Shopping for food or food products? Here are three reasons to head to Marietta.
Everything Georgia and a Georgia cutting board to serve it on
Visit The Local Exchange on the south side of the Marietta square and you walk into a general store that sells everything from local art and vintage antiques to a huge variety of food items ranging from fresh butter and cheese to local coffee, beer and wine. You will have no trouble finding the perfect hostess gift, birthday present or treat for yourself. But you better allow plenty of time for browsing. This store is packed with what you knew you needed and what you had no idea you needed but are delighted to find. We walked out with jars of Georgia Grinders peanut butter, bottles of Georgia Olive Farms olive oil and the perfect item to tie everything together - a bamboo cutting board in the shape of the state of Georgia. The cutting boards come from Georgia Crafted and are made in Norcross. The boards are available in the shapes of all 50 states, but of course we’re partial to the Georgia-shaped version. It comes in two sizes.
$22 to $40. The Local Exchange, 130 S. Park Square, Marietta. thelocalexchangemarietta.com.
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Handmade meat pies from Australian Bakery Cafe
Meat pies and sausage rolls. Pavolas and lamingtons. Ned Kelly Pie and ANZAC biscuits. Want to try all these Australian treats? Save yourself hours of travel time and hundreds of dollars in airfare. Instead of going overseas, travel just a few steps from The Local Exchange and step inside the Australian Bakery Cafe. You’ll find Australian flags and memorabilia, a wall of Australian groceries and two cases of their signature meat pies and luscious desserts. They’ve been hand making meat pies there since 1991. When you get your pies home, a handy online guide will help you distinguish between the over two dozen kinds of savory pies and provide reheating instructions. The “regular” meat pie is their best seller, a 4-inch square double-crust pie with flaky pastry and a gravy and beef filling. The lamington is a 3-inch square of sponge cake covered in chocolate and finely grated coconut. Our favorites? The sausage roll and the pavlova. But you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Read more about the Ned Kelly Pie here.
$5 - $5.50 for meat pies, desserts are $1.55 to $2.95. Australian Bakery Cafe, 48 South Park Square, Marietta, or order online for shipping anywhere in the United States, australianbakerycafe.com.
Barbecue and all the sides from Freckled & Blue Kitchen
Juliana and Tyler Lindley started off with a food truck and a presence at local area farmers markets from Alpharetta to Peachtree City selling their three flavors of Freckled & Blue (FAB) pimento cheese. More and more catering jobs led to bigger and bigger kitchens and this year the Lindleys opened Freckled & Blue Kitchen about a mile south of the Marietta square. (If you were wondering - the business name is “freckled” is for Juliana’s freckles and “blue” for Tyler’s blue eyes.) Pull up to the parking lot and there’s you see the large screened smokehouse where they smoke brisket, pork, beer can chicken, turkey breasts and even bacon burnt ends. We sampled the smoked pork - pure succulence and with just the right amount of smoke. Come inside and there are freezers and refrigerated cases with containers of their salads (broccoli, black-eyed pea and slaw among others), foil containers of 4 Cheese Macaroni to heat up at home and frozen vacuum-packed pork and chicken and whatever else the kitchen has dreamed up. We tried the frozen sausage and pimento cheese dip. It sure said “tailgate” to us. And their rosemary-blueberry and strawberry-basil lemonade? Amazing.
Prices range from $3 for a single serving of sides to $9.50 for a half pound of smoked brisket. Freckled & Blue Kitchen, 547 Atlanta Street, Marietta. freckledandblue.com