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Meanderer

Airport layover

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We have several hours to kill at Hartsfield next week in the middle of the day. Does anyone have suggestions for lunch within a short cab ride of the airport? All suggestions, from barbecue to bordelaise, would be welcome although, in deference to our fellow passengers on the second leg of our journey, we wouldn't want to eat anything with an abundance of garlic. Thanks.

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We have several hours to kill at Hartsfield next week in the middle of the day.  Does anyone have suggestions for lunch within a short cab ride of the airport?  All suggestions, from barbecue to bordelaise, would be welcome although, in deference to our fellow passengers on the second leg of our journey, we wouldn't want to eat anything with an abundance of garlic.  Thanks.

How much time, exactly?


Can you pee in the ocean?

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If you had four hours, you could make it to Midtown, eat a great meal, and be back in time for your flight. 3 hours would keep you close to the airport, where there is nothing of note though someone who lives down there might be able to point you to something respectable.

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In theory, we have exactly 3 hours and 56 minutes, but that assumes the flight arrives on time. It also assumes no time will be lost waiting on the tarmac for an open gate, at the gate for a gate agent to show up to open the door, or on the plane for 30 or 40 rows of passengers to get off ahead of us. I assume we are safer assuming the 3 hour time frame.

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Downtown Ritz-Carlton Hotel is only 8.7 miles north of the airport and is close to Marta Public Trains which has a station inside the airport ...

Atlanta Ritz-Carlton .. Atlanta Grill


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Virginia Avenue is for food lovers. You have the best gyro in town at Grecian Gyro. On the other side of the interstate, also on Virginia Avenue, some love the Manchester Arms for fish and chips. I like it though perhaps not as much other others.


Nobody eats at that restaurant anymore. It's always too crowded.

---Yogi Berra

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In theory, we have exactly 3 hours and 56 minutes, but that assumes the flight arrives on time.  It also assumes no time will be lost waiting on the tarmac for an open gate, at the gate for a gate agent to show up to open the door, or on the plane for 30 or 40 rows of passengers to get off ahead of us.  I assume we are safer assuming the 3 hour time frame.

I think with 3 hours - I'd stay at the airport. You have to get back at least an hour before your next flight (maybe more at Hartsfield depending on the security lines) - and traffic can be awful. So why rush around and possibly get into a "gray hair" situation. Better to eat a nice meal when you're not worried about catching a plane. Robyn

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Robyn, you are probably right, but I have the gray hair already and I get pretty restless sitting in an airport for hours. Is there anything at the airport itself that is worth a try? Whenever I am in Detroit and have a little time I head for a particular sausage vender that sells worthy sandwiches. The last time I was hungry and at Hartsfield, I ended up at a Chili's because that was the best of an uninspired lot. That was two or three years ago, however.

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Robyn, you are probably right, but I have the gray hair already and I get pretty restless sitting in an airport for hours.  Is there anything at the airport itself that is worth a try?  Whenever I am in Detroit and have a little time I head for a particular sausage vender that sells worthy sandwiches.  The last time I was hungry and at Hartsfield, I ended up at a Chili's because that was the best of an uninspired lot.  That was two or three years ago, however.

Upthread there's mention of taking MARTA (the train pulls right into the airport, so very, very convenient) into town. It's a straight shot to either downtown or midtown, where you'll find various options.

Still I do find your timing a little tight, so were I you I probably would eat at the airport. My choice would be Paschal's, an Atlanta establishment that serves southern/soul food. There are several branches at the airport, most of them part of a larger food court. There's at least one that has a bar, and that would be my choice (both for service and for close proximity to beer). I'll see if I can figure out which terminal it's in.

One of the nice things about Hartsfield-Jackson is that you don't have to worry about going through security to get between terminals. Oh, and always take the train between terminals unless you really want to get some serious exercise (in which case it's a nice enough walk, though underground).


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Looks like the Paschal's that comes with a bar (La Carrousel) is in Terminal C. Don't worry if you're not otherwise going to be on Terminal C, as I mentioned above, as it's couple minutes tops on the train. Always take the train.

There's a lot of local civil rights history associated with Paschal's (not the airport version, of course). You can read about it here.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Thanks. Paschal's sounds like a good option if time is tight. Otherwise, it is in to town on MARTA for us, I think. I enjoyed walking between terminals last time because there was a display of contemporary sculpture down there.

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Robyn, you are probably right, but I have the gray hair already and I get pretty restless sitting in an airport for hours.  Is there anything at the airport itself that is worth a try?  Whenever I am in Detroit and have a little time I head for a particular sausage vender that sells worthy sandwiches.  The last time I was hungry and at Hartsfield, I ended up at a Chili's because that was the best of an uninspired lot.  That was two or three years ago, however.

Can't help you with eating at the airport. I don't live in Atlanta - but I do change planes there frequently. And it seems that every time I have to change planes there - I have about 25 minutes to get from terminal A to terminal Z! No time to breath - much less eat.

One suggestion. Before you leave the airport - check the waits at the security lines coming in. They can be very variable at all airports depending on season/day/time of day. I'm a smoker - and I have to go outside to smoke at a lot of airports (although not Hartsfield) when I'm changing planes - and I always check that I won't have to spend an hour getting back in before I go outside. Robyn

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If your flight landed at 12:00 and you were off the plane by 12:10, you could be in downtown by 12:45 without any problem. Order and eat within an hour and a half, which is none too rushed for lunch, and you could be back to the airport by 2:45 provided you were prompt with calling a cab in advance. Traffic to and from the airport is negligible in the middle of the day and should only take 20 minutes, 30 minutes max barring an unforseen accident of some sort. Honestly, I think 4 hours is plenty of time to get into the city, have a meal and back to the airport if one were so inclined. You'll want to avoid Buckhead, but you could swing Midtown perhaps, though downtown would be safer. The aforementioned Ritz Carlton, Rathbun's, and City Grill are the best places downtown. Never been to Bacchanalia for lunch, but if you could get in and out of there in an hour and a half, it'd definitely be worth the trip. It is perhaps 8 minutes further to travel away from the airport, but it's one of Atlanta's best restaurants.

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I'd hit the BBQ Kitchen in College Park.

It's a log burning BBQ joint and meat and three located about a five minute cab ride from the airport.

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Cabs from the airport are reliable; getting back, not so much. From College Park you'd probably be okay; otherwise, you as a tourist are as likely to know how to get somewhere as your driver will be.

But as long as you're thinking about getting on the train, each successive stop takes just a few minutes. So bypass downtown and wait until either the Midtown (Ecco is 2 blocks away) or Arts Center stations (Table 1280, one block; Trois two blocks; Shout two blocks). If you've got a full three hours and you're feeling lucky, transfer to the East line and ride to the Inman Park station. Shaun's is a block away.

If you stay in the airport, I agree with therese -- Paschal's.


Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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Cabs from the airport are reliable; getting back, not so much. From College Park you'd probably be okay; otherwise, you as a tourist are as likely to know how to get somewhere as your driver will be.

Though it will be easy to catch a cab at the airport, don't expect the driver to able to find the restaurant: downtown hotels, CDC, and Emory University are the only destinations that they'll definitely know. You'll be fine if you have the address (and possibly the phone number, so that you can call the restaurant for help if you end up lost), but it doesn't hurt to have a map on hand.

Returning via cab is obviously no problem (since all drivers know where the airport is) assuming that you can get one, and that will require that the restaurant do it for you, and well in advance.

But as long as you're thinking about getting on the train, each successive stop takes just a few minutes. So bypass downtown and wait until either the Midtown (Ecco is 2 blocks away) or Arts Center stations (Table 1280, one block; Trois two blocks; Shout two blocks). If you've got a full three hours and you're feeling lucky, transfer to the East line and ride to the Inman Park station. Shaun's is a block away.

Neither Ecco nor Shaun's serves lunch (so far as I know), but Table 1280 and Trois are both good options in Midtown. If you stay on the eastbound train to Decatur you can walk a few blocks to Watershed.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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What about Manchester Arms in College Park? It is a very short cab ride (1-2 exits at most) and they serve pretty solid English pub food. I would recommend the fish and chips or the shepherd's pie. They are a bit conservative with the salt in the batter for the fish and chips, but that can be remedied with the shaker. The owner tried to keep it true to their mother's recipe. Good beer selection too. Not a dump. I have some pictures of the food here: http://blissfulglutton.blogspot.com/2006/0...llege-park.html

Just for a another opinion--my friend, Tom (who also has a website), did a write-up as well. Here is his review: http://www.atlantacuisine.com/pastpicks/manchesterarms.html


Edited by The Blissful Glutton (log)

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We were a little late getting into Atlanta so we decided not to leave the airport and, instead, headed for Paschal's. I wanted to try the fried chicken, as that appears to be the signature dish, but I had eaten too much during the prior four days and was looking to taper off a little. I thought I was getting the best of both worlds by ordering the fried chicken caesar. I was wrong. The chicken was excellent, but the salad wasn't good at all. There was a layer of old brown romaine, artfully covered by some fresh green romaine, sprinkled with some canned parmesan cheese. The dressing on the side appeared to be creamy italian from a bottle.

Next time, I'll order the chicken and a couple of sides.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded to my original post.

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We were a little late getting into Atlanta so we decided not to leave the airport and, instead, headed for Paschal's.  I wanted to try the fried chicken, as that appears to be the signature dish, but I had eaten too much during the prior four days and was looking to taper off a little.  I thought I was getting the best of both worlds by ordering the fried chicken caesar.  I was wrong.  The chicken was excellent, but the salad wasn't good at all.  There was a layer of old brown romaine, artfully covered by some fresh green romaine, sprinkled with some canned parmesan cheese.  The dressing on the side appeared to be creamy italian from a bottle.

Next time, I'll order the chicken and a couple of sides.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded to my original post.

Oh, dear, sorry to hear about your misadventure with salad, but not in the least surprised. In fact, I considered warning you to consider only the most traditional items---salads (green salads, that is) definitely not the strong point. The last time I ate at the airport I had meatloaf and collards (so essentially the same as a salad calorie-wise, but cooked) and they were both acceptable.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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