This is my roommate / life wife Rachel. We have a birthday tradition of treating each other to a special meal. This past Sunday, we hit the road to Atlanta for a day of eating culminating in dinner at The Optimist.
First stop on our trip was Canton House on Buford Highway for a dim sum lunch we've been meaning to have for ages: tiny steam trays of delicious dim sum bites under larger than life crystal chandeliers. When we hesitated for too long to make up our minds, or couldn't quite understand the woman pushing the dim sum cart around the dining room, she loaded our table up with more dim sum. Now that's some good up-selling.
After some Buford Highway Goodwill crawling, we took an adventure to Super H Mart: a magical sprawling international grocery heavy on Asian specialties.
We were giddy exploring each aisle, systematically trying not to miss anything, and filling our cart with dumplings, candy, fish stock, teas, vinegars, ramen, snacks, cookwear, and large huggable packs of seaweed. It's a packaging dream, and sampling stations abound: tempura squid, ramen, udon, dumplings, fish cakes dispensed by employees loudly touting each snack through headsets and speakers.
Shopping at Super H Mart is a meal in itself, especially if you save room for the food court, including a Tous Les Jous, a bakery chain where Rachel ate each morning while living in Korea. A block of independent shops lines the exit. We stopped at the Missy Beauty Shop for $1 Korean facemasks (I could look at Asian beauty products all day.) They're a soaked paper cut-out to lay over your face, and look terrifying in a Buffalo Bill Silence of the Lambs way, but feel great.
Dinner at The Optimist was equally magical. Had it not been pouring rain, we would have arrived early for a drink on their patio.
|Via Eater Atlanta|
|Via Kill-Joy: The putt-putt green on the patio|
The space was so beautiful and transportive that I didn't want to be the woman running around snapping dark iPhone photos, so the photos below are from their website.
The restaurant was so spacious and nautical without being Red Lobster-nautical. It's so nice getting to live in Athens for many reasons, but being a little over an hour from Atlanta makes for great day adventures.
This was one of the face masks Rachel picked up. We're not sure if it's supposed to make you beautiful so men like this want you, or if it's supposed to make you look like these men, or if it's meant to be marketed for men to use, but it smelled great!