Atlanta - Near Piedmont Park and Masquerade Theater
We're going to Atlanta the first weekend in August for a show at the Masquerade Theater on Saturday the 2nd. We're staying just west of Piedmont Park on Juniper Street. We're going to Home on Friday night when we get in, so we will need recommendations for the following:
Friday: Bar/after dinner drinks either near Home or near Juniper St.
Saturday breakfast: Casual, near Piedmont Park
Saturday lunch: anything midtown or downtown
Saturday dinner: something preferably within walking distance to the Masq
Sunday brunch: near Piedmont Park preferred, but could go elsewhere
We like all kinds of food, we are meat eaters, locavores and like to eat organically. We're fairly adventurous and don't mind spending money on food, but love to find great local, farm fresh food in a casual atmosphere for reasonable prices. We like good wine and local, micro-brewed beer. We live in Asheville to give you an idea of what we're used to.
Everyone is going to tell you to go to the Flying Biscuit for brunch or breakfast. If you want to wait in the hot sun for barely average food, go ahead. BUT, there are better options. Gilbert's, across the street (Piedmont and 10th), has a much better brunch. The West Egg, on Howell Mill, across the Interstate, has a great breakfast and brunch. The Local, on Ponce near Freedom Parkway is also really good.
Repast is the closest thing to Masquerade, great food, cool atmosphere. The Globe, 5th and spring in Midtown, is a great lunch/dinner spot or excellent cocktails. Ditto for Ecco, which is walking distance to Juniper. Beleza and Cuerno are also tops, at Juniper and 8th. If you want a very casual, outdoor, inexpensive, relatively healthy lunch, try Quattro at the 12th street entrance to Piedmont Park.
re: aka frank
aka frank has some good suggestions.
I also thought of Dynamic Dish when I first read your post. It is pretty hip, vegetarian, into organic/local stuff, etc. It is not super close to Masquerade, but if you have a car, it is maybe two miles away (straight down North Avenue and left on Boulevard than a short right onto Edgewood). The place has been getting some good reviews on the local Atlanta board. The one negative thing is that it is not cheap.
re: aka frank
I agree Flying Biscuit hasn't been any good since the original owners sold out to a franchiser in 2006.
I've never understood why anyone would praise Gilbert's, though. I've tried brunch there three times, all within the last 10 months, and had zero good meals out of those three attempts. (I kept my hopes up because it is three blocks from my home.) The food was bland and heavy, like morning room service at a mediocre hotel.
I've been happy with the brunch at South City Kitchen (two blocks west of Juniper on Crescent at 13th). It's crowded, so I would recommend reservations if you're going to go there. Their menu is:
It's a little on the pricey side. Unfortunately I don't know a brunch or breakfast in Midtown that is both good and moderately priced. (Flying Biscuit used to be a great value back when they were good. Now they're overpriced for what they serve. Gilbert's is a cheap all-you-can-eat breakfast, so if you're short of money and starving, they will at least fill you up in the morning.)
i agree about Gilbert's dreish. Don't get me wrong: love to go to Gilbert's for drinks or light mediterranean nibbles. It's great. But brunch, i feel, is its weakest link. i've eaten brunch there 4-5 times and have taken out of town guests there for brunch (i like the atmosphere and for out of towners, the menu has a ton of different things to select from) and have never left impressed with the brunch food. In midtown, i really feel that the best affordable brunch place is Einstein's. It's kinda cliche, but i've always had pretty good brunches there at relatively inexpense. South City Kitchen has GREAT brunch, though it is a tad more expensive. I've also enjoyed the brunch at Front Page News off of Crescent.
Other places that are good in the vicinity of the Masquerade:
None so great on the local/organic, but it always seems odd to me to do high-end dining followed by a concert in a bar or the like. Definitely reasonable.
And you have to make a pilgrimmage to 5 Seasons, Twain's or The Brick Store if you're into beer. 5 Seasons is a great value considering their local/organic menu emphasis. Unfortunately, I'd probably hit the Alpharetta location just b/c they're doing a bigger variety of beers up there than in Sandy Springs lately. Twain's is a poolhall/brewpub in Decatur. And The Brick Store is one of the best beer bars in the country. Head to the upstairs Belgian bar.
If you don't mind spending a little more, Two Urban Licks is in walking distance from the Masq. and has an amazing atmosphere. I am in college so it isn't terribly priced if I can afford to eat there and they have great southern food with a twist (my favorite is the "Big Ass Burger". They also make a sort of hunch punch drink that is just alcohol soaked in fruit for a few days and kept in kegs at the bar. Someone early mentioned breakfast at West Egg. They were right on. Best brunch in Atlanta though you will have to cross the interstate. I recommend the banana bread french toast or the Georgia benedict. Again southern food with a twist just to add a little something to the regular food you find around here. As for a bar in town Brickstore is great as mentioned earlier but pretty far away from where you are staying. I recommend Manuel's Tavern (it is really close to the Masq. and shouldn't be hard to find). They have really cheap beer and food and as strange as it sounds I swear their PBR tastes better than anywhere in the world. Great local bar! I love Asheville eating so I hope I did you right by my choices. Good luck picking and enjoy!