The place has always been slammed by the foodies in this town. I think part of it has to do with "big name chef comes to Atlanta to show how it's really done". I have eaten there once for lunch a couple of months ago. Everything was quite good-Bowl of Gumbo, Fried Oyster Po Boy, Grilled Georgia Trout. When it first opened, one food critic flew down to NOLA (the city, not the restaurant) to do a little comparison. To no surprise, the flagship Emeril's was better than the Atlanta version. When Katrina hit, the Exec Chef from NOLA came up to work at the Atlanta store so I am sure a lot of defeciencies were corrected. It's not the first place I think of and I would first support local chef's, but hell we all hit corporate chains so why not this place? I say enjoy!
OK, Dragon*Con over Labor Day Weekend, wont be eating until 10:30 or 11:00 pm, staying downtown which turns into a ghost town at sunset. While the other suggestions are good, they are on the higher end of the culinary scale. If there is a vegan among you, head to R. Thomas up Peachtree St. It's about a fifteen minute cab ride, but they are open 24/7. Carnivores might want to check out the Vortex on Peachtree, a bar that serves great burgers. It's about 7 minutes up the road from your hotel. They serve til 2 AM most nights, midnight on Sunday. A little farther up Peachtree and one block over on Crescent Ave is Front PageNews, open late serving Cajun Style cuisine with some bar food thrown in. Kind of across from the Vortex is Loca Luna. The best entrance is a block over on Juniper (one way street south), it's kinda of a nightclub/restaurant serving latin food, mojitos, and margheritas. Down Ponce de Leon is Fellini's Pizza (serving til 2 AM except sunday til midnight) and the Majestic Diner (where Yuppies dine next to strung out hookers after clubbing til 3 AM). This should see you through the weekend. If you are looking for a particular cuisine, let us know.
Well, the Georgian Terrace is at the corner of Peachtree and Ponce de Leon. A few blocks down Ponce de Leon is Mary Mac's Tea Room which definitely qualifies as an Atlanta institution. Traditional Southern/Soul food. Not the best example od this type of cuisine, but solid. It is a tourist trap of sorts, but many locals also eat there. A real institution across the street and down another block is Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Hit them when the red neon "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign is flashing. If you have never had a Krispy Kreme, they are not like the cake doughnuts of Dunkin Doughnuts and others. They are yeast doughnuts that melt in your mouth. Get a dozen glazed.
Up Peachtree between Midtown and Buckhead is Restaurant Eugene. Some say the chef there is the best in the city.It's Southern Cuisine with a 21st century twist. For more traditional Southern food, get on Ponce and head east into Decatur, bear right onto East Ponce de Leon after the lowhung stone bridge and you'll find Watershed on the right. Chef Scott Peacock won this years James Beard Award for Best Southern Chef.
If price really isnt an option, Bachanalia is he cities best. Tasting menu. Tie might be required. If not this trip definitely your next.
BBQ? I would hit Harold's http://www.haroldsbarbecue.com/atlant.... You have to get a bowl of the Brunswick Stew.
Near your hotel (a few blocks north on Peachtree) is Baronda. Great woodfire pizzas. A little farther, is the Vortex for great burgers. Because of the smoking laws, the dont allow anyone under 18 at anytime. It kinda of a biker/goth/tattoo laden bar, but that's as much marketing gimic as anything. Everyone is welcome.
With the games starting at 7:30 and ending after 10 pm, if you arent going to eat at the stadium ( and I wouldnt) I would advise eating before the game. But if you really want to eat after the game, you might want to try R.Thomas up Peachtree. It's mostly a vegetarian place, but even this carnivore can find some good stuff.
If you need more suggestions, let us know