Welcome to Dining With the Stars, a feature in which Atlanta notables walk us through their dream food day in the metro area.
We chatted via email with Robin Meade, the longtime anchor of HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade," as well as a New York Times best-selling author ("Morning Sunshine! How to Radiate Confidence and Feel It Too") and a singer-songwriter with two albums to her name. She’s jumped out of a plane with President George H.W. Bush, hosted the Daytime Emmys, covered two presidential inaugurations and was the featured guest performer at the Venetian in Las Vegas for a two-week run with "Human Nature."
Meade lives in Atlanta with her husband and three rescue dogs. When it comes to picking her favorite spots to eat in metro Atlanta, the vegetarian starts with lunch since she’s almost always at work during breakfast.
Favorite place for lunch:
I’ve got a new crush on the rebranded restaurant inside the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I initially ducked into Longleaf more for the air conditioning than the food. But it’s clean aesthetic and chef-driven menu called for me to stay and order up some vittles. For this vegetarian, no surprise that I went for the vegetable plate. That day, it included oyster mushrooms, glazed turnips and sliced okra. I suspect some of it was grown on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens, in what they call the Edible Garden. Meat eaters, you have lots to choose from. My hubby loved his craft burger, and we both scarfed down their artisan cheese plate with cinnamon encrusted nuts. But could it be the view that ultimately enhances the food? Huge glass walls allow you take in the beauty of the grounds while you munch in comfort.
Longleaf, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-585-2061, atlantabg.org/visit/longleaf
(Note: Because Longleaf is on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens, admission or membership is required to dine at the restaurant. )
Favorite place for happy hour:
My hubby loves Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar’s food in East Cobb. I like testing out the joint’s mixology. Just glancing at the descriptions of the concoctions makes you feel like you’ve plopped down somewhere between a farmers market, a garden party and your dad’s cigar collection.There’s a drink that includes a sugar snap pea, another that uses a Serrano shrub, and still yet one whose ingredients render it a skinny colada! I recommend the smoked Old Fashioned for the sheer entertainment value of being served a drink in a glass topped with hickory smoke. It’s good, too, going down the hatch.
Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar, The Avenue at East Cobb, 4475 Roswell Road, Marietta. 770-635-7641, driftoysterbar.com/
Favorite place for dinner:
If I get a hankering for a nice meal after work, Seed Kitchen & Bar hits the spot. Seed strikes me as a fresh-ingredient, locally-sourced, in-season type of place where parts of the menu change depending on the time of year. I like that you can go in and order your staple, or roll the dice and order the item du jour. For example: Today I’m intrigued by the summery sounding Georgia Peach and Arugula Salad, but I’ve enjoyed their Deviled Eggs and love the sound of the Carmelized Brussel Sprouts for sharing with the table. It’s been awhile since I’ve eaten their Parmesan Garlic Fries. But oh, honey! Those could be my food vice. Mr. Cool has enjoyed the Hangar Steak Frites and the Shrimp & Grits.
Seed Kitchen & Bar, Merchant’s Walk, 1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. 678-214-6888, eatatseed.com/
Favorite place for late night food and drinks:
Check out Huey Luey’s Mexican Kitchen and Margarita Bar in Sandy Springs (locations in Hiram and Acworth, too) .
Tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, fajitas. It has all of these, but I love the off-the-beaten-path items like the Farmer’s Kale Salad. Once their fresh guacamole hits the table, don’t even bother talking to me, I’ll be busy! But the best part, besides the fact they also have live music and a ton of places to tuck away into the corner to sip or sup: Their specialty margarita menu lists 20 seasonal, fresh-to-order flavors. (Disclaimer: They aren’t open THAT late night. But for the morning news anchor, being out past nine pm IS late night.)
Huey Luey’s, 6650 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 678-905-7241, hueylueys.com/
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