By Raan Parton
Photos by Lindsay K. Parton
Still recovering from Vietnam jetlag, my wife and I needed some time together and couldn't resist an Atlanta invite to truly experience Southern hospitality with close friends: founders of Atlanta's Bearings, Sid Mashburn & team, and Lee Norwood. No sooner had our red-eye landed than Jeremy Blume, co-founder of Bearings, took us to a hearty breakfast - complete with grits and homemade biscuits. Blume then headed to work and was kind enough to trust our California road rage with his car keys. We headed west and made a stop at the White Provision district for our seasonal visit with Sid - as we were eager to see his wife’s new store, Anne Mashburn. The merchant Mashburn family effortlessly knows how to welcome men and now women, into their retail world. No detail is left neglected, thanks in part to Sid’s three full time tailors who are ready to hem any newly purchased suit or jacket.
Once we said our goodbyes to the Mashburn team, we ventured back across town for a traditional “Meat & 3” style dinner at the recently opened eatery, Empire State South. We fell in love with the timeless southern atmosphere after enjoying some catfish, pickled peaches, deviled eggs, and the most incredible Bourbon pecan pie. Our next stop was Holeman & Finch, a restaurant that has been highly regarded for its mixology and list of cocktail ingredients including smoked egg whites and bacon sugar - definitely an eye opener.
To close our trip, we shared breakfast with Lee Norwood, in town from New York, and Jeremy & Rob of Bearings. We met at Highland Bakery for a serious Souther breakfast of fried chicken, Eggs Benedict, and grits. After our meal, we made a quick stop at the historic King Center and the famous church that Martin Luther King Jr. regularly attended and began most of his freedom rallies – Ebenezer Baptist.
After receiving a good perspective on the tastes and sites that the South has to offer we agree with the New York Times travel guide that Atlanta is, indeed, the capital of the New South.