Where’s Stella?

Snow storm Stella was supposed to hit the our area pretty hard. Like, NYC subways shut down, hard. I don’t know if it was me knowing I’d be working from home, or just my random cravings- but I woke up wanting bakes.

Bless my little Americanized Trini heart.

Mom must have woken up with the same craving: my phone rang and “come get bakes” was all that was said.

Remember the bake and shrimp from Pearl’s? Yea, those- they’re just a little bit different when my mom makes them.

Typically, bakes are like a blank canvas so you really get the flavors of the fillings. My mom adds a pinch of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to her dough before frying. It transforms the bake from a type of sandwich bread to a ever so slightly-sweet pastry I can eat alone.

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

29 and Fine!

Happy birthday to me!

I had lunch today at Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta with my good friend, Simone. As first time diners, we were offered pot likker with cracklin’ bread. Talk about southern hospitality! 

Pot liquor (or potlikker/pot likka’) is the liquid that is left behind after boiling collard greens. I don’t eat collard greens so I’m oblivious, but Simone said she could definitely taste the greens. 

Dip and bite. 

The pot likker added the moisture cracklin’ bread needed with a hint of smoked turkey flavor. 

I can’t wait to write the full post about this Atlanta gem!