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Cliff's top 10 Atlanta restaurants

Our longtime columnist picks his favorite eateries of 2012

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SPICE OF LIFE: Stir it Up's jerk chicken with rice and peas
  • James Camp
  • SPICE OF LIFE: Stir it Up's jerk chicken with rice and peas

8) Arepa Mia There's plenty of good food inside the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, but Lis Hernandez has created something extra special. She's cooking arepas based on her mother's recipes back in Venezuela. Arepas are cornmeal cakes stuffed with different fillings. My fave is the pabellon with shredded beef, plantains, black beans, and feta. Empanadas are also available. Drawbacks? Like the rest of the market, Arepa Mia is only open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Sweet Auburn Curb Market, 209 Edgewood Ave. 404-880-8575. www.arepamiaatlanta.com.

7) Stir It Up If I want to take anyone to an extraordinary, cheap restaurant, I head to this charming Jamaican spot in Little Five Points. The food is classic, like jerk chicken, but it's cooked to order and not served from the usual steam trays. Drawbacks? Its last seating Tuesday-Thursday (closed Monday) is 8:45 p.m. That's too early for me. (It's open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.) 1083 Euclid Ave. 404-963-2384. www.stiritupatl.com.

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