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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!

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