Surprise, surprise: I went traveling. Just after getting back from my mini trip to Sevilla to wrap up paperwork (as if, I am currently gathering more official stamps so I can get permission to begin the application process in the hopes that someday my diploma will come in the mail), I went on down to see my friend Caroline. I bought the tickets with some sky miles in a fit of frustration after a disappointing breakup and PowerPoint-shaped rage against my thesis. Fabulous decision.
Caroline was a wonderful hostess. She shared her friends and took me around town to eat in many, many lovely places. We also got the chance to cook together for the first time in over a year, after buying way too much food at the Dekalb Farmers Market. Where they don’t let you take pictures, so oh well. I took a few pictures of my favorite things she prepared for us, and those will be popping up in the next few weeks. Especially since her breakfast burritos were worth the price of the tickets alone. Also, I bought a gigantic cookbook on southern cooking. So there’s that. In the mean time, for anyone thinking of going to Atlanta, please consider…
I have no pictures of this place, but they have excellent hot dogs and super crispy waffle fries. And! it was opened by Top Chef Richard Blaise, so I can erase a Top Chef place from my bucket list. If you go, be sure to get the boiled peanuts! Salty, and smooshy, and delicious.
Cakes and Ale
Not to be confused with Pies and Pints in Seattle, this joint is amazingly good. We stopped off to have some coffee while we worked and studied. Caroline convinced me to have the caliente coffee, which was a mocha with cayenne pepper. One of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in a while.
We didn’t go to the restaurant side, but there were some tempting things on offer:
It’s just a really comforting place to go. The bakery side was an expansion, so they have the old brick wall with its advertising still stuck up there. Well lit and calm, I can see why it’s amongst Caroline’s list of need-to-go cafes.
Oh, and Ben convinced me to get a cookie. They didn’t have their favorite tarts up for offer, so we settled on a peanut butter cookie with peanut butter mixed with marscapone smushed in between. I warned Ben that if he led me astray, we could never be friends. Needless to say, we’re chill.
Gladys Knight’s Signature Chicken and Waffles
We had a great time here. Honestly, the sides were just so so (collards and squash casserole), but we had a southern feast and there were some tasty things worth eating. The pictures are lousy because I was just using my phone to not stick out too badly in a busy restaurant. Anthony Bourdain I ain’t.
Sweet tea! It was…sweet. Not up my alley. But apropos.
Caroline insists that you must douse your collards in pepper-infused vinegar. I eventually agreed.
Fried green tomatoes! Man, these were excellent. Combined with the remoulade, it inspired me to hunt down green tomatoes up in my neck of the woods. If need be, I’ll just use those woody winter tomatoes and call them fried sad tomatoes.
Caroline and I teamed up to order two big plates and share. These barbecue smoked turkey legs were amazing.
And of course, chicken and waffles! I am definitely a fan, and would repeat in an instant.
So, that was my trip. What did I miss? What’s your favorite southern food? Because I bet it’s in my new cookbook, and I want to try it!