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Meet Jarrett Stieber of Eat Me Speak Me in Candler Park and Old Fourth Ward

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarrett Stieber.

Jarrett, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began providing lunch food for some friends’ coffee pop up in May of 2013 while I waited for a new restaurant to open where I was going to go work. After a month of the daytime popup, the guys moved to dinner doing a night time coffee pop up at Candler Park Market that would focus more on the food aspects I had started doing, which they decided to call “Eat Me,” to be tongue and cheek about the food element of things. After a few weeks of doing Eat Me twice a week, the guys pulled out of the project as they funding and momentum fell away and they ended their search for a new permanent location. I, however, was enjoying the freedom I had food-wise, so I move the pop up to a full-time gig. After a few changes in location, we settled into Gato in Candler Park, our current host restaurant, where we have been for about three years now. We operate dinner service Friday-Sunday night from 7-11 pm and also provide food for Chrome Yellow Trading Co, a coffee and retail shop on Edgewood Avenue in the 04W.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has most definitely not been a smooth road. At the beginning, it was really hard to get the word out about what I was doing and trying to create. Atlanta has some really talented cooks and some interested diners, but the dining scene is definitely not on the level of some other major food cities in the country yet. Pop Ups and unorthodox styles of restaurants are more commonplace and understood in some other places but people here seemed extremely confused by the whole thing. Even now, explaining it to people is always difficult, so I usually just tell folks that EMSM is a temporary restaurant project I’m running while I search for funding to open my own brick and mortar. Another major issue I’ve run into is not having the usual help and resources available to me at most larger restaurants. I only have staff during the three nights of service (a cook, a server and a dishwasher each night). The rest of the week, I do all of the menu planning (our menu changes weekly based on seasonal availabilities), sourcing/procuring/receiving of product, prep work, accounting, secretarial work, social media management, etc, for service at Gato and Chrome Yellow by my lonesome. So, in some ways, the small size of our operations has made for an increasingly large workload.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Eat Me Speak Me story. Tell us more about the business.
We are known for serving fine dining food without the price tag or pretense. Eat Me Speak Me’s menu is comprised of exclusively locally sourced, seasonal produce, meat, and fish. The menu changes week to week as our availabilities change. Our goal has been to break down the barriers associated with fine dining, which can be really off-putting to the vast majority of people. I’m proud of the food we have been able to serve in such bizarre, unorthodox settings with such limited resources. It has shown me that if we continue to put effort into sourcing and planning our menu well every week, and in ultimately just trying to make the food taste delicious above all else, we will be successful.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I hope that people like me can stay brave and fight against the major developers who are buying everything up and turning everything into sterile mixed use developments. I’ll be sad to see less independent, free-standing small restaurants in the future but will not be surprised if that becomes our reality.

Contact Info:

  • Address: the address for Eat Me Speak me is 1660 Mclendon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307
  • Website:
  • Phone: 404371-0889
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @eatmespeakme
  • Twitter: @eatmespeakme
  • Yelp: Eat Me Speak Me

Image Credit:
All images @jeffreymorganphotography

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