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Georgia Report

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Just came back from a week in Georgia to see the Dalai Lama. Decided to try out a few places that are new to me. On my way to Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, I stopped in Macon to eat at the original Nu-Way. From what I heard, it had one of the best dogs in the country and should not be missed. I ordered a dog all the way, which consisted of mustard, onions, and chili. It was a grilled weiner, which made it crispy on the outside, the chili reminded me of Cincinnati style chili and was spicy. Over-all it was fine but not as good as the Billiard Academy in Thomasville. Note: I have also tried Jimmy’s in Albany and being a native of Atlanta, I have had many Varsity dogs. Nu-way is in their league but it’s so very hard to beat a Billiard dog. Thank you God for Billiard dogs! Also the Jim and Milt’s at Paradise in Tallahassee and the One Eleven Grill in Madison Florida has some outstanding dogs!

Later was dinner at Georgia's at the Ritz Carlton, Reynolds Plantation. The food at the Ritz was typical hotel food and over-priced. The food is ample and of good quality. The drinks are poured hard- and should be at 15/bucks each. But none of the food was memorable. However, watching an otherwise self-possessed and classy friend slide down a slope after a couple of Ritz margaritas was unforgettable and worth the price in my opinion.

I tried the Blue Willow Inn, Social Circle Georgia - about 40 minutes west. Southern Living consistently rates this as the best southern restaurant - I had to try it. The property was nicer than I expected, the fried chicken, catfish, apple salad, and macaroni and cheese was "Sunday Dinner good." Reminded me very much of the food I brought up on here in the south and the way the women in my family cook. However, the desserts were terrible. The pecan pie was a real standout in awfulness. It was state pen bad. It was interstate, truck stop, strip club bad. Overall though, for fourteen bucks not a bad meal and actually one of the better ones I had...But I won't be driving out of my way to eat there again.

Checked into the Ritz Buckhead (ATL) and had a great snack - a red pepper, olive, and artichoke wrap - in the lounge before my 9 PM reservation at Bacchanalia. Green tea was perfect too.

Bacchanalia is across from the Atlanta Water Works in the old meat packing district. (Howell Mill Road) It is located in a old factory (candy?). The decor and atmosphere was beautiful. The food was inspired and creative.

An amuse-bouche of split pea soup was offered and was divine. It had a hint of cayenne pepper and was mildly sweet and creamy. Very hearty. The only disappointment was the first course. I had a root celery soup with escargot and creme fraîche and my friend had the oysters with key lime sorbet and cavier. Both dishes were bland. My main dish of duck breast with poached pears and foie gras was superb and perfectly cooked. The cheese course of Sweet Grass Diary feta with a trio of beets - shaved, sorbet, and pickled - was the best of all the courses consumed that evening. I sampled several desserts, cookies, chocolate cake, basil panna cotta, bon-bons. The basil panna cotta was truly one of the best things I have ever placed in my mouth! Fanfuckingtastic (!) if I must be so crude - the word fits here though. We were delighted with nearly every amuse-bouche we received - and there were many. My only disappointment was with the wait staff which lacked any warmth at all. The captain (if that is what he was...not sure) appeared to have little to no interest in our satisfaction with the food or even refilling our wine. He lacked even a hint of enthusiasm and boarded on surliness. No bother! For a meal of this capacity, at under a hundred bucks apiece, the Grinch himself could have taken my order and poured my wine! Bacchanalia really is one the best spots in the southeast without a doubt! A must try!

On a low - very low- note we also dined at Roys in Buckhead. Beautiful property, very friendly and accommodating staff. But none of it can make up for the lackluster food served. Just don't bother. Nuff said.

Also watched some football, had a couple of drinks and a plate of "southwestern chips" at the Tavern at Phipps. Great place to throw a couple back on a Saturday afternoon, that's for sure! However, the very attractive, very young, and thick headed girl who was hostessing - term used loosely- really tried - gave it her all - to convince us NOT to come in!

I am rarely rude but after she increased the waiting time for a table twice in the snottiest possible way, “It will be like 15 minutes for your table. Oh, you’re good with that? Then it will be like 30 minutes. You’re ok with that? Well, then it may be like 45 minutes or an hour. You really want to wait that long?”

I just detest bad service and I looked her dead in the eye and said, “Hour and a half, two, three, four hour wait? I really don’t care.”

Then we took a seat at the bar and ordered a drink and naturally our table was ready within ten minutes. The bartender was even prettier and was excellent in the provision of service.

For any Hounds going to ATL you must get a reservation to Bacchanalia. And a stay at the Reynolds Plantation is not a bad "ideer" either. Beautiful place to stay!

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