I arrived in Atlanta a little after 7pm last Saturday to visit my family. It had been years since I'd seen them (and the dogs), so I was a little bit nervous. I came up the escalator towards the airport exit, scanning the crowd for them. They saw me first, and when my eyes landed on them, they were waiting with big smiles.
As we drove into the city, the conversation was slightly awkward to begin with, but soon it was flowing as naturally as it had always come, and we started filling each other in on the huge events of the last couple years. We were soon at our destination, an area called Little 5 Points, to go get some food and beer. If there is one thing everyone in my family can always agree upon, it is the importance of good food and drink.
I was unsure what to excpect about the city, but it definitely wasn't this!
Awesome street art (check out the Tunnel for some amazing work by local artists), funky vintage thrift shops and record stores, and tons of great looking restaurants, pubs, bars, and microbreweries! I couldn't wait to see where we would go, but I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. We walked up to a crowded, vintage looking pub full of dark wooden tables called The Porter Beer Bar. Perfect.
Aside from the cool decor, their wine, beer, and spirits selections were HUGE with local, import, and regional selections. Whatever you want to drink, I'm sure you can find it there. And unlike many cities in the US, you can stand in the little square outside the bar with your drink and have a cigarette while enjoying the fresh night air. The service was extremely friendly, but a bit slow. It was a crowded Saturday night, but they still comped us our appetizers to make up for the slow service. I relished the shrimp and grits with mushrooms. It was rich, creamy, and just the type of Southern comfort food I was hoping for. The three of us left happy after the wonderful food and drinks.
I spent the next two days hanging out with my family, mosty in a tiny little town called Jewell where my parents are in the process of starting a wedding venue at the lovely historic Jewell House. I wandered the beautiful grounds, did some fishing in the pond with my dad (no catches, though), and even drove a tractor for the first time! I did a pretty good job if I may say so myself...
Indoors I loved taking in the old, dark wood and Victorian style architecture of the place. I jammed with my dad on the bass and me singing along, something I hadn't done in far too long. At night, at least one of the dogs was always curled up in bed with me.
Tuesday morning we went into the city early and dropped my dad off at work, giving my mother and I just a few hours to see a little bit more of the city. As we drove, I admired the architecture around me, a juxtaposition of old and new. We went for a coffee that was unremarkable, and ran some errands before heading to Fox Brothers BBQ for lunch (also in Little 5 Points).
The service was great, they had a nice beer selection, and the food was outstanding! The collard greens were so good, I inhaled the entire bowl before I could even think to start on the beef brisket. That's saying something as it was perfectly done, smoky and full of flavour, made even better by adding some of their house BBQ sauce. If you are in this funky little part of the city, make a stop here to sit outside and enjoy some great BBQ.