Saturday, October 25, 2014

W71: Atlanta Mini-Vacay

When I was recently sent to Atlanta, GA for work, 
I took the opportunity not only to learn 
from the training I was attending 
but also to check out a city I'd never been to 
that my brother-in-law, Brian, just so happens to live in!
Since my trip was covered...
and being the frugal travelers that we are...
we bought a plane ticket for David and rented a car
so that we could both visit with Brian
and get a mini-vacation out of the deal for cheap!

Since training took up most of my time during the day,
we spent a lot of time exploring the nightlife that Georgia has to offer.

Our first night there,
Brian took us to Oktoberfest in Helen, GA.

 
David found his twin
in one of the many murals canvasing the walls of Helen, GA!
...and I found mine...
These were the awesome polka/yodeling bands
featured the night we were there!
David with his brother, Brian!
There may have been some dancing...
 Then, we may have gotten a little carried away
taking photos around town...
This town had not one but TWO jerky houses!
David and Brian had a lot of fun turning this one
into a Jerk House.
Brian's new friends...
Because it was there...
David crowned himself king...
of what I'm still not sure...
She,
In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.
She,
Within herself,
Found loveliness
Through the soul's own mastery.
And now the world receives
From her dower.
The message of strength
Of inner power.
--"Helen Keller" by Langston Hughes--

We loved hanging out in Helen, GA for the night.
The next time we're in the area, we'll have to
explore more during the day!

David and I also investigated
the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel and downtown one night.








Now, on to what really matters...
Fooooooood!

For lunch one day, David and I,
along with my co-worker, Abbie,
ventured to Slice & Pint
.
Slice & Pint is a pizzeria/brewery with a really interesting concept.
They subscribe to the four main food groups: beer, pizza, chocolate, and other stuff...
The entire place really incorporates all of the elements that go into crafting beer
(from photos of grain on the walls right down to the beer tap water faucets in the bathrooms).

As far as the pizza goes, it was pretty darn good! 
They offer something called "2nd Mortgage Toppings" which seemed only appropriate
since I was in town for lending compliance training...
HIGHLY RECOMMEND the house-made mozzarella & Heywood's pepperoni!
  For dinner one night, Brian took David and I
along with Abbie
to Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.
Since we were in Atlanta, I felt it was surely a requirement
to seek out some good Southern barbeque.
All of my research said Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q had some of the best cookin' around.
And, though my brisket was pretty delicious, I have to say I'm still partial to
Black Dog Smoke & Ale House back home...

Hands down, David and I found
our best food/drink/atmosphere experience
in all of Atlanta was at
the Porter Beer Bar!

The Porter Beer Bar is located in Little Five Points which is a really interesting neighborhood
itself if you have the time to wander around (which we didn't).
This food is to die for!  Seriously, I thought I had died and gone to heaven...

If you only order one thing on the menu (besides beer)
it should be the Porter's Signature Hush Puppies!
Made with applewood smoked bacon and white cheddar, these babies are served
with some delicious nectar called Austin's organic fuji apple sauce.
It reminds me of apple butter except better and it is the perfect complement
to those crispy little balls of dough.

We also partook of the Belgian Fries and Goat Cheese Fritters. Yum!
And, I probably would have continued ordering appetizers all night if I could have.

Apparently, they also have beer here...
something ridiculous too, like 40 beers on tap and 800+ bottles.
Needless to say, David was a happy camper.
I do need to give a shout-out to our amazing waitress (who's name we didn't catch).
She was very knowledgeable and super cool with us having no idea what we wanted
and randomly ordering appetizers throughout the night.
You rock!
 Later that same night, we met up with Brian
at The Vortex Bar & Grill.
The Vortex is also located in Little Five Points.
It has some really awesome burgers which have actually been voted
the best burgers in Atlanta.

I was stuffed from the appetizers at the Porter, but David and Brian both
ordered burgers and were not disappointed.

For me, the vibe of this place was pretty cool.
They have a long list of rules for how to behave in the bar
(and towards the bar) printed right on the menu. 
Make sure you read them to get a feel of the type of place this is.
And, they have a motorcycle with a skeleton on it
hanging from the ceiling right in the middle of the room
which Brian and I thought was pretty cool.

On our last night in Atlanta, David and I went to dinner at Six Feet Under with Brian and Abbie.
Across from the Oakland Cemetery,
is a bar/seafood restaurant called Six Feet Under.
I think we ordered a good portion of the menu
(left to right: Catfish, Buffalo Shrimp, Fish & Chips, Gator Bites)
(top to bottom: Blackened Shrimp N' Grits, Chimichurri Sirloin, Seafood Gumbo)
Here is a photo of me trying alligator for the first time!
My favorite part is Abbie looking on in terror...
I actually liked alligator! To me, it tasted like chicken with a slightly chewier texture.
Abbie could not be persuaded to try any. :-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There's no denying these two are brothers.
Although the week went by far too fast, we had a great time,
and Abbie and I learned A LOT about lending compliance!

Thanks, Brian, for being such a good host!
Hopefully we'll make it back soon. :-)

Coming up... Week 72:  At first I was afraid... I was petrified... (aka Zombie Survival Race!)

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