The Crafty Farm Sister’s Southern Road Trip is over. We drove 2,297 miles in 7 days. The last 2 days were probably the worst. Friday we drove from just North of Atlanta in Doraville, to Franconia, Maryland. That’s about 615 miles in one day. I’ll admit it — we might have been a little aggressive with our driving estimates. Especially when you consider the fact that we spent a whole day in Austin and in Atlanta. That essentially left 5 days to drive that distance. But we both had fun, were still speaking to each other at the end of the trip, and will happily take another trip together again next year.
The good thing about a trip like that is every other place I have to drive seems so easy. An hours drive today was over in the blink of an eye. And, I still love to drive, so it’s all good.
Before we left Atlanta we stopped in the quant little town for a quick breakfast.
We found this wonderful shop about a block off the main square called The Nest that had a terrific mix of antiques, yard sale finds, and home goods and accessories. Owned by mother-daughter team Donna and Carla, they were super nice. They also had two mighty cute dogs. If you’re ever in Carrollton you should make it a point to stop there.This stunning brown paper gown was just something one of the owner’s of The Nest threw together for a display. Now that’s crafty!
We had a 45 minute drive from Carrollton to Serenbe, the 1000-acre sustainable living community in the Chattahoochee Hills. It was a beautiful drive through the hills of Georgia, and frankly, we were so happy to have the sun shining and blue skies everything looked beautiful.
There’s really too much to say about the Serenbe Community here. I’ll have to do a separate post on it soon.
Once in Atlanta, we headed right for Highland Row Antiques. Lisa and I had found this shop when we were in Atlanta this past April for the BlogHer Food conference, and knew we had to go back with a vehicle to transport some of their wonderful things home. Now they’ve got a lot of pretty peculiar things there, too. We were talking to one of the partner’s, and she said they do a lot of work selling movie props. Note the Jolly Green Giant’s legs are behind him, so he’s complete. And, well, what can you say about that nude painting. It takes a special person to want that hanging in their home. That Deer Processing sign would have come home with Lisa if it would have fit in the car. Those vintage suitcases were in near perfect condition.
Some other cute things we saw in some Atlanta shops. That birdhouse with the pitchfork perch is now on my list of things to make. Such a cute idea for a farm girl.
We were eating in Decatur, which is just outside of Atlanta. On the way out of town we stopped at a new group shop that had just opened. There was some fun stuff there, but it was all a little pricey.
Before we got to Atlanta I had looked up farm-to-table restaurants in Atlanta on my iPad. There were several good choices, but the looks of Leon’s Full Service in Decatur appealed to me the most. Perhaps because it seemed more casual, (by this point in the trip, our selection of clean laundry was getting a little thin). I presume it’s called Leon’s Full Service because it’s in a space that used to house a gas/service station. We were so glad we picked it. I am not exaggerating when I say that I had one of the best meals I have eaten in years that night. Truthfully, everything on the menu, (which changes weekly) looked so amazing, and we were so hungry, that we showed virtually no restraint and practically had to roll ourselves out of the joint. It was worth every bite.
Since we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, we started with a snack of pub frites with a choice of 14 house-made dipping sauces. I chose the masaman curry and madras curry catsup and Lisa chose the smoked tomato mayonnaise and garlic aioli. They were so delicious. Then we moved onto a cheese plate. We had a triple cream cows milk, aged Gouda , and a local blue. They served it with some crusty baguette and some house-made quince jelly. The cheeses were so good bread wasn’t really required, and that quince paste was incredible.
For starters. Lisa had charred scallion and ginger chicken sausage with baby bok choy, green curry, fried shallot pickles. It was crazy good. So moist and flavorful you’d never know it was made from chicken. Smoky and a little spicy. I chose the grilled flatbread with georgia apple butter, aged cheddar, roasted fennel, smoked pecan, toasted fennel seed. I cannot even explain how delicious this was to you. The home-made apple butter was perfect with the aged cheddar, and the fennel wasn’t overwhelming at all. I love sweet and savory combinations. I had the leftovers the next night for dinner in our hotel room.
For entrees Lisa ordered slow roasted beef brisket with black peppercorn gravy, fried onions, served open faced and served with a zucchini-sharp cheddar casserole, sweet onion gravy, arugula, lemon oil. I had a boneless beef short rib served over parsnip puree. It was so tender you could cut it with a fork.
And then, believe it or not, I ordered dessert. I was so full, but just had to try one bite of the peach cobbler with brown sugar whipped cream. Really, I meant to just have one bite. Because I was really quite full by then. But, it was so darned delicious that Lisa and I ate the whole thing! I really couldn’t believe it.
As we were leaving I went in the ladies room. The lady in the next stall had the most kick-ass pair of boots on. She was probably wondering why somebody was taking pictures in the next stall. Anybody know what brand those are?
To summarize, below are the things I acquired on our Southern Road Trip. My sister brought some stuff home too! We couldn’t have fit much more in that minivan if we tried.
So that’s what we did in Georgia! Next time I’ll finish up the trip, which includes a stop to see my new friend Sharon, a dairy farmer in Virginia.