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.

 

 

Oysterfest – A recap of sorts

So let’s begin with a recap of our beloved Atlanta Oysterfest. Now a disclaimer here folks, there are 2 different celebrations of oysters and libations in Atlanta in February, and we’ll do our best to bring a recap of both to you – but for this post, we’ll feature the blessed little event enjoyed by all at Park Tavern on this Saturday past.

A 30 dollar ticket fee buys entrance into a wonderland of seafood creations and incredible libations to be shared with several hundred young Atlantans on a day made for fun! Okay, that’s really stretching the truth, and I’m pretty decent at that, but the truth is the fried oysters were okay, the drinks were strong – and though the selection was limited (Red Stripe, Red Stripe Light, and Corona were the beers of choice), and the place was crawling with good looking girls trying to shake off a bad case of February cabin fever. The live bands had some decent original tunes and covered the typical college-esque band party necessities from the ’80’s pretty well, and all in all a pretty decent way to spend a Saturday.

Next up in the same locale will be Luckyfest which will be focused upon St. Patrick’s Day, and if you can’t make it to Savannah for the drunken free for all that ensues upon yon olden streets on the Georgia coast, Luckyfest is a decent substitute.

And you have a pretty decent chance of getting lucky.

As for Oysterfest, give the day a B+ overall, though for the 30 dollar ticket price, at least a free basket of grub should’ve been included. Choices were fried shrimp; raw, steamed, or fried oysters – all around 10 bucks a basket. Beer was $5 for a small Red Stripe, $10 for a large. Liquor drinks – who really drinks a mixed drink at something like this? Very un-dudelike. So the shenanigans could get a little pricey, but for sipping beer and shaking off the cabin crusties, it was a decent time.

The big, classic Oysterfest event is coming up on the 25th of February at Steamhouse Lounge – it’s a damn good time and I’d highly suggest anyone devoid of anything to do that day attend. Particularly if the walls are starting to close in during the doldrums of February.

Reminiscing on Atlanta – back when a city grew up

Perhaps with the passage of time events and memories grow in their significance into some type of almost mythical recollection of things that were better than they were. As southern historian, professor, and sociologist John Shelton Reed has warned us before, reminiscent southern history tends to suffer from a common pitfall – remember when. And remember when, of course, is in relation to “remember when things were better than they are now”. So as I sit down to pin this entry, I’ll do so heeding Reed’s advice.

Now with our disclaimer out of the way, I’d like you to take a walk with me down memory lane, albeit a fairly short memory lane for some of us who are approaching the comfortable confines of early middle age, back when the term “Hotlanta” was new on the scene, and the city herself was the shining star of a cosmopolitan, eccentric, electric, and finally accepted new South.

The 1990’s.

A time when Atlanta shed the trappings of old.

 An exciting decade filled with a lot of memories. Remember the original Underground Atlanta? The meatloaf at Mick’s? Remember when Houston’s was still kind of new and their “mustard honey” dressing wasn’t like anything you’d ever tasted? Did you ever taste Coca-Cola from Africa or Saudi Arabia at the original World of Coke? How about watching Neon Deion in a Falcons uniform, or seeing Georgia Tech win a national championship in the Citrus Bowl? Remember Garrison Hearst, the Dirty Birds, TLC, and the Hope Scholarship?

Yeah, all of it, the ’90’s.

The Braves, after decades of mediocrity with occasional slippage into the realm of putridity, stood up and backed up their claim to “America’s Team”, giving long suffering fans such as my father the long awaited taste of success and fulfillment only begot by ascension of a favored sports team. “Where were you when Sid slid?” and “Braves win, Braves win, Braves win” were fresh in our ears and the Tomahawk Chop became our rallying cry.

The Braves went from worst in 1990 to first in 1991 – in the NL West in those days. Though the Minnesota Twins would break our hearts and win the World Series in a classic 7 game duel that may or may not have been the best World Series ever, the loss probably pulled us together as a real fanbase more than anything else could have. We had lived, breathed, ate, slept, and cried together. Finally.

Though that magical ’91 season, and the subsequent successful years (Sid slid in the 1992 NLCS by the way – for anyone wondering) elevated Atlanta, or at least her most beloved sports team, into national prominence, there was an earlier event that set the tone for an unparalleled decade of growth that helped shape Atlanta into what she is now. On September 8, 1990, as a city, a state, and an entire region held their collective breath, in Tokyo, Japan the words “the International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic games…to the city of…Atlanta” rolled off a podium, through a crowd, across a world, and were instantly burned into the conscious of a city. Winning the games over Athens (Greece, not Georgia), Belgrade, Toronto, Melbourne, and Manchester touched off a flurry of emotions and a sense of final arrival after the long suffering days of red dirt poverty in the early 20th century, the buildup of a city in the middle part of the 1900’s, and rebirth in the late ’70’s and ’80’s. Slated as a dark horse and as a second-tier city by the American media, Atlanta’s bid had been successful. And the city’s identity was to forever be re-shaped as a result.

The infrastructure upgrades began immediately – then mayor Maynard Jackson brokered a deal that crafted Freedom Parkway out of Ponce de Leon to the north and Moreland Avenue to the south. New dorms to house athletes were constructed at Georgia Tech and Georgia State. Street and renewal projects spanned the city. And the University of Georgia’s venerable hedges were removed from Sanford Stadium to make room for soccer fields. Construction, destruction, and restructuring were the order of the day.

And as the world watched, an international city with a vibrant culture came to life.

Winning the Olympics meant $1.7 billion in private funded investment poured into the city. A sluggish downtown area became revitalized, and $5 billion poured into the metropolitan economy over the next decade. We were left with the $209 million Olympic stadium, now Turner Field, to finish our decade of baseball success. There were $500 million in new venues awarded to the city at no cost to the taxpayer, including the $57 million Centennial Olympic Park with her centerpiece fountain of rings. Georgia Tech got a new natatorium, Morehouse, Morris Brown, Spellman, and Clark Atlanta received major athletic facility upgrades.

But more than that, it left us, Atlantans, and as a byproduct citizens of the state of Georgia, with a sense of arrival. Billy Payne, who spearheaded the Atlanta effort to win the Olympics, and whose statue stands today in Centennial Park said it best, “winning the games is the most uplifting, prideful, beat on your chest moment Atlantans ever experienced”.

We all grew up in the ’90’s, but nothing like our city did.

It’s the start of a brand new day!

Welcome to 2 Southern Gents – a blog about all things manly and southern, with a special focus on the city of Atlanta!

I’ll take a moment here to introduce the humble bloggers behind the site. I’m Burt DeLoach and I’m a lifelong son of the rural south. World traveller? Check. Recent convert-ee to the land of steel and concrete? Check.  But also a humble devotee to Coca – Cola (preferably with a splash of good bourbon), barbeque, frat swoops, and all the genteel and not so genteel general and specified tomfoolery in which a young southern gent may engage in his dear motherland.

Manning the other oar here at our beloved blog is Gray Montgomery. Gray brings a bit of a different outlook as a native Atlantan with an endearing mongrel background combining elements of Spanish charm and flare with a sound, efficient, calculating Germanic intelligence and work ethic. Montgomery’s the guy you wanna call if you’re ever in a tight spot and need a quick way out. Besides being our resident Atlanta culture guru, he’ll bring expertise about random bits of awesometastical-ness such as firearms mastery and dutch oven cooking to the table to help create an eclectic and engaging front porch for the sharing of ideas, stories, and important social dates all proper (and improper) southern gents should know.

We’ll be blogging to you weekly from our beloved Atlanta. And live in it or out of it, love it or hate it, Atlanta enjoys a prominent place in southern lore and culture. We’ll be stepping out of our Peach State confines on a regular basis as well, and looking forward to sharing with you legends, lies, stories, steals, and deals.

So stay tuned, add us to your mix of blogs, enjoy our southern slant, and engage us and share your feedback, stories, comments, thoughts, and suggestions!

That’s all for now, but to steal a line – ya’ll come back and see us!

It’s going to be real good!