Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: A Diner’s Paradise

Treat yourself to Southern favorites at Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint located on Concourse C at the Atlanta airport.

Treat yourself to Southern favorites at Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint located on Concourse C at the Atlanta airport.

Chances are you’ve flown through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at some point. If you’re like me, you’ve also spent countless hours waiting for delayed flights, rerouted flights, and on a couple of instances, missed flights. What I’ve discovered during my frequent flights through Hartsfield-Jackson is there are hundreds of delicious restaurants to choose from while you’re waiting for your flight. What’s even more exciting is that several of them are favorite Atlanta-based eateries — in miniature. Take for example The Pecan Bistro on Concourse F, a smaller but equally delicious version of College Park’s The Pecan (closed). There, you can enjoy real Southern hospitality and dishes like shrimp and grits and Chef Morrow’s famous crab cakes.

Taste the award-winning fried chicken at Paschal's while you're in the Atlanta airport on Concourse B.

Taste the award-winning fried chicken at Paschal’s while you’re in the Atlanta airport on Concourse B.

Paschal’s and Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint also offer the best of Southern cuisine as you travel to parts unknown.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers has two Atlanta airport locations: on Concourses D and T.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers has two Atlanta airport locations: on Concourses D and T.

If you’ve always wanted to sample one of the best burgers in Atlanta, then you’re in luck! Although the original Grindhouse Killer Burgers is located in downtown’s Sweet Auburn Curb Market, there happen to be two located in the airport on Concourses D and T! There is also the iconic The Varsity to choose from, where you can pick up a burger and a fried peach pie to enjoy on your flight.

One Flew South, located on Concourse E, features fine dining and cocktails.

One Flew South, located on Concourse E, features fine dining and cocktails.

For those of you with extra time, treat yourself to an upscale dining experience at One Flew South. Their menu offers a global appeal with locally sourced ingredients and “proper” cocktails.

For a complete list of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport dining options, go to http://www.atlanta-airport.com/Concessions/.

jennifer-hill-booker-1436890751-thumb-230-230-438-151-820-444-90Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.

Explore Georgia Wants to Find the World’s Biggest Georgia Music Fan!

shakykneesBSPEnter the #GeorgiaMusic Backstage Pass contest to win an eight-day
musical odyssey through Atlanta, Athens and Macon!

Georgia, known for musical heritage ranging from James Brown to Luke Bryan, is on a nationwide search for the most passionate Georgia music fan to explore the state’s vibrant music scenes and bring them to life via social media.

With its own rich and influential music heritage, including concerts, tours, landmarks and more than 100 music festivals statewide, Georgia offers authentic and memorable musical experiences that put fans closer than ever to their favorite artists from the past and present.

Georgia Theatre in Athens

Georgia Theatre is a prominent music venue in Athens that has hosted famous local bands such as REM and the B-52’s

The winner of the #GeorgiaMusic Backstage Pass contest and a guest will be treated to a tour of the state through Atlanta, Athens and Macon from May 8-15, 2016. During the trip, you will help us tell the stories of Georgia’s deep-rooted musical history on our blog and social media channels.

To enter the #GeorgiaMusic Backstage Pass contest, die-hard music fans must follow @ExploreGeorgia on Instagram, post a Georgia music-related photo using the hashtags #GeorgiaMusic and #GeorgiaMusicBackstagePass and tell us why you love Georgia music in the post. Don’t forget – your account must be public for us to see your submission!

Allman Brothers Band Museum Entrance

Get ready to rock when you roll into historic Macon, Georgia!

From April 4–15, 2016, Explore Georgia will collect entries and engage with contestants. On the final day we’ll select five finalists based on creative photography and fan engagement. The finalists’ entry will be posted to the ExploreGeorgia.org blog on April 18, 2016, for public voting. A winner will be announced on April 25, 2016.

Wilco at Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta

Wilco at Shaky Knees in Atlanta. Photo by aLIVE Coverage, from Shaky Knees, Facebook.

The #GeorgiaMusic Backstage Pass grand prize includes:
  • Round-trip air transportation to/from Atlanta
  • Hotel accommodations (eight nights) in Atlanta, Athens and Macon
  • Rental car
  • Music-focused tours and experiences in Atlanta, Athens and Macon
  • Two VIP tickets to the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta (May 13-15)
  • Daily stipend of $150

But that’s not all we’re giving away! One (1) runner-up will win two tickets to the Shaky Beats Music Festival, taking place May 20-22 at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Shaky Beats features more than 40 top electronic, indie and hip-hop acts across three stages. And you thought Georgia was only about country music…

The winner must be 25 years of age or older and his/her accompanying guest must be 21 years of age or older by May 8, 2016. The winner must be available to travel May 8 – 15, 2016. The winner and guest must depart from an airport in the 48 contiguous United States.

Enter today for an opportunity to be at the center of Georgia’s music story and have the chance to win a trip to experience our vibrant music for yourself!

By entering this contest you agree to follow the terms and conditions set forth here.

Learn more about Georgia music at ExploreGeorgia.org/music.

Monadnock Madness: Go Mad for Metro Atlanta’s Geological Gems

Explore the wonders of monadnocks during special events in March.

Explore the wonders of monadnocks during special events in March.

Monad-what? A monadnock is a special type of mountain formed when hard blobs of lava are compressed under the Earth’s crust. Talk about feeling the pressure! Now that the softer rock around the granite clumps has been eroded away, Georgians are treated to three amazing geological oddities right in their backyard – Stone Mountain, Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain – and that’s something worth celebrating. In fact, it’s a marvel worth going downright mad over. So, this March during Monadnock Madness, lace up your hiking boots and explore the awe-inspiring wonders of vernal pools, diamorpha – with red leaves and white blooms — and more, all atop Georgia’s geological gems.

Bring your camera and curiosity

Cherry blossoms at Stone Mountain Park on March 5

Cherry blossoms at Stone Mountain Park on March 5. Photo courtesy of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Facebook.

Throughout the month of March, Monadnock Madness brings a variety of activities to the public, including photography lessons, advanced archery classes, Reptile Day, and behind the scenes hikes all made possible through the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance in partnership with the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, Panola Mountain State Park, and Stone Mountain Memorial Association.

Catch the sunset from a monadnock

Sunset from Panola Mountain during the March 5 Monadnock Madness Triple Hike Challenge

Sunset from Panola Mountain during the March 5 Monadnock Madness Triple Hike Challenge. Photo courtesy of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Facebook.

The highlight of the month is the Monadnock Madness Triple Hike Challenge, which brings adventurers together to summit all three of Metro Atlanta’s monadnocks in one unforgettable day. All hikers earn a unique souvenir they can wear as a badge of honor. See photos from the March 5 event on Facebook. Upcoming Triple Hikes will take place on March 19, 20 and 31. RSVPs are required and this event always sell out.

For more details on these exciting events and to purchase tickets for the Triple Hike and/or Landscape, Micro and Wildlife Photography 101 Class, visit MonadnockMadness.com.

Kimberly EstepWhen not putting her savvy communication skills to use at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Kimberly Estep can most often be found wandering over hiking trails with her two dogs. Most of all, Kimberly loves sharing her knowledge of the hidden gems of Georgia with anyone who will listen.

4 North Atlanta Food Gems to Entice Your Taste Buds

Atlanta is known for its amazing food scene, but some of its best-kept secrets are just outside of the city. Travel a little north, and you will find several Atlanta suburbs famous for international cuisine. Locals know that these small cities offer access to several hidden Atlanta food gems — and now you do, too.

Buford Highway Farmers Market

Traveling the world can be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, simply head to Doraville to the Buford Highway Farmers Market, Atlanta’s No. 1 source for specialty foods and international cuisine. In addition to its wide selection of ethnic and imported culinary delights, the farmers market offers a variety of classes to teach you how to cook with the exotic ingredients it sells.

The Buford Highway Farmers Market

The Buford Highway Farmers Market has an amazing variety of produce, meat, seafood and international foods. Photo courtesy of Buford Highway Farmers Market, Facebook.

Find the staff picks of the week, or observe the in-store demonstrations on cooking a wide variety of foods, including Asian cuisine (Korean, Thai and Vietnamese) and Spanish and Latin-inspired dishes.

Explorers will find a vast array of international foods, and if you’re a curious epicurean indulge on the variety of samples, all available to take home as a gift or inspiration for your next dinner party. In addition to purchasing international ingredients, visitors can grab a bite on their way out with items such as fresh tamales and bubbles teas at the front of the market.

The Buford Highway Farmers Market is located at 5600 Buford Highway, just outside of the perimeter. It is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tucker Farmers Market

Right next to Doraville is the city of Tucker. Tucker may seem like a typical small suburb of Atlanta, but on Thursday nights the Tucker Farmers Market becomes the place to be for great eats. More than 25 local farmers and food producers arrive each week to sell their creations. On the first Thursday of each month, they are joined by a selection of favorite Atlanta food trucks to create a taste extravaganza unlike any other.

Tucker Farmers Market

Food trucks serve up unique flavors at the Tucker Farmers Market. Photo courtesy of Tucker Farmers Market, Facebook.

Atlanta food trucks from all over partake in the quest to delight visitors’ palettes. Some of our favorite food trucks from Atlanta include Mac the Cheese Truck, which features delectable macaroni-and-cheese-inspired dishes.

In addition to tasty food truck dishes, visit the market for the fresh variety of goods and locally sourced foods grown in Georgia. Mercier Orchards, a well-known North Georgia orchard, is a featured vendor, selling freshly made fried apple pies, apple butter, apple cider and more. All this and more makes the Tucker Farmers Market a uniquely special gathering spot in Atlanta.

The Tucker Farmers Market takes place every Thursday from April through mid-December from 4-8pm. It is located in the heart of Tucker, at 2333 Main Street.

Super H Mart

Hungry travelers and visitors who want a piping hot meal cooked on-the-spot should consider visiting the Super H Mart food court in Duluth. Located near Doraville, the Super H Mart is a mega international grocery store featuring cuisine from all over the globe.

Of course, the food court inside Super H Mart is a popping, bustling center that attracts shoppers and diners alike. Featured dishes include Pho with delicious bean sprouts and basil, combo meals with kimchi, steamed rice, miso soup, pot stickers, and Korean BBQ.

Fresh side dishes made daily at Super H Mart.

Fresh side dishes made daily at Super H Mart. Photo courtesy Super H Mart, Facebook.

If you get the notion, be sure to check out the entire store. Similar to the Buford Highway Farmers Market, the store also features a fresh assortment of baked goods, groceries, and various snacks available for purchase.

The Super H Mart is located at 2550 Pleasant Hill Rd. It is open every day from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Atlanta Chinatown

Are you seeking a truly authentic Chinese meal? Atlanta Chinatown can accommodate your tastes with a rich variety of authentic Asian cuisine and dishes. This isn’t the typical “Chinese food” that many of us are accustomed to seeing on a takeout menu. Instead, you can find a vibrant array of restaurants that will delight any adventurous epicurean with unique items like hand-pulled noodles and seafood dishes. (Read Culinary Explorer Jennifer’s tips and recommended dishes at Atlanta Chinatown.)

Atlanta Chinatown Mall

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Chinatown Mall

Locals rave about the sit-down restaurants in Atlanta Chinatown. If you’re looking for the complete experience, try the Oriental Pearl restaurant. Around for more than 20 years, Oriental Pearl serves traditional Chinese dishes with many items you would find off-the-menu at other restaurants.

Atlanta’s melting pot goes beyond the borders of Doraville and DeKalb County. Other counties — Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton — feature neighborhoods famous for their culture and growing diversity. I hope this has inspired you to explore Atlanta food options outside the city limits to find the unique, hidden gems of the North Atlanta area.

author-lisa-breslin-webLisa Breslin is a PR Consultant for the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center North Atlanta. Located off I-285 at Exit 32 near Doraville, the property is conveniently located 14 miles from downtown Atlanta and close to all the destinations featured in the blog post. For more information, visit www.northatlantahotel.com.

Five of Our Favorite Georgia Brands

We sat down with the owners behind some of the best brands to hear their story, how Georgia has influenced their business and what their favorite things to do around the state are. Here’s what they had to say.

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Click here to jump to:
KEVIN’S | PEACH STATE PRIDE THE OLE BULL CO. 
R.L. MARTIN & CO | 
SOUTHERN PROPER 



Explore Georgia: What’s the story behind Kevin’s?
Kathleen Kelly, Co-Owner: Kevin started the company in 1979 in Tallahassee, Florida. It was primarily a gun and hunting store that also carried general sporting goods. I joined him in 1992 after we were married and together we transformed Kevin’s into a plantation lifestyle company. With Kevin being an authority on sporting guns and our company being situated in bobwhite quail country, it just made sense.  Our company is focused on this lifestyle, from the hunt to the home.

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EG: What makes you unique to Georgia?
KK: We have one of the most beautiful and well known high-grade gun rooms in the country with and amazing and unique collection of guns.  We also make our own Kevin’s Plantation Shotguns which have won awards in our industry and been featured in all the main sporting magazines.

EG: What are some of your favorite items right now?
KK: We try to offer as many “Made in America” products as we can! For example, our quail bracelet is made in Thomasville and the camo belt is made in Atlanta. Our customers know they will find unique items at Kevin’s, whether it’s a basic T-shirt or a Kevin’s custom designed Italian pewter bowl, ice and wine bucket we designed and had hand-made in limited quantities in Italy.

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EG: What should travelers see in Thomasville after they’re done shopping at Kevin’s?
KK: Definitely visit Pebble Hill Plantation, dine and shop in our downtown. Our town is amazing! A fun place to stay is Paxton House, within walking distance to us.

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Follow Kevin’s on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


 

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EG: What’s the story behind Peach State Pride?
Derek Chitwood, Founder & CEO
 I grew up picking peaches each summer with my Grandpa so I’ve always had a strong love for The Peach State. When I started Peach State Pride in 2009 I wanted to create a logo that instilled pride in our great state of Georgia, and in some way give back to the state.

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EG: What makes you unique to Georgia?
DC: I don’t think what we’re doing has really been done before. We promote our state; our towns, regions, communities, artists, athletes, and businesses, and we give 15% of our profits back to Georgia. We’re a clothing line, but really so much more than that.

EG: What’s on your must-have Peach State Pride list?
DC: Our hottest item is our Georgia Mesh Back Hat. I’m also a big fan of our Classic Button Downs for a more mature look.

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EG: What should visitors do if they’re around Athens?
DC
: You have to stop by Last Resort Grill and grab a meal! When the night rolls in, catch a show at the Georgia Theatre.

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In Watkinsville, it’s easy to relax. The Ashford Manor is an amazing Bed & Breakfast and Chops & Hops downtown is a must-stop for lunch or dinner. If you’re up in Lavonia, 211 Main Street Restaurant and Bakery is right around the corner from the store. And in the summertime, swing by our roadside stand at Chitwood Orchard for some of the best peaches you ever put in your mouth!

Follow Peach State on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


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EG: What’s the story behind The Ole Bull?
Miles Tinsley, Co-Founder: The Ole Bull Co. is all about local flavor! Our mission is to connect refined men and local craftsmen across the country. There are so many amazing products being crafted by small businesses in Georgia and other states at this very moment, but these products are difficult to find and even harder to compare.

ole2 EG: What makes you unique to Georgia?
MT: The Ole Bull Co. was founded and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. We source many of our local and handmade products in Atlanta and other places around Georgia. The Ole Bull Co. is currently working with four Georgia companies whose products all have incredible craftsmanship and integrity. They are Go Forth Goods (Marietta), Proof Cocktail Syrup (Decatur), Cord Shoes + Boots (Atlanta) and Margaret Vera (Atlanta).

EG: What’s on your must-have list right now?
MT: We have some amazing products from our friends here in Georgia!  Two of our personal favorites are The Traveler Mug by Go Forth Goods and The Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup by Proof Syrup. A lot of these businesses are right here in the Atlanta area.

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EG: What’s on your Atlanta bucket list?
MT: We’re always on the lookout for great places to grab a cold beer or to get our fill of delicious food. We spend a fair amount of time at Three Taverns Craft Brewery in Decatur. They have a refreshing assortment of beers and the brewery itself has a unique and rustic design. As far as sitting down for a classy dinner that is sure to please, we’d recommend checking out Southern Gentleman in Buckhead. They take comfort food to a whole other level, and offer an impressive list of aged whiskey.

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As massive BBQ enthusiasts, our final recommendation would be hitting up one of our three local favorites, each guaranteed to hit the spot. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, D.B.A Barbecue, & Sweet Auburn Barbecue.

Follow The Ole Bull on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER



RL MartinEG: What’s the story behind R.L. Martin & Co.?
Devan Martin, Owner: R. L. Martin & Co. is the men’s department inside Only Options, an apparel store that has been serving Valdosta, GA since 1983. My husband, Justin and I purchased the store in 2014, we dedicated a large space in the store to expand the men’s selection. R. L. Martin & Co. is a nod to Justin’s father, Ronald Martin, who was a buyer for Belk Hudson for 22 years before he passed away returning from a buying trip. We hope to continue the legacy of the fine gentleman he was.Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.33.45 PM

EG: What makes the store unique to Georgia?
DM: We are one of just a few specialty retailers of our kind in the state. We take a “support local” approach to business, carrying many Georgia based clothing and gift lines from brands such as South Georgia Pecan Co. gifts, Savannah Bee Company honey, Laurie Jo’s pepper jellies and more!

EG: What’s on your must-have list in the store right now?
DM: It is spring time, and we are dreaming of warmer weather and weekends at the club!  The E4 Performance Collection by Peter Millar allows you to look sharp and swing the club without the wrinkles.  We carry a large selection of E4 Performance pants, sports shirts, and outerwear. This breathable, easy care fabric, will look great for a dinner after a great day on the course!

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EG: What’s your favorite thing to do in Valdosta?
DM: Having brunch or dinner at Friends Grille and Bar is a MUST in Valdosta! Using only local produce, they specialize in modern, but laid-back southern cuisine. Chef Randy DeCoudres never disappoints!

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Follow R.L. Martin & Co on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK


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What’s the story behind Southern Proper?
Ansley Kuhlke, Director of Wholesale: Inspired by the southern pillars of style, tradition, and authenticity, Southern Proper was created as the haberdashery for the Southern Gentleman in late 2005.

Emilie Claire Howard (fondly known as Emmie) and Regan Hardy Howell planted the company’s roots in Atlanta, Georgia and began building a men’s clothing line infused with their mutual appreciation for heritage and fashion, running deeper than a Southern Accent. Operating out of over 300 specialty retailers across the country and online, we continue to grow our brand while sustaining our appreciation for our homegrown roots!

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What makes you unique to Georgia?
AK:  Born and raised in Atlanta, Southern Proper has proudly maintained and celebrated it’s Georgia roots from its creation. Not only do our products display the propersouthern attire but truly represent the southern lifestyle from which we were all raised. Each collection is inspired by the life we all love to live right here in Georgia.

Whether you’re cheering on your team at a tailgate or spending a long weekend in Savannah, Southern Proper has you covered from head to toe! Remembering our heritage and resonating with our customers has always been the foundation of our company.

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What’s on your must-have list right now?
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 7.51.05 PMAK: We’re all eagerly anticipating warmer weather and even more excited to launch our spring collection. The must-have piece on the shelves right now is our new Dock Pullover.

On any given cloudy day or for chilly nights at the beach, this is the perfect transitional piece for spring in the south. Be sure to grab this fun and lightweight jacket in three great colors, available in stores and online now!

What’s on your Georgia bucket list?
AK: The ladies of SoPro highly recommend earning the triple crown…of Hot Dogs that is. In our humble opinion, a must-do for natives and visitors alike is to visit grab a delicious dog from each of the best places around Georgia: Atlanta’s own Varsity, Nu-Way of Macon, and Monroe’s in Americus. Your stomach will be all the happier after this mouth-watering journey around the empire state!

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Follow Southern Proper on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

 

 


B6RUpoACEAAGPPb.jpg-largePARKER WHIDBY is the Digital Content Specialist for Explore Georgia. She loves to travel, write & photograph all the amazing things Georgia has to offer. In her spare time, Parker enjoys painting, going to concerts, trying new restaurants & spending time with family, friends & her pups, Doc & Baxley.