On a crisp Sunday morning, Atlantans wait in line at the Atlantic Station so they can go inside the former Pier 1 showroom and taste creations by local food artisans. It’s $5 fee to get in and then you pay $2-5 per sample. Atlanta Underground Market (AUM) is based upon the same concept of San Francisco’s -there are a lot of home cooks and food artisans who have awesome dishes to share, but who don’t have the platform to do so outside of their circle of friends.

Crowds at AUM

The Underground Market allows home cooks, caterers and wanna be food entrepreneurs to test the market and see if they can go into business. On the other hand, it is great fun for foodies looking for unique authentic flavors, to critique or just to enjoy a meal.

Sweet Potato French Toast Balls with Orange Mimosa Syrup

Nothing is just average at the Atlanta Underground Market. A lot of different cuisines and nationalities are represented. The most popular item today was Venezuelan Arrepas (sandwhich made with flat corn meal, stuffed with fried egg and your choice of black bean patty or pulled skirt steak). There was a 30 minute line to get to the table, which was perhaps the biggest downside of AUM.  The good news is that the overwhelmed with demand, Arepa Mia is going to open a location at Sweet Auburn Market.

Arepa with winter Vegetables, roasted Butternut squash, eggplant, collar greens, caramelized onions, black beans and topped with Nata a Venezuelan cream fresh

There are plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options available at AUM. Catering to a mostly urban locale, the vendors seem to be more experimental with their creations.

Spinach & cheese pie

The Senegalese roasted chicken sliders were delicious when washed down with fresh Hibiscus flower Juice (keep an open mind about it). There was also Senegalese french toast for the breakfast lovers.

Senegalese french toast

My favorite was the vindaloo hot dog, a spicy chicken homemade sausage (tasted almost like a kebab) with chilled sweet coleslaw on a soft warm bun. As unique as it comes!

Chicken vindaloo hot dog

AUM is a private club and the event is in a private venue for members, by invitation only. You HAVE to be signed up on their website in order to attend.