Try 5: Five meat and cheese boards to try in metro Atlanta

Wrecking Bar's Butcher Board for four / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Wrecking Bar's Butcher Board for four / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

There’s something about a meat and cheese board that conjures up images of nibbling on prosciutto, brie and cornichons in the Italian countryside.

But, there are plenty of places in metro Atlanta that will tide you over until you can hop on a plane to Tuscany.

Bosnian charcuterie board from Best End Brewing / Best End Brewing Facebook page
Bosnian charcuterie board from Best End Brewing / Best End Brewing Facebook page

Best End Brewing. Whenever Adi Komic’s family threw a party in his native Bosnia, plates of “little things to snack on” including cheeses and cured Bosnian meats and sausages were never out of reach.

So when it came time for him to put together a meat and cheese board for Best End Brewing, where he has served as executive chef since May 2020, he leaned into what he already knew.

“It felt natural to go in that direction,” he said. “We already had a charcuterie board when I took over, so I just pushed it in that direction.”

Executive Chef Adi Komic’s Bosnian-influenced boards come with a variety of meats and cheeses, including suho meso, a dry meat with a “big, beefy flavor” that’s cured for 21 days, and Bosnian feta, which uses cow’s milk and is “less funky and more creamy” than traditional feta.

“It’s really salty and creamy, and it’s amazing with bread,” he said.

Accompaniments to the meats and cheeses include ajvar, a Balkan staple made with roasted eggplant and red pepper.

It helps that Komic is able to source many of his ingredients from Stella Mart, a small Bosnian store in Lawrenceville that is owned by a friend.

While the board was conceived to be consumed at the brewery, Komic quickly figured out that a pizza box was the best container to use for a to-go board. Meats and cheeses are always cut to order, “which is a bit time consuming,” he said, “but at least we’re ensuring that you’re getting the best product right away.”

1036 White St. SW, Atlanta. 404-590-3681, bestendbrewing.com

This is one of several cheese board options available from Boards & Platters. Courtesy of Boards & Platters
This is one of several cheese board options available from Boards & Platters. Courtesy of Boards & Platters

Boards & Platters. When the pandemic turned many office workers into remote workers last spring, Marjani Aladin decided to turn her passion for charcuterie into a business.

”I wanted to make people happy during a time when people really needed that,” she said.

She offers boards for one, two, four, six, 10 or 15 people, with her go-to cheeses including brie, havarti with dill, gouda and a fruit cheese — usually goat cheese with blueberries or oranges. Meat options include genoa and hard salamis, prosciutto and capocollo, but traditional options also can be swapped out for turkey or beef products.

Aladin also offers a completely plant-based board, including vegan feta and gouda, as well as vegan sliced deli meats.

Aladin sources much of her produce locally and seasonally, driving out to roadside farm stands in Stockbridge and Gainesville to “find the best, sweetest fruit,” and finds her artisan cheeses at independent cheese stores.

Marjani Aladin of Boards & Platters / Courtesy of Boards & Platters
Marjani Aladin of Boards & Platters / Courtesy of Boards & Platters

“People expect the board to look different, but the vegan boards look almost exactly the same,” she said. “We try to be as inclusive as possible, and provide the same experience across all dietary preferences.”

Boards & Platters primarily delivers its boards, though occasionally it offers pickup dates.

The business also has a resident program, partnering with apartment communities for monthly pickup with a 10 percent discount for residents.

404-981-1299, boardsandplatters.com

Bottega Bene. Right around the time the pandemic last year, Blaire Dorin was visiting her grandmother, the daughter of two Italian immigrants, and started looking into how to obtain dual citizenship herself. At the same time, she and her fiancee began using antipasti spreads to differentiate between weekend nights and the rest of the week.

“It was a great time for us to put away our phones and pay attention to each other and the food,” she said. “It felt very special.”

The pair starting talking about Dorin’s love of Italy and “embracing human connection,” and she found herself wishing the experience was more accessible for more people.

A selection of meat and cheese boards is available from Bottega Bene. Courtesy of Bottega Bene
A selection of meat and cheese boards is available from Bottega Bene. Courtesy of Bottega Bene

Dorin’s newly opened kiosk, located inside Irwin Street Market, just off the Eastside Beltline, is a “deli by nature,” with meat and cheese sold by the pound, as well as espresso drinks. But, its specialty is its antipasti spreads for one, two to four, six to eight or 10 to 12.

Customers can choose from a list of meats, crackers, breads and accompaniments for a build-your-own board.

The menu also offers suggested pairings, including the Bene spread, featuring traditional Italian options, and a meatless spread, with the focus on cheeses, vegetarian accompaniments and crackers.

Several ingredients are sourced from Georgia producers including Savannah Bee Company and Georgia Sourdough. She looks for companies that make sustainability and “overall good practices” a priority, and packaging is made from the waste produced when sugarcane is made.

Blaire Dorin of Bottega Bene. / Courtesy of Blaire Dorin
Blaire Dorin of Bottega Bene. / Courtesy of Blaire Dorin

Dorin said while the boards themselves encourage interaction, her brick-and-mortar location is also meant to “facilitate human connection,” she said. Boards can be taken to-go, or enjoyed on the Beltline or the shop’s

“I wanted that local shop down the street sort of feel where people can pop in,” she said.

Order online for pickup. In-person orders also can be accommodated, but might take a few minutes to put together.

Bottega Bene is open noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.

660 Irwin St., Atlanta. bottegabene.com

Candied and Cured. Katie Nickell and Alyssa Clark launched their business last year, because they were missing some of the elaborate snack spreads that had been served at the co-working space where they met.

“There’s nothing like a cheese board to light up people’s faces,” Nickell said. “It seems silly, but when you see something made with love and care and attention to detail, it seems like it’s a moment.”

The kids' charcuterie board from Candied and Cured. / Courtesy of Candied and Cured
The kids' charcuterie board from Candied and Cured. / Courtesy of Candied and Cured

Credit: Candied and Cured

Credit: Candied and Cured

They offer four primary boards: 6-inch (serves two to three), 10-inch (serves four to five) and 14-inch (serves six to nine) round boards, and a 19-inch-by-14-inch rectangle (serves 10-14).

Nickell said the menu is “a launching point” for customizable boards, though some customers prefer Nickell and Clark to choose all the components.

If no specific direction is given, the pair lean on go-tos including, brie, aged cheddar or manchego, blueberry goat cheese, prosciutto and calabrese salami.

Themed boards are also available -- a recent Super Bowl tray included football-shaped brownies, while a Valentine’s Day board featured cured meats shaped into roses.

Katie Nickell (left) and Alyssa Clark are the owners of Candied and Cured. / Courtesy of Candied and Cured
Katie Nickell (left) and Alyssa Clark are the owners of Candied and Cured. / Courtesy of Candied and Cured

Credit: Candied and Cured

Credit: Candied and Cured

Candied and Cured also offers a kids board, with such favorites as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish and mild cheese, like Babybel.

Boards can be dairy- or gluten-free, or vegetarian, and all come with bamboo utensils, a bread and cracker box and mini jars or honey or jam.

Boards can be picked up from Ponce City Market or delivered inside I-285.

facebook.com/candiedandcured

The Butcher Board from Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Atlanta. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
The Butcher Board from Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Atlanta. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Wrecking Bar Brewpub. This longtime Atlanta brewpub-restaurant offers a meat and cheese board, with options that change seasonally.

They have cheeses made in Georgia (Griffin and Asher Blue from Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville), and from dairies across the country, while most meats are cured in-house, including the lardo and pork loin.

Boards also come with nuts and jams, as well as house-made breads and crackers.

Wrecking Bar offers butcher board to-go options for two, packed picnic-style in a bag, for $50, or for any size group with at least 24 hours notice.

292 Moreland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-221-2600, wreckingbarbrewpub.com

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