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4 nights in Atlanta, some help with where to eat? We've got some in mind...

My boyfriend and I will be in in Atlanta from Saturday April 11th-Wednesday April 15th. We have a number of places in mind that we'd like to go but would also love some help adding or subtracting as necessary. The 4 dinners we had in mind were Bacchanalia or Floataway (we haven't decided if we want to splurge), Restaurant Eugene, Watershed and Holeman & Finch. The problem we're encountering is that Sunday is Easter and none of these restaurants are open. Which should we forgo? Perhaps we can do it at Brunch instead? Also, do you know of restaurants that will be open Sunday night?

Coming from NY we're most interested in Southern style cuisine or anything that's using local ingredients. For lunches the only place we definitely want to try is Ann's Snack. Any other ideas? Ideally we'd like lunch to be on the cheaper side since dinner's will be pricier.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions, we really appreciate it!

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  1. Excellent choices, though they all have a lot in common and you might get a bit of deja vu if you actually did all of those. If Southern is your focus (and coming from New York, that's a good choice), then you have the best of the bunch covered IMO.

    Is Eugene really closed on Easter? I'm surprised - Sunday supper is a special there.

    I can see the attraction of Ann's, but be prepared for a very long wait and a bit of a strange experience for what might not live up to the hype. On the opposite end of the burger spectrum is FLIP from Richard Blais, with some very good and interesting burgers in a fun, casual environment. Open Sundays.

    Dynamic Dish is another really interesting place with a very limited menu that focuses on local, vegetarian options. The chef/owner has a way with putting fresh flavors together, great stuff. Quirky little place w great food - I prefer dinner to lunch there.

    I wouldn't recommend it for the food really, but The Varsity is an Atlanta institution that you could hit for a greasy lunch of hot dogs and orange freeze and onion rings.

    Star Provisions is the market and take out counter at Bachanalia that has some amazing sandwiches for lunch.

    Have fun!

    4 Replies
    1. re: biskuit

      Unfortunately Eugene is closed on Easter Sunday, open only for brunch. Dynamic Dish is closed on Sunday and Monday-- though it does look really interesting. Any other thoughts for Sunday dinner?

      How does lunch at Watershed compare to dinner? H&F, Bacchanalia/Floataway and Eugene are all only open for dinner. So if we want to hit all (and none are open Sunday) that'd be the only way to do it...

      We might check out Flip Burger-- though I think part of what attracts us to Ann's is the strange experience :)

        1. re: jdream

          There is a great local place, Metro Fresh (www.metrofreshatl.com), that has a beautiful Easter Brunch. Wonderful, fun restuarant at a very reasonable price for easter brunch. they use local ingredients as much as possible and have a good attitude (the owner used to be a star on Doogie Howser).
          You can't go wrong with Restaurant Eugene.
          For a great lunch spot, go to Souper Jenny's!!

        2. re: biskuit

          I was at Star Provisions the other day and had their Grilled Gruyere with Shaved Asparagus, Butter Leeks, and Tarragon on Multigrain Bread. The sandwich fillings were delicious, but the bread itself was a bit too thick. The result was an overly browned crust while the cheese was barely warm. I did ask whether the sandwich can be made in the panini style, and the answer was "No." If the bread were just a bit thinner, oiled a bit more, and pressed, the sandwich would have been killer.

          I took home a Chicken Pot Pie, a Savory Tart (Onion and Gruyere), and some Mexican Wedding Cookies. The pastry crust on the Chicken Pot Pie was the perfect complement to the creamy filling, the carrots still had some bite to them and were sweet and fresh. The Savory Tart filling was smokey with hints of bacon, a perfect match to the crispy crust. The Mexican Wedding Cookies were crumbly and filled with nuts crushed to the right size. The home crowd were smacking their lips with every bite!

          While the sandwich I ate there was somewhat of a disappointment for all the promise of what it could have been, I did find a very interesting drink to wash it down. It was Fentimans Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger, a fermented drink with carbonated water, mandarin orange juice, sugar, ginger, natural Seville orange flavour (yes, it's made in the UK), speedwell and juniper extract. Phew, that was a mouthful; but the result was a complex drink much like craft beer, you have to sip it to get all the complexity. The ginger note was a perfect complement to my sandwich.

          All in all, an outing well worth the time. I hope they will invest in some panini presses before my next visit to Atlanta.

        3. I would suggest Mary Mac's for lunch while you are visiting Atlanta. This is an Atlanta institution with a very good southern menu.

          1. Canoe is serving brunch on Easter, and that's a great place for something like that...beautiful setting and better than good food.

              1. re: Spreadhead

                Fox Bros is the best of BBQ that we can get while we're down there?

                1. re: jdream

                  Fox Bros. is certainly among the best (Sam and Daves rivals it IMHO), but I would not recommend making a point of eating BBQ while in Atlanta. If you happen to specifically want BBQ while you're here, it's a good choice. I don't love their ribs, but the brisket is excellent, as are most of the sides.

              2. BTW, where are you staying?

                As far as BBQ, I like Fox Bros. Atlanta has a lot of transplants, which is maybe why it has many BBQ styles and no distinct one of its own.

                I've yet to get to Watershed, but Tuesday night is fried chicken night, and it is supposed to be great.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Reignking

                  We're staying at the W Downtown. We'll have a car and my boyfriend used to live in Atlanta, so he's familiar and getting around isn't a problem.

                  1. re: jdream

                    Since you are at the W downtown, definitely drop by Drinkshop, the new bar located within...

                2. You might try Six Feet Under across from the Oakland Cemetary. Is it on Memorial? Anyway, I originally got the recommendation here on Chowhound when I was planning a group dinner two years ago. We liked it so much that the same group, give or take a few, went back when we were at the same meeting there earlier this month. No reservations, but good beer on tap while you wait. Southern-style seafood; reasonable prices; casual atmosphere. Don't miss the oysters if its still oyster season; they are apalachicola oysters from the Florida panhandle area and they are delicious.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: janetofreno

                    Thanks... maybe we'll check that out Sunday night since they're actually open for dinner. That would leave the itinerary something like this:
                    Saturday: Dinner Floataway or Bacchanalia
                    Sunday: Brunch Restaurant Eugene/ Dinner 6 Feet Under
                    Monday: Lunch Mary Mac's / Dinner Holeman & Finch
                    Tuesday: Lunch Souper Jenny or Fox Bros / Dinner Watershed
                    Wednesday: Lunch Ann's Snack Shack

                    How is that looking? We missing anything? Are we risking too many meals that are going to taste too alike? Thanks for the input!

                    1. re: jdream

                      Personal opinion - I would not have Souper Jenny (which is good for what it is, soup and salad shop) or Mary Mac's (which is a bit contrived - MUCH better to go to Busy Bee Cafe for the real deal). In fact, Busy Bee is a great addition to that list for lunch. Agreed with comment below on 6 Feet Under, not a place to seek out for the food.

                      That said, you will be in Southern overload with all these choices. Sunday night might be a good time to hit something different - Atlanta has tons of good foods from a variety of countries along Buford Highway, none that will beat New York, but good inexpensive food nonetheless. Or Nan for upscale Thai (pricey). Or Fritti even for pizza napolitano (they just brought in a pizza maker from Italy, not the best in the world, but good anyway). If you want to keep it light, Rathbun's next door wine bar, Krog Bar, would be a nice choice too for wine and small plates.

                  2. You could try South City Kitchen and 4th and Swift. .

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chickstein

                      I've found South City Kitchen to be generally unimpressive.

                    2. You can check this blog if you have not already: http://blissfulglutton.blogspot.com/
                      Lots of restaurant reviews including those you have identified. Dropdown menus by restaurant name, and category.

                      1. Great choices!

                        Here are some others:
                        Top Flr for dinner at the bar. Very knowledgeable bar staff and inexpensive, very good chef-driven food.
                        Watershed is excellent for lunch. The truffled chicken salad sandwich is heavenly.
                        Eugene has recreated their menu, is getting rave reviews. Might be the city's best chef right now.
                        Mussels Monday at Peasant Bistro on Centennial Park is an outstanding, low-key deal.
                        Hate to say it but avoid 6 Feet Under -- unless Fried is what you want. Their expansion has hit the quality of the food.
                        LaTavola in Virginia Highland is excellent Northern Italian food. Amazing wine list.
                        I love Wisteria, a true neighborhood gem.
                        Rathbun's on a Saturday is a scene and a good one at that.

                        Have fun!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: aka frank

                          i was at rathbun's steak this past saturday and while it is indeed a steakhouse with prices and ambience to match, the food was fabulous. definitely a step above many i've been to and they even did non-steak more interesting food well.

                          1. re: AMFM

                            Thanks for the feedback. We can't decide if Bacchanalia is really worth the splurge. So, after some rethinking, we're looking at something like this:
                            Saturday: Early drink/bite at Floataway and dinner at Eugene
                            Sunday: family time in Marietta, dinner at Tasty China?
                            Monday: lunch at Busy Bee's, dinner at Holeman and Finch
                            Tuesday: lunch Ann's Snack Shack, dinner at Watershed
                            Wednesday: Lunch (?), maybe Star Provisions and get some to-go for the plane?

                            Does that look more balanced? Still "southern overload"? We missing anywhere? Any dishes in particular we should try at these places? The area we live in in NY is famous for the it's amazing diverse ethnic cuisine. So unless there is something truly fantastic we don't want to have just a mediocre meal. That said, we don't want every meal to taste the same.

                            1. re: jdream

                              Hmmm. I might pick Bacchanalia over Eugene, but that's just me. I just remember being astounded at how much we spent the last time I ate at Eugene. It was good, I think I just have better memories of the times I've eaten at Bacchanalia.

                              I also have really enjoyed Star Provisions for lunch, but you might consider Alon's in Morningside if you want to get a broader view of neighborhood-y Atlanta. Esp. if you do H&F in Buckhead and other Westside stuff.

                              And I love Souper Jenny, but she's a friend, too, so I get biskuit's comment. Her place is unique and cool, but Alon's/Star Provisions is more likely to blow you away with the range of stuff they do.

                              1. re: jdream

                                FYI Creative Loafing has just written a new review of Tasty China:

                                1. re: jdream

                                  Another good one is JCT Kitchen (near Bacchanalia and Star Provisions) Just had a great dinner there on Friday but lunch is also good. It's upscale Southern. For my blog post see:
                                  The shrimp & grits there are outstanding.

                                  I'm glad you are avoiding Mary Mac's (more hype than anything). If you have specific questions you can email me through the blog!