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Food Issue - Dinner and a show

5 Atlanta go-tos for food and live entertainment at the same damn time

Eddie's Attic

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One of Atlanta's most venerated singer/songwriter music venues, Eddie's Attic in Decatur has hosted the likes of John Mayer and Sheryl Crow. Eddie's prides itself on fostering a "listening atmosphere," meaning chitchat is prohibited during the artist's performance. But you can order and eat a full-fledged meal during the show. Eddie's has a varied "something-for-everyone" menu ranging from apps such as fried calamari and pulled pork wontons to larger plates like nachos for sharing. If you're torn, go for the crowd-pleasing Attic Burger topped with bleu cheese, spinach, tomato, and caramelized onions. Eddie's offers a number of local and rotating draft and bottled beers. There's no signature craft cocktail menu, but the bartenders at Eddie's can make just about anything from the full bar. The lights dim just before showtime leaving only a spotlight cast onto the stage and barely enough light to see what you're eating in front of you.515 N. McDonough St. Decatur. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — Adjoa Danso

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The New American Shakespeare Tavern

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Opened in 1984, Atlanta's Shakespeare Tavern gives patrons the opportunity to experience Shakespeare's masterpieces and other old English plays in a space modeled after Shakespeare's famed Globe Theatre. There are three first-come, first-served seating levels — main floor, box seats, and balcony — that all cost between $15 and $20. Expect standard British pub fare, including Cornish pasties and Shepherd's pie, along with pseudo-European delights such as ratatouille with crispy polenta and a prosciutto, mozzarella, and tapenade sandwich. There's a wide range of draft and bottled brews, and wines include more than the standard red or white. As for the show, it's best to choose something you're familiar with as vintage English can be difficult to understand and follow during a live performance. Shakespeare Tavern does take such liberties as allowing women to play both male and female parts (the horror!). 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Downtown. 404-874-5299. www.shakespearetavern.com. — AD

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Lips Atlanta

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Atlanta has always been a city that loves drag queens. RuPaul launched his career here in the '90s, as did Violet Chachki, this year's winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race." It's no surprise, then, that Atlanta is one of four U.S. cities with the super successful drag dinner theater Lips. The glittery, glamorous décor would befit the pyramid of an Egyptian pharaoh who impersonated Cleopatra. The food — such as spinach-artichoke dip and a grilled chicken breast — is mundane, but that's not the point. Open Wednesday through Sunday, the big attraction is the lip-synching divas, especially on Friday and Saturday with host Mr. Charlie Brown, long called the "Bitch of the South" for a tongue sharper than a stiletto heel. Sunday's Gospel Brunch, hosted by longtime favorite Bubba D. Licious, is popular with backsliders of every gender and sexual orientation. Interestingly, though, most of the weekend shows are packed with straight women celebrating their birthdays or a bachelorette party. For weekends, you'll definitely need a reservation, typically two weeks in advance. 3011 Buford Highway N.E. Buford Highway. 404-315-7711. www.lipsatl.com. — Cliff Bostock

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Nicola's

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This Lebanese restaurant was opened more than 30 years ago by Nicola H. Ayoub (whose background is in educational psychology). Ayoub's heart is bigger than the stunning platter of meza that every party of four should order as a starter. Entrée standouts are the lamb shank and the chicken à la beef. But you really see Ayoub's passion after 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, when he dances into the dining room with a platter of lit candles atop his head. Belly dancers join him, gyrating until 10:30 or so. And be prepared. The performers will pull you onto the dance floor to do some Lebanese twerking. Prices here are low enough to make the restaurant, a pioneer in the city's Middle Eastern dining scene, a great bargain for groups celebrating special occasions — from engagements to high school graduation and recovery from liposuction. 1602 LaVista Road. Druid Hills/Emory. 404-325-2524. www.nicolas-restaurant.com. — CB

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Agatha's: A Taste of Mystery

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Atlanta's longest-running dinner theater production, Agatha's isn't a classic whodunnit à la Murder on the Orient Express. It's a comedy show that happens to involve a murder mystery and dinner. The four-act show consists of just two professional actors; the rest of the cast is you and your compatriots. When you arrive, an actor hands you a speaking or singing part and whatever props you'll need. Tickets, which range from $60 to $70, include a five-course meal and a glass of wine. You make your selections before the show and courses are served between acts. Think hotel banquet. Each of the six entrées, ranging from chicken to pork to fish to beef, is served with veggies and potatoes au gratin. The current show, Hawai'i Five Uh-Oh, is full of puns and pop culture references that are delightfully cheesy and self-aware. 161 Peachtree Center Ave. N.E. Downtown. 404-584-2211. www.agathas.com. — AD

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