24 Hours in The Big Peach - A Quick Getaway to ATLBy Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny
A little over a month ago Edible Skinny headed to Atlanta for the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival (Kelly Grace Thomas and mine script MAGIC LITTLE PILLS was an official SELECTION at this year’s winter festival!!!)! So naturally while hobnobbing it at the Atlanta film scene (there’s a reason the city is called Hollywood of the South) I decided Edible Skinny should experience all that the city of Atlanta had to offer for 24 hours! ;-)
Hot’ Lanta it wasn’t... With lots of winter rain happening this trip, there were copious amounts of coffee consumed just too keep warm. But still I got my travel on, exploring the City Too Busy To Hate! Which BTWs is another one of the city of Atlanta’s nicknames along with: The A, The ATL, City of Trees, The Empire City of the South, Dogwood City, The Big Peach.
So here’s life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and living it up in The Big Peach!
THE DANCING GOATS BAR MIDTOWN
Coffee, coffee, and more coffee!!! Keeping warm meant imbibing loads of caffeine (making it VERY similar to Edible Skinny’s trips to another film festival in Park City, Utah... the Sundance Film Festival...), thus my first stop after hopping off the MARTA (Atlanta’s version of a Metro) was The Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in Midtown.
This cafe is actually owned by the coffee company Batdorf & Bronson, so (naturally) they use Batdorf & Bronson coffee beans (which are killer)! The brand started in Olympia, WA (where there are 5 cafes) before emigrating to Atlanta (where there are 3 cafes). With over thirty years, roasting exceptional coffee, their cup of Joe is exceptionally perky. These cafe locations are named after Batdorf & Bronson’s signature coffee: The Dancing Goats, which flavoring is bold and toasty with hints of chocolate, spice. And so I grabbed a Café Au Lait and headed on a walk around the city! Basking in the glory of classic Tudor Revival mansions (the Margaret Mitchell House was around the corner) contrasted with the rainbow colors of the city’s gay district.
ATLANTA COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL
And then it was ready for my screenplay close up, at the screening and after party at the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema! As mentioned before Kelly Grace Thomas and mine script MAGIC LITTLE PILLS was an official SELECTION at this year’s winter festival!!! Magic Little Pills: a comedy about life, love and vitamin pyramid schemes!!
Running for the last four years, the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival is a unique forum for comedy filmmakers and television producers to showcase their creative works in Atlanta, Georgia (aka Hollywood of the South). The Atlanta Comedy Film Festival showcases short comedy films, web series, funny music videos, and commercials from all over the world.
Post screening, the awards ceremony took place at Apres Diem to recognize the best of the best filmmakers for their creative work. The vibe was a relaxed yet sophisticated take on the European style of dining with kickass cocktails. I sipped on a Midnight Kiss (Prosecco, Saint Germain & Splash of Cranberry) while cheering on my fellow comedians!
HOT JAMS SWING
Most times when I write a travel article, I only mention the highlights; editing out the snafus that can occur through truly experiencing a city for the first time. The missed last train of the night (which happened in Amsterdam last year...) to the time you arrive at a restaurant someone recommended only discover it has since closed. Life isn’t perfect, and neither is travel.
So on that Sunday in Atlanta, most of my evening was spent getting ready and traveling to Hot Jams Swing, one of the hottest weekly dance events in Atlanta. The jamming event takes place on Monday Nights at Ambient+Studios. There you’ll find people of all ages and abilities dancing to swing era jams played by local DJs or even a live band. As the review said on Yelp, “Swing - the way grandma used to make it. The location is a tad off of the beaten path, but all you have to do is follow the music to find this often packed but always inviting dance hall. If you've never danced before worry not, there is always a free lesson before the start of the dance and there are plenty of friendly folks willing to show you a step or two.”
This event sounded like AN ABSOLUTE BLAST and thus I was raring to dance my booty off that night. But it was only after I arrived at Ambient+Studios that I discovered that although this dance event is one of the hottest events on Monday nights, not a thing happens on Sunday when you get your days mixed up. But as they say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.”
But just you bet, next time we’re in ATL (on a Monday) this will be my ABSOLUTE JAM!!!
Regardless of last night’s missed connections, the next day began with some more caffeine. This time courtesy of Drip located in Hapeville (which is home to the very first Chick-fil-A and has a ton of AMAZING murals throughout the town), This coffee spot has all the fixings for a Silverlake hipster hangout: cool colorings, sleek modern design, FREE WiFi, and reclaimed wood accents.
I ordered a Clever Drip (similar to a pour over, but the coffee sits longer before being dumped all at once, resulting in a strong cup of Joe). Hello New Discovery!!! The method crafted a delicate flavor profile allowing the fruitiness of this light roast Ethiopian blend to shine. It was the perfect start to my second day of exploring ATLA!
I swear I’m the only person who travels to Atlanta forgoes BBQ for coffee and ethnic food… but with all of the December rain Pho sounded like the perfect pick me up. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Dua Vietnamese Noodle Soup has been pouring authentic Pho and other great Vietnamese dishes to GSU students and downtown businesses for years! As I approached a line spilled into the sidewalk; you know a place is good if the queue goes past the door frame! With four locations in the ATL area, these are the Vietnamese dishes that keep Atlanta locals always coming back. A fast casual concept it still took 20 minutes for my meal after ordering. But when it arrived: Heaven in a bowl!!! Absolutely worth the wait! Open everyday except Sunday (because this is the South…).
LAND OF THOUSAND HILLS COFFEE
And what was this trip if not one more coffee shop! Turns out I saved the best for last at the Land of Thousand Hills Coffee. Located in the Flatiron Building aka FlatironCity, Atlanta's oldest skyscraper established in 1897. The building was dubbed The Flatiron Building because of its narrow triangular iron like shape. It has sister buildings in New York City and Toronto. FlatironCity is now home to Microsoft Innovation Center, Women’s Entrepreneurship Institute, 20+ entrepreneurs and startups. (It is also across the street from Woodruff Park which has the most AWESOME children’s playground shaped like the city’s airport code).
With a motto of Drink Coffee. Do Good. Land of Thousand Hills Coffee embraces the concept of quality coffee, with a conscience. Specialty coffee makes up only 10% of the industry, and Land of Thousand Hills Coffee is consistently placed above that in the top 5%. I opted for the off menu Duane (suggested by a VERY HELPFUL barista): crafted of Brown sugar, Vanilla, and Cinnamon. It was like my taste buds were swing dancing in Bob Ross’ fluffy little clouds! Yummm (with 3 Ms!!!)!!!
Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com
By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny