WIAW: The Best of Atlanta

Hey guys!

Thank you all SO much for the sweet comments regarding my accident last week. I got the call from the doctor mechanic today and Elvira should be fixed up and out of the hospital shop by late next week! 😀

I think this calls for a bit of celebration!


And what better way to celebrate than with TONS of mouth-watering vacation
foodporn? 😉

After you get your drool on (you may want to go ahead and grab that bib now), head on over to Peas & Crayons and show our fabulous hostess, Jenn, a bit of love before checking out all the other fantastic link ups!

So when the man-friend suggested a trip to Atlanta to visit IKEA a few weeks ago, obviously I jumped up and down and texted Laura the first chance I got said I’d be happy to go (especially since it was my first time!). After talking with Laura and making some plans, I knew for sure we’d encounter a fair share of deliciousness, but what I didn’t expect was to have to be rolled out of the city three days later!

It all started Friday morning when, on Laura’s request, the man-friend and I headed to Ria’s Bluebird for breakfast before heading off to frolic in furniture funland…

Ria's BluebirdThere was no doubt in my mind what I was ordering as soon as I spotted the Country Fried Tempeh and the man-friend instantly set his sights on the Buttermilk Pancakes with a side of Maple Sausage.

I did ninja a couple of bites off the man-friend’s plate and I have to say the pancakes were nice and fluffy (of course we ALL know mine are MUCH better), but the tempeh was definitely the breakfast winner! The texture was incredible…and combined with the peppery gravy, the warm grilled tomato slices, the sauteed spinach and the buttery biscuit that lie beneath, it was everything I could do not to plant my face in the bowl!


After a few bites, I added a bit of their DELICIOUS house-made raspberry jam and deemed it my sweet/savory masterpiece! 😀

FOUR hours, ONE dresser, and way too many food props later (pics to come!), the man-friend and I found ourselves staring at these beauties:


IKEA’s infamous $1 cinnamon rolls!

Yep, paired with some hot {decaf} coffee (perfect for dunkin’), that was what we called lunch! But boy were we glad that was all we had once dinnertime rolled around…

We met up with Laura for dinner at one of her favorite Atlanta restaurants, The Spence and were treated to quite a meal! Like true foodies, we decided to order several small plates to share instead of going with larger entrees which I was super excited about since there were so many dishes on my foodie bucket list!

The SpenceBone marrow with tuna tartare and fried quail eggs and foie gras with candied pecans and quince

Laura wasn’t kidding when she referred to bone marrow as “meat butter”…it was warm and buttery without being greasy and the perfect match for the cool temperature of the tuna. I thought the quail eggs had a bit of a sweet taste to them and the smoked bread slices they served the dish with was phenomenal!

I wasn’t really a fan of the foie gras. I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as flavor…the creamy texture was nice (I actually thought it would be gritty), but I found that it had a bit of a tart/tangy aftertaste that I didn’t really like.

The Spence - 2Fried brussels sprouts with Thai vinaigrette and broccoli pappardelle with cauliflower and aged cheddar

The brussels were absolutely heavenly…practically no need to chew they were so soft and as for the vinaigrette, I seriously wanted to pick up the bowl and drink it!

The broccoli pappardelle was fantastic…so soft, so smooth, so fresh! But really, how could anything topped with AGED CHEDDAR taste bad? 😉

The Spence - 3

Pork belly with brussels, rutabaga, celery root and squash agnolotti with braised pig trotter and more parsnip puree

Unfortunately the pork belly wasn’t a table favorite. It was a bit fattier than it should have been, but I WILL say the meaty parts of it were incredibly juicy and smooth…like a perfectly slow-roasted pork shoulder.

The squash was my FAVORITE dish of the night…rich and creamy and served in a pool of what they called parsnip puree, but I like to think of it more as CRACK SAUCE…it was like liquid vegetable candy!

The Spence - 4Orange cake with blood oranges and champagne and milk chocolate with peanuts, burnt banana ice cream and roasted banana chips

The orange cake was very light…perhaps a little too light to follow all the decadent dishes we had just finished, but unsurprisingly the chocolate dessert was the STAR of the show and I could seriously BATHE in that ice cream!

WineI washed down dessert with the first rose wine I’ve ever tried AND enjoyed…the perfect end to one incredible meal!

So I just realized I’m fast approaching 900 words and well, fantastic food like this deserves an appropriate amount of gushing over, SO I think I’m gonna have to post-pone Saturday’s foodie adventures for next week’s link up…

And if you can believe this, it gets EVEN BETTER!

Ohhh, the anticipation!! …please don’t hit me! 😉

What’s the best thing you ate over the weekend?

What are some items on your foodie bucket list?
An authentic Philly cheesesteak, Haloumi, plantains, a mimosa, and figgy pudding just to name a few!

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40 Responses to WIAW: The Best of Atlanta

  1. so flipping envious =) Glad you kids had fun! Next time I want in on planning! MWAHHHH!

  2. Jessie says:

    fried brussel sprouts????!!! I’m pretty sure I would have licked that plate cleaner than what a dog could do!

  3. What a fun weekend!! Wish I could have joined you ladies (and your man friend) but I think I’m full just reading about it! 😉

  4. Wow! What a super fun weekend!! All of the food looks amazing and so exotic.

  5. Chicken fried tempeh?! You actually got that at a restaurant? Incredible. I went to Atlanta for my last supper prior to joing Weight Watchers about 26 years ago. I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. That’s the last time I’ve had that kind of splurge. Not sure if I’m happy or sad about that. Atlanta is a great place. Glad you and Laura got to spend some time together! Sorry to hear about your accident.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you so much, Fran! Yeah, I was seriously impressed when I spotted the tempeh on the menu…there was NO way I wasn’t going to order it! Atlanta really is amazing, but I can definitely say it was good to get home and get back to normal eating again! Haha!

  6. I don’t really understand how you always bring such amazing looking food to all of your WIAW. Really… what’s your secret? Do you just keep an arsenal of ideas floating around in your brain? Haha. Well, this one was definitely a “hit” (hmm…. are puns okay? Lol).

    I don’t like tofu all that much, but that fried tempeh looks so crunchy and delicious!

  7. Quick question: how is it that you can make me drool when I’m already eating a perfectly satisfying breakfast right now?

  8. I can honestly say I’ve never seen tempeh on a breakfast menu…I’m definitely intrigued! I tried foie gras last year and while it wasn’t bad, it didn’t really excite me a lot either.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I know, right? As soon as my eyes zeroed in on it on the menu, there was no turning away! Now I just need to figure out how to recreate it! So glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s been unimpressed with foie gras…I was afraid I would seem “uncultured” Haha

  9. Lucie says:

    WHY do IKEA’s here not have cinnamon rolls??? Because they have Hot Dogs (2 bites big), ha. hmmmmm. Broccoli Pappardelle. Milk Chocolate with Peanuts and Burnt Banana Icecream?? Send it over. Sounds like a fantastic trip love! Happy Wednesday!

  10. I have had that foie gras at The Spence and was similarly unimpressed. Not enough bread to spread it on!

  11. Kendra says:

    That Country-Fried Tempeh looks absolutely amazing!! I would love to make a homemade version of that sometime, if I ever am brave enough to try…Those fried Brussels Sprouts also look delicious; those are one of my favorite vegetables, and I am sure they would be fabulous when fried–even if that DOES nuke the nutrients out of them:D

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Omg, the brussels were the BEST! It’s the second time I’ve ever had them fried, but this one was definitely the best…that Thai vinaigrette totally MADE it! And I’m with you on recreating the tempeh…my mind’s been going over different ingredients since the trip! 🙂

  12. Farrah says:

    Oh wow, everything looks amazing and I can’t believe there’s more!! I’ve never been to IKEA. 🙁

  13. Cait says:

    So much good food! That broccoli pappardelle looks the best to me!

  14. Meg says:

    Mmmmm brussels with thai dressing!? YUM 😀 everything looks so amazing sweetie – love you

  15. Wait. You’ve never had a mimosa? And plantains! Oh girl…of course, I grew up 45 miles from Philly and have never eaten an authentic cheesesteak either. This did not, however, prevent me from ridiculing others who ate cheesesteaks from the snack bar in college by saying, “Those aren’t REAL ones you know.” [I was that girl…]

    I’m drooling over here…I once had caramelized foie gras? pork belly? bone marrow? Just goes to show you can make the girl vegan, but she’ll be a secret meat lover for life. 🙂

  16. I am SO glad we got to share this gut-busting weekend together. 🙂 Marrow is MEAT BUTTER. I can’t wait for the 7 Lamps post.

    When are you coming back to eat more deliciousness/make pancakes???

  17. Ummm ok, those breakfasts sound incredible! Country fried tempeh, homemade raspberry jam, and cinnamon rolls?! Count me in!

  18. Yayyy! I grew up in Atlanta. 🙂
    The IKEA cinnamon rolls are really good. 😀

  19. So much fun!! I so loved the Instagram pics!!!!!

  20. Broccoli pappardelle with cauliflower and aged cheddar….um, yes please. I’ll take two.

    I’m glad you had such a great trip, and if you ever find yourself in Cleveland, I will ply you with mimosa’s and cheese. Ok, that sounds awkward. My bad.

  21. Lee says:

    I’ve never had the cinnamon rolls at Ikea. Probably because I can’t tear myself away from that Frozen Yogurt!

    My husband really wants to try The Spence. Menu seems a little out there for my pescatarian tastes, but Laura said that there were good veggie sides.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      We were totally set on getting fro-yo until after all that shopping…fro-yo just wasn’t gonna be enough after that! Lol I did enjoy The Spence, but honestly, for the money, I’m sure there are other places that are better. Have you ever been to Seven Lamps? That’s the other restaurant Laura took me to and I thought it was a LOT better!

  22. Each and every one of those gourmet food pics on instagram made me drool, you must have had a good weekend! I swear the homemade jam they bring out at breakfast places is almost the best part of the meal!

  23. Some delicious eats! I made some awesome new cookies (the whole batch of which was devoured over the weekend 🙂 )

  24. Oh my goshhhhh your meal looks phenomenal! Especially that squash agnolotti and burnt banana ice cream with chocolate. I’m not a fan of fois gras at all either! I’ve tried calf brain – and liked it. I’ve tried frog legs – and liked them. I’ve tried lamb testicles – and liked them. But I cannot get on board with fois gras! 😛

    Some foods on my foodie bucket list are eggs Benedict, beef bourguignon, tiramisou, and real Southern fried chicken.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh wow! Out of those three, I’ve only tried frog legs…and it’s funny what people say, because I DID think they tasted like chicken! Haha! I’ll have to keep you in mind should I ever find myself in front of some brains or testicles…If Chelsea can do it, so can I! 😉

      I just tried my first Eggs Benedict last month…I was a little underwhelmed with the hollandaise sauce (especially since everyone always talks about it like it’s total crack sauce), but I’m willing to give it another go before I totally cross it off the list! Oh and feel free to come on down to my neck of the woods anytime…my mom makes some of the BEST fried chicken! 😀

  25. There are a few foods here that are also on my foodie bucket list, bone marrow being one of them! I have to say, the jam may have caught my attention the most after the desserts though, my sweet tooth is to blame for that one. 😉

  26. Allie says:

    No mimosas?? Well, that’s certainly an easy one to cross off the list ;D I’ve had to add eggfruit to my foodie bucket list thanks to you and Laura. And, um, yes, this all looks fabulous, but I have to say–I really, REALLY want the brussels and the pappardelle now!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Allie!!! I miss you SO much! So sorry I’ve been a bad bloggy friend lately…you are definitely overdue for some “Broccoli Bombing” as Sarah likes to call it…I need to catch up with you!

      Next trip you make to ATL, eggfruit better be at the top of the priority list! It’s SO worth it!

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