Tis the season...

Christmas vacation with a large Southern family...this scenario rarely produces dull moments.  Relatives that have over served themselves, screaming kids, uninterested teens, and the elders with no filter, hangin' in the corner near the appetizer table to remind you that you've probably had enough spinach dip.  This year my lifelong friend Heatherly and her man friend Ben traveled cross country for the holidays so Ben, a native mid-westerner, could get a good taste of the South.  We did not disappoint. Ryan and I showed them around Athens, Georgia and stopped in some of our favorite watering holes and eateries.  First stop- The Royal Peasant.

The Royal Peasant, Athens GA

The Royal Peasant, Athens GAphoto courtesy of Royal Peasant

So much more than a bar, the Royal Peasant is an awesome neighborhood joint nestled in the heart of 5 points (old Mean Bean building).  The owner did an impressive job transforming the former burrito joint into a cozy pub offering excellent English fare and large selection of brews.

Next stop: The Last Resort

You can't come to Athens and not visit The Last Resort.  There are so many great restaurants in Athens but for the price and quality of food...Last Resort Grill is hard to beat.

last resort grill

Located in downtown Athens, this lively bistro incorporates all the unique aspects of this college town- great food, eclectic diners, and for the most part an old building with a unique story. Housed in the historic district of downtown, the space was originally home to a music club called The Last Resort where legendary performers like Towns Van Sandt and Doc Watson graced its stage. Today the grill is serving up modern Southern style cuisine while supporting local and organic farms and vendors.

We went for lunch and stuffed ourselves with fried green tomatoes, smoked salmon quiche, chipotle pork, and spinach salad in preparation for our long drive towards our next destination on our holiday road trip. Do yourself a favor and go have a meal and don't forget dessert (homemade cheesecakes and layer cakes by local Athens bakeries). Your pants will undoubtedly feel tighter and you might have to unbutton that top button, but it will be well worth it.

Tis the season part 2...

Willie Nelson at the Alabama Theater