Anyone Want Some Chicken?

My reaction to the new chain restaurants on N. Druid Hills.

Good news!

The people of N. Druid Hills just got a little fatter. Not only do we have a new Zaxby’s but The Patch just announced a new Popeye’s will open within 2 bocks! AND! Just in case you wanted more fatty goodness in your body a Golden Corral is being built in the mall parking lot. 

Okay, that was sarcasm. I will not be able to share in the fried goodness of these new restaurants. Not out of any moral conviction but because I cut gluten out of my diet months ago. In case you aren’t aware gluten=wheat=flour=all fried things. Gluten is also in just about everything else too. Luckily, I’m not in the zero tolerance range (Celiac’s Disease) so I can eat a French fry with no breading without being sick for a week, but once you’ve been sick for a week for having a tiny amount of ranch dressing you kind of learn how to avoid risky foods. Once you go gluten-free there’s really no turning back. When I say NO WHEAT ever, I mean NO WHEAT EVER. (That includes ever.)

This means no Popeye's for me. I suppose Golden Corral at least has vegetables. Some of them fried, I'm sure, but still a vegetable is a vegetable, I guess. I kind of can’t help but feel cranky about these new places. I want to be able to support local establishments. (Like last week when I went to the mall to look for some kid shoes. AKA: Epic Fail.) But I also exercise 4 or so times a week and try to maintain a semi-healthy lifestyle. All of this seems counter-productive. I keep hoping a gym will open in the old Blockbuster store. At this rate, we'll be lucky to get away with a BBQ joint or an all-you-can-eat-buffet of some kind. Honestly, I just want my cake and to eat it too. New resturants but healthy ones. Is that to much to ask?

Okay, truth? I just want cake. Cake is made with flour and it's been a really long time since I've had any.

Even though I can’t participate in the fattization of my neighborhood, I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. I truly get that there is money to be made in the food business. I’ve also seen the run-down, empty buildings these restaurants are taking over. It’s a good thing, right? Successful franchises, taking the place of abandoned shops. It’s growth and tax revenue. Job creation. So even though I won’t really take part in supporting these places, I’ll keep my picket signs to myself, because I suspect these chains have done their research and they feel confident this community wants to eat this type of food. They probably know us better than we know ourselves.

The bottom line is that I hate the fact I have to spend my money outside this community (and yes, that includes the occasional trip to Wal-Mart). Unfortunately, with every place that opens like Golden Corral we are one step further away from that Trader Joe’s. Oh well, at least when I go grocery shopping in Virginia Highlands I can swing by Yeah! Burger for some gluten-free options and make it worth my while.


Anna will participate in the Decatur Book Festival this weekend in the Emerging Writer's tent with her books Wraith and FanGirl! Her books will be available all weekend but she will have a signing at 2pm.

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Victor Johnson August 29, 2012 at 03:06 PM
A vegetable is not a vegetable...whatever Golden Corral has will be so overcooked and/or fried it will bear little resemblance to what was once a fresh vegetable. That is disheartening that so many people still frequent these places, apparently enough to justify building more of them.
Debbie Inglis Maddox August 29, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Couldn't agree more. Northlake Mall and N. Dekalb are awful. At Northlake at least there are a few stores - Sears, Kohl's, JC Penney's. The Macy's there will tell you their selection is sub-par and encourage you to go to Lenox. Seems like we have enough wealth in the area to support a wider variety of stores. Napoleon's and Sprig, really that whole Oak Grove intersection seem to be doing great. Not sure why that wouldn't work at N. Druid Hills/L'ville Hwy too?
Lucas Roberts August 29, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I symphonize. If you build it, they will come. People are drawn to cheap goods. Food and merchandise. People must make a conscious effort not to go to these places. WalMart included. Shop local, eat local – support your neighbor. It takes someone like a strong community to develop an area to have the pull to create a Yeah Burger. But as long as people keep going to Pizza Hut rather than Mo’s – developers will keep destroying neighborhood because no one is saying No. So start saying No
Susan Kellett Gue August 29, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Not that I ever thought Golden Corral was healthy, but the chocolate fountain and cotton candy on their buffet just pushed them off of my list of restaurants to ever visit. I have visions of an old Saturday Night Live skit about a restaurant called "The Trough." :) I do with that a healthy fast food restaurant from the 80s would come back. Anyone else remember Delights, that had grain buns for their hamburgers and didn't serve soft drinks but served apple juice? I hated when my mom dragged us there but I sure do wish I had that option now.
Monique August 29, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I agree. I also love Zaxby's.
Hollis27 August 29, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Two words - Zoe's Kitchen! Zoe's needs to infiltrate our neighborhood. It is a GOLDEN business opportunity (no relation to the corral). Healthy, fast (not drive-thru) and fresh; nothing fried, no mayo and no sodium added ... And IT IS SOOOOO GOOD!
BentleyP August 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
If this is what my neighbors want, then fine. However, I'd be much happier with a costco parking deck, if this is progress. Was there no way to protest this crap? Whatever momentum this area HAD is now long gone. Maybe we should just replace the mall with another Walmart at this point.
Christine Callaway August 31, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Yes -- Delites was on N. Druid Hills in the Toco Hill area and was SO good!! I have wished for years they would come back :'(
Mack Hawkins August 31, 2012 at 04:36 AM
The economy control's where you eat,unless you are rich. Pizza Hut $12.00 pizza,Mo's $17.00.
Leah Salby November 10, 2012 at 01:27 PM
That's the south; FRIED CHICKEN! LOL! I don't eat that junk. Popeye's takes food stamps so there you go. The stock went up. I rest my case.


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