I don't get downtown nearly as often as I used to, but a recent trip for lunch at Blue Plate Diner showed me what I was missing. If you haven't been to Blue Plate lately, take note: It has a new dynamic design. The bar, with 12 brews on tap, is now a separate space with garage-style doors that open up to a private patio along Chestnut Street and the Chattanooga Green. You've got to get over there, take a look and enjoy a cool beverage to ward off the afternoon heat.
Owner Rob Gentry, a former owner of Big River Grille, told me he's happy to be back serving draft beer again. And sticking to his roots, he is featuring two of Big River's brews on his menu.
After leaving Blue Plate, I noticed that Five Guys Burgers and Fries is also moving in downtown, with a new location set to open at 401 Broad St.
So what's your favorite new restaurant in town, and what's your favorite dish there? Email me at email@example.com, and I'll pass the word along.
It appears that the restaurant scene in Augusta, Ga., has been growing as rapidly as Chattanooga's. Augusta is my favorite town on Earth come the first week of April every year. The Masters fills the town with the world's greatest golfers, and all its fans also fill the area restaurants. Once the fans are gone, though, the great food remains.
If you're planning a trip to Augusta this summer, put these stops on your list, or clip this column to save till you return to Augusta next April.
Rooster's Beak, 215 10th St. This trendy taqueria specializes in tacos and Itali-Mex fused entrees. For a complete menu, log onto www.feedyourbeak.com.
Blue Horse Bistro and Jazz Club, 302 Sixth St. Specialties of the house include lobster-shrimp-crab cheesy grits, Southern eggrolls and crab cakes. Website: www.bluehorsejazzclub.com.
Polka Dot Pig GastroPub, 399 Highland Ave. Saddle up to a plate of shrimp and grits or fish and chips, and enjoy one of the best margaritas in town. Website: www.polkadotpiggp.com.
Frog Hollow Tavern, 1282 Broad St. This fun tavern is known for its regionally grown ingredients and farm-to-table menu, which can be found online at www.froghollowtavern.com.
The Place on Broad, 1135 Broad St. Specialties include fried green tomatoes, Bloody Marys and pork chops with apple onion relish. Website: www.theplaceonbroad.com.
Knuckle Sandwiches, 1149 Broad St. A perfect choice when you're craving a pulled pork with Swiss cheese sandwich.
Soy Noodle House, 1032 Broad St. Augusta's place for Thai with Pad Tai, Bi Bi Bap, Vietnamese pho and Japanese teriyaki udon noodles.
Email Anne Braly at firstname.lastname@example.org.