Time to Ketchup!

Get it? 

I know I’m cheesy- who gon’ check me boo?*

Since Thursday marked the end of my spring season at work, I took advantage of the weekend and spent an extra day in San Francisco. When on the west coast, In N Out is a must! We rounded up whomever was left at the hotel and hopped in a Uber and made sure we got animal-style burgers for my Manda Panda’s birthday. Check out the party hat!

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I’m currently on a connecting flight from PHX to JFK, I’m taking this opportunity to go through my camera roll to see what I’ve yet to post! Trust, it’s a lot! Between random food adventures with the squad, dinners with El Jefe, baecation and eating on the road with Chéo, and just random shenanigans, I have so much to write about!

Oh, and twitter temporarily froze my #avaeats handle. Like, it just happened yesterday. I’m actually quite distraught but even more pissed that they’ve yet to call me with the code I need to verify my account! ::rolls eyes::

Stay tuned…

 

img_2158-1*I watch a good bit of reality television outside of binge watching the Food Network/Hell’s Kitchen/Master Chef. With that said, I have an arsenal of one-liners from a bunch of different shows I use on the regular. From Erica Mena’s “You can’t handle my mouth…” to Nene Leek’s “I said what I said…” I’m convinced I have an applicable saying for everything. If not, I definitely have a worthy meme! 

It’s STILL My Birthday: The Irwin Street Market

Our Airbnb was located in a conveniently central area, there were a lot of shops and markets around that we could easily get to. Right off the main road was the Irwin Street Market, the home of several vendors, including a diner type restaurant, some local artists displaying their work, and Jake’s Ice Cream.

A random chocolate craving hit me, so I ordered a scoop of rockiest road on a waffle cone. Yummy marshmallows! Chéo had a scoop of the strawberry cheesecake.

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After we got our ice cream we decided to walk through the market to see what else was there. We stopped at the restaurant to see what baked goods were in their display case. My eyes scanned across stacks of brownies and danishes and cookies and all the way at the end, there was something oblong shaped and immediately knew what it was before reading the label. Chocolate covered bacon! Unfortunately, I didn’t try any. Definitely on the next trip!

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Irwin Street Market
660 Irwin Street
Atlanta, GA

It’s STILL My Birthday: Two Urban Licks

No matter where we are, brunch is a must.

Cues the google fingers.

I came across the menu for Two Urban Licks and my mouth watered. I showed it to Chéo, he co-signed the mouth-watering, and we were on our way.

Once we found the entrance*, the sight was nothing short of sexy. We pulled up to the valet and it’s bold and bright exterior only made me wonder what interior was like. Very chic and industrial, inside had live rotating rotisseries, a 26-foot wine on-tap barrel wall, live music, and an amazing view of the downtown skyline.

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Just as brunch is a must, so are the mimosas, so when our waiter, Dustin, came to take our drink order, it was a no-brainer. I did some quick math and decided we should order a pitcher to get a little more bang for our buck**.

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I was craving something really brunchy– something sweet, like in the pancake and waffle family. Then a waiter walked pass with some type of gigantic burger and that sweet craving got kicked to the curb. I scanned the menu and made the connection: that big ass burger was the Double Double.

Dustin appeared out of nowhere like a State Farm agent. When Chéo asked him about the Double Double, the only word he could use to describe it was “dijonaise” and we were sold.

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The wait didn’t seem long, probably because we were having too much fun making Boomerang videos of each other, so I was elated when our plates came out. My eyes danced as they followed the plate from Dustin’s hands to the table. You know how the cartoons back in the day had heart eyes popping out of their heads? If I had to describe what I was feeling, it would be that. I was amazed to see this short rib double patty with red onions, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, cheddar and dijonaise on sesame seed bun that I could barely get my mouth around, accompanied by a mound of hand-cut french fries. My Double Double had double pickles, thanks to my love. So juicy, so flavorful, and so good, the Double Double was definitely one of those burgers I couldn’t not finish. And the fries! My encounters with hand-cut fries can be a real hit or miss, and these were most definitely a hit! To-go box, please and thank you!

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We wanted to go back on Super Bowl Sunday for dessert before the game, but many restaurants throughout Atlanta were closing early so we never made it. There’s always next time!

 

Two Urban Licks
820 Ralph McGill Blvd NE
Atlanta, GA

 

 

*You drive into a complex of sorts, follow some signs, go up a ramp, and then you pull up at the valet. Still sexy though!

img_1302**”So we’re just gonna sell you the champagne and throw in a carafe orange juice for free…” Dustin actually returned with the bottle in an ice bucked and the carafe. We usually drink at least two mimosas each at brunch—the bottle gave us four (with a lot of orange juice left!)

 

 

 

It’s STILL My Birthday: Mary Mac’s Tea Room

I met Simone about 6 years ago when she was living in Brooklyn and I was selling cupcakes as a side hustle, but we’ve always kept in touch over the years. Some time between then and now, she moved to Atlanta, met her husband, and had a beautiful baby girl. Hi Aria!
I couldn’t come to Atlanta and not spend a little time with my darling mermaid, so Simone heard first as soon as our trip was confirmed.

Simone had me pick the cuisine. I can’t be south of Virginia and not have any soul food, so she picked Mary Mac’s Tea Room. It has a cute brick exterior with nostalgic decor that screams southern comfort. The history is a pretty interesting story: opening in 1945, Mary Mac’s Tea Room is the last of sixteen tea rooms that once dotted intown Atlanta in the 1940s.


They’ve kept some of their traditions: pencils are kept on the tables for filling out orders, a practice that was started so if an order was wrong, you’d have no one to blame but yourself. There were no computers or software systems like we have today, so the individually written orders were an easy way to keep track of how many customers ate at Mary Mac’s each day. Keeping this tradition was genius!

The menu at Mary Mac’s is full of southern classics: appetizers like fried chicken livers, deviled eggs and homemade pimento cheese, entrées like chicken pot pie and meatloaf with tomato sauce, every glorious side dish you can think of- including the southern classic, fried okra- and sweets like Georgia peach cobbler & strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream for dessert. The entrees came with two sides- clutch! Simone and I both ordered fried chicken: I got the 4-piece (breast, thigh, wing, and leg) with mac & cheese and sweet potatoes for me, per the usual. 

Good gawd, let me tell you about this fried chicken! Perfectly crispy and flaky on the outside and unbelievably juicy on the inside, this is the kind of fried chicken you write home about.

As the reigning doggy bag queen, I scooped out the rest of my mac & cheese and sweet potatoes into a to-go container with the fried chicken to munch on later. Chéo stole a taste of the sweet potatoes- it’s so good, he pretty much questioned my integrity because I didn’t bring him a full order.

If you’re in Atlanta, Mary Mac’s Tea Room is a must for your soul food cravings. We have every intention of visiting Atlanta again, so I’ll definitely be back for some more of that fried chicken!


Mary Mac’s Tea Room
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA

It’s STILL My Birthday: On the Road Again

If Chéo had his way, #avaeats would hit a new state every month! I absolutely love his ambition and optimism, but with 500 miles between us and having to travel and eat, along with other expenses that’ll occur, it’s just not the most economically sane idea. Chéo will always find a way, so when an #avaeats road trip to Atlanta was offered, who was I to say no!

We stopped at McDonald’s at a rest stop along I-85. Chéo needed a Sausage McMuffin; I needed a bathroom. 

My birthday weekend was amazing, with a sprinkle of crazy- and I can’t thank him enough!

New Year’s Eve Dinner at B. Christopher’s

New Year’s Eve is a night to party- but when there’s only one party being advertised in Greensboro, we’ll pass. The couples came together and decided to stay in at one of our apartments, play games, pop bottles, and bring in the new year safely. But first, dinner!

I remembered wanting to have dinner at B. Christopher’s steakhouse in downtown Greensboro during one of my prior visits, but never got the opportunity to. After checking out the menu to ensure there was some salmon dish for Chéo- I’d never hear the end of it if there wasn’t- our 9pm reservation was confirmed.

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New Year’s Eve, strolling in at 9:10pm: we were a tad late. Once we were seated, our waiter recited the specials ever so eloquently, Ché was impressed with the long-winded sales pitch.

We started with the untraditional caesar salad and a bowl of lobster bisque. The salad was  romaine hearts, smoked on a char-grill, with Caesar dressing and shaved reggiano parmesan. Chéo was so pleasantly surprised, he stopped eating to take the photo. He made sure to document some part for me, it was that good. Thanks babe.

I can honestly say the lobster bisque at B. Christopher’s was one of the best I’d ever had. Ever has seafood that smelled like seafood, and not in the good way? Yea, no: this was so far from that. So rich and creamy with a drizzle of sherry with tiny bits of shredded lobster, I talked Chéo into tasting it. He doesn’t eat shellfish- bad prior experience- but he agreed it was on point.


Chéo ordered from their usual menu: blackened salmon with pesto potatoes, green beans and a red wine sauce. I, on the other hand, went for the surf & turf special: two petit filets with two pan-seared scallops, roasted asparagus and tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and a maitre d’butter sauce.

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I don’t know where to start because my meal was so damn good! Scallops perfectly seared, melt in your mouth filets, and mashed potatoes with a consistency like James Harding whipped them himself. The asparagus tips* were tender and the maitre d’butter sauce was the perfect accompaniment to balance all the flavors.

Chéo took his first bite while I was still trying to get a good photo of my plate. And then his second, third, and fourth. No matter what, I had to try his dish. As I started to pass him my bread plate to scoop out a tiny bit of his pesto potatoes, he picked up his whole plate and handed it to me. So I handed my plate to him- what else was I supposed to do?

 

I tasted his pesto potatoes before my own. They were pretty good, so I wasn’t mad at all. And of course, he said his favorite line: you can make this at home.

After he cut himself a manly bite of my steak and scoop of mashed potatoes, he had another scoop of mashed potatoes. So good!

Crême brûlée for dessert: we’re such creatures of habit. I was so excited to crack the top shell, I forgot to snap a photo and we devoured it. Sorry!

We met our couple friends at home to play drunk Jenga and Three Kings, sip our favorite champagne, and bring in the new year with the ones we love.

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B. Christopher’s
210 N. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC

*Yes, I only eat the tips of the asparagus, just like I only eat broccoli florets. I can’t really explain why.