Lunch in Atlanta this Saturday
Coming in to the city from Athens for shopping. This is our route: http://tinyurl.com/2pzmmx
I think we'll be ready for lunch somewhere between Lenox Mall and IKEA.
We like to eat local and avoid the national chains, especially the ones that are so ubiquitous to even be in Athens. (Yes, we finally have an Olive Garden in our little town.) Open to most cuisine and price range, but don't want to get too far from our path. I'm not all that keen on Mexican or Latin American cuisine, but other than that, just about anything goes. I like dessert. A lot. Meal doesn't have to be superfast, but we're not planning on a 3-hour leisurely lunch. We're not vegetarians and have no food allergies.
Places we've already tried, with varying degrees of satisfaction: Agnes & Muriel's, IKEA cafeteria, Tasty China (in Marietta), Rumi's Kitchen, and Oz Pizza.
Hit me up with suggestions. Winning one gets a post next week about the restaurant and pictures of what we ate.
The Tavern at Phipps Plaza, next to Saks (across from Lenox Square). Known for "tavern chips," which are gourmet nachos, six or seven varieties. Favorites are southwest shrimp or cajun. It has other upscale pub food too. I lived in Atlanta seven years ago, and every time I go back I always go to the Tavern.
Ended up at Einstein's for lunch with dessert at Chocolate Pink afterwards.
Einstein's was a big disappointment. First of all, forget sitting outside. Unless you enjoy lots of traffic and construction noise with your meal. Secondly, the food ranged from mediocre to just plain bad.
We started with the bacon wrapped dates. My companion really liked them, but I thought they were just too sweet and too gooey. There needed to be something to balance the sweetness of the dates. The blue cheese wasn't enough.
For mains, I had the pecan chicken salad.
It looks much more appetizing in that picture than it really was. To be fair, the chicken was nicely cooked. Juicy and tender on the inside. However, the coating was bland, bland, bland, and tough to boot. The "honey dijon" dressing had only a miniscule amount of dijon in it. So, what I ended up with was a bland sweet salad with decent chicken on top. Once I salted the chicken (something I think the kitchen forgot to do) and avoided the pecan coating, it was ok.
My companion had a breakfast scramble off the brunch menu.
I didn't try any of it, but his comment were that the eggs were a little rubbery, it was under-seasoned, and the chorizo was on the bland side.
The day certainly picked up when we got to Chocolate Pink, though. Everything looked so good; I wanted one of each, please. The atmosphere was cute and not too noisy and the counter staff was very friendly, very helpful and knowledgable about what they were selling.
I ended up getting the signature dessert - the "Chocolate Pink"
Hazelnut cookie bottom, chocolate truffle mousse, chocolate buttermilk cake, chocolate ganache. The pink squares were strawberry flavored. Lovely flavor without being overly rich.
Also sampled one of the petit fours, a peanut butter one. It was good, but not as good as the cake. I'd try more of the petit fours if I went back.
Amy, sorry to hear about your Einstein's experience. But glad to hear about Chocolate Pink.
I do love that place. They have unbelievable petit fours. Thank you so much for following up and letting us know how your visit went.
Next time I will come up with a winner for your lunch option.
If you can hold your hunger, you should have lunch at Star Provisions, from their to-go section. It's not really a restaurant, just a counter where you can order food and seat yourself. But it's fantastic. Fresh, local, tasty, and honest. Superb ingredients and handling.
[oops I didn't realize you've already done the trip...]
It's that time of year again. I didn't realize that I make this pilgrimage annually.
Same trip Ikea/Phipps/Lenox, but with a couple of twists this time: I've got one vegetarian and one low/no-carb person with me.
Six Feet Under seems to be moving locations.
Anything new open up in the last year that you'd recommend?
I believe the "old" Six Feet Under is moving up the street there - there is also one on Northside Drive now too.
R. Thomas is relatively close to IKEA and offers a lot of vegetarian and health-conscious options. You mentioned you like dessert - they do have a good mango pie that is like a key lime pie but with mangos. It is a very eclectic place - the whole restaurant is an enclosed patio with vibrant decorations and they even have pet parrots and other birds that they keep outside.
Someone had mentioned Star Provisions before - that is a good place too and also close to IKEA. It is a small gourmet food/home decor shop and bakery. They have gourmet to-go that you could eat there though seating is limited or baked goods to take with you (if you go, try the black and white cookies if they have them!). FIGO (definitely not low-carb but delicious pasta) and Taqueria del Sol (Tex-Mex) are located in the same complex as Star and are also favorites of mine.
Hope this helps! Enjoy your trip.