Beer please

Are you sad, mad, depressed, happy, or confused? Then I have just the thing for you…beer, and by “I” I mean Sweetwater. Being from Atlanta, Sweetwater has always had a special place in my heart (though right behind Yeungling…mmm Yeungling) being of course not only from Georgia but also from Atlanta.  For those of you that don’t know, Sweetwater gets its name from Sweetwater creek which it is located next to. It also takes its water and then through a combination of ingredients, chemistry, and black magic produces the greatest elixir/curer of ailments and feelings alike/ the great social equalizer/ the muse for both great and not so great thinkers/ the number one reason for bastard babies everywhere…beer. Now what’s better than beer? Lots of beer! And what’s better than lots of beer? Lots of beer with lots of people looking for a good time! Enter Sweetwater brewery.

For $10 (and make sure it’s cash) they will let you into their magical beer producing facility, where not only do you get a tour through the brewery, but also 6 tickets good for 6 half glasses of beer. Lucky for us the bartenders are always more than generous and usually fill up your glass at least three quarters if not all the way. You also get the luxury of trying out several of their different flavors, usually just whatever they have on hand. And with the weather heating up, both the inside and outside bars are great to hang around. Oh and I almost forgot, you can even bring your dog, as long as you stay on the outside patio (sorry no tour for you). For those of you keeping up, that gives you pretty much the perfect storm for trying to pick up a girl. Liquid courage – check, Girls – check, adorable puppy to make her come and talk to you – check, endless opportunities – double check.

So check them out. Google them. At the very least, next time you go to order a cold one, ask for Sweetwater.

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Hello old friend…kinda

As a proud member of one of the south’s most revered and honored clubs you can only imagine my excitement at discovering the newest location of the famed, often imitated, never replicated, lip lickingly delicious…The Taco Stand.

For those of you lucky enough to know what I am talking about…Go Dawgs! For the rest of you who did not spend your glory years in the city with 97 downtown bars, made up girls in red and black dresses, drunken chants of go dawgs, and victory rings of the chapel bell, you are in for a treat.

While The Taco Stand is one of those places that will never win a culinary award for excellence, it’s combination of college hang out ambiance, beer specials, cheap margaritas, and Mexican food that’s good enough to keep you coming back, make it a land mark most Athenians, past and present, keep fond, if perhaps hazy, memories at.

10595 Old Alabama Connector, Alpharetta, GA 30022

Lucky for us I haven’t been the only one feeling the pangs of times of old. And thus the newest Taco Stand location in Alpharetta was born. This new location takes everything that was great about the Athenian Taco Stands and classes it up for the more mature post hay day crowd.

They were able to take the menu and add a slight sophistication that allows you to see and taste the familiar undertones of the original with the added maturity that a worldlier crowd demands.  To add to this they have removed the self serve aspect, added an excellent wait staff, trivia, and live music. In other words, everything required for an excellent neighborhood bar.

So next time you are looking for a good watering hole and are up in the North Point area, stop by and enjoy the familiar yet refreshingly Atlantasised taste of The Taco Stand.

 

 

What two days start with T?

Trivia Tuesdays and Thursdays! Do you like trivia? If you are anything like me you like the idea of trivia more than actual trivia. Since coming in last place gets old pretty darn quick. Then you don’t know how to feel about yourself. I mean you can’t really feel dumb because you didn’t know what the internal temperature of a Manatee is, or which second generation ball player was the quickest to get to 300 home runs. But it doesn’t exactly make you feel good about yourself either.

Enter Tijuana Joe’s. Every Tuesday at 7:30 and Thursday at 8:00 they have trivia. What I like about them is that the questions aren’t so obscure that only trivial pursuit grand masters are able to get any questions right. Now don’t get me wrong, there are questions that leave you scratching your head and wondering who the hell would know that…well Kevin would. That’s the other great thing about Tijuana Joe’s. You have a good number of regulars that usually show up. Between them and Tom from Avalanche Entertainment. you get a great “this is my bar” type ambiance.

Picture from examiner.com

What about the food you ask. Well the cheese dip and salsa are outstanding. The rest of the food is decent enough, though alone probably not enough to keep you coming back. The service is very friendly, but don’t be in a rush. They must have all learned their waiting skills in Europe’s school of “extremely relaxed, we’ll get there when we get there school of waiting”. So if your idea of a good night out is great food and great service this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you enjoy a night of great company, half drunken tomfoolery, trivia that leaves you feeling either like a winner or like “I coulda been a contender”, and great cheese dip, then this is the place for you.

So next time you have nothing to do on a Tuesday or Thursday night, swing on by Tijuana Joe’s in Sandy Springs, on Roswell Rd and try your hand at trivia.

Take a hike!

I decided to take advantage of the good weather this weekend and head out to Raven Cliff Falls in north Georgia.  It’s a great little trail that follows Dodd Creek. While the main attraction are the falls at the end of the trail, there are several smaller waterfalls along the way.

I also took this opportunity to get my dog, Colt, used to his new Palisades Ruffwear Pack.  I was worried that it would take him a while to get used to it. Mainly because every time that I put it on him at home he would spend the whole time trying to bite it off. Luckily, with the distraction of the great outdoors, he didn’t even seem to notice that he had it on.

The trail is pretty wide and flat, making it an easy hike for most. Just the kind of thing I needed after being cooped up most of the winter. It wasn’t long before there was easy access to the water and Colt took the opportunity to get a drink.

Once I finally managed to get him back on the trail I decided that I would try letting him off his leash. Then I spent the next 10 minutes running after him trying to get him to stop. Good thing the trail is pretty flat, cuz if there is one thing I am not, it’s a runner. Lucky for me the only thing more fun than running away from me is the smell of a candy wrapper on the ground. Giving me just enough time to catch up with him and promptly put his leash back on, lean against a tree, take some big gulps of water, and catch my breath while cursing him out. Not that he cared, he just looked up at me like “That was fun. Can we do it again?” Uhm…no!

Eventually you will get to a big bend with a large rock on your left side and a bit of a drop off on the right. If you look closely you’ll notice that there’s a trail heading down the drop off. Naturally, I decided to go explore. I wasn’t sure how Colt would fare since it was pretty steep. But luckily his pack has a handle on top, this way any time that it got a little too steep I was able to use the handle to keep me from falling on my ass. What? You thought he would need help? Turns out he’s part mountain goat, cuz he had no trouble, not even with me using him to stabilize myself. And the view? Definitely worth it, Colt thought so too.

At the end of the five miles is Raven Cliff Falls. It’s a tall narrow fall with some very nice pools at the bottom, though a little cold right now. You can even make the hike to the top of the falls and once on top you can look right down the falls. Just make sure you watch your step going up and coming back down, it’s pretty steep and loose ground and I saw more than one person end up slipping and sliding down on their butt.

So next time you have an afternoon free and want to spend it outdoors I definitely recommend Raven Cliff Falls. For more info, including how to get there check out Georgia Trails: http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Raven_Cliff_Falls_Trail

You’ll laugh your pants off!

Improv shows are one of those things that seem to be hit or miss, the actors/comedians either fill the room with uncontrollable laughter and drink spewage or make you wonder if you can get up and leave without them noticing you and getting in a poorly contrived joke at your expense. Unfortunately, more often than not the latter is true and I leave the place feeling like I should have spent the time searching for talking animals on YouTube (the best of which is Ultimate Dog Tease). That way I would’ve gotten more laughs and wouldn’t have had to bother putting pants on.

Image courtesy of Google street view

However, I do love a good laugh and can’t help but going to new places. That’s how I ended up in downtown Atlanta, in what most would consider a hole in the wall. The staff was friendly and the crowed seemed rather enthusiastic. I found out that the earlier you get there the better. Seating is assigned on a first come first serve basis, so if you get there early enough you will enjoy the show from one of the few comfy couches instead of the movie theater style seating. And of course the earlier you get there the more time you have to drink…always a positive.

Once seated, and no I wasn’t lucky enough to get a couch, unabashed hilarity ensued. The hostess asked for suggestions which the actors would then use for their skits, ever seen the Drew Cary’s Who’s Line Is It Anyway? And for a unique, funny, and all around awesome suggestion she would even buy you a beer. Like someone suggesting that the actors found a gene and wanted to become siamese twins. To me the funniest part of the whole thing were the great impressions, from Robert De Niro and Marge Simpson as talent managers, to a hillbilly trying to feed the world with rat liquorish, to a heroin trying to rob a bank in the style of film noir. You know it’s good when you wish they wouldn’t stop and the two hours spent there felt like mere minutes. I’ll definitely be back.

So check them out. Their main cast is there on the weekends (that’s when I went) and their apprentice cast is there during the week. But check out their web page to see their schedule and plan a night of belly-aching laughter with your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/occasional hookup/friends/family/coworkers/random person you met on the street.

Oh yeah! The name of the place…the Whole World Theater.

Check them out here, http://wholeworldtheatre.com/wwit/

Seriously, go check them out!

Get a grip!

I had the pleasure of taking a long time friend shooting with me yesterday. I had first taken him some years back for his introduction into the wonderful, not so scary, definitely manly world of firearms. Since that day he has been asking to go again, which until now has not been possible due to his unfortunate choice of being a yankee for the last couple years. Like going to Harvard is good enough reason to leave the land of sweet tea and southern women.

I made sure he remembered everything about gun safety, loaded the gun for him and then proceeded to try to hide my laughter as he missed the target with all ten rounds. After I regained my composure I decided that he needed a little work on his grip. I was sure that with just a couple minor tweaks he would be able to hit the target with no problem and regain his dignity and dreams of someday becoming a real life action hero.

Now I’m no master marksman, but since grip is probably one of the most neglected aspects of shooting I will share with you the same tips that ended up allowing my friend to go from missing all ten rounds at fifteen feet to hitting eight out of ten at twenty five yards…not too shabby.

First you need to press the gun right into the web between your fingers and your thumb, making sure that it aligns straight with your wrist. If it is not properly aligned then the gun will move after the first shot, making re-acquiring the target more difficult and most likely forcing you to readjust your grip, costing you both time and accuracy.  Then with the gun in place wrap your fingers around the grip. At this point a lot of people will just squeeze the grip with all fingers. However, you only want to squeeze it with your middle finger, and maybe your ring finger too if you feel that it is not secure enough with just your middle finger. Your little finger and thumb should apply not pressure to the grip. Lastly, put the tip of your index finger on the trigger. If you put more than just the tip on the trigger, the gun will almost always fire to left (for a right handed person) because pulling your finger back will move the gun slightly to the left. By placing just the tip of it on the trigger it will pull straight back. Finally, when pulling the trigger slowly keep applying pressure until the gun goes off, this should not be a quick pull or jerk.

Well there you have it. Next time you go out to the range try these tips and hopefully you’ll see some improvement in your shooting.  Remember, always keep the gun pointed down range and don’t put your trigger finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot the gun.  My uncle is a surgeon and I can’t even remember how many times he said he has seen people come into the ER with a bullet in their leg because they pulled the trigger when they were un-holstering their gun. So don’t be “that” guy.