Atlanta Restaurant Scene

OTP Dining: Five reasons to try Branch & Barrel at Avalon in Alpharetta

Alpharetta’s Avalon has welcomed relative newcomer Branch & Barrel to its restaurant lineup. The craft bar and kitchen, with Chef Todd Hogan at the helm, is an exciting addition to the culinary scene outside of the perimeter, boasting craft cocktails and dangerously crave-able sandwiches, among other offerings. Here are five reasons we think you should give Branch & Barrel and try.

The B.L.T.

Branch & Barrel makes for a fantastic lunch spot thanks to an impressive lineup of sandwiches, each one tastier than the last. For a sure-fire delectable choice, order up the BLT with its fried green tomato and roasted garlic aioli served on house-made bread. It delivers salty, smoky goodness with every bite. The fried green tomato also adds a bit of tang and crunch for a harmonious blend of flavors and texture.

Sandwiches Galore

While the B.L.T. sandwich is the standout, it’s hard to ignore the tastiness that the other sandwiches serve up confidently. The corn fried lobster sandwich puts a fun twist on the traditional lobster roll and is worth sampling. A light batter adds nice crunch to the sweet, succulent lobster served on a soft bun, with a smoked tomato tartar sauce for a little zing. The turkey and brie press is a warm, melty concoction of cranberry-walnut pesto that melds into a mini-Thanksgiving feast in your mouth. All the sandwiches are accompanied by a side of skinny hand-cut fries—easily devoured when dipped in Branch & Barrel’s housemade ketchup.

The Appetizers

Bold, flavorful appetizers are plentiful at Branch & Barrel. The jalapeno candied bacon and sweet potato fries with maple aioli is a spicy, sweet and salty creation that pleases many palates. The Brussels sprouts and B&B Dip Trio (black-eyed pea hummus, spicy crab dip and pimento cheese) are other highlights from the restaurant's starters.

Branch & Barrel's craft cocktails include creative offerings like a strawberry rhubarb runner and a jalapeño grapefruit margarita with a chili-lined rim.

Craft Cocktails

A visit to Branch & Barrel isn’t complete without sampling at least one of their creatively assembled craft cocktails. Sip on the Cucumber & Lime Martini for extra-cool cucumber flavor or venture on the sweet side and knock back the Strawberry Rhubarb Runner, featuring spiced rum and a rhubarb-shrub. Bourbon fans will want to try the Maple Bourbon Snow Cone with spiced pecans and red hots over crushed ice—syrupy, spicy, nutty goodness in a glass.

New menu items

In mid-July, Branch & Barrel will introduce some new items to its seasonal menu. For a taste of summer on your plate, look for the tomato salad with raw radish, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs and spices. Also keep your eyes out for a salmon dish with bok choy, peppers, tri-colored potatoes and a rum-mango glaze, as well as an appetizer of local brie with jalapenos, strawberries and pita chips for scooping.

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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.

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