In anticipation of Botiwalla‘s opening in the Central Food Hall early next week, we sat down with Chef Meherwan Irani to chat about what to expect from his next venture into delicious Indian street food.

What is the most exciting or unique thing about opening Botiwalla in the Central Food Hall?

The space and the energy. It’s an incredibly cool space and you can tell people are blown away when they visit. On top of that we’ve got so many exciting concepts by some great chefs that it’s hard to not be hungry all the time.

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How would you describe the Botiwalla experience at PCM?

Tasty and fun! It’s a different look and menu from Chai Pani, but it has all the same colorful, fun energy of the streets of India.

What menu item are you most excited about bringing to the Central Food Hall?

The whole concept is ridiculously exciting to me. This is where I got my start as a cook – marinating, grilling, barbecuing. It’s still one of my favorite things to do. If I had to pick one menu item, the tamarind glazed ribs are going to be insanely good.

What is the best part of being a part of the Atlanta restaurant community?

That it’s a community and it likes to get involved. I’ll see many of the same chefs and restaurateurs at charities, events, fundraisers, etc, and that’s where I’ve had the chance to befriend a lot of people.

What local businesses, organizations, or people, inspire you?

I truly believe that great businesses or people are those that make the world a better place because they exist. Whenever I see that, whatever form it is in, it’s inspiring and reminds me that any one person has the power to make the world a better place – one kind act at a time, one genuine smile at a time, even one plate of food at a time.

What would your last meal be and why?

That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child. It’ll probably be whatever I’m into at the moment. I love almost all food equally as long as it’s delicious and perfectly executed. If I could cook my own last meal, it’ll probably be something on the grill. Fire, smoke, meat, spice rub, marinade, caramelized onions, roasted garlicky potatoes, ….. can’t go wrong!

What is one interesting fact about Botiwalla that folks might not know? 

Most people think of the tandoor when they think of Indian “barbecued” meats. But traditionally meats were grilled on open fire grills. Tandoori chicken is a fairly modern invention early in the 20th century. But for thousands of years meats were cooked on the grill. Even today, the majority of street vendors grill their kababs on skewers over a open flame grill called a sigri and that’s what we’ll be primarily using at Botiwalla.

Organic jerky, hand pies, South African wine – that’s just a taste of what Biltong Bar is bringing to the Central Food Hall. We sat down with owner Justin Anthony to learn more about bringing his unique South African twist to Atlanta, what to expect from the Biltong Bar experience, and even what he would choose as his last meal. Keep reading!

What is the most exciting or unique thing about opening in the Central Food Hall?
It’s really exciting to have South African cuisine in the mix of such a unique development and especially to be in the food hall with such accomplished chefs. It’s unique to be able to showcase our traditional Biltong (South African style air dried, all natural Beef Jerky). We also carry exclusive South African wines, craft cocktails and craft beers.

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Describe the Biltong Bar experience at #PCM It’s a unique, one of a kind experience.
We offer both counter “to go” service as well as sit down service. The bar is a focal point of the eatery.

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What menu item are you most excited about bringing to PCM?
Biltong. It’s all natural, organic, with no preservatives, and an extremely healthy source of protein.

What is the best part of being an Atlanta-based restaurant?
Although I grew up in South Africa, Atlanta has been home for 20 years. I love this city and to be a part of such a burgeoning dining and restaurant scene is a dream come true.

What local businesses, organizations, people, etc. inspire you?
Any individual or business that is liking to make Atlanta better inspires me. I’m especially inspired by Jamestown and what they have accomplished in building PCM, which has taken Atlanta to another level.

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What would your last meal be and why?
Caviar. I want to go out in style.

What is one interesting fact about Biltong Bar that folks might not know?
Biltong Bar is the very first concept of its kind not only in the USA but also in the world!

Inspired by the 1960s era, The Mercury is serving up delicious cocktails as well as lunch and dinner on the 2nd floor of the Central Food Hall. We chatted with owners Brooks Cloud, Julian Goglia and Mike Blydestein about The Mercury experience, their cocktail program, and even the inspiration behind the restaurants theme.

What is the most exciting or unique thing about opening in the Central Food Hall?

We are a true craft cocktail experience at Ponce City Market and are proud to be part of the family here. Our unique interiors and warm ambiance are a nice balance to the industrial space, and we are excited to be the destination for visitors and residents alike.

Describe The Mercury experience at PCM.

We are a cocktail-focused, classic eatery that was inspired by mid-century American culture. Chef Mike Blydenstein’s menu features a raw bar, chops and steaks, and perfectly-executed classic entrees. Beverage Director Julian Goglia curates a full service bar program rooted in approachability and familiarity updated with modern technique, house made ingredients and premium spirits.

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What menu item or cocktail are you most excited about debuting at PCM?

Our tableside cocktail service is offered for parties of 4 or more and is a very unique experience for guests to enjoy. We are excited to offer an updated take on classic dishes that you don’t see very often like the Prime Rib Sandwich and French Onion Soup.

What is the best part of being an Atlanta-based restaurant?

It’s invigorating to be a part of the booming food scene in town, and particularly to be involved in one of the most highly regarded developments in Atlanta. We are located just minutes off the BeltLine and are able to serve guests from all over the city. Atlanta has been good to us!

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What local businesses, organizations, people, etc. inspire you?

King of Pops has accomplished admirable growth over the past few years, and it’s been fun to watch the Old Fourth Ward Distillery expansion. We are proud of our own teams at The Pinewood and The Mercury, and the success that we’ve had with our Proof Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrups.

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What is one cool fact about The Mercury that folks might not know? 

One of our partner’s mother worked for NASA for 30 years and that was a large part of the inspiration behind the space theme.

Get to Know 18.21 Bitters

01 25 2016 | Posted in Food

Tinctures, shrubs, bitters – you may not know it, but these are what make your favorite cocktails so delicious. 18.21 Bitters, founded by Missy and Kristen Koefod, is dedicated to helping Atlanta craft a better cocktail by offering bitters made from the very best ingredients to elevate your drink.

We caught up with Missy of 18.21 Bitters to chat about their store in Ponce City Market, crafting the perfect cocktail, and the inspiration behind their name.

What is the most exciting part of opening shop at Ponce City Market?

We are really excited about being in the PCM Central Food hall surrounded by so many creative and talented chefs! Just the energy they put out there and the excitement the guests bring is creating a creative and exciting energy that we are so thrilled to be a part of.

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For someone who has never used a bitter or tincture, can you describe why they are important to crafting a great cocktail or mocktail?

Bitters are so important to crafting a great cocktail.  We compare it to cooking without spices: you can do it, but it tastes so much better with spices.  In addition to bitters, we carry a line of bottled cocktails that are easy to use and so delicious so if you love craft cocktails but don’t know how to make one, don’t worry!  We have you covered. Our cocktail syrups, shrubs, ginger beer and tonic are also really easy and fun to use.  We offer cocktail classes for those who want to learn more about creating craft cocktails.

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What is the most popular product that 18.21 Bitters offers? 

Our most popular product is our Ginger Beer Syrup.  It is spicy, fresh, bright and perfect for a moscow mule!

What is the best part of being an Atlanta-based business?

We love Atlanta!  We started the company in the Old 4th Ward and are so thrilled to be able to grow in the same neighborhood. Atlanta is a growing, diverse, exciting city with such great food and drinks and such talented chefs and mixologists. Our food and drink scene is growing every day and we can’t get enough. It is such a wonderful city with such friendly people, you just can’t beat it.

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One last question – what about your name? How did 18.21 Bitters come about?

The 18th Amendment enacted prohibition and the 21st repealed it.  That’s where the name comes from!

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A number of the shops at Ponce City Market are joining in the long standing tradition of opening early on the day after Thanksgiving to meet the rush of holiday shopping.  Join us this Friday for your early morning coffee and a biscuit from Hop’s Chicken, and maybe even a mimosa at Brezza Cucina as we get started a little earlier than usual.  Take a stroll or bike ride down the BeltLine to visit PCM – we can’t wait to begin the holiday season with you.

For your convenience, here’s a list of shops and restaurants with extended hours on Black Friday:

Anthropologie: 6am-9pm

Bellina Alimentari: 10am-10pm

Dancing Goats: 8am-6pm

General Assembly: Closed

Goorin Bros. Hat Shop: 9am-10pm

J.Crew: 9am-10pm

Karoo: 10am-8pm

Lily Rain: 10am-10pm

lululemon: 7am-9pm

Madewell: 9am-10pm

Michael Stars: 8am-9pm

Mountain High Outfitters: 8am-11pm

Onward Reserve: 8am-9pm

Rejuvenation: 9am-9pm

The Frye Company: 9am-10pm

The Suzuki School: Closed

West Elm: 8am-9pm

Williams Sonoma: 8am-9pm

Also don’t forget that Spiller Park, Hop’s Chicken, and Farm to Ladle will be open for breakfast at 7am and Brezza Cucina will be opening for a special breakfast at 8am to get the day started right.

 

 

 

There’s still work to be done, but Ponce City Market is moving right along and we’re proud to announce our diverse array of food and retail set to open in 2015. This curated mix of retailers, Central Food Hall purveyors, local innovators and office tenants are coming together to serve the Atlanta community.

We’re building a place that Atlantans can be proud of, where we can reflect on our past and where we can grow together to help shape the future of our city. Take a look at what we’ve got in the works – we can’t wait to share it with you: