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5 Spot hits lucky 7

The Foodie column

POSTED: February 12, 2013 10:53 a.m.
Photo provided/

Grilled salmon and veggies hit the spot at the 5 Spot in Habersham Village.

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Every so often in the rough and tumble restaurant business there is that magical moment when an eatery is the right thing, at the right time and in the right place. That lightning has struck for The 5 Spot in Habersham Village.

The all–day kitchen is the fifth location for Gaslight Group, Brian and Jennifer Huskey’s parent company that also owns B. Matthew’s Eatery, Blowin’ Smoke BBQ, Blue Turtle Bistro and Abe’s on Lincoln.

If you’re a regular at any one of those restaurants, you’ll find some comfort in The 5 Spot menu — it’s partially a collection of the “best of” from the other kitchens — with some spins of its own.

For example, devout followers of the “clean diet” will currently find daily specials that comply with the eating plan’s strategy. What is clean eating? Tosca Reno, the author of 13 clean eating books, advocates her “Eat Clean Diet,” which encourages drinking plenty of water and eating six small meals daily, including a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates.

That means no processed foods and cooking from scratch, the mantra at The 5 Spot. A recent clean special, at a bargain price of $8, was grilled chicken over mixed greens with almonds, blueberries, cucumbers and red onions with cumin-lime vinaigrette. That’s fresh cooking — and a departure from other choices in Habersham Village.

The menu isn’t the only dramatic change in the former Clary’s location. The remodel has created a comfortable pair of dining rooms and a lively bar with just a hint of urban chic.

On a recent dinner visit, I sampled the grilled salmon. The filet was glazed with sweet and spicy ingredients and served over a bed of sauteed spinach with grilled onions and roasted potatoes. It presented nicely and was constructed with flavors and textures in mind. At $13, the plate fell into the mid–range of entrees.

On a budget? Appetizers cap out at $6.50 and sandwiches (served with chips and a pickle, top out at $7.50 for the Burger and Five Toppings (pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and bacon). It’s well worth the money: This is a big, grass–fed Angus beef patty on a Kaiser roll.

All of this scratch cooking has its risks. Several guests had reported to me that The 5 Spot biscuit was hard and overly crumbly. I checked in with Brian and learned this is the same scratch biscuit recipe used at B. Matthew’s.

I stopped in at lunch one day and had biscuits and gravy (breakfast is served ‘til 2 p.m.) and found the complaint valid. Brian says he plans to look into it and suggests the recipe needs to be tweaked.

On all of my visits, service has been prompt, friendly and the servers very knowledgeable about the menu. The space is inviting.

It’s as easy feeling to sit in the windows overlooking the street to enjoy a morning cup of coffee (locally-roasted PERC is used) as it is to gather with a group of friends for a lively lunch or dinner party.

4430 Habersham St., (912) 777-3021

Beer and ‘Cue

Gerald’s Pig and Shrimp on Tybee Island now has a beer and wine license. Gerald’s big covered outdoor seating area just became even more inviting on those summer beach days when cold beer and barbecue are just the thing!

More than Gelato

Joel Caplan, proprietor of Gelatohhh! in City Market, has changed his sandwich menu to include some hearty choices. New sandwiches include a Cuban pork sandwich, a grass–fed organic burger on local organic brioche and a Chicago-style roast beef and gravy sandwich with provolone and giardiniera. The gelato flavors change frequently. I’m always on the lookout for banana pudding gelato, which also makes an impressive milkshake!

Valentine’s Day...all month

Restaurateurs and savvy diners know that Valentine’s Day is one of the most hellish nights of the year to dine out. It’s crowded, quality is likely to suffer and suddenly, your special evening has turned into a sad, melted chocolate heart. Two of Gaslight Group’s restaurants, B. Matthew’s Eatery and Blue Turtle Bistro, are encouraging couples to savor an amorous dinner anytime in the February with a two dinners-for-$60 special. Reservations are required. You can access info for both restaurants at gaslight–group.com.

 

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