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Weekend Lunch Dates Fit For a Quarterback

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Photo courtesy of www.einsteinsatlanta.com/

When football season is in full swing, Matt is not available for weekend lunch dates. The nerve! So, when the off-season arrives, our favorite thing to do on a Saturday or Sunday (or both) is to take advantage of all the great restaurants in the Atlanta metro area. 

While going out for dinner will always be my favorite “hobby,” the lunch date is making a strong case for itself. It’s hard to beat a nice patio, sunny skies, great food and drinks, and of course my favorite company.  We always struggle to pick from among all the tempting options, but this past off-season, we were able to enjoy two “new-to-us” spots that we really loved and kept going back to.

First up: Einstein’s in Midtown. We had driven by it enough times that we were intrigued.  Its patio was always bustling, and there always seemed to be a line of people waiting to get in.  We decided to give it a try.

I’m so glad we trusted our instincts. The atmosphere, service and menu could each have me exclaiming for paragraphs and paragraphs.  I highly recommend trying to snag a seat outside, but the interior is just as welcoming. They also have a great bar area with TVs if you want to watch UGA beat up on an  SEC rival while you eat.   

The menu is big, with plenty of delicious options for everyone.  We have loved everything we have tried, but some of our favorite items are the calamari, fried green tomatoes, Mediterranean burger, sesame tuna salad, chipotle salmon and the pork tenderloin.  I’d also recommend a Bloody Mary to wash it all down – Einstein’s makes a terrific one.

After eating yourself into a food coma, it’s always nice to get a little fresh air.  Every time Matt and I go to Einstein’s, we make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes so we can stroll through Piedmont Park afterwards.  We love to walk the park, check out the farmer’s markets and other events, and then find a bench so we can people watch (my second favorite hobby).

Next up: Leon’s Full Service in Decatur.  We love Decatur, with its boutique stores, coffee shops and restaurants to explore. Weekday traffic can make it hard for us to get there as much as we would like to, so we try to make the most of it on the weekends. 

Leon’s has a very casual and relaxed atmosphere.  The staff is friendly and the service is great.  Nothing outshines the food, though.   

The menu is creative gastro-pub food.  You could easily make a meal out of sampling a few of their delicious appetizers, such as their mussels, shrimp, or perhaps most remarkably, BACON IN A GLASS!! 

The entrees and sandwiches are can’t-miss, though.  I love the trout, and most recently, Matt had the burger with a chickpea salad, and I had to steal liberally from his plate.  We lucked out with a beautiful day when we were there, and took advantage by sitting outside. 

On the tip of Mara Davis, we went to the Dekalb farmers market after one lunch.  Neither of us had ever been before, so we were excited to check it out.  This place has it all.  High-quality meats and produce, flowers, wines, international foods…you name it! The prices are low and the selection is huge.  A must if you’re in Decatur. (http://www.dekalbfarmersmarket.com).

So there you have it – just two spots Matt and I love to visit when we can, as each promises a terrific meal and an easy excuse to enjoy the many splendors of life in Atlanta.

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