Scout Notes: Betsy Pitts has spent most of her kitchen career in respected Atlanta apots like Flo...Betsy Pitts has spent most of her kitchen career in respected Atlanta apots like Floataway Cafe and Bacchanalia, and she’s brought all that delicious know-how to her own kitchen, focusing on local, seasonal, healthy foods. Foods that are high-quality, but not high-dollar. Urban pL8 might just be one of the most delicious ways of eating healthy that we know about, with a major slant toward paleo-friendly foods (read: little to no starch or sugar in the dishes) enough to make us jealous of the lucky cavemen who apparently were eating things like curried coconut shrimp and brownies with 86% cocoa. Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, locavore, gluten-free: it's all there. And even if you have no idea what any of that healthy jargon means, it doesn’t matter. Judging by the Angus Beef Double Cheeseburger, the Vietnamese Banh Mi, the Krispy Kreme doughnuts for dessert, the full list of small-batch cocktails and bottomless mimosas during brunch, Betsy and the Urban Pl8 crew haven’t forgotten how to excite the taste buds as well.
She opened Floataway Cafe with Anne. She was the sous-chef at Bacchanalia. She was an executive chef at Nickimoto. She worked with Scott Peacock at Watershed, and with Shaun Doty (of Shaun’s) back in Mumbo Jumbo days. And while this isn’t really about the owner's resume, suffice it to say Betsy’s earned her culinary keep with some big names in town. The key difference between Betsy’s past restaurants and UrbanPl8? With locally-produced, fresh and seasonal ingredients in a casual menu of burgers, salads, and brunch dishes, you can actually afford to eat here... and frequently. With the modern, minimalist style of say, a dialed-down Rathbun’s or 4th & Swift, this place feels like "fine dining lite” in the best way possible.
And that "lite" can also be said for the menu, which features paleo-friendly dishes that go low on the starches and processed food, high on fresh produce and protein, and sky-high on flavor. My secret weapon? Urban pL8's kale chips, a crispy and addictive snack that I have tried many, many times to replicate on my own, to no avail. No one does them like Urban pL8, especially with that rosemary aioli. For those who crave potato chips and other crunchy snacks, it's a dream come true. Even if you aren't testing the waters of the caveman way of eating, dishes like the banh mi burger and the jumbo lump crabcake are so delicious, you won't even realize that you're eating healthy. And how often does that happen? Just in case all this Paleo, gluten-free, low-carb talk is getting to you, don’t worry: you can always attack one of the indulgent desserts (or the full bar) face first... caveman-style.
Crispy Kale Chips, $6
Paleo Coconut Shrimp, $9
Avocado & White Grapefruit Salad, $7 (small) - $10 (large)
Grilled Chipotle-Rubbed Angus Hangar Steak, $17
Indian Shrimp, $16
Vietnamese-Style Banh Mi Burger, $8
Tuesday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday - Saturday, 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.