Because I am terrible at that sort of thing. Unlike many food bloggers, food and writing came first for me–the photographing only followed by necessity. And honestly, you try shooting pictures of the food you are about to eat in public with 2 toddlers in tow. It ain’t happening. All I have are pictures of my kids and our hostess’s beautiful baby, mostly at the Zoo, Aquarium, and various playgrounds.
So you will just have to listen to me rhapsodize about the unbelievable gorgeousness of spring in Atlanta. My friend lives in a beautiful urban neighborhood, that according to her husband was one of the first to be rebuilt after the war and effort has been made to preserve it. Hence it is simply stunning. Huge graceful trees everywhere, most of them not just with leaves but also blooming. I asked if I just got lucky, as so many blooming trees do not bloom that long in the north, and my friend said no, they flower for a while.
But this is a food blog, so back to business. Sans photographs, I do want to give a shout out to a few places I ate that I loved. Because of the kids and finances, none of these are dinner places, but rather brunch–and one ice cream joint thrown in for good measure. I don’t think I ever mentioned–but I packed up the kids on my own and drove to Atlanta (who knew it was only 8 hours–plus 2 hours of fiddling with kids–away?). Luckily my kids are pretty easy for toddlers, so we had a blast, but everything had to be pretty kid friendly. So if you are traveling with kids in Atlanta these are all good choices.
Literally on our way out of town, in my friend’s neighborhood near Emory University, Alex, Sam and I stopped for brunch before leaving Atlanta at the Rise-n-Dine, a tiny breakfast place specializing in the most amazing sweet potato batter EVER. The Sweet Potato Belgian Waffle, redolent of cinnamon and nutmeg and delicious with real Vermont maple syrup, nearly made me cry when I considered the fact that I could not have it again and had no idea how to replicate it (any takers?).
Early in the week, we took the kids to this huge downtown playground in the middle of a park, that Alex is still talking about, and before going we stopped by The Flying Biscuit for brunch. Owned by the Indigo Girls, it is apparently one of Atlanta’s favorite brunch locations–and deserves to be so. Those of you who read this blog know that I don’t really love traditional whole wheat bread, but their Whole Wheat French Toast with Honey Creme Anglaise was outstanding and unique.
Last we have the obligatory (where I am concerned, when traveling if it is remotely warm) stop for some local ice cream. Jake’s Ice Cream had some fabulously unique flavors, my favorites of which were the Brown Shugah Vanilla and Key Lime Pie (2 whole pies sacrificed themselves to make it!).
OK I lied that last was not last, it was only last for Atlanta. For anyone else traveling Interstate 75 to get to Atlanta I have a bonus recommendation of Cheese, Cows & Wows! Who wouldn’t pull over while traveling with small kids after reading that billboard? Anyway, the Sweetwater Valley Cheese Farm was a fabulous stop. Located in Tennessee’s dairy-rich Sweetwater Valley, the farm has tours of their dairy operation (alas we were too late for that) and samples of the zillions of cheeses they make. They apparently are famous for their curds, which are only available 1 day per week and disappear immediately. We did get there in time to try some and I think maybe it is a taste that I need to acquire. However, I loved their Farmer’s Cheese, Smoked White Cheddar and Fiery Fiesta (that last one for John), so I bought some of all of those. They also had locally made ice cream from a different dairy “down the road.” The ice cream was wonderful, and sitting out on their front porch looking over the valley it was hard to believe that just moments before we had been zooming down the freeway. I definitely recommend stopping–but get there in time for a tour!
That’s it and we are home (phew!). I’ve got some Scarlet Runners simmering away on the stove, so expect a recipe in the next day or so if I decide I like whatever I make with them!