(edited Tuesday, April 29)
atlanta

A few food-related things worth noting, from the last few days in Atlanta:

— When you go to YEAH! Burger, go to the one in the Virginia-Highlands because after you eat your grass-fed burger with figs, goat cheese and caramelized onions and your house-made veggie burger with a side of kale salad, you can walk through streets of historic homes and hipsters and see things like a free library housing Flannery O’Connor stories and a cookbook from the 1980s. (Or maybe go to Farm Burger instead, which comes highly recommended from our buddy Hannah.)

— If you’re willing to spend $6 on a bar of chocolate, may we recommend the dried cherries with crushed almonds at Cacao? The Virginia-Highlands location is walking distance from Yeah! Burger and it’s as pretty as it is filled with French macarons and handmade chocolate, from the charcoal walls to the white marble countertops.

— The only thing better than a bowl of Thai curry is a bowl of Thai curry in a restaurant with 85% to 90% organic ingredients: L’Thai Organic Cuisine & Wine Bar, set in the middle of a planned community in Smyrna. On a Sunday afternoon in April, there were only two other full tables, and the weather was in the high 70s, so we sat alone on the outdoor patio with bamboo placements and blooming flower pots.

— Neapolitan-pizza lovers, you have lots of options in Atlanta. We tried Ammazza, a seat-yourself pizzeria that sources most of its ingredients locally and soaks its dough 3 days. Beyond our spinach salad with toasted pine nuts and dried fruit, we split a large Margherita pizza with added artichokes, garlic and olives, which, if nothing else, is proof that everything (even olives!) is better on thin, chewy dough slathered with sauce and melted mozzarella.

 

and, also, a few non-food-related things, worth nothing if only to help my heart tuck them away:

— That time we were sure we scratched a car in the hotel parking lot, drove to an adjacent parking lot to calm down, called our insurance company to start a claim and then drove back, all sweaty and bothered, only to realize (!!!) that there wasn’t a scratch to be found.

— Sitting through a lecture at the Alive! Expo, sampling essential oils, starting to feel my mind wander, only to realize that Tim was drinking it all up. (That guy! Such a learner!)

— Fellowshipping with a body of Believers in Roswell and hearing this 4/27 message on the Lord’s prayer, minutes after I had weakly, timidly asked God to help me pray. Praying with Tim in the parking lot, wanting nothing more than for my life to reflect His kingdom on earth. “The more mature you are as a Believer, the more dependent you are on Him.” (Crawford Lorrits) Oh, Jesus! I need that dependence. I need you.

— Celebrating my Tim’s birthday and his 33 (!!) years on this earth, especially this last one and its shocks and joys, feeling freshly thankful and stunned that our lives have intersected and that the man waking up next to me every morning is him. Being married has made me more aware of my flaws and weaknesses than I ever was before; it has also pictured the Father’s love for me, over and over again, as my husband steadfastly likes, cares for, and chooses me. Tim! I can’t believe you’re real! I love you and like you and want you, and there’s nobody else I’d rather suffer and celebrate and live with day by day.

+ bonus field notes! (added 4/29)

IKEA! What Nashvillian drives to Atlanta without stopping to see you? (ps, thanks The Kitchn, for assuring me I did indeed want those napkins I now love.)

— We ate here, right alongside neon lights and beaded curtains. And we liked it, from the kefir smoothie (“banana boy toy” official name) to the killllller banana layer cake I have to try to make at home soon. There’s no hope of being mainstream for us anymore, it’s surer every day.

Dekalb Farmers Market, you do not disappoint. If I lived in Atlanta, I would visit you every week. Floor-to-ceiling warehouse shelves of every food ingredient I could dream of (but, sadly, not einkorn, what gives?), from organic blueberry jam to organic cacao nibs to three bars of dark chocolate we just had to squirrel away.

Atlanta Scoutmob, even though you were the reason we drove out of our way to a tea shop that ended up being closed on Monday, we will forever love you for sending us to Cardamom Hill, a restaurant where Kerala (the state where my dad is from in India) meets the American South. Three words: Kerala Fried Chicken. It’s as good as it sounds.

— Oh, and Decatur! We came for Farm Burger, but we would have stayed for your historic architecture and cute downtown and little shop with Indian street food, if only we’d had more time.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. felicia | Dish by Dish

    Loved the last non-food related point. Love how you and Tim openly celebrating the love and admiration you have for each other, and Happy belated birthday Tim!! Shanna, you’re such a kind soul, and it comes through in your writing, your prayers and pictures. sending love, F.

  2. Kelley

    So happy for the rich blessings you’re counting today, my friend! I’m snuggling a brand-new 4-year-old today and marveling at my gifts, too. Such a road we’ve both traveled since that lunch in Green Bay all those years ago!

  3. Joanna

    The way you love your husband both reminds me how much I love mine and how much more pure that love could be. Your writing is both the indulgent $6 chocolate bar and the necessary, nourishing kale salad for my heart.

  4. Skye

    Such an inspiring round-up. Thanks for sharing, Shanna. And your words about your husband are so moving. I love this – “there’s nobody else I would rather suffer and celebrate and love with day by day’. So sweet.

  5. Pingback: Chocolate Chip Banana-nana Cake | Food Loves Writing / Real Food Recipes

  6. Christine

    We’ll be moving to Atlanta soon, but my best friend from college lives in Virginia Highlands and I SO agree with many of the things you’ve written about! I have been in love with the Dekalb Farmer’s market for years! There’s also the Buford Farmer’s market that is equally fun and interesting, although it is entirely a different experience. One last suggestion for another trip – the Flying Biscuit is close to Virginia Highlands (although they have at least one other location, maybe two) at the other end of Piedmont Park. The fried egg salad is pretty darn amazing!

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