Alongside the class I took, one of the best parts of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival for me was the “Culinary Road Trip through South Carolina” event on Saturday night, put on by the Discover South Carolina tourism group. Since I’m originally from up north, I thought Georgians were nice, but the folks from South Carolina took it to a whole other level. As soon as I arrived at this event, I felt so welcomed, like I was at a cocktail party with a bunch of my best friends versus total strangers.
In addition to the warm, inviting hosts making me feel like foodie royalty, the organizers of this event also chose the perfect venue – an outside lounge area of the Loews Atlanta Hotel overlooking the city. It was beautiful and provided such a nice, chill vibe.
The event was not overcrowded either – by no means empty but providing enough space for people to actually sit down and relax, and of course there was plenty of food and drink on hand! Actually, there was too much to try it all, but here are a few of my favorite bites and sips from the event.
- Nothing beats the fried blue cheese and ham balls with pepper jelly from Grits and Groceries. It was one of the best things I ate at the festival, and I was happy to find it again in the tasting tents on Sunday.
- As if that wasn’t enough, Grits and Groceries also generously served up a tasty tomato pie that reminded me of a sophisticated pizza. Yummm! The Grits and Groceries table was the first one I hit up at this event, and I was almost full before I made it to any other tables.
- A southern smorgasbord of food from Juniper Restaurant – shrimp & grits, mac & cheese, barbecue, and a biscuit with blueberry honey butter! An impressive spread, and all so good!
- Crudo of local fish from Chef Frank Lee of Maverick Southern Kitchens. A fresh, crisp dish to offset some of the heavier eats.
- The “whiskey jam,” whiskey mixed with pepper jelly from Six & Twenty Distillery. I am generally not a big fan of whiskey, but when mixed with some sweet pepper jelly, I found it to be quite appealing indeed!
- The “Palmetto Ginger” cocktail from Cocktail Bandits of Charleston, S.C. Consisting of lemonade vodka, sweet tea vodka, ginger honey syrup, ginger ale and rosemary, this drink was so delicious and pretty I just had to have two!
- Apple pie moonshine from Palmetto Moonshine. The group from Palmetto Moonshine was so fun, I could not help but try several shots of their moonshine, but the apple pie flavor was definitely the best.
- 7-Layer Caramel Cake from Caroline’s Cakes. Thin layers of cake sandwiched between a preposterous amount of caramel layers, then covered all over with a final blanket of caramel equals dessert genius. I had never had a cake like this before, and I feel like I hadn’t truly been living until I did.
On top of the endless food options and free-flowing beverages, the “Culinary Road Trip through South Carolina” also offered up an amazing band from Atlanta belting out everything from “Sweet Caroline” to TLC’s “Waterfalls.” Band members Francisco Vidal and Megan Campbell were a blast!
Last but not least, I didn’t leave empty handed either. The Discover South Carolina group handed out trendy sunglasses to all guests upon arrival, and gave out gift bags with super cute measuring spoons as we departed. Not to mention the free coozies from Palmetto Moonshine!
This event totally made me want to hop in my car and go on a road trip to South Carolina. And if I see another South Carolina event at next year’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, I’ll be sure to try and attend!
Check out my gallery of photos from the event to relive the fun!Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Cocktails, Georgia, South Carolina, South Carolina restaurants