Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thumbs Down!

So far in my travels around the Atlanta food and nightlife scene, there have only been two places that have blown my mind at just how ridiculous they are. And not in a good way. There are upsides to these places, to be sure, but I really would not recommend them to anyone.

The first is the Mellow Mushroom in Brookhaven. Now, to be fair, I absolutely love Mellow Mushroom. Not only do that have fantastic food, but they have a pretty awesome beer club that you can join (“It’s like a book club! But with no books. And beer!) and I have spent many an evening with friends at these establishments. The location in Brookhaven, however, is a waste of your life. I went with a friend and after letting the seating hostess know that were choosing to sit outside were completely ignored for literally twenty minutes. They weren’t particularly busy that evening, there were plenty of open tables, and servers were in our section. We tried to flag one down but no one felt the need to even take our drink order. At first I thought this was a one off kind of thing, but three other people I know have had the exact same experience at this one. Which is really a shame, because I would have loved their tempeh sandwich and a good IPA. Other Mellow Mushroom locations are definitely a go, but give Brookhaven a wide berth.

The second on the list is the Graveyard Tavern in the East Atlanta Village. I’ll come right out and say that I have a soft spot for hipster bars. I grew up in Athens so there was really no avoiding them. People watching at these establishments is always hilarious and once people start dancing it just gets better. When I was there last night they were still serving food, so once we finally got seated (first the hostess put us at a table with an elderly gentleman we didn’t know… we grabbed the first booth next to us that opened up) our waitress was all kinds of slow and the tv’s all over the bar were playing Silent Hill. Do you know how difficult it is to enjoy a conversation and a Victory Golden Monkey while Triangle Head is ripping people apart right next to your head? And then once the DJ started up, the giant projector screen behind them was playing this bizarre, old-school basically snuff porn thing? I don’t even know. But there were way too many naked people chopping limbs off of each other and drinking blood to enjoy my dancing experience to the fullest. I understand the hipster appeal of really terrible movies, but I’m way ready to not be bombarded with things like that when I really just want to have a night out. There are definitely good things about Graveyard, but everything else so overshadowed them that while my friend and I were dancing he literally said we should go home and watch BBC Sherlock instead of staying longer. So we did.

I’ll keep everyone posted on where I’m going next, but I would really suggest you don’t play at either of these places if you want good service or to save your eyes some trauma.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Smirnoff Popsicles

Good evening, Atlanta! Let’s talk about a way to beat this nasty heat. Though to begin, I’d like to apologize for the terrible lapse in postings as of late. I’ve been moving into a new place in the city and that sordid business really takes over your life. But enough of that. Moving any amount of furniture up a set of outside stairs in the middle of a Georgia summer is an absolutely miserable experience. A similarly unpleasant occurrence is having too small of an amount of anything left in a bottle to do something worthwhile with! Now, I would generally just finish it off (in this case the ‘it’ in question is the very bottom of a bottle of Smirnoff Cosmopolitan – not mine, I swear I bought it for a friend!) but there were far greater moments of brilliance to be had today than just finishing it up!

With the temperature steadily climbing up to and past a hundred degrees in the middle of the city, there are many tasty treats that can be made. My particular snack of choice today will be a cranberry apple Cosmo popsicle. All I did was mix the dregs of the bottle with some crystal light and we’re going to be good to go. They should be done freezing in just a bit and I will be more than happy to sample them. I think this will be quite an excellent experiment, there will be more creative endeavors in the near future so I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I would love something frozen with whiskey in it, that is definitely next on the list. As for now, stay inside!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Atlanta Growlers - Not a Sports Team

For the first time this summer, I was granted an entire weekend off instead of just a day. I feel as though this is akin to spotting a unicorn or a double rainbow, so I took today to visit my parents in Augusta. Upon arriving, I was told of a wonderful new (to me, at least) beverage option both in Augusta and Atlanta called the growler. What could be must better than having a 64oz glass jug that you can get filled and filled again with the on tap craft beer of your choice? In all honesty, not very much. 

The growler is a fabulous contraption that you can generally purchase for about five dollars and keep bringing back to your local brewery or growler station to be refilled at your leisure. The tops are heat sealed so you can take them home all legal like and most locations have between eight and sixteen beers that rotate in and out for your tasting pleasure. Here’s the breakdown on some places that you can find these treats, I’ll be making a couple trips out to the more Atlanta accessible locations as soon as I possibly can to give you some more up close and personal intel.

Sundrees Urban Market in Augusta
This is the first location I knew about, so if you’re ever down that direction, hit these guys up! Sundrees is an absolutely adorable little downtown bodega/grocery store that showcases local products like meats, pastries (from Southern Scratch - -) and coffee (like the incomparable Buona Caffe - - that I drink every morning). They’ve recently started offering draft beer to go and I’m terribly curious to sample the Jah-va that mixes two of my favorite things, good coffee and fine beer.
930 Broad Street
Augusta, GA 30901
(706) 945-1310

Hop City – Craft Beer and Wine
To begin with, Hop City tweets with the hashtag #growlertown. I might be in love with that alone. On a similar note of joy, these kids boast sixteen rotating taps with a site that updates the beer selection on the regular. At the moment they’ve got a Victory Golden Monkey (which is one of my very favorites), but I’d love to sample the Great Divide Hercules Double IPA or the Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner.
1000 Marietta Street #302
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 350-9998

Ale Yeah!
Ale Yeah! Is located in Decatur and is Georgia’s first strictly craft beer bottle shop (according to their facebook page).  What I like most about this place is the build your own 6 pack options and that they carry a lot of home brewing equipment if you’re feeling adventurous about creating your very own beverage.
906 W. College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

It’s a beautiful thing, friends, to be given such a nice gift from our fine city. The only drawback to this system (if you can ever call it such a thing) is that you have to drink your beer pretty soon after opening it. Oh, the humanity. That just makes me all the more prone to sharing it with friends or just making some new ones. That’s just hospitality at its finest, I feel. This is not the dirty South, it’s now the thirsty South. Happy drinking!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Paiquiri vs. The Brookhaven Station Summer Kick Off

Have you ever been walking through a fine establishment such as Wal-Mart and seen those extremely brightly colored pouches near the wine and beer section? The ones that very loudly proclaim that, “The alcohol is in it!” These bizarre contraptions look like grown-up juice boxes gone wrong. For a long time, I laughed at them and walked on by, but for two dollars there was only so long that I could ignore the siren cry of the unknown beverage.

Made by the Daily’s brand, these charming things come with the directions to freeze for eight hours and gently massage before serving. Personally, I don’t want to play masseuse to my cocktail, but I suppose we should get to know each other before I consume it? I’m currently sipping on the margarita version (which is not entirely frozen since I didn’t wait the required third of a day that it takes for it to freeze) and I can honestly say that I’m not very impressed. The taste is nothing like something “right out of the blender,” it’s a little too sickeningly sweet and doesn’t have the bite of a good margarita.

I was confused at first, since these drinks were being sold in grocery stores, but upon looking at the backs of them I found out why this could be legal. Instead of making their Cosmos and Bloody Mary’s with the required liquor, Daily’s is making them with wine. What kind of wine is never specified on the package, but wine nonetheless. No wonder my margarita doesn’t taste quite right. The convenience of being able to buy a cold treat along with my groceries can be weighed against the fact that it’s missing the main ingredient that makes it what I like. I’ve taken to renaming these concoctions. They are no longer “Daily’s: Ready to Drink,” but the pouch daiquiri or The Paiquiri. The name is spreading among the company I work for, beware Daily’s. All in all, it’s not an unpleasant drink. It’s cold and cheap and I really would buy them again just to see if the other flavors can compare to their actual mixed drink counterparts.

On an unrelated subject, there’s an event on the horizon! This Saturday, June 18th, is the Brookhaven Station Summer Kick Off.

Where: Pub 71, 4058 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319
When: 5:00 pm
Phone for info: 404-467-8217
Cover: None

Pub 71, Mellow Mushroom and Hudson Grille are teaming up to get summer going on the right foot. Live music is going to be provided by the Todd Wells Band from 5-9 with DJ Vallee following from 9-close, so be sure to come out and enjoy them. The evening will be featuring Sweetwater 420, Sweetwater Blue, and Sch’Wheat, so I know that I’ll be there as soon as I get off work for the day to relax for a bit. You can’t go wrong when an Irish pub, a pizza joint and a sports bar team up to throw a beer and music hangout. I’ll be taking pictures and talking to people, so come and be sociable as I get to know my new neighborhood! I’m pretty sure that in a battle of wills, the Summer Kick Off will definitely be trumping the Paiquiri, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Miami Style Margarita?

So, it’s a rainy day in Atlanta. A friend and I, being the poor intern types that we are, were scrounging change to get something to eat and happened upon a rather snazzy little Mexican joint called La Botana. I don’t know if you’ve been there, but you should probably check it out. It was conveniently located next to the Taco Bell that we had originally GPS’d, but we decided to class it up a bit and actually be waited upon. Not only was the food and service pretty excellent, but I have discovered a new beverage. I might be way behind the times on this one since I just moved into Atlanta, but what is this nonsense that is the Miami Style Margarita? Literally, it is just a margarita that somebody decided to put an upside-down bottle of Corona in. What? It sounds like crazy talk, but no. This is actual thing. An actual fifteen dollar thing. As I mentioned before, I’m an intern, my entire meal was nowhere near fifteen dollars, so this particular drink is out of my price range.

But bear with me while I’m trying to imagine such a concoction. The limey wonderfulness that is a margarita being slowly infiltrated by the bitter crispness of a Corona? I like to think that I would really enjoy this combination, but I honestly don’t know how I’d feel about someone turning a beer over into my margarita. Have you tried this? Do I want to even go here? One of the more interesting drinks I’ve had was a ritzier take on this idea when I was in Myrtle Beach last summer. It was a glass of white wine with a double shot of tequila in it, really bizarre but with a name like “The Cortez,” how could I pass it up? I want to think the Miami style might be on a similar vein, but I suppose I won’t know until I can justify a drink that costs more than my meal when I’m just out to dinner instead of out at the bars. Unless somebody feels inclined to purchase this for me, I don't see it happening.

But tomorrow is payday, troops, so we'll see where the weekend takes us.

Oh hello there

Hi there. I’m Katie.  I recently relocated to the Buckhead area and I have no idea what to do with myself once I get off work every day. So this will be my attempt to find out.  Together we’re going to find the best places in the ATL that won’t completely destroy my budget. Which is not large. Unfortunately. But that seems to be the case with most people I know, so we’ll call this a learning experience and go from there. I’ve been working on the regular, which is a gift and a curse, so I haven’t been out all that much yet, but I’m hoping to change that all kinds of soon.  

I’m totally open for suggestions on what I should be doing with my life and my drinking/playtime habits, so you kids just keep me up to date on what you’re doing and we can all poke around this shiny city together. Be expecting some pretty regular posts and keep an eye on Bar and Drinker Magazine ( for more blogs. Rad, I’ll keep these coming.