For this special edition of Hayden’s Review we visited four Canton spots to sample seasonal sips and spreads sure to warm you up as the temperature drops. From Alma Coffee’s Otoño roast to savory dishes from Big Easy BBQ and Dive Southern Coastal Kitchen to a cozy cocktail at Canton Cigar Company, we love these autumnal menu offerings.
3448 Holly Springs Parkway, Canton
From the family coffee farm Finca Terrerito in the pueblito (little town) of Corquín, Honduras, in Central America to the roastery and café on Holly Springs Parkway, Alma Coffee‘s farm-to-cup roasts are carefully crafted by its passionate team.
In Alma Coffee’s roastery the satisfying scent of coffee fills the air and smiling baristas greet you as you step in the door. Behind the scenes its roasters—including head roaster Cody Richey, who welcomed Enjoy Cherokee to a special tasting of Alma’s seasonal specialty fall roast, Otoño—craft and deliver the small batch roasts for which Alma is known.
Taking his love for coffee seriously, Cody is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association and specializes in pourovers and roasting. He credits his Cuban heritage as an inspiration for his passion for coffee, sharing, “Coffee was always big in my family.” He’s also excited for his first trip to Finca Terrerito in 2024.
Menu Says: Otoño (Fall Roast) Medium Roast with notes of Blackberry, Black Tea, and Nutmeg
HAYDEN SAYS: Cody serves up the medium-roast Otoño, which translates to fall in Spanish, using a Chemex Pourover Glass Coffeemaker, known for its simple yet pristine pourovers. He shares that the fresh pourover process is the “truest way to taste the coffee,” and he’s right. A sip of this smooth blend delivers a smoky flavor on the front end, a result of the wet-wash process, followed by fruity and floral notes from the honey and natural processes respectively. For this latte lover who likes a little coffee with my creamer, the pourover process was a new and unforgettable sensory experience. The clean roast is comforting and cozy, perfect for the cooler temperatures that prevail in a North Georgia autumn.
Big Easy BBQ
2864 East Cherokee Drive, Suite A, Canton
Beneath the driftwood chandeliers that light up Big Easy BBQ, a Cajun smokehouse in Hickory Flat, owner Keith Kendrick serves up warm welcomes and Cajun-inspired cuisine that transports your tastebuds to the bayous of Louisiana. The comforting, smoky scent of warm barbecue lingers throughout the store and even drifts outside to the burnt oak patio tables handcrafted in Acworth.
Inside, the rustic interior featuring murals and paintings by local artist Laura Bowman brings to mind the swampy bayou, while large windows invite in plenty of natural light, giving the eatery an upbeat Southern energy.
Menu Says: Blackened Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Pasta
HAYDEN SAYS: Inspired by New Orleans-born chef Dean Berthelot’s recipe, this made-to-order, cooked-from-scratch dish begins with Cajun cuisine’s “holy trinity” of vegetables: onions, bell peppers, and celery. It builds on that foundation with garlic, spices, diced tomatoes, farfalle pasta, blackened chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage, all tossed in a rich cream sauce with a subtle Cajun kick and garnished with a colorful blend of tomatoes and green onions. The overall effect is a warm and peppery flavor that is a welcome comfort, especially for cool, drizzly days. Feel free to add a dash of hot sauce for a little extra heat.
The blackened chicken is well seasoned and juicy, the shrimp is savory, and the Chef Paul Prudhomme-brand andouille sausage has a sharp, distinct flavor with a bit of tang.
Accompanying the dish is a crisp, buttery bread that hails from Leidenheimer Baking Company, a New Orleans staple since 1896. The same bread is used for Big Easy BBQ’s assortment of flavorful po’boys.
On the menu alongside traditional Cajun favorites such as shrimp and crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, and slow-smoked meats, Big Easy BBQ’s blackened chicken, shrimp, and andouille pasta holds its own and and leaves you feeling like a low country boil has been turned into a cozy pasta dish.
Dive Southern Coastal Kitchen
135 Reinhardt College Parkway, Suite 1, Canton
Upon turning fifty and with thirty-six years of culinary experience already under his belt, Dive Southern Coastal Kitchen founder and chef Kip Lowery felt called to open his own restaurant, which he did in May 2022 with the help of his sister, Celeste Charleston, who assisted with scouting the location along Reinhardt College Parkway, in the former Riverstone Corner Bistro building.
Outside, Dive’s dog-friendly patio features high-top tables made with barrels from Ball Ground’s Barrel House Coffee Company. Inside, Dive’s East Coast shore-house vibes, inspired by South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island and Charleston, provide a bright splash of summer sure to cure your wintertime blues. The name itself has a double meaning, inspired both by Kip’s love of the beach and for finding mom-and-pop-owned “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants, often referred to as dives, when he travels. Both inspirations are evident in Dive’s menu, which features seafood and Southern classics.
Menu Says: Shepherd’s Chicken Pot Pie
HAYDEN SAYS: Served in one of Dive Southern Coastal Kitchen’s signature cast-iron pans, this delicious fusion of chicken pot pie and shepherd’s pie is a unique twist on two classic comfort foods.
Corn, carrots, sweet peas, green beans, potato chunks, thinly sliced onions, tender chicken, and a flaky layered pastry puff sit in a creamy sauce topped with mashed potatoes, parsley, and a melted blend of cheeses. This dish is hearty and filling, although you won’t want to stop eating.
Canton Cigar Company
225 Reformation Parkway, Suite 124, Canton
Step inside the cocktail and bourbon bar at Canton Cigar Company, take in the smoky, sweet aroma of premium cigar tobacco amid mid-century modern touches of leather and wood, and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into your grandfather’s study. Industrial and earthy at the same time, the lounge’s exposed brick walls, warm low-hanging lights, and piney accents create a welcoming environment that lures you in to sit and sip for a spell.
Canton Cigar Company opened its doors at the historic Mill on Etowah in 2022 and will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Saturday, December 2, with specialty cigar vendors, tastings, and giveaways.
While the shop doesn’t serve food, it offers a seasonal craft cocktail sure to warm you from the inside out on cool, crisp fall evenings.
Menu Says: S’mores Surprise
Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (94 Proof), vanilla simple syrup, and chocolate liqueur with a toasted marshmallow and wild Italian Amarena cherry garnish
HAYDEN SAYS: Mixologist Destiny Williams describes this drink as “a s’mores old-fashioned,” and the warm, smooth Elijah Craig bourbon blend is truly dessert in a glass. Each sweet sip is reminiscent of sitting around a crackling campfire. While the cigar shop offers bourbon-tasting nights on Tuesdays, this drink will make you want every night to be bourbon night.
Whether sitting inside at the bar, custom-built by Anthony Hembree of Bosk Design, or outside on the soon-to-be heated patio, the laidback vibes at Canton Cigar Company will leave you feeling warm and welcome. Who’s also welcome at the cigar shop? Your dogs. It doesn’t get much better than that.
You May Also Like…