Decatur Days

Have you ever seen a lovelier latte? Enjoyed this at Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. Perfect with an apple pecan scone (the remains of which are the background of this pic)!

Have you ever seen a lovelier latte? Enjoyed this at Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. Perfect with an apple pecan scone (the remains of which are the background of this pic)!

I was recently honored to be quoted in Travel & Leisure, describing – in an article about beautiful town squares – my love for my current hometown: Decatur, GA. This instance inspired me to blog about my next trip home (from teaching this semester at Ole Miss), to share my “local” scoop on Decatur culture and cuisine. 

This past weekend, I filled my Decatur days with both old favorites and a sprinkling of newly opened restaurants. Here, happiness comes frozen (margarita that is) at Taqueria Del Sol in Decatur.

Here is Ralph at Watershed, pondering the terroir of his Pinot noir (or is that a bug that landed in his glass?). 

Back in Decatur, the old Watershed space in my nabe has recently morphed into Chai Pani, specializing in Indian street food. How fun and tasty! 

I also enjoyed meeting a friend for lunch at Cakes & Ale Bakery where we shared a sampling of lunch chef David Sweeney’s brilliant veggie creations that won him many fans at his former Fourth Ward restaurant, Dynamic Dish. Along with the chèvre, grapefruit, and avocado salad we loved the roasted Yukon gold potato wedges with pea pod dip (below). 

My trip home was topped off with some quality time: a pre-Mad Men cookout with good friends – complete with the Atlanta skyline. Here’s our grill master – Mark Scott!

The next morning was perfect for a long leisurely jog around Emory with Roberta McQuade and Anne Keller, followed by excellent coffee and scones afterward at Dancing Goats – aka my “office” downtown. Missed the rest of the sloggers but look forward to getting back into the routine when the Ole Miss semester ends in a few weeks and I can actually unpack my suitcase for awhile. 

A little trip to Buckhead was also in order, for dinner at Watershed. Raw kale salad with eggplant croutons and Parmesan tossed in a homemade ranch dressing makes an invigorating starter (below).

(Left) Joe Truex rocked the special of the night: pan fried rabbit fillet, with spicy turnip greens and creamy grits. 

Were we full? Yes, but we simply couldn’t resist ordering this hot milk cake with salted caramel icing (below); worth every calorie and a perfect end to a great meal at Watershed! 

When we tried Chai Pani, Ralph and I dined on mixed vegetable uttapam, matchstick okra fries, and kale pakoras (below). We love the bright colors and happy vibe of the space – a bit loud but not ear shattering by any means.

At Cakes & Ale, the daily grain bowl was also amazing, with brown basmati rice, lentils, homemade yogurt and a variety of interesting veggies and spices. I could truly eat David Sweeney’s food everyday.

Eat, drink, & enjoy the journey,

Susan 

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