I flew up to Atlanta on Friday to meet up with Christian and the kids and in just a few short days Christian and I managed a number of noteworthy meals. Our first stop after landing on Friday and taking James to splash around in the Centennial Park fountains was La Fonda. I have been a huge fan of La Fonda for the cheap and delicious paella and Cuban sandwiches since I was a student at UGA. It is a regular stop for us when we are in Atlanta (along with the sister/brother restaurant, Fellini's) and the quality hasn't changed in fifteen years. Incidentally, neither has the price. James was lucky enough to share his first La Fonda experience with us:
Don't worry, Luz was busy with Nana at the Cabbage Patch Kids hospital in North Georgia. Quite unbelievably, this was actually the first time Christian and I spent the day alone with James.
We followed up our very reliable lunch at La Fonda with dinner and drinks and drinks and drinks at Holeman and Finch, a place that we were both very curious about because of the much-hyped, "24" sought after burgers prepared each night. The burgers absolutely lived up to the hype and the fries were so enticing that I even had a few. We spent the evening with friends we had not seen since their wedding about 6 years ago. It was a huge treat to have four hours to catch up and to do it while enjoying great food and drinks.
Although the food was incredible (and there are at least a dozen things on the menu that we did not try that I was very curious about), what really stood out was the incredible service. The place was absolutely packed between 9 and 11. We decided to eat in the bar area because a few small plates and drinks turned into about ten small plates and many more drinks and, before we knew it, we were essentially eating dinner and just decided to just stay put. During the time when patrons filled the bar, standing cheek by jowl, the servers and waitresses moved in and out of the crowd with patience and ease. They were totally accommodating to even the most needy and annoying guests. I was impressed.
And speaking of annoying guests, this guy was there in an old, somewhat dirty looking t-shirt and plaid shorts:
with an entourage gathered around him worshipfully, falling all over themselves.
Last night we had dinner plans with friends of ours, another couple we get to see too rarely, and Christian lobbied hard for Fogo De Chao. I guess it is not a particularly hard choice because the food really is good and the salad bar is the best around. I toyed with the idea of just having a salad but when the bacon wrapped filet mignon made its way to our table I couldn't resist. I exercised a little restraint considering I didn't pack running shoes and had already burned through the few extra miles I banked last week. Unlike Christian, though, I did not wake up in the middle of the night suffering from 'meat' sweats.
And maybe you wouldn't think there was time for yet another bite to eat...but there was...I never leave Atlanta without at least one stop at the local Atlanta Bread Company for my absolute, hands down, favorite veggie sandwich ever. I am a total addict and have been for about a decade. The veggie sandwich is really nothing special but the taste is unparalleled by any other I have ever had. They also have great cookies. So, if you are in Atlanta or driving through and looking for a healthier fast food option, this is your place:
We did plenty of other things too. Really. We swam, played at the local park, checked out the aquarium, ice skated (well, Luz and Christian did), swam some more and lounged around just a little. It was a lovely mini-vacation and it was tough to get back, particularly because the night started with two cop cars and an ambulance arriving at the one house on the block that seems to draw that sort of attention. Ahhh, NOLA.