ATL Food Tour

My first stop this summer was Atlanta, Georgia. I visited for about a week after I finished exams.

One day, the wonderfully creative Amy Dingler and I decided to split appetizers at five restaurants rather than ordering a full meal at one place. We rated each restaurant from 1-10 on six different categories, and then calculated a final score out of 50. Next time we’ll take more pictures!

First up, The Vortex in Little 5 Points ( We ordered Southern Fried Pickles with lettuce and spicy jalapeño ranch dipping sauce.

  • Decor: 10
  • Environment: 6
  • Menu: 10
  • Service: 6.5
  • Food quality: 7
  • Price: 9
  • Positives: It looked awesome! You have to walk through the mouth of a skull to get inside, and there were all kinds of cool posters and license plates on the walls (and ceilings). Unfortunately they left out North Carolina 😦 Also, prices were fair and the menu was really funny and unique (see for yourself: Our favorite description was for their coffee: “We don’t offer any half-caf, non fat, pump mocha, whole-milk foam kind of bullshit here. It comes black, in a cup.”
  • Negatives: We were seated at an awkward table near the door despite there being plenty of room elsewhere. It was also really cold inside, and it wasn’t just the ice water 🙂 The service was just okay, and the pickles weren’t anything spectacular, but well done for a fried pickle.
  • Overall: 40.50

Our second stop was R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill on Peachtree Street ( We ordered the mini fajitas, which had sautéed peppers and onions, zucchini, avocado, tomatoes, chopped tempeh (soybean cake) and tortillas with a ginger sesame sauce, served with really good salsa and sour cream.

  • Decor: 10
  • Environment: 8
  • Menu: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Food quality: 9.5
  • Price: 7.5
  • Positives: This place looked really cool, too. You walk past multiple parrots before you get to the front entrance. The whole restaurant has a cool, relaxed, earthy vibe. We sat outside on the screened-in patio and all of the lights were colored, which gave the room a green tint. Our waitress was really nice and had no problem with us only ordering an appetizer. The menu had a ton of really tasty and healthy options. The biggest positive for R. Thomas’ was the food, though. I don’t think it was what either of us were expecting for fajitas, but it all tasted really good, especially the salsa. I’m a huge fan of avocado, and they were perfectly ripe, so that really won me over, too.
  • Negatives: It was a tad bit on the expensive side, for the amount of food we actually got.
  • Overall: 43.50

Third on our list was Sufi’s, a Persian restaurant right next door to R. Thomas’ ( We were hesitant about going into such a fancy-looking place and just splitting an appetizer, but they were super welcoming and understanding. We ordered Sufi’s Special, which was a spicy sautéed eggplant with onion, garlic, chick peas and spicy tomato sauce. They also served us pita bread with butter, feta cheese, olives, cucumbers, gourmet walnuts, mint and sage for no extra charge. We actually did remember to take pictures at Sufi’s, so check them out below.

  • Decor: 8
  • Environment: 7
  • Menu: 6.5
  • Service: 9
  • Food quality: 8.5
  • Price: 10
  • Positives: Our main server was really friendly. Before we sat down, we asked him if it would be okay if we just split an appetizer and he was totally cool with it. He also gave us helpful advice on what to order. The appetizer we ordered was really good, and we didn’t expect to get pita bread, cheese and veggies for free on the side. We actually got so much food for our money that we had to take some home.
  • Negatives: The menu was fairly short and for the most part, pretty plain and boring. The restaurant looked nice and fancy inside, but was not very decorated, especially out on the patio where we sat. Also, for some reason, the only thing they had to dry your hands with in the bathroom were tissues. It may not sound like a big deal but I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to dry wet hands with a tissue. If you haven’t, try it sometime.
  • Overall: 42.25

sufis1 sufis2 sufis3

The fourth restaurant we visited was Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant located a little bit further down Peachtree Street ( We ordered the Ceviche Royale, which was shrimp, scallops and tilapia marinated with lime, lemon juice, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Of course, it was served with chips and salsa. We didn’t get any photos of the food, but we took a couple outside, including a shameless selfie.

  • Decor: 10
  • Environment: 8
  • Menu: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Food quality: 1.5
  • Price: 5
  • Positives: It looked really cool from the outside, and was decorated inside too. They definitely went all out with pictures and designs on the walls. The waitress was pretty friendly, and gave us a “menu tour” since neither of us had eaten there before.
  • Negatives: The food. I don’t know if we just ordered the wrong appetizer, but it was really bad. If it gives you any indication, we spent half the meal trying to decide whether it would be better to subtly flick pieces of seafood into the nearby bushes or if we should spread the uneaten food around our plates and hide it under pieces of tortilla chips. It was also fairly expensive, especially for the poor quality.
  • Overall: 31.50

julio1 julio2

Our fifth and final stop was for dessert and coffee/tea at Cafe Intermezzo, located on the corner of Peachtree Street and 11th street ( I ordered the Sencha Kyoto cherry rose tea and Amy got an espresso with orange flavoring. We split a slice of cake called Candy Bar Explosion.

  • Decor: 10
  • Environment: 9
  • Menu: 8
  • Service: 6.5
  • Food quality: 9
  • Price: 9
  • Positives: Again, really awesome decorations. They did a great job with the classy, old-timey theme. There were chandelier-type lights hanging from the ceiling, beautiful pillars, and other decorations. The drinks were really good but Candy Bar Explosion really took the cake, no pun intended. It was so good. Just take a look at the picture below. It tasted as good as it looks. Our waiter was nice and friendly, and the prices were reasonable. The menu also had so many drink options we didn’t know where to start.
  • Negatives: The menu was almost too long. It was hard to choose a drink, and the waiter didn’t have a complete knowledge of everything, so he wasn’t all that helpful in picking something out, especially the espresso flavorings. Inside, the cakes were not labeled in any way, so we couldn’t really tell what was inside each one. There was a woman showing the cake to customers, but she was kind of cranky and made a big deal of having to give us the run-through when she had just done it with another group. The only other negative was that the seating was pretty cramped. We could hear every word of what seemed like a first date between the couple sitting next to us.
  • Overall: 43.00




Now I have a little insight into the daily life of a food critic – not too shabby. It ended up a really close contest between Cafe Intermezzo and R. Thomas’, but in the end, R. Thomas’ was the best spot overall, when taking everything into account. The only place we probably wouldn’t return was Uncle Julio’s. Maybe the hot entrees are better, but I don’t think I’ll take the chance.

During the rest of my time in Atlanta, I saw a performance at the Goat Farm Arts Center, which I definitely recommend (check them out here: I also had to stop by the infamous fast food joint, The Varisty (, for lunch one day, and I tried all 65 flavors of soda at the Coke Museum.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s