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Please Review: A Weekend in Atlanta

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to this thread. We had a wonderful time and ate a ridiculous amount of really delicious food.

Here was the final damage:

Friday:
Dinner - The Spence
After dinner - Porter Beer Bar

Saturday:
Brunch - One Eared Stag
Pre-dinner cocktails / appetizers - Bacchanalia
Dinner - Miller Union
Late Night - Clermont Lounge

Sunday:
Brunch - Holeman & Finch Public House
Dinner - Empire State South

Monday:
We were back in town earlier than expected so we had time to hit up Decatur.
Dinner - Fox Bros BBQ
Oysters / Cocktails - Kimball House
Cocktails - Paper Plane
Late night - Victory Sandwich

Tuesday:
Breakfast - General Muir
Lunch - Bocado
Coffee shop - Octane

My favourite meal was dinner at Empire State South. The Farm Egg with crispy farrow (reminded me of Bi Bim Bap), Tripe Stew, and Stuffed Quail were all phenominal. The espresso after dinner was the best coffee I had in the city.

The biggest disappointment was Miller Union, although it certainly wasn't bad. We were sat in a small side room that didn't have the same vibe as the rest of the restaurant and the appetizers weren't as hot as they could have been when they arrived (egg in celery cream and gulf shrimp). The mains were better, though (ribeye and braised lamb shoulder) and the desert was ok.

Great suggestion to sit at the bar at Bacchanalia for a drink and appetizer before dinner. The cocktails were top notch and we were treated to four comped amuse-bouches, an additional course to share, and a visit from the chef. If it weren't incredibly rude to cancel another reservation at the last minute, we probably would have stayed. It's definitely on my list for the next time I'm in town.

In the battle of the burgers, our favourite was Holeman & Finch, followed closely by Bocado, with One Eared Stag in a respectable third (of note, the service at OES was pretty slow but the chef's breakfast was good).

Kimball house was incredibly fun. The service was exceptional, the room was one of the best I've seen in a while (loved the fans driven by a belt engine), the cocktails were great (this was a trend everywhere we went. Toronto has a long way to go in its cocktail game to even come close to matching ATL. We have maybe three/four places that are as good as the places we visited in Atlanta), and you can't complain with cheap oysters and absinthe service.

We didn't get to Vortex or Octopus Bar, but there's always next time. In planning, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and there just wasn't room (or, we were having too much fun to leave where we were) to squeeze those in.

All-in-all, a successful venture. Thanks again for your help, everyone!

Apr 09, 2014
Skeets in Atlanta
3

Please Review: A Weekend in Atlanta

Thanks for your terrific replies.

For some context, I currently live in Toronto and have also lived in New York City. My choices were framed by my general lack of exposure to southern food locally and during my travels. I'd like to get a sense of what's "hot" right now in the south to inspire my own home cooking, and increase my knowledge of culinary trends in North America.

I looked at Bocca Lupo but feel that I've had a lot of exposure to terrific Italian both in Toronto and New York to not feel like I'm missing out on much by skipping Atlanta's best Italian. Same with sushi; Toronto is decent and New York was certainly above average. Unless Atlanta has world-class sushi, I don't mind skipping this cuisine.

I'm trying to find a way to squeeze The General Muir onto my list. I might end up overeating to try it out.

I would love to check out the Buford Highway. What are some suggestions for good Mexican and good North Western (Xi'an) Chinese? We've got great dumplings and Pho in Toronto, so I don't necessarily need to hit those spots unless they're life affirming.

The only place on my list that I'm really questioning is The Spence. To be honest, I chose it mostly because it's close to my hotel and I don't think I'll feel like travelling too far by car right off the bat. Plus, I've never eaten at a Richard Blais restaurant. Dunno if Abbetoir, 4th and Swift, or JCT would be a better choice. I could even be talked into Bacchanalia if it's as good as comparably priced tasting menus in New York (Momofuku, Per Se, Daniel, Splendido, etc.)

I'm really looking forward to trying the burgers at H&F, and Bocado. I've also read that the burger at One Eared Stag is excellent, but I might skip it in favour of other, more adventurous, items on the menu. What are the other essential burgers in ATL? Depdending on how much I drink, I might end up ordering one at Vortex, because YOLO (don't worry, I'm planning on waking up to go for a run every morning to try and mitigate some of the excess calories of my trip).

I genuinely do appreciate all of the comments and suggestions, so please keep them coming.

Mar 25, 2014
Skeets in Atlanta

Please Review: A Weekend in Atlanta

I'll be visiting Atlanta for 5 days / 4 nights and was looking for feedback on my food plan of attack.

Friday:
Dinner - The Spence
After dinner - Porter Beer Bar
Late Night - Octopus Bar

Saturday:
Brunch - One Eared Stag
Dinner - Miller Union
Late Night - Clermont Lounge

Sunday:
Brunch - Holeman & Finch Public House
Dinner - Empire State South
Late night - Vortex Bar & Grill

Monday:
Out of town most of the day, but I should be back in time for a late dinner at Fox Brothers BBQ or maybe Holy Taco

Tuesday:
Lunch: Bocado
Light dinner before the airport: Arepa Mia

What do you think? My guiding principles are to experience modern southern cooking and popular local spots with folks in their late 20s / early 30s.

Other spots I had my eye on were Abbetoir, 4th & Swift, and JCT.

Mar 13, 2014
Skeets in Atlanta

Chowhounds best 10 restaurants in GTA - 2013 voting

Splendido
Momofuku Shoto
Acadia
Edulis
Yours Truly
Black Hoof
Scaramouche
Grove
Buca
Enoteca Sociale

Jan 18, 2013
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Recommendation for Kingston

Chez Piggy is my top choice for Kingston with Chien Noir a close second. Woodenheads is a bit more casual, but the food is fantastic.

Dec 20, 2012
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

momofuku toronto

I agree.

Just came back from lunch and the pork buns and the ginger scallion noodles were the same quality as I had the many times I'd stop into the East Village spot on my way home from work in NYC. The ramen a woman next to me had smelt the same, and even the napkin dispensers and sirracha squeeze bottles were the same as NYC.

The worst part was the crowd. At lunch the place was filled with too many people taking pictures of their food and tweeting. Chill out guys; I know you've got a food blog to update but it's just noodles.

Sep 19, 2012
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Using 2012 and 2011 best lists, trying to decide on dinner for 3 nights. Help please.

I would choose Acadia, Splendido and Woodlot if I only had three meals to eat in Toronto.

Sep 13, 2012
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Crest Gastro Pub

I drove by today and they had graphics up in the windows. The telephone number is also active and gives operating hours but I can't find anything else about the place.

According to the answering machine, www.thecrest.ca is their website, but it's not up and running yet.

Sep 04, 2012
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Burger Week - $5 Burger specials at various restaurants in Toronto - The Grid newspaper - may 30 to june 2, 2012

Stockyards was delicious. They made their own smoked cheddar, but in the style of "American" (kraft singles) so it melted perfectly. They also threw on pickled red onion, which was excellent.

I'm debating between Holy Chuck, Burger Bar, and Union for lunch tomorrow.

May 30, 2012
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kingston chowhounders thoughts...

Have you tried Chez Piggy? One of my favs.

Apr 19, 2012
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Openings 2011

I took a closer look when I was at work today.

Apparently, the place is called "The Shore Club" (http://www.theshoreclub.ca) with the tagline "Seafood Steak Cocktails". They have two locations already (Vancouver and Ottawa). The menu doesn't look too bad. I welcome another spot to grab drinks and something to eat after work.

May 22, 2011
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Openings 2011

It looks like there is some activity on the north-west corner of the RBC Centre on Wellington street. Does anyone know if this is going to be a restaurant and have any additional information?

May 20, 2011
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Corkage fees

What is general etiquette around selecting a bottle to bring to spots that allow BYOW? I've heard that it's bad taste to bring a bottle the restaurant already cellars. Should it be a "special" bottle, or at least one of reasonable quality/price? Would I get a dirty look for bringing a widely available $20 bottle of some VQA variety?

Jan 26, 2011
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowhound's Own Top 10 Restaurants of GTA

In no particular order...

Black Hoof
Nota Bene
Spendido
Pizzeria Libretto
The Stockyards
Le Select Bistro
Canoe
Lai Wah Heen
Woodlot
Scaramouche

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Lai Wah Heen
108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

Le Select
432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

Pizzeria Libretto
221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Jan 24, 2011
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bigabaldi's NY-style pizza

I can confirm that the address is indeed 1 Romar Crescent (if you're taking the subway, exit the Glencairn platform at the north end and walk west on Viewmont street and then south on Marlee. Bigabaldi's is just south of Paul's Tomato Pie). They've only been open 7 weeks. The website is www.bigabaldis.com but isn't up and running yet.

Now to the food: The pizza was excellent! In addition to whole pies, sandwiches, and pasta, they sell slices that are thin, crispy, fairly large, and made with excellent ingredients. I tried two slices and the owner offered me a donut (it looked like a big timbit) sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar with a side of nutella for dipping.

I think I've found my go-to pizza delivery place and I'll be back for sure.

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Bigabaldi's NY-Style Pizza
1 Romar Crescent, Toronto, ON M6B 1R7, CA

Jan 20, 2011
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Openings 2011

They're open!

I just popped over for lunch. They were very friendly and the burger was good. I was a little disappointed to learn that they don't grind their meat on site and thus, will only cook to medium-well.

I'll be back for sure. The Nutella and banana milkshakes sound delicious, and the curry poutine will be interesting. It's great to see more spots opening up along this stretch of St. Clair.

Jan 19, 2011
Skeets in Ontario (inc. Toronto)