These are the stories that created a buzz on the metro Atlanta dining scene this week:
•Popular tonkatsu-style fried chicken spot Ponko Chicken is expanding again.
The “Amer-Asian” eatery will open its third location in the Chastain Square shopping center at 4279 Roswell Road in Atlanta, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. It will replace poké spot Poké Nooke, which closed last month after about a year and a half in the space. The new Ponko location will be a franchise from Poké Nooke owners Alex and Linda Lam. The Buckhead location is set to open this fall.
Ponko was founded by sisters Reiko Clark and Maggie Antoine, who opened the first Chamblee location in 2017 after previously operating now-shuttered Stone Mountain eatery Food Ease, where they first developed a following for their panko-crusted, sweet-soy-sauce-drizzled chicken tenders. A second franchise location opened in Midtown earlier this year, and another is slated to open in Marietta Square this fall. Locations are also planned for Decatur and Canton in the coming year.
In a 2018 review of Ponko, AJC food writer Wendell Brock wrote, “Paired with fries, slaw, rice, potato salad and other sides, most with a vaguely Asian accent, Ponko is a noteworthy alternative to Chick-fil-A or Zaxby’s. The Ponko style can be experienced in a variety of iterations: chicken or tofu tenders; vegan, vegetarian or chicken cutlets; salads topped with any of the above; sandwiches.”
•West End restaurant Boxcar has welcomed chef Brian Carson and chef Andrew Marvin to its team. Carson previously worked at metro Atlanta restaurants including Bacchanalia and Pinewood Tippling Room and hosts internet cooking show “Cooking with Earth Fare.” Marvis previously worked at Atlanta restaurants La Tavola and South City Kitchen. Boxcar, which is owned by the team behind Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, opened earlier this year in the Lee + White development.
•Mr. Everything Cafe, which has locations in Atlanta, Fairburn and New Orleans, will take over the space previously occupied by FIGO Pasta at 627 E. College Ave. in Decatur, Decaturish reports. The spot, which will be co-owned by Bill Mabry and Duwon Robinson, offers a menu including subs and sandwiches, salads, burgers and hot dogs and rice dishes, as well as vegan and Keto options. The restaurant is slated to open by early October.
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