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Back to the Mothership: Polaris Reopens

21 Jul

We’re suckers for good food with a spinning view. That’s why when we heard the blue-domed UFO was reopening after 10 years of darkness, we had to check it out. We sat at the bar, which meant we were facing the window at all times–kind of a nice perk, since that’s half the reason of going. We were handed literal books featuring a history of the restaurant in addition to the drink and food offerings. The menu is a rotating (ha) collection of locally sourced and locally grown seasonal foods by executive chef Michael Pfefferkorn–including items that are literally grown on the Hyatt’s roof and can be seen from the restaurant. Most of the dishes are tapas style small plates for sharing. We started with bacon popcorn and a Holeman & Finch bacon baguette.

Polaris bacon

Bacon popcorn and bacon baguette

Next we decided to go full-on ritzy with Steak Oscar, served with Dungeness crab, potatoes and asparagus; and a Maine Lobster Cocktail served with a strawberry horseradish sauce.

Polaris steak

Steak Oscar

Polaris lobster

Lobster cocktail

We were not disappointed. The food was top quality, and though the portions are small, the flavors are rich and intense–usually a sign that you don’t need to eat a whole bucket of whatever’s on the plate. They bring each item separately and with a fair amount of space in between. Of course, a highlight of the Polaris is the drink menu–featuring Polaris’ own barrel of Elijah Craig bourbon.

Polaris Elijah Craig

What happens when you’re closed so long you can age quality liquor.

Plus local beer offerings and standard bar fare. Allow us to call attention to the Camper’s Hooch. This fun little concoction is bacon-infused Polaris bourbon, apple and blueberry-infused maple syrup, and a toasted marshmallow. BOOM.

Polaris Campers Hooch

Camper’s Hooch

Take this in for a moment. Of course, we couldn’t leave without some kind of chocolate dessert.

Polaris chocolate

Chocolate

This featured some kind of chocolate mousse and hazelnut air cake and something else we honestly can’t remember (mascarpone?). It looks tiny, but it was actually hard to finish. Overall, this is an elegant little spot and it’s nice to have it back on the Atlanta dining scene. They don’t take reservations, so get there early or be flexible with seating arrangements. Don’t expect heaping portions or get in a rush with your order. Just sit back and let Polaris spin you right round. view from Polaris

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Box O’ Fun: Julep

7 Jul
Julep

Box of…Juleps?

We finally caved and tried the subscription service that has already made the media rounds: Julep.

It’s not a delivery of mint julep ingredients (although we would totally subscribe to that. Anyone listening?) It’s a personalized nail polish revolution-in-a-box. The online questionnaire dubbed us “Classic with a Twist” (sounds legit) and we promptly received a box of two nail polish shades with a side of blush.

Julep Maddy

Maddy

Let’s be honest–the nail polish is the big draw here. The colors are fun, probably best because they are shades we wouldn’t likely choose for ourselves, but ended up loving. Thanks for forcing us outside the box, Julep. Also noteworthy: this nail polish lasts forever without getting chipped. Big bonus points for that.

The blush was a bit too peachy for us, but being from Georgia means we always appreciate a good peach.

peach blush

Julep is a fun little gift-to-yourself that keeps you from falling into a beauty rut. One box is $24.99, or get a three month subscription for $19.99/box. Or go luxe for $39.99/$34.99. Plus, there are secret sales on the website to keep you stocked on the things you love. Follow them on social media for a brazillion ideas for manis, recipes, tips and more. And a whole section for weddings (hello, target marketing).

Because why pick over boring selections in the drugstore when someone else can send the trends to your home, no pants required?

Local Food On Your Doorstep: PeachDish

17 Jun
Peach Dish box

PeachDish arrives

We are pretty much in love with the idea of cooking, but not so much with the shopping and prep-work. Now that there’s a crop of new businesses offering to deliver fresh ingredients a recipe, it pretty much keeps the entire process a pants-not-required experience.

PeachDish is Atlanta’s own meal-in-a-box concept, featuring local ingredients and delicious ways to combine them before shoving them into your face. Sometimes they team up with local chefs. We’ve actually been subscribing since October of last year, but haven’t gotten around to blogging about how awesome it is. (For shame, we love supporting local businesses!)

peach dish meal

BOOM, food

It works like this: you sign up and pay $50 to get two meals for two people per week. Sign up by Monday night, and your box of food arrives on Wednesday if you’re in Atlanta.

Then, you get what we call the “TV chef” cooking experience. Where everything is already pre-portioned for easy combining. Do your own slicing and dicing, follow the directions, and ta-da–a yummy meal.

Sophie's chicken

Sophie’s Chicken, with a side of almonds and chocolate dessert in a mason jar

Of course, unlike the TV chef experience, you don’t get to put raw food in the oven and immediately pull out beautifully plated cooked food. But sometimes sacrifices must be made.

steak

Steak

The customer service is great, too: Sometimes deliveries go awry, and sometimes perishable things don’t survive their journey, but PeachDish has always been understanding when mishaps inevitably happen.

Sign up here to see for yourself: https://subscribe.peachdish.com/ Pay with your Amazon account if you so desire. Get in on the new trend of having fresh, healthy meals delivered to your doorstep (some assembly required). It’s like Ikea for your dinner.

The Little Luxury Crossover That Could: Our Week With A 2013 Buick Encore

7 Jan

buick encore 2013 steering

Right before Thanksgiving, we were privileged to participate in the Buick #ATLDistrict promotion and test drive a 2013 Buick Encore for a week. You probably saw us tweet about it. It was pretty awesome, if for no other reason than someone giving you a car for a week is always awesome. As long as the car doesn’t burst into flames, it’s awesome.

buick encore 2013

Honestly, the amount of luxury for the price was impressive. We got a fully tricked out model, and the price on that is $32,800 new. We’re still wistfully dreaming about the heated steering wheel and seats. Also impressive: big screen voice-activated navigation system (kind of nice to scream out where you’re going and get immediate directions), XM and Pandora radio with full-color display, Rainsense wipers that worked quite well, rear-vision camera (standard), forward collision alert, park assist and more.

buick encore dash

We didn’t get to test out the park assist or the lane-departure warnings, but the forward collision alerts were kind of nice–apparently they let you know when the car in front of you has slowed down to where you will hit them if you don’t take action. Although it got a little annoying on the highway stuck behind someone who rides their brakes. But the Bose sound system and noise cancellation tech really helped keep the stress levels down. (Keep calm and rock on.) Random fun feature: there’s a non-cigarette-lighter-plug in the backseat. Say whaaaaat?

photo 2

Terrible photo, but there ya go

Since we usually drive a sedan, the Encore initially felt like wrestling a yak down the street. But, like, a really responsive yak. Ultimately the car isn’t that large for an SUV–it really takes up the same width as a sedan, but the extra height is deceptive once inside. And it’s easy to get used to the size. The fuel economy is 25/33, which isn’t as good as our sedan, but is decent for an SUV. Cargo space wasn’t shabby for day-to-day stuff (taking out the trash/recycling, shopping trips)

photo 3

The car probably wouldn’t be described as “peppy” or a “sports car,” but its performance was pretty solid in the Georgia rains. Ultimately, the Encore is good for someone who wants some luxury flair on an SUV without having to drive an actual giant road-hogging SUV or pay lots of money for the privilege. The base price is just under $25,000, leaving plenty of room for some add-ons while staying under $30K.

buick encore navigation

Verdict: The Encore is underrated. If we hadn’t just bought a new car, we’d seriously consider buying one.

Don't judge, it was socially acceptable to listen to holiday music at the time

Don’t judge, it was socially acceptable to listen to holiday music at the time

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