Friday, April 25, 2008

Hot-lanta!

I know, I know..... this blog is supposed to be about us dining out in the Twin Cities. But it's my blog, and I'll write about what I want, including food eaten when I'm on trips! (By the way.... this is Erin writing)

I was just in Atlanta, GA for a week for a conference-type thing. I didn't have a ton of free time, but luckily I did get to see the city a bit and try out some of the great food that Atlanta has to offer! I had been to Atlanta once before, to visit Ben's family a few years ago for Thanksgiving, but that was a very quick trip - we just went into Atlanta once for an afternoon to go to the Coke museum, and that's it.

Here are the places that I ate on this trip:

Dinner at Max Lager's

The first night, I pretty much just followed the crowd to Max Lager's. I went with Shannon, Mark, Amanda, Kelly, Kyle, girl I can't remember her name, and.... Josh? This was a while back now and my memory sucks. This place was very similar to Herkimer, I thought. It was not as "chain-y" as Rock Bottom, and had a few unique menu items as well as the beers that were brewed in house. I had a "Max Burger" which was pretty good. I asked for it to be cooked medium, which it was not, but I'm willing to forgive (but not forget). All photos here are from Kyle's iPhone since I left my camera at the hotel. Thanks Kyle!

Dinner at Max Lager's

The next stop was Mama Ninfa's in the Peachtree Center with Janelle, Melody, and Carlie. We wanted somewhere close to our hotel and that could satisfy carnivores, vegetarians, and gluten-free dining. This place fit the bill, but didn't do it THAT well.

Mama Ninfa's in Atlanta Mama Ninfa's in Atlanta

Melody and I split one of the combo dinners - it was alright, but nothing to write home about. The cheese dip was ok, but very bland, and didn't have much "chili" in it, so I had to load it up with salsa to make it taste good. It was fine, and reasonably priced.

blah cheese dip After adding a little kick
(Before, and after adding the salsa)

Melody's and my meal that we split Melody's and my meal that we split
(The meal Melody and I split)

The next night, I was very glad that Janelle and Melody were willing to venture outside of downtown Atlanta to see a different neighborhood. We took the recommendation of someone who had lived in Atlanta to go to midtown and try the Flying Biscuit. I really liked this place, and midtown was a very fun part of Atlanta - I'd highly recommend checking this area out if you are there.

Flying Biscuit

Flying Biscuit Inside of the Flying Biscuit

Janelle asked the waiter for some recommendations, so we got the Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer. I thought these were great! They came with a huge hunk of goat cheese on the top. Despite my repeated trials, I can't seem to develop a taste for goat cheese. This makes me very sad, since there are many dishes that I would otherwise love if it weren't for the goat cheese. It didn't ruin this appetizer for me though, because I could just take the cheese off. Maybe someday I will like goat cheese, just not yet.

Fried Green Tomatoes
(On the menu it says: dredged in seasoned flour, sauteed in a cast iron skillet and topped with a cashew-jalapeno relish and goat cheese)

Janelle and I both had drinks. Below you will see her reaction first to her beer, and then to mine.
Janelle, happy Janelle, sad

For our main dishes, Janelle got a salmon salad that she said was good, but that she got a little sick of by the end. Melody got Love Cakes, which are: three black bean & cornmeal cakes, sauteed and topped with a tomatillo salsa, sour cream, feta cheese & spears of red onion. She seemed to enjoy them. I got the Eggs-ceptional Eggs, which were basically love cakes topped with over-medium eggs. De-lish! I also got a side of potatoes AND grits, because I just couldn't decide. I didn't really like the grits.

Eggs-ceptional Eggs

Moving on. The next night was the night where I had pre-chosen the restaurant based on input from Shannon and Eric. We even had reservations. Amanda, Kelly, Shannon, Kyle, Eric and I set out on the Marta from downtown to go to Buckhead.

Marta

The chosen restaurant was Lola. We had a slight wrong turn from the Marta stop and thus walked several blocks in the wrong direction, but eventually (40 minutes late for our reservation) we got there!

Lola Atlanta

This place is pretty posh (and filled with a-holes, as Shannon so eloquently stated when we walked in the door) so we didn't really fit in. Luckily we had a nice cozy booth and didn't really have to see any of Atlanta's beautiful people while eating. Our waiter bordered on too friendly, but he was entertaining. He had great recommendations. Lola is a beautiful restaurant with great decor and atmosphere, despite the snooty clientele.

Lola Atlanta lights

You get a little drink of some stuff like champagne when you get there. It is a Bellini bar, so apparently it is the stuff that is inside Bellinis. I tried 2 Bellinis when there, and really liked both of them. Unfortunately, I don't know what they were called. One of them had something to do with oranges.

Our little starter drink Bellini Bellini
(first little drink, my first Bellini, and Kelly's Bellini that she didn't really like. My orange Bellini didn't photograph well so that isn't on here, although it was VERY good)

We ordered a bunch of starters for everyone... here they are. If you hold your mouse over the photo you will see what each thing is.

baked Goat cheese and tomato sauce Caprese Salads Olive Oil Poached Tunatuna, raw

For my main course, I went with the cheapest possible thing, the Bianca pizza. It was good, but there was a reason it was so cheap - there wasn't much to it. Oh well. Here it is:

Bianca Pizza

Everyone else's meals looked way more fun. Here they are:

Maybe Shannon's shrimp pasta? Ravioli Stuffed Kyle's lamb Pumpkin Gnocchi Amanda's large fish

Since we have no willpower, we also ordered several desserts. Here they are.

Chocolate tort thingie Apple..... something almond cake

Wow, if you are still with me, thank you for reading my longest blog post ever! My last meal in Atlanta was a chicken sandwich at Popeye's at the airport. It did not merit a photograph, and I would not recommend it.

4 comments:

bietz said...

How can you go to Atlanta (or anywhere in the south) and NOT go to the Waffle House?!?! :)

Stefanie said...

I've lived in Atlanta for 10 years and I've only been to one of the restaurants you went to, the flying Biscuit, and bless your heart you didn't even get to go to the original flying biscuit, which is even better!

Glad you enjoyed yourself! Next time you swing through Atlanta, for fine dining I'd recommend Joel, Rathbuns or Kevin Rathbun's Steak, Bacchanalia, Aria or Bones. . . ironically enough I've never even heard of Lola before! Ha!

Enjoyed your review! Happy travels and good eats!

Janelle said...

Erin- I am so glad you reviewed the Atlanta restaurants. Since I was with you for two of them it has helped me share my trip with my friends and family. I guess I missed the detail that there were several Flying Biscuit locations. I am still glad we went to this one since we were able to walk around Piedmont Park.

I hope you make a habit of reviewing the restaurants on all of your travels!

Rett said...

The dishes at the Flying Biscuit look great, especially the fried green tomatoes. Shame on you for not liking goat cheese. I am however disappointed at the lack of food objects flying through the air in this restaurant.