finishing up atlanta …
we had discovered during our stay in atlanta over the long weekend that most of the places we wanted to visit were closed. while exploring the westside neighborhood, we had spied that yeah! burger would be open on the monday so we decided to make it our lunch stop before the drive back to cincy .
we couldn’t say no to the burger of the month: the crab burger! my mouth waters just thinking back to that first bite! there were chunks of crabmeat instead of creamed, and it was seasoned just right to allow the crab flavor to stand out.
for our second burger, we decided to make our own: blue cheese and black peppercorn steak sauce on their grass-fed burger. just as yum! we chose the side of the month (fried okra and jalapenos) to go along with one of the burgers.
(above: burger of the month: crab burger (jumbo lump crab on southern white, with grainy mustard, mayo and napa coleslaw))
(above: gotta have another shot of the crab burger)
(above L: side of the month: fried okra and jalapenos (gluten-free fried local, organic okra and jalapenos with creole remoulade); above R: make it your own: grass-fed burger, blue cheese and black peppercorn steak sauce)
(above: food inc and fresh dvds on display, and for sale)
service was fast and easy. you order and pay as soon as you walk in, grab your drink, take a seat, and wait for your meal to arrive. we also thought that selling food inc, and fresh, dvds was a nice touch. although we don’t always know where the food we eat comes from, it’s always good to be reminded to wonder, and ask those questions. and we shouldn’t expect anything less no matter where we eat.
back to atlanta …
when you travel during a holiday weekend, make sure you anticipate a lot of closed establishments. luckily, some of the food places on our list were open. west egg cafe, in the westside neighborhood, was one brunch place recommended by design sponge atlanta guide.
located on the main level of an apartment building, you won’t have to worry about finding parking. just off to the side is the entrance to the garage where you can park at west egg’s reserved spots. we took our time and enjoyed our meal.
(above R: watermelon basil soda)
(above L: black bean cakes; above R: andouille sausage and sweet potato hash (two fried eggs, onions and peppers, with mixed greens))
(above: challah french toast (with fruit compote))
we didn’t let the closed shops stop us from exploring a bit. just a few blocks away is atlanta’s westside urban market with a few eateries and shops we peeked into and would love to visit next time: jct kitchen and bar, star provisions and taqueria del sol.
have you been to atlanta? what are your favorite places?
yes i am a top chef fan and richard blais was one of my favorites (he won season 8 top chef all stars by the way). when i found out he was the chef at flip burger boutique in atlanta, i definitely wanted to check it out!
i admit to getting caught up in the hype, but instead of avoiding it, why not give it a try? i want to know whether the people i admire deserve my fandom!
flip burger describe themselves as a “modern burger boutique”. uh oh, sounding pretentious already. the menu looked promising though! we opted to sit outside and enjoy the not-so-hot-and-humid day.
(above L: outdoor patio; above R: strawberry shortcake liquid N2 milkshake)
(above L: lamburger (coriander lamb, tzaziki, goat cheese, arugula, tomato, red onion, marinated vegetables); above R: d+lux (black diamond beef, seared foie gras, wild mushrooms, fried shallots, red wine jam, truffle aioli))
(above: fried zuchini)
so am i still a blais fan? sure! we were glad to see him deliver! i was expecting more molecular gastronomy though, but that would have been too obvious (he did provide that element with the liquid n2 milkshakes). the burgers were just the right size and very flavorful! although they use ingredients like swiss cheese foam, seared foie gras and pomegranate ketchup, the food isn’t snobby at all.
you can’t be in atlanta and not go to the georgia aquarium. it is the largest aquarium in the world and “features more animals than any other aquarium in more than 10 million gallons of water.”
most important advice we can offer you: buy your ticket in advance! we bought ours from AAA, and even though the savings was small ($23.50 vs $24.95/adult, general admission), we got to bypass the long lines at the ticketing counter through the VIP lane. you will be thankful you’re not stuck waiting to get your ticket!
unless you’re keen to catch shows (like the dolphin show or any other special tour), and spend all day at the aquarium, the general admission ticket is more than enough. we got to see all of the exhibits and spent some extra time by our favorites. we watched 4 beluga whales swim round and round their tank, brushing against the massive glass window where onlookers stood mesmerized. we noticed they were always swimming towards the glass upside down, and learned that because the way their eyes are set, they are able to see better this way.
our next favorite was the football-field-sized tank that held manta rays, whale sharks (4 of them!), and thousands of other fishes. there are short, stadium-like seating for more comfortable viewing, but it’s more fun sitting on the floor right up against the glass. best seat in the house!
when the dolphin show isn’t on, their viewing tank is open to the public. we stopped by to take a look at these fast and smart creatures. before long they started interacting with the onlookers; they seem to especially like the kids. some were holding up their stuffed animals, and the dolphins were following their every move.
it’s amazing how calming it is watching sea creatures swim back and forth. it’s nothing exciting, but i guess that’s what it is. they’re just happily swimming in their own world without a care in the world (even though we know this “world” is not natural).
but as much as we enjoyed the experience, we couldn’t help but think of the documentary, The Cove, and hope that these creatures were acquired responsibly.
i don’t even know how to begin writing about this place without salivating over my keyboard! don’t you just love going by recommendations online (from people you don’t know!) and then you go there, and it’s a complete win? antico is one of those places for us.
the entrance to this place belies what you find soon after you order at the counter up front. passing a small dining room with a communal table, you enter into the kitchen where you can eat and also watch your pizza being made.
(above: wood-fired ovens named after italian cities and their saints)
(above: san gennaro (salsiccia, sweet red pepper, bufala, cipolline))
and the pizza … it’s to die for! we ordered the san gennaro, which has the tastiest salsiccia (italian sausage) we’ve ever had! thank goodness they were generous with the sizes! ah the memories …
and after dinner, we had to stop by the gelato truck across the street. what we thought was antico’s dessert truck is actually honeysuckle, an independent business. that night, they served flavors that complement antico’s food. after much deliberating, cheeks and i settled on the fico nero and the espresso, that surprisingly went well together. perfect ending after a satisfying dinner!
(above: honeysuckle gelato)