Balt Foodie in ATL GA for 5 days
I'll be in Forsyth County for an extended weekend for business. I need to take out some clients and family for dinner? Where to go? I don't want a national chain, I want something that I can only experience in ATL. I've heard alot of hype about Baccanalli or something along those lines, Also need some activities to occupy my time on Sat and Sun, casual what to do and what to see. Please help. I'll be traveling Jan 11th thru the 15th if that helps
Sushi-- MF Sushi in Midtown
Seafood - I like Ray's Downtown
Fine dining - One Midtown Kitchen, Trois, Baccanalia, Mitra
Breakfast -- The Flying Biscuit (either midtown or Candler Park)
Thai - Nan
Stuff to see: For interesting people-watching go to "Little 5 Points" and have a pint at the Brewhouse Cafe. I haven't been yet, but people say good things about the Georgia Aquarium (yes even grown-ups). Clubbing--go to Buckhead. Live, small-venue local music - try Eddie's Attic in Decatur (they have a website). Best larger (but still small) music venue--see who's at The Tabernacle (tix through LiveNation usually).
yea, I used to live in Cumming but it's been 6 yrs since and I probably won't remember a thing. I was deff thinking about the aquarium. I wanted to compare it to the one it Balt which is supposed to be one of the best! I was going to go to buckhead as well. Is Centennial ark still worth a visit? I'll be traveling with my wife who has never been to ATL, only thing she's excited for is the Mall of GA!!
I would go to Perimeter Mall or Lenox Square before I even thought about going to the Mall of GA.
If you are at the aquarium, check out Centennial Park, it's a park.
I don't think The Flying Biscuit is a good suggestion, Murphy's is good though.
Floataway Cafe is very good and Woodfire Grill too. I like to sit outside (weather permitting) at Anis, they have great mussels.
I also enjoy Alfredo's on Cheshire Bridge Rd. as an old fashioned Italian restaurant.
Have fun while you're here.
My one Forsyth County recommendation is Midway Meal House, which is south of Cumming in the Midway community - which is midway between Cumming and Alpharetta. This is not fine dining - this is southern comfort food. On my last visit, I ordered fried chicken gizzards with cream gravy, fried okra, and pickled beets with cobbler for dessert. They stop serving breakfast at 11am and begin the lunch/evening menu. Typically, there will be a half dozen or more meat choices with a couple of dozen vegetable options. Generally, very good food and, certainly, typical of many small town southern restaurants.
Just south of Forsyth County are several more options. One Star BBQ, Zola's (Italian), Alpha Soda (another southern meat and three), Mambo Cafe (Cuban), Byblos (Mediterranean), Pure Taqueria (Mexican for gringos), Milton's (in the Crabapple community - take Mayfield Road west from Alpharetta where the two southbound lanes become one lane). Milton's is the more upscale of these options.
Breakfast: I second the rec on Flying Biscuit Cafe. Caribou Coffee is across the street from the FBC on 10th.
Lunch: Go to Everybody's for great pizza and salads. The North Decatur location by Emory is bigger, prettier inside, and has the better patio (although I guess it's cold there now, I lived there for three years but live in Florida now).
Also for lunch: Zocolo in Midtown for Mexican. Agnes & Muriel's is quaint and southern and has the best crab cakes I've ever had (although I haven't had them in Baltimore).
Lunch or Dinner: I always make a trip back to the Tavern at Phipps (at Phipps Plaza, next to Sax Fifth Avenue). Try the "tavern chips" - six or seven varieties of gourmet nachos. The southwest shrimp and the cajun are my favorites. They also have other upscale pub food.
Dinner: South City Kitchen, Canoe, or Bacchanalia would be good for clients and/or family. If you want food unique to Atlanta, I wouldn't go with Chops or Bones, as they are basically like any other upscale steak dining.
For a fun, late night dessert, try Intermezzo Cafe. The desserts are definitely good but not mind-blowing, but the experience itself is fun, especially for someone who hasn't been to Atlanta.
Burger: Vortex in Little 5 Points
BBQ: Fat Matt's Rib Shack
Lebanese: Nicola's on La Vista Road (seriously good!)
Best (quieter) bars are in the Virginia Highlands. For clubs and "happening" bars, Buckhead.
For shopping, definitely Phipps Plaza or Lenox Square. Mall of Georgia is smaller than you would expect and disappointing by comparison.
World of Coke has been refurbished, I think it's finished but not sure. Second the rec on the Aquarium. Centennial Park is pretty to walk through, but nothing to do there. You can do it on the same day as World of Coke or Aquarium.
Mall of Georgia is way too far out of Atlanta and is not worth the drive- it is the ONLY place all the millions of surrounding teenagers have to go. Try lenox, phipps or perimeter, all in the city, and are much more swanky and quite frankly, not so lame. Virginia highlands is a nice place to dart into some shops in the afternoon.
Absolutely do not miss Baccanalia. Nam is very nice for Vietnamese. Both are beautiful dining experiences in their own right.
If you like antiques, Scott's Antique Market is going on that week end. Everything from antique jewelry to outsider art, imported French pillows, silver, books, Americana, and a fair smattering of glitzy imports. South of the city, exit 55 off I-285. Time it for lunch; there's a very good Southern food vendor in the south building, with excellent collards, great sweet potato casserole, dandy brisket, baked chicken, fried catfish, mac and cheese etc. Dinners come with corn bread and run about $8 for meat and three -- cafeteria style.
Most of the recommendations posted are in Atlanta proper which can be a hassle to get to from Forsyth County. Fear not. In Forsyth go to Quanto Basta on Ga. route 20 at the intersection with Windermere Parkway. It's Italian, upscale, with a very nice wine list. Zola's, also Italian, on Highway 9 is also a good choice. Unless you're really into "southern food" (i.e. overcooked and salty), don't bother with Midway Meal House. For Chinese/Thai try Asian House on Hwy 20 in the Shoppes at Trammel. Good Singapore fried noodles.
I appreciate all the help and advice. I've been told by many to make a trip to the aquarium so there's one plan. I think I'm deff going to go to Baccanalia, it would be my 12th Rest by a James Beard award recipient. On everyone's reccomendation there is some asian or thai choice, I think something along a japanese steakhouse would be nice, wife doesn't like traditional oriental food due to salt restrictions in her diet. I'll be staying off of either exit 17 or 18 off of 400, maybe that will help people point me in the right direction. Yeah not interested in chops or bones, even though one of them has a '98 bottle of Pingus for only like $400, the cheapest in balt or Wash DC is like $1000. So besides Baccanalia the rest of the places I would like to be between $20-40 a person, not including a bottle of wine. Those italian recs, what type of italian are they? as in are the american italian (use tomatoes on everything) or traditional italian ( barely a tomatoe on the menu)
If you're staying there, tell the wife to go to the Outlets of Dalton. I'm not a big shopper, but I do think this group of outlets is pretty good. You should be able to get some really amazing bargains post-Christmas.
I would also recommend Vinnie's on Windward, which should be close to where you're staying. It is part of the delightful Sedgwick group of restaurants. I've spent many summers up on the Chesapeake (Cambridge MD) so I'm a big crab snob, but I think the crab cakes at Vinny's definitely compare with the best. I've never had anything that wasn't delightful at a Sedgwick restaurant.
Slightly farther south is Ray's Killer Creek, at exit 8 (mansell rd). This restaurant is the sister of Ray's on the River and Ray's downtown, but it's way up here closer to where you're staying. This is right by North Point Mall. NP is a good mall, and the road that runs along it (N. Point Parkway) contains pretty much every store you don't find at the mall.
You're staying almost near Dahlonega, site of the first gold rush in America. It has a cute little square with some fun little shops. Stay away from the Smith House restaurant. It is family-style "southern" dining, but having grown up eating my mama's good southern cooking, the food at the SH is a big, big disappointment. There's a Japanese Steakhouse on 400 between Dahlonega and the outlet mall, on the east side (look for the Ryan's...it's behind that). Alternatively, there's a Benihana (yes, a chain) on Mansell Rd (exit 8 again) if you want a Japanese steakhouse.
Sometimes in Atlanta it's 70 degrees and you can dine on a patio as somebody suggested, even in january. Unfortunately, it's about 30 degrees now and we're looking at 17 tonight, so unless it shapes up in a big way by the 11th, there'll be no al fresco dining for you! good luck, and enjoy your visit.
yea it's cold up here too, but unlike down there we've been having 25-35mph winds that make it cruel outside. the jap steakhouse I really don't mind if its a chain, typically the best ones are for some reason around me. I really don't think I'm looking for southern cuisine as much as the exp and atmosphere. The city I'm staying is Cumming, back in the day I went to Forsyth Central High, but that was yrs ago. thanks for all the suggestions everyone