I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. We had a ball eating some of the best food the south has to offer. Now, y’all know by now that a belle loves food, sweets and fun! Tamika and I had been longing to go to the Taste of Atlanta (TOA), so we were excited to attend the festival on both Saturday and Sunday.
The highlight of Saturday was meeting Chef Aarón Sanchez of Food Network. If you are a Food Network head as we are, then you know he’s a food rock star! I spotted him in the crowd and told Tamika (who did not believe me).
Aarón was so sweet and personable; he took a few pictures with us after Tamika politely asked him. If a belle hasn’t felt like a rock star before, she sure did after meeting Sanchez! If you still don’t know who he is then now is your time to Google! With our free TOA iPod/iPhone app and 15 taste coupons (tickets) each we were destined for good eats.
After walking around a bit we watched Sanchez’s demonstration at the Home Plate Main Stage near the Cadillac Lounge. Let us tell you… this lounge was nice. The weather was perfect and there were plenty of areas to sit and rest your feet all while tasting some fab eats.
Shermika and I tried everything from grilled artichoke to bread pudding to grilled cheese sandwiches and jumbo meatballs. With over 80 restaurants on hand, there was something for everyone. Food ranged from gyro’s to duck fried rice to salads to grilled corn. We will give you the run down on what we truly think about this event and some of the vendors that were there.
We know you’re wondering about the food so here goes:
Sublime Doughnuts: On Saturday I had the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup doughnut and Tamika had a warm Raspberry filled one, our mom had the dreamsicle flavor. The doughnuts were pretty good, but not overly exceptional. We noticed on Sunday their prices went up from 1 ticket to 2 tickets, which we thought was too pricey.
Tavern at Phipps– On Saturday and Sunday I had their spinach tavern chips which were quite tasty. One of the servers complained that they shouldn’t have done chips (they had to pour queso and then a spinach dip mixture) on the chips, but I think they should have mixed it all together AND not have shown their frustration in front of guests. It was a tad tacky.
Davio’s– If you remember a while back, we covered Davio’s here. We met the general manager Claude on Saturday. He is incredibly NICE. Tamika and I have to make our way to the restaurant soon. I tried pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing and it was INCREDIBLE! It tasted more like carrot cake to me, but you could taste the slight hint of pumpkin. The portion size was great. It was so good that we couldn’t take a picture because it was gone too fast. ;0)
California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar– The guy serving these was hilarious! He swore we would love their food if we tried it. I’m not a big pork eater, so I tried a little of my mom’s. The sauce was good and the meat was falling off the bone. I would definitely visit this place–especially since the employees were so fun.
Williamson Brothers BBQ– Our mom loved their ribs! She’s been talking about them since she first tried them on Saturday. Trust us when we say that she is a BBQ aficionado. They had the best ribs at the TOA! I tried their smoked sausage which I had to wait for since they didn’t have it on Saturday. Shermika enjoyed the lemonade they had on Saturday, and I must say it was divine.
The food servers were extremely friendly and didn’t seem to mind the crowds. Shermika tried the chicken and said it was good. For 3 tickets, you got a good deal here!
Highland Bakery-I tried a miniature pumpkin cupcake and it was really good. I will definitely visit this bakery when I’m in town. Y’all know I love sweets. I raved about them to Tamika. Plus, their servers were so personable and fun!
Chobani truck-This truck was giving out samples of their new kid’s yogurt. I waited about 3 minutes while both workers talked to a friend about using their TOA tickets to get more food tickets. The lady gave the guy 2 TOA tickets and encouraged him to get his 20 taste coupons.
I don’t have a problem with someone helping anyone, BUT I was annoyed at having to wait 3+ minutes while TWO workers repeated the same thing to an apparent friend. They completely disregarded me to boast about food coupons. You would have thought a belle was invisible. Needless to say, we walked off and will not be buying any Chobani products.
Ibiza Bites (Food Truck)– This food truck was very nicely decorated. You can tell that they not only take their food seriously, but their appearance. Isn’t their truck gorge? Shermika devoured the White Chocolate Apple Bread pudding w/caramel drizzle. It was worth going back for seconds! We really loved that the TOA had so many food trucks on hand. What a great idea!
Rí Rá Irish Pub– One word: FAB! The staff was fast, friendly and the food was even better. You had a choice of tartar sauce/malt vinegar (my fav) and ketchup to eat with this 3 ticket meal. After eating this I was set for the day! Seriously. LOVED it so much that I didn’t want to share with Shermika, although I did share with our mom.
Suno Dessert– This frozen treat was unreal. Our mom had the strawberry/Kiwi mix. This dessert is frozen shaved condensed milk topped with different flavors. A must try! Shermika had the original with caramel topping. She loved it! We even scored gift cards for providing our email addresses. Can you say SWEET!
Bricktop’s– I enjoyed their grilled artichoke, but it wasn’t the best that I’ve had. I could have used a little salt/pepper/extra virgin olive oil to make this vegetable fab. If it had seasoning I couldn’t taste it.
Yogli Mogli Frozen Yogurt– The serving size was a joke for 3 tickets (this large cup is deceptive). It tasted very good though. This strawberry yogurt was the best I’ve tasted in a long time. I think it should have been at least 2 tickets, but I guess it’s worth it if you are into toppings being that you could get as many as you wanted. I am not so much into toppings and I only added them to get my ticket’s worth.
Taco Mac– Very good wings. If you read our blog often you know how we feel about wings! Friendly staff and very reasonably priced! We’ll have to pay them a visit when we’re in town.
Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream– We’ve tried this company in the past. Overall, their ice cream is tasty, but their Krispy Kreme flavor should be taken off the menu. It tasted like cooking oil. Shermika really enjoyed the other flavor she had after dumping the top flavor in a nearby trash can. They had really eclectic flavors and we would definitely pay them a visit.
Cascal Fermented Soda– Shockingly tasty! This company has some exotic flavors that you would never have dreamed of for a soda. If you are ever in Whole Foods you must try it. Shermika is not a soda drinker by any means, but enjoyed the drink. The servers were friendly, but the survey girl needs to find a new gig. She wasn’t very pleasant. Overall A-!
If you’ve experienced the TOA, but haven’t gone VIP–you should. Here’s what we thought about this area. Was it worth the $75 price for a one-day ticket? YES and here’s why.
Unlimited wine, beer and cocktails.
You get to watch a live bartending competition.
VIP Seminars & a nice area to sit and taste.
If you’re an early bird, you get a sweet VIP goodie bag. It was filled to the brim with goodies like cayenne pepper, organic chocolate, cups, an oven mitt, and more!
On Saturday the VIP area was fun and crowded. Upon walking in, Shermika and I were greeted with smiling friendly faces. We enjoyed every second! VIP’s got to sip on a seemingly unlimited supply of various wines. Shermika tried several brands that she seemed to enjoy. I mostly got a thrill out of seeing how others were reacting. Shermika raved about the Bartending Competition and tried one cocktail. It was VERY CROWDED in that area; the crowd loved that they got to vote on the best drink/bartender.
I met a nice lady in line while waiting on grilled cheese sandwiches and we shared a few words. It excites me to converse with other foodies about food and share a laugh or two. At one point the lady and I laughed when I told her Shermika was going to try every wine before the closing of the event. I tease her all the time about this because she loves wine.
We really loved the red plates that had a compartment for your wine glass to sit in. My only wish is that the VIP area would have had water/juice/soda available because not everyone drinks alcohol. If it was there, I didn’t see it and neither did others that shared my thoughts.
Our little feet were hurting after so much walking, but we enjoyed ourselves very much. We hate we missed Cake Crusades, along with a few other demonstrations. We got to check out Into the Food Studio and it was really cool. Though we experienced some rudeness, our weekend was still grand and made fab by all the other nice folks. We ate great food, watched a BBQ showdown and enjoyed each other. The TOA was an awesome event and we look forward to making it a tradition.
These are just a few of the many photos/eats that we tried. We would need another post to tell you about all the other treats we ate!!
If you are hungry for more photos then look to the right of the blog for our Flickr feed. Or, head on over to our Flickr slideshow to see MORE pics, or see if you can spot yourself or someone you know! So, any thoughts?
Thanks to all of you that check us out at: al.com!! We love ya!
Thank you to BRAVE PR for inviting us to the TOA on Sunday. We thank you so much for your kindness/staff!