Atlanta has long had a dearth of real delis. Like every town out there, we have our chains. The ubiquitous Subway, the hard to find Schlotzky's, the recently more popular Jimmy Johns, Panera bread, and so on. We even have a mom and pop deli here and there on the ground floor of an office building - if you really look hard. But, the piled-high pastrami New York Deli. We just ain't got it. Or, we didn't.
The last few years have brought new interest in the Atlanta deli. And when I say, Atlanta Deli, I don't mean Katz deli in New York. If you don't know the place I'm talking about think back to When Harry Met Sally. The place where Meg Ryan fakes it. In those kind of places the food is king - as it should be - but the interior, umm, "design" is non-existent.
The Atlanta Deli is different. Same food. But much more focus on the dining experience. Places like Star Provisions, Muss & Turner and Alon's Bakery led the charge. Stocked with artisan cheeses, house-made breads, hand-crafted locally sourced salads and juicy corned beef, pastrami, and turkey, these places focus on making lunch something special. Pair this focus on the food with an equal focus on design and location-specific luxury, and you start to get the idea.
The General Muir is the latest. They take the Atlanta deli interior design up a notch. A large space in the new Emory Point multi-use urban oasis, their tall-ceilinged space is comfortably filled with a deli counter for shopping and take-out, a long bar for belly-uppers, and a dining room with off-white subway tile, black painted booths, some kind of curious black netting around large pendant chandeliers, and a wonderful view into a windowed kitchen.
When it comes to the food, I'm happy to say, their focus is authentic New York. House-made bagels with lox, nova, cream cheese. A classic rueben. Kugel. It's all there. Andrea and I were lucky enough to get a booth, where we were served by Gabrielle. Gabrielle's got some personality my friends, and she's not shy about recommending. I arrived pretty sure I was going to get the rueben, signature sandwich of delis around the world. But Gabrielle steered me toward their pastrami on rye, and all the difference it made. Served with a delectable spread of chicken liver, doused in sauce, and piled high on their subtle rye, it was perfect.
The General is located at Emory, so it might be a bit off the beaten path for you. If you're there for a lecture, a doctor's visit, or a Here's What You Do adventure, go check it out. We loved it, and so will you.
Notes: One of the center piece restaurants of 2011's Emory Point live-work complex, General Muir is a well appointed deli walking distance to the Emory Campus. Great spot for meals if you're doing anything Emory. There is metered street parking around the building. The meters do take visa and mastercard.
Find out more: http://www.thegeneralmuir.com/
Address: 1540 Avenue Pl B-230, Atlanta, GA 30329
Phone: (678) 927-9131