Atlanta, GA - Weekend Trip

by - 10:32 AM


Last month, we had the opportunity to visit Atlanta thanks to my work. I've visited Atlanta before and had the greatest time eating chicken and waffles then visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. museum! For Drew, it was his first time.

WHERE WE STAYED 

We stayed at the Canopy by Hilton, in the Midtown neighborhood - just north of Downtown Atlanta. I highly recommend this hotel, absolutely modern with great amenities like an on-site bar and restaurant with free drinks nightly during their evening social. The art and style of the hotel is lovely. I utilized their Breakfast in a Bag program when I had to head out to an early morning meeting and didn't have time to grab breakfast. They leave you a bag with yogurt, granola, fresh fruit and orange juice outside your room for $4!

The rooms were modern with spacious bathrooms, fridge, big windows, great lighting, USB plugs near the nightstand, and an espresso maker in your room.




What I really appreciated about this hotel is their efforts in being more eco-friendly. Each floor featured a filtered water dispenser and ice machine. Each room has drinking glasses and a glass water jug for you to fill with down the hall. WAY more sustainable than the plastic single-use water bottles.

RESTAURANTS WE LOVED

When in Atlanta, you have to divulge in some Southern food. One subway ride and a 5 minute walk later, we were seated at

1. Mary Mac's Tea Room


They tout that they have the #1 fried chicken in Atlanta, and the #16 rank in the US. The service was friendly, naturally. The options were endless, the list of sides on their menu goes on forever. We had such a hard time deciding. Drew went with the macaroni and cheese and sweet potato soufflé (sweet potato casserole, as we know it) for his sides. I went with mashed potatoes and gravy as well as steamed cabbage. We also got cornbread (Mary Mac's adds pork rinds to their cornbread batter!). 

2. La Grotta Italian Ristorante

This place was something special. The service was a little over the top but this meal was a memorable one. It's covertly located inside a nondescript building. Had me wondering if La Grotta was, not a restaurant, but an apartment complex. The Italian options here are the stuff dreams are made of, including the wine list. They also offered fresh black truffle in a seasonal Truffle Menu, as well as the option to add freshly shaved black truffles to any of your dishes. 

If you did not see anything on the menu that you liked, the chefs were willing to prepare whatever you wished. 

I enjoyed the Mushroom Ravioli with fresh black truffles, the Lobster Papparadelle (not pictured), and the Grand Marnier Panna Cotta with Pistachio. Everything was fantastic. 



3. The Lawrence 

Unique and eccentric, The Lawrence, graced us with their creative fare for our last night in Atlanta. For starters, Niman Ranch Pork Belly and Salt Roasted Beets with citrus fruits and horseradish wanna cotta. For the entree, I ordered Maine Diver Scallops with cauliflower prepared 3 ways, cauliflower puree, riced cauliflower, and roasted cauliflower. We also ordered sides to share, the Garlic Frites are SO GOOD. We also got fried Brussel sprouts (also top notch) and Mac & Cheese. To wrap up the meal, the chocolate dessert with Yuzu orange marmalade and sesame seed crumble caught my attention. 

 

PLACES TO EXPLORE

We didn't have the most time to explore since I worked most hours of the days during our trip but while I was at work, Drew got to explore some cool places. 

College Football Hall of Fame 

One of the more interactive sports related experiences in the US. You pick your team and you're given a lanyard with your scan card. As you make your way through each exhibit, your experience is customized to you and your favorite team. Drew and my sister, Claudia, are huge football fans. They had a blast during this experience. 

Ponce City Market  

For a late lunch, they headed over to the public market. This market has an excellent selection of vendors to choose from.



Torched Hop Brewing Company

We got to stop by this brewery and restaurant on our first night. They served beers made in-house and great American food menu. The vibe and decor is great, the building looks to be repurposed from an older vintage building. There's bocce ball and bar games, the service was also great. We tried a good selection of unique beers and drinks. The food was also good. 

GETTING AROUND

We used the public train system to get around as much as we could, it was fairly easy and straightforward. MARTA passes can be purchased at each station, there are electronic kiosks that make selecting your pass type (single, 1-day, 2-day, etc) very easy. Google Maps, for the most part, told you which trains to get on and where to walk. Signal is spotty once you are underground and in the subway system but the train system communication all of the major stops and their landmarks. For places that were a little further, we used Uber. Lyft's service did not have the best signal in Atlanta. 

FINAL NOTES

Overall, we had a great time. Atlanta doesn't have a long list of things to do or places to see. They have their staples and once you've seen them, you've wrapped things up pretty quickly for the most part. The food scene in Atlanta, however, is chock-full of many great options, even their fast service and quick casual restaurants are well rounded with healthy options, creative flavors, and lots of ethnic cuisines. This is fantastic. There are a lot of other cities that have yet to evolve their food scene this far. And the Southern hospitality is a real thing. People are genuinely friendly and outgoing. They aren't afraid to greet you and make eye contact, they aren't afraid to converse with you. We need more of that. 

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