Muss & Turner’s

Living in Smyrna, or as I like to call it, AMERICA’S PREEMINENT ORGY OF BURGEONING “MIXED-USE” DEVELOPMENTS*, I am constantly bombarded by hip new retailers trying to come between me and what little cash I have. Not that I mind, though, as it is better this than retailers packing up because my money is not good enough for them. And I certainly have nothing against local residents starting local businesses, I am just inherently suspicious of business plans that involve using a certain aesthetic to justify higher than average pricing in an attempt to siphon dollars from the higher-income set. As someone who is decidedly not rich, I can’t help but feel that the aforementioned aesthetic is aimed a little over my head.

Last night, I patronized just such an establishment. One of the first businesses to open in the yet-to-be-completed John Wieland development at the intersection of Atlanta Road and Cumberland Parkway is Muss & Turner’s, a gourmet sandwich shop / market.

You can read a review of Muss & Turner’s (with photos) at Access Atlanta.

The reason I went there to begin with is that, while on my way down 285 to the airport, I was informed that the flight I was meeting had been delayed. I hopped off the Atlanta Road exit and headed home. As I passed Cumberland Parkway, I thought to myself, “I should go eat at that new swanky sammich place and write a review for the metroblog, to which I have been a lackluster contributor.” That’s exactly how it went, I swear.

M&T’s could be interpreted a couple different ways, but the most fitting is: Gourmet Sandwich Shop That Also Sells Upscale Food Items. By upscale food items, I mean Wine, Beer, Sauces/Marinades, Olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar, and, of course, cheese. All the employees in the open kitchen we wearing pro chef gear, and everything was very clean and well put together. Based solely on the decor, I was expecting haute French/Tuscan/Californian cuisine, and there is some of that to be found. But the soul of the menu seems to be more Southern than anything else. I ordered the same Swifty’s Dream sandwich from the Access Atlanta review. Admittedly, it was fantastic. A fistful of pulled pork, a pinch of slaw, and some horseradish and bacon to pull it all together and make you think, “The South can feel free to rise again all it wants if this is the kind of food we’ll be serving.”

I didn’t spend a whole lot of time examining the wine selection or comparing prices on labels I recognized, and I got my sandwich to go, so I was only in the store for a few minutes. But everyone was extremely friendly and the whole place had a very pleasant vibe. The beer selection left quite a bit to be desired, but I’m kind of a lot of a snob in that regard, so I know my expectations can be unreasonable.

I can’t say I will eat at Muss & Turner’s very often since sandwiches seemed to be in the $8-$11 range, and that’s not counting sides or drinks. But my indulgence last night left me with a favorable impression, and, at the very least, eased my suspicions of many of the higher-end retailers popping up in the Smyrna area.

* – Don’t get me wrong. As a property owner, I am STOKED that these developments are happening in my area. I’m just saying that the frenzied pace of the growth can be a little unsettling, and by unsettling I mean worthy of me making fun of it.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jessica (unregistered) on May 20th, 2005 @ 4:31 pm

    Good to see you again! Let’s mail Sean Bonner the receipt!


  2. Amber (unregistered) on May 20th, 2005 @ 4:58 pm

    You probably wish you lived in Vinings. Right?


  3. Josh (unregistered) on May 24th, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    Wow! I wish I could be plunking down $8-11 for a sandwich alone. If I could, I’d still opt for a Publix whole-sub combo for about $7 with Dirty’s Jalapeno potato chips and a large beverage. While I totally appreciate a place that serves high quality stuff in a professional atmosphere, in terms of an everyday lunch place, I’d have to pass solely based on price… I’m the same way with beer… I love good beer but I hate to spend $9+ on a six pack unless it’s a special occasion, so I’m always trying new stuff that’s really good but not ridiculously priced. I’ve found (Mendocino) White Hawk IPA is tasty and a good buy, also.

    As far as the mixed use developments, I havn’t seen that here in Buford. I always kind of liked the idea but was confused how they could pull it off in the ‘burbs. The closest I’ve seen are some big subdivisions that have like a small shopping/eating place kind of blended into the ‘hood. Looks much nicer than a typical strip-mall and it’s nice for the residents of the ‘hood cuz they can (if they would) walk to these places. When I think of mixed-use developments, I think of apartment buildings with commercial space on the lower levels. Like a laundry, a grocery, and coffee/sandwich shop or something. Okay, maybe if in the ‘burbs they just started building apartments above all the strip malls? Or, maybe just do it for a newly developing area as an experiment. Considering the 1000 or so people that live in my complex alone, how many people is that who wouldn’t have to drive to run everyday errands in the Atlanta burbs? I’m no civil engineer or what-not but I think it could be a good thing if done right.



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