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Page history last edited by Mark P 15 years, 4 months ago

Background on Atlanta Restaurants

As part of my trip to Atlanta, I did much research on Chowhound, Yahoo travel, and numerous guide books for recommendations on good restaurants nearby. I knew I wanted to eat at places serving food I couldn't get back home. That meant I was going to avoid sophisticated restaurants serving contemporary food -those are pretty much the same everywhere-. That also meant I'd avoid most cuisines from particular countries like Mexico, Thailand, India, Japan, etc. -- I couldn't imagine Atlanta having better renditions of those cuisines than I can find in the bay area. (My research, although it pointed out good restaurants of each of those types, generally seemed to support this conclusion.) Thus, Southern cooking was the main style of food left on my list. Thus, I was seeking comfort/soul food like fried chicken and barbecue.


I occasionally found myself violating my policies by heading to some non-Southern restaurants, mostly because I can get sick of eating fried food.


Context for this Particular Restaurant

I figured I shouldn't leave Atlanta without having grits. (Grits is ground dried corn that is then boiled to yield a consistency like oatmeal.) The night before I'd leave, I examined my list of recommended restaurants and spotted two for which reviewers explicitly mentioned grits. I checked their locations and thus ended up at Thumbs Up Diner around eleven in the morning for my final meal in Atlanta.


Thumbs Up Diner Review

Thumbs Up Diner served me a respectable brunch in well integrated, welcoming setting.


Since it was crowded when I arrived, I sat by the counter near the line cooks. They were busy and so my food took a while to arrive. There was another room for seating but that appeared to be mostly for families.


I enjoyed how the crowd was a good mixture of African Americans and whites. It really felt like skin color wasn't even noticed. Despite all the talk of diversity in California and how has many ethnicities, one still doesn't see this type of integration between blacks and white out there.


As for the food itself, I had:

  • Grits. Fine. A bit like slightly chewy oatmeal.
  • Biscuit. Decent. Felt dense, as it were whole grain, and buttery. Dry, but only in the way whole grain tends to be. Quite a contrast with other biscuits I've had, especially the light white flour ones at Colonnade from earlier this trip.
  • Portland scramble. Good but nothing amazing. Filled with lots of veggies: black olives, mushrooms, broccoli, banana (?) squash, pepperoncini (maybe), cucumber, and another type of squash. Given that it was supposedly made from three eggs, it was bigger than I thought it would be.


Thumbs Up Diner is located in Sweet Auburn, the MLK historic district.


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