The EGO ladies with our favorite servers
I’m on the plane headed home from my first trip to Atlanta, Georgia and I have fallen head over Southern drawl heels in love with this clean, hospitable, and historic Southern city. Until I get back I have to share some of my favorite experiences.
*Mary Mac’s Tea Room: We didn’t discover this local landmark until our second day and we enjoyed three decadent meals there before the weekend was over. Everything- literally every last thing- is made from scratch and the prices are ridiculously affordable. You’re paying breakfast chain prices, but you are diving into the best Chicken Fried Chicken, tomato pie, and sweet potatoes that you are ever had. Try the meatloaf, sip a Georgia Peach martini, or dive into some fresh peach cobbler. The best part is the huge amount of history hanging on the walls and the way that the entire team celebrates their staff. I loved hearing the story of how Mary Mac started this lovely establishment back in 1945 after the war from the proud staff. Before you leave grab some fresh made pepper sauce and their recipe book.
*The King Center
: My friend, Sam Collier
, grew up in the neighborhood where Martin Luther King, Jr’s Ebenezer Baptist Church is located and getting a tour from him was a spiritual experience. Sit in the church and listen to one of MLK Jr’s sermons, walk around the well curated rooms at the King Center, or just head across the street to visit Sam’s daddy at the Silver Star
barber shop for an authentic fade from a barber who has been in business in the neighborhood for forty years. While you’re there say hello and ask about Sam’s music career.
*MJQ Concourse: Atlanta has a variety of fancy nightclubs, but since we have a ton of those in Las Vegas we wanted the authentic Hotlanta hip hop urban experience and we found it at 11:30PM on a Saturday night at MJQ Concourse. Dress casual, bring cash (they don’t accept debit or credit cards, but drinks are all $4-$6 each), and make sure you spend some time in the smaller hip hop room. Nina and I had a blast learning how to dance properly from some locals to the Jackson Five. It’s going to be smoky, the bathrooms are going to rival outhouses, but the underground, authentic club is something you have to take in and just enjoy.
*South City Kitchen
: Thanks to the delicious fried chicken dish we made it to this local favorite twice throughout the weekend. Start with the best fried green tomatoes you have ever eaten in your entire life and proceed to the fried chicken dish with the best collard greens on planet Earth and potatoes that balance it all out. Splurge by adding a side of macaroni and cheese and, if you aren’t ready to pop by the time it’s all over dive into some buttermilk chocolate cake that will blow your mind. Prices are very affordable- about $80 for a party of three- and the customer service is impressive.
*Walk Around Midtown: In downtown Las Vegas when a guy hits on you as you walk by he will inevitably use some kind of ridiculous amateur grunt or say something brilliant like “oh yeah baby.” Classy. The culture in Altanta is downright gentlemanly. Everywhere we went we were asked by gentlemen how we were doing, complimented on how lovely we were looking, and- my personal favorite- “you girls are looking right tonight.” Throughout our six days in Atlanta we didn’t have any moments where we felt unsafe and people of all backgrounds were incredibly friendly.
*Apache Cafe on Thursday night: The music scene in Atlanta is booming and my friend Cappriccieo Scates wanted to make sure that we experienced the authentic talent living and working in Atlanta. Writing Sessions of America- Atlanta chapter, led by music industry leader Kevin Shine, does weekly singer songwriter nights that will blow your mind. Each performer was better than the last and I have no doubt that you are sure to recognize the names of Chel’le, Mylah, and J.Morris soon given their tremendous talent. This isn’t the most glamorous bar, but the customer service is top notch and the music community is warm and welcoming. Dive in and support some of the local talent before they become household names.
*The Georgian Terrace
: Our group weighed several options for accommodations, but the Ritz and the Biltmore couldn’t keep up with the Southern Charm of the Georgian Terrace. Our stay was affordable at around $150 per night with a massive room, an even more massive closet, and a bathroom that could easily accommodate the morning routine of three high maintenance ladies. Even if you don’t stay here make sure you check out P&P
in the basement for affordable appetizers, delicious sandwiches and pizza, and a $6 punch that is flat delicious no matter the night. Make sure you take the time to sit in the lobby and just admire the history and care that has gone into this beautiful hotel.
: The second largest church in the United States, Buckhead Church is led by Andy Stanley and calls themselves the church for the unchurched. No matter what your beliefs, you should attend a service- never longer than an hour and half of that is a first class music praise session sure to get you dancing. The facility is four stories and their philosophy is modern Christianity at it’s best. The leader of the facility shared that they don’t encourage non believers to dive into the faith, so they have a Starting Point program that guides interested attendees through an 8 week program. He flat said that they believe that even if you don’t believe you will still be a better person if you live your life according to Christ like principles and the sermon I watched talked about how all Christians need to be accepting and loving towards others. He didn’t come out and support gay rights, but it was the closest I’ve ever heard in a Southern church. I recommend it highly.
Growing up in Washington state I had never spent any time in the South and I confess that I had a preconceived notion that there would be confederate flags everywhere and angry gangsters. The reality could not possibly be any further from all of that. Everywhere we went- from upscale hotels to underground hip hop clubs- there was a sense of community pride and the Southern hospitality was warm no matter the demographic. I left Atlanta impressed, inspired, and ready to come back often.