ATL - variety playhouse and more ?'s
We'll be taking in a show at Variety on the 11th, and staying at a Marriott that's just over two miles away (thinking the Marriott Downtown - 160 Spring Street NW).
That evening, what are options for upper mid scale dining. We don't want overly formal or expensive, but certainly would be willing to spend money where it's worthwhile. We're open to just about any type of fare, but would like something that is an Atlanta standout. It doesn't need to be in btwn the hotel and venue, but close enough to one or the other to make a cab fare reasonable.
Also, for the next day, we'll be bumming around with my brother in law and his wife. They live in Smyrna, and we'll spend the day with them coming into the city, taking some of it in (very open at this point on activities, etc). And by the end of the day we'll end up back in Smyrna. They won't be able to pick up larger tabs of any kind, so I'd be interested in some low cost but good lunch food especially. Isn't there a hot dog place by Ga Tech that's semi-famous? That or anything along those lines (especially good southern) would be perfect.
I have FAB (French American Brasserie) on the mind b/c I just went last week - delicious French food, entrees are generally in the 20s.
I also like Toast, Mitra, Rathbuns, Trois, One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks....
That "famous hot dog place" is The Varsity - it is hot dogs, hamburgers, shakes, chili dogs, etc - I think it is disgusting personally, but some feel it's necessary to visit. If you decide to go, bring Tums and ... prepare to stop on the way to Smyrna. :)
This is NOT a "low-tab" restaurant, but Tomo is a sushi place in Vinings (on the other side of 285 from Smyrna) that is unbelievable. Not too familiar with the area.
Looks like you're going to see Son Volt. Good stuff.
Since I don't get down that way all that often, I like to hit places in Little 5 Points. El Myr is a dive, but I like their burritos, quesadillas, etc. It's good to get there early, grab a bite, and hopefully not feel in a rush to get next door. Euclid Ave Yacht Club's right up the street also.
For more upscale, you could do Wisteria, Pura Vida, Sotto Sotto/Fritti, or Apres Diem. That's in addition to laurendlewis' suggestions. They're all on the way to Variety. I'd feel a bit weird hitting Bacchanalia before Variety. The cab rides would be long, in almost opposite directions, and you'd want to change (to dress down) in between.
Be sure to take advantage of the good beer on tap at Variety- they serve locals like Terrapin and Sweetwater, often with whatever special release beer that's currently out.
You could get your Bacchanalia-ish fix and have lunch at Star Provisions. My wife and a good friend also swear by Carver's Country Kitchen, though I haven't been yet.
I concur with Ted's suggestions, particularly Fritti. So much so, in fact, that I am going there with some friends before a show in June. It is close by, has interesting pizzas and is reasonable. My wife really likes the Crudo e Rucola (proscuitto and arugula). I tend to try something new everytime and don't recall being disapointed. Here's a link to their menu: http://www.frittirestaurant.com/fritt...
The hot dog place you must be thinking of is The Varsity. It is worth going to just for the experience. The food is just ok, but the place is a lot of fun. It claims to be the world's largest drive-in, which is very possible. The counter people can be a bit brusque but that's part of the deal. Be prepared to have cashier's shout "What'll ya have?" and "Have your order in mind and your money in your hand." If you go, order the FO, which is a frozen orange drink.
As for a reasonable place near Smyrna, I like Meehan's Public House in Vinings. It is an Irish pub, although they have good burgers and a good menu. Try to sit outside if it is a nice day. Here's a link to their website: http://www.meehansalehouse.com/Main.aspx
Hope you have a good trip. Please let us know how it goes.