(Featured image via wcsr.com/)
One of the cities I get to visit most frequently is Atlanta, Georgia. One of my very best friends lives there with her sweet family and I try to get up there at least once a year to visit with them. We do a lot of college girlfriend reunions, but this time, it was just me driving up to see my friend Kylie and her husband and son for a fun weekend getaway.
We started the weekend with dinner and drinks at The Optimist, a popular local seafood restaurant that feels like an upscale fish camp. Fresh oysters are brought in from all over the country- from the Gulf coast in Alabama to the Atlantic coast in Massachusetts and Virginia. We shared a dozen raw oysters and the charred Spanish octopus before ordering our mains. I had the mangrove snapper which was light and fresh with only some lemon and sea salt to enhance the already delectable fish. Since entrees come a la carte, we ordered the basmati fried rice to share. To finish the evening, we each ordered a salted caramel ice cream and lychee sorbet. If individual ice cream sounds unnecessary, just trust me; you won’t want to share it! What to order: Definitely don’t miss the charred Spanish octopus and the salted caramel ice cream.
After dinner, we saw The Whigs perform at local concert venue Terminal West. Terminal West is just the right size for a big crowd that still feels intimate and we had a great time listening to one of my friend’s husband’s favorite bands. The 7000 square foot venue is in a renovated iron and steel foundry that was once used to manufacture plows. An outdoor roof deck provides a view of the historic train tracks. There are multiple bars, which definitely helps move things along so you can avoid standing in line when you just want to watch the show.
After a fun-filled Saturday spent driving around town and relaxing by the pool, we went out for a sushi and Thai dinner at Bua. I am always down for sushi and Asian food; it’s easily one of my favorite types of cuisine. My only problem was that everything on the menu looked so amazing that I had a hard time narrowing it down to decide what to order. I ordered the basil eggplant, which was delicious and just as spicy as I was hoping. The winning dish, however, was the panang chicken with red curry, coconut milk, basil, and red pepper. What to order: Panang Chicken
The next morning, we signed up for a spinning class at Atmasphere, a local boutique gym that emphasizes the mind-body-soul connection in fitness. The owners are a former cycling champion and a yoga instructor. From the signature scent of the facility to the meditation hall and yoga room, Atmasphere seems to have thought of all of the little details. I appreciated that shoes were provided for the class and our stats were broadcast on large TVs in the front of the room (although I would have appreciated if the instructor had given a short lesson on what the numbers meant as some were not self-explanatory). My only complaint would be that the classroom was a bit too warm for my liking, so my favorite part of class was when the instructor passed around ice-cold, personal eucalyptus towels at the end of class. It was a treat!
After our workout and before I had to get on the road to go home, Kylie and I had a quick lunch at Cafe Vendome, a French bakery that feels like it was pulled right out of Paris (and it basically was!). The owner is a French-American citizen who moved to the United States in the 1990s and the pastry chef is also a native of France. The fact that the cafe was sold out of nearly all of the pastries only a little after noon will tell you how authentic and delicious it is! I ordered a chicken salad and Kylie had a sandwich. We shared a few madelines for dessert along with our coffees. I definitely want to return on a future visit to sample more of the sinful pastries!
And that’s it! Thank you for reading, and thanks so much to Kylie and Zach for the hospitality and for always showing me such a great time in Atlanta!