Oh, how I adore my visits to the South. And my most recent trip to Atlanta, GA was exactly what my heart needed. While it was hotter than deep fried Hell, and I was busier than a one-legged cat in a sandbox (my Southern sure started showing over the last 72hrs), I still managed to thoroughly enjoy some delicious local dishes.
This visit inspired me to put together some metroplex musts from cheap eats to treat yourself establishments for your next visit to the Empire City of the South.
1 – Ann’s Snack Bar (Cheap Eats)
Southern to the core. Tucked away in historical Kirkwood, Ann’s is home of the infamous “Ghetto Burger”, which has been named by The Wall Street Journal as the best burger in the country. Ms. Ann recently passed away, but her family is keeping her legacy alive, still serving up all her originals with warm smiles. Her snack bar traditions also remain and come with rules, such as ” no laying or leaning on the counter”, “no cell phones while you’re dining”, “no cursing in the snack bar” … mind your manners here, thank you very much.
The snack bar is tiny with a covered porch housing 5 picnic tables; no A/C, but there is a large assortment of osculating fans to keep you refreshed in the GA humidity.
I couldn’t begin to tackle the Ghetto Burger, so I opted for a cheeseburger and it … was … awesome. Lord knows it was the fattiest beef I’ve had in my life, smothered in cheese and you know good and well that bun was buttered with a hefty helping for the toasting. It came with lettuce and the juiciest tomato the state offers. They talked me into keeping mayo on it, as one of the ladies told me I could use some mayo on my bones, or the GA wind would blow me away – HA!
My meal (including a soda can) was less than $10 and packed full of flavor and Southern hospitality. Be sure to carve out some time when you visit, as there can be a line and some pretty decent wait times, but very much worth the experience!
Check out Yelp! for more info: Ann’s Snack Shop – Yelp!.
2 – The Cowfish Atlanta (Middle of the Road Cuisine)
Sushi, “burgushi” (yep, it’s a thing), and Asian fusion all wrapped up into a combination menu spanning four pages. Endless options, full of creative flavors. This restaurant is nestled in the Dunwoody, GA area at Perimeter Mall. They have an outdoor patio, complete with various corn hole boards, should you need to play a game / burn some time waiting on a table. The atmosphere is very eclectic with some interesting spins on classic posters / branding.
Considering the fact I can eat my body weight in sushi, it was my obvious go to meal. I had their “Mrs. Woodybury’s Fresh Find”. Let me just say, Mrs. Woodbury knows what she’s doing. This fresh find consisted of premium tuna, cucumber, green onion inside, topped with premium salmon and avocado, and served with a side of spicy salmon and tuna poke. And if that wasn’t enough, let me go ahead and order a “basic” California roll. You know, to balance all the fancy and ensure ultimate belly expansion.
So tasty and packed with flavor! For more details and menu items, immediately propel yourself to The Cowfish Atlanta. You WILL NOT be disappointed.
3 – Portico at Le Meridien (Treat Yourself Dining)
Having one of your favorite girlfriends (fellow fabulous Leading Lady, Alicia) in the city you’re visiting … BONUS! Vino on the veranda was in order and we were looking for a spot we could relax, uncork, unwind, and catch up. Portico delivered. This restaurant is housed in the lovely Le Meridien Hotel. The atmosphere is filled with floor to ceiling windows, warm lighting, lush floral baskets, an outdoor fire pit, and an extensive wine and cocktail list to top it all off. The wait staff is beyond attentive and treats you like royalty. Tired working Mom’s like us welcome the rejuvenation this establishment oozes.
For starters … vino (obviously). We accompanied this luxury with a Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread dressed with herb goat cheese, arugula, tupelo honey (that I could bathe in, Lord help me), and roasted garlic. Perfect light bites with savory flavors.
For my main course, I had a perfectly executed and plated ahi tuna loin with a curried cauliflower and green olive pesto. It was 100% delivered from Heaven.
We chatted, in leisure, for hours and thoroughly enjoyed the company of each other; supporting one another through motherhood, careers, and all our independent passions. What a night to remember in a place of absolute luxury.
For more information and details, head on over to Portico Global Cuisine.
I highly recommend all these tasty treats and experiences if you’re in the Atlanta area. I love to explore like a local and am always looking for new adventures. Please share any of your personal favorites below – would love to hear from you!