A Southern Sampling at Taste of Atlanta


O, The Oprah Magazine recently named Taste of Atlanta a foodie event worth making a trip for – good thing for me, I was already in town this past weekend, Oct. 21-23, to celebrate the 10th anniversary event! And this was the best ticket in town for a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. Having just been in Oprah’s stomping grounds at Taste of Chicago in July, I had something to compare the festival to and it was another culinary fest that didn’t disappoint.

Here’s a sampling of my top bites from among the 80 restaurants on display at Taste of Atlanta:

Shrimp and grits from Milton’s. Having lived Atlanta for a few years, I’ve had my share of grits, but these were the best yet. Cheesy, creamy goodness cooked to just the right consistency without the bite back “grit,” and topped with three large prawns, mushrooms, scallions, and drizzled with a lemon butter sauce.

Mini lamb burger with tzatziki sauce from Gilbert’s Cafe. In one word: perfection. The burger was cooked perfectly with lots of flavors – mint, parsley, garlic – with a dollop of creamy tzatziki sauce on a toasted bun. Yum!

Maple bacon brittle ice cream – yes, that’s right, bacon – from Morelli’s Ice Cream, whose samplings won for best dessert in 2010. The flavor choice caught my eye, and I must say it was surprisingly good. The sweet, caramelized maple bacon bits were swirled into creamy, buttery ice cream.  One small scoop was definitely enough, but the selection certainly topped off the overall experience.

If you’re planning a jaunt to Atlanta anytime soon, I would highly recommend stopping in to try any or all of these restaurants and their offerings. Or, perhaps next year, you might plan to attend the 11th annual Taste of Atlanta culinary celebration. It is definitely worth the trip!

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