I'm wrapping up a two-and-a-half year stint in Athens, and wondering whether there's hope for the food scene in town. Also wondering whether the problems here are specific to Athens or signs of more general regional phenomena. Of course it may also be that this is just how people eat in college towns.
Let's start with the positives: Excellent, cheap tacos at Agua Linda and reasonably good stuff at the new Peruvian chicken spot across the street. Like many out-of-the-way towns in the South, we've got gads of new Latino immigrants. They're probably our best hope.
Five Star Day does a good job with inexpensive, Southern-inspired food.
On the downside, there isn't any passable barbecue in a five-county radius, as far as I know. Downhome fare is okay at Wilson's, but mostly for the entrees rather than the sides, and of course the sides are what you're after. Eating at Automatic for the People (or whatever it's called) is a frustrating and grim experience.
Asian food: it just can't be done. There's no pizza to speak of. Honestly there isn't really a decent diner.
In fairness I'm leaving out the Five and Ten, and I've only been to the new Italian place in the Bottleworks once. And my tone is deliberately polemical. But out of curiosity, are there Athenians here who disagree? Or, for that matter, are there places I haven't listed that I should try in my last couple of weeks here?