savory dishes like quiches and empanadas,” Hughes said. “We’re a great date night destination!”
Sweet Cheats is a few blocks away from Carroll Street, giving it a relaxed and welcoming vibe away from the hustle and bustle. For Hughes, Cabbagetown offers a “complete neighborhood feel.”
“It feels like our customers are our friends,” Hughes said.
But it is not just for locals. Georgia State students might enjoy the location– just a short Uber ride from Edgewood– and the pricing. Any kind of cupcake or brownie cost four dollars each, while a cookie costs a dollar fifty, according to their online menu. Hughes also stressed that it is a fun location, and that the store employs college students.
“I have one Georgia State student [working] here right now– make that two, I just hired one a couple of days ago. The proximity is very close, and with the students’ schedules and the fact that we’re so close to campus, it’s just kind of obvious,” she said.
Currently the store is featuring Valentine’s Day desserts in all manner of heart shapes and pink hues, including a dozen “roses,” twelve cupcakes decorated with an edible rose design.
VALENTINE’S DAY THE SWEET WAY
Mixed Chocolate Covered Strawberries, $22
Tin of “Hearts:”A dozen sugar cookies decorated with hearts. $25
Valentine’s Cake for Two: A small cake for two, in the flavor of the day. $25
“Glamorous & Gluten-Free” Gift Box: Contains six macarons, two crust-less cheesecakes, and two gluten-free brownies. $35
Cabbagetown may be small, but it packs a big punch with its myriad food spots. Despite being total opposites, Cabbage Pie and Sweet Cheats add to the mosaic of choices, and create a lively mix of savory and sweet in this accessible neighborhood.