Tastes of Atlanta (Part 1)

Day 1 in Atlanta could also be dubbed the “Top Chef Tour”. Our first stop was lunch at Richard BlaisFlip Burger Boutique. Richard was another favorite of mine on one of the past seasons…and another one that didn’t win the big prize, but still won my devotion. I’d heard his little boutique served up some imaginative burgers, and turns out I’d heard right.

There was so much on the menu I would have loved to order, but with a full day of shopping ahead of us, I also didn’t want to get so full that I couldn’t button the clothes I’d be trying on! So we had to be strategic in ordering. Bypassing the starchier sides, we settled on the beet & goat cheese salad, smokey jalapeno slaw and the zucchini. Okay, so the zucchini was fried, but it wasn’t heavy. Coated in panko and parmesan cheese, those little zucchini fries were so good and totally addictive!

Flip Burger’s
panko & parmesan zucchini fries with gremolata mayo

My sister also lightened things up a bit by getting her burger sans bun, instead choosing the lettuce wrap option. And her choice in burger? The “Burger of Today”, Wild Turkey. Made up of berbere spiced turkey, cranberry ketchup, smoked gouda, whiskey glaze, apple, arugula & celery salad, it was unlike any other burger either of us had ever tasted.

It was so good that she kept bringing it up all afternoon, even going into our evening meal saying that she didn’t know how anything else she ate on the trip was going to top it. We’ll see about that…

The Butcher’s Cut

My choice was the Butcher’s Cut, which after reading numerous reviews, seems to be the favorite of the masses. Made up of 1/3 lb beef patty, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, red wine jam, frisee, and pickled shallots, it was definitely a tasty concoction. But to be honest, my sister’s stole the show.

If you’re ever in Atlanta, be sure to check out Flip Burger, and also be sure to eat way more than I did. Then come back and tell me about it please!

Fast forward a few hours. Now exhausted from shopping and famished, it was time to head to Kevin Gillespie‘s Woodfire Grill for dinner. One simple word sums up the experience: remarkable. From start to finish, the service was flawless, the atmosphere was comfortable (big cushy pillows in the booth to move around to our liking!) and the food beyond impressive.

And it wasn’t just the food that was impressive. We were served one of the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time (outside of The Patterson House of course): The Farmer’s Daughter, a mixture of Square One vodka, freshly muddled mint, cucumber, lemon juice, ginger shrub, and ginger beer. Ahhh…delightful, crisp, refreshing.

Now a look at the food. The wonderful, wonderful food:

First Courses

Local Baby Mixed Lettuce Salad
local cherry tomato salad, fennel fronds, marinated anchovy, black olive oil

Sweet Corn Soup
toasted coconut, lime zest, jalapeno puree, cilantro stem

Second Courses

Pan Roasted Diver Scallop
cabbage with currants and almonds, glazed baby carrots,
ginger-carrot puree, pomegranate molasses

Spice Roasted Okra
local butter beans and french horn mushrooms,
green bean salad, crisp fried shallots

Oh yeah, I’m making this. I might never be able to make it taste this good, but I’m making it. Mark my words.

Main Entrees

Wood Grilled Local Bobwhite Quail
caramelized squash puree, garlic roasted filet beans, lemon oil, morel powder

This one might not be winning any awards for beauty, but it got high marks in flavor. Remember how my sister didn’t think she could eat anything else that day the was better than her burger? Well, she ate those words when she took the first bite of this quail. This was a-maz-ing.

Pan Seared King Salmon
baby fennel, fennel-olive oil emulsion, marinated small tomatoes,
cucumber-melon-basil relish

Reservations for Woodfire can be hard to come by, and for good reason. This is a place I would go back to again and again and again if it were here in Nashville. Did you hear that Kevin? A second location could only be a good thing, right??

Flip Burger
1587 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-7648
(404) 343-1609

Woodfire Grill
1782 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30324-4922
(404) 347-9055