Category: "Athens, GA"

Drew's Guide to Athens

May 8th, 2006

Before I made the trip to Georgia to visit my brother and his special lady friend I got this e-mail from him. He wanted me to know what our options were for food and bars. I was very appreciative for the time and effort he put into the list provided below, so I thought I would make it available to anyone else who might be in search of a brief word about the area.

(1) food. hope you take a few minutes to check out the links.
achim's k-bob (favorite sandwiches in town)
blind pig (best burgers and fried pickles in town)
the varsity (vintage athens, pretty famous)
farm 255 (maybe a good spot for a nicer dinner, we've wanted to for a while)
barberitos (our qdoba, kristen has to go here at least 1x per week)
mexicalli grille (athens doesn't have much good mexican food, this is our favorite though)
the grit (all vegetarian, but good. as famous a place as athens has, if that's what you seek)
the sultan (middle eastern food)
mellow mushroom (great beer list, my favorite pizza in town)
jot 'em down (perhaps a breakfast biscuit saturday morning)
weaver d's (maybe kristen can bring you here for lunch friday)

(2) bars. friday night fun...bars will be mostly wide open until 12am, then the undergrads come out in huge numbers to some of these places...
allgood (patio upstairs)
room 13 (getting to be my favorite place, nextdoor to farm255)
general beauregard's (sweet tea is a must-have for first time visitors, coeds all around)
nowhere bar (dive bar)
the winery (a little more upscale, ladies love it)
arch bar (nice bar, not too "undergrad-y")
tasty world (may need to go here briefly for kristen's dept. happy hour friday)
the globe (really chill, becoming one of my least favorite places, but fun if you are with fun ppl)
283 (small, but nice)

Barberitos

May 3rd, 2006

Link: http://www.barberitos.com/

Barberitos is similar in style to the Qdoba and Chipotle chains, though this "Southwestern Grille and Cantina" is exclusive to the Southeastern US.

The process is the same, by which I refer to these restaurants as "Mexican Subway," because of how your order. Each chain has you start with a bare-bones tortilla and then add ingredients a la carte until you are satisfied with your burrito, much like you would order a sandwich from Subway. The base ingredients are the tortilla, rice, and black or pinto beans. From this point you may add choice of meats, salsas, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc...

I am not a fan of Chipotle, so we can call that match-up a draw. Neither place is as good as Qdoba, though Barberitos offers a slightly different menu.

I liked that they offer the option of different tortillas. Patrons may choose a flour tortilla (plain), a spinach tortilla, or chipotle tortilla.

Barberitos serves a Mexican rice rather than white rice steamed with cilantro (which you'll find at both Qdoba and Chipotle).

Beyond that the options are pretty much the same. Finish your order and you get your burrito accompanied by a side of tortilla chips.

The restaurant offers a cheese dip in three different sizes for your chips. The bigger size(s) to come with additional chips. The chips and cheese dip were both decent. Neither was worth additional praise.

I am not sold on Barberitos; my meal was unremarkable. I am still a Qdoba fan through and through, their chips, queso dip, and burritos are much better. If there was a Barberitos near me, I would not go there.

Farm 255 - Athens, GA

May 1st, 2006

The name does not sound like much, but the restaurant was pleasant. I went with a group of people who had been there for drinks, but never dinner. It was, in a sense, a first for us all.

The entrance, between two stone pillars, is to the outdoor seating. There are tables and chairs in a courtyard set up for dinner, but also to socialize near a garden and stage. The stage features live music performed by local artists. Beyond some of the outdoor tables is the door inside. It was a beautiful night to sit outside and have dinner, though we opted to sit inside. I do not think one option is necessarily better than the other.

The inside was very open. The lighting was enough, but subtle. Even as the meal progressed the lights came down and candles were brought to the tables. The staff was well informed and friendly.

The menu was not very extensive, but was arranged well. It consisted of three sections that essentially boiled down to appetizers, entrees and dessert. Though each had but a few options, they were diverse enough to cover wide-ranging tastes. I believe I remember there being vegetarian dishes as well.

Their mojitos and mint juleps came very highly recommended by my dining partners. I had never tried either drink, but figured I should sample the local flavor. I opted for the mojito and found that it tasted like nothing more than crushed mint leaves. The others at the table who ordered the same drink raved about it, but it did nothing for me.

We started with the sweet potato chips which came with ranch as a dipping sauce. Sorry dieters, they are fried and not baked. They were good, though for $5 (I think) I was VERY disappointed at the size of the order.

When I was having trouble deciding on my entree I consulted our server. I asked if she would suggest the cheeseburger (boring, I know) or the shrimp and grits (spicy). She told me that their shrimp and grits is usually fantastic; they use Georgia shrimp and Red Mule grits (which apparently come from about an hour south of Athens). Her hesitation, however, was that the boat had not come in and they were using Florida shrimp instead (that night), which she did not feel were as good. I opted for the burger.

The cheeseburger comes with a chunk of a type of blue cheese and is served with fries and a side of greens. My burger (ordered: Medium) mooed a little when it came to the table, but the sage advice to "eat around it" served me well as always.

Purely in the interest of science, I ordered their molten chocolate cake dessert. This dish was essentially a chocolate souffle served with sweet cream and strawberry preserves. Aside from my company at the table (in case any of them read this), the dessert was the highlight. It was very good.

The restaurant was a fun place to go with friends. I think we all had a great time together at Farm 255. I also think it would be a good date spot. Some people were dressed nicely, others less so. The prices were not outrageous.

I really enjoyed our dinner at Farm 255. The atmosphere was comfortable, the people were friendly, and the food was good. If I lived in or around Athens, Farm 255 would get more of my business. See the website.

Farm 255 is located at 255 W. Washington Street in Athens, GA. The phone number is 706-549-4660.