Yesterday, I drove to Atlanta to go on food tour of Inman Park! Food Tours Atlanta is a locally owned company that takes you on tours of Inman Park and Ponce City Market, both of which boast wonderful history, culture, and food! I went on the Inman Park Tour simply because I studied Inman Park during grad school.
During the late Victorian era (mid-late 1800s), suburbs with glorious Victorian homes were popping up all over the country, and Joel Hurt, creator of Inman Park, wanted in on the action. He designed Inman Park to be a neighborhood for the richy rich, and based many of the area’s requirements off of other successful neighborhoods in America. Well, it was a grand success, until it wasn’t.
By the 1960’s, the neighborhood had fallen into disarray while many of the homes crumbled and the crime rate rose. In the early 1970s, there was a resurgence of preservation of Inman Park. Thanks to several devoted men and women and 20 years of a fight against the Georgia DOT, Inman Park was saved! Many of the homes have now undergone renovations for preservation, new sidewalks (to an extent because trees have roots) have been laid, and the community has come to life!
Ok, enough of the history. I went on a FOOD TOUR!
During the tour, we walked through Historic Inman Park as well as the modern Inman Park Village sampling the tastes of the town. I was not disappointed.
I was STUFFED by the end of the 2.5 hour tour and could hardly eat the dumpling and the apple pie. I was pleasantly surprised to have really liked the salad from The Parish. It was made with kale and a lot of blue cheese, and full disclosure, I am NOT a blue cheese fan. But it was d e l i c i o u s. Whatever was in the dressing did a wonderful job of hiding the normally overpowering flavor of the blue cheese. I ate the entire thing.
I also really liked the wings from The Albert! They had some kind of a dry rub on them, and they were “flash fried” to give them a nice crunch. The sauces provided were a ranch, a blue cheese base, and a PBR. I loved the PBR one! They also provided boiled peanuts, which I thought was a fitting southern touch. 🙂 Our guide told a funny story about a British lady on one of his tours who did not know how to eat boiled peanuts. She apparently ate shell and all! Bless her.
I think that The One Eared Stag had the best origin story though. According to our guide, the restaurant got its name literally from a one-eared stag! When the chef, Robert Phalen, was filling out the business paperwork, he realized that he had not thought of a name for the restaurant. Well, he had just picked up a stuff deer head to be hug in the restaurant, but when he received it, he noticed that a dog had chewed off the right ear, leaving it as a one-eared stag. So, he wrote down the business name as The One Eared Stag!
Speaking of our guide! We had a wonderful gent named Michael leading us on this tour. He was a great guide full of knowledge and humor! His presentation was top notch, and he also made sure to spend time speaking individually with each of the guests. Two thumbs way up, Michael!!
In this picture, you see Michael showing the group one of the tours most awesome moments! No, that weird looking thing is not the TARDIS. It’s actually a One-Man Jail Cell!! If you were being disorderly or caught doing bad stuff in the 1800s, a cop would simply put you in that bad boy, lock it, and then light the bulb at the top. The light would then tell the paddy-wagon (now there’s a name that deserves it’s own blog post) that someone needs to be picked up and hauled off to jail. So he would! How awesome is that?!
I of course HAD to get in it. So I did.
Overall, this tour was WONDERFUL. I had a marvelous time learning some history, talking architecture, and eating glorious food. I highly recommend anyone in the ATL area, locals or visitors, taking part in one of these tours. You’ll be so happy you did!!