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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SweetFrog, Get in My Tummy

SweetFrog is a chain of premium frozen yogurt shops found across the United States. They are a type of yogurt shop where you grab your own cup, flavor, and toppings. The weight comes into the factor of the cost of the goodness. I only became aware of this place couple weeks ago while reading a post on Facebook. Someone mentioned how they had a craving for some SweetFrog that needed fixed ASAP. After 36 “Likes” and positive comments I knew we had to check this place out.

Josh’s Choice: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Milk Yogurt with chocolate chips chopped up snickers, caramel syrup and hot fudge with whip cream.

The closest one for us was only 4 miles away. When we walked into SweetFrog, we were greeted right away. The employee had so much joy and enthusiasm that it actually carried over to us. I was so pumped up to pull the yogurt machine handle and win my prize. They have over 50 flavors but the location we were visiting only had ten flavors available. Before going to SweetFrogs, I checked the flavor options online ~ I was gunning for Jolly Rancher Fruit Punch. It would bring back memories as a kid walking home from school and stopping at small newspaper/candy shop to buy some 10 cent jolly ranchers. I was a little disappointed that my memory was not available and I had to go with a back up plan. I decided to get all Top Chef “Just Dessert” creativeness with the red velvet yogurt with white cake pieces and white chocolate chips. It was amazing and only $5 out-of-pocket (pretty good value) It actually tasted like red velvet cake.

I told Nick ahead of time to get crazy with his selection and be somewhat adventurous. Prior blog entries ie Wilber’s Barbecue might give you a clue how far out of the box Nick goes. He went with Cookies & Cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. His selection reminded him when he was little, his mom would take him to dairy queen almost every day after school to pick up some cookies and cream blizzards or sometimes stop by the gas station and pick up some Reece cups / slurpie combo. Overall he agreed with me that SweetFrog has some good yogurt.

Shawn’s Choice: Red Velvet with white cake & white chocolate chips

Nick’s Choice: Cookies & Cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

We will definitely be repeat customer at SweetFrog. So many interesting flavors to try. As we try them we will update this post.

Our Flavor Hit List: Apple Pie, Maple Bacon Donut, New York Cheesecake, Root Beer Float and Thin Mint Cookie

Side Note: Josh went a couple of days later after us.

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.”