Total Visits

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sweet Auburn Barbecue (Poncey-Highland)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) = Convenient location right off N. Highland.  Casual yet hip(ster) atmosphere, perfect for adults-only or family outings.  High chairs.  Changing table in the bathroom.  Coloring sheets and crayons.  Diverse, creative menu that's best described as Southern BBQ Asian fusion.  Really delicious food and desserts.  Large, shareable servings.  Inventive cocktail menu for grownups. This place is a must try. 

:( = The parking situation here is kind of yucky.  Due to property-related issues that our toddler brains can't comprehend, patrons can't park in the lot adjacent to/behind the restaurant.  You have to park on the street, and the closest parking you'll find will probably be a few blocks away.  Wear comfortable shoes, bring a stroller or carrier if you have teeny foodies with you, and make sure your toddlers are in the mood to walk or you're in the mood to carry them - because you know there are times when we drop to the ground and simply refuse to walk.  The parking situation is the only reason Sweet Auburn didn't get 5 Gummy Bears!

Taco plate, green beans, mac and cheese.
Mommy had grand plans to take us to another Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  She drove us to one restaurant to find it filled to capacity, with no parking spaces available and a 40-minute wait.  She drove us to another restaurant and couldn't even get into the parking lot.  At that point, knowing we could erupt into hangry tantrums at any time, she said, "Okay, guys, we're just going to the next restaurant we see."  She turned right on N. Highland Avenue in the Poncey Highland area of Atlanta and saw Sweet Auburn Barbecue.  She saw open tables through the front window.  Executive decision made.

Now the one thing that frustrated us about our visit to Sweet Auburn was the parking situation.  Mommy drove through the parking lot right behind the restaurant only to find that all the spots were reserved for other businesses.  It turns out that Sweet Auburn doesn't have rights to use any of those spots.  So Mommy drove down to a residential side street, found an opening a few blocks down, and parallel parked there.  Not a huge deal, but something you'll want to prepare for if you visit with your littles. 

We walked into Sweet Auburn hungry and excited.  You might recall from our review of Fat Matt's Rib Shack (our very first blog post ever!) that we love barbecue.  What a treat to try a new BBQ joint when we thought we would be eating cheese dip and tacos!  Well, as good fortune would have it, Sweet Auburn does serve tacos.  Yummy, inventive tacos stuffed with their delicious BBQ.  The foodie forces of the universe knew what they were doing when they directed us to Sweet Auburn by happenstance.

"Cheers, Olaf!  We got to eat tacos, after all."
Not wanting to delay the process of tasting the dishes on Sweet Auburn's unique menu, we ordered:  Pimento Cheese Wontons (fried wontons stuffed with pimento cheese and bacon marmalade, served with sweet Thai chili sauce); the Bucket of Cornbread (jalapeno cheddar cornbread served with sweet sorghum butter); the Sweet Auburn Taco Plate (three tacos - we'll describe each tasty taco in detail below); and sides of macaroni and cheese and green beans. 

"I ate all my wontons!  Guess I'll have to settle for dipping my fingers into the sauce.  It's just so yummy."
We were blown away by everything we tried.  Seriously.  There wasn't a single dish we didn't like.  The wontons were the perfect size for our little hands, crisp, and oozing with sweet, bacon-ey, cheesy deliciousness.  The cornbread was moist and flavorful - and bite-sized, so Mommy didn't have to worry about cutting it up for us.  The macaroni and cheese was perfect.  The green beans were crunchy and perfect.  And those tacos - perfect!  The Sweet Auburn Taco Plate features three different types, which you can mix-and-match:  "Auburn BBQ" (pulled pork topped with pear slaw), "Mexican Street" (brisket topped with charred corn pico and avocado crema), and "Korean short rib" (short rib meat topped with Asian slaw, sriracha aioli, and scallions).  The meat in these tacos was so tender, and the toppings were so full of flavor, we didn't mind at all that we weren't actually celebrating Cinco de Mayo in a Mexican restaurant.  We gobbled up as much food as we could - and there were still leftovers to bring home to Daddy. 

(Sidenote:  Mommy's friend who joined us on our adventure tried the tacos, too, and she got the bacon maple Brussels sprouts.  Those Brussels sprouts were perfect.  Are you surprised?  Perfection seems to be the word of the day at Sweet Auburn.)

"Can we please stop taking pictures and dig into this banana pudding and praline basket?"
Like the rest of its menu, Sweet Auburn's dessert menu looked incredible - and it was.  We tried the banana pudding; Mommy's friend got the praline basket, which was a huge ice cream sundae served inside a delicate basket made of pralines.  No, we are not kidding.  Was it all perfect?  You already know the answer.

We can't stop fawning over Sweet Auburn, so we'll just end on this note:  in our long, happy career as foodies, we've had many adventures that started out one way and ended another.  (Remember that one time, when we wanted to use a Scoutmob deal, but the restaurant was closed, so we ended up at 4.5 Gummy Bear rated Taqueria El Rey Del Taco?  Or that other time we wanted to try one Indonesian restaurant, found it closed, and ended up at 5 Gummy Bear rated Indonesian restaurant - and one of our favorite unsung spots - Batavia?)  Through experiences like these, we all (including Mommy) have learned a lot about flexibility and going with the flow.  Maybe that's a good thing.
Anyway, enough toddler philosophizing.  We'll be back next week with one last eating adventure before our new website launches.  After May 14, 2015, you'll be able to find us - and all our Toddler Foodie siblings in other cities - at  

Happy eating, friends, and thank you for sharing so many yummy meals with us!  If you want to connect, find us on Instagram (@toddlerfoodiesatl), Twitter (@todfooatl), or Facebook (Toddler Foodies - Atlanta).


8 days to go!

El Potro Mexican Restaurant (Atlanta/Buford Hwy)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  2 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) = Central location right off Buford Highway.  Casual, kid friendly atmosphere.  High chairs.  Open-air patio seating.  Large servings.  Fast service. 

:( = Somewhat challenging parking lot - drive carefully and hold your little ones tightly as you're walking through.  Aloof, indifferent staff.  Bland, soulless Mexican food... maybe we just visited on an off-day.

Note:  We didn't get a chance to check for changing tables in the bathroom.  If you know, please comment below, and we'll update our review.  Thank you!

"This fajita makes me sad."
In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, we decided to try a Mexican restaurant one of our readers asked us to scope out, El Potro on Buford Highway.  We arrived around 7 PM on a weekday to find the restaurant pretty crowded.  We heard Mommy grumble that the parking lot was kind of hilly and tight, but that didn't really make a difference to us.  We were ready for some fajitas!

El Potro's interior is what you'd expect - spacious with colorful decor and bachata music blaring throughout.  We always love walking into Mexican restaurants because they're just so festive.  It feels like we're going into a birthday party.  The host greeted us by telling us to seat ourselves.  Since it was a nice day out, we opted for a table on the patio.  The first things we noticed when we stepped outside:  (a)  the patio, which wraps around the front of the restaurant, is really narrow - there's only space between the two rows of booth for one adult to walk through single-file and (b) the patio smells strongly of the cleaner that's used to disinfect the changing tables at our school.  To be honest, that smell alone might have affected our perception of our meal.   

"I don't know if I can eat this guacamole, guys.  All I can think about right now is diapers."
For dinner we ordered shrimp ceviche, "Mexican guacamole" (El Potro offers chunkier "Mexican guacamole" and "guacamole dip," which is a smoother puree), and beef, shrimp, and chicken combination fajitas for two (served with rice, refried beans, guacamole dip,. sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes)  The food all came out quickly, which is always a good thing when your party includes hungry kids.  And the serving sizes were HUGE!  Mommy and Daddy could've gotten the fajita meal for one, and we could've all shared it.  

Combo fajitas for two.

"This shrimp looks just right for me."
What can we say about our dinner?  Sadly, not much.  We ate it because we were hungry, but it just wasn't that tasty.  Maybe our sense of smell was so overwhelmed by the odor of the cleaning solution that our taste buds weren't working properly.  Or maybe we caught the kitchen on an off day.  Whatever the reason... we just were not feeling El Potro's food.  After doling out portions of food to us, Mommy and Daddy doused their plates in hot sauce.  That seemed to be the only way they could get it down.    
We left the restaurant pretty quickly after eating as much dinner as we could.  Next time we're craving fajitas, we'll stick with 4.5 Gummy Bear rated Taqueria El Rey Del Taco.  Or if we really want ceviche, we'll go back to Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit.  Or we'll get our tamale fix at Superica.  There are so many awesome places to get Mexican food in Atlanta... hmm, now that we're thinking about them, we just might be craving fajitas again.  MommmmmyyyyStart the car!

8 days to go!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

So Ba Vietnamese Restaurant (East Atlanta)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  4 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) = Great location in town, right near the heart of East Atlanta Village.  Super chill and laid-back atmosphere and staff.  High chairs.  Awesome large, screened in patio that's perfect for meals with messy toddlers.  Menu offering just the right amount of Vietnamese staples that would satisfy any basic Vietnamese food cravings, including authentic-tasting pho served in three different sized bowls (small, medium, or large) and numbered just like you're on BuHi - because it ain't real pho if you can't order it using a number, a letter, or both. 

:( = This Vietnamese food is much pricier than what you'll find on Buford Highway or outside the perimeter.  Also, when evening falls, they put candles on the tables.  Be prepared to do some damage control.  And there's no dessert menu.   

Notes:  According to Mommy and Daddy, So Ba has an inventive cocktail menu that includes a delicious Ginger Lime Margarita and tequila-based Jackfruit Martini garnished with fresh jackfruit slices.  (We don't know what all this means, but we're just passing the word along because Mommy told us to.)

"You need to prepare your chopsticks before digging into a big bowl of pho.  Watch and learn."
Okay, it's true.  We are half-Vietnamese, and we really do have random cravings for pho (traditional Vietnamese noodle soup).  One evening a massive craving hit us right when we were in Downtown Atlanta during the city's peak rush hour period.  The craving hit Mommy, too - and she panicked.  It would have taken us 45 minutes or more to get to Doraville or Duluth where some of Atlanta's best pho restaurants are located.  So what did she do?  She turned the car east and headed to So Ba, a Vietnamese restaurant in East Atlanta Village.  So Ba is one of 4 Vietnamese restaurants that's actually in Atlanta proper (one of the others being Le Fat, which we reviewed a few weeks ago), and it's been a popular spot for ITP devotees since it opened.

Our cousin, Junior Foodie MJ, met us in East Atlanta Village, and we all arrived at So Ba around 6:15 PM to find it quite empty.  We headed straight for the patio.  So Ba's patio is perfect for toddler hangout time:  spacious and screened, with a huge colorful mural on the wall.  Our server came by right away with water in to-go cups with lids, and Mommy went right ahead and ordered some appetizers:  Goi Cuon Thit Nuong (rice paper wrapped spring rolls filled with charbroiled pork, fresh lettuce, and vermicelli) and Dau Hu Rang Mui (salt and pepper fried tofu tossed with sautéed onions and peppers).  The tofu was a little bit spicy, but Mommy loved it.  She went on and on about how it wasn't soggy or too salty.
"Check out my double spring roll move!"
We sort of glossed over the appetizer portion of our meal, though, because our mission at So Ba was pretty singular:  we wanted PHO.  Mommy ordered a medium bowl of Pho Dac Biet (a/k/a #14) to share with us.  "Dac Biet" means "special" in Vietnamese, and pho dac biet is a very traditional version of pho that includes multiple cow parts:  eye round steak, brisket, flank, soft tendon, and tripe.  When we order pho, we normally get the dac biet version because it has such rich flavor.  We like to load up our pho dac biet with freshly squeezed lime juice, a little basil, just a couple of bean sprouts, and a healthy dose of hoisin sauce.  (Mommy and Daddy add sriracha after doling out our portions.)  When you combine all these distinct flavors together, you get the yummiest tasting soup ever, in our humble opinions.  Couple that delicious soup with chewy rice noodles and tender cuts of meat, and bam!  Foodie heaven.  So Ba's pho was no exception.  It totally satisfied our cravings. 

"Bottoms up, guys!"
So Ba doesn't offer dessert, so Mommy let us take a detour to Morelli's Ice Cream, which is a five minute drive from East Atlanta Village.  We tried the banana chip ice cream, and Junior Foodie MJ had the lemon sorbet.  We have no complaints about the ice cream - it was natural-tasting and divine, and Morelli's offers some really creative flavors.  We definitely recommend stopping there after a trip to So Ba.  It will make your pho experience even sweeter.

"Let's make a deal:  I'll trade you one bite of my banana chip for one bite of your lemon sorbet."
Well, that's all for now, friends!  We'll be back next week with more eating adventures.  Our web designer told us to limit our blogging to one post per week until our new website launches; and he's friends with Mommy, so we probably have to listen to him.  But we can't wait to share our new site with you - it's going to be pho-nomenal!


15 days to go!



L'Thai Organic Thai Cuisine & Wine Bar (Tucker)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  4 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) =  Family friendly yet zen-like dining room decorated with trees, plants, and a fish tank for kids to enjoy.  Yummy Thai dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients - and a really good dessert menu.  Extensive wine menu for mommies and daddies that includes organic wine selections.  High chairs.  Friendly staff dressed in colorful Thai attire. 

:( = Food is a little pricier than other Thai restaurants.  No changing tables in the bathrooms.  The restaurant's location may be inconvenient for folks who don't live in the Tucker/Stone Mountain/Lilburn area.  It's tucked away in a plaza that really isn't near any major highway exits.  But if you're in the area, it's worth a visit!

Clockwise from top:  3-year-old Toddler Foodie, Softshell Crab with Red Curry, Beef Lard Na, Crab and Shrimp Fried rice
To celebrate Earth Day this year, we decided to try L'Thai Organic Thai Restaurant and Wine Bar, a somewhat unsung Thai restaurant in the Tucker/Stone Mountain area.  Mommy told us it would be appropriate to celebrate Earth Day at L'Thai because they're the only restaurant in Atlanta that specializes in serving Thai cuisine made with organic ingredients.  (We suspect she also likes L'Thai because they have an amazing wine menu.)

We arrived around 6:30 PM on a weekday to find the place had a few other guests, including... kids!  Seeing other kids at restaurants always makes us happy.  We were even happier when we saw L'Thai's neat, earthy interior.  When you first walk in, you're greeted by lush green plants and a small, zen-like fountain decorated with stone turtles and live bamboo.  Then you walk into the dining room and find... a TREE.  Yes, a huge tree right in the middle of the room.  We love reading The Giving Tree at home, and that's exactly what we thought of when we saw L'Thai's dining area.

"This tree is happy."
The hostess dressed in traditional Thai attire walked us to our table, right past an awesome freshwater fish tank.  Of course, we had to stop there for a few minutes to check out the fishies.  And we're giving L'Thai one Gummy Bear solely because of that fish tank - there's no better toddler distraction than colorful live fish.

We were all ravenous and drooling over the extensive menu, so we ordered our entire meal 5 minutes after taking our seats.  Here's what we ordered:  satay chicken (traditional Thai grilled chicken skewers served with peanut sauce), crab fried rice (fried rice cooked with shrimp and lumps of crab meat, Panang Soft Shell Crabs (panko battered and fried soft-shell crabs served with panang curry sauce and steamed broccoli), and the Pad Lad-Nar (pan fried wide egg noodles served with egg and a special thick soy sauce-based gravy) with chicken.

Clockwise from top:  Pad Lad-Nar with chicken, crab fried rice, Panang Soft Shell Crabs
All the food we ate was pretty good.  Our favorite dish was the Panang Soft Shell Crabs, although the sauce was a bit spicy for us.  The crabs themselves were crunchy and flavorful - we didn't even need the panang curry sauce.  We loved the Pad Lad-Nar, too.  Those wide, chewy noodles get us every time.  The crab fried rice didn't move us - we probably won't order it again.  And we gobbled up the chicken satay.  Peanut sauce is one of our favorite things in the world.  We'd drink it out of a cup with a straw if Mommy and Daddy would let us!

After eating all our dinner, Mommy let us peruse L'Thai's awesome dessert menu.  We got really lucky because Mommy was craving sweets, so we ended up trying two different desserts:  house-made coconut ice cream and durian served with organic black sticky rice, drizzled with warm coconut milk.  Wow, what an awesome treat!  We liked the coconut ice cream best.  It was rich, creamy, and had little chunks of coconut in every spoonful.  Daddy and Mommy liked the durian and sticky rice best.  They eat durian whenever they can, even though they always talk about the smell before they eat.  That doesn't make sense to us, but we all know parents are just illogical most of the time.

We left L'Thai with full tummies and felt great knowing we had an all-natural, organic meal in honor of our dear Mother Earth.  We're really thankful for all the yummy food she provides to us.

Until next time, friends, eat well and prosper! 

15 days to go!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Special Announcement: We're Growing!

We're excited to announce that in a few weeks, we're adding two new blogs to our Toddler Foodies family:
Toddler Foodies - San Antonio, Texas

Toddler Foodies - Austin, Texas

And... Chicago, Illinois!  (Photo coming soon.)
Atlanta, let's give these cuties a warm welcome.
We'll be back soon with more eating adventures here in the ATL!