Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I

Dish Trip Cheers Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I
Dish Trippers Mary Bigham and Amy Strauss are about to eat and drink their way through the ATL!

Our friends Mary Bigham and Amy Strauss from Dish Trip took another whirlwind foodcation, this time to Atlanta, and shared all the delicious deets with us. Mary says, “With so little time to spend in a city, The Dish Trip team is on a mission to ensure that every bite is a quality bite.  With the help of local food writers and OpenTable, we are able to visit 13 restaurants in 48 hours. Here is our a bite-by-bite of our journey. Try not to be jealous.”

SATURDAY

3PM: Arrived on the very first Southwest flight EVER to land in Atlanta.  Yay! Welcomed with so much fanfare at the airport that we feel a bit like celebrities.

3:20PM: Grabbing a taxi to the Glenn Hotel, a charming boutique hotel in Atlanta’s downtown district. For the record, HOTlanta is definitely not HOT this weekend – colder in Atlanta than Philly (temperature is 29 degrees!). We must have brought the cold from the North with us!

4PM: Loving how stylized our downtown hotel is – their intimate bar is designed as a living room speakeasy and endless amounts of quirky characteristics accent the hallways (they’re lined with little containers of grass)!

4:05PM: Added bonus: a rum punch upon check in! The welcome we are receiving at the Glenn is out-of-this-world.

6PM: Luckie Marietta District! Southwest Airlines hand-picked this four-restaurant-deep complex surrounding Centennial Olympic Park to host their “Atlanta At Last” Block Party. Game plan: Weaving our way through all four concepts to dive deep into their signature “Southwest Airlines-inspired” eats in just a few hours. Wish us luck!

6:15PM: Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria. This tangy Southwest chicken pizza constructed on authentic New York-style crust is a staple at Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria – and for good reason. Paired with local SweetWater Brewing Company’s SweetWater Blue, a light-bodied ale accented with a hint of blueberries, and 420 Extra Pale Ale, a West Coast-style ale with a crisp, hopped finish. Great start!

Dish Trip Rise Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I
RISE Sushi Lounge is known for amazing sushi and their extensive sake list.

6:25PM: STATS. We’re sinking our teeth into their featured game-time grub, Southwest Egg Rolls, and see why local sports fanatics rejoice over STATS, located in close proximity to Philips Arena. The crawl goes on…

7PM:  RISE Sushi Lounge. Southwest’s color scheme (red, yellow, blue) inspired Rise Sushi Lounge’s special maki rolls with avocado, tuna, and calamari. Fun! (This ended up being our favorite dish!)

7:45PM: It’s official — Atlanta is a genuine cultural and culinary destination!

8PM: Der Biergarten. Final stop of the block party: Der Biergarten. This authentic beer hall, overflowing with German brews, is the perfect spot to take in Atlanta’s charm while exploring the flavors of Deutschland.

8:15PM: Georgia Peach Pie Eating Contest…nothing like watching a bunch of locals gorging themselves on peachy goodness.

8:45PM: Abattoir. At this snout-to-tail Westside restaurant, with a French name that translates to “slaughterhouse,” we’re discovering the art of butchering. “We are a farm-to-table restaurant, we even have our own farm,” detailed Chef Tyler Williams. “We are also a nose-to-tail restaurant and a whole animal restaurant. We bring in whole legs of beef, whole pigs, butcher them and spread it out across the menu.”

Dish Trip Abbatoir Mac Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I
The over-the-top delish mac and cheese at Abattoir is topped with "pig candy," as Mary calls it.

8:50PM: We just excused ourselves ever so politely to run to the bathroom and check our faces in the mirror; this chef is a cutie. Lip gloss, check.

8:55PM: We grabbed a seat alongside Chef Tyler Williams (sweet!) to continue discussing this meat-centric establishment and their “no waste” mindset.” “As we use the whole animal, we also use the whole vegetable,” he shared. “So, I serve Brussels sprouts. As I clean them and the leaves fall off we save all of our vegetable material to feed the chickens at our farm that give the farm-fresh eggs – which are way better than any of the eggs you can get at the grocery store.” For the record, we licked our plates clean.

9:05PM: Five-cheese macaroni crowned with a fried egg and house-made bacon jam. Yes, it tastes as amazing as it sounds. Ooey gooey comfort food with a side of sweet pig candy. How can you not love this dish?

9:15PM: We couldn’t leave without a taste of Chef Tyler’s signature dishes. We opted for the crisped veal sweetbreads accented with contrasting chunks of fresh pear and house-pickled cabbage. Light and crispy, sweet and savory…

9:40PM: Nothing like some Saturday night butcher talk to get Amy in a good mood. While Amy’s appreciation for pork is growing exceptionally deeper, Mary is staring from afar at the butchered pig’s head while quietly singing “this little piggy got its head cut off.”

11PM: We’re back at the hotel. Sleep. Much-needed sleep.

SUNDAY:

10AM: West Egg Cafe. Gushing over the vintage decor and use of industrial items (a card catalogue as a coffee station, a high school wood shop table atop aged lockers as a communal dining table) scouted out by the husband-and-wife Ben and Jennifer Johnson. Lawyers turned restaurateurs, this couple knows how to dish up quality food and decor to keep people coming back!

Dish Trip West Egg Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I
Coca-Cola cupcakes from the West Egg Cafe were a big hit with the Dish Trippers.

10:25AM: Numerous local media outlets call this fried egg sandwich one of the best bites in the city. This sandwich is so good it is served all day and starts with two thick slices of toasted challah bread encasing melted cheddar, fried eggs (over hard), chunky slabs of bacon, mayo, onion, field greens, and best of all, the housemade sweet tomato jam. Oh, if only they sold this spread by the jar.

11:05AM: Being that we are in Atlanta – you know, the headquarters of Coca Cola – we are sinking our teeth into their hometown-themed cupcake. Fun fact: The Southern recipe, with cola extract splashed in the cake and the buttercream icing, comes from owner Ben’s mom.

11:45AM: This savory egg sandwich gets us thinking beer.  It’s 5 pm somewhere, right? Not according to Georgia’s liquor laws…45 minutes to kill! A beer finder app helps us track down some Victory Donnybrook Stout.

12:31PM: The Porter Beer Bar. We’re killing just enough time taking our cab around town to arrive on legal beer time at Little Five Points where we instantly crush on the vintage clothing stores and “small town” boutiques.

12:40PM: Inside the exposed-brick bar, voted one of the top 10 beer bars of America by RateBeer.com, we swoon at their impressive 430+ beer list. Featuring some of the top local sips (SweetWater, Terrapin), as well as nationwide, sought-after beers (Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Ommegang, Dogfish Head, Victory Brewery Co.), we easily confess that, if we lived in Atlanta, we would probably haunt this beer-centric hub every day.

1:40PM: Shopping break. We spent a solid hour dashing from shop to shop trying on fun vintage finds and chatting with locals about the area.

Dish Trip The Shed Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I
The SHED at Glenwood's foie gras torchon with pear jam is a must-order dish.

3:15PM: The SHED at Glenwood. This spot is known for their sliders. But scallop sliders? Yes, please! Chef Lance Gummere sets a new standard in the city with these delightful scallop sliders that pack big taste into each small bite with a jalapeno slaw and a creole aoili.

3:25PM: “Sir, these tasty sliders alone just won’t do. We’ll need something much more high-brow, please.” Course number two? Foie Gras Torchon with house-made pear jam.

3:30PM: Why is it so damn satisfying to schmear this savory, silky, sweetness together on the crustiest of breads?

3:40PM: The icing on the cake? The house-made Ding Dongs. “When I was a kid I would do anything for a Ding Dong,” shared Gummere. “Once I became a chef, I knew I wanted to pass on that excitement I had as a kid for them – and, people love it!”

3:41PM: Taking a moment to make Ding Dong jokes…

3:42PM: Drenched in dark-chocolate ganache and packed with layers of pillowy chocolate cake and dense cream, this sophisticated take on our favorite childhood sweet is well worth a quick trip to Glenwood.

Stay tuned for part two of Bigham and Strauss’s adventures in Atlanta! This post was dished up by The Town Dish’s Mary Bigham and Amy Strauss. The Town Dish is a network of foodie websites featuring locally focused dining and lifestyle information. Follow us on national and international food, travel adventures at Dishtrip.com and @dishtrip.

4 Responses to “Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part I”

  1. Sparky

    This sounds like a truly fun food adventure! Can’t wait for my next trip to HOTlanta to try some of these spots. Thanks, ladies!

  2. colleen

    Wow! 13 restaurants in 48 hours – that’s the way to do it. I hope they were wearing pants with elastic waists! I’ll be sure to re-visit this post when a take a trip to Atlanta in a few months.

  3. Kelly

    Awesome trip! I love those cupcakes and the Glenn hotel is awesome!

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