This past weekend Atlanta hosted a plethora of events! While everyone was at Georgia State University’s Homecoming Game, the AIDS 5K Walk, or the Little Five Points Parade, I was hanging out at the Taste of Atlanta Food Festival in Old Fourth Ward Park!
I was accompanied to ToA by one of Atlanta’s fabulous lifestyle bloggers, Bianca Worthy, also known as @ForeverEyeLoveAtlanta on Instagram. Bianca and I had a blast together trying new foods, talking to vendors, and meeting new people. ToA would not have been the same without her!
This was my first year attending Taste of Atlanta and I was amazed by the turn out! I came on Saturday and experienced a large crowd of diverse attendees and enthusiastic vendors. Of course my focus was set on eating, but I did not expect to attend hands on cooking classes! Throughout the day, there were multiple instructional workshops that were focused on creating unique dishes. Some vendors were even handing out free full sized products. I got lucky and snagged a free bottle of juice and a loaf of bread!
I truly underestimated how much food the taste points could buy me. There was a point where I found myself running around the festival desperately trying to spend my last 8 points!
Unlike the Mac n’ Cheese Festival, ToA maintained a FULL SUPPLY of food! Restaurants were not unorganized and constantly running out of options, but rather consistent in quickly restocking and preparing items. Even though select vendors were only found in the Grand Tasting Experience section of the festival, I was still able to try the vast majority of vendors who were serving up fresh dishes in the General Admission area.
I love Barcelona! Whenever I start reminiscing about Spain, I always head to Barcelona Wine Bar for some tasty tapas. However, at ToA I was bit disappointed with their Seafood Paella. Maybe it was because I grabbed some paella as they were about make a fresh batch, but I felt as though the paella was a bit dry and needed more flavor.
This new Desi stop was serving up hot Lamb Seekh Kebabs and Chicken Tikka Kebabs. Since I am sucker for lamb, I had to indulge in this succulent serving. I could truly taste the seasonings and fresh jalapeño in the lamb. Topped with a cooling chutney and a side of fresh salad, this lamb had me feeling at home.
These mouthwatering Satay Skewers had me drooling. Marinated in traditional Thai spices and grilled over hot coals, chicken on a stick never tasted any better.
Buttermilk Sky Pies
I have had my eye on Buttermilk Sky Pies for a while now and I was stoked to see them at ToA. Out of all their scrumptious and mouthwatering options, I chose their traditional Buttermilk Pie. This pie tasted like heaven, I’m not kidding. It tasted like a much more soft and light version of cheesecake.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Hattie B’s was definitely the test that challenged my desi-spice tastebuds, and I can honestly say that their “Damn Hot” chicken was… TOO DAMN HOT! I took one bite out of this chicken finger and my mouth was on fire. I could not handle the heat, therefore I did not finish my plate. If you decide to go to Hattie B’s when they open up in Atlanta, I highly recommend thinking hard about whether your taste buds can handle some very serious heat.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
Hawkers Asian style street eats was by far my favorite vendor at ToA! From their Soft Crab to their Chicken and Roti, I was blown away! Their Pad Thai had an infusion of delicious East Asian flavors with fresh shrimp and noodles made right in your face!
The Livingston Kitchen got creative at ToA by offering Coca-Cola Glazed Chicken Wings and Avocado Ice-Cream. I got the chicken and it had an interesting, sweet flavor accompanied by a kick from the asian cabbage salad.
The Melting Pot
You can never go wrong with chocolate-covered strawberries! The burst of juice from the strawberries could not have been paired with anything better.
Poke Burri’s Poke shooters were perfect for that fresh fish craving! These shooters were stuffed with salmon, avocado, and sriracha-mayo aoili.
Puerto Rico’s cream cheese guava rolls made you want to take a trip to the islands. No one else was offering this Hispanic staple, which made it even more irresistible.
Rose + Rye
If you have not heard, Rose + Rye is a new restaurant that has opened the doors to its castle this past week. This new feminine influenced restaurant was serving up a few of their fine dishes including one of their desserts. This salted chocolate chip cookie had a unique, buttery flavor sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting.
Revolution Gelato is absolutely worthing making a trip for. I ordered their sundae with espresso ice cream topped with hot fudge. The fudge brought out the creamy texture of the gelato while revealing hints of the espresso’s Italian flavor.
Sprinkle it with Sprinkle’s! Sprinkles cupcakes had an endless line for their endless supply of delicious cupcakes.
Tea House Formosa
I have to admit, I am not a big fan of strawberry flavored drinks, but this Tea shop proved me wrong. This Strawberry Green Tea, quenched my desperate thirst in the heat. I also got to try their double fried Chicken Poppers. These poppers had a burst of flavor with a hint of lime and spice.
Wa-Ga-Ya was serving up Takoyaki, which are Japanese deep fried octopus balls. I have to admit, I was not a big fan of Takoyaki in Japan and I am still not a big fan. However, many people did enjoy these fun sized balls!
Woody’s was serving up Loaded and Regular Cheese Steaks that had me drooling every time I passed by their stand. These ooey-gooey, cheesy and meaty bites are worth trying. I even got a 50% off coupon for my next purchase!
Although the restaurants I went to were great, the festival had a couple of aspects that need improvement. The festival catered mostly to individuals who eat meat, rather than vegans and vegetarians, which posed an unfair advantage to some attendees. Additionally, unlike most festivals that I attend, there were no free water stations. It was pretty hot outside for an October festival and after eating Hattie B’s I was dying for water that was impossible to find. I hope in the future, ToA can work to consider more options for vegans and vegetarians while also catering free water to guests.
Moving forward, my experience at ToA was fantastic! I was absolutely satisfied with the event’s staff, vendors, and crowd. There was so much energy at the festival and I am positive that no one left hangry. I will be making another appearance at ToA next year and I highly recommend that you all come too!