Today, in reader blegs

Here’s an email I received from Jason:

I know somewhere along the way, there is a “What to do in Athens” post, but not sure how to locate it. God-willing, I will make it back to the States this summer and am thinking I want to do 2 nights in the Classic City after at least 14 years.

First, the cheapest decent hotel I found is the Graduate Athens. Second, I know I will likely visit Creature Comfort and The Last Resort (which was actually open when I was a student), but other than that, if I have 2 nights in Athens, out of football season, what else do I need to hit? I graduated in 91 so, if there are still landmarks from that era, I might hit those, but what else is “not to be missed”?

Can y’all help a reader out with useful suggestions?

Consider this one of those quasi-Playpen posts I referred to back in April.  It’s non-football, but I expect everyone to stay on topic in the comments.  Have at it, gang.

94 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

94 responses to “Today, in reader blegs

  1. T. K. Harty’s! Wall Street West! The B & L Warehouse! Allen’s! The 5th Quarter! The Dawg House! The Swamp Guinea! Those are all still around, right?

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Definitely hit DePalma’s and Cali N Tito’s. Plenty of good places for libations around town. Off the beaten path of downtown and 5 Points, try home.made on Baxter for dinner.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Jack Klompus

    Papa Joe’s, Herbies, Bissets, Gus Garcia’s, Shrimp Boat, Locos and Guthrie’s are my favs. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    I know it sounds like there is a general theme of trying to keep costs down, but if you’re there for two days, either with only a one night stay or even a two night stay, I would recommend a better hotel and right downtown so you can walk everywhere. You don’t have to do the Hilton, but Hotel Indigo is nice.

    Walkers is probably the best bar in Athens besides The Globe. I’d spend some time in both.

    Talk some time to walk through Wuxtry and thumb through history at Athens’s last record shop (RIP Schoolkids).

    The 5 is a nice gastropub, and the food is tasty. Home.Made offers the best brunch in town if you’re there on a weekend. Mama’s Boy is a must stop for the best chicken biscuit you’ll ever have, and everything else there is great, too. On Tuesdays they serve pancakes. They moved Blind Pig into downtown proper, and they still have great sandwiches.

    If you’re a golfer, the University Course is nice with some challenging holes.

    Enjoy your trip! Eat well, drink hearty, and GO DAWGS!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      FWIW, I don’t know about some other lists, but mine is up to date. Athens tends to change a lot year to year. You’ll probably be shocked to see some of those changes.

      Like

    • I love the Jittery Joe’s Mama’s Boy coffee.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        I’m always partial to Jittery Joe’s anything (it was my best job in college, and honestly, one of my favorite jobs ever), and yes, their Mama’s Boy Blend is amazing, and also a beautiful can design.

        Liked by 1 person

        • One of my stops when I go to Athens on business or as delivery man to my student is Joe’s for coffee, WiFi, K-cups, and a tin.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Here’s a dirty little secret: it’s the exact same bean as their house blend, they just put it in a blue can with the Mama’s boy label

          Liked by 1 person

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

            I just finished a can of Mama’s Boy this past weekend and am drinking the House Blend right now. They do taste different to me.

            I trust Charlie to create the blends and be honest about it.

            Like

    • David Basham

      Wuxtry is not the only record store downtown. Low Yo Yo, next to Clocked, actually has better prices on just about everything.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        Hah, I spoke too soon!

        That one is definitely news to me. When Schoolkids closed in 2008, Wuxtry was all that was left. When I go back every year for games, if it’s a day game I still go and buy records there. I usually walk downtown pretty well, and never noticed another record shop!

        Awesome. Will need to go check it out! It’s downtown, you say? What street / intersection?

        Like

    • An update to the above post: there are 4 record shops around Athens; Low YoYo, Wuxtry, The Record Booth, and Starlite has a great selection too.

      Also. I’d recommend checking out Athentic Brewing here in Normaltown. It opened up right around a year ago now and consistently has great live music and events most days and nights of the week.

      Downtown, you cannot go wrong checking out The World Famous for late night dinner/drinks.

      I’d also recommend checking out some of the AirBnBs around Athens. I have one at our place off Boulevard (likely too far from downtown for a short weekend like you are wanting) but there are many great ones here.

      Lastly; there’s a new BBQ joint that just opened a few months ago on Broad St called Tamez. Athens finally has great BBQ. I’ll be there at lunch today if anyone wants to join.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. David Basham

    The 40 Watt Club and the Georgia Theatre. Ciné and The National. Dawg Gone Good BBQ and Ted’s Most Best. The Nowhere Bar and Flicker. White Tiger and Hi-Lo Lounge.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. thunderdawg42

    Pauley’s has a ton of beers to try, and the recently (2010) rebuilt Georgia Theater (now with a rooftop bar!) shouldn’t be missed, even though it traded some of its original character for contemporary design sensibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As a ’98 grad who still lives within 30 min. I can attest that LOTS of stuff has changed. Agree with a lot of what’s listed above but would add Chuck’s Fish as a good newer/nicer place downtown in the old Greyhound station. As well as The Place downtown & Marker 7 in 5 pts. If your visit is on a weekend a little jaunt out to a trailer called Cafe Racer in Crawford is well worth the trip for some first rate biscuits, donuts, and coffee you’ve ever tasted (they also do burgers on Thursday nights). Last but not least, Tamez BBQ is legit! It’s in the old Walter’s BBQ building on Broad that’s been home to a dozen places over the years.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Russ

    If you hurry, the Varsity will still be open. That’s about the only place left that I remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • James A Mercer Jr

      I go too far back for the modern scene but was going to ask about The Varsity….best chili dogs and onion rings I’ve come across. Don’t let it close, Athens!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Spill Tab

    I know this is slightly off target but there was a blog post recalling old Athens haunts from the early 1970’s, when the writer was an undergraduate. It had some really great old photos and might have be affiliated with the Grit Tree blog??? Anyone have any ideas?

    Like

    • James A Mercer Jr

      Again, it’s ancient history, but does anyone remember an upstairs bar downtown called Otho’s…this is in late fifties, folks! Was in there one night..only five of us…and Zippy Morocco’s Schitz people came in and said: ” Give the rest of the keg to those guys”…pointed at us and went out…a great night was had by all…three basketball players, one walkon fb…three guys were veterans…all in a VW…funny, we fit just fine at the end of the night!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. winodawg

    If you stay at the Graduate remember it’s a motel. For your money the Indigo is probably better, but there’s a Hyatt Place and Hilton Garden around, too. Or you could just VRBO it.

    Downtown: Last Resort (dinner only now), Chuck’s Fish (best sushi in town), beers at Trappeze, and Paloma Park is a new spot that’s fun.
    5 Points: Dinner Party (formerly Donna Chang’s), Royal Peasant, and The Expat
    Homemade is on Baxter, and now dinner only. Best dinner in town.
    Normaltown: The Old Pal for fancy cocktails, HiLo for everything else. Half Shep market for cheese.
    Wine shop: The Lark. And you can get small bites there with 2 oz pours to sip.

    If you want to drive 25 minutes to Winder the Bistro off Broad has great upscale dining and Smokin Po Boys sandwiches are great (avoid the stew)
    Tamez BBQ on Broad St rocks.
    Catch 22 on Epps Bridge, don’t get put on the Shitty Tipper Board
    Oyster Happy Hour at Seabear is the best time to go. George’s Lowcountry also has a deal on Oysters for happy hour I think(use your Google-fu)
    DePalmas DT or Timothy is always a solid choice.
    Taqueria Tsunami has great tacos, or Tlaloc on Chase St.
    Creature Comforts and Southern Brewing are the best breweries.
    Dive Bar: Manhattan Cafe or The World Famous.
    Best unhealthy sandwich: the Monte Cristo at Rook & Pawn.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Hit up the World Famous and get the Chicken Waffle Club.
    Oysters at Seabear
    Cocktails at the Normal Bar

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The graduate is a great spot. Easy walk to anywhere.
    Rooftop bar at Georgia Theatre is a must. Another good rooftop bar on top of the Hyatt
    Few good dive bars in Athens have stood the test of time. Go to Roadhouse, where old money Atlanta kids and hipster townies’ alike throw back PBRs together. Little Kings is a good spot as well.
    For a nicer dinner. Last Resort is really the only great option in town. The National is good but a little esoteric in their dishes. Out Atlanta Highway there is Hilltop Grill if you want to imagine what life as a full time grown up Athenian date night looks like.
    Hard to beat a day wandering from downtown to the football stadium and then back. My favorite walk in the world honestly.
    UGA Golf Course

    Like

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      Man, there are many great places to get more than a good dinner in Athens to go along with The Last Resort. Not a comment on the quality of that restaurant, because it’s awesome, but there are so many great restaurants in town or at Five Points.

      Five & Ten being one, in Five Points. There’s also Home.Made, as myself and others have said. There’s a couple of great sushi places. Gastropubs galore, like The 5 or The World Famous. South Kitchen on Washington St. is really good, too.

      Try to wander around next time you’re in town. You’d be surprised.

      Liked by 1 person

      • winodawg

        He’s absolutely right. LRG is great, and always consistent, but there are many more spots that have opened in the last 2 decades. Try something new, you may like it.

        Like

  13. You should check out the IM fields one morning; they’ve done a lot to improve that area (not to mention Lake Herrick is actually non-toxic yet again!) and it’s actually a pleasant place to take a walk this time of year.

    If you don’t feel like fighting everyone and their dad to get a table at Mama’s Boy, I recommend checking out Little City Diner up in Winterville. Great food, good coffee.

    I love me some Jittery Joe’s but if you haven’t tried 1000 faces then you have to do that (it’s cool because you can see where their beans get roasted)

    Georgia Theatre hasn’t opened up the rooftop bar but Hendershots might have some good local music acts.

    Speaking of rooftop bar, the Hyatt downtown has one and it’s actually pretty cool.

    If you go check out Sanford Stadium, I recommend going downstairs (just below the scoreboard on Sanford Drive) and peeking into the recruiting lounge. Crazy stuff in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. RangerRuss

    Square One Fish Co has excellent Gulf seafood. Shokitini has great sushi and is the only place in Athens where I’ll order a beef steak. Superb filet.
    Jason, pay no attention to the other recommendations from this jaded board. Most wouldn’t know the difference between a five star meal and an MRE served on fine china.
    Bunch of gotdam hippies.

    😉

    Like

    • winodawg

      Lol…..you’ll order steak at a sushi place? Dude…..

      I’d be willing to get I’m the only one on this board who has run a Forbes Five Star rated restaurant.

      Liked by 2 people

      • RangerRuss

        Another county heard from.
        Gotdam wino hippie.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Bobby T

          RangerRuss…”another country heard from”. My late mom was the only other person I ever heard utter that expression. Appreciate the memories. BTW, if you are/were a Ranger you’ll get this. My late father was a proud member of Merrill’s Marauders who fought in the CBI theater in WWII

          Liked by 2 people

          • RangerRuss

            Bobby T, first RIP and great respect to your late father. I can only imagine the suffering he endured on that jungle march to Myitkyina (had to look the spelling up). My Uncle pronounced it “Mitchinaw”. He didn’t talk much about it, but it was a defining period in his life. He contracted malaria in the CBI and experienced health issues thereafter. I ASS U ME your dad had the same problems.
            Yes sir, I’m very familiar with the 5307th. The 75th Regimental Distinctive Unit Insignia is an homage to the Marauders. They are not forgotten.
            Thanks man.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Bobby T

              My father also pronounced it Mitchinaw, also contracted malaria and like your uncle, didn’t talk about it much. He was however, more than ready to do battle with the Japanese. By the time he engaged in the CBI he’d already encountered the enemy. You see Russ, on the early morning of December 7, 1941 my dad was on the roof of Schofield Barracks firing a 50 cal. wildly into the sky. I have the bayonet in
              leather sheath he carried in the jungles and I have his Legion of Merit medal he earned while with the Marauders. The Greatest Generation indeed. Many thanks for letting me share.
              Bobby

              Liked by 3 people

              • RangerRuss

                My pleasure, Mr Bobby. I was aware that the Marauders were an all-volunteer unit of combat tested veterans, but your Dad was the extreme. That’s day one veteran there. Hard core. “more than ready to do battle with the Japanese.” That’s understated for sure.
                My condolences for your Mother. Talking to my Mom and she said that she was pretty sure that the returning Veterans were responsible for for an outbreak of malaria in 46 and 47. The government sprayed DDT in the houses, outbuildings and every ditch in the area. She was eleven or twelve and vividly remembers her brother shivering in the bed in the heat of the summer. Rough men who got the job done and paid a price.
                I appreciate your sharing, sir.

                Like

          • James A Mercer Jr

            And a proud salute to your late Dad, Bobby T…that group didn’t have a walk in the park tour for sure. And, if Ranger Russ was a Ranger then more power to him, that patch was a helluva more than just a piece of cloth!

            Liked by 2 people

            • RangerRuss

              Search benning.army.mil/infantry/artb/Graduates/images/8-85.jpg
              That’s me sitting on the crossmember on the left above the Ranger Tab. Thirty-six years ago yesterday that picture was taken. We actually graduated 6 June 85.
              “Best job I ever had.”

              Like

      • RangerRuss

        Man, I just got back from a three year tour of exclusive five star restaurants in Europe, Scandinavia and the subcontinent. Finest meal I et, besides the special at the Denny’s in Calumet City, Illinois, was four fried chickens and a coke at a soul food restaurant in Chicago.
        Y’all cain’t tell me shit about fine dining.
        Pay no attention to these cretins, Jason. And don’t shake hand with them if you meet ’em downtown. Some of them earn their living giving handjobs for tips.

        Liked by 2 people

        • RangerRuss

          WinoDawg, I’m just fuckn with you, buddy. I don’t have an inkling what it takes to run a Five Star restaurant and I never thought I’d order a steak in a sushi restaurant. However, my pal got a rare filet for me to take home on my birthday.
          “You’re gonna want this in a couple hours, Russ.”
          He was correct. So now I’ll sometimes order a filet for later at Shokitini. I’m generally not impressed with restaurant steaks as that’s a thing I can do better at home. I age a Prime or Choice ribeye for thirty days at 37 degrees, season it how I like and grill it to rare. And I don’t have to wear a fuckn mask.

          Like

          • I had Scandinavian the last time I visited Miss Brandee’s…2 es…at least I thought it was Scandinavian…these days there’s no carpet to match to any drapes so who knows for sure. What ever happened to wasp nests? It was right next door to Rays Music Exchange on the south side…I almost got shot trying to “borrow” a guitar. Good times

            Liked by 2 people

          • winodawg

            I know you are my man. It was obvious from your sarcasm font. No triggering here.

            Holla at me next time you’re in town and I’ll buy the beers at Catch 22.
            Greatgrapesga@gmail.com

            Liked by 1 person

          • James A Mercer Jr

            Ah, RR, you almost impressed me with your culinary choices but, while I know there’s more than one favorite, the choice porter house steaks available at Fresh Market can’t be beat. Once you eat Prime or Choice you never shop at a grocery store or Costco for steaks again. And, they’re best when taken home to grill down to a medium rare stage with a little mashed garlic smeared on them.

            Liked by 1 person

            • RangerRuss

              You got that right, Mr James. Of course I’m not above eating a slab of beef from a wore out ol milk cow if it’s aged, seasoned and grilled properly. However, I’m partial to Stripling’s Wagyu ribeye.

              Like

  15. divingduck7

    Stay at Bulldawg Inn for a proper Athens experience. You won’t leave there without a story to tell.

    Mama’s Boy is overrated. Plenty of places around town serving up the exact same menu without having to stand in a crowded parking lot for an hour.

    Manhattan and Little Kings are great dive bars. Order a round of Coors Banquet tallboys for the whole bar for like 10 bucks. A great time had by all.

    I always recommend a stop at Cali N Titos for a meal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      Anyone claiming Mama’s Boy is overrated cannot be trusted.

      It is without a doubt, properly rated. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

    • RangerRuss

      Anyone who stayed at the Bulldog Inn has to lie to pass a background check. That’s what I heard…

      Like

  16. go get a picture with the Iron horse

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Russ

    Is a nightcap at the Frog Pond still an option?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    I notice nobody mentioned Weaver D’s. Is it still open?

    Like

  19. Bobby T

    RangerRuss…”another country heard from”. My late mom was the only other person I ever heard utter that expression. Appreciate the memories. BTW, if you are/were a Ranger you’ll get this. My late father was a proud member of Merrill’s Marauders who fought in the CBI theater in WWII

    Liked by 2 people

  20. stoopnagle

    Definitely agree with the recommendation to upgrade to the Hilton Garden Inn/Springhill Suites/Hyatt downtown.

    Creatures, of course, and then my favorite bar is Little Kings on the corner of Hull and Hancock. Interesting bar food and atmosphere at The World Famous, too. A good burger and eclectic odd menu. Generally, if you’re older than 25, your vibe is going to be west of College Ave. save for maybe Allgood.

    I like to have beers at Starland just because I like the space (you’ll remember this as Transmetropolitan) and beers/drinks at Blue Sky (entrance on Broad next to where Taco Stand was) where it’s a cool feel inside (dark/wood) and the view is over Broad St across to North Campus. Great rainy day spot I think.

    home.made is IMO the best thing going in Athens for more up-scale dining. Just really good food. I’m glad to see others agree. Full disclosure: I did my first post-pandemic dinner in blow-out fashion at Five and Ten if only for the cocktails and Bob’s homemade limoncello, but would’ve gone to home.made if it were open. It is open now.

    Also on Baxter for your breakfast needs is Farmcart. Big, nasty biscuits.

    If you get away from downtown and out Prince Ave, you’ll see a lot has changed. The area where Normaltown Hardware was is now a fine beer-drinking and bar food establishment called Hi-Lo (reasonable prices even by Athens standards – very ‘townie’ clientele but generally kid friendly earlier on), a high-end cocktail joint named The Old Pal, and Agua Linda on one corner with Normaltown Pizza on the other (although I remain a Little Italy partisan where Athens pizza is concerned). Athentic Brewing is around the corner in the Normaltown area – I can’t vouch for it personally, but others I know and trust enjoyed. Normaltown Brewing is out there too a bit further north into the developing former industrial zone, but it’s an older than me (forty-shghej) sort of vibe. Beer is OK. Creatures is the best brewery scene in Athens, hands-down.

    White Tiger on Hiawassee just off Boulevard is the best burger in Athens for my money and offers a quality brunch. Also BYOB.

    Cali n’ Titos is awesome, too, and others have rec’d it. If you’re going to the one on Lumpkin bring cash and it’s BYOB. (Not sure why you’d go to the one on the Eastside… but if you do it’s a bit more normal — takes cards, etc — food is the same but the beer is pricey.)

    Fair warning: there is no longer a Taco Stand downtown. The Milledge location survives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • classiccitycanine

      If you’re going to White Tiger for anything but BBQ, you’re doing it wrong. Clocked is where the best burgers in Athens are. Also, the Cali N Tito’s on Lumpkin takes cards now.

      Like

  21. armydawg

    You have to eat a Rafferty’s. Best Prime Rib anywhere. It’s a bit of a drive but worth it.

    Like

  22. classiccitycanine

    For your dining and drinking options, you can group them into three main categories: Downtown, 5 Points, and Normaltown/Prince Ave (plus a few other outliers).

    Normaltown:
    White Tiger (get the BBQ), Tlaloc (best Mexican in Athens), Automatic Pizza, the Grit (vegetarian but anyone would like their breakfast), Hi-Lo Lounge, Normal Bar (arguably the best bar in Athens for non-students), and Athentic Brewing. I’d also suggest Heirloom and Maepole (get the Boxcar) as secondary options.

    Downtown:
    Last Resort is, hands down, the best dinner option, but South Kitchen, 5 Bar, DePalma’s (Italian), Shokitini (sushi), Pauley’s (crepes), World Famous, and the National also do good stuff. For lunch, I’d consider Ted’s, the Grill (I think they’re temporarily closed for a few weeks right now), Fuzzy’s (get the breakfast tacos), or Dawg-Gone Good BBQ. For breakfast, Athens Bagel Co, Zombie Donuts, Mayflower (plain old school American breakfast), and of course, Mama’s Boy (pro-tip: go to The Falls location to avoid crowds) are your best options.

    As for drinking, Creature Comforts is the best place to drink beer in Athens (although Southern Brewing is also very respectable). If you want bars, you have endless options downtown, but they generally cater to college students (east of Lumpkin St) or hipsters/townies (west of Lumpkin). Little King’s is a townie favorite while Allgood and Magnolia’s are generally good for both non-students and older students (especially in the summer). If I had to pick one bar to visit, it would be Blue Sky. Walker’s has both great coffee and is the perfect place for a 5:00 beer. the Hyatt rooftop bar is also great, especially at sunset.

    In 5 Points, I strongly recommend Marker 7 (seafood) (make damn sure you get a seat on the deck) for dinner. The Royal Peasant (British) has good things, and Home.made is outstanding (get the Mayberry). Both the Expat and Five and Ten are tasty but very expensive. For lunch, I’d go with Cali N Tito’s (Latin), but I would also strongly consider Kelly’s Jamaican (get the BBQ Chicken) or Fully Loaded Pizza (best in Athens). Nedza’s is great for a full breakfast, and Independent Baking Co. is great for a light breakfast. I’ve also heard good things about the Cafe on Lumpkin. The Root is the bar of choice.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. trbodawg

    I enjoy reading these as I don’t get back to Athens often enough. Perhaps a “vistingAthens” tag to these posts would allow us to find them again?

    Liked by 3 people

  24. stillthatguy

    Cali N Tito’s, Kelly’s Jamaican, Tlaloc, Royal Peasant, all fabulous places. Hit up either 5 Points Bottle for some beverages to take back with you, or a growler or two to drink while in town. Trappeze, The Pine Bar, or The Root for solid beers/cocktails/wine.

    Like

  25. Matthew McKinney

    I love Athens, and I really loved Pulaski Heights last time I was stateside. But this expat always—and I mean ALWAYS—makes Chick Fil-A the first and last stop.

    Liked by 2 people