On dad's day, only meat and potatoes will do

Dining out on Father's Day is a time to indulge dad in the manliest of menus — meat and potatoes — served up everywhere from barbecue joints and sports bars to brew pubs and steak houses. Here are five places to take the patriarch in your family.

– Bob Townsend

CANDLER PARK

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

When they were working out of Smith's Olde Bar, Texas twins Jonathan and Justin Fox perfected their dry-rubbed, wood-smoked brisket. But since the move to their own place near Little Five Points, the tender, tasty pulled pork (on a plate or in a sandwich) may be the best thing they do. You can also order up meaty ribs and lots of good sides — from spicy fresh collards and back-to-basics green beans to decadently creamy mac-n-cheese shells and addictive tater tots. "The Tomminator Special" is a messy pile of tots smothered with Brunswick stew and melted cheddar cheese.

• 1238 DeKalb Ave. 404-577-4030. www.foxbrosbbq.comMap it and review it

DECATUR

Twain's Billiards and Tap

With pool tables, shuffleboard, table hockey and pinball machines, Twain's Billiards and Tap at the edge of downtown Decatur is the sort of neighborhood place dad and the kids will take to together. But Twain's has also become a destination for serious beer drinkers, who appreciate the sizable selection of American craft beers and decent burgers, fries and other pub grub. And now there's an expanded bar and dining area, and a small brewery, where Jordan Fleetwood makes hearty ales. The new menu has items such as mussels cooked in Fleetwood's golden ale.

• 211 E. Trinity Place. 404-373-0063. www.twains.net Map it and review it

BUCKHEAD

Houston's

The food at Houston's doesn't come cheap. But the cooking and service are so reliable that it's a beloved guilty pleasure for many chefs. For dad, and the rest of us, it's the Hawaiian ribeye, marinated in pineapple juice, which acts as a tenderizer and gives the slab of rich, well-marbled beef a layer of tropical sweetness. The thin, crispy fries are the de rigueur accompaniment. Start with the equally substantial "traditional salad," a mix of greens, house-made croutons, chopped egg, and smoky bacon. On the lighter side, the fish of the day is filleted in-house and wood-grilled.

• 2166 Peachtree Road, 404-351-2442; and other locations. www.hillstone.comMap it and review it

DOWNTOWN

Stats

Not your grandfather's sports bar, Stats scores with a more sophisticated take on the food-and-drink-meets-game-watching concept. Actually, there are five bars here, including places to pour your own beer, lounge on a rooftop deck or watch the jocks from 790 "The Zone" broadcast their sports shows. Some of the food is a tad ambitious. Barbecued bacon-wrapped shrimp with grits or lima bean hummus anyone? But the all-American menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, wings and nachos will do nicely for tuning in as the Braves and L.A. Angels do inter-league battle on Sunday.

• 300 Marietta St., 404-885-1472. www.statsatl.comMap it and review it

BUCKHEAD

Bone's

Bone's is a splurge. But Atlanta's premiere steakhouse is worth it, especially if only the best will do for dad. The old-school, clubby atmosphere recalls Manhattan's "21" Club. And the combo of prime steaks, top-notch waitstaff and an amazing wine list add up to a timeless sort of experience. Along with the perfectly charred-and-tender meats, choose a la carte sides — baked potatoes, sautéed spinach, grit fritters, hash browns and onion rings. Kick back at the bar area in front with a scotch or classic cocktail and guess who's who among the Atlanta caricatures that cover the walls.

• 3130 Piedmont Road, 404-237-2663. www.bonesrestaurant.comMap it and review it

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