Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I have to start today’s post by just taking a moment to thank all the men and women who have selflessly served our country. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Brandon and I had a fantastic weekend, so of course, I have to share it with all of you. I’m especially excited to share all of my food pictures with you, because we had some pretty awesome eats this weekend!
Let’s start with Friday. Brandon and I had plans to do some furniture shopping after he got off work. I actually headed out early to do some “pre-shopping” before he met me. I figured I could hit up a bunch of stores quickly and cross off the ones that we wouldn’t be interested in.
I also made a quick pit stop at Dairy Queen.
I had seen ads for their Confetti Cake Blizzard, and since I’m a sucker for anything that combines cake + ice cream, I had to try it out.
I got a mini cup since I knew we’d be eating dinner in a couple of hours, but I should have just ruined my appetite and gone for the large. It was delicious. Big chunks of cake and frosting. Gone way too quickly.
After saying good-bye to way too much money at the furniture store (we bought some of our “big stuff,” including a couch and dining room set), we went to PF Changs for dinner because I had coupons.
I thought my fortune was pretty hilarious:
Within the year? Try within the week!
On Saturday, we decided to go check out downtown Atlanta. Since moving to this area, we haven’t actually explored the city of Atlanta (we live about 30 minutes outside the city).
We used up some of our hotel points (because we have about a million at this point) to stay at a nice place right in the heart of it all.
The hotel was pretty cool. The lobby smelled like sugar cookies, so I was immediately sold.
Our favorite part of the room?
The crazy showers. You could actually see into the shower while sitting in the bedroom. Probably not the place to stay at with your parents.
For lunch, we headed to an Atlanta landmark, The Vortex.
This place is crazy. First of all, you have to be 18 years old to even enter the restaurant. Smoking is allowed. And here’s just a section of their two-page list of rules:
“ATLANTA’S FIRST OFFICIAL IDIOT-FREE ZONE
From our very first days in business, we declared our bar to be Atlanta’s first official “Idiot-Free Zone.” That simply means, at The Vortex Bar & Grill, the customer is NOT always right. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, especially if we think you’re acting like a great big jerk. We opened The Vortex because we thought it would be fun to run a bar, and it really has been. We love and appreciate all the wonderful friends we’ve made over the years, and they appreciate the fact that we do not suffer fools. So you see, an Idiot-Free Zone is a wonderful thing for everyone, except of course, the idiots.”
You can read the rest of their rules at the website. Interesting, no? As crazy as the place sounds, they’re known for their amazing burgers. So we figured if the burgers were good, then the rules were worth it!
It took a while to choose a burger, because they all sounded so good. But I eventually settled on the Tasmanian Devil burger.
The burger was coated with a pepperberry rub and topped with pepperjack cheese and pineapple salsa. And yes, I had a side of tater tots. And yes, they were delicious.
My burger was incredibly good. The pepperberry rub and pineapple salsa added tons of flavor. And believe it or not, it didn’t taste heavy like a lot of burgers do. I ate the whole thing, and I wasn’t overly stuffed!
Brandon shocked the heck out of me by ordering the Elvis burger. It was a burger topped with peanut butter, bacon, and fried bananas. My love for peanut butter and banana is obviously rubbing off on him. I’m so proud.
(And in case you’re wondering, I had a taste of his and the flavors all really worked together! It was weirdly delicious!)
In the end, we both gave The Vortex two thumbs up! I had read online reviews that said the wait staff was really rude, but we didn’t experience that at all. Everyone was really friendly, and the food was great. I’d definitely visit again!
After lunch, we decided to check out a jazz festival happening in Piedmont Park.
Piedmont Park is huge and gorgeous …
… but since it was about 100 degrees outside, we only stuck around for about an hour before we were begging for some air conditioning.
So guess where we went for that air conditioning?
Trader Joe’s!! We don’t have one near us, so I was super excited to visit the downtown location. Everyone in the blogisphere talks about Cookie Butter, so I knew I had to try it for myself.
It totally lived up to the hype. Even Brandon was impressed.
After cooling off, we headed right back out into the heat to visit Centennial Olympic Park.
My favorite part of the park was the Fountain of Rings.
According to the website, the Fountain of Rings is the world’s “largest interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol.” Several times a day, music is blasted through speakers and the fountain puts on a “performance” that syncs up to the music. It’s so cool!
After Centennial Olympic park, Brandon and I got cleaned up and headed to dinner at Agave.
The restaurant’s website describes Agave as an “eclectic southwestern eatery.” Brandon and I both love southwestern flavors, so we were excited to try it out.
As soon as we sat down, we were greeted with chips and fresh salsa.
Agave is known for their award-winning margaritas. I chose the jalapeño-infused margarita, and it was delicious. I could feel the slight heat of the jalapeños on the back of my throat, but the flavor didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the margarita. So yummy.
For his entree, Brandon chose the “Sunburned New York Strip Steak” Here’s the online description: A fresh grilled Black Angus NY Strip, herb and chile marinated and grilled over green chile & roasted yellow corn mashed potatoes topped with a smoked chile and honey BBQ sauce.
He was a big fan.
After much debating, I went with the “Chile Seared Jumbo Diver Sea Scallops.” The online description: Fresh jumbo diver sea scallops pan seared in our signature herb & chile rub served with fire roasted tomato and serrano stone ground grits and honey cider collard greens.
This dinner was so unbelievably delicious. The grits were the best I’ve ever had, and they paired perfectly with the scallops. I could have licked my plate clean (but I didn’t, because I’m a lady. ).
Following dinner, we visited our hotel’s rooftop bar.
We had been given two free drink tickets when we checked in, so we each enjoyed a cocktail while admiring the skyline.
We also had some live entertainment to add to the ambiance.
And then to finish off the day, I
stubbornly insisted kindly requested that we have dessert.
Perfect ending to a perfect day!
Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early and took advantage of our free breakfast vouchers.
I ordered the oatmeal-buttermilk hotcakes, and they were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten .
(P.S. While writing this post, I googled to see if there was a difference between ‘pancakes’ and ‘hotcakes.’ Believe it or not, it seems to be quite a hot debate!)
We finished off our Atlanta weekend with church and lunch with friends. Good stuff.
Question for ya …
What did you do this weekend?
Do you have off work today?
I don’t. I’m heading into Lifetime this morning to work until 2pm.
Can you remember where you’ve eaten the best burger in your life? How about the best pancakes?