*Disclaimer: As part of my membership with the Atlanta Food Blogger’s Society I received free tickets to this event in exchange for media coverage and a review. All opinions are my own.
When I was invited to attend the Best of Atlanta Party and was able to bring a +1 I practically squeeled with excitement! Some of the best restaurants, breweries, wineries and chefs in one place?! Count me in! B and I arrived Wednesday evening a little after the event kicked off at 7pm. The event was held at the Cobb Galleria and the layout was very similar to that of a trade show. Each restaurant/vendor had their own booth where they handed out free samples to all participants.
There was a lounge in the middle sponsored by West Elm as well as a Social Media Lounge for those wanting to sneak away for a minute to tweet and instagram the event. Every time I went to use the lounge it was packed so I ended up not using it. I would suggest to make this a bit larger for those people needing to actually use it! I think most people just enjoyed it for a comfortable place to sit.
As I mentioned in my Instagram post, there was a whole section of the event called “The Coop” that was sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms where farm to table restaurants had to incorporate chicken into their dishes. Most of the local breweries were also located in that tent.
My favorite dish from that tent was the deconstructed chicken pot pie (middle) image. It was so hearty and I loved the concept of using the crust as a crumble on the top so you were able to taste more of the filling! A lot of other restaurants went with a chicken sausage but I loved the molasses mustard sauce on the left and the apple slaw on the right!
Some local food trucks were also located throughout the event.
The booths that took the time to decorate their space to reflect their restaurant/product definitely attracted more visitors. It’s fun to see a vendors personality come out in their display! These were a few of my favorites. Obviously gravitating to the farm-to-table style ones!
I also loved to see that there was a nice selection of healthy vendors there! Especially local juice shops!
This dish from Chai Pani was one of the most unique ones B and I sampled. He wasn’t much of a fan but I found it interesting. They filled this crust cup with a rice and Indian spice mixture then added a cold broth to it. The trick was you had to eat the whole thing in one bite or else the water would spill out. Not the most appetizing thing to look at but at least it was entertaining to eat!
The desserts were out of this world good!! I really had to watch how much I sampled! Some of my favorites included (top left) a Mocha Mousse Parfait made with a local coffee roasters coffee! Gelato Ice Cream Sandwiches and instead of using a wafer as the sandwich “bread” they used frozen gelato. So it was like double the gelato! Delicious! There were some delicious old fashioned doughnuts by Dutch Monkey Doughnuts (bottom left picture) and served by the cutest little girl! And (bottom right) an AMAZING thick pound cake by Sweet Caroline’s Cakes.
There was honestly so much to choose from and a great selection it was a little overwhelming. To help with this I would suggest they make a small directory so you knew what vendors where there and where in the convention room they were located. I would also suggest they turn the music down just a tad so we could talk with the vendors more easily. Sometimes I felt as though I was shouting in their face!
Other than that it was a blast! It’s truly a great event to see all the best of what Atlanta has to offer in the dining scene. B and I were introduced to so many new restaurants we haven’t heard of yet that are on our “must try” list! Is it weird to say I’m already excited for next year’s event?!