restaurant review:: h. harper station

I’ve heard about H. Harper Station for a while now, so I was excited to check it out for a friend’s birthday dinner recently. It’s located on Memorial Drive in a neighborhood called Reynoldstown and the restaurant itself is shaped like a train depot. The inside is fairly small and narrow, but it’s a cool atmosphere.

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From what I’ve heard, they’re known for their cocktails, so naturally, I had to try one. I chose the Ruby Slipper, which was made with vodka, grapefruit, rosemary syrup, soda water, and a sprig of rosemary for garnish. It lived up to the hype.


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I think this was my favorite thing on the menu… bacon cracker jacks!! So simple, salty, and delicious. We also tried the deviled eggs and the smoked pimiento cheese with crispy bread. We gobbled up every last bite of all 3 apps.

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The menu is fairly small, so there weren’t a ton of options that I’d have chosen. Most of our party chose the Beltline Burger, and it did not disappoint. And it came with a side of crispy garlic herb tater tots, which is never a bad thing. 
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Excuse the dark iphone photo… these are crispy donut holes with Morelli’s coffee ice cream! If you don’t know Morelli’s, then you need to find out about it. They have arguably the best ice cream in the city. My favorite is the salted caramel. YUM!
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restaurant review:: salad bar @ the loews hotel

Ladies who lunch!

I started the week off with a lovely lunch in Midtown Atlanta. I met a few girlfriends who also work in the Midtown/Downtown area at the Loews Hotel on Monday to try out the salad bar  that the restaurant Eleven offers during lunch hours. We sat outside, and the weather was absolutely perfect — definitely didn’t feel like July in Georgia.

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For just $10, you can create your own salad from a variety of  lettuces, vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, meat, and dressings. The meal also includes an assortment of fresh breads (including corn bread and individual ramekins of soft butter) and a dessert of the day. It’s not huge, but it’s certainly the nicest salad bar I’ve ever been to.

We started off with gigantic mixing bowls to go through the line with, which was sort of funny. I think we all made the mistake of filling our bowls too full, because we all had leftovers. The salad was delicious, the cornbread was sweet and buttery, and the dessert (flourless chocolate cake with some sort of cream center) was sinfully rich. They also brought out a bowl of what looked to be salty homemade potato chips, which I couldn’t stop eating. And one of my favorite parts was the iced tea presentation! It was served with a mini glass pitcher for refills as well as a flight of 4 different simple syrup sweeteners. So pretty!


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They have a regular lunch menu that includes options like the McDaddy Burger (double decker georgia beef patty, local cheddar, bacon, mushrooms, sunny side up egg) that also sound tasty, but I will definitely be back for the salad bar. I loved having an excuse to do something a little different for lunch during the work week with some lovely ladies!

restaurant review:: Kevin Rathbun Steak

Kevin Rathbun Steak. I sometimes forget about this fab restaurant because it’s in a sort of off-the-beaten path location in the Inman Park area, which is across town from us. We have been visiting KRS every so often for years now, and I’ve always been impressed with our experience. Recently, we dined there while my parents were in town, and all 6 of us agreed that it was one of the best meals we’ve had in quite a while. I also love the ambiance in the restaurant… dark, lots of wood, and really neat stained glass accents at the bar.

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I don’t have photos of the starters and main dishes, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. From start to finish, everything was delicious.  We love some appetizers, so we tried the Eggplant Fries, Grilled Thick Cut Bacon, and Lobster Fritters. The Eggplant Fries were definitely the surprise hit of the table — plump, crispy, flavorful, and covered with powdered sugar for good measure. The Bacon was  quite different — the sauce included molasses and sriracha, which made for an interesting flavor combo. And who doesn’t love fried lobster?

For the main course, most of us had various steaks. My steak came out a little less cooked than I’d have liked, but restaurants almost never cook it to my liking (except Hal’s — they’e got it down). The Caesar salad was big enough to share (2 of us did).  We also shared several sides among the table, including Creamed Spinach, Jalapeno Creamed Corn, Cheddar Grits, and Parmesan Fries. They were all fantastic.

On to dessert — not sure how we had one bit of room left! We shared the Espresso Bon-Bons, Berry Tart, and I think a Bread Pudding, although I have to confess that I can’t quite remember what it was, even with the photo below. But either way, all three were so good that we contemplated ordering a second round. Talk about gluttons for punishment, right?

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Had to sneak in a photo of a couple of my beautiful dining partners::
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I can’t wait to go back to Kevin Rathbun — just hope it’s on someone else’s dime, because I’d likely break the bank ordering one of everything on the menu.

restaurant review:: Del Frisco’s Grille

For Father’s Day brunch, we decided to try Del Frisco’s Grille in Buckhead. We’d heard great things about the dinner menu, and as soon as we saw the brunch options, we were sold.

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Such a hard decision. We’ll definitely be back soon for dinner.
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Of course we’d need 3 starters for brunch… from the top:: Grit Cakes with buffalo sauce and blue cheese, Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, and Fried Pimiento Cheese Balls. I think the unanimous favorite were the egg rolls, but I’d order them all again.

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The Grille Benedit with a crab cake instead of ham:: my SIL ordered this and loved it. The presentation was great (as it was with all of the dishes), and cheddar biscuits were to die for. I’d order it just for those.

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Half of our table ordered the Chicken & Waffles with Hickory Smoked Bacon. Something about miniature food really appeals to me. Everything was really good, but I wish the waffles had been a tad thinner and crispier. It was served with a spicy maple syrup that was apparently quite spicy… I opted for the regular version.
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It would have been wrong to not try the Nutella Bread Pudding…and the Adult Milkshake (not pictured). Both were a fabulous way to end the meal.
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Some of my favorite dining partners::
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restaurant review:: The Optimist

Last weekend, my parents came into town for Father’s Day weekend. Per usual when they visit, we book reservations to eat our way around Atlanta. What can I say — I get my love of food honestly, I guess. My brother had really been wanting to try The Optimist, the new seafood hot spot on the Westside, so we made reservations for the night they arrived.

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The restaurant is appealing as soon as you walk up — 3 mini putting greens, oyster shells as “mulch” along the walkways, and giant bright blue adirondack chairs to use when there is a wait. Guests enter at the oyster bar, where the wood fired oven is the focal point — complete with a mural of a giant octopus encircling the oven’s opening. I was told that the restaurant was designed by the same team responsible for JCT Kitchen’s decor, and it’s obvious with the metal pendant lights, rustic wooden tables, whitewashed walls, and a cool bar that’s the main attraction in the room.

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We started out with some fun cocktails, like the 5-Gallon Carboy (Redemption rye, strawberries, lemon, All-spice Dram, Allagash White ale) and the Scurvy Scoundrel (Deep Eddy vodka, house made grapefruit cordial, lime), and a large amount of appetizers…par for the course with our family. Oysters, mussels, shrimp, rolls with sea salt, and “beignet style” corn milk hushpuppies were brought to the table just as a HUGE storm rolled in. Dark clouds, thunder, crazy lightning, and tons of rain are no big deal right? Wrong. Not 10 minutes after ordering our dinner, every light in the building went out. Luckily, we were on the edge of the restaurant near some floor-to-ceiling windows, so we had a bit of light on our table. Those in the center of the restaurant (near the soon-to-be very smoky kitchen) did not fare so well. We had such high hopes for our dinner, so we held strong for a while… until it was apparent that the lights weren’t coming on any time soon — there or anywhere within a several block radius.

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I obviously can’t speak to how the entrees were since we never got them, but we’d ordered the duckfat poached swordfish, cornmeal crusted skate wing, and black grouper, among other things. I’m sure it would have been excellent. They also have some really enticing desserts — the Savannah Beignets with bourbon praline and fired pecans being my #1 choice. Ah well… now we have a really good excuse to try it again soon — hopefully next time sans power outage.