On a bustling Sunday night, the dining room at Peach & the Porkchop was filled with all walks of life, from couples on date night and groups of friends to multigenerational families and toddlers in high chairs. All gather at this restaurant that boasts it is “slightly north of south,” poking fun at its location on the cusp of Roswell and Alpharetta.
While north of Atlanta, the menu reflects both the Southern culinary heritage and bold Northeast flavors, from the panko fried green tomatoes to the Pittsburgher Philly steak with sautéed mushrooms, onions, bacon, blue cheese and a fried egg. The name, Peach & the Porkchop is a nod to the owners, husband and wife duo Chuck and Alyssa Staley. Chuck was born and raised in Pittsburgh, while Alyssa was born and raised a Southerner. When Chuck met her parents for the first time, Alyssa’s father Fred said to the two of them, “If you ever open a restaurant together, you should name it Peach and the Porkchop.” Alas, in 2014, the restaurant became a reality.
Staley is just the type of person you would imagine to own this restaurant. Humble, laid-back, with a cheery smile and a genuine attitude, you can tell that his passion translates directly into Peach & Porkchop.
“Our guests love the variety that we offer, as well as the freshness of the products we use and that we source our ingredients locally,” he says. “I love making people happy and I strongly believe in putting out a great product and standing behind what I do.”
Peach & the Porkchop remains true to his promise, and whenever possible, they incorporate small batch, locally-owned, and custom-made food products into the menu items. In addition to produce from Maxwell Farms, Circle A Farms, Castleberry Farms and more, proteins are always steroid-free, gluten-free, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free from Meyer’s All-Natural Red Angus beef, Springer Mountain for chicken, and uncured bacon from Beeler Farms.
The menu is all-encompassing, with classic items such as pimento cheese or po’ boy sandwiches, burgers with an array of toppings, Southern fried chicken and of course, a bone-in pork chop. But you can also branch out and try stuffed artichokes with bacon gratin, beer-steamed kielbasa, pan-seared Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with fingerling sweet potatoes, or blackened grouper with fennel and whipped avocado.
Staley’s staff also shares his same passion and attention to high-quality ingredients, and that is no different behind the bar. “My process for our cocktail program starts with fresh ingredients, and is well thought-out prep work,” says bar manager Brendan McMackin. “My very first week behind the bar was a lot of throwing away mixers and purees filled with high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives.”
All of Peach & Porkchop’s cocktails avoid pre-made mixers or artificial products and are balanced with high-quality spirits and modifiers. From the sour mix to the bloody Mary’s and house-made cordials, everything starts in-house. Take the peach puree, only made with three ingredients, peaches, real sugar, and lemon juice, which McMackin makes three to five times a week.
“Just as crucial as the ingredients are in a cocktail is the technique,” says McMackin. “Knowing how, and when to shake or stir a drink makes all the difference. When you put all those elements together, you have a cocktail program that will delight your guests.”
Focusing on seasonality, the cocktail program will highlight lighter flavors. McMackin says he will definitely be serving a play on a “bee’s knees” using Bar Hill gin, raw honey from Vermont, fresh lemon juice and house honey thyme syrup.
Summertime at Peach & The Porkchop is one of the best times to dine because 100 percent of the produce is sourced locally. “There is nothing that compares to a salad made with vegetables that were picked in some cases just a couple of hours before they are enjoyed,” says Staley.
Guests can look forward to Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights when Peach & Porkchop hosts live music on the patio. Peach & the Porkchop is the place where you’ll find regulars lingering on the patio for hours, just enjoying the community with a cocktail and nibbling on locally-sourced food.
12040 Etris Rd., PeachAndThePorkchop.com