I feel the need to send my apologies for dropping off the face of the earth until now! Trust me...it's not you, it's me. In all honesty, I have been slack over the past year dealing with a hospitalized parent, a job change, and more moves throughout this great city of Atlanta than I care to count. All excuses aside, I am finally settled in my own place in the great neighborhood of Candler Park, enjoying a healthy family and an amazing group of friends I would not be sane without. All in all, life is fabulous now and I am committed to sharing the Atlanta bucket list with each of you from this point on....until death do us part, or something.
Enough play-by-plays of my life...it's bucket list time! Up on deck is a slew of Virginia Highlands bars that I'm sure each of you have strolled by after a walk with your pup or lova, and perhaps maybe poked your head into from time to time. Well, I'm here to give you the low down of each cover-free bar that was ventured through during the first annual Shadili pub crawl!
Our crawling began at Moe's & Joe's off North Highland. Open until at least midnight daily, this low maintenance bar is privy to guests of all appropriate ages, drunken locals included. We grabbed a beer and enjoyed the luminescent beer signs and sports playing on surrounding TV's.
All was well in the world until we realized Moe's & Joe's is a beer and wine only establishment. Dun dun dun. No liquor for party? Me no likey. A great place to start OFF a pub crawl, sure, but don't expect hot toddies or jager bombs at this establishment. Take my advice and enjoy the mini-miller high life beer buckets for under $10 on a sunny Saturday, but bounce around to some other establishments that are a little more equipped to quench your thirst.
A little disappointed but excited for round two, we skipped (literally) to Highland Tap across the street. A sigh of relief as we made our way downstairs to the enclosed tavern....there is a full bar. Here we ran into old friends and a rival pub crawl we eventually befriended.
The restaurant/bar proved successful not only in service and variety, but in ambiance as well. This would be a great place to grab a beer, watch a game, or take your lady friend to dinner, because guess what guys...Highland Tap is versatile like that.
Two drinks down and a small buzz later, we found ourselves next door at Fontaine's. Great food? Yes. Good for groups? No. So much in fact, that a fellow Fontaine's customer actually passed out at the bar it was so crowded...sans alcohol. We quickly finished our beers after assisting the woman from floor to friends...good company can only go so far. I recommend this for a quick nosh, but don't even think about having your high school reunion here.
We walked our butts right out of there and didn't look back. The gorg day was perfect for our walk to Diesel for the fourth adventure. Almost a century later, we arrived to an empty bar with the best AC I've felt in any retail store. The alternative staff was quick to raise eye brows as their bar packed out with VA preppies in about half a second. A quick visit to the John relapsed my depression of the women's World Cup game a few weeks prior to....so wrong....
After a few friendly confessions I looked around and realized that Diesel was by far my favorite venue we had taken over. They have indoor and outdoor seating, trivia during the week, great happy hour and appetizer specials and live music on the patio on occasion. I've been known for a quick bite and a few beers after working my nine to five in years past...which was a good reminder seeing as 2011 had been sans Diesel until this moment.
Ok, we're halfway through...WHEW. Down the street was a surprisingly perfect addition to the pub crawl, Pozole. Slightly hidden in a nook on Greenwood and known to many as "the cheapest tequila shots in town", this Latino restaurant was packed out with couples, families and fellow drinkers like ourselves. Pozole has very tasty and affordable food and is a great spot for dinner or a drink in between bar hops. Lunch is only available on the weekends, but as we all know cheese dip is not bound by a time of day. A quick shot by some, a Corona by others and we were off to the next location.
Originally our next stop was Limerick Junction, but they insisted we pay a cover for entry. Homie don't play that game on a night like tonight, so we quickly dashed to Dark Horse Tavern. While this was an obvious must have on the VA Highlands list....I simply do not see this as a necessary step in anyones night.
Ironically enough, Dark Horse is almost always packed from ear-to-ear with 20 to 30 somethings who apparently enjoy claustrophobic environments, star 94 music and brown sandals. I've given it my best, but I just cannot get on board with this place. However, if you're looking to run into at least 16 people that went to high school in or around the Atlanta area, this is the place for you.
With eight items marked off the list, everyone was still standing. Kudos to us, I must say. Neighbors proved to be a great resting spot after our near panic attack at Dark Horse. After meeting up with my bestie and her fiance (gorg ring in tow), we sipped on beers and people watched. I'm sure in the light of day I would "pull a Monica" and deep clean this not-so-hole-in-the-wall bar, but it served its purpose as a good pause in our night to catch up with everyone on their take so far on the event.
Last but certainly not least, we ended the night at our oldie but goodie Hand-in-Hand. Voted Highlands Best Patio, this pub is always packed with local Highlands residents, gal pal, besties and hubbies included. The service is a bit frustrating, seeing as the bar itself takes up half the room, but other than that it's a great place to end a night with good friends. Don't forget to noch on some fish tacos and PBR pitchers on Sunday...it will cost you under $10 and you'll leave feeling satisfied.
As you can see, we all had a blast and memories to last a lifetime from this fun-filled weekend of bar hopping. I hope I have redeemed my blogging capabilities to you all, and I look forward to informing you on the next drink in hand or nosh in your mouth as fall fast approaches. Onto the next!