Spending my third week in Atlanta on business, I have gotten a chance to get out and try a few restaurants in the area. I don't bring my camera out every night, but last night I did and took some pictures which I will download to my regular computer back home. After a little internet research we went to a section of Atlanta called Inman Park.
We arrived and had a picture posing valet, named Bishop park our car. The area had a lot of newer condominiums and the streets were full of vehicles so I didn't want to keep riding around looking for a place to park. The restaurant is in an old converted building called Building 240 which according to their website is in a historical Terminal Building built in 1890 and is the only remaining structure from an old pipe factory which had been abandoned for some time.
The downstairs of the building is actually the "Goods" portion of the "Foods and Goods" where again according to their website is a place where you can grab a quick bite to eat along with buying goods on shelves stocked with fair trade goods, organic homemade breads, flowers, cheeses, homemade ice cream, etc. The night we were there it appeard that they had a wine and cheese tasting party going on.
Favorite Dish: We arrived around 7:00 p.m. and decided to eat outside since it was a very nice evening and the interior was a little too dark for my tastes. We sat next to a table of 4 ladies whose server was male, while our server was Jessica. I commented to my co-worker who I was having dinner with, that this was a very good marketing ploy to have the male serving the ladies while a lady was serving us. (I'm sure this makes for better tips). Jessica was friendly and talked a bit about her favorite sports teams from Atlanta.
Anyway, to the food part of the review. They had a number of appetizers on the menu including salads, a local cheese plate and something which did look interesting, Heirloom Tomatoes and Watermelon, but since we were on a somewhat limited expense account of $30 per evening dinner we skipped that. I asked Jessica what she would order if she were a patron this evening and she said the cheese appetizer was good and that she loves the catfish. I'm not a big catfish lover so I skipped that. I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir wine to go along with my TV Dinner.
Yes, you read me right, a TV Dinner. On their menu they have a TV Dinner selection which they list as a "childhood classic with an adult twist. meat and 3 with a treat". According to Jessica this changes weekly and this week was a Chicken Schnitzel with black eyed peas, spinach, almond rice and the treat was a chocolate cookie. As the picture shows it is actually served in a plastic TV dinner tray with every food item in its own compartment. A clever idea.
However, the food was just average in my opinion. The chicken schnitzel did not contain a lot of meat and was a little dry. The peas, spinach and almond rice were also a bit dry for my tastes. I guess I should have really gone for something not fried, but I figured I would try something different tonight.
I might go back to try out a different menu item, but at least on this night the place only rated a 3 star rating - 5 stars for the service and ambiance and really only 2 stars for the food.
STATS is a unique bar and grill that offers traditional American favorites and is one of the only bars in the United States to feature a beer tap system which allows guests to pour their own beer with no server or bartender needed-all at your table! STATS is the second location worldwide, and first in the United States, to incorporate the beer tap system in tables.
In addition to beer tap tables there are 5 bars and a huge restaurant and private event area with over 70 high definition TVs too.
Stats is not just a sports bar but does have a radio station broadcasting from within the building.
I was given a tour of Stats by the manager who thought he recognized me....lol. There are many parts of Stats not seen from the main bar area and there is also a rooftop and patio area (nice)
Stats is open Noon to 11pm on Sun; 11am – 11pm on Mon to Thurs; and 11am to 1am Fri. & Sat.
Favorite Dish: STATS features primarily the classic American menu with steaks, fish and chicken as both entrees and starters (in various forms).
I had the blackened fish tacos with lettuce, jalapeno sauce, pico de gallo in a soft tortilla with black beans & rice (USD $11).
That, and their margaritas...great lunch.
Richard Blais of Top Chef fame is the owner of HD1 in Atlanta. The restaurant is a fun place to visit with a great menu of gourmet hot dogs, classic soft drinks in a bottle, an outstanding craft beer selection, and many cocktail specials, all served at affordable prices. I try to stop in at least once on every visit to Atlanta. You chose your type of sausage or hot dog, chose your toppings and leave the rest to the cooks. When ordering don't miss the maple covered waffle fries. They don't sound good, but trust me they are fantastic. A little maple syrup, some peppers, and lots of flavor on the fries.
Small but full of fabulous food and drink, Local Republic is an amazing change from the 'usual' Lawrenceville restaurant. A good twist on American fare, try dishes such as Fish Tacos, Chicken Livers (unlike anything I have sampled before, in tomato jam with bacon), Pimento Cheese, Bacon & Jalepeno, Fish Sandwich of the day (I tasted amazing Grouper today), and the wicked selection of custom burgers. Back this up with a wonderful selects of beers and wines (my choice today was a honey wheat beer from up north - delicious). Service is fabulous and you can watch the chefs do their thing as you munch on your starter. This is a must do eatery in Lawrenceville.
Favorite Dish: The Bruiser, a burger with local organic beef, several mustards and blue cheese, with bacon. The Grouper was fabulous and my wife had to share hers with me as the serving was too big for her!
The chicken livers were absolutely fabulous and prepared unlike any others I have had.
Like alot of Asian restaurants these days, they have Japanese and other styles on the menu as well as great Chinese food. The Crispy Duck is amazing and also the Cantonese whole Seabass...Many other items on the menu---definitely recommended when in the Atlanta/Vinings area.
New location 8-2012-------2810 Paces Ferry Rd #220 Vinings
Favorite Dish: Crispy Duck---$13.95
Food Truck Parks are the rage right now and I had never tried any of Atlanta's until today---The location is right at the intersection of Howell Mill Rd and I-75...There is a Shell station half a block northeast where you turn left, go to the stop sign and turn left again to the parking lot and Food Truck Heaven! There were about 5 trucks on a thursday about 11:45am and I picked The Pickle, because their special looked good---whiskey cured pork shoulder in a homeade wrap with lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and a fried egg!!! Really delicious and new tasting! They also had a homemade berry/lavender lemonade that was easy goin down.....I will definitely stop by again---they also had cupcake truck, soul vegetarian, wings and things, and a Sweet Auburn BBQ truck....Think I'll try that one next! (They have President Clinton's favorite sweet potato cheesecake!)
Favorite Dish: pork wrap---$6.50
Andy Grimes is the Chef at The Pickle.
Schlotzsky’s is one of my very favorite places to eat. It’s a sandwich shop that you can take out or eat in the shop with plenty of tables always available. It’s a bit pricier ($6-7 for a sandwich) than most other sandwich shops but definitely worth it.
It's a place where you order at the counter, then wait for your food and pick it up when they call your number. It's very casual and I'm sure you'll love the food!
Open daily 10am-9pm
Favorite Dish: The highlight is the sandwiches. They make it with thick sourdough bread and very thinly sliced meat. Then they sprinkle cheese (the best is a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella) on one piece of bread and run it through an oven conveyor belt. Therefore the sandwich is warm and very tasty. The Original is their signature sandwich and comes with: “Home of The Original® Sandwich. Lean smoked ham, Genoa and cotto salamis, and melted cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses layered with black olives, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard and our signature dressing on toasted Sourdough bread.” (From the website.)
Their sandwiches are quite large. I’ve never ordered a large, the mediums are quite enough when you’re at your hungriest.
Their original chips are delicious! Their pizzas are as well. The cheese and pizza is definitely worth trying, also cooked on a sourdough. The bbq chicken looks just as good but it’s hard not to get my favorite sandwich, the turkey and cheese.
Very similar to Fogo de Chao, Fire of Brazil is another of the all you can eat, carved at your table kinds of places. The meats are very nearly as good as those at Fogo and in a few circumstances, it is better.
The salad bar is not QUITE as good as Fogo though. It IS, however substantial and if you're not a meat eater, you could be quite content grazing off of the salad bar while the carnivores in your party fill themselves up on succulently cooked meats.
The meats are brought to the table on large skewers and the staff slices off a few thin slices for you before taking it back to the kitchen to be re-seared. The staff will constantly circulate through the restaurant bringing the variety of offerings that they have that day. Should you desire something that you've not seen come by your table yet, all you have to do is ask and they will ensure that what you requested will be out very shortly!
I will have to go back to get better pictures of the salad bar however, as the ones I took just didn't come out well. I know it's a huge sacrifice to do so, but for all you VT'ers out there, I will make the sacrifice and do further research for you!
Favorite Dish: The house special is probably my favorite, though I really do enjoy the top and bottom rounds quite a lot as well. It is hard to have a favorite, however, as all the food is well prepared and quite tasty!
JL's Open Pit Barbecue; where do I begin? It gets good reviews, it's in a convenient place (in Macon), and it is large so you never wait for a table. The downsides? The service was pretty rude, and the bbq, way below standards for the south.
We had a pork sandwich and a beef sandwich, cheap at just $6 each, and served with fries. The meat was dry and needed to be smothered with bbq sauce to be good. The fries were average at best.
The place is honestly a trap for transients; there is no way locals are repeat customers, but for $16 for two, can I really complain?
Some of the best restaurants I usually find on business trips often end up in obscure strip malls. Local people usually know about these spots, but because a lot of them don't do a lot of advertising in Where Magazines or other local of national media you probably wouldn't even know they are there unless you do a little review either here on VT or else my latest go to source American Airlines Dining. Using this site, not only have I been getting to some really nice off-the-beaten path restaurants in Atlanta, but also earn some airline miles for that next leisure trip. But enough advertising for another site or else this review will be in trouble.
Favorite Dish: As the name of the restaurant suggest, the house specialities are a number of Snapper dishes. Snapper is a mild white fish which is best accompanied with a light sauce. I ordered one of those Snapper dishes which in addition to the light and flavorful sauce came covered with slivered almonds for a little crunch. All this was served with a side order of fresh winter vegetables and rice pilaf. In fact there was enough of this dish for me that I saved about 1/3 of the meal for a lunch the next day.
I also treated myself to dessert that night as I had read about there wonderful coconut cake. And I'm a sucker for anything coconut. The large slice of cake was served with a drizzle of raspberry sauce on the side. Needless to say, I did finish my entire dessert that evening.
Sorry, no pictures. But check out the website for pictures and additonal information.
I was without a car this particular week in Atlanta, so I either had to order in, go for a short walk for a hamburger or pizza or convince one of my temporary co-workers to go out to dinner. Fortunately, Dave from another consulting company in Canada was staying at a hotel just a mile from mine, so when I asked him if he was game for trying something different away from the hotel he was all for it.
I had been to this section of town called Poncey-Highlands a few weeks before and noticed a restaurant across the street. Dave had never eaten at a Tapas Restaurant before, so I asked if he was up for a little adventure into some sharing foods.
Favorite Dish: We started out with a glass of home made Sangria (have to have this type of wine in any Latin American, Spanish restaurant). It was very good, but could have been in a bigger glass to give us a few more sips before dinner. We ordered 4 different Tapas. 2 were specials of the evening, one with a little fish and the other some type of salad. In addition we also order a coconut bun (actually smoked pork belly with tamarind sauce, shaved cabbage and cilantro and pickled chiles) and an empanada.
We only ordered 4 main course Tapas as the desserts looked good. And they were. We had some very good churros that came with a delicious chocolate sauce for dipping and probably the hit of the evening was the flan which was light and fluffy and had a hint of a hot pepper. (This is probably why Dave and I compared notes the next morning and found that we had both woken up in the middle of the night with a touch of heartburn).
Anyway, it was an enjoyable evening. Oh, and as far as the title of this tip. When we were seated in the dining room there were indeed many paintings of Topless women. But then when you first heard the word Tapas what did you really think???
By my third week on business in Atlanta, we started to venture a bit farther from where we are staying. We asked our now friend and main parking lot attendant, Roderick, to give us a suggestion on where we might take our rental car that evening for dinner. He said there was an Italian place he liked that was a little bit away (maybe a total of 4 miles) from the hotel that was a family run Italian Restaurant that had been in business for over 30 years. This fit my bill, Italian, family run and in business for a long time. You know the food is going to have to be good for anything to be open for that long of time.
So we started on our way. The restaurant is located in a very unassuming, in fact not very scenic area of Atlanta between Midtown and Bucktown. You can see the buildings of Bucktown in the upper left corner of my picture. They had the outside patio area closed and the interior is a bit run down (think duct tape on my seat). But never judge a restaurant by looks alone.
Favorite Dish: Again, I need to write restaurant reviews closer to when I actually visit them instead of several months after the fact. Fortunately I did take one indoor picture of my food that evening. I know I started out dinner with a lobster bisque soup which is always one of my favorites. More then 1/2 the time in an Italian restaurant I will go will some sort of ravioli dish and this time was no exception. This one, as you can see from the picture, was in a cream sauce. It must have been very good, since I did finish the entire meal (sometimes the portions are so large it is hard to finish in one sitting).
We opted not to go with a dessert, but I did have a cup of cappuccino (I always have to look at a dictionary to spell this correctly - note to self 2 p's and 2 c's with u in the middle).
The week previous I had eaten at the sister restaurant next door and saw this place as we walked on by. There is only a small sign out front which gives its name, but as you walk by the kitchen is along one set of windows, so you could actually watch the kitchen staff preparing the evening meals.
The entrance is also a little tricky. There are 2 doors in front (see photo) and you can see that 1 of them has tables next to it. So when I entered I went through the other door (the one farther away in the photo) which brings you into a very small alcove area with velvet curtains right in front of you. As you walk through the curtains you enter the main area with a small host/hostess area. I showed up without a reservation on a Sunday night around 7:00 p.m. and the only seat available for the next few hours was at the bar. As I was by myself this evening that was actually a very good spot for me.
There appeared to be somewhere between 15 to 18 tables. Fairly noisy because of the small size, but very nice.
Favorite Dish: I sat down and the lady at the bar asked if I wanted anything to drink. I think I took her aback a little bit by saying all I wanted this evening was an ice tea. She said it would take a few minutes as they had to get some made next door at their sister restaurant. Indeed it took about 5 minutes, but it was fresh brewed ice tea and very good.
I had done some internet research before I came to Sotto Sotto and saw that they actually served 1/2 sizes of their main course for a little over 1/2 the price of the full meal. I have personally mentioned this to several restaurants that I have been to while on business trips, as I rarely take food back to the hotel, don't like to over eat and really hate wasting food. This is one of the few restaurants I've eaten in that did offer this.
So with a 1/2 size meal coming I ordered the Mista salad (just a regular salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing). It was just the right size and very tasty. I finished all of it. The pasta dish I ordered came next which was 6 medium size apple and sausage ravioli in probably the best tasting homemade casing I've had. This came with I believe an apple walnut type sauce. Very light and very tasty. Again I finished the entire meal.
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/f8615/beb0a/2/#ixzz1d4E0AJvg
Having spent 8 weeks in Atlanta on business I was on the lookout for additional places to eat that weren't too far distant from where I was staying. In the Sunday, Chicago Tribune travel section I happened upon an article about fancy hot dog places and one of the places they featured was called HD1 which just opened in Atlanta in September, 2011.
One of the partners of this restaurant was Richard Blais who has been on TV on several food channels and is noted for his unusual creations. He has another restaurant in the Atlanta area called Flip which features gourmet hamburgers.
I went there on a Monday night and you could tell it wasn't your usual hot dog place as there were 2 BMW's sitting in the small parking lot. Apparently the restaurant was previously a coffee shop so again parking was at a premium.
Favorite Dish: There are other items on the menu besides hot dogs including (and I'm taking this from their menu), cocktails, beer, wine, beverages, bits and pieces, stuff and sweets.
Now how many hot dog places do you see with cocktails like a drink called "Dark 'N Stormy" which has gosling rum, ginger beer and honey and ginger infused aged CayRum?
The Bits and Pieces included shrimp fried in grits, Dr Bacon baked beans and Deviled ham in eggs among others.
For my meal that evening I has a Louisiana Lobster Dog (really a lobster roll) with mirliton salad and shrimp head aioli along with some waffled fries with maple-oy. $13.50 for the 2 again tells you this isn't your typical Chicago Dog and Fries.
The food was ok, but I think I'll stick with a regular Chicago Hot Dog and Fries.
This opened recently in Virginia Highlands near Alons bakery---here is a sampling of the appetizers---
housemade cheetos, duck fat potato chips, bowl of local pickles, pickled eggs, and more---
the main menu has lots of different things to try from burgers to pinkytoe crab dip....give it a try! Huge bar selection including some local brewskis....
Favorite Dish: 4-5 appetizers
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