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By Peyton Haecker

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“The South in Your Mouth” at The Mayflower Restaurant

The test of time is no issue for Athens-trademark and Southern-dining-favorite, The Mayflower Restaurant. Located across from the arch on Broad St., this visionary diner is complete with bright booths, tall stools, and art decor that brings the restaurant’s history to life. Owner Ricky Vaughn and his wife continue to serve Athens the same customer service, food, and hospitality the Mayflower started with in 1948, the year his parents first opened her doors (!!!)

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If you ask him if things have changed in the fifty-two years that he’s been there, he points you to the picture on the wall dating back to 1965. With original tables, diner-top surfaces and largely unchanged menu items, the restaurant immediately brings you to its roots. What also hasn’t changed: the flavors and the customers. They were recently visited by a customer who had once enjoyed a 42 cent breakfast at Mayflower in 1973. Another regular has been around since 1959. The point is — The Mayflower is an Athens landmark and a tradition for many.

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When was the busiest they’ve ever seen the restaurant? They replied, when Athens hosted the men and women’s soccer games during the Olympics in 1996. I wonder how many other local restaurants could say that?

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What can you expect when you visit this timeless gem?

Everyday enjoy all the flavors of the South during Breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, I suggest one of the many egg varieties, a huge  buttery biscuit, and some of Ricky’s famous grits (that he makes each morning at 4:30..am). For lunch, any of the sandwiches, and of course the meats (both breakfast and lunch). Some goodies to note — special fried chicken, hand-cut fries, and the popular Country Boy Special (two eggs, grits, bacon/sausage, and three hot cakes). If you haven’t realized it yet, you’ve got allllll your bases covered at The Mayflower.

After fifty two years, Ricky claims he “never gets tired of good food”, even if he’s the one cooking it every morning.

Bon Apetit, Athens! Happy Eating!

Full Circle Real Estate

Million Dollar Listing: Athens Real Estate

As homes, commercial properties, and land hit the market, they are constantly contributing to an ever-growing market for Athens buyers to explore. So who is there to boost these properties and manage this growing market? Let us introduce you to our favorite local realtors. They know what’s up.

Full Circle Real Estate Group

These guys know the gamut of real estate. From homes downtown to commercial options beyond, their desire to invest and stay plugged in to the community keeps broker Patrick O’Brien and his team of realtors going. Focused on environmentally-conscious and energy-efficient living, these guys maintain a strong relationship with Athens and the properties that build it. They take particular interest in giving back to the community, their community, to see it thriving and flourishing. They also note that Athens has real investment opportunities for those university alums who stick around (or find themselves crawling back). Check out a few of their current hot listings and stay up to date with the properties in store from Full Circle.

497 Rutherford – Five Points

This beautiful million-dollar listing in one of the most sought-after areas also happens to be one of the most energy-efficient homes in Northeast Georgia. Full Circle partnered with award-winning architect and builder for the collaboration of this gorgeous home. Five bedrooms, gorgeous landscape, and breathtaking interiors are just a few of the features in store. Check it out!

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Warren Johnson, REALTOR 

UGA alum, co-owner and founder of Athens Property Management and realtor at Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty since 2014, Warren Johnson is here to facilitate property buying and selling.

295 Oglethorpe Avenue – Normaltown

For those looking for a new project, Normaltown offers great opportunity for restoration. Its located close to both St. Mary’s and Athens Regional hospitals, as well as a ton of great restaurants and bars. You don’t want to miss out.

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Boswell Group

Originally a sole commercial real estate business, the Boswell Group has expanded to include both real estate appraisal and insurance services, that operate across Georgia. Check out this downtown office space.

Downtown Office Building – $1,800,000

Located on Clayton St, this beautiful downtown building with retail tenant downstairs and three story apartment above, provides an excellent space for business and living.

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Mary Catherine Smith, REALTOR

An Athens native born and raised in Five Points, Mary Catherine graduated from Athens Academy in ’93 and Ole Miss in ’97. After graduation, she worked for Cannon Financial Institute until her first child was born. After a year off and another child on the way, she decided to obtain her real estate license so that she could work in a profession that she was passionate about. She has been selling residential real estate in Athens for over 12 years.

135 Meadowview Road – $619,000

If a cookie cutter home doesn’t suit your style, then this newly renovated home certainly will! Custom details are prevalent throughout this classic cottage, where a large rocking chair front porch sets the tone for an inviting and well designed home. From the antique French pantry doors to the pecky cypress inset ceiling in the formal dining room, to the navy island in the kitchen … every where you turn you will be in awe!

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Em’s Kitchen: Behind the ‘Wich

With so many possible toppings, spreads, additions, substitutions, temperatures, and flavors, your sandwich debate could leave your head spinning. Lucky for us ‘wich-lovers, Em’s Kitchen helps us keep things basic.

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This breakfast and lunch spot, nestled inside Hawthorne Drugs, has crafted the best simple southern favorites for years. From pimento cheese, chicken salad, tuna salad, and roast beef classics, to daily specials, Em and her crew know how to make a sandwich remind you that simple really is better. Want to know the secret? It starts with the salads, which are made in-house daily, freshly sliced meats, which result in made-to-order heaven. They pride themselves on simple whole ingredients. From there, they know you will be satisfied. Another #insidersecret is the 1/4 pound chicken salad or pimento per sandwich. It’s allllll about the ratio. And to assist in a certain foreshadowing, these salads are also sold by the pound.

Choose from the classic menu, the more complex “favorites” (think a Reuben or Cuban), or the adventurous daily specials. Rae, at Em’s, told me customers even frequent some old specials as their order of choice. For instance a customer today ordered an egg salad BLT with honey mustard.

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So you’re sold on the sandwich, but don’t forget…

  • Breakfast & Brunch: egg plates, omelettes, waffles, pancakes, Debbie’s sausage balls (you’re going to have to come and see for yourself), muffins, scones, and more, oh my! Also biscuit…sandwiches.
  • Salads that are green: also available.
  • Coffee: carrying your cup of joe from Jittery Joes.
  • For the masses: catering, catering, catering! Em’s got your weddings, parties, and other events covered with trays, snacks, and more. They also boast a private dining room in the store when you need a mid-day meeting or gathering space for your plural ‘wiches.
  • For the “winter”: soups! Made in-house by Miss Debbie and loyally loved by many/all, enjoy your Brunswick stew, Athens-favorite Chicken Mull, and more specials galore. They are also available by the quart.
  • Sweets: hand-dipped ice cream, milkshakes, and Em’s “Ooey Gooey” bars…think a cakey lemon bar with cream cheese topping, available in multiple flavors. Enough said.
  • Bonus: **hot dawgs** you heard that right.

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Even if the sammies don’t make your head spin, the number of menu choices here certainly will. Good new is, anything is a safe bet. Also give the pimento cheese BLT a try. I don’t think I even finished my question to Andrew before he responded that this was his favorite ‘wich. Cue the plans for tomorrow.

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guide2: Where to Watch The Falcons RISE UP

The Dirty Birds are still in it and we know how we plan to spend our Sunday afternoon. As the Falcons kickoff at 3:05 against the Green Bay Packers, you should plan ahead and figure out where to camp out. We’ve got a few ideas of spots around town to find some good company, yummy chow, and solid views.

Blind Pig Tavern

What screams game day more than chips, dips, wings and burgers? Make yourself comfortable with some brews and comfort foods that will excellently compliment that football feeling.

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FIVE Athens

You had me at football and fried chicken. Starting with dinner at 5:00, enjoy five mouth-watering entrees and the fried chicken Sunday special. We think you’ll be set for a thrilling second half that game.

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Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Burgers mean business and the ones at Grindhouse are certainly killers. As the game screens loud and clear throughout the restaurant and the dirty birds #riseup, you can just #sitdown. Happy Sunday with your beefy stack!

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South Kitchen + Bar

Nothing gives us the lazy Sunday football vibes like the sound of “creative food with a southern accent”. The brews and excellent cocktails don’t hurt either. Add this “Cider 75” to your game time beverage lineup: Bellringer gin, Bold Rock India Pressed Apple Cider, and fresh lemon.

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TGIF & What’s Up This Weekend

New Year New Hours at BMA at Home

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Now open Monday through Thursday from 10-5, Friday from 10-8, Saturday from 11-4….and Sunday remains a “me” day. Explore beautiful pieces for decorating your interior from your favorite lines and also many regional artists. Say hello to 2017 with some retouching throughout your home and take note of these new hours–you’ll certainly be busy here.

 

 

Drinks at ALLGOOD Lounge

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I mean the name could speak for itself. What part of “all” “good” and “lounge” don’t sound like they are inviting your Friday weekend kickoff activities. Today and tomorrow, from noon to 2 AM, this hip spot brings you pool tables, a myriad of screens to keep up with the games, and a rooftop patio to bask in this weather. Yup, pretty sure we’re all good here.

 

Oysters at Seabear Oyster Bar

Emily B. Hall for Seabear Oyster Bar

Even landlocked cities are only upstream from the ocean. Athens, Georgia sits on the banks of the Oconee River, which flows into the Altamaha River and pours into the Atlantic. Being far from the beach doesn’t mean that our actions don’t impact our ocean. This philosophy guides the purchasing and educational purposes of Seabear Oyster Bar.

Oysters are not only delicious–they are key to the ocean’s ecosystem. These filter feeders pull in water over their gills, eating the algae that otherwise threaten the health of a body of water.

 

Stimulate Your Inquisitive Side at CINÉ Athens

 

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Ballet at the UGA Performing Arts Center

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia is back with the timeless fairytale, Cinderella at the Performing Arts Center TONIGHT at 8 PM. This masterful piece and the 45-minute pre-performance lecture will keep you engaged and amazed at the beauty of this story like you’ve never seen it before.

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Behind the Scenes with Condor Hot Cocoa

As the cold weather creeps up, we know that our favorite seasonal go-to beverage is some good old hot chocolate. Fortunate enough, Athens boasts a source for some hot chocolate that will seriously challenge any other you’ve ever had. You know them for their bars, truffles, toffee, macaroons, and other baked sweets. The beans they use for their home made chocolate, prepared in-store, are actually imported from Ecuador. At the bean-to-bar chocolate spot, Condor Chocolates undoubtedly brings you some hot chocolate that means serious business. As if the mention of the warm goodness didn’t already set your cravings, we have a look behind the scenes with Moriah of the preparation in these masterpiece concoctions.

 

The first step involves filling a mug with about half an inch of sipping chocolate. What is this sipping chocolate, you ask, and where can you get some? It is patterned after Europe, in its thickness, creaminess, and rich flavor–it’s even caffeinated. If this alone spurs your craving, you can indeed get a (small) cup of just the warm sipping chocolate at Condor Chocolates. If you aren’t quite ready for that step yet, you can get familiar with the taste as it serves as the base for the hot chocolate.

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The next step is the steaming of the milk.

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Next, Moriah added the steamed milk to the mug with the sipping chocolate in small doses, stirring after each addition to ensure that it is both properly mixed and also consistently integrated with the thicker chocolate base.

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The final contents of the milk are poured into the mug to fill the rest.

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To add some seasonal flavors, Moriah then adds some peppermint bits to the top. Then it is time to finish it off with the marshmallow musts. The marshmallows are also homemade in store, as if you needed another reason for your homemade drinks to feel inferior.

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Alas, the beautiful creation is completed and awaiting some serious sips–or chugging–because you will find it irresistible. We promise from experience. img_7029

Now, we know at the end of the day, you will probably really struggle to replicate this goodness in your kitchen. The good news? You can buy some powder to take home and generate a delicious blend whenever your chocolate holiday cravings call. Co-Owner Peter Dale reminds us, when making at home, to “continue whisking your milk when heating”. The remnants of burnt milk is no desirable smell or feature to your pans.

If you aren’t feeling the call to the kitchen yourself, you can regular some stops to Condor Chocolates, located at Five Points, grab a drink, and probably walk out with some more chocolate goodness. Find great hostess gifts for holiday parties (we all know chocolate is something everyone can agree on), chocolate syrup (great for chocolate milk and the kids!), or any number of holiday treats. Happy sipping!

@onwardreserve

guide2: Gifts for Guys

We all know that the challenge of shopping for a guy puts a serious stump in your master holiday buy list. When you might have previously struggled, Athens can help. We have pulled a number of local spots that could give you that perfect pick to gift your guys this season.

Onward Reserve:

Whether he knows he needs some new swag or you have been waiting for the chance to give him a wardrobe update, Onward Reserve is there to help. The store boasts a wide selection of classic Southern menswear from brands like Peter Millar, Barbour, Southern Proper, Smathers & Branson, True Grit, and more. If you’re worried about choices and size, they also have a number of specialty bags, sunglasses, belts, books, home decor, and more. For more specifics of what you can find–and what you should get–take a peek at their Holiday Gift Guide here.

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CINÉ Athens:

Which guy doesn’t love a movie? When we’re talking about a night out to see a movie, CINÉ Athens majorly raises the bar.  For a constantly changing selection of various genres, old and new, domestic and international films, complete with a full bar and snacks, the gift of an evening at the cinema would be a great gift for any guy. Warning: he may have to choose the movie though. Get a gift card online here.

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University of Georgia Golf Course:

Even as the temperature drops, your golf lovers are always on the hunt for some great gear. Shop online or in store at the Golf Course’s shop for a number of your red and black outerwear, polos, golf necessities and more. Enjoy the holiday sale going on right now that offers 20% off your entire purchase (excluding golf balls and clubs) valid through Christmas Eve. For online orders, use the promo code HOLIDAY2K15 for this awesome deal. ‘Tis the golf season also, right?

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Empire South Clothier:

For all your Southern styles, this classic collection can certainly provide some great picks for men. They host a variety of collegiate apparel, and anything from button downs to shoes and hats and wallets. Explore items from Peace State Pride, Orvis, Bird Dog Bay, and beyond for great picks for the outdoors in the South!

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UGA Bookstore:

Football season is drawing to a close but that doesn’t mean that your dawg clothing isn’t a must for holiday giving, particularly for the guys. Find your biggest selection of everything red and black from game day get-up to holiday sweaters, outerwear, books, specialty Georgia items, and beyond. For any major UGA supporter, give the gift of history with the book “Dear Old U-G-A” that chronicles a century student life from The Red & Black. Five dollars of every purchase will be donated to Books For Keeps, which gives books to children in the Athens-area. In this bookstore, you could knock out a lot of holiday shopping for more than just the guys! Also enjoy a major clearance on items here.

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Grinning Mule Clothing Co.:

As the cold weather creeps up, this is the place to prepare. With an impressive collection of woven shirts, knit tops, and jackets, cozy and warm has never been so doable–and tasteful. The array includes items from the Grinning Mule Brand itself, manufactured in Macon, as well as True Grit, Henley, & Sons Garment Co., Zenfari, and more.

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Happy shopping!

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Dummies Guide to Buying Jewelry

As we are officially knee-deep in the holiday season, Patti Reed of JWR Jewelers knows just how busy it can be. In her world, everything certainly does sparkle. Jeweler and twenty-three-year owner, Patti welcomes all the seasonal shoppers looking for something special. But where does a jewel-shopping dummy turn when you may be out of your element? The local expert gives her two cents for these seekers.

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1. Know the person for whom you are shopping.

Nothing is harder than an attempt at solo jewelry shopping than a total lack of context and personal taste. A guessing game is never good for purchases, particularly those for the investment of jewelry. There are so many styles and intricacies of jewelry, so try and have a very good understanding of what you may be going for.

 

2. For Engagement rings, “go for the biggie”.

We all know it is cuffing season and the confusion in an aspiring fiancé about to pop the question can be made easy if they remember that the boldness of the statement will surely appease any receiver. That being said, the sentiment and the thought combined with the variety at JWR Jewelers can help someone with a tight price range pick out an excellent and glowing selection.

 

3. Silver is great for the budget-minded person.

So often customers look past silver and its ability to gorgeously build a ring, necklace, or bracelet.

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4. Personalization is always a nice touch.

From engraving monograms to short messages, the personal element involved is one that always adds a special extra touch and lifetime treasure.

 

5. Go early rather than later.

Though JWR Jewelers will be open the Sunday afternoon before Christmas (the 18th) for those last minute shoppers, Patti recommends that the difficulty in making decisions as well as potential for multiple visits or any modifications could set you back – and you want to be prepared.

 

6. Don’t get overwhelmed in the pricing.

There is a wide variety of offers at JWR Jewelers and ones that do not need to break your wallet.

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7. There are a lot of combinations and ways to make a gift unique.

Between different types of gold, sharp whites, narrow vs. thin, colored stones, tints, and beyond, you are sure to find something. So don’t start thinking this is a cut-and-dry duty.

 

8. Embrace the seasonal favorites.

The widespread interest in rose gold is just the beginning for the current trends in jewelry shoppers this year. Start to explore and love the other picks in stacking, dainty necklaces, bar styles, arrows and drops, and more.

 

9. Know that pictures cannot always come to perfect fruition.

Patti notes that she receives so many customers with specifics of fine details that are often not durable. A ring with very small and tightly held diamonds may not endure. What people think they must have may not actually hold up. The good news: JWR Jewelers will give you the advice in order to make your visions come to fruition in the most sensible and beautiful ways.

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10. You will always be good to go with something classic.

A thoughtful and gorgeous purchase does not have to be too “out there” in order to be a huge success when it’s opened. There is a reason that the simplistic class has stood the test of years.

 

11. Lastly, it is important you are comfortable with whom you are shopping.

At an independent local jeweler like JWR Jewelers, the trust involved in the process and ultimate purchase can truly be guaranteed. Local jewelers are a part of the community, who hold a wealth of experience. What JWR Jewelers also boasts, is its setting of the diamonds in store as well as continual upkeep, additions, maintaining, sizing, and general repairs. JWR Jewelers appreciates the close ties with the Athens community – and their gift giving. They are committed to offering the consultations and advice for those that are, in fact, jewelry dummies, as well as those well versed in the trade. Stop by to explore the cases of breathtaking pieces this holiday season!

 

@martisatmidday

What Your Lunch Says about You

Around the middle of the day, when your energy is wavering, we all know the most important game changer includes a thought-out decision as to where you indulge in your noon-time meal. But did you also know that there is more behind this decision than merely a stomach growl? We can offer some assistance in helping you understand the background of these tendencies.

 

Marti’s At Midday: Midday Basket

You appreciate the the classic lunch scene when you’re making your choice. You want to sit in the sun, possibly on the deck, or even surrounded by the hustle and bustle and the colorful decor inside Marti’s place. You recognize that you need some greens and fruit but also cherish the opportunity to select your scoops of choice (a variety to keep things interesting could include both delicious pimento and chicken salad). All in all, a quintessential lunch makes you feel good and the bright atmosphere reaffirms your selection.

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Athens Bagel Company: Bagel Sandwich

You treasure the fact that bagels are not just food for breakfast. You know that you can bring together any variety of additions to either dabble in the morning classics or add more lunch-meats to make you feel more midday appropriate. You love a classic, easy, grab for lunch and the laid back atmosphere compliments your noon time vibes. How can you be resistant to the beauty that results from food in between soft doughy slices that come in a plethora of flavors and tastes?

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Barberitos: Nachos Stack

An afternoon slump has hit you and you know the only pick up could be a sloppy, mouth-watering, mound of chips, cheese, and beyond. You know that your health-conscious signals are not enough to steer you away from this masterpiece. But nonetheless, you’re confident. You appreciate a social lunch and you know that these nachos are best enjoyed by some great company. There is no way to say that this won’t be enough to give you a pick-me-up for the rest of the day…and leave you dreaming of them for the rest of the weekend.

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Heirloom Cafe: Pastured Steak Sandwich & Butternut Squash Soup

You know that the energy to get you through the rest of the work day relies on some fresh ingredients and bold flavors. You are very comfortable with stepping out of your foodie comfort zone and willing to spice up your plate with anything but the expected. Whether you are a usual connoisseur in the kitchen or just appreciate a solid #foodpic for the gram, you know that this plate (or really any others at Heirloom) are very worthy.

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Pulaski Heights BBQ: Redneck Reuben

You are bold–are at least your tastebuds are feeling like it–for this meat lovers ‘which. You prioritize your Southern flare as seen in the beautiful pimento cheese layer or classic collared greens addition but also recognize that you dabble in some unique flavors and like to keep things interesting as it plays together in reuben with housemade bacon and ranch on Texas toast. You’re in a relaxed mood and enjoy a casual meal with just a few friends. Generally, a casual setting with some good old fashioned dishes and sides is enough to set you up for a meal you’ll be reminiscing for a long time.

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Viva! Argentine Cuisine: French Fries

You’re adventurous and daring. You enjoy travel, as reflected in your international culinary interests. The opportunity to splurge in a South American twist on a good old American classic of the french fry. This time, they are loaded with steak and cheese and you will meet your match.

 

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Next time, your lunch decision may even get harder than it normally is. The good news: Athens brings you the best options to make every day tasteful. Chew on that!

 

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guide2: French Toast Roundup

Prepare yourself. We have gathered a compilation of one of the most iconic breakfast favorites crafted by local Athens restaurants. We know that our Classic City spots are always serving up the best so we thought it best to showcase one of the best morning favorites that they have to offer. Enjoy the picks, let your mouth water a little, and then stop by one of (or all of) these spots to indulge with some french toast, Athens edition. Cue mouth watering.


South Kitchen + Bar

Of the wide array of “creative food with a southern-accent” items on the brunch menu at South Kitchen + Bar, it may be challenging to make your choice. We believe that the French toast would be a very pleasant selection. It is composed of Luna challah, house syrup and house vanilla bean syrup for smothering and complemented with seasonal fruit.

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Big City Bread Cafe

This corner cafe brings you fresh and locally grown ingredients seven days a week to create delicious menus for every meal. When we’re talking about toast, we pivot our focus to the breakfast and brunch ones. French bread is dipped in cinnamon-vanilla custard, pan-fried and served with simple syrup. As your mouth drops and you begin to wonder if you ever even thought that was possible with a piece of bread, make some plans to stop by Big City Bread Cafe and find out if it worked.

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Mama’s Boy

Commonly known for its iconic biscuits, Mama’s Boy is unsurprisingly masterful at yet another breakfast food. Here, prepare yourself for the dessert of the morning. Luna sweet bread with peach filling, topped with powdered sugar, candied pecans, and whipped cream bring you the most ultimate Southern-inspired toast.

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Heirloom

This Chase Street cafe and fresh market brings you delicious dishes using ingredients from local farmers. This beautiful stack of Challah toast is topped with raspberry compote and condensed milk. Come on a Saturday or Sunday (maybe both) to get a taste of this plate.

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Now that you feel insecure about your homemade french toast plates, add these dishes to your local food bucket list and you will not be disappointed!