Pouch Pies

Gem 10: Dessert @ Pouch Pies

Yesterday, I headed downtown between classes to try dessert at Pouch Pies. Pouch Pies is fairly new to Athens. It opened about a year ago & features savory pies from around the world. It is family-owned and the owners proudly boast their South African heritage. The pies all have punny names. Although Pouch Pies has primarily savory pies, they usually have about 4-5 sweet pie offerings. Inside, you’ll find a large screen TV and a wide-selection bar for a sports pub feel.

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I ordered the Sweet Potato Pie. It is a cold dessert pie because of the sweet potato puree inside. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and nutmeg. All pies are homemade.

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Things they did well:

+ presentation: funky plate & wooden spoon

+ sweet potato puree

+ ambiance

+ portion sizes

**Next time, I’ll come for British Wednesdays with pies on mashed potatoes and topped with gravy!**

<<Thank you Pouch Pies for a unique pie experience!!>>

Quick facts…

Location: Downtown Athens on Broad St.

Open for lunch, dinner, drinks, and sweets Monday thru Saturday.

Menu & their Story: http://pouchpies.com

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Seabear Oyster Bar

Gem 9: Dinner @ Seabear Oyster Bar

Sunday night, my friends Laura, Shannon, and I got out in the rain to try Seabear on Prince Avenue. I have always driven by Seabear curious about what their food is like and finally decided to try it. Glad I did! Seabear has an intimate setting with a high end bar as the focal point. They bring a fresh take to traditional seafood fare with adventurous dishes.

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For starters, we ordered the avocado toast and the jumbo red shrimp cocktail. They were delicious. The toast had an avocado spread base and was toed with pomegranate seeds and flavorful chili flakes. The shrimp cocktail was a fresh and light starter. I definitely recommend trying the snacks on the menu especially if you’re with friends or a larger group.

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For main course, I ordered the Fried Oyster Po’Boy. Since Seabear is an Oyster Bar, I knew I had to tried the oysters. I’m not a huge fan of oysters so I opted for the fried oysters. The Fried Oyster Po’Boy is on french bread with romaine lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo with a side of fries. MMM. It was good eatin!

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Things they did well:

+ freshness of everything

+ ambiance

+ fries

+ fried oyster

**Next time, I’ll try the Steamed Mussels!**

<<Thank you Seabear for a high-quality seafood experience!!>>

Quick facts…

Location: Bottleworks on Prince

Open for late lunch and dinner daily.

Menu & Hours: http://seabearoysterbar.com

Tlaloc El Mexicano

Gem 8: Lunch @ Tlaloc 

Yesterday, my friend Brynn and I headed over to Chase Street for some mexican grub. Brynn recommended Tlaloc & I trust her recommendations because she has her own food blog, called Breaking Bread. You should check it out! My standard for Mexican food is high considering I’m from the state of Texas, where Tex-Mex food is life. However, I enjoy tasting Georgia’s version of Mexican and finding my own favorites here. Tlaloc is a hole-in-the-wall type place. The restaurant has limited seating and has upbeat fiesta music on repeat.

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During their lunch hours, they have specials and start your meal with a spaghetti like soup. I ordered a queso for Brynn and I to share, which was delicious. Most “cheese dips” I try in Georgia are more buttery than cheesy. This one however, had a creamy taste but cheese was the main ingredient, which I enjoyed immensely.

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I ordered the Tacos Dorados, which are like taquitos with white chicken in them. They were delicious. I love how they covered them with lettuce, sour creme, and cheese. It was like a little appetizer salad that you had to have before you got to your entree. That was a unique part of my dish and Tlaloc that I found to be exceptional. The refried beans and rice were average, but the taquitos were great.

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Things they did well:

+ queso

+ salad on top of taquitos

+ salsa verde

+ chicken in taquitos

**Next time, I’ll try the fajitas!**

<<Thank you Tlaloc for a delicious lunch!!>>

Quick facts…

Location: Chase Street

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Menu & Hours: https://locu.com/places/tlaloc-athens-us/#menu

Independent Baking Company

Gem 7: Breakfast @ Independent Baking Company

Last Saturday, my friend Julia and I drove to Five Points to get breakfast at Independent Baking Company. The bakery has a lovely European feel. The earlier you rise to head over to Independent, the better. Their morning danishes, pastries, and rolls go quick after they open at 7am. It’s no surprise because they’re delicious!

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Independent has a wide selection of breads and baked goods, like croissants and pastries. They bake new breads every morning before opening. You can smell how fresh everything is & it’s clear that the breads just came out the oven! Everything looked amazing–it was hard to choose what to get! I decided to get the Apple & Almond Creme Galette, Morning Roll, & a coffee.

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Things they did well:

+ atmosphere

+ freshness

+ almond creme in the galette

+ morning roll

**Next time, I’ll try the Raspberry & Almond Creme Danish!**

<<Thank you Independent for starting my Saturday morning perfectly!>>

Quick facts…

Location: Five Points Athens

Open for bread, pastries, and cookies everyday except Sunday and Monday.

For their story & hours, check out their website: http://independentbaking.com

The World Famous

Gem 6: Dinner @ The World Famous

This past Sunday, my friend Shannon and I tried The World Famous. The World Famous is hip & offers a small, cozy, intimate feel. Their decor is eclectic and quirky. They have a lot of character, apparent in even the smallest of details, like the bandana napkins they use. Their menu has less than 10 items, so they aim for quality.

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I’d heard only good things about their Chicken & Waffles, so I had to try for myself. So, I ordered the Chicken & Waffle Club. Luckily, I got one of their last ones because the crowds from the UGA vs. Alabama game the day before had ordered almost all of their food. The club has chicken, waffles, bourbon maple butter, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and TWF hot sauce.

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The bourbon maple butter & TWF hot sauce complimented each other so nicely. It didn’t taste like two different meals. It was waffles & chicken together creating a heavenly taste in my mouth!

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The dish tastes as good as it looks. It truly was INCREDIBLE.

Things they did well:

+ crispy fries

+ dipping sauce

+ freshness of lettuce and tomato

+ fluffy waffles

+ hot sauce on chicken

**Next time, I’ll try the Fried Green Tomatoes & Pork Steamed Buns!**

<<Thank you The World Famous for the best Chicken & Waffle Club ever!>>

Quick facts…

Location: Downtown Athens

Open for drinks & eats everyday.

For the menu & hours, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theworldfamousathens

Kumquat Mae

Gem 5: Lunch @ Kumquat Mae

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This past Sunday my friend Molly and I headed to West Athens to try Kumquat Mae. A group in my Integrated Marketing class did a project on Kumquat Mae’s company and it sparked my interest! Kumquat Mae has a bakery, bar, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With all of it’s offerings, the restaurant can satisfy an array of needs. We started with the Spinach Dip. It was delicious. We expected a hot dip, but were pleasantly surprised by the cool dip with a sour creme base. The chips were thicker than salsa or queso chips and were perfect for the heavier dip.

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For my main course, I ordered the Nut Burger with mushroom & swiss on the sourdough bun. The nut burger has a blend of pecans, walnuts and sunflower seeds that also contain croutons made from their breads, and is held together with cottage cheese and egg, and flavored with a myriad of spices.

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The nut burger was like nothing I’ve ever had. The spices were strong and didn’t compliment the mushroom & swiss. I would prefer a beef burger next time, but the nut burger is a great option for vegetarians.

Things they did well:

+ spinach dip consistency

+ chips

+ burger bun

+ uniqueness of the dish

**Next time, I’ll try Kumquat Mae’s breakfast!**

<<Thank you Kumquat Mae for my first Nut burger!>>

Quick facts…

Location: West Athens

Open for drinks, eats, and baked goods.

For menu & hours see http://kumquatmaebakery.com

Walker’s Pub

Gem 4: Breakfast @ Walker’s Pub

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Yesterday, my roommate, Maddie, and I drove downtown to get breakfast and study at Walker’s Pub before class. Walker’s is a bar, so it is darker on the inside with multiple booths to sit and chat or pull out your laptop and study. But it’s no science library. There is loud music and chatter, so for intense studying extreme focus and headphones may be needed. Walker’s is advertised as a pub, so the food options are limited. They offer bagels, muffins, scones, and have a menu with breakfast burritos and sandwiches.IMG_9376

Before yesterday, I had only been to Walker’s for coffee and to study. However, multiple friends have raved to me about Walker’s breakfast burrito, so I had to try it. Boy, I’m glad I did because it’s my new favorite. First, I ordered the Expresso. It was bitter but energizing!! Then, I got the breakfast burrito. The Breakfast Burrito has eggs, chorizo, black beans, hash browns, jack cheddar cheese and salsa wrapped in a tortilla.

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Things they did well:

+ filling

+ chorizo

+ salsa

+ simplicity

**Next time, I’ll get the vegetarian burrito!**

<<Thank you Walker’s Pub for a Texas worthy burrito!>>

Quick facts…

Location: Downtown Athens

Open everyday for drinks, coffee, and eats.

For hours see: http://www.walkerscoffee.com

The Pine

Gem 3: Dinner @ The Pine

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Last Thursday, my friend, Ansley, and I headed to Five Points for dinner at The Pine. The ambiance of the Pine is upscale, but also has an earthy vibe. It was raining, so we opted out of the porch, but next time that’s where you’ll find me.

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Ansley ordered the quinoa salad and I ordered the Kung Pao Shrimp & Coconut Milk Grits. The coconut milk grits sparked my interest, because I’d never heard of a dish like that before.

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The dish had Kung Pao shrimp, coconut milk grits, red and green peppers, and roasted peanuts. It was definitely an interesting dish. I didn’t love it, I thought the sauce was heavy. However, I think the dish was done well and the flavors complimented each other.

Things they did well:

+ coconut milk grits.

+ originality.

+ intrigue.

+ restaurant ambiance.

**Next time, I want to try the Rainbow Trout.**

<<<Thank you The Pine for a fresh take on grits!>>>

Quick facts…

Location: Five Points Athens

Open for Saturday and Sunday brunch, Tuesday through Friday lunch, and Tuesday through Sunday dinner. 

For hours & changing menu, visit http://www.thepineathens.com.

Preserve

Gem 2: Lunch @ Preserve

Friday afternoon, my friend Grace & I journeyed over to Preserve on Broad Street. Preserve has a very Athens vibe, with a mural on the side and a diner feel. Although the restaurant is very small & seating is limited, I enjoyed the intimate setting.

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We were tempted by the brunch menu (offered every day), particularly because the couple next to us ordered the chicken & waffles and it looked amazing. However, I ordered from the lunch menu—the Falafel Sandwich. The sandwich had lettuce, tomato, pickled radish, garlic sauce, yogurt tahini, hot sauce, and was served on a torta bun.

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I loved this sandwich. The large portion wasn’t heavy, and the falafel was hearty & flavorful.

Things they did well:

+ quick & friendly service.

+ spice.

+ pickled radish.

+ torta bun.

**Next time, I want to try the Chicken & Waffles.**

<<<We left wanting to come back for dinner…that night – Thank you Preserve!>>>

Quick facts…

Location: West Broad Street

Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

Facebook & Instagram for hours & menu: https://www.facebook.com/preserve.athens & https://instagram.com/preserve_athens/

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market

Gem 1: Brunch @ Heirloom

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Sunday morning, my friend Molly & I ventured to Heirloom Cafe in Normaltown. Heirloom is surrounded by the Historic Boulevard and all of it’s quaint houses (I would recommend a pre-meal stroll through the area). Although Sunday was a rainy, dreary day, the upbeat and colorful atmosphere of Heirloom brightened our days.

Before partaking in what we ordered, we were pleasantly surprised by the complimentary appetizer: chocolate chip scones. They were fluffy yet moist and seemed to melt in our mouths. The chocolate chip ratio was not overpowering and offered a nice pre-meal treat!

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For coffee I ordered a Macchiato. It came in a miniature tea cup & was foamed to perfection. It was enjoyable, but small. Next time, I’ll order a latte so I can sip on it for the whole meal.

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For my entree, I ordered the Huevos Rancheros. They were composed of: 2 poached eggs, crispy corn tortilla, Spanish tomato sauce, black beans, cotija cheese, & cilantro sour cream.

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Overall, the dish was delicious. I didn’t love the Spanish tomato sauce. I would’ve preferred something spicier with a little kick.

Things they did well:

+ the poached eggs.

+ the crispy corn tortillas.

+ the cotija cheese.

+ the flavors complimented each other nicely.

**Next time, I want to try the Buttermilk Pancakes.**

<<<We left with happy bellies –Thank you Heirloom!>>>

Quick facts…

Location: Chase St. in Normaltown

Food offerings are seasonal and local.

Open for lunch for weekdays, dinner every night, and brunch on the weekends.

Website for hours & menu: http://www.heirloomathens.com