It is very rare, but every once in a while, our crew hotel reservations get mangled. Usually, a warm and comfortable bed with thick goose-down pillows awaits my head after a long, grueling 14-hour day of work. Every once in a while, though, there is a glitch in the system. It happened last week. The Final Four was happening in Atlanta. There was nary a room to be had. But somehow, the hotel staff that was as sweet as the street where it was located (Peachtree) managed to work some magic and find six rooms to accommodate two pilots and four flight attendants.
After watching the crowds dance, whoop, holler, and break open champagne bottles on the streets to celebrate Louisville’s victory, I fell into a very deep relaxing slumber. All of this flying and eating wears a gal out! (Not that I am complaining.)
My schedule has been very fortunate; I have friends in many of the cities where I lay over. Atlanta is no exception. One of my friends came to pick me up for beer and dinner and he couldn’t have picked better venues. We headed to East Atlanta Village, which houses a variety of bars, restaurants, and gritty music venues, where some really talented local bands get their start.
We started with beers at The Midway Pub. According to the locals, the Midway Pub has one of the best patios in Atlanta, so we opted to sit outside on such a beautiful evening. There was a trivia night going on inside while we were there. The Midway also has a great beer selection, and I always like to try a local draft beer in the cities that I visit. Terrapin Beer Company is in Athens, Ga., so I chose the Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA. I love hops, and this IPA delivers. My friend and I were just planning on whetting our appetites before dinner, so in an effort not to go too crazy with food, we started with the Grit Cake BBQ Stack, with fried grit cakes, pulled pork BBQ, and fresh apple chutney. It tastes just how it sounds: gluttonous and delicious.
We walked down the street a few hundred feet and dined at Argosy, which just opened in March. It is a beautiful venue, which also boasts a large patio that opens out into the street. We snagged a spot at the bar and started with the very refreshing "Hell or High Watermelon" beer. The thirst-quenching taste reminded me of innocent spring evenings, begging to be the catalyst for falling in love. It was the perfect beer for a warm April Atlanta evening.
We opted for the mini hot dogs, which come served with fries. There were four varieties and we tried three. The standout was the one slathered in slaw and caramelized onions and some sort of cheesy-gooey-creamy-delicious-white-sauce, and to top it all off, a grainy brown mustard. I asked for an extra side of that mustard to dip the fries in. I couldn’t stop inhaling the fries into my mouth. This was very serious business.
Dessert: Rhubarb Goat Cheese Cheesecake. Do I really need a sentence surrounding that phrase? I think it might speak for itself. OK, OK, OK, I’ll go ahead and throw out some adjectives, just for good measure: Unique. Creamy. Flavorful. Perfect. Summery. Distinctive. Yummy. Palatable. How’s that?
Why is it that I find myself falling in love with every city that I visit and the culinary offerings of each? Atlanta, I think I’ve done it again. Can I please come back soon? Can we have dinner? Drinks? Maybe you can even come up to my place afterward? Bring some of that Southern fare that I love so much. And until we meet again, I will send you my hugs and Georgia Peach-flavored kisses.