Photographed by Bailey Garrot
The small town of Athens, Georgia, is many things. It’s home to the Georgia Bulldogs (the University of Georgia’s pride and joy), it’s the birthplace of bands you’ve probably heard of (think: R.E.M., The B-52s), and it’s become a food haven for chefs like Peter Dale, who’s opened not one, but four restaurants in the Classic City. “I can’t have a favorite, they are all special in their own ways,” says Dale. He opened his most recent concept, Maepole, in the summer of 2018, and he packed their fast casual menu with plenty of locally-grown, hormone-free, and grass-fed goodness. Plus, there’s cheese! “We always knew there would be a mac and cheese at Maepole,” says Dale when asked about their cheesiest dish. “While we lean healthy, sometimes you just need some comfort food to make your day.”
Dale’s other concepts include the cozy Condor Chocolates, an all-in-one factory, café, and retail location for bean-to-bar chocolates and other confections (like decadent sipping chocolate); the chic Seabear Oyster Bar, home to a grilled cheese filled with Tillamook cheddar, tomato, and a pickle, which Dale says is “really hard not to order every time;” and his first food baby, The National, which is home to Boybutante drag brunch and day-one delicacies like their Manchego-stuffed Medjool dates. As for Maepole, Dale’s got plans: “In the big picture, we’re hoping to expand Maepole to a second location.” As long as this means more mac and cheese, we here at culture fully support this endeavor.