restaurant review:: TRACE at W Midtown

My parents came in town last weekend to celebrate both mine and my dad’s birthdays, which we all love to do together. We had one night that we were able to do a big celebration dinner, so I made a reservation at a new place we hadn’t been to — TRACE at the W Midtown. It recently replaced Spice Market, and I have to say, I’m a big fan. We first heard of TRACE at the ATL Food & Wine Festival a few months ago. They had the most delicious (and adorable) mini chicken pot pies, and I just HAD to come back for more. 

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I loved the ambiance at TRACE. Tall ceilings and huge windows letting in tons of natural light, stacks of cookbooks on shelves by the bar, and a shabby-chic sort of decor, including that giant wall of decorative pots. So cute!
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That’s my cute mom!
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They have a fun cocktail menu, and it was hard to make a decision. I don’t remember the name of mine, but it was a “Georgia” cocktail made with Tito’s vodka, strawberries, and a peppercorn syrup.
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We started with the Roasted Corn Hush Puppies (perfectly crispy), Grilled Chicken Wings (which smelled SO good), and the Deviled Eggs (which I don’t eat, but they were gobbled up pretty quickly). We didn’t end up getting them, but the Chicken and Waffles sounded fun — they do a different take on the dish by frying the chicken in waffle batter!
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All I’d been thinking about was the Chicken Pot Pie, so my entree ordering was easy. In fact, all 3 ladies at the table chose this dish. All 3 guys chose the Family Farm Burger, made with a short rib and brisket patty. The pot pie was perfect — filled with chicken, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and peas, and it was topped with a giant, fluffy biscuit. It was a large portion — perfect for lunch leftovers!
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We were really impressed with the service at TRACE. The manager stopped by a few times to check on us, and our server was incredibly attentive. They knew it was 2 of our birthdays, and they brought out not one, but THREE complimentary desserts for the table. From top, we had the flourless chocolate cake, goat cheese cheesecake, and peach cobbler. They were all fantastic, but I think everyone agreed that we couldn’t get enough of the cobbler. I  also enjoyed the turquoise icing messages on the plates. 🙂 
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If you’re near the Midtown area, be sure to check out TRACE. I can’t wait to go back for some more pot pie!

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!