Friday night in Atlanta
I'll be in Atlanta on the 24th for a show at The Sound Table. We're staying downtown and will have a vehicle, but would prefer not to drive for dinner.
Looking for recommendations for a place that does both cocktails and food, or even a great cocktail bar and a decent restaurant.
I'd prefer casual - burgers, ramen, pub food etc...
Also, looking for a breakfast brunch option. We've tried West Egg, Flying Biscuit, and Thumbs Up. Thumbs Up has been our favorite so far.
We've been to H&F with varying degrees of success. The service last time left a bad taste in our mouth.
Anything not to miss on Buford?
Your preference for Thumbs Up over West Egg for breakfast is telling as to what kind of place you like. I think West Egg has great food but lost its cool "coffeehouse" vibe when it moved from the old industrial building to the new digs. Thumbs Up has a smaller and more non-nonsense menu, but what they do, they do very well. I'd have to give this some thought.
It's too bad H&F didn't work out for you, as that would have been at the top of my recommendations for what it sound like you want: a gastropub (if that term still has life in 2014). How about Miso Izakaya? Have you tried Ormsby's, on the same stretch of Howell Mill road as West Egg? They seem to have toned down the "speakeasy" shtick, and have decent pub grub and competent cocktails (though not H&F-level).
The area around The Sound Table, known as the Old Fourth Ward, is much improved in recent years. Though hardly a gastropub, Edgewood Corner Tavern has decent pub grub, and Sister Louisa's is a hipster hoot.
We've had several great meals at Thumbs Up. I particually enjoyed the scramble with smoked salmon and the chicken & waffles.
I wouldn't be opposed to H&F again, but I would need to convince my wife for another visit.
How is The General Muir? I've read a few goods thing about the burger.
I've not considered Miso, but I will add it to the list.
Thanks for the recs...
I was going to suggest Miso Izakaya for something in the area. I've only been to Ormsby's a couple of times, but the one time I went later it felt like a frat party, and I Murtaugh out on that kind of scene ("I'm too old for this sh*t").
I've been to General Muir a couple times and really enjoyed the burger (maybe better than his original one at Bocado). But it's also not that near other stuff unless you drive back into Virginia Highlands or over to Decatur.
I think going to Decatur would be a great idea. Reason being that there are a bajillion options there within walking distance. If you're really motivated, I suppose you could navigate taking MARTA from downtown.
For the H&F burger, you could always go on Sunday (open 11-3, I believe), when they don't limit how many they make. You'd have to get there pre-opening to get a table and/or be prepared to wait, but I went a few months back and we just hovered and got seats in the bar before long.
Bocca Lupo is just around the corner from The Sound Table, and has an excellent cocktail program and even better Italian. The Shed at Glenwood is also fairly close by, and a bit more pub-like -- excellent sliders. Finally, Krog Bar for small sandwiches, charcuterie /cheese, etc, and great wine by the glass.
For breakfast, Thumbs Up and West Egg are good choices, as would be General Muir -- the pastrami and egg sandwich on rye at brunch is my favorite. For something a bit lighter, maybe Octane for coffee and Little Tart Bakery in Grant Park (they share space).
Finally, my take on H&F -- the food is great but we go back time and time again for the service. Try it again, sometime.
Thanks again for all the recs!
We are getting in a bit earlier than expected.
I'm hoping to try Tasty China II or Gu's Bistro. Any reason why I should try to Sandy Spring instead of Buford Highway?
Lastly, any recs for a great banh mi? Looks like H&F for cocktails and dinner, and Proof & Provision as a backup plan. Hopefully General Muir for brunch.
re: pete k
Gu's over Tasty China II, in my opinion. Most common recs for banh mi in Atlanta are probably (first choice) Quoc Huong or (second choice, just because it's friendly and easy) Lee's Bakery, both on BuHi. I wouldn't call them "great," but I moved to Atlanta from California and have been eating Vietnamese food a long time. I'd call them more than adequate :)
re: pete k
Both Tasty China II and Gu's are very good. I prefer Gu's by just a bit, but Tasty China does have a considerably larger and broader menu if that is a factor or you.
For Bahn Mi, I like Lee's Bakery -- nothing fancy but just right. For a "fancy" Bahn Mi, you might try the one at Star Provision, though I almost always get the Shrimp Po Boy.