5 Favorite Brunch Spots in Georgia

sundaybrunch

What it is about this gluttonous weekend meal that makes it all the rage? Maybe it’s because I know I can go right back to bed after I eat it. Or maybe it’s just because it is a fun way to spend an afternoon with excellent food and friends catching up or reliving a wild night out on the town. As a homegrown Georgia peach, I have a few that I have on my must visit brunch list.

Anis Café and Bistro- Atlanta

When in Atlanta, I love brunching at Anis Bistro and Café. Located in an older residential section of Buckhead, Anis is a family owned café serving up beautiful and delicious Provencal fare. A major crowd favorite is the steak frites. They also serve up some of the best nutella and banana crepes outside of France. Don’t forget the homemade whipped cream!

cinnamonCafé Frederica- St. Simons Island, Georgia

Located in my hometown, this local café has been serving up delicious breakfast and lunch fare for over 20 years. They serve breakfast and lunch all day everyday but I find when I’m home visiting I make my visits to the café on Sunday for an early brunch. My favorites are- good ole scrambled eggs served with grapefruit and toast and blueberry pancakes. They also make a cinnamon roll so big and sweet you can’t help but smile.

 

 Indigo Coastal Shanty- Brunswick, Georgia

In downtown Brunswick, Indigo Coastal Shanty is another local favorite. They aren’t your typical brunch spot with mimosas and French toast, but it’s a great spot to get your weekend grub on. Chef Kate is a classically trained in fine dining but turned in her chef coat to open Indigo, a casual restaurant serving island style fare. I’ve had everything on the menu and you really can’t go wrong. My favorites include: curry chicken salad, a pimento cheeseburger topped with a fried green tomato (oh yea), and jerk fish sandwich.

heirloomcollageHeirloom Café- Athens, Georgia

Newer on the scene is Heirloom Café. Located in the historic Boulevard Neighborhood of Athens, Heirloom Café made its home in an old gas station, and is retrofitted to perfection as a homey farm-to-table café and market. Their brunch is lighter than most offering fresh salads and traditional egg dishes. They also serve up a tasty veggie burger (made in house) and a personal favorite: Love on a Biscuit, a down home version of eggs benedict with seasonal toppings on a homemade biscuit.

The Last Resort Grill- Athens, Georgia

A Classic City brunch institution is The Last Resort Grill. This downtown favorite serves up brunch staples like omelettes, a seasonal frittata, and pancakes. Order the Spinach Feta Grill: challah toasted in egg batter, then grilled to perfection, topped with poached eggs, portabellas, fresh spinach, artichokes & feta with our homemade roasted tomato sauce. Want something sweeter? Get the stuffed French toast: egg dipped challah bread baked with layers of rich ricotta cheese & seasonal flavors.

167948_541553330940_3616875_nEmily Laborde is a freelance writer and social media manager hooked on cruising backroads, photographing old houses, and loving all things local. For more check out her blog Em’s on the Road. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Georgia Walters. Submitted via Facebook.

Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Georgia Walters. Submitted via Facebook.

Centennial Olympic Park. Photo by @logosphotos. Submitted via Instagram.

Centennial Olympic Park. Photo by @logosphotos. Submitted via Instagram.

Christmas at the Tate House. Photo by Lee Coursey. Submitted via Flickr.

Christmas at the Tate House. Photo by Lee Coursey. Submitted via Flickr.

 

 

Civil War Wednesday: Ringgold Gap

Alfred Waud sketch of Ringgold Gap, Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-14334

Alfred Waud sketch of Ringgold Gap, Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-14334

The Battle of Chattanooga played out on November 25, 1863 as Federal troops continued to scale the heights of Missionary Ridge, forcing the Confederates holding the high ground to break – a rout ensued! However, one Confederate officer and his men continued to hold firm – Major General Patrick Cleburne. General Joe Johnston, who worried over his ability to withdraw the Army of Tennessee away from the untenable position, and maneuver into northwest Georgia, would once again depend upon Cleburne, or as many people had started calling this officer – the “Stonewall of the West.” Cleburne did not disappoint; he seldom did when rallying his brave Arkansans, Alabamians, Tennesseans, and Texans!

Major General Patrick Cleburne, Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-107446

Major General Patrick Cleburne, Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-107446

One often reads in the annals of military history of units engaging in a rearguard action. Ringgold Gap, or as most soldiers referred to the high ground flanking the Western and Atlantic Rail Road and Chickamauga Creek passage – Taylor’s Ridge – exemplified the best of protecting an army on the fly, ensuring their ability to gain safe haven in order to refit and regroup. Cleburne’s quick reconnaissance of the terrain, and expert deployment of his brigades, enabled the outnumbered (one gray division against three in blue) Confederate troops to hold-off the advancing force of Major General Joe Hooker. Hooker acted quickly, perhaps too hurriedly, as he threw each arriving brigade into the attack in piecemeal fashion instead of waiting for a massing of his force, and his artillery. He believed he faced a Confederate army on the run, opening a path for him to move in for the knockout. Hooker’s hunch proved as false as his punch!

Each Federal advance met with a repulse, as Cleburne’s Brigadier Generals Polk, Lowrey, Granbury, and Govan masterfully maneuvered their troops into position to thwart the approaching Federals. When ammunition ran low, the Southerners threw rocks down upon the men attempting to scale the ridge. Hooker’s guns finally arrived around noon, and the resultant shelling made life along the ridge a little hotter for Cleburne. Soon, he began withdrawing his brigades; a move made in confidence after he received a dispatch notifying him of the Army of Tennessee’s safe departure from the area. Cleburne’s actions did not escape notice, as the Confederate Congress issued a Joint Resolution of thanks “…for distinguished service at Ringgold Gap.”[1] Southern newspapers also praised the rising star of the west; The Confederate Union recounted the affair in their December 8, 1863 edition, proudly proclaiming, “The whole command behaved well, and especially that model solder, Maj. Gen. Cleburne, a true son of Emerald Isle, and his heroic division.”

Federal artillery at Ringgold Gap, Courtesy National Archives

Federal artillery at Ringgold Gap, Courtesy National Archives

Private Sam Watkins with the 1st Tennessee Infantry described what he witnessed on the slopes of Taylor’s Ridge. “The scene looked unlike any battlefield I ever saw. From the foot to the top of the hill was covered with their slain, all lying on their faces. It had the appearance of the roof of a house shingled with dead Yankees.”[2] Many in the North criticized Hooker for failing to await the arrival of his artillery. A December 11, 1863 account from an Ohio newspaper, The Jeffersonian Democrat, typified the response to Hooker’s actions. “It was important to dislodge them, but madness to attempt to do it without the assistance of artillery to cover the assault.”

The fighting along Taylor’s Ridge lasted four hours, with each side suffering over 400 casualties, yet Cleburne performed his assigned task, and afforded Johnston the opportunity to move his army into winter quarters in Dalton.



[1] U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, vol. 31, pt. 2 (1890; repr., Harrisburg, PA: National Historical Society, 1985), 758.

[2] Sam Watkins, COMPANY AYTCH or a SIDE SHOW of the BIG SHOW: A CLASSIC MEMOIR of the CIVIL WAR, ed. M. Thomas Inge (New York City: Plume, 1999), 99.

Andersonville Trip 2013 068Michael K. Shaffer is the Assistant Director and Lecturer for Kennesaw State University’s Civil War Center , a Civil War historian, newspaper columnist, and author of ‘Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War.’ He is a member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, Georgia Association of Historians, and the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta. Michael also serves on the boards of the Civil War Round Table of Cobb County and the River Line Historic Area, and as a Civil War consultant for the Friends of Camp McDonald.

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Dick Lane Velodrome

Photo Credit: Two to One ATL

Photo Credit: Jon Woodroof , http://twotoneatl.com/.

From early spring to late fall, the best-kept secret in Wednesday night entertainment must be track bicycle racing at Dick Lane Velodrome (DLV) in East Point. Built in 1974, the banked track is a battleground for shoulder-to-shoulder competition on brakeless fixed-gear bicycles, and the best part is that the Wednesday night racing is FREE to spectators. “It’s the best kind of bike racing to watch because you can see the whole race,” says Jeff Hopkins, DLV operations manager.

IMG_0002Why no brakes? There are a couple of reasons, but the biggest is that track bike racing is all about beating wind resistance. Riders draft inches behind one another at speeds greater than 40 miles per hour. The lack of brakes makes it harder to quickly change speed, meaning that painful pile ups are less likely.

 

One of just 26 banked bicycle tracks in the United States, according to the American Track Racing Association, DLV is the only one in in Georgia. Racers drive hundreds of miles weekly to compete on its concrete surface. Three weekends per year, DLV hosts racing festivals in which professionals come to town to do battle in a variety of events.

IMG_0005The track is a true community effort, relying on donations and volunteers to operate. Local athletes donate their time to keep the grounds clean and in working order. The East Point Velodrome Association offers classes for beginners and programs for kids. It also loans bikes, so anyone can take a spin around the track.

Check the DLV website at http://www.dicklanevelodrome.com for information on events, and head to East Point for some exciting bicycle racing. It’s the only thing like it in Georgia!

jimJim Hodgson is a humor writer who enjoys going outside. He is the Editor in Chief of Atlanta’s own satirical newspaper The Atlanta Banana (atlbanana.com). His latest book is “How To Mount Aconcagua,” a mostly serious guide to climbing the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas. He can be found at jimhodgson.com, on twitter at @jimhodgson.

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Radium Springs in Albany, Georgia. Photo by Bruno McKissack. Submitted via Facebook.

Radium Springs in Albany, Georgia. Photo by Bruno McKissack. Submitted via Facebook.

Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Buford, Georgia. Photo by Gene Phillips. Submitted via Flickr.

Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Buford, Georgia. Photo by Gene Phillips. Submitted via Flickr.

Sunriseover the Altamaha River in Darien, Georgia. Photo by @risaeve. Submitted via Instagram.

Sunriseover the Altamaha River in Darien, Georgia. Photo by @risaeve. Submitted via Instagram.