to market, to market, to flip burger boutique

This weekend was such a welcome adventure for me. I'd been preparing myself for the past week or so, since it was the first time I've been away overnight from my three little ones. Okay, honestly I was really planning where we'd eat, what cute outfits to pull from the back of my closet, and what was a decent time to begin my early morning escape before anyone started stirring in their beds and the tears and drama would ensue the moment I walked out the door without them. Didn't we all need a break from each other? Okay, onto my weekend...My mom had arrived in Atlanta late Thursday night, and I was dying to get to her. By 8:30, I was knocking on her hotel door and we were switching jewelry {more on my new necklaces later!} and off to the Atlanta Gift Mart.

We were hit with camera troubles from the beginning. Mine was sacrificed for the hopes of a Saturday photo of my children's beloved iCarly's "Sam" appearance in hopes that my mom's camera would be charged and ready for action. Not so...As if we were back in
prehistoric times, we are actually waiting for the photos to be, what's the word, developed?! So frustrating, but at least there will be pictures {however dark and fuzzy they may be}.

For the first night. we stayed at the amazing Grand Hyatt downtown Atlanta and had a really lovely dinner at Woodfire Grill where Top Chef runner-up Kevin Gillespie is executive chef. We were happy we ate there {although Kevin was nowhere to be seen}, but it was not a place we plan to return to any time soon. I knew that if my dad or M had been with us, they would have needed a burger as soon as we left! {One scallop for the main dish - not enough for us!}

And speaking of burgers...we happened upon the Flip Burger Boutique by chance on Saturday night on our way out of town. We wanted something that was just delicious for dinner, and we directed here after we stopped at a little boutique off Howell Mill Road. The two shop owners suggested this, and we were so happy they did!

Let me start by saying that the energy was there, the decor was fresh and clean and hip, and we didn't mind waiting the 20 minutes it took to get a table. There's an open kitchen, long open bar with framed mirrors and flat screens that we loved! No beer or wine for us that night {okay, I was driving, but even if I wasn't...} behold the beauty of the Nutella and burnt marshmallow milk shake my mom chose below. I chose the coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnut shake, per the bartender and our server's recommendation. We had front row seats as the "milkshake gal" whipped up the creamy concoctions. And yes, there were stacks of Krispy Kreme doughnut boxes they turned into a creamy foam on top of my perfectly blended shake.

For you Top Chef junkies out there, I had no idea that Richard Blais {from the Chicago season} was the creative director. But the liquid nitrogen on top of the shakes {think dry ice-y smoke}, and the mango sauce encapsulated on top of my mom's spicy yellow fin tuna. ginger and smoked mayo vietnamese mayo salad in a lettuce wrap that looked like an egg yolk - and completely fooled us!- seemed to fit the bill for a Blais-like place. I stuck with the Butcher's Cut burger made of hand-ground hanger steak, brisket and short ribs, topped with carmelized onions, a red wine jam and blue cheese - and it was delicious. Of course, we sampled the onion rings and fries - and the onion rings were hands down our favorite. And to top it off, the prices were incredibly reasonable and family-friendly.

If I sound excited about this place, I am! It's off the road from my brother and sister-in-law's home on Howell Mill Road, and would be the perfect place to take the kids when we visit {especially since we're getting a new little cousin late this summer!} More on my trip once the photos are developed...stay tuned!

{we sat at the bar on the far left - the perfect place to mingle with the milkshake girl, the servers who were taking a break, and the manager who checked on us twice}