Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Atlanta Part 1! Breakfast & Lunch: Ria's Bluebird & Rosebud

Note: This trip took place in February - so sorry for the delay! Diana and I have just been eating at too fast a pace to keep up!  We will be posting the favorite parts of our trip pieces at a time.  Here's the first, which is dedicated to our blogger pal Sara, a current ATL homegirl.

Diana, Carrie and I were looking for a quick weekend trip together, and Atlanta seemed just the place.  Although it is pretty central to our three locations, and though we may have been swayed too heavily by a donut place we had espied on Bakerella's blog, we quickly learned there were other fantastic eats and sights to experience also that made it the perfect destination spot.

Ria's Bluebird was among them, noted in NYTimes fun 36 hours article series as the best pancakes in the world.  Now that is something we all had to validate.

Ria's is notorious for long waits in the morning, so we made sure to arrive right when it opened.  Within moments, the place completely filled up, and there was already a wait outside the door.

We ordered immediately, and before we knew it, we were staring down three beautiful dishes to share!

The pancake special of the day: orange zest pancakes with Nutella whipped cream

The spongey pancakes were bright and full of citrusy flavor.

Like, almost too much citrus.  There were huge chunks of orange zest that became borderline bitter the more you ate it.  Wish they had also given more of the Nutella cream on the side because it quickly melted into the pancakes and did not provide much flavor otherwise.

We also ordered a plate of the regular menu pancakes with the works: Georgia pecans + caramelized bananas.  Caramelized bananas are some of my most favoritest things.

The syrup-drenched pancakes were just as spongey yet springy as the orange zested ones, with nice hot pecans tucked within the layers.  With the sweetened soft bananas, the pancakes were pretty good but not quite the best in the whole world in my opinion (but you know I love my pancakes thick and fluffy!).

With sweets, we always have to order a savory, so we opted for the today's omelet which comes with choice of three potato options, choice of meat and bread.  We love choices!  

Hello sweet potato cake.  You are basically a griddled mound of mashed sweet potatoes, and we like you!

The omelet was good also with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella.  Melted, fresh mozzarella is always a delight.

Diana enjoyed the buttery, crumby biscuit with the apple preserves on the table.

After, we walked off our carbolicious breakfast by experiencing the wonders of the Georgia Aquarium.  I know Diana agrees that the Georgia Aquarium has definitely ruined all other aquariums for us.  The GIANT tanks of different sea creatures swimming in perfect harmony is truly a breathtaking sight to behold.

A few hours of marveling at adorable sea otters and crazy jellyfish later, we had worked up enough of an appetite to tackle our second breakfast/brunch at Rosebud, a gem of a spot featuring local and regional ingredients through a seasonal, Southern-inspired menu.

On Friday, while waiting for my delayed vacation-mates, I burned time by sampling Rosebud's Big Nasty sandwich (apologies for the photo quality - this was pre-S95).

Fried chicken + scrambled eggs + thick cut, smoky bacon + fried chicken breast patty
Can I tell you - this has to be one of my most favorite sandwiches of all time.  It is SO good.  Sure, as I was eating it, my heart started beating so fast that I thought I was going to have a coronary, but I think it's because I was so overwhelmed with how delicious it was.  All the textures (crispy! chewy! soft! meaty!) and the flavors (buttery! smoky! savory!).  My brain could not keep up.  Good thing my mouth could - I chowed this sucker down good!

So seeing how good this was, I was excited to return again with Diana + Carrie to try more eats!

We ordered the springer mountain chicken because I was so impressed with the juicy flavor of the patty in the Big Nasty.  The plate came with huge, fat strands of crisp green beans, mashed taters and coleslaw.  Everything was totally solid.

Crab cake benedict came with their ever so lovely crispy potatoes.  

The crabcake was good, but not too memorable.  What I do remember is how much I enjoyed those potatoes: the seasoning...the crispy edges...they should be poster child for how all breakfast potatoes should be!

Fried oysters and grits with bacon, chicken gravy and a perfectly poached egg

Poached eggs are a beautiful thing, aren't they?  So are fried oysters when they are done just right - which these were, nice and plump with a thick cruncy coating.  I think Diana liked this dish best (but maybe she will correct me :D).

While I was scarfing down the Big Nasty, I had obsessively stared at the chalkboard menu with all of the desserts listed (I can be so creepy).  So naturally, with two best galpals in tow, it was time to sample some!

The Mexican Coca-Cola chocolate cake + Rosebud sundae!

This Rosebud sundae was so money.  It came with scoops of vanilla + chocolate ice cream, peanut butter(!!), and mounds of caramelized rice krispies.

So. Money.  Like, I don't even really use that phrase, but it just feels right here.  All sundaes should have caramelized krispies on them. And peanut butter. Swoooon.

This Mexican chocolate cake was such a surprise delight also.

It was so moist, soft and tender.  I think Carrie was confused about the Mexican component (thinking maybe it should be spicy / cinnamony), but since the Mexican name is prolly derived from the cane sugar version of Coke, this cake did not have any of those desired flavors.  But!  If this cake had cinnamon in it, I would suspect this dessert could be super money also. Ha! (I'm serious though.)

Ria's and Rosebud - thanks for such a warm and tasty welcome to the city!

421 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Ria's Bluebird on Urbanspoon

1397 north highland avenue, atlanta, georgia 30306
Rosebud on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow! Great-looking stuff. The melty Nutella was what first caught my eye, so it's a shame you didn't like the meltiness as much. I've never had a fried oyster, but that bowl is pretty convincing. Especially since I could tell myself it's fried chicken. It reminds me of oyakodon, which I looooove.

  2. i miss that aquarium!! and that foooood. seriously, those were best grits ever with those fried oysters!!

  3. Yay! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip! Everything you had looks wonderful. Caramelized rice krispies - I need to have that ASAP.