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It's not often that I get the chance to brag about a dining experience to my ITP Atlanta friends. In my town, the choices beyond restaurant chains and fast food joints are indeed limited; that's the trade off for a comfortable life in the suburbs. So when I found a spot this weekend to rival the eateries in Midtown or the coveted Highland stops, I was beside myself with joy.

Granted, I did have to drive about 40 minutes from my actual house to get there but there was no high-speed traffic or problematic parking to be had, so that in and of itself is a win. Everything is about an hour from house, that's just the way it is.

One of my very best friends was passing through town on the way back to her Florida abode and we decided to meet up for brunch somewhere during her travels. I did some research along the I-75 route, and was about to resign to the thought of a typical Waffle House pit stop, when Google Maps blessed me with a true gift. Just a few miles off the interstate in a town called Locust Grove, about half an hour south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, sits a little strip of quaint shops along the railroad tracks including, The French Market and Tavern.

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Photo by Iclee Photography
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Photo by Iclee Photography
First of all, downtown Locust Grove is as charming as country song. Along an exhausting ride back from a day trip to  Milledgeville, Ga. not so long ago, I found myself driving through Locust Grove and suddenly I was transported to Mayberry. Any minute, Barney would be strolling by and telling me to "Slow down, you maniac, before you hurt somebody!", threaten me with a traffic ticket and his mighty bullet, and then who knows what shenanigans would ensue!

But I digress. The French Market & Tavern is a cozy combination of Southern hospitality and famous New Orleans cuisine. Upon arrival, you walk through the doors into a market filled with Mason jar creations, farm-inspired art and endless knick-knacks. After close to an hour of browsing the market's offerings you'll realize you came here to eat, so you'll promptly be seated at a chic-without-being-pretentious table. The dining area is dressed with the country classics - flowers, glass jars, rustic art - and the menu is filled with tempting delights (seriously, Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding is an actual menu item for Sunday brunch - you guys!)
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Photo by Iclee Photography
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Photo by Iclee Photography
My friend and I both ordered lunch (with mimosas, of course) with the promise that we would return very soon to experience breakfast next time. My sambal shrimp sandwich was most satisfyingly spicy with a hint of sweetne... oh forget it, it was finger-licking good!! 

After we cleaned our plates and downed our libations, we took the time to shop through the small market, pointing out funny signs or dreaming about how a small, ceramic bird could really tie a room together. Neither of us ended up buying anything, mostly because I have no space of my own to decorate just yet and Christmas is still too far to even think about yet. 
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Photo by Iclee Photography
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Photo by Iclee Photography
You'll pay less at a Denny's or IHOP but a visit to The French Market & Tavern is one you won't regret - the service was friendly, the food was spot on and if you're lucky enough to have your best friend along for the ride, the company won't be bad either!

So if you find your self stuck in a rut here on the south side of Atlanta or need an invigorating meal (they serve lunch AND dinner too!) before making a trek down to the Sunshine State, consider taking that stop in Locust Grove for my new favorite place - The French Market & Tavern. Be sure to tell me about your experience in the comments!
All pictures above are courtesy of Iclee Photography. Find more scenes of The French Market & Tavern on their website - www.frenchmarkettavern.com
 





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    “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

    -A.A. Milne

    About Amanda

    I just love Winnie-the-Pooh quotes. A.A. Milne had an incredible way of capturing an exact feeling or thought so universal and complex and convey it in the simplest of terms in the voice of a humble Bear. When I decided to start a blog, Pooh's words popped into my head and expressed the exact base of my worries behind starting a personal blog: My Thingish Things won't make any sense to other people! But oh well. Here goes nothing.

    I intend for this blog to be where I share my thoughts, opinions and inspirations in a casual personal voice. For a more professional take on who I am and where I want to go in life, check out my online portfolio. You won't find as many recipes, crafts, and sarcastic remarks about life there, but it is a good portrayal of me too.

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