Over the weekend I visited Atlanta, Georgia for the second time. I stayed with a good friend Vic near Emory, who I also had the pleasure of traveling to Istanbul, Budapest, Vienna, and Prague with a couple winters ago. Knowing that I love food, he planned an ambitious schedule packed with southern food and Atlanta favorites.
After getting into Atlanta well past midnight the evening before (for the record, it was a 475 mile drive from New Orleans), I needed a strong breakfast to get me going. We picked up Fukuko, who was visiting from Hong Kong for TomorrowWorld, and headed straight to brunch at The Flying Biscuit.
I ordered the High Flyer, a generous feast featuring two sunny side up eggs, chicken breakfast sausage, "creamy dreamy grits," plus an organic oatmeal pancake topped with warm peach compote. I of course had it with an unsweetened iced tea and a unexpectedly 16oz pineapple mimosa. I don't know how anyone finishes this by themselves. And though the biscuit was good, the star of the show was most definitely the creamy dreamy grits. I could have had 3 bowls of that plain. Runner up is their whole wheat French toast that's served with homemade raspberry sauce and honey cream.
The Flying Biscuit
1655 McLendon Ave NE
I had no idea that there was such a strong street art culture in Atlanta. I was so impressed with the quality of the murals and disappointed that New York is quickly losing this culture. Vic showed us Krog Street tunnel and we took a walk around Cabbagetown, where we admired the colorful houses and stunning painted walls. When I have the money, I will most definitely be commissioning murals all over Manhattan.
Vic works at The Neon Company, who produces many of the iconic neon signs seen around Atlanta. This is another reason why ATL was amazing. I don't know why, but I've always loved the aesthetic of neon signs and here, they're everywhere. It was closed over the weekend, but I will definitely need to stay on a weekday next time to check out his work space.
Good thing Vic brought us for a walking tour of Cabbagetown to work off that breakfast because dinner at Vortex is no joke. After an hour long wait, I was utterly famished.
We started with the fried zucchini slices, which were undoubtedly A+. Who knew zucchini would taste so good with ranch dressing? Fukuko and I both ordered the Steak House, a half pound sirloin beef burger topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms, swiss and cheddar cheese, and Vortex steak sauce. I had mine medium rare topped with an egg and served with sweet potato waffle fries (skip the marshmallow goo sauce). Fukuko ordered hers with their perfectly crispy tater tots. Vic toyed with the idea of getting another Coronary Bypass burger (think bacon plus cheese plus egg) , but opted for the Holy Guacamole burger instead.
It was tough, and no one talked for the entire meal. But we did it.
Fun fact: I drank two 32 ounce unsweetened iced teas at this meal.
Vortex Bar & Grill
438 Moreland Ave NE
Our final stop at 4am on Sunday was Majestic Diner. It was between this or Waffle House, and we opted for the slightly classier definitely pricier Majestic Diner. You can see the diner from a far with its iconic neon exterior lighting up the entire street corner.
Inside, this place was packed. We actually had to wait 20 minutes for a table. But let's be real, who doesn't want breakfast food all day? 24 hours is definitely the way to go for a diner. Fukuko and I shared a grilled ham and cheese, hashbrowns (a la Waffle House style), and grits. I of course had to order a vanilla milkshake. It's the only way to go. Vic's friends had a delicious looking patty melt and a corned beef hash. Solid choices all around.
With only one full day in Atlanta, I'd say we did a real good job packing in three full meals, albeit it took us a span of 17 hours. We actually needed all of it to fuel us for the long night out. And I woke up hungry. But next time (yes, I'm for sure going back again) I definitely have to hit up Gladys Knight's for some fried chicken and waffles.
1031 Ponce De Leon Ave NE