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Atlanta Highway Seafood Market earns Georgia tourism recognition
Shrimp po boy named one of the '100 Plates Locals Love'
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Atlanta Highway Seafood Market’s fried shrimp po boy was named one of the “100 Plates Locals Love” by Georgia’s tourism department.

Atlanta Highway Seafood Market

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday

Location: 227 Atlanta Highway No. 900, Gainesville

Phone number: 770-287-8277

Website: www.atlantahwyseafoodmarket.com

Atlanta Highway Seafood Market has been known to draw quite a crowd with its Cajun- and Asian-inspired dishes.

But recently it was the fish-market-turned-restaurant’s fried shrimp po boy that has garnered favor with Georgians. The state’s Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division named the dish one of “100 Plates Locals Love.”

“The shrimp po boy is probably our most popular po boy,” owner Phuong Le said. “I’m very honored to be on that list at all.”

The seafood-style sandwich features wild-caught fresh shrimp on bread from Gambino’s Bakery out of New Orleans. It’s then loaded with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise and pressed.

Stacey Dickson, president of the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau, nominated the dish for the “100 Plates Locals Love” distinction this year.

“It’s one of the most popular dishes they have there,” Dickson said about why she nominated the po boy. “Also because it’s a signature staple of their New Orleans and Cajun cuisine.”

Once the nomination was made along with nearly 600 others submitted on ExploreGeorgia.org in November 2015, a panel of judges selected the final list. The “100 Plates Locals Love” are then featured in the state’s culinary guide, “Georgia Eats.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division started the “100 Plates Locals Love” in 2015 as a way to inspire culinary travel, Dickson said. She nominated several dishes and restaurants this year, in addition to Atlanta Highway Seafood Market.

“It’s something you wouldn’t expect to find in the middle of Gainesville, an authentic New Orleans po boy, but you can get that here,” Dickson said.

Le has owned Atlanta Highway Seafood Market, at 227 Atlanta Highway No. 900 in Gainesville, for a little more than eight years. The business started as a fish market and grew into a restaurant, doubling its space since it opened to serve walk-ins as well as diners. The majority of the seafood served is from the Gulf of Mexico, although some is from Alaska, the East Coast and more locally a farm that sells rainbow trout in Hiawassee.

“(Le) has made such a marvelous go of it here,” Dickson said. “To have such fresh seafood here in Gainesville is sort of an anomaly.”

While fresh seafood may be a rarity in Gainesville, Le is all too familiar with the cuisine.

Le worked for C.F. Gollott & Son Seafood as a teenager while living near the Gulf in Biloxi, Miss. — a little more than an hour away from New Orleans. Now he’s come full circle, purchasing fish from the supplier for his restaurant.

“We try to get the best seafood that we can get,” Le said.

Fresh fish is available for purchase in the market. It can either be brought home as-is or prepared in the restaurant to be eaten there or taken home.

Le, who has previous experience working in an auto body shop, said he’s always dreamed of owning a fish market.

His dream came true in 2008. Then it expanded into a restaurant, specializing in Cajun and Asian cuisine. A lot of the menu items are family recipes or ones Le has devised by experimenting in the kitchen. And it has paid off.

In addition to the Georgia Tourism recognition, Atlanta Highway Seafood Market has high rankings on several food websites, such as Zomato and Yelp. And the fried shrimp po boy is has been highlighted in the Lake Lanier CVB’s guide, “100 Plates to Wet Your Appetite.” The free dining guide features restaurants around Hall County and Lake Lanier. It’s available at the CVB, 2875 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

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