I’ve been absent for aaaaages but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me as I come bearing some tasty treats from my brilliant, brilliant holiday in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Myself and 5 of the best and funniest ladies a girl could know descended upon Atlanta for 10 days of adventure, much of which was rewarded with some pretty fine dining. I thought I’d share my favourite 5 places which as a vegetarian I found quite impressive but I also have it on good authority that the meat dishes were yummy too.
1: Tuk Tuk
So I’ve been back a week and all I keep thinking is why didn’t I have one last farewell order of Pad Mee before I left. I am actually suffering with withdrawal from their delicious and incredibly well priced Thai menu. The staff were especially friendly and we got our first taste of southern hospitality when the manager sat us down in a very non-pushy way and took us through their specials and vegetarian options.
For my first visit I wanted something light and was recommended the Mieng Kum described as an “old fashioned spinach leaf wrap with lime, ginger, onions, roasted peanuts and coconut in a carmelized palm sugar”. I love the taste of coconut and it was exactly what I wanted, super tasty and only $9.
On my second visit I was in the mood for a substantial meal so had the Pad Mee. You know when you eat something and it actually makes you happy. Your eyes get a little big and you might have to do a little happy wiggle…or is that just me… well anyway if you’re in town and looking for a yummy vegetarian dish try this “sauteed vermicelli rice noodles with mushrooms, sprouts, scallions and egg”. You can add tofu and it’s $13. Oh and it comes with the most amazing chilli sauce too.
Market restaurant in Buckhead, Atlanta describes itself as “a destination for those who value simple elegance and contemporary dining. Emphasizing comfort and creativity, the menu features Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s “greatest hits;” reinventing classic dishes by infusing eclectic flair”.
Eclectic is definitely the word I’d use for it. We arrived quite late in the evening so I opted for a salad with champagne mango, goats cheese, black olives and Thai basil, $10. It was like innovation on a plate and amazing on the tastebuds, just the right amount of sweetness and saltiness.
The restaurant is actually part of the W hotel so there’s valet parking with a very kind manager, and just round the corner and up the stairs is the Whiskey Blue roof top bar which sells the most delicious virgin blueberry mojitos you could imagine.
After an afternoon spent in the Aquarium staring at giant whale sharks (HUGE!), we escaped the sweltering heat and ventured into nearby Johnny Rockets, a very American diner. Think Grease and you’ll get the picture of Johnny Rockets. They even give you dimes for the jukebox on your table so you can pick a song and hear it play over the diner’s radio.
In terms of the menu along with burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings and fries there’s an equally epic menu of milkshakes, malts and my personal favourite… the root beer float. Cold super fizzy root beer with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yuuuuuuuum! Oh and they draw little smiley faces with ketchup too.
Ok this isn’t the fanciest place to dine abroad but IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) has been on my hit list ever since we were first introduced as an 18 year-old on my first trip to New York (aka a looooong time ago). Then it was all about their banana, maple and pecan pancakes, this time around it was a stack of cinnamon apple… boy oh boy… I think I might just take a moment to reminisce on that one…
The locals seemed to give us mixed reviews on the soul food menu at P Diddy’s restaurant in Atlanta and we kind of felt the same, not that we didn’t enjoy it but it wasn’t exactly amazing. What really put this on my top 5 though was the people. On the decks was a fantastic DJ named Jimmy Jones playing all the kind of music that keeps you from sitting down and on the dance floor was the very talented TJ who mesmerised us with our first experience of the Chicago step and even taught us a few moves. Fab times… check him out in the vid below.
So those are my top 5, though I’m sure there are numerous other places we’ve yet to discover. If you know of any feel free to let me know and I look forward to enjoying them on my next trip.