"We're going to Atlanta for a few days?"
"Why? Do you know someone there?"
"Probably. But no, we are just going."
"Is there a concert?"
"Nah. We are just getting away for a couple days becase we both have time off."
Why do people think it's so weird to go to a place with zero motivating factors other then you want to relax and explore in an environment where there is an increased liklihood you will cross paths with someone from the Real Housewives? OK. To be fair this was more my rational in choosing Atlanta for a last minute road trip destination; [Tangent: The pull of a possible run in with Phaedra Parks was too great. Spoiler: I did not run into her, but I am 87% sure that Kim Zolciak-Biermann's father referred to me as a "gentleman" when I let him enter a doorway in front of me at a store. And we had a much cooler sighting that I will discuss later.] however, we are both fat kids in small bodies, we wanted to cram our face holes with as much good food as humanly possible.
Because we lucked out with our AirBnb in the Old Fourth Ward area, we were super close to everything we wanted to get into. [Tangent: Seriously, If you are going to ATL, I highly recommend staying at this place. Our hosts were the nicest possible humans, and the place was functional and super cute. I feel like I like to stay at aspirational places, where I can pretend for a minute that I live in a tidy and chic space. My home will likely never be spotlessly lean and feature Keith Haring wallpaper...but for a couple days I can pretend. Because for me travel arrangements can be a crap shoot, I was pleased that this place was actually mostly wheelchair-friendly. While doing the seach for a place to stay, I had looked into a loft that was listed as "accessible" but the bed was up on a raised platform up a flight of stairs. FAILURE!] I had asked a bunch of people on FB beforehand and hit up our hosts for insights before setting out to go on our food quests. Unfortunately, we both felt like hell multiple days and wanted nothing more than to lay on the couch and watch Purple Rain, so we didn't get to eat as much as we had hoped...but here were some of our favorites:
King of Pops:
After stalking their cart through the streets of Bristol a few years ago at Rhythm and Roots, I have been a fan. I know Nashville has recently been getting carts, but I have yet to see them. Anyway, since they originated in Atlanta, I thought they seemed the perfect thing to curb the heat. I needed to hydrate and a sweet tea and lemonade flavored $3 pop seemed preferable to a bottle of boring water. Their walk-up window is in a little neighborhood , which reminded me a lot of Nashville's 12South, and is located adjacent to a park...so their stream of foot traffic is steady.
Noni's Bar and Deli:
We kind of lucked out with this one because our sweet Airbnb host also owned this restaurant and it was less than a block from where we were staying. Convenience aside, it was just really damn good. They specialize in traditional Italian pastas, sandwiches etc. We each had a giant bowl of pasta (The panchetta cream was DELIGHTFUL!), Parmesan fries and delicious cocktails. [Tangent: Cream sauce + cocktails + sun = midday naps for all!] Jamie of course, fulfilled his expectation of getting the most feminine beverage on the menu. I stuck to the Brooks, which is potent and refreshing at the same time. It's also doggie friendly, which is great for a lady like me who is down with OPP [Tangent: Other People's Pooches...you sickos.]. Prices were reasonable, which I found surprising for the quality. They could seriously be charging twice the price, but I am glad they weren't. When we got home, we stalked their yelp and saw that they really pop off post midnight. Maybe next time we go, we will check out the dance parties. I was bummed that they were doing a Prince tribute our last night in town, but we didn't know about it until we were already pooped on the couch and watching Purple Rain.
This was really Jamie's only must because it is his traditional stop before going to shows in Atlanta. It has been much hyped to me by the pizza-loving ginger. The pizza was yummy and similar in flavor to Pie in the Sky, and I liked that you could personalize your pie with lots of six different sauce options. [Tangent: I love having a crap ton of choices!] Probably the best parts of the dining experience were their proximity to Atlanta's Little Five Points (which has a similar vibe to Nashville's Five Points) and the fact that I could eat my dinner under an army of suspended action figures. Example: I ate my chicken florentine personal pizza under a Bee-Bop and Rocksteady.
I am very glad I woke up one morning craving a donut and decided to google "best doughnut in Atlanta" or else I would never have tasted the glory of having a sublime orange dream star bursting all over my taste buds. Note my look of euphoria above. So. DAMN. GOOD. This place is incredibly unassuming as it is in a strip mall by Georgia Tech. Not fancy and not expensive...thus pretty much being perfect for me. [Tangent: My mother craved nothing but Dunkin Donuts while pregnant with me, so I am guessing that has some carryover into my current adult addiction.] We loved this place so much that we got a dozen on the way out of town to bring home with us.
If a place has a skull as an entryway, of course we are going to eat there. We had both heard lots of good things about The Vortex in Little Five Points and they claim ownership on "Atlanta's Best Burger" so it was a gimme. Even though they have a crazy long beer list, we both drank mules (mine with vodka...his with whiskey) and ate food bigger than our faces. Although I'm bummed we didn't get their famed "Coronary Bypass" (a cheeseburger with grilled cheese sandwiches in lieu of buns), we both had happy tummies when we left. I had some kind of concoction topped with blue cheese spread, mushrooms and bacon aka all the things I hold dear. Jamie got the "Fat Elvis" which had peanut butter, plantains and bacon on it. Both were big hits!
What did we miss out on?