So here’s what EOA is NOT –
It’s not a discount program.
Here’s what EOA actually is:
It’s a one of a kind experience for “true” foodies that you can join by paying a yearly fee – which gets you your membership and card.
Once you have your membership (and your super awesome card) you can use their app or their website to see what restaurants are participating and then see what option they’re offering and what the price points are:
Once you have determined what option you’d like to take advantage of, call the restaurant to make a reservation and tell them you’re an EOA member. Viola! A completely unique dining experience awaits you and your super impressed date.
I absolutely love this concept. There’s something to be said for wanting to add quality to an experience versus take it away. Everyone is doing a “Taco Tuesday” or “Wine Wednesday” but honestly you’re lying to yourself, me, your taste buds and yo mamma if you say you aren’t sick of the same ol’ same ol’.
The same can be said for the talent of the chefs in Atlanta. To a degree, no matter how creative a menu they may want to put out there, they still have to cater to the masses. That’s why there’s shrimp and grits on every. damn. menu. in. Atlanta. This gives them an opportunity to stretch their culinary wings and really show you what they’re about. I promise you the most passionate food is the most delicious food and these chefs are much more than shrimp and grits or fried chicken.
PS – Fried chicken and shrimp and grits, please accept my formal apology. I LOVE YOU. I REALLY DO. Forgive me? Don’t leave me!
We got to try a lot (like a clinically insane amount) of food at Gypsy Kitchen, which is one of the participating restaurants.
My favorite dish of the night was the garlic shrimp with pickled chorizo. It was the only dish to get me to stop talking. Don’t be shocked, they’re going to come with the heads on. My advice is suck it up and live a little! Just…devour all that deliciousness that normally gets wasted when the head is tossed out. Do it. It’s like gold.
Another dish that stood out was the pan roasted pork tenderloin. It’s not something that I wouldn’t have normally ordered out but I am so glad they brought it out for us to try. The flavor was well balanced and it was cooked to perfection.
One dish that didn’t resonate with me was the marcona almond “nutella” and shaved chorizo. There is such a thing as trying too hard. Although there can be intricate complexities that are found in Spanish cooking thanks to influences from Portugal, North Africa and Asia (which make Spanish food so dynamic and exciting) sometimes it’s okay to just keep it simple and let the ingredients exist on their own.
The chorizo didn’t sit on the toast well (made for some really charming “LOL SORRY” gestures at my fellow bloggers), which was super frustrating. I get the whole “salty and sweet” thought, but I would have rather have had the toast and spread for dessert and that insanely tender and delectably salty chorizo on its own with a really amazing Spanish cheese.
Other highlights for me were the lamb kefta tagine, paella and marcona almond-chicken-tikka masala. That last one came with a cauliflower puree that was absolutely to die for.
For dessert they treated us to churros, which were served with a chocolate sauce and an almond cake that was to DIE for. It was so light and fluffy and not too sweet. The churros were as good as you’d expect. Churros are meant to be decadent and they didn’t disappoint.
The last thing I’ll say is that rumor has it they have the best octopus in Atlanta. I love octopus and I was so impressed with their food I am going to have to make it a point to come back and try it for myself.
Thank you again to Eat Out Atlanta for the opportunity to try all that food and I look forward to using my membership this year!
(My birthday is only 9 days away, just saying…).
Disclaimer: My meal was complimentary but my opinions are 100% my own. How do you know? Buy me a drink and go ahead and ask me “What’s in a name?” I promise a lively and educational experience.