I think at some point after I got into a serious relationship (like maybe two-ish years in), brunch somehow slipped off the table. Brunch in your early 20s was fun, carefree, and probably what you were looking forward to all week long. Then you start to realize you need to be practical. You gotta save money, you gotta run errands. Time becomes precious and you let go of the possibility of brunch, due to the sheer logistics of it all.
Last weekend, three girlfriends and I decided we were going to brunch. Not only that, but we committed to going to brunch at Bar Mercado, a new hot spot in Krog St Market. I looked forward to it all week long.
The vibe was HOPPIN. I was like oh dang, this is a spot to see and be seen. I didn’t know brunch was gonna be such a party. I almost wondered if I didn’t look good enough to be at brunch but then I remembered that IDGAF now that I’m older. But I imagine it’s a really great date spot, a really great bar spot at night. I got there earlier than my friends so I ordered a cadiz punch brunch cocktail (anything that sounds vaguely tropical is up my alley). The rainy weather had my lady dates trickling in one by one; we each ordered a cocktail. They were bright and fun, appropriate for the setting.
We started off with this seared banana bread that comes with whipped goat cheese butter. It was slightly burnt, but very rich (can you see how oily it is?) and definitely needed to be shared if you don’t want it going straight to your ass. I would probably skip it in the future; too indulgent without enough payoff.
Our main brunch dishes were overall really good though! The grain bowl and my eggs benedict were pretty delicious. The grain bowl had beautiful textures and was hearty without making you feel heavy. My benedict was a surefire hangover cure – really salty and buttery, best things in life. The avocado toast came with this sort of marinated egg on top which was a surprising delight, but there wasn’t as much avocado as we thought there should be. But we were pretty happy with our choices and even happier to just be allowing ourselves to enjoy a slow morning over a nice meal together.
Final thoughts: Bar Mercado is a fun place to enjoy with a group of girlfriends. The music was lively and the atmosphere had us wanting to keep going… (and we did! We moved to Ticonderoga Club right after for another drink) The service was a little on the slower side, but I think that’s okay for a lingering brunch. I’d definitely come back here, but I’d probably try completely different items than this first time. Their patio looks quite inviting so once the weather is warm again, that will take it up a notch! Have you been here yet? Where’s your favorite brunch spot?
Inman Park. Italian food. Covered patio. These are all words that entice me and probably every other 30-something living in Atlanta.
Despite what my Instagram may have you think, we actually don’t eat out really all that much. Save for BuHi, but that doesn’t count! Asian food is my comfort food so BuHi is like going to a cozy mom and pop shop down the street. At least that’s what I tell myself. For Ben’s birthday, we decided to revisit a restaurant we had remembered enjoying – BoccaLupo.
I can’t remember what was in this cocktail (this is how old I’m getting) but I do remember that it was tart, bright, and Florida themed. I really really enjoyed it. The cauliflower appetizer was delicious but I was disappointed by how much it cost given that it wasn’t a huge amount and the flavors weren’t revolutionary. A roasted cauliflower is always good, but when you pay double digits for a vegetable appetizer, you kind of want it to be extraordinary. Or at least a healthy amount. The picture above is the full amount that was given to us.
What we DID feel was worth it was the pasta. Oooohhhhh that pasta. I’m a real sucker for flat wide pasta; something about the mouth feel I think just really hits the spot. With the ragu, it was just delectable. I finished the whole. Thing. Ben’s pasta (below) was lovely but mine was totes better.The good thing about not ginormous portions is that there was plenty of room for dessert. And it was Ben’s birthday so that called for TWO desserts!! What can I say. I like to indulge.
All in all, BoccaLupo was good but I think our choices from the menu were just not the top notch ones. I guess that happens when you don’t frequent a restaurant often – you are more likely to stumble onto some things that are not their best. I think it’s also a challenge given that the restaurant scene is growing exponentially in Atlanta so everyone is asking themselves, what is gonna make me come back here? I like this place, but do I love this place? Hard to say.
Describe your style.
I’m often told I dress like Annie Hall, and I guess I’m cool with that (although I don’t think I’ve ever worn a vest with necktie). I like modern, structured silhouettes and tend to stray away from prints unless it’s a stripe or a polka dot. Maybe that would make me “preppy”? I wear whatever makes me feel good!
Do you have any style icons?
Not really…is that weird? I admire people who dress for themselves and are confident in doing so.
It’s been high time that I try some of the new spots round Atlanta! Bread & Butterfly was at the top of my must-try list, knowing that a) I love breakfast and b) all pastries I’ve had from Proof Bakeshop are finger-licking good. These folks know how to do baked goods right and I’m so glad that more and more we’re seeing established Atlanta restaurants spread their wings into different neighborhoods.
This Parisian-inspired cafe is open like all day long – perfect for lingering – and switches up their tastefully small menu at strategic times of day. My friend Alicia and I made it right as the breakfast menu was coming to a close. It was the perfect start to a weekday off; with time to really savor every item, it was simplicity that I sought and simplicity that I got. It was a Wednesday morning so the place was absolutely empty save for two loners. So if you’re near Inman Park and needing a new quiet place to hole up and read, study, whatever… here’s your new spot! It was way too cold to sit outside but I imagine once we warm up again, the patio will be just divine.
I will warn you, the prices aren’t as casual as I had hoped. It’s the perfect place for a day date, a nice brunch, or treating yourself with your girls. But everyday pit stop it is not. Should you need to go somewhere a bit more friendly to the wallet, I’d recommend Amelie’s.
The food itself was carefully made and I took my time in eating it. It was worth enjoying the moment, the flavor, the textures. You could probably go there and spend less than I did if you just ordered regular coffee and a pastry. But if you’re going to indulge in a nice breakfast, just let it happen. I’m pretty happy I did.
More often than not, the things I choose to write about in this blog are an ode to Atlanta. The sights, the happenings, the people… this city is what sustains my creativity and my drive to be the version of myself I’ve always aspired to. I want to be someone who is cultured, someone who appreciates what the world offers, someone who values kindness and innovation. That plus a whole lot of other little things and I think I’m well on my way to being there. I don’t have as much free time as I’d like, but when I do get the occasional day off, I try to make the most of it. When I heard Krog Street Market was finally open to the public, it skyrocketed to the top of my “must-try” list.
Although it’s not developed to full capacity, what gems do lie there make up a completely worthwhile visit. The Little Tart, Spotted Trotter, Craft Izakaya, Mama Bath and Body – all with local reputations for an attention to quality and dedication to their craft. It’s nice to see all these Atlanta favorites gathered together under one roof; almost like a permanent farmer’s market or a community-centric mini mall. It’s a concept that has been oddly rare in Atlanta until recently. With mixed retail developments popping up all over town (Westside Provisions, Ponce City Market, et cetera), it is undeniable that the city is thriving and the best is yet to come.
Visiting KSM gave me the opportunity to finally meet two newcomers I’ve had my eye on, Xocolatl and Yalla. Xocolatl has got a great thing going for them; small batch anything obviously piques my interest, but small batch single-origin bean to bar chocolate is like one of the most seductive set of words I might ever hear in my life. Unfortunately they were all sold out (of course) of their bars, but it was lovely to just meet the makers and watch them pour a new velvety batch. Now I definitely have a reason to go back to KSM very, very soon (hello holiday gifts).
As you’ve heard (or read) me say over and over, there are always more hidden gems in Atlanta to be found. I’m guessing this is true of any growing and thriving city full of wonderful and creative entrepreneurs. Last week I found myself stumbling into Julianna’s Crepes for a lovely mid-afternoon snack, thanks to the suggestion of my new blogger friend Lucy.
As quaint and charming as ever, this cafe serves up a menu of both savory and sweet crepes. Since I hadn’t had lunch yet, I went for savory while Lucy went for the classic sweet combo of strawberries, banana, and honey. Both tasted a bit like the French/Hungarian childhood I never had.