Athens, GA: Last Resort Grill

Athens-Georgia-Last-Resort-Grill | Fiddle Dee Dee

Don’t judge a book by its cover is often my mantra when choosing restaurants.  We’ve discovered some really awesome places to dine over the years keeping that thought in mind.  Last Resort Grill in Athens is one of those small gems you would never expect such large things from!

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Not to long ago my girl friend Tammie (Talking with Tami) was given the opportunity to test drive a truck for Chevrolet and they suggested a day trip to Athens as part of the literary.  Tammie picked me up along the way and off we went for a lovely girls afternoon!  The Last Resort Grill with its southwestern take on southern comfort food was just one of the local restaurant options Chevy had suggested in their list of things to check out in Athens and after reading some of the reviews we decided this was definitely the place for a late lunch!

We arrived just after the lunch crowd was beginning to leave for the day.  From men in suits to college kids with backpacks this looked to be THE place to dine!  When we walked in we were greeted with a cooler of fresh-baked desserts and I was ready to be bad and just skip lunch; eating dessert instead!

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Tammie and I were seated immediately and our fabulous waitress shared all of her favorites on the menu.  Choosing what to eat was really hard.  Thankfully our waitress was patient as we poured over the menu for quite a while.

Last-Resort-Grill-Menu | Fiddle Dee Dee

Once we finally decided what to have for lunch, we checked out the restaurant a little.  Originally the building Last Resort Grill calls home was an iconic Athens music club from back before I was even born!  The eclectic decor maintains a lively and vibrant ambience  and is a tribute to the history of the building.  The walls are decorated with art from local artists; pieces you can actually purchase if you desire.

Last-Resort-Grill-Artwork | Fiddle Dee Dee

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Once our lunch arrived we quit sightseeing and couldn’t wait to eat!  Tammie and I shared a bowl of scrumptious black bean soup topped with cilantro cream and pico de gallo.

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My Fried Green Tomato sandwich was a fabulous upgrade to a traditional BLT.  My tomatoes were beer-battered & dusted with cornmeal, then pan-fried, topped with crispy bacon, grilled onions and Vidalia bacon dressing.  The salad that accompanied it was simple and refreshing, topped with house made dressing.

Last-Resort-Grill-Bacon-Lettuce-Fried-Green-Tomato-Sandwich | Fiddle Dee Dee

Bacon-Lettuce-Fried-Green-Tomato-Sandwich | Fiddle Dee Dee

Tammie enjoyed a meatloaf patty melt with bacon cooked in the meatloaf, topped with caramelized onions and Monterey jack cheese.

Last-Resort-Grill-Meatloaf-Sandwich | Fiddle Dee Dee

Although we were so full, we had to have a bite of dessert.  Of course I chose the red and black cake… what Bulldog fan wouldn’t?

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Our cake was so moist and delicious; I promise you I have never had a restaurant cake so rich and delicious!

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The Last Resort Grill prides itself on its commitment to the community by using local growers, farmers and other businesses that make Athens home as much as possible.  That is an initiative I can support!

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If you visit Last Resort Grill, prepare to wait, especially at lunch and on the weekends.  They don’t take reservations as far as I know, but I assure you the wait is totally worth it!

Last Resort Grill

174-184 W Clayton St.

Athens, GA 30601

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A Few Minutes with Shaq & National Oreo Day

Despite a time change, a very rainy and windy Atlanta on Tuesday, National Oreo Day with retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal went off quite nicely!

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Shaquille O’Neal was in Atlanta with a pop-up “Snack Shaq” giving away the new Oreo candy bar with mint while celebrating both Oreo’s 106th birthday and his own 46th! There were several media and social media influencers on site as well as many Atlantans out in the heavy drizzle and wind waiting for a candy bar from Shaq!

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I was given a few minutes to talk with him and I asked about his partnership with Oreo as he has long been a spokesman for this yummy snack.

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Like so many of us, Shaq said he was introduced to Oreo as a kid by his momma with old fashioned cookies and milk, so this iconic snack has been a favorite his entire life!  He has actually been in a “fabulous relationship” with Oreo for the last 10 years and tries to stay involved with them on many levels.  Shaq mentioned that it was “important to him to be involved and have a personal connection with a product that he was familiar.”  Over the years Oreo has expanded from the original cookie, lemon and birthday cake being two of his favorites, as well as ventured out into candy bars.

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I had intended to ask about upcoming March Madness, as my own university (Lipscomb U) has made the dance for the first time EVER, and am I ever the fan of an undrdog! But, someone beat me to it.  Shaq said he wasn’t really keeping up with it, so I left that on the table!

{Maybe we’ll have the opportunity to talk basketball another day.}

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I have always heard stories about how kind Shaquille O’Neal is and y’all he was so sweet despite this inexperienced interviewer asking questions.  I had let Bradley skip school to go with me as my photographer and upon introducing them Shaq asked what his plans were.  With the mention of boot camp and the Marine Corp, his whole professional demeanor changed and he thanked Bradley and told him to stay safe.  He was very kindhearted and so sincere.  It totally explains why he has such a loyal fanbase!

During our interview Shaq was talking about all of the candy bars they were giving away and said, “If you’re having a party, I’ll send you a hundred!”

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Well, he sent two boxes of bars to my Madeline’s Point University Lacrosse team which they were able to enjoy and celebrate National Oreo Day after a victory over Berry College in Rome that afternoon!

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For National Oreo Day,  Shaquille O’Neal was giving out over 1,000,000 Oreo candy bars both in person and online through OreoBirthdayGiveaway.com .  You can register online for a coupon through March 12, or until all of the coupons are given away.

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Athens, GA: South Kitchen + Bar

Athens, Georgia.

UGA-Downtown-Athens | Fiddle Dee Dee

Home to my beloved Georgia Bulldogs and becoming quite a destination for foodies as there are several local chefs who have taken dining in Athens to a whole new level!

{Believe me this wasn’t the case in 1994 when I attended the TN/GA game here!}

Recently I made the 35 minute drive up HWY 78 to Athens to catch an early Saturday basketball game with my daughter, MacKenzie (my Carolina Gamecock) and her new husband, Michael.

Carolina-Newlyweds | Fiddle Dee Dee

Before the rivalries of our two teams met we decided a casual and peaceful brunch was in order so we made a reservation at South Kitchen + Bar in historic downtown.

South Kitchen + Bar- Athens-Georgia | Fiddle Dee Dee

South-Kitchen-Bar-Athens | Fiddle Dee Dee

Housed in the old Georgian Hotel with its large arched windows, stained glass and chandeliers,  South Kitchen offers not only a lovely atmosphere, but southern food with a modern touch for a delicious meal!

We arrived at 11 am to a bustling restaurant, very thankful for our reservation.  We were seated promptly and had a few moments to look at the vast brunch menu.  Deciding what to order was difficult as there are so many fabulous choices, but we managed to find exactly what fit our personalities and listened intently to our waiter’s favorite options.

South-Kitchen-Menu | Fiddle Dee Dee

We kicked off brunch with a delicious small plate of Blue Crab Deviled Eggs.  These deviled eggs were topped with a mixture of blue crab, old bay seasoning, Tabasco, capers and panko bread crumbs.  Y’all I could have ordered three more plates to make my entire meal, but alas, something better was calling my name.

South-Kitchen-Blue-Crab-Deviled-Eggs | Fiddle Dee Dee

For my brunch I enjoyed the Green Tomato Benny.  This plate took classic eggs Benedict and elevated it to a whole new level by adding friend green tomatoes and thick cut bacon to the poached egg, English muffin and hollandaise sauce. It was served with cheddar grits on the side.

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Oh my!  It was absolutely scrumptious!  I was full long before I finished my plate and had to make myself stop eating the deliciousness before me.

MacKenzie and Michael each ordered the Brunch Burger made up with a certified Angus beef patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, a fried egg, fried green tomato and arugula.

South-Kitchen-Brunch-Burger | Fiddle Dee Dee

It just screamed Southern comfort food!

On the side they each added an order of tater tots which are a delicious treat anyway, but these were fried in duck fat which took them to a whole new level. One order was served with sweet red pepper dip and the other with house-made bacon ranch.

The burger was just as messy as it was delicious, but my not always adventurous newlyweds loved it, and the tots doubled the pleasure.

No dessert was necessary as we were extremely full.  As a matter of fact we didn’t even need a snack at the basketball game as three hours later we were still satisfied!

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The only disappointment of the day was Georgia’s loss.

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Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday, but you can dine at South Kitchen for both dinner and supper, as well as stop in at the bar for small plates and cocktails.  I highly recommend you make a reservation!

South Kitchen + Bar

247 E Washington St.

Athens, GA 30601

(706) 395-6125

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National Oreo Day

Tomorrow, March 6 is National Oreo Day as Oreo celebrates their 106th birthday!

{Now this is a day to celebrate!}

Oreo has several great things planned for the celebration including a giveaway beginning at 6:00 am est where 1,000,000 Oreo lovers can snag a coupon for a free Oreo candy bar!

Log into oreobirthdaygiveaway.com to be one of the first to grab your free bar!

Not only is tomorrow National Oreo Day, it is also former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal’s Birthday!

To celebrate, Shaq is setting up a pop-up “Snack Shaq” at Atlantic Station where he will be giving away Oreo Candy Bars as well!

Originally scheduled for Tuesday morning Shaq will now be at Atlantic Station beginning at 1:00PM until around 2:30 doing one of this Random Acts of Shaqness by giving out free delicious OREO Chocolate Candy Bars to local fans.

I’ll be there to share the experience & fun on my social media and hope to see you as well!