Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TomatoFeast at La Tavola: Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Here's what you do Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

Try a peach and green tomato tart at La Tavola for Tomato Feast.  Photo by Alli Royce Soble
It's tomato season in Georgia, and the fabulous fruit is on display across the culinary landscape.  On Wednesday night, go check out the TomatoFeast at La Tavola in Virginia Highland.   It's La Tavola's biggest summer event, and they go all out.   TomatoFeast is going till August 4th.  So, if you can't make it Wednesday, you still have a couple nights left. 

Check out the TomatoFeast Menu below.  I haven't been yet, but when I do, I'm gonna try the tomato soup, and the spaghetti.  La Tavola kicks pasta butt on the regular!  So, I can't imagine what they'll do with these heirlooms.    Have a bottle of chianti or red zinfandel with the meal.  And, of course, gotta try the peach & green tomato tart. I'm making myself hungry just writing this!

Brandywine Tomatoes peaches, patio herbs, arugula and speck 8
Braised Pork Cheek Crespelle smoked tomato vinaigrette 11
Anson Mills Farro Verde heirloom tomatoes, pickled red onions and radish 8
Pickled Cantaloupe & Tomato Soup mozzarella burrata, mint and black pepper 9
Braised Octopus & Fregola oven-dried tomatoes and taggiasca olives 10
Wild Salmon Crudo cucumber, tomato water and lemon agrumato oil 11
Bucatini all’ Amatriciana house-cured guanciale, local tomatoes, red onion and chili flake16
Grilled Pork Chop roasted tomatoes, fingerling potatoes and tomato salsa verde 21
Roasted King Clip farro, cherry tomatoes, red onions and squid 24
Rabbit Sausage & Risotto Bianco preserved lemon and heirloom tomatoes 17
Spaghetti con Ricci de Mare hot peppers, garlic and heirloom tomatoes 18
Grilled Skirt Steak polenta rustica, pickled tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives and chilies 22
Ricotta & Marjoram Ravioli smoked shrimp, almonds and charred sungold tomatoes 17
Peach & Green Tomato Tart cinnamon semifreddo 6.50
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Here's what you do Wednesday:

First:  It's tomato day.  So, breakfast with tomatoes is in order.  It's a bit unusual, but how about a stuffed breakfast tomato?   Try this recipe.   It's from Pip & Ebby,  a great site with good recipes all round.  ($ - $20).

Try stuffed tomatoes for breakfast.
Second:   Go check out the Titanic Artifact Exhibition at Atlantic Station.  From the exhibition:
" There is no more poignant way to experience Titanic 100 years later than through the authentic artifacts that have been recovered from the wreck site that can only be seen in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. The Exhibition will be honoring the anniversary throughout the entire year of 2012"
The exhibition opens at 11.  Head on down around then before lunch.  ($ - $30 per person).
Check out the Titanic Artifact Exhibition at Atlantic Station

Third:  Have lunch at the Vortex.  They're famous for their burgers and their attitude.  Check out this quote from the Vortex rules you'll find in the menu:
Cell phones are a part of modern life, so we can’t really ban them. And you are free to be as rude to your friends and dining companions as you’d like, but if you expect our staff to serve you, then you need to get off the &*$% cell phone. Vortex employees won’t talk to anyone using a cell phone at our host stand, tables or at the bar. Seriously, we will totally ignore you. In fact, using a cell phone while trying to place an order may result in bodily injury or death."

Don't worry.  The burgers are worth it!  Go for a spanish fly burger, or the blue 'shroom.  Any of the burgers is great.  Have it with Sweetwater 420.  ($ - $15 per person).

Have a burger at the vortex for lunch.

Fourth:  Ok, time to walk off that burger.  Head on down to Piedmont Park and take a little lap around the lake.  Try to find the feral roosters.   They're gorgeous!

Fifth:  Nap.  Gotta get ready for your night with the tomato.  Follow the perfect bed rules.

Finally:  Head on over to Tavola and dine!  Don't forget to make a reservation.  If you can, try to get there a little early (around 6) and you can probably get a seat at the bar and hang out at the bar with Alli or Kris.  They'll treat you right.  ($ - $50 per person).

Book Keeping:

Breakfast:  $20
Titanic: $60
Lunch: $30
Walk: $Free
Nap: $Free
La Tavola: $100

Total: $210.

Day Map:

View TomatoFeast in a larger map

Monday, July 30, 2012

To The Arctic IMAX at Fernbank Museum: Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Here's what you do, Tuesday, July 31, 2012.
To the Arctic.  The film playing at the Fernbank Museum at 1, Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday is Fernbank Natural History Museum day.  Take in the museum exhibits in the morning.  Or, take a walk in the museums back yard at 11 on the family walking tour.  Have lunch in the Museum cafe.  Then, in the afternoon at 1, check out "To the Arctic," playing at the museum's IMAX theater.

Fernbank has permanent and special exhibits and they range from Georgia history, to dinosaur skeletons in Giants of the Mesozoic, to Sensing Nature, which allows you to explore your own senses and how they work.  There are many more exhibits to explore as well.  Bring your curiosity.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer, you can go on a guided tour of the museum's back yard to explore what nature has to offer.

Take a break mid-day at the Museum cafe.  A civilized and relaxed experience to get your strength up for IMAX.  ($ - $35 per person, $28 for kids, includes general admission and movie).

Fernbank has their own blog.  Check it out here.

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Here's what you do on Tuesday

First:  Breakfast at Sweet Melissa's.  Start out in Decatur at this charming cafe.  Get the Florentine Omelet and a cuppa joe.  Pick up a copy of Creative Loafing, and check out the latest on the TSPLOST, or restaurant reviews.  ($ - $10 per person).

Breakfast at Sweet Melissa's in Decatur.

Pick up a copy of Creative Loafing at breakfast and peruse.

Second:  Head on over to Fernbank.  Start with the Giants of the Mesozoic and explore.

Check out the Giants of the Mesozoic exhibit at Fernbank.

Third:  Lunch at Fernbank Cafe.  Pleasant and civilized, try the Fernbank Cafe.  It's got a great view of the Fernbank Forest Overlook.  Set up a table, get a deli sandwich, and enjoy.  ($ - $10 per person).

Fourth:  To the Arctic.  Time for the IMAX movie.  Narrated by Meryl Streep, it's a breathtaking 45 minutes.  From Fernbank:
"Swim alongside a polar bear and her cubs and discover a world beneath the ice where corals and odd creatures thrive. Fly above a thundering herd of caribou making their way to their calving ground then gaze across hundreds of miles of snow-bound peaks and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean."
Fifth:  Nap.  Head on home and take a nap before dinner.  Follow the perfect bed rules.

Finally:  Head on over to Inman Park at 7 for dinner at Wisteria.  This gem on N. Highland brings excellent food and wine, wonderful service, and an interesting palette of local art to admire and purchase if you're moved.  Chef Jason Hill focuses on contemporary American with a Southern flair. Try the Charleston-style crab cake for an appetizer, or the pimento cheese deviled eggs.   For entree, try the shrimp and grits or the pork tenderloin.  All very, very good.  For wine, try a bottle of Stag's Leap "Hands of Time."  Yum!  They even have a pretty extensive gluten free menu.  Wisteria is usually pretty busy, even on a Tuesday evening.  So, your best bet is to call ahead and make a reservation.  ($ - $50 per person).

Book Keeping:

For two adults:

Breakfast: $20
Museum: $40
Lunch: $20
IMAX: $30
Nap: $Free
Dinner: $100

Total:  $210

Day Map:

View FernbankArctic in a larger map

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Be there or be square: Monday, July 30th, 2012

Here's what you do Monday July, 30, 2012.

Have one of 24 available cheeseburgers at Holeman and Finch on Monday night at 10.  Be there or be square.

At 10 o'clock, Monday night, be at Holeman and Finch for one of their 24 cheeseburgers.  Don't dilly dally my friends.  They are usually gone within about 10 minutes.

H&F is a gastro pub - one of the first in Atlanta and certainly a trend setter.  Hey, check out H&F's blog, here.

Here's your plan of attack.  Get there at 8:30.  9 latest.  Take a seat at the bar.  We're putting you there on Monday night, so you have a good shot at a seat immediately.  But, you might have to wait.  If so, place yourself carefully in "obvious queue" for a seat, and you'll get one.  If you're on a date, it's a good idea to sit at one of the bar's many corners.  Somehow, they managed to fit way more corners in the bar than you'd think was possible.  I think this was with good reasoning.  It's much better to talk to your date corner to corner than side by side, no?  Somebody's smart over there at H&F!

Once you have your seat, order a cocktail to start.  Personally, I like to sit close to Greg Best - the gregarious vested mixologist - and let him make suggestions.   He knows best.  :-).   But, if you'd like a suggestion, try out the Brown Town.  It's summer, and this gin drink won't disappoint.  Now, the menu at H&F changes frequently, but I've never gone wrong with ordering the deviled eggs, farm egg and pancetta carbonara, or any of the cheeses.  If you're feeling particularly continental, try the sweet breads, or the veal brains. 

Order your burger as soon as you sit down.  When it comes, luxuriate. 

Finish off the night with a nice glass of Frexnet.  It's a type of amaro, which is an Italian digestif liquer.  Learn more about amaro here.  Frenet is very smooth.  Some people have it on the rocks, some mix with coke.  I think you should have it neat and let it works it's magic in ending your culinary adventure.  ($ - $40 per person).

Finish your culinary adventure with some Fernet, neat.

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Here's what you do Monday:

First:  It's Monday.  If you're like me, you want to slowly ramp up to full speed this week.  Here's what you do.  Start out the day with something simple.  Granola.  On Sunday, head on over to Whole Foods and get some of their mixed granola.  It comes by the pound.  Don't be shy.  Also get some fresh blueberries and some milk.  I prefer whole organic from Horizon, but it's up to you.  Make yourself a bowl of granola with blueberries, sit at the kitchen table in your robe, and read some Here's What You Do.  ($ - $5)

Second:  Go check out the Georgia Aquarium.  I think you should go at least once a year to experience this largest aquarium in the world.  Go hang out with the whale sharks, beluga whales, even manta rays.   ($ - $34.95 for adults, $28.95 for kids).

Hang out with the whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium.
Third:  What better a thing to have after the aquarium than fish tacos?  Head on over to Taqueria del Sol on the west side.  You might have to wait in line, but it's worth it.  Have fish tacos with extra lime, and get a glass of spanish wine, a tempranillo. When you're done, head across the parking lot to Star Provisions and browse.  Pay special attention to the cheese shop.  They know what's up.  ($ - $15 per person).

Fourth:  Nap.  Take a summer siesta.  Follow the perfect bed rules

Fifth:  Take in a movie.  To Rome With Love is Woody Allen's latest.  It's a story about a number of people in Italy, some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors, and the romances and adventures and predicaments they get into. Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz; the list goes on quite a while.  The New Yorker says, 
"light and fast, with some of the sharpest dialogue and acting that he’s put on the screen in years. The picture gently but surely moves back and forth between romantic comedy and satirical farce."
It's on at 6:45 at Midtown Art Cinema.  Should give you plenty of time to head on over to H&F.  ($ - $10 per person).

Finally:  Head on over to H&F.  Belly up to the bar and enjoy the ride.  ($ - $40 per person).

Book Keeping:

For two people:

Breakfast: $5
Aquarium $70
Lunch: $30
Nap: $Free
To Rome: $20
H&F: $80

Total: $205.

Day Map:

View H&F in a larger map

What is Here's What You Do anyway?

Monday, July 30, 2012. 

Hey!  I'm Steve.  I created Here's What You Do.

You know, Atlanta's a great place to live.  We have more 4-star restaurants per capita than any city in the country?  Great sports teams.  Great art.  Great music.  We oughtta take advantage of that, right?!  I've been here since 1993, and I never run out of things to do.  That's what Here's What You Do is about.  It's a suggested itinerary every day of what you can do in Atlanta.  We try to think of everything.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Museums, live music, cinema, theater, sports.  Even naps!  We try to make it all as high quality and fun as possible.

Here's What You Do is supposed to fill a need.  On the internet, most activities are just presented in a huge list of things you can do.  It's hard to even understand all the options, let alone string them together into a schedule.  Why not have a high quality suggestion of the things you should do?  Why not schedule them, so that you don't run into overlaps or hang ups?  That just makes it easier.  With the scheduling done, you have time to have fun.  I wish there was a Here's What You Do for all the cities I travel to.  Maybe I'll work on that next.  :-)

Now, here's some points to make about Here's What You Do:

  • The Here's What You Do day plans are intended for two people.  Maybe it's a date, or your hanging out with your son or daughter.  Two people are in mind for each day plan. 

  • The day plans are designed for anyone who wants to enjoy Atlanta.  It can be a visitor, someone who just moved here and wants to learn the city, or a veteran Atlantan who already knows all the places recommended and just hasn't thought to go to them in a while.

  • The day plans are by no means all you can do in Atlanta.  There are thousands of other great things each day that aren't included.  We are trying to name everything eventually, but each day only has so many hours. 

  • You do not have to do the Here's What You Do day plan every day.  My friend Martina told me it seemed like I was writing it as a schedule for rich, unemployed people.  Not true, though that would be nice.  Just try to do a Here's What You Do every now and again, when you have a day off and want to enjoy yourself.  I promise.  You'll have a blast.

  • You don't have to do everything on the list.  Actually, you're kind of an iron man if you can do the whole thing.  There's a lot of stuff packed into one of these days.  That's why we add a nap.  Just so you can recover.  Skip some stuff.  If you only have the afternoon available, just do the stuff for the afternoon.  If only one thing appeals, just do that.  It's OK.  I swear.

  • Speaking of naps.  You do not have to take the nap.  The nap, like everything else, is just a suggestion.  It's meant to be recharge time, when you and your date can restore.  What you do with the time is up to you.  You know what I'm talking about :-)  Just enjoy.

  • Feel free to mix and match day plans as much as you want.  If you see a set of events you like from different plans, just merge 'em together into your own plan.

  • Above all, remember that Here's What You Do is just making suggestions.  We try our best to add details about schedule and keep you on time, but you have to make sure you show up for things on time, that you make your own reservations, and that you double check addresses and timings to make sure you don't miss something.

That's about it.  I hope everyone is enjoying Here's What You Do, and will stay tuned for more posts in the future.  There are going to be some great posts about vacations you can take, best of lists - cocktails, cheeseburgers, pizza, etc. - and much more.

Please go ahead and Like our Facebook page by hitting the button below.  If you do, you'll get an update every day from us on your Facebook news feed.

Have fun everyone!


Stephen Bourne, Here's What You Do
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Are you a Fanilow: Sunday, July 29, 2012

Here's what you do Sunday, July 29, 2012

Barry Manilow.   The great showman.  Here in Atlanta at Chastain.   Let your Fanilow flag fly on Sunday.  Mandy.  Copacabana.  I write the songs.  Go reminisce on Sunday night at 8.  Get there at 7:30 to set up and relax.  Take a bottle of champagne to do it right.  Tickets are available online here.  They range from $49 to over $300.  Terrace seats are going for around $70, which is a good spot.  Plan on $15 for parking if you can't get a street parking spot.  ($ - $70 per person, $15 for parking, $15 for champagne).

Here's What You Do does a new day plan every day.  Like us on Facebook below to get updates on your Facebook page.

Here's what you do on Sunday:

First:  Sleep in.  You've had a long week.  Just chill in your perfect bed and watch CBS Sunday Morning.  It's the best show around.    Have some good coffee with it.  Check out this video on making the best coffee from Alton Brown.  He really, really knows what he's talkin about.

Second:  Brunch.  Atlanta is brunch country.  This week, let's give Canoe a try at 11.  Nestled on the bank of the Chattahoochee River, canoe puts on a great brunch.  Try the she-crab soup, and fried green tomato eggs Benedict.  And don't forget your bloody mary (remember you can't get - ahem - adult drinks till 12:30).  Take a walk by the river when you're done to take in the beauty and have a deep conversation with your companion.  ($ - $30 per person)

Third:  The Importance of Being Earnest.  The Georgia Shakespeare Theater at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven is putting on this production.  Start time is 2 on Sunday, so head right on over from Canoe.  The theater says:
"Wit and innuendo abound in this satirical comedy that follows the exploits of two young men –Jack and Algernon – each masquerading as a libertine named Ernest in order to pursue his unsuspecting conquest. When they are caught in the act, a true farce unfolds, and a very real Ernest is revealed. The turn of the century brought us some of the most treasured and clever tales in literature, and those of the great Oscar Wilde are no exception. No stuffy Victorians here!"
Tickets are $31 for adults in the balcony.  ($ - $31 per person).

Check out the Importance of Being Earnest at 2 at Georgia Shakespeare Theater at Oglethorpe University.
Fourth: Nap.  Gotta get ready for Manilow.  Don't forget the nap rules. ($ - $Free)

Fourth:  Dinner at home.  Stay home and grill tonight.  Try some salmon with this Bobby Flay recipe.  Add some seasonal corn - grilled with husks on - and asparagus.  Pair with a nice pinot noir from the Willamette Valley.   Get it all at Whole Foods.  ($ - $40)

Bobby Flay's ginger grilled salmon.

Finally:  Manilow!  The weather forecast says partly cloudy.  Enjoy the Atlanta Summer evening with the Manilow.  ($ - $70 per person, $15 for parking, $15 for champagne).

Book Keeping:

For two people:

Brunch: $60
Importance of Being Earnest: $62
Nap: $Free
Dinner: $40
Manilow: $170

Total:  $332

Day Map:

View Fanilow in a larger map

Friday, July 27, 2012

Follow the Lure: Saturday, July 28, 2012

Here's what you do Saturday, July 28, 2012.

Love seafood?  Go check out Lure!
There's a new seafood place in town.  On Crescent street, off 14th.  Decor is awesome.  It takes you to New England light houses and enormous old sail boats.  Chef David Bradley's food is even better.  Get a table or hang out with Brent at the bar, and settle in.  Start with a "Say What!"  A mix of bulleit rye, lazzaroni amaretto, lemon juice, simple syrup, chamomile bitters.  When I went, my friend took a sip and wouldn't give it back to me!  Once you're settled in with your drink, ease into an experience with Quahog clams (yes, the same Quahog from Family Guy), and platters of peel-n-eat shrimp, salmon tartare, squid ceviche and crab salad.  For an entree, try the sole, grouper, or find out the market fish of the day.  If you get a chance to look up from eating, you might spot a celeb or two.  Keep an eye out.  Give this place a try!  Call ahead to make a reservation.  404.817.3650 ($ - $50 per person).

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Here's what you do on Saturday:

Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon for Breakfast.
First:  Breakfast.  Yesterday was French Toast.  Today, go to New York and have bagel with cream cheese and Lox or smoked salmon.  Know the difference between smoked salmon and Lox?  Both are salmon, but smoked salmon is first soaked in brine and then either cold or hot-smoked.  Lox is specifically Scandinavian Salmon, and it is just soaked in brine, no smoking.  Check out this blog for a more detailed explanation.  Anyway, get bagels, cream cheese with chives, smoked salmon, capers, red onion, and lemon at Whole Foods.  Toast the bagel lightly, smear the cream cheese, add the salmon, capers, and onion.  Garnish with lemon and add coarse fresh cracked black pepper to taste.    ($ - $10 per person).

Second: Go to the Gray Room.  These are photos taken by Michael Jackson's personal photographer, Todd Gray, over many years.  It's at the Hagendorn Foundation Gallery in Peachtree Hills.  Go see the King, and be inspired. ($ - $Free).

Michael Jackson, taken by his personal photographer, Todd Gray. 

Third:  Head on down to Elmyr for lunch.  Big ass burritos.  Great attitude.  Fun Times, man!  ($15 per person).

Head on Down to Elmyr for Lunch on Saturday.  Have a burrito or nachos and a beer.

Fourth:  National Water Gun Fight Day!  12-5 on Saturday, it's national water gun fight day at Freedom Park.  Go be a kid again.  You have to bring your own gun.  Pick that up at Edgewood Target just down Moreland.  This is event is part of the Fight4ATL initiative, which aims to get Atlantans out to get active and appreciate the city. 

Head to the national water gun fight at Freedom Park. 

Fifth:  You know it!  Take a Nap.  Well, maybe take a shower.  Then take a nap.  Follow the perfect bed rules.

Finally:  Go check out Lure!  Call ahead to make a reservation. 404.817.3650   ($ - $50 per person).

Book Keeping:

For two people:

Breakfast: $20
Michael: $Free
Lunch: $30
Water Guns: $2
Nap: $Free
Lure: $100

Total:  $152

Day Map:

View Lure in a larger map

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What about Breakfast at Tiffany's: Thursday July 26, 2012

Here's what you do Thursday, July 26th, 2012.

Go to Breakfast at Tiffany's at Chastain Park, Thursday Night.
Thursday is gonna be one of the most memorable days of the summer.  It finishes with the timeless Breakfast At Tiffany's, the finale of Chastain Park's summer movie series.  Whimsy hiding desperation.  Light masking dark.  This is Truman Capote's masterwork, and the movie that made Audrey Hepburn a legend.  Read more about it here on Wikipedia.

Get dressed up and head on over to the hilltop meadow just off Park Drive in historic Chastain Park to watch the show at sunset (about 8:30).  Food Trucks will be there with gourmet good stuff and beer and wine.   But, we recommend taking your own picnic, and spending some good quality time putting it together.

To get you ready, today is going to be about summer clothes shopping, relaxing, refinement, and mostly whimsy.  Here's what you do.

First:  A little breakfast is in order.  Start off with a glass of champagne at the St. Regis. Stop in Astor Court, the mezzanine level spot overlooking the lobby.  Order champagne and one of their famous pastries and take in the opulence.  ($ - $20 per person).

Second:  Shopping.  Head on over to Phipps Plaza and Lenox Mall and find that perfect outfit for tonight.   I'd recommend White House, Black Market for the ladies.  Brooks Brothers for the fellas.  It is Atlanta.  It is summer.  So, get some seersucker, something silk.   Dress for Holly Golightly.  :-)  ($ - $Hard to call).

Third:  Lunch at Bistro Niko.  French is the way to go for lunch.  On the ground floor of the super fancy Sovereign building, Bistro Niko won't disappoint.  The service there is phenomenal.  White apron waiters cheerfully lead you through the lunching extravaganza and put you at ease.  Sit at one of the tables outside.  Try the smoked salmon with creme fraiche and chive tarte, or the steak tartare, or even the escargot if you're in the mood.  Share a bottle of pinot noir with your companion and take in the Atlanta afternoon.  ($ - $30 per person).

Fourth:  Nap.  Follow the good napping rules, and you'll be nice and ready for the movie tonight.

Fifth:  Get your picnic ready. First, you need a real picnic basket.  Get one at Macy's.  This one below is pretty nice, and is going for about $70 right now.  If you are into the picnic thing, splurge on the basket.  It's worth it.  With basket in hand, head on over to Whole Foods in Buckhead, and pick up some cherries, grapes, sliced mango, some spinach and artichoke dip, a fresh baguette, some brie, some jalapeno jack cheese, and, of course, a nice bottle of red zinfandel.  You could also get prosecco if you're in an Italian, bubbly kinda mood.  Pack it all in, and head on over to the show.  Don't forget a blanket too, or fold out chairs if you're so inclined. ($ - $40 for food.  Picnic basket is an investment).

Get a picnic basket for the movie tonight.  I like this one from Macy's.
Finally:  Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Try to get there around 7:30.  Toast a beautiful summer day. Look into each other's eyes when you toast.  It's good luck. Enjoy your wine and food, sit back and enjoy the show.

Book Keeping:

For two people:

Breakfast:  $40
Shopping:  $Not included.  Clothes are an investment!
Lunch: $60
Nap: $Free
Picnic: $40.  Picnic basket not included.  It's an investment too!
Breakfast At Tiffany's:  $Free

Total:  $140.

Day Map:

View BreakfastAtTiffanys in a larger map

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Get your Spin On with Eric! Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Here's what you do Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

Have you seen this man?  He's out to make you fit!  Go take Eric's Spin Class at LA Fitness in Midtown.
Ok, so, Here's What You Do recommends a whole bunch of really good food all round Atlanta.  At some point, you gotta work it off.  We have just the right guy to get you there.  Eric Aarons, spin class instructor extraordinaire, brings it every Monday and Wednesday at noon down at LA Fitness Midtown.  Sign up for the class, bring your energy and something to wipe the sweat with, and work off that 800 calories you had yesterday.  Eric is known for his high energy style and the fantastic playlists he puts together just for the class.  Check out the playlists here on Spotify.  Get a day pass to attend the class.  Join the gym and go twice a week if you really get into it. So, so good for you. ($ - $15)

P.S.  If Eric looks familiar, it's because he's also head bartender at Ecco, where he brings some very inventive and award winning cocktails to the table.  We'll have a post on Atlanta cocktails soon.  Stay tuned.

P.P.S.  Eric recommends the Body For Life approach to diet and exercise. Basically, that boils down to 6 smaller meals a day, varied exercise from day to day, and - best of all - a day off each week for cheating.  The psychology behind that is fascinating.  Apparently, if you know you are going to get a day off, then you're much less likely to cheat the rest of the week.  Isn't that cool?!  How about this?  On Wednesday, we are going to try to do Body for Life.

Here's what you do on Wednesday:
Get some Pears!

First:  Meal #1. Have some cottage cheese, yogurt, and blue berries.  Super foods that will get you going.  Enjoy them on your deck while the temperatures are still low.  Also, take a good multivitamin today.  ($ - $5 per person).

Second:  Shopping at the Dekalb Farmer's Market.  So, it's not that much of a secret, but it's really quite a treat to go to the Farmer's Market.  Their stuff is fresh, and authentic, and tastes so good.  They get in new produce every day.  Actually, just focus on fruit this morning.  Try to get something you haven't had in a while, or that you've never had.  Get whole coconut and crack into it when you get home and drink the water.  It's like a mini vacation to Jamaica.  Or, pick up some pears.  They're in season now, and so good.  ($ - $20 per person).

Third: Meal #2. Before the workout, have lots of water and try a Zone protein bar, which you can get a Publix.  They're good for ya, and will get you prepared.  ($ - $1 per person)

Fourth:  Work Out!  Get to LA Fitness around 11:30 and get ready for a 45 minutes of high energy spin class.  Eric will lead you through.  Push yourself.  Eric says the important parts are 1) the sweat, and 2) the music.  Enjoy both.  When you're done drink some water and take a long shower.  You'll get a nap in the afternoon to recover. ($ - $15 per person).

Fifth: Meal #3. Head on over to the Imperial Fez from 2-4, and learn how to make Moroccan food with chef Rafih Benjelloun.  They'll  give you a little sample in the end that'll work just fine as meal #3.  ($ - $25)

Sixth:  Nap.  You'll really enjoy the nap today after your workout.  Don't forget to follow the perfect bed rules!

Seventh:  Meal #4.  Some fruit is just the ticket for Meal #4.  Have a pear and a cup of tea and read some of your favorite blog posts from Here's What You Do.  :-).  ($ - $Included in shopping this morning)

Take in a couple hours at the pool this afternoon.
Eighth:  Take in a couple hours at the pool.  It's starting to cool off now, and the pool is a great place to lay back and relax.  You might have one at your condo, or you might try the pool in Grant Park.  Either way.  Enjoy.

Parish in Inman Park for dinner.
Ninth: Meal #5.  Try out Parish in Inman Park.  Half grocery, half restaurant.  Parish has great ambiance, and really good locally sourced food.  Remember you're doing small meals.  So, just try an appetizer.  Maybe the boqurones (grapefruit, fennel, and serrano oil) or the squash salad.  Or, share the springer mountain chicken with your date.  Try a little glass of sauvignon blanc to pair.  ($ - $15 per person).

Finally:  Finish off the day with a relaxed read.  Try Broken Harbor, by Tana French.  Here's what the NYT has to say about this psychological thriller:

"Ms. French’s books all give the same first impression. They start slowly and seem to need tighter editing. But...she patiently lays her groundwork, then moves into full page-turner mode."

Have a cup of green tea and a small cookie for meal #6.  I'd recommend a milano from pepperidge farm.  Yum!  ($ - $17 for the book, $5 for Meal #6 per person).
Have a cup of green tea and a milano before bed

Book Keeping:

For Two People:

Meal #1 - $10
Farmer's Market - $40
Meal #2 - $3
Work Out - $30
Imperial Fez and Meal #3 - $50
Nap - $Free
Meal #4 - $Included in shopping
Pool - $Free
Meal #5, Parish - $30
Read and Meal #6 - $27

Total:  $190.

Day Map:

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Monday, July 23, 2012

West African Drum Classes: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Here's what you do Tuesday July 24th.

West African Drum Classes, by DrumRise.
It's summer vacation!  Spend the day with a favorite young friend.  Maybe your daughter or nephew, or just some kid you know.  Make one of their summer days memorable.

The main event today is drum lessons.  Did you know that Atlanta is home to some masters of west African drumming?  These are folks who spent years and years in that part of the world, learning the craft.  And, they've brought it back to Atlanta, and wanna teach it!  How. Lucky. Are. We?!   I've been to one of their performances.  Primal and raw and soulful and energy and love.  They remind you that you have a soul, and it wants to move.  So, learn to play the drums today.  The classes are kid friendly.  So, grab your favorite son, daughter, niece, nephew, or just some kid you know, and head on over!  It's held by DrumRise, and it's at 7:30 Tuesday night at Tessitura Studio in Decatur.  Note that you have to sign up here, and that you have to let them know you are doing a drop-in class and that you need them to bring you a drum. ($20 per person, $15 for kids).

Here's what you do on Monday:

First: Breakfast.  There's this hidden gem in Decatur called Pastries A Go Go.  Go, go there and get a croissant or a danish.  If you want something heavier try the biscuits and gravy, or the eggs benedict.  Take a stroll around Decatur square to walk it off and enjoy the summer air before it gets too hot.  ($10 per person).

Second:  Go to the Zoo! Zoo Atlanta has an early bird special.  You save $5 of regular admission if you get there before 10:30.  When you do, go check out the Pandas and Elephants and Giraffes, oh my!  The zoo hosts all kinds of events and programs for families during the summer.  Check it out here.  ($ - $20.99 general admission, $15.99 for kids; both $5 off if you get there before 10:30).

Zoo Atlanta is home to a family of Giant Pandas.  Go hang out with them on Tuesday morning.
Third:  Lunch at Eats.  Eats on Ponce serves up an eclectic blend of Caribbean and southern cuisine.  Jerk chicken, spicy back beans, collard greens, corn bread.  It's healthy, fast, and so good.  I like to get the jerk chicken plate, with cornbread, rice, and blackbeans myself.  But, make sure to check out the menu and take it all in.  ($ - $10 per person).

A jerk chicken plate from Eats for lunch.

Fourth:  Nap.  Get your rest in before the drums.  Follow the perfect bed rules.  ($ - $Free)

Fifth:  Have an early dinner at the Leon's.  Head back to Decatur round 5 and order one of the sandwiches.  The gyro is really good.  For something more formal, try the scallops.  If you want something to remember with your young friend, order the head-on Georgia shrimp and make the shrimp talk to each other.  Leon's also has an outdoor bocce court, and great tables outside.  The temperature on Tuesday is 95, though, so you might want to get a booth inside. ($ - $15 per person).

Finally:  Drum Lessons.  At 7:30,  head on over to the studio and feed your soul.  ($20 per person, $15 for kids).

Book Keeping:

For you and your companion.

Breakfast:  $20
Zoo: $35
Lunch: $20
Nap: $Free :-)
Dinner: $30
Drums: $35

Total: $140

Day Map:

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Win-Win at the Braves All American Blood Drive: Monday July 23, 2012

Here's what you do Monday, July 23, 2012.

Do you like Braves baseball?!  Wanna help out others while helping yourself to some Braves action?  Here's what you do.  Go give blood at the Braves All American Blood Drive.  It's happening from 10 - 7 on Monday.  In exchange, you get:

  • A pair of tickets to watch the Braves take on the Houston Astros on August 5
  • A buy one get one free ticket offer for select Braves games
  • A chance to win one grand prize: a Braves Family Four Pack, which includes four game tickets and a batting practice field visit
  • A chance to win one of two iPad 3's
Talk about a win-win!  To schedule an appointment for the blood drive, click here and use Sponsor Code Braves or call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767).

Here's what you do on Monday:

First:  Get your energy up.  Getting ready to give blood comes down to this:  drink a lot of water and eat something a few hours before.  There's other stuff too.  Check out this link.  To get ready, head on over to Homegrown in Reynoldstown.  It's funky and kitsch, and the all organic and local menu will get you ready in style.  Try the pancake stack with pure maple syrup, or the french toast.  ($ - $10 per person).

Second:  Take a stroll through Oakland Cemetery.  It's just down Memorial, and it's the final resting place of some impactful Atlanta cats.  Folks like Bobby Jones, Ivan Allen Jr., and Maynard Jackson.  A true piece of Atlanta history that's worth knowing.  A good idea is to read about Oakland before you go.  They also have tours on Saturdays and Sundays with guides that know their stuff.   ($ - $Free).
Take in some Atlanta History at Oakland Cemetery.

Third: Head on over to Turner Field and give blood.  Make sure you've made you're appointment with the red cross first.  And, don't forget your free Braves tickets.  You're going to use them August 5th!

Fourth:  Lunch at Empire State South.  Head back on up to midtown and get your energy back at Empire State South.  It's one of Here's What You Do's favorites, and when you go you'll see why.  You're greeted with an outdoor bocce court of classic proportion and surrounded by tall buildings, so that the wind swirls and sets the stage for your bocce greatness.  Then, you enter the restaurant.  It looks like the dining room you wish you had.  A playful mix of chocolates and tans and blues and light and dark.  But the winner is the food.  Try the beet marmalade on toast to start.  Then, have the creole egg salad sandwich.  Finish off lunch with a game of bocce and a glass of cranberry.  You're good to go.  ($ - $15 per person)
Empire State South for Lunch.  The perfect way to restore after making your donation.

Fifth: Nap.  Let slumber restore you.  Follow the perfect bed rules

Sixth: The Intouchables is playing at Tara.  It tells the true story of a wealthy, physically disabled risk taker, the picture of established French nobility, who lost his wife in an accident and whose world is turned upside down when he hires a young, good-humored, black Muslim ex-con as his caretaker. Their bond proves the power and omniscience that love and friendship can hold over all social and economic differences.  It's highly recommended.  ($  - $10 per person).

Finally:  Do a late dinner at Grindhouse Killer Burger.  Just down the street from Tara, this place does, in fact, make a killer burger.  I always go for a double beef burger with tomato and mayo and fries, but you should branch out.  Have the hillbilly burger, or the yankee.  Don't forget the vidalia onion rings. And top it off with a beer.  That'll hit the spot!  ($ - $15 per person).

Grindhouse Killer Burgers for dinner.  What could be better?!

Book Keeping:

For Two People:
Breakfast: $20
Oakland: $Free
Braves All American Blood Drive: $Free
Lunch: $30
Nap: $Free
Movie: $20
Dinner: $30

Total: $100 - a Here's What You Do record low!

Day Map:

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