Monday, January 5, 2015

Olympic Torches at the Atlanta History Center

Did you know the Atlanta History Center's Centennial Olympic Games Museum has the only complete collection of Olympic torches in the country?  Go check them out, and the rest of the history of the Olympics and the twisting tale of bringing the Olympics to Atlanta.  ($22 for two adults).

A walk in Piedmont Park

It's central.  It's beautiful.  It's a great way to walk off a huge meal and see Atlanta at the same time.  Piedmont Park is very much Atlanta's Central Park.  Located in Midtown, with business, restaurants, and life happening all around, it's a great place to slow down, sit on a park bench, and look at the ducks.  Get to know this place.  There are so many Atlanta events happening here, it's a benefit to know the layout.  Enjoy.

Coronary Bypass Burger at the Vortex

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!  They have a whole separate section of the menu for their famous Bypass Burgers.  They come in single, double, and the infamous triple (aka, the Super Stack).  That's three half pound patties, 14 slices of bacon, 10 slices of cheese, 3 fried eggs, and nearly a bottle of mayo - on the side.  We recommend the single if you want to walk out of the restaurant and do other things on your adventure.  It's only a single fried egg, 3 slices of cheese, and 4 slices of bacon.  Way to diet!   Wash it down with Sweetwater 420.  ($20 per person).

Grab lunch at Apres DIem

Early afternoon is a great time for lunch at Apres Diem.  One of Atlanta's original Euro-inspired coffee houses, its a staple of the Piedmont Park scene.  Go grab a table out on the patio, order a glass of prosecco and the fruits and fromage, and lay back and listen to the lounge.  ($20 per person).

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Chattahoochee Nature Center Annual 10K

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is holding their 14th annual Chattahoochee 10k challenge on Valentines Day, 2/14/2015.   Join in the fun!

Fried Chicken Sandwich at Homegrown

Get your energy up.  Head on over to Homegrown in Reynoldstown.  It's funky and kitsch, and the all organic and local menu will make sure you have a great day.  For lunch, the fried chicken sandwich is awesome, or fried greed tomato sandwich. ($10 per person).

A nice ragu at Sotto Sotto

Head on down to Inman park and have a little Italian dinner at Sotto Sotto. This cozy little place brings the fancy.  Start of with a Saved by the Basil cocktail.  Then settle into some warm octopus insalatina, the pork meatballs, and anything with "ragu" on the end of it.  Oh, and you have to try the risotto.  They have a special one every day.  Just go with it and make your belly happy.  ($40 per person).

Fried Chicken Po Boy at Empire State South

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 fried chicken po boy.  Finish off lunch with a game of bocce and a glass of cranberry.  You're good to go.  ($15 per person)

A stroll through Oakland Cemetery

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).

Get your energy up at Homegrown

Get your energy up.  Head on over to Homegrown in Reynoldstown.  It's funky and kitsch, and the all organic and local menu will make sure you have a great day. For breakfast, try the pancake stack with pure maple syrup, or the french toast. ($10 per person).

Where the Wild Things Are, an Interactive Exhibit

Maurice Sendak had a massive impact with his masterpiece, Where the Wild Things Are.  Glimpse his early creative process, finish works and newly created interactive pieces celebrating the artist.  It's on till July 5, 2015 at the Breman Musuem.

Segregation Story, a photo exhibit by Gordon Parks at the High

In 1956, Life Magazine published 26 photos of staff photographer Gordon Parks focused on the restraints - visible and non-visible - in Mobile, Alabama.   Take in this important exhibit, plus so much more going on at the High.

GRAV-I-TY, an Exhibit by Fahamu Pecou at MOCA

Winner of the Museum of Contemporary Art of GA (MOCA) Working Artist Prize (WAP), Fahamu Pecou's GRAV-I-TY explores the trend of 'saggin', as a demand of young African American men to be seen, acknowledged.  This first solo exhibit is up until Feb 14, 2015.  

Book Hunt at A Cappella

Book Hunt!  Go check out A Cappella Books.  It's one of the few non-chain bookstores left in Atlanta, and that has made them super focused on stocking their shelves with some really cool finds.  ($depends how much you like books!)

Nirvana Yoga

Mosey on over to Nirvana Yoga.  They offer rise & shine, flow, and traditional for all levels.   Give it a try and feed your soul.  Say hi to Lucy!  ($5-12 per person).

Pancakes at Ria's Bluebird

Breakfast (or even lunch). Ria's Bluebird is the place. Named after the larger than life chef that took Atlanta by storm and was taken from us way too soon, Ria's is famous for their pancakes. Either sit up at the bar, or try to get a seat right at the window, so you can have the strangely comforting view of Memorial Drive and the Oakland Cemetery beyond. Comforting because it's the resting place of some pretty impactful folks in Atlanta History. You should check it out some time. But not this morning. Right now you should focus on your plate of pancakes and hot cup of coffee. Try the grits too.  If you're not in the mood for pancakes, try the country fried tempeh.  Not too shabby.  ($10 per person).

Borrego a la Parilla at Eclipse di Luna

What could be better than a meal at Eclipse di Luna.  Tapas, Tapas, Tapas.  Have two sangrias at Eclipse and say Tapas three times fast.  Tee hee...  Try the Quesos Espanolesa (spanish cheeses), Borrego a la Parrilla (lamb sirloin with roasted tomato sauce, fresh watercress and herb sald), or the paella.  If the spirit has moved you by now, try dancing to the live music.  ($40 per person.)

Belgian Heaven at the Porter

Ok, time for some food.  Go check out the Porter.  This relatively new Little 5 points hang out has great beer.  Some really unusual stuff from Belgium and harder to find beers from craft breweries in the States.  The have 430 beers in all.  They also have pretty darn good food.  Nick Rutherford  wields a masterful and experienced hand in the kitchen.  He's the former sous chef at Seeger's, that always lauded culinary dream of Atlanta's 90s history.  Have the mac & cheese and a 25 Dodici.  Or the bratwurst and a Dubbel Cannon.  ($20 per person).