Am I the only one who has a ‘Wanderlust Eats’ note saved in my phone with lists of restaurants in different cities? It’s honestly one of my proudest lists (and I have a lot of lists). I have restaurants saved from Atlanta to Seattle and everywhere in between. Whenever I hear about a new restaurant that I want to try out, I drop it into the respective city. Normally, this list generates 90% of my travel plans in any given city.
Life motto: “the best way to explore a new city is to eat and run your way through it”
So when I found out I’d be traveling to Atlanta for work, I intended to do just that. Having never been to Atlanta before, I was thoroughly jazzed that I was going to cross this city off the ol’ bucket list. I started planning the eating experience before I even booked my flight, too anxious to wait another minute.
As the trip approached, I realized quickly that there would be little to no free time to explore due to work commitments. Ugh, work is so demanding right?! (Kidding! Super grateful I get to travel for my job.) I was attending a conference and would only be in town 48 short hours. Okay, well at least I had the first night free to roam, right?! Wrong. Tuesday morning we boarded our flight in Orange County and then we sat. We sat and sat and sat on our very full, very broken plane. After an hour of sitting on the tarmat, we were asked to deplane and told that our flight was cancelled due to technical difficulties. Lots of calls to customer service later, we were rebooked from LAX to Atlanta later that afternoon. We landed Tuesday night at 10pm, royally exhausted and with no time to eat our way through Atlanta in one afternoon as we had planned. Needless to say, I was bummed.
Wednesday consisted of all day conference sessions followed by dinner with colleagues. To be honest, I was pretty disheartened by this point. It was my only opportunity to embrace Atlanta food and I didn’t even get to chose the restaurant. I’ll admit, I was being a total baby about the whole thing.
As per usual, I couldn’t have been more wrong! When dinner time rolled around, we were greeted with a party bus to the restaurant, setting the stage for a very fun evening. When we arrived at Two Urban Licks, I knew that I hadn’t given my colleagues nearly enough credit. This place had such a cool vibe! Our private dining room had a large dining table with a water canal down the middle of it. It ended with a waterfall off the edge of the table opposite of a living wall on the other side of the room. Did you catch the part where I said there was a waterfall in the table? Just checking.
The appetizers started trickling in and I started perking up. In came empanadas and salmon chips and I knew I was in over my head. The salmon chips were crafted with smoked salmon, chipotle cream cheese, capers, and red onion served over crispy sweet potato chips. I could have been perfectly content with a whole plate of them to myself for dinner. Then the empanadas with brisket, garlic crema, pico de gallo and feta arrived and my little food-loving heart did a backflip. Everything was as good as the next and better. We selected an entree from the pre-fixed menu, and I opted for the mahi. So. Ridiculously. Good.
The indulgent sausage coupled with the lighter fish and paired with bok choy and radishes for some texture and bitterness totally hit the spot. The lemon-herb finish made the dish uniquely crave-worthy, making it extra depressing when my spoon hit bare bowl at the end of the meal.
So moral of the story: if you spend 48 hours in Atlanta, GA, you should make it a priority to go to Two Urban Licks. You won’t be let down. Also, maybe trust your colleagues more – especially if they also work in the food industry. That’s another moral of the story. Last moral: Spend more than 48 hours in Atlanta. It seems like a pretty fantastic city, worthy of exploration and adventures.