And that, my friends, is why we eat candy on Easter.
Big thanks to CJ Tuor for helping me out with the setups!
No, that title isn’t a typo. I’m about to let you all in on a secret, for which you can thank me later. A day I’ve been waiting eighteen years for has finally come: Graeter’s ice cream has gone nationwide!
Of all the things I miss about Ohio, Graeter’s ice cream is at the top of the list. When we were little my parents would take us there for a treat, and it was the absolute best. The inside of the store was exactly what a little kid would picture when thinking of an ice cream shop: all white, counters with spinning stools, and rows and rows of flavors. And oh my god, the flavors. They had the most amazing Mint Chip, a Chocolate Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip that tastes just like an Almond Joy, and a Chocolate Chocolate Chip that was to die for. But the flavor that trumps everything else on the face of the earth was their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.
Nothing compares to it. Nothing. It’s smooth, it’s creamy, and it tastes like pure euphoria. For years I’ve been trying to find a black raspberry ice cream that is in the same league, and it’s been a futile attempt. Sure, I’ve encountered a few, but unlike Graeter’s, none of the others had been blessed by angels (the only explanation I can come up with for how good it is.) And it’s not just the ice cream itself that makes it so good: It’s the chocolate. To call them chocolate chips is a bit of a misnomer; they’re actually chunks of chocolate. And not the hard kind of chocolate you get mixed into your ice cream at Baskin Robbins. No, this chocolate melts in your mouth. Also, this is how big the chocolate chips are:
Lately I’ve been trying to find new local restaurants in Atlanta to try. After eating at chain restaurants so much, I’ve kinda gotten sick of places where the food is the same regardless of where you are in the country. Also, my favorite show on the Food Network is “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” and watching that show always makes me hungry for good, original food. For Christmas, my mom got me a DDD book, and there were two restaurants in there in the Atlanta area. I called up my good friend Christen, and we went and checked them out.
Matthews Cafeteria – Tucker, GA
The first place we tried was Matthews Cafeteria. I was excited when I saw that one of the places in the book was in Tucker, because that’s only about ten minutes from where I live. It was interesting, because driving past it it’s one of those places I never would have stopped. It has a small, nondescript entrance in the middle of old town Tucker, and even the inside was very plain: white walls, small tables with simple checkered cloths, and simple rod iron chairs (interestingly enough, they DID offer wifi.) That said, from the way the other people in line were chatting with the workers, I got the impression that the majority of their clientele are regulars.
As the name would imply, the service inside was setup cafeteria style, where you just go down a line and pick up whatever you want to eat. There wasn’t a huge selection of different foods, just a handful of entrees, sides, & desserts, but when I asked about one of the items mentioned in the book (their brunswick stew), they said it was only available on Wednesdays, leading me to assume that they have a different assortment of foods available each day. The food we did have was quite good. The chicken was cooked perfectly (I love it when it’s moist and just falls right off the bone), the scalloped potatoes were great, and the sweet tea was just what you’d expect from a country restaurant. I’ll definitely be going back there soon.
The Highlander – Atlanta, GA
The Highlander piqued my interest as soon as I saw it in the book for one reason: Homemade mozzarella sticks. Most places you go will just have frozen mozzarella sticks, but this place uses fresh mozzarella, wraps it in pasta, coats it, and then fries it. And holy crap, they are awesome. I’ve been there twice now, and ordered them both times. They seem to do sides really well, because I’ve also tried their jalapeno corn fritters, and they rock. They’re like really moist hush puppies with jalapenos. That is to say, delicious.
The first time I went I ordered the lobster ravioli, and it was killer (plus it’s just kinda cool to be able to order lobster ravioli at a bar.) It was a daily special, though, so I have no idea how often they serve it. The second time I went I ordered the bratwurst melt, but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. Bratwurst is one of those tricky things, because depending on where it’s from it comes in one of three varieties: Awesome, Flavorless, and Breakfast Sausage (I’m sure there are actual names for different varieties of bratwurst, but frankly I’m not that knowledgeable.) Unfortunately, this one fell into the breakfast sausage category. But considering there’s still about a dozen things on the menu that look good, I’m not going to let one bad sandwich keep me away.
This is the kind of place I wouldn’t mind going to on a regular basis. It’s a bar in Midtown that has amazing food and is open until 3am, which means it’d be a great place to grab a bite after a concert or a night out in Atlanta.