Sunday, October 26, 2014

Atlanta Trip Part 1 - Hampton Inn, Bocado & 5 Seasons Westside


This past week we ate our way through a vacation in Atlanta, GA.  Prior to our trip, we did a lot of research looking for the best places to eat in the area.  Some of the websites I referenced were Atlanta Magazine’s list of the 50 Best Restaurants, Thrillist’s guide to eating around town, The Tatum’s 12 Unique Restaurants in Atlanta, Atlanta Eater’s 38 Essential Atlanta Restaurants, Bon Appetit’s 10 Sandwiches You Must Eat Now, and Southern Living’s 100 Best Restaurants in the South.

There were so many places we wanted to try, but we only had 4 days.  We did manage to eat a lot (we walked a lot too – but I doubt it cancelled out all our calories!)  I’m breaking our Atlanta adventures into 4 posts, otherwise it would be way too long…

We drove most of the way after work Sunday night.  I rarely eat fast food, but we did stop at a KFC/Taco Hut on the way (it wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, but it was actually one of the best designed fast food restaurants I’ve ever seen!)

We stayed at a Hampton Inn in Perry, GA.  I love Hamptons because they have DIY Belgian waffles at their breakfast buffet.  And they always turn out perfectly because their cups tell you exactly how far to fill with batter & the waffle irons have timers that beep when they’re perfectly golden. 


We drove the last 1½ hours to Atlanta after breakfast – stopping at one of the filming locations for The Walking Dead on the way to the zoo.  There are only 12 pandas in the US, and 4 of them are at Zoo Atlanta!   And it is the only place in the US with twin panda babies.  I had never seen one before, so I was pretty excited.  I was worried that maybe we’d get there and the pandas would be asleep at the back of the cage, but they were actually very active!  I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them. 

After the zoo & checking in to our hotel, we headed to Bocado for an early dinner.  Multiple articles I read recommended the Bocado Burger Stack.  We both ordered burgers with their herb fries and beers (I had the Allagash White & Lance had Bell’s Two Hearted Ale). 

The burgers were super simple, but delicious.  They stack two patties with American cheese and house made pickles.  They came out really quickly after we ordered (since two thin patties take almost no time to cook).  Most restaurants try to put crazy toppings on burgers or make them super-thick, but these were actually perfect with minimal ingredients.  The fries came with a dill dipping sauce – the herbs were great, but I’d prefer the fries to be a bit crunchier. 

It was a Monday night so there weren’t many diners in the restaurant, yet our waitress seemed rushed and a bit flustered.  Maybe she didn’t have many others helping her that night, but there were maybe 4 other tables so we didn’t really understand her hurry. 

Afterwards we walked across the street to 5 Seasons Westside – a restaurant and brewery with 3 locations around Atlanta.  We had chosen this bar because they had the Steelers game playing on their TV.  A quote when we first walked in said it was the “center for beer culture in Atlanta.”  We headed upstairs to their patio to enjoy the cool weather. 

Our waiter, again, seemed hurried despite the lack of customers, and we could tell he was bothered that we only wanted the drink & dessert menus. 

I ordered the Impressionism Saison & Lance had the Iron Horse IPA.  Mine was tart & fruity, and I’m not normally an IPA fan, but I liked the Iron Horse.  The waiter said they make their IPA less hoppy so it is more “drinkable” to appeal to a wider audience.  Lance does like hoppy though, and I know most beer-lovers do as well.  Their drink menu says that the Travel Channel voted them #2 craft brewery in the country.  While it was good, I’m still far more impressed with the Tampa/St. Pete craft beers. 

For dessert we got the Banana & Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cashews and Rum Butter.  Wow it was amazing!  And the portion was pretty large for a $5 dessert at a restaurant. 

We had planned to stay for the game, but the upstairs employees seemed anxious to head out (they are open until 12am, and it was barely past 9pm…)  They must close off that section of the restaurant when they’re having a slow night.  The downstairs actually seemed like more of an inviting atmosphere, but we were worn out and headed back to the hotel to finish the game (the Steelers won! Yay!)
Check out the next few posts for the rest of our Atlanta food adventures!

Bocado is located at 887 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 and is open 11:30am – 2pm for lunch, then 5:30pm – 9:30pm for dinner Monday through Fridays, 5:30pm – 9:30pm only for dinner on Saturdays, and closed Sundays.  

5 Seasons Westside is located at 1000 Marietta St NW #204, Atlanta, GA 30318 and is open 11:30am – 12am Sunday through Wednesdays, 11:30am – 12:30am Thursdays, and 11:30am – 1am Fridays & Saturdays.

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