ONE EARED STAG 1029 EDGEWOOD AVENUE NE ATLANTA, GA 30307 (404) 525-4479 ONEEAREDSTAG.COM OWNER AND EXECUTIVE CHEF: ROBERT PHALEN The food world is going through a renaissance of sorts when it comes to ingredients, and I don’t mean local and seasonal. I’m talking about uncommon, undervalued cuts of meat that minimize waste, enhance flavor, and give diners something new. Now when I eat out, my eyes leapfrog over the fillet and sprint toward pâté, collar, cheek, and, of course, foie. Leading the charge in Atlanta is Robert Phalen, chef-owner of Inman Park’s charming One Eared Stag. One glance at his menu—beef heart pastrami, fried chicken necks, roasted tuna collar, and Bolognese made from pig’s feet—and I was hooked. “Sure, it’s a financial decision, but really I’m just a family man, and my approach to running a restaurant goes back to getting my kids to eat things like tongue,” explains Phalen, who butchers whole animals in-house, scrapes fish from the bones for tartare, and sources most of his products from within 100 miles of the restaurant. “If I put tongue in tomato sauce and they like it, then we’ve done it. You can’t necessarily taste the difference, but we’re a no-waste kitchen using a product that’s less expensive and equally, if not more, delicious.” Vegetarians don’t get shortchanged either—a celery salad with endive and apple is one of my favorite dishes on Phalen’s constantly evolving menu. And you’re not resigned to pig’s feet alone. Less-experimental diners will still be wowed by Phalen’s creamy shrimp and grits, crispy fried chicken, melty grilled cheese, and the illustrious Meatstick (a double-stack burger infused with bacon). Even better? None of the small plates exceeds $19, so take my advice and share a round with a group. And don’t overlook brunch—“it’s not overcooked eggs, tiny potatoes, and bacon cooked to no end,” assures Phalen, whose eggs are always fluffy and topped with caviar.