The wife and I were off work this past Thursday & Friday for my birthday. I'm 34, which still sounds and feels weird, but I still feel good for a guy half way to 68. Anyway, Friday we had to hop on I-20 to go to the courthouse to renew or license plates. On the way there, I asked her "Hey, do want to go to Atlanta?" She kind of looked at me shocked and said "for real?" So we stopped off at the tag office and we were on our way. It's only a little over 2 hours driving to Atlanta. We grabbed some gas and snacks. We knew we couldn't stay but a few hours because our dogs were at home waiting, we try to leave them for any length of time over 8 hours. The inspiration for the trip was watching the Anthony Bourdain episode of "The Layover" on Netflix. My favorite Sunday afternoon show as of late. I made notes the previous weekend while watching Anthony explore the city. I had around 15 to 20 places in my notes, definitely not expecting to conquer the list. The main target was the Buford Highway Farmers Market.
We actually arrived without any traffic issues, which was a pleasant surprise. The farmer's market was HUGE! Total sensory overload. We were hungry so we decided not to shop before we ate. There are several options inside the market for a quick lunch. We ate some asian cuisine that had been prepared earlier that day. We didn't arrive until around 2pm, so the lunch rush was over. Unfortunately, the food wasn't that great...due to the time of the preparation I would guess. Not terrible, but no great. Still a great price for the quantity of food we had. After our late lunch, we shopped and it was a blast. We frequent the Asian grocery stores here in Birmingham, but the inventory at the Farmer's Market was way more extensive. My wife was really excited to see a Filipino aisle. She loves the food of her heritage and unfortunately we don't have many Filipino options at the Asian grocery stores here in Birmingham. We walked the many aisles and looked at foods from many different cultures. Everything from Japanese to Eastern European. This place has it all. There's also a fresh fish market and great fresh meat market. This place is a must for any foodie.
After our farmer's market exploration, we hit Buford Highway. Buford Highway is filled with multicultural restaurants. Everything for Korean to Mexican. Traffic had started to build by this time. The only drawback for a quick trip to Atlanta is the traffic. It's always a factor. So we drove north, away from the Atlanta metro area. Luckily we found a Filipino market and she bought to prepared meals to take back home. She was so tickled:) We ended up driving to Diluth, to place called MJ tacos. Which is a Korean/Mexican fusion restaurant. My wife ordered some parmesan fries as an appetizer. We basically split them, after I tried them I couldn't resist. Then I ordered the Kimchi spicy chicken quesadilla and a spicy pork taco. She ordered a steak taco. I was absolutely blown away by the flavor of my selections! My wife wasn't as impressed. There was a sweet flavor to the meat and she just didn't care for it. Which turned out fine, because she was still kind of full from the Asian food earlier. So I ate her steak taco too! I told her multiple times "If this place was in Birmingham, I would eat there at least once a week." It was AMAZING!
After that we decided to head back down I-85 to the downtown Atlanta area and back to I-20 to head back home. The traffic was crazy, as we expected. We did okay, as it only took about 30 or 40 minutes to get through Atlanta. All and all it was a great impromptu trip. We only checked off one place on our Atlanta dining list (The Buford Farmers Market), but we will definitely be going back to the ATL very soon.