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What to see/do in Atlanta, Tennessee, Kentucky aside from visiting Maker's Mark?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by whodini, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    Looks like Fat Matt's will be on the list.

    When Bourdain did "The Layover" in LA, he stopped at In-N-Out as soon as he got out of the airport; but the reviews on The Varsity have lead me to believe that it's more about nostalgia than actually getting good eats. Am I far off?

    What if I asked where I could get the best burger in town? Yeah burger?
     
  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    Hey, tell us a bit more about this "ambassador's barrel."
     
  3. 1969

    1969 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't eaten at the Varsity in 20 years but yeah its not good food if I recall. Also, listen to the man regarding the Clermont and post pics.
     
  4. Rambo

    Rambo Well-Known Member

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    I'M IN MIAMI, BITCH
    

    Glad I wasn't the only one wondering about that.
     
  5. gouis

    gouis New Member

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    Ok so I'm basically a lurker here, but I can't let someone go to Fatt Matt's. That place is awful. They boil the ribs before slightly smoking/grilling it, so they don't develop a nice smokey flavor. It's also often underdone and chewy. There aren't amazing BBQ places in the city, but Fox Bros would be the best.

    For burgers check our Farm Burger in Decatur or Buckhead, that's the best place in town. I also really enjoy Grindhouse which is near Piedmont Park.
     
  6. gouis

    gouis New Member

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    Oh and for southern food, check out the Colonnade. A couple of food bloggers here recently tried to find the best fried chicken in the city and it easily won.
     
  7. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    About seven or eight years ago, I signed up to be a Maker's Mark ambassador. Part of the process is that they engrave your name (along with twenty or so others) onto a copper plaque on a barrel that's filled around the time you join. They email you a photo of the plaque and actually offer you a chance to buy a replica of it to hang on your wall.

    Well, the idea is that after six to eight years when the bourbon's ready they offer you the chance to show up to the distillery and buy a bottle from your barrel. I haven't been told much more than that but I had to RSVP in a window only a couple of months long. I know it's customary to be able to dip your own bottle on the tour so I'd imagine I'll be doing that, too.

    MM has always been really, really good at treating their "ambassadors" well. On top of sending an annual Christmas present (this year it was a holiday sweater for the bottle), they host a good number of events around the country including Kentucky Derby parties.

    I was told I'd be receiving more in the mail from them regarding picking up the bottle so I'll pass along the info when I get it. I'm sort of expecting to see a big red wax carpet when I pull up to Loretto.


    Thanks for the tips. I've been on a fried chicken bender lately so my ears perked up when ed mentioned Colonnade earlier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  8. deepitm

    deepitm Well-Known Member

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    FYI, I heard about this burger http://www.holeman-finch.com/burger.html and I am gonna try to get my hands on it, despite its scarcity.

    Also, might try Fresh Air BBQ or Old Clinton BBQ on the way to Savannah. If anyone has input on those, I'd like to hear.

    Agree, it's good to know that Fat Matt's isn't that great. The Yelp reviews made me iffy on it.

    Can anyone say whether or not the Dreamland locations in surrounding ATL are as good as the real deal in Tuscaloosa? If not as good, close?

    Also, any shopping worth hitting up in ATL other than Sid?
     
  9. gouis

    gouis New Member

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    Oh, I forgot to mention H&F when talking about burgers. They definitely have the best I've ever had, but it's hard to get. They sell out every day and the lines for Sunday brunch (in which they also serve it) can be crazy.

    However I also think that it's the best restaurant in the city so net getting a burger could turn out to be a good thing.

    This place Bocado basically makes the same exact burger (including getting bread from H&F) and they serve it for lunch and dinner every day.
     
  10. hypoluxo

    hypoluxo Member

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    For eating in Nashville, I would recommend Whiskey Kitchen. It is in downtown Nashville. Plenty of reviews on Yelp. Most of the poor reviews/bitching revolve around having to wait for a table on a Tuesday night or the lack of a vegan menu :face palm:. The place is one of my favorites in Nashville.

    The Neely's (Food Network) have a BBQ joint in Nashville. Being from Memphis myself, I find that finding good BBQ outside of Memphis is a real crap shoot. I love BBQ , and I am pretty forgiving, but damn, I've left too many places just shaking my head. For such an easy thing, too many just completely screw it up. For example, there are a couple of BBQ joints on Broadway in dt Nashville. Feel free to avoid them.

    A walk down Broadway is usually interesting. Plenty of bars and live music. Look for the Bang This Twins while downtown. You can find them on youtube.

    In Chattanooga, you should take the tram up to Lookout Mountain. The Tennessee Aquarium is worth the effort of you have the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  11. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Well-Known Member

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    I will plus one Bocado's burger and the HF burger. But for ease and whatnot, Bocado all the way. Also, sit at the bar and order the burger its cheaper and comes with a side
     
  12. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    The tram up to Lookout was on the list. Whisky Kitchen sounds good.

    Bocado's on the list. Frankly, I know I'll be starving after the flight so I'm debating on what to hit first: fried chicken or burgers.
     
  13. mordecai

    mordecai Well-Known Member

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  14. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    That might go without saying. I've already drooled over the photos from Colonnade.
     
  15. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    I'm just learning about meat and threes. What's a good place?
     
  16. hammerhead

    hammerhead Active Member

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    Keeneland would absolutely be a highlight. It's the social event of Kentucky---think cape cod/hamptons. Some of the Kentucky lakes are beautiful. Laurel lake is super pretty. Cumberland is larger. Consider renting a boat and checking them out.
     
  17. dhaller

    dhaller Well-Known Member

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    About southern cooking/soul food in Atlanta:

    Collonade is for your "white folks" southern fare. It's a trip on Friday nights when you have the conservative families and the big tables of aging gay men adjacent to each other. It's also cash only, if that matters.

    Busy Bee is your "black folks" soul food - oxtail, turkey neck bones, fried chicken, collards. It's good stuff... it's a little hole-in-the-wall place down by Morehouse and Clark Atlanta University. I see Rev. Joseph Lowery there from time to time (a very friendly fellow).

    A few other offhand things:

    Best pizza BY FAR is Pizza Antico Napolitano, the only place in town with a Napoli Margherita certification. It's near the Georgia Tech Campus.

    BBQ is Fox Bros. in Decatur.

    Best hamburger? This is a matter of some argument... my wife says Buckhead Diner. I say The Earl in the East Atlanta Village. There are a ton of trendy "chic" burger joints now, like Flip, Yeah! Burger, Farm Burger, and probably others... I don't know, they're too fancy for me. Six Feet Under makes an excellent burger, but their onion rings suck which kind of strikes them off my list.

    DH
     
  18. whodini

    whodini Well-Known Member

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    Bee looks good, Pizza Antico looks great.

    What about peach cobbler?
     
  19. az64q

    az64q Well-Known Member

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    First and foremost, do NOT go to The Varsity. Yah, people say it's an institution...but the food is absolutely disgusting. And there's really nothing to gain by going there. The place feels like a crowded subway station.

    I assume you eat food, so I'll list out some food places.

    Burgers
    The Vortex - Now this is an institution you need to visit. Burgers are good, but the variety is crazy (check out the menu online and you will be laughing). Great atmosphere and great people watching. Locations in Midtown and Little Five Points
    FLIP Burger - Very trendy, hip scene. Small portions, but interesting burgers (tuna tartare, lamb gyro, etc). They also have good drinks. They have a Krispy Kreme milkshake (they actually put whole Krispy Kreme donuts in the blender) and I once had an alcoholic root beer float that was delicious. Locations west Midtown and north of Buckhead. If you know who Richard Blais is, this is one of his restaurants.
    Yeah! Burger - Probably the best actual burger. Basic, straight-forward, and they do have some great toppings. Locations west Midtown and Virginia Highlands
    Grindhouse Killer Burgers - Newest place. I consider it a cross between Vortex and Yeah Burger. Good scene. Only been there once, but I had a burger topped with BBQ sauce and onion rings. I guess you would call this area Ansley/Morningside.

    Pizza
    Varasano's - Amazing pizza. Probably the best I've ever had, and I've had a lot. Neopolitan style. Small menu, but the margherita is very flavorful. One location on Peachtree between Buckhead and Midtown.
    Fritti - This has been around for a while and is good. Good selection, though this place does sometimes get crowded. Location in Inman Park
    Antico Pizza - Good, but a little more expensive. I've found their pizza to be a little bit "heavier". In Midtown.

    BBQ
    Fatt Matt's - My personal favorite, by far. Limited menu, but what they have is good. Their BBQ sauce is great (I prefer sweet over spicy). Located in Ansley/Morningside, right by Grindhouse Killer Burgers.
    Maddy's - Second favorite. I seem to recall them having better side items (like mac n cheese). They used to have a live Blues band play on certain days of the week. Not sure if they do that. This place is in Decatur, which is kind of off the main drag.
    Fox Bros - I personally don't like it, but I'm not a BBQ afficionado

    Other good restaurants: Canoe, Woodfire Grill, Chops, Nava. Mary Mac's for brunch if possible. Corner Cafe, Highland Bakery, and Murphy's are also good spots for brunch.

    A lot of really good restaurants have recently shut down, like in the past couple of months.

    In terms of nightlife, there's two big areas: Buckhead and Midtown. Buckhead is primarily bars while Midtown is mostly clubs/lounges. A good majority of the Buckhead bars are the bars where the good 'ole frat boy alums from southern schools go. There's another strip of bars in the Virginia Highlands (The Highlands, for short). This is more casual and laid back. There's also Little Five Points and East Atlanta Village. Both are smaller areas, and the bar scene is definitely more hipster/alternative.

    If World of Coke is something that might interest you, it might be worth going. I've been to both the old version and the new one, and I don't think there's anything impressive. The Georgia Aquarium is right next door. It's claimed to be the largest in the world, but again, I'd only go if you have an interest. Don't forget there is the CNN headquarters, and they do give tours. These are all downtown, and there really isn't much else to see downtown.

    Since this is SF, I'd assume you'd already looked into Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza? Yes, they're regular malls. But it's nice to have a bunch of high-end brands (Prada, Gucci, Armani, etc) in one spot.

    And Clermont Lounge...I have been there, perhaps more times than I'd like to admit. It's certainly an experience, and that's all I can say about that.

    Let me know if there's anything else you might be interested in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  20. az64q

    az64q Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, forgot about Holeman and Finch. The place is small, tucked away, and kind of hard to find. I used to live around the corner from it, and had to drive around twice to find it. Great, gourmet burgers. Everything was completely made from scratch, even the buns, ketchup, and mustard. The rest of the menu is also very good. They have bacon and chocolate covered popcorn. It's a really good scene, reminds me of a European gastro-pub.

    Here's what I was told about the burgers: On weekdays, they make twenty-four burgers at 9:00pm. The wait staff takes your order, and that's it. Once they're out, they're out. I showed up on a Thursday at 8:50pm, and was #23.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012

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