Grit Athens, Georgia
For goodness sakes, why do I have to go all the way to Athens, Georgia for Golden Bowl? It’s just fried tofu over rice, but at the Grit, it’s a magically delicious, stick-to-your-ribs treat. At this vegetarian home cookin’ spot (which is owned in part by Michael Stipe), there are so many hugs and high fives getting passed around that it’s impossible to figure out who is working there and who is just hanging out. Thus, service can be real slow, but there’s always a chance that your server is involved in some only-in-Athens musical outfit, like Bit Brigade, < a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnQ7bDGhOLI">the band that plays the Mega Man 2 soundtrack live and in sync with a person who is playing the game. In order to duplicate the Athens vibes (which are the main draw here), the Brooklyn branch would need a boarding house upstairs where its employees could live, as sort of a Athens-to-New York exchange program. This would be impossible, of course. But then, just a few months ago, a Pok Pok in walking distance seemed like a pipedream, too.