I’d ventured to Woodstock a couple times this year, but didn’t get smack dab into downtown to enjoy the ambiance and energy til Beth Robinette of Atlanta Culinary Tours invited me to come on the first Woodstock Wednesdays foodie tour. The tour AND Woodstock were FAB.U.LOUS!
Artist Ann Litrel, some years ago, shared with me the vision for the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, so I’ve been aware of a downtown transformation in the works. And when I went to Ann’s studio, unannounced, one afternoon, I was enthralled with Ann’s studio mate Kristina Laurendi Havens’ participation in creating a worldwide benefit auction for Every Mother Counts.
So I had more than an inkling that very engaged and energetic creatives were part of the Woodstock fabric when Beth asked me & my husband if we’d like to go on her newest tour. But, still, I was blown away!
If you are looking for a community that is vibrant, artscentric and meshing well within the local networking concept, Woodstock will probably rank high on your list.
And, if you are looking for uncommonly good food, Woodstock will DEFINITELY rank high on your list. We visited five eateries and a book shoppe, barely scratching the surface of all that Woodstock offers.
Kevin & Adam Peppers (far left & far right), practically lifetime residents of Woodstock, conducted the tour. They kept us safe and on time throughout the evening. Great job, Kevin and Adam!
After we all parked in the Methodist church’s parking lot, we walked to our first stop, Ipp’s, sister restaurant to the Atlanta Ippalitos. House made red sangria was waiting. House made white sangria soon followed. When you come to Ipp’s, choose either. You’ll be glad you did.
Pepe, spiced Italian sausage wrapped in dough and brushed with honey, baked, and served on a bed of marinara and eggplant with romano & mozzarella and cannoli were our tastes.
I suspect people who aren’t even from the area are regulars at Ipp’s. Dining is inside and out in a courtyard. And they say on their Facebook page that music every Friday evening starts May 4 outdoors. Ipp’s will get us off I-75 and over to Woodstock every opportunity we get!
Stop #2 on our tour was FoxTale Book Shoppe, a charming Independent Bookseller with a strong emphasis on regional and eclectic authors and their books. As we were enjoying quiche and wine, we were able to meet one of those authors conducting a writing class. Their mix of books, merchandise and fun happenings entice readers of all ages.
Stop #3, the Freight Kitchen & Tap, is housed in the 100-year old train depot, Woodstock’s only building on the National Register of Historic Buildings. We were most impressed with their local food products and spirits slant. They serve spirits from Georgia’s first legal distillery, 13th Colony; ice cream from High Road Craft Ice Cream and stone ground grits from Buckeye Creek Farms. It’s not unusual for a farmer to come bearing a basket of produce; and, the chef incorporates it into that evening’s menu.
They make their own bitters, are barrel aging Manhattans, and have the largest whiskey collection in town. Do I think they’re cool? YES!
We sampled Freight Kitchen‘s fried green tomato with bacon aiolee and braised pork on stone ground grits. Singapore Slings, a house specialty, took high honors for several in the tour who’d never had one.
Stop #4, Pure Taqueria, attracts visitors, residents and all who want to have fun. has indoor and covered dining. We had a long table smack dab in the center of action and in front of the grill. And the food just kept rolling out. We started off with Mejillones con chipotle (steamed Prince Edward Island mussels, chipotle butter, caramelized onions and ciabatta toast) and Queso “gringo” (cheese dip). Tres ceviches (a tasting of shrimp, fish & octopus ceviche), Guacamole y tostadas, and mini Margaritas also had the elbows and arms passing and spooning.
Pure faces a lovely green space in the middle of where people gather to enjoy themselves and downtown. Shopping, condos, restaurants and professional services are within steps.
The Taqueria is loud, high energy, and where a lot of hungry folks hang out.
At Stop #5, Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza & Grill, the staff acted as if they’d been waiting for hours to greet us. We were graciously whisked into a large, private dining room (complete with fireplace) and presented with a new dish, a Peruvian cerviche.
The manager proudly told us we were some of the first diners to try the guacamole, tuna, soy, sesame and onion concoction. I wasn’t used to the spice mix, but was glad to introduce my tongue to it.
We sampled an Artichoke pizza and an Italian Sausage pizza, too. The crusts were thin, yet chewy & crunchy at the same time.
Their outdoor patio was huge. And Wednesday evening was the perfect evening to enjoy it.
We ended our fantastic Woodstock Wednesday food tour at Stop #6, Cupcakelicious. The little shop, housed in a 100-year old building, opened just April 11.
They smacked into several obstacles, but are doing well two weeks later. They are networking with chocolatiers in the Metro for the best ingredients, and have the fire to be a sustainable downtown business.
Their specialties are oreo, sweet & salty, and birthday cake cupcakes. The cakes are rich and moist; the frosting, just right for the mini cakes we were offered.
Atlanta Culinary Tours has a winner with Woodstock Wednesdays. The next few are scheduled for May 23, June 27, July 25 and August 22. Remember, the stops may or may not be the same ones on the inaugural tour.
Woodstock is hot, hot, hot! THE place to be. So, chances are, wherever Woodstock Wednesdays book the stops, you will be impressed and be very glad you came.
Sign up for a Woodstock Wednesday – or any other Atlanta Culinary Tour – now. They fill quickly.
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