Unfortunately I didn’t go to Waffle House: Eating well in Atlanta

I think I’ve begun the point in my life where I’ll have “wedding season” every summer. The thought is a bit scary. Not because all my friends are getting married (many of us are still too poor, haha, thanks Sluggish Economy and Entrenched Income Inequality!), but because knowing my keenness for travel, I want to go to all these damn weddings, even when they’re on the other side of the country.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right, Atlanta.

I flew into Atlanta not because I had a wedding there, because it’s like, the busiest airport in the world, and way cheaper than flying into Charleston, South Carolina, where the wedding actual was. I’ve also always wanted to go to Atlanta because of that Jermaine Dupri song.

Unfortunately I only had a few hours before I had to drive to Charleston (it’s about 5 hours away), so I chose something that would combine two of my biggest passions: history and food. (It was also hella hot and that might’ve contributed to my disinterest in walking around to see monuments downtown or whatever.)

Enter Atlanta Food Walks, here to make all my history-nerd foodie dreams come true. They offer two general tours: Grant Park and Downtown. The food in Grant Park is a mix of traditional and modern, which sounded more interesting, so I went with that one.

Shrimp grits with fried onions, asparagus, and queso fresco

Our adorable guide Lauren, an Atlanta native, met us outside a place called Six Feet Under, which is honestly where I wanted to be in the 98°F July heat. The history starts way back when, with the people who lived in what is now Georgia before any white people decided to name it after King George the I-Don’t-Know-Which, and the first food stop delves into some traditional Southern dishes with modern twists.

Fried catfish and okra with wasabi cucumber sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce

Interspersed between each stop is a bit of walking through the Grant Park neighborhood, full of beautiful 19th century houses and Atlanta’s oldest cemetery. Nothing particularly strenuous, especially on a hot summer day, but just enough walking because there are five food stops on this tour, and you will be eating so. damn. much.

Grant Park, not named after Ulysses S. Grant, because that dude burned Atlanta to the ground

As you eat at each stop, the story of Atlanta unfolds, from a fishing village to a the end of a train line to the city it was before it was razed. We also learned that the first mayor of Atlanta ran under the Free and Rowdy Party. I’ll leave it to you to guess what the major planks of their party platform were.

Short rib pimento grilled cheese and a honeysuckle mule and a picture of the first general store in Atlanta
Oakland Cemetery

Our guide not only explained the history of Atlanta, but the history of the foods we were eating, like how the natives were the first to grow peaches, or how slaves from West Africa brought okra to the South. Or like Nashville hot chicken. (Which we ate in Atlanta. I know. Whatever.) The story goes that it was invented when this woman found out her husband was cheating on her so she dumped a boatload of spices when she made him fried chicken, thinking it would almost kill him. But he loved it instead, and opened up a restaurant selling it? That’s the legend.

Nashville hot chicken with a side of cinnamon sweet potato fries

If you’re interested in Atlanta Food Walks, you can book a space on their website. It costs $70 USD per person, all food and drinks included, gratuity not included. You also get a gift card to Six Feet Under and a bunch of coupons for other bars and restaurants in Atlanta. I gave my gift cards and coupons to the friends who were getting married, as they are much closer to Atlanta than I am currently. Don’t worry, I also bought them a Growler of beer as a wedding present, I’m not that cheap.

Peach galette, because of course, it’s Georgia and it was peach season

I didn’t make to the Waffle House, but I can’t say I didn’t eat well.

Oh and btw this post sounds sponsored but it’s not. Lol, can you imagine? (If someone from Atlanta Food Walks wants to set up an affiliate link for me though, that’d be dope, slide in my DMs.)

5 Replies to “Unfortunately I didn’t go to Waffle House: Eating well in Atlanta”

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