Grab Your Jackets Travel Blog: Improving Diets in Atlanta
With both teams now in contention for the Coastal ACC after last weekend’s madness, it looks more and more like this game that will be worth the price of admission. I expect a pretty good turnout from both fanbases considering what’s at stake. I’ll be the first to admit that due to the distance between our schools, I’m not the most familiar with Pitt’s fanbase. . I’ve been told they have weird eating habits, so this week we’re going to be looking at food near campus and downtown. It will be a bit short of a week as we plan to save more on campus and traditions for homecoming. With that, let’s get started.
How to travel: Getting from Pittsburgh to Atlanta
This will be the first of the trips in our series, which is tough no matter how you cut it. The short version is you are considering an 11 hour trip or a flight of $ 350 and more. I don’t think that will stop the die-hard fans from coming, but if this is your first road trip as a Panther, keep in mind what you’re getting into. Maybe take a few extra days away from school or work to relax more on the way down.
Google lists the best driving option from Pitt campus to GT campus going south on I-77 through Charlotte, then turn on I-85 south for the rest of the way. It is also possible to cross to Cincinnati and head south on I-75 to get to Atlanta. Either option will take you between 11-12 hours, so try to bring friends and make it a road trip and make sure you have a long playlist or podcast set ready. to be listened to.
I was actually planning on going to Pittsburgh before COVID but this whole pandemic happened and I had to cancel. With that in mind, I have no experience with the Pittsburgh airport. Flights are currently listed at $ 350 round trip from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. I don’t think most college students can do this, but older graduates might want to take this option.
Just to cover all of our bases, there are no seaports in Atlanta (to my knowledge), so booking a boat is prohibited. You can hike most of your way on the Appalachian Trail. If you decide to go down it will take you 225 hours if you walk continuously so it might be too late for you to play the game at this point. There is always next year.
I have covered some of the area hotels in my previous blogs. You shouldn’t have a problem looking for them if you have google, just keep in mind that they tend to cost $ 150 a night. So, if you’ve been on a plane, you’re already on a tight budget if you decide to stay at the hotel near campus.
If you’re willing to stay a bit further from campus, check out the Airbnb opportunities near the Virginia Highlands or Little Five Points. Although I have walked these places on campus in the past, I wouldn’t really say they are within walking distance, unless you are used to walking several miles a day (keep in mind once you get to campus you will also be walking around there). Both of these areas are a short drive from campus, and Little 5 and the Highlands are worth exploring on their own. I would look to check if you can stay in these areas, especially if you are part of the younger group that enjoys drinking and exploring the food scene.
To see: Restaurants
In my first post, I already talked about the Mary Macs, the Varsity, and the Vortex, so I won’t cover them here. I mention them because they are good places and some people will be upset if I don’t list them. Check them out, on the rest of the list.
Pizza is very common near GT (pizza near a college campus, who would have thought?). Antico’s and Rocky Mountain Pizza are two special places worth a visit, both very different from each other.
Antico is more of a traditional brick oven style pizza. This is one of the best pizzas I have ever had, at least the top 5. The restaurant is small and very old school. Unless things have changed since I left campus you have to do BYOB and you will probably have to queue a bit to get in. I will note that I believe Antico has recently been in trouble for not properly compensating its employees. This has since been resolved by a lawsuit, but if this is a moral issue for you, keep it in mind.
Rocky Mountain Pizza is more of a pizzeria focused on being a sports bar. Make no mistake, the food is always good but the atmosphere is certainly less that of a traditional restaurant than that of a bar. Lots of food other than pizza, lots of TVs, big back porch, lots of beers. It’s a nice haunt. It’s also the bar for the neighborhood Philly Eagles. They aren’t really in your face about it (outside of Sunday), but if you dispute that as a Steelers fan, be aware of what you are heading into.
There is also a Papa Johns who belongs to Shaq right next to the campus… He’s a Papa Johns, I don’t have much to say. There are other pizzerias like Fellini’s and Goodfella’s which are pretty good. I find these places to be more generic pizza places, they are fine, I just don’t have much to say about them.
Oh Lord… I’m going to piss off some people no matter what I say in this section.
So my favorite in the area is the DBA BBQ in the Virginia Highlands. There are better barbecues for the taste, but DBA has options for everyone and tends to be reasonable for the price in my experience. I love their brisket and sausages.
Fox Brothers is probably the best known and most loved barbecue in the region. They’re fantastic, it’s been a while since I’ve eaten their food, but they’re popular for a reason. I think they’re slightly further away from campus, with the added bonus of being near the SweetWater brew.
Another great place is Moe’s original barbecue. I remember their sides more than their main dishes. I personally enjoyed their ribs with a big side of mac and cheese (because who needs to take care of their body anyway?).
DAS BBQ is quite popular. Their pork is fantastic. There are many other American barbecues in the area. No matter what I list, someone will be upset, so I’m going to shorten this section slightly.
If you want to try something a little different, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ can be found in Atlantic Station. It’s a different style of American barbecue but it’s still very good.
Well-known local seals:
Cypress Street is an FTRS favorite. It is located a few blocks from the campus. They have great drinks and great food. This is one of the perfect places to go back and relax after a game as they tend to stay open late (not sure if COVID has affected that).
JR Crickets is a famous wing spot in the area. If you watch the “Atlanta” FX series, JR Crickets is where they get the Lemon Pepper Wet. I’m not specifically familiar with the Lemon Pepper Wet Wings, but the wings I got there are fantastic.
Wingnuts is a popular spot among college students with a myriad of wing flavors. They offer boneless wings by the half pound or the pound. I think most students like to have a full pound of wings and save some for the rest of the week. I don’t really know if this is a good place for game days as the amount of food can really weigh you down.
Taquiera Del Sol is a great Mexican restaurant and is also next to Jeni’s Ice Creams. There is a lot of food and shopping near this area, it can be a good sport for family outings.
For the latest eating spot (in this post… trust me, there are plenty more that I don’t list), I want to say hello to Moe’s Southwest Grill, located on 5th Street. This place took way too much of my student money. There is nothing special about it, it is a chain similar to Chipotle (not sure if they have Moe’s in Pittsburgh). It’s close to campus, it’s easy, and all the students go there.
So in short, there is plenty to eat in Atlanta other than your own droppings. I won’t judge, but come on, there is a lot of food to taste there. Hope Pitt fans enjoy the trip to the start of the game. It should be fun and exciting, and hopefully it delivers everything we’ve come to expect from college football (and then GT wins). Have a good trip and have a good weekend!