Krog Street Market – Atlanta, GA

Krog Street Market

Krog Street Market recently opened in the ultra hip Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park area. It’s Atlanta’s version of Vancouver’s Granville Island, albeit on a smaller scale.

Visitors can dine at the many eclectic restaurants in this upscale food court located in a new (but made to look old) warehouse. Offerings include ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream to Chinese fare at Gu’s Dumplings. Water – sparkling, chilled and un-chilled – is self-serve near the community tables. Other restaurants including The Luminary and Superica offer a full-scale restaurant. Along the way, you can shop retails establishments such as XOCOLATL Small Batch Chocolate and French Market Flowers.

Once you get your food, find a table and people watch. It’s fun to see people of all ages come together. From families with strollers to singles grabbing a cup of coffee before a jog, you’ll see a bit of everything here.

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Yalla and Fred’s are owned by chef Todd Ginsberg.

I’d heard that lines for the restaurants could be long with limited seating. This past weekend, we got there at 11:30 – about the time most dining establishments opened. Although I still had a bit of a line, I tried Yalla, the Middle Eastern place owned by chef Todd Ginsberg. He also owns Fred’s Meat and Bread next door. Although I haven’t tried Fred’s, they offer a bar to sit at (reminiscent of airport dining). I spotted a large pimento cheese sandwich from there that looked worthy of trying for my next visit.

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Retail shops at Krog Street Market

Back to Yalla, you order at the counter, but don’t pay until your name is called when your food is ready. It seemed to create an unnecessary queue, but the wait was only about 5 minutes so it wasn’t a big deal. I ordered the Shawarma Pita for $8. It’s a pita stuffed with chicken shawarma, hummus, baba ganoush, fried eggplant, Israeli salad and pickles and a few other things. It was delicious!

I was expecting a pita with just the shawarma and the other stuff on the side. Instead, it’s all stuffed into the pita (think Chipotle burritos), but the flavors worked together. The pickles are spicy, but are cooled by the tahini and hummus. The portion was big and plenty for me. However, you could get all their entrees in a pita, laffa (flatbread wrap) or a bowl depending on your appetite.

DH went to Grand Champions BBQ. He didn’t have a line and got the brisket sandwich which was surrounded by thick slices of white bread. The potato salad he ordered was as close to my favorite (Hickory Stick BBQ in Shreveport, La) as I’ve ever had. Afterwards we were in the mood for something sweet. At the Little Tart Bakeshop, people in front of us were ordering brunch items. We looked in the glass cases at the large pastry selection and decided on a mocha butter cookie. It was delectable and packed a lot of richness in just a few bites. The perfect ending to the meal.

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For more information, visit the website at Krog Street Market. Here, you will find links to all the establishments mentioned with menus and news. Check back often as a few more places will be opening soon over the next few months.


Woodford Rerserve Distillery Tour – Versailles, KY

DSC_0319When you’re in Kentucky, there are a myriad of bourbon distilleries to tour. Four Roses, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, Barton 1792 – to name a few.

On our recent visit to Lexington, we chose Woodford Reserve Distillery Tours and it did not disappoint.

Located about 30 minutes from downtown Lexington, Woodford is not far from Frankfort – Kentucky’s capital. It also lies in some of the most beautiful horse country. We were surprised at the size of some of the horse barns.

A horse barn along McCracken Pike Road

Because it was a holiday weekend, tours were offered every 20 minutes. Despite this, we had about a 90-minute wait before our timed tour began due to the crowds. However, the Visitor’s Center at Woodford is much like a grand resort lobby with plenty of comfortable seating areas, a large fireplace and a cafe. While we waited, I checked out the gift shop. Outside on the veranda were tables and picturesque views.

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When out timed tickets were called out, the group of 30 people gathered to receive head phones. It was easy to hear our guide, John as he welcomed us and explained the history of Woodford.

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As a side note, I have to mention that one of the reasons we toured Woodford is that I descend from a Ruth Pepper. Her brother Elijah Pepper was the original founder back in the early 1800’s.

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A shuttle bus took us to the distillery buildings about five minutes away. Inside the first stone building, large containers of “sour mash” bubbled in vats. We learned how bourbon is made and how the oak barrels are made – without any nails!

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John took us to the barrel room, which had walls lined with barrels to age. The smell of bourbon was amazing – even if you don’t particularly care for it. Afterwards, we walked through the packaging and labeling area before heading back to the shuttle bus.

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Back at the Visitor’s Center, we entered the tasting room. Two shot glasses of bourbon and a piece of chocolate candy awaited us. John instructed us to take the first sip and swish it around our mouth before swallowing. The second sip was to also get our mouths primed and it was the third sip that allowed us to enjoy the flavors.

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The bourbon on the left was the Kentucky Straight bourbon, while the one on the right was the smoother, more refined (and more expensive) Double Oaked blend. They were both nice, but I could immediately tell a difference between the two. I can’t drink straight liquor so I barely could get two sips from each glass before calling it quits.

Tours are $10 per person and include the tasting. For more information, see the link about tours at Woodford Reserve.