FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q: Just like the “Tominator,” the “Lopez” is named after its creator: in this case, Steve Lopez, Widespread Panic’s tour manager. Lopez used to have the Fox brothers make him a “Krystal casserole,” Krystal burgers covered in chunky and slightly spicy Texas-style brisket chili, crunchy golden tater tots and melted cheddar and jack cheeses. The restaurant introduced the concoction — minus the burgers — as a special and it has been a regular menu item ever since. 1238 DeKalb Ave. 404-577-4030. www.foxbrosbbq.com.
THE COUNTER BURGER: Customized gourmet burgers are all the rage at this California-based eatery. But the sides — especially the chili cheese fries — are just as craveable. Skinny fries coated in a salty and smoky barbecue seasoning are covered with a layer of cheddar cheese then a hearty serving of chili made from freshly ground all-natural Meyer's Red Angus beef shoulder. A little finely minced red onion and a drizzle of sour cream take these fries from good to great. 850 Mansell Road, Roswell. 678-461-9661. www.thecounterburger.com.
THE PORTER: Owner Molly Gunn modestly claims her chili is “the only thing I am actually good at making." It’s a slow-cooked mixture of smoky bacon, ground chuck, organic kidney beans and seasonings. The beer bar’s signature garlic fries are smothered in the beefy goodness, white cheddar and a touch of minced herbs. The chili cheese fries are, unfortunately, only offered as a special occasionally. But they’re worth seeking out when they’re available. 1156 Euclid Ave. 404-223-0393. www.theporterbeerbar.com.