Calling on my Southern JelloHeads!

Hey y’all! I’m going to a conference next week at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center!

As these things usually do, it starts on Monday morning, which means my colleague and I have to fly in on Sunday. Last year we were at a hotel in the supposedly impressive neighborhood of Buckhead. All I know is that there was not a restaurant in walking distance that we could afford, but we went to one anyway, a fondue place with a pirate theme. I kid you not. It was very expensive.

It looks like the Georgia Tech area has a bunch of restaurants, but I’m wondering if any of my Atlanta-area readers would like to make a recommendation? (I know you’re out there!)

Please help me get through the mind-numbing experience of another work conference!



  1. Well, on the extreme cheap end there is that Atlanta institution The Varsity, once billed as the “world’s largest drive-in.” The locals claim the hot dogs are good, but I’ve never had the nerve to try one. Their fried pies aren’t bad, though.

    Other than the Varsity, I’m not sure what’s real close to Georgia Tech. However, another Atlanta landmark easily reachable via MARTA is Manuel’s Tavern at the corner of North and Highland. The food is great, and it’s renowned as being a hangout for Democrats — Jimmy Carter has been known to drop in. It also qualifies as most definitely not pricey.

    The Water Shed in Decatur, another spot easily reachable via MARTA, is a little more upscale but not unreasonable — and the food is wonderful. The chef is fairly well-known for doing traditional southern dishes and using locally grown produce as much as possible.

    There is a microbrewery in downtown Atlanta, on Peachtree not far from the Fox Theater, but I’ve never been there so can’t vouch for either the food or the beer.

    If someone tries telling you MARTA isn’t safe, ignore them. What they’re really saying is “Ohmigod. Poor people and/or coloreds ride the bus/train.” Atlanta has the usual urban problems, but it’s no worse than any other large city.

  2. Their fried pies aren’t bad, though.

    Oh my. I do love Southern cooking.

    Thanks for all the leads — I’ll definitely look into them. As for MARTA, don’t worry. I took it last year, and I thought it was great! It reminded me a lot of the D.C. metro system — must be the same car manufacturers or something.

  3. Well, for Manny’s it would be a bus instead of the train, but it’d be real straight-forward — the #2 from the North Ave MARTA station. It’s the station closest to the Fox Theater. The bus runs east on Ponce de Leon, so you’d get off at Highland Ave and walk one block south.

    For The Water Shed it would be the East-West line, then getting off at the Decatur Station and walking a couple blocks west on Ponce de Leon to the restaurant — or you could try one of the others in downtown Decatur. There are a bunch of good ones clustered fairly close together, and none have Buckhead prices.

    The #2 bus eventually goes past the Water Shed, too, but it would be a longer trip than doing it by train.

  4. I wanted to check in to make sure Nan got you covered. I knew she would! Sadly, I live too far out of ATL to know much about the city.

    Have fun while you’re here!

  5. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to be adventurous and travel by bus, but it looks like there are some restaurants around where we are staying. But if time allows, I’ll travel outside the circle of conference-dom ….

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