Friday, May 23, 2014

Roasters Sandy Springs on Roswell Road

Roasters Sandy Springs on Roswell Road

This is a two-part review, as I had originally reviewed Roasters on 2013.02.27 on Yelp. The original review follows my current comments.

Roasters (originally Roaster's Rotisserie Chicken) is one of the first restaurants I was introduced to in Atlanta (the location was off on 400 at Northridge Rd - which has been closed for many years so most of you won't remember it). I then became a fan of the Lenox Rd location and now this location on Roswell Rd near where I work (Perimeter Mall area). As with the other locations, this one is very busy serving locals for lunch and dinner.

This location has become very popular to my co-workers, since I introduced it to them about three years ago. The menu from 10 or so years in the past has changed quite a but - back when Roasters meant rotisserie chicken, the focus was on the chicken - ironically I thought the best item on the menu was the full rack of pork ribs - these aren't the smoky ribs you find at most BBQ joints, but rather the fall-off-the-bone kind - the original prices for a full rack was around $13 - it was quite the deal, but of course those days have long gone bye.

The menu now has reasonable prices, a lot of variety, tons of veggie options and large portions. You also come to Roaster's for the bread (the cornbread muffins are exceptional, in my opinion, and the yeasty rolls aren't too bad either!)

I went through most of my favorite options in my original post on Yelp (see below) so I won't spend any additional time on those comments - unfortunately we were ravenous so I didn't get any photos of the food as it hit the table - the selections included: Fried Chicken Finger Platter, Turkey and Dressing, Salad with Rotisserie Chicken and a Veggie Plate.

Please read the rest of my comments below. The only thing I have to add, this location is fantastic in accommodating larger parties - I think the most we've brought from the office is around 11. Service was super fast, even at that size and the wait wasn't more than about 10 minutes (we did hit the restaurant at 11:30 so if you want to do something similar, time it right and call ahead like we did).

-- John

(Previous Yelp Posting)
If you've read my review for the original location, you'll know I'm a big fan of Roasters, having been a regular at the Lenox Rd location going on 20 years. Roasters is simply a mainstay for me and I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes convenient rotisserie chicken, pork ribs, comfort food and cooked fresh vegetables. This location in Sandy Springs (same shopping center as Trader Joes, Penzy's Spices, Rockler, etc) is not only conveniently located, but offers up good food and great service.

The core of their food choices is their chicken - succulent rotisserie on or off bone (ask for the latter) served up with two sides. Choose light, dark or mixed in quarter or half portions. I particularly like their combo offerings - my choice is quarter-white with the pork ribs. Now I love BBQ and this isn't what I would call that - rather these are fall-off-the bone ribs with a slight smoke flavor. Their BBQ sauce works particularly well with both the chicken and the ribs - sweet/sour and savory with a little kick and the consistency of good ketchup.

Roasters has an awesome veggie menu so even my vegan friends are happy - they put little piggies next to those items cooked with pork and pretty much the rest qualifies as vegetarian. With over 20 options, most made with fresh vegetables (make sure you ask if in doubt) it's worth coming here just for the green beans, broccoli and cauliflower casserole and the collard greens. These are cooked Southern style so a bit to the over-cooked side, but still delicious - slather on some pepper vinegar or Tobasco and you're gold. I'm also a big fan of the turkey plate (a little bit of Thanksgiving anytime of the year) with dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce - add a baked sweet potato and something green and you're in heaven.

Finally, Roasters has some of the best chicken fingers I've ever had - these crunchy tenders are fantastic, even on a salad. I'll sometimes swap the fingers for the rotisserie chicken on the combo plate I mentioned above.

And since I haven't mentioned the bread, I feel like I must. You get these fresh yeasty rolls and slightly sweet cornbread muffins that are some of my favorites. You'll want to try these for sure and ideally, sprinkle some of that corn bread on your black eye peas. Get you a 4-veg plate with some bread and you've got a really inexpensive lunch that's very satisfying.

I'm not done without talking about the desserts - I'm not much of a sweets guy, I typically go for a carrot cake rather than something chocolate - I'm actually a huge fan of ice cream or gelato. That being said, I really like the cobblers they offer here, especially the peach. Basically a bowl of filling covered in hot baked dough with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top - the perfect finish to a great meal.

This is a very busy shopping center but there's usually parking towards the edges. It also can be hard to get out of as there's a one-way street on the South side - you can cross over using the alley and hit the opposite one-way on the other side if you need to go East. I avoid Roswell Rd like the plague - even the locals know to use the side streets as it gets so backed-up. Lunch can be particularly crowded so it's best to come early - the wait can get long at peak times. There are a couple of TVs but they aren't too obnoxious, usually showing the latest on ESPN.

-- John

Roasters on Urbanspoon

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