Ria’s Bluebird, Done Right Their Way

Ria’s Bluebird, a breakfast institution in the heart of Atlanta known for world-famous pancakes. Only a few miles away from the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca Cola. We read in countless articles that many writers put Ria’s Bluebird on top ten list of best breakfast joints across the United States. It was our time to decide the validity of these claims.

We arrived on an early Monday morning in September, much to our delight the place was not hopping yet. We were able to walk in and stake our claim to some good day starters. Before we jump in about the food, I have to make note of some observations I made while waiting for breakfast. Ria’s Bluebird is kinda on the small size on the inside, a very limited amount of seats. I can easily see how a line of people outside the door waiting to hear “Next” on busier days of the week. In our readings of Ria’s Bluebird, we came across a comment that stated “Hipsters frequent this establishment often” . No bother to us, we did see one patron that fit the hipster bill. A very interesting gentleman with very short cut off blue jean shorts and classy handle bar mustache. He helped himself to some coffee with a cup he brought in himself, walked around for a few minutes talking with the locals, and constantly grooming his fine tuned mustache. This only added to the very interesting atmosphere of Ria’s Bluebird. Now lets get to the food.

Looking at half the seating available at Ria’s Bluebird. Get there early.

Shawn: I was originally going to order the famous pancakes with pecans/bananas but I saw an old friend on the menu that I had not seen in a while. Mr. French Toast, my favorite breakfast buddy, who I had not sat down with for some time. The plate was piping hot and loaded with maple syrup. They did not cheap on the syrup, it was actually overflowing the plate. The bananas and maple syrup was the best part of the dish. The best maple syrup I have ever had, granted that I never had maple syrup from local Vermont maple farm. The bananas melt in your mouth with goodness. All bananas should be served this way. I’m not a breakfast person in general, but this dish could make me do it on the daily. I’ll give this dish 9/10 losing a point for just average french toast slices.

French Toast ~ Myer rum dipped brioche with caramelized bananas

Nick: He had the special omelette of the day which was bacon cheddar with mandatory sides. Ria’s Bluebird has strict rules against substitution of sides. The Ria’s standard with special: 1 meat, 1 starch, and 1 bread. Nick’s standard with special: 2 starch and 1 bread. Denied because the chef feels the dish has been perfected the original way and should not be altered for integrity of guest experience. We always give respect and it prove to be a non issue.

Nick’s Feedback “As soon as the waitress told me the special was a bacon cheddar omelet I was sold. It was the best omelet I have ever had in my life. However, I am deducting two points from my rating because I was unable to substitute a side. I simply wanted extra potatoes instead of a meat. I don’t like sausage and there was already bacon in my omelet. My rating is 8/10. Amazing food and definitely a fan of everyone sleeved with tattoos!”

Special omelette of the day: Cheddar Bacon with skillet potatoes, bacon, & warm biscuit

Overall:

A great experience with the added luck of being seated promptly. A lot of good menu items, some people could view the pricing on the high side. But I always felt, the price you pay always matches the quality when it comes to food. So for us the pricing is justified. It’s too early for us in our adventure to call this place “Top Ten” but it definitely left a long-lasting memory.

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Coccadotts, Rule 106: Never Turn Down a Good Cupcake

It was a nice surprise that Coccadotts Cake Shop recently opened just two miles away from us. They had some pretty good credentials for making good cupcakes.  An automatic decision was made to go check them out and welcome them to the neighborhood.

As soon as I walked in Coccadotts, I was greeted with a warm welcome and smile.  They encourage questions to help out with the selection that fits your taste buds.  They have so many different cupcakes;   it would take a couple of trips to just go through the top-tier ones. On the first trip we sample several flavors.

Below are photos and comments about each one.

Gnome Cupcake: Shawn's Favorite ~ Chocolate cake with peanut butter flavor Nice surprise at the base

Tough Cookie: Josh's Favorite ~ Chocolate chip throughout the cake with cookie dough pieces on top.

Snickers Cupcake: Very good, has piece of snickers in the center of the cake.

Guinness Cupcake: Actual made with Guinness Beer

Chocolate Mint Cupcake: Makes your kitchen smell minty.

Boston Cream Cupcake: Sadly no cream in the center of the cake.

Bacon Maple Cupcake: Definitely taste the maple.

They were all good cupcakes; we will be back for sure.   Rule 106 applies here  “Never turn down a good cupcake.”

Mount Mitchell, Gets No Higher East of the Mississippi

Mount Mitchell Sign

Shawn and I decided to take a trip up to Mount Mitchell while we were in the Asheville area. It was a nice drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had never been on the parkway, but had heard it was an awesome road to travel on. It was a good hour drive up Blue Ridge Parkway (it was only about 35 miles but all the curves in the road slowed progress) to reach the bottom of Mount Mitchell. Make sure your gas tank is full because we didn’t see one gas station the whole way there.

View from top of Mount Mitchell

Once you turn off of Blue Ridge Parkway you will have to take another road pretty much all the way to the top of Mount Mitchell. They also have a nice restaurant looking over the mountain about half way up. After reaching the top there is a parking lot looking down on the road we traveled up on and all across the mountain range. As we stepped out of the car I noticed instantly that we were going to have a bug problem so bring plenty of bug spray. There were flies everywhere.

There is a short trail, but very steep, that takes you to the tip-top of Mount Mitchell. They have benches every 20 feet or so to stop and take a rest. When you get to the top you will notice a stone structure that is the grave of the man who discovered Mount Mitchell. Walking past the grave site is a bridge leading up to a platform area which is the highest point east of the Mississippi. This is the best view from the mountain.

Founder of Mount Mitchell Buried Here

We had a good trip up there. I think the drive up to Mount Mitchell down the Blue Ridge Parkway was more enjoyable to me. Do I recommend traveling to Mount Mitchell? Yes, because who wouldn’t want to stand on the highest point east of the Mississippi!

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How It All Came Together part Two

I had another two reasons for doing the wannaseeitall.com . Before the site was done, I had a lot of problems finding good information on places without weeding through the useless garbage around it. I was playing a hide and seek game where just about every website wanted to sell something. It was aggravating not finding good free info. I wanted to create a website where people can find quick good information about places and it will always be free to the public.

The second reason for website development was pictures. I am one of those people where photos of locations would help my decision on whether I was going on the trip or not. It’s hard to find good quality pictures where you don’t have a group people as a focal point.I wanted an unobstructed view of what the place has best to offer. You will not find any group photos or video of us on our website. I’ll save those for the blogs behind the scenes look.

More stuff at Wanna See It All

How It All Came Together

I wanted to put this project together for a while now and it had been on the back burner for some time. The only thing that kept me from doing it sooner was the lack of knowledge and skill at web designing. I had a lot of free time during this past off season to take the time and learned how to put a website together. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is not a happening place during the winter and many businesses reduce their hours of operations. So the work schedule for myself is light so hence the extra free time to learn web design.

I’m a trial and error kind of guy where the best way for me to learn something is just do it and learn from my mistakes quickly. So during the free time, I took the task of learning how to video edit and web design (html, javascript, and css). Using Dreamweaver CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5 made my life easier when putting it all together. Nothing gets the job done better than these two software programs. I’m not getting paid for this plug.

The one thing that took me the longest to put together on the website, wannaseeitall.com was the locations page.  The location pages are composed of maps of 48 states with the best places to visit on them. It took roughly 2 months(2hrs/day) to plot the 1020 location points. The map used Google API with javascript coding and even the slightest error results in no map showing. So extra care had to go into coding the maps. I had a few moments where the mistakes cost me a few hours of cussing to find the answer.

So as the website grows, the look of it will improve over time.

More stuff at Wanna See It All