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Aug 29, 2009 08:42 AM

8 Hours at Atlanta Airport

I was wondering if there are realistic options for good food to get us through an 8 hours layover at the Atlanta airport....even considering check in etc. which means maybe four/five hours conservatively estimating.

If we land at 12:40 we could concievably leave the airport by around 1:30. Then we would have to be back at the airport by 7:30 to catch a 9:30 PM flight.

Not willing to spend $100 on a cab, but is there a bus/subway that goes to some Shrimp and Grits type joint? (Not fine dining) How long is the subway ride?

What are the must eats in Atlanta besides Peach Pie?

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  1. One easy option that will take only a fraction of your time is the Feed Store in College Park, which right next to the airport. Very cheap cab ride (I think it's only about 2 miles) or you can take MARTA one stop. Not exactly a shrimp and grits joint, but you can get superb fried green tomatoes there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: profjmm

      The Feed Store usually has some form of shrimp and/or scallops and grits on the menu. And, I LOVE their pimento cheese stuffed fried green tomatoes. Their menu changes at least weekly, so you never know what they will have on offer.

      Don't know which day you are travelling... they tend to be very busy on weeknights (they do take reservations) and practically empty on weekends.

      1. re: onrushpam

        That definitely sounds like the kind of thing I am looking for. We will be there on a Sundau (October 5)

        1. re: jcmods

          Their website says they are closed Sat. and Sun. until Sept. 14. So, you'll need to check to see if they are open on Sun. (I've only been there on Fri. or Sat. when visiting friends in that area.)

    2. FWIW, I don't know if there are any "joints" that serve shrimp & grits. They'd gone upscale before even hitting ATL. And peach season is about over, so pie availability may be limited (not that I knew where to go for one to start with).

      Check for Sunday hours, b/c they seem to do brunch and I'm not sure what the menu's like, but South City Kitchen and Watershed are Southern and reasonably accessible via MARTA. Both upscale, definitely. My FIL (who eats out exclusively) is currently taken with Watershed, which is encouraging me to try it again after a many-year absence. It's a little hike from the station, but Decatur's nice if the weather's good. That and it's only uphill on the way back to the station. ;-)

      1. Lots of great options, athough depends on what day of the week...
        If you are museum people you can take the MARTA to the High Museum and then have an early supper at Table 1280 which is at the museum. Or hit South City Kitchen which is around the corner from the museum.
        It's about a 20-30 minute subway ride from the airport to Arts Station.

        5 Replies
        1. re: rcburli

          Our trip is tomorrow and we ARE museum people. However, now I am thinking maybe finding a screening of Capitalism a Love Story around 3:00. If there are any chowish places near a movie theater showing that, it could be an idea.

          All the suggestions look good, but what I am really looking for is the Atlanta equivalent of the Chicago Hot Dog, the Philly Pork Sandwich or New Orleans Gumbo (i.e. the "national dish" that cannot be duplicated anywhere else...which is why I thought of Shrimp N Grits).

          My last trip to Atlanta was in the 70's (and I was a high school student and ate burgers anyway)... so I am sure a lot has changed since then.

          However, has Ted Turner really turned EVERYTHING (even fried green tomatoes) into a high end affair?

          1. re: jcmods

            I don't think Atlanta really has a signature dish...shrimp and grits is generally thought of as a Charleston/Savannah "lowcountry" dish (although there are many, differing theories concerning its origin). The Varsity is probably the most "Atlanta" institution there is, but its not what you're looking for. Perhaps the most representative style of food in Atlanta is "new southern"...this thread will give you some suggestions:


            1. re: bbqdawg

              Thanks for the thread. I googled the Varsity and am pretty sure I did eat there in the 70's. I am sure we will find something even if we end up in College Park. Too bad about the Feed Store being closed on weekends (it still says that on their web site).

            2. re: jcmods

              Blaming Ted Turner is kind of a stretch. Ted's Montana Grill certainly isn't high end and is pretty reasonable. Good in a pinch, but not somewhere I'd go out of my way for.

              Personally, I'm also not going out of my way for any more Michael Moore movies. Even when I agree with him, I still think he represents the shrill end of the debate (like the ditto-heads at the other end of the spectrum). I thought Judith Warner's comments the other day were very on point (

              That said, it looks like the movie is showing at the Hollywood 24 off I-85 and at the Midtown Art theater on Monroe, with 4-ish showtimes. You could try one of many options on Buford Highway and be near the former. Or you could hit Pura Vida (recent ex Top Chef contestant), Fox Bros BBQ, Porter Beer Bar, or Shaun's (not sure if they're still doing their Sun night recession special) and go to Midtown. There are a bunch of places in that vicinity, but those are the ones that jump to mind.

              1. re: ted

                Just thought I would reply. Ended up at the Midtown Cinema. I didn't know it, but it was probably the best possible neighborhood for the clueless to spend 7 hours in Atlanta. The bar scene looked like a lot of fun even though I really did not have time to stop in.

                After all that, I really didn't get any chow worthy food. However, the "Mall/Shopping Plaza" where the Theater and Trader Joe's was seemed pretty good for a mall. (At least it did not seem to be all national chains. So maybe next time....Oh well).