In early June 2016, the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival celebrated their 6th year in Atlanta. AFWF is an entire weekend dedicated to Southern cuisine, featuring the food industry’s best chefs in the South.
One of AFWF’s most popular activities is the daily tasting tents; these are designed to lead indulgent attendees down an all-you-can-eat “epicurean journey” of Southern cuisine, from the U.S. to various Southern regions around the world, such as Southern Europe and South Africa.
There’s something for every palate at the tasting tents: gelato and doughnuts, fruits and vegetables in season, smoked trout and ribs, liquor concoctions and New Zealand wine, you name it. And if you’ve visited the tasting tents before, you know there’s absolutely more food and drink to consume than is actually humanly possible. You’ll find yourself with multiple plates and cups stacked in your hands at once, trying to sample it all, but that’s okay because everyone else will be in the same boat as you make your way through a seemingly endless sea of food and wine.
Our team at Atlanta Food Walks came to all 3 days of the tasting tents to sample as much as we could from AFWF vendors – some vendors we couldn’t stop ourselves from visiting more than once or even twice – in order to present our readers with the best tastes of AFWF 2016.
JP Atlanta‘s executive Chef Julio Delgado, inspired by local farms, southern technique, and global cuisines, offered AFWF attendees his papaya marinated churrasco topped with chimichurri. JP Atlanta certainly was one of Atlanta Food Walks’ votes for PNC’s Best of the Fest. You can find JP Atlanta right in the heart of downtown Atlanta.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
As AFWF’s winner for the PNC’s Best of the Fest, Nashville, Tennessee restaurant Hattie B Hot Chicken‘s is an obvious winner in our books as well. All weekend, their hot chicken pulled the masses of AFWF towards their vendor spot in the “Southern Road Trip” tent. They served up a bone-in-winglet flavored with their hot spice. If you ever find yourself at Hattie B’s in Nashville, make sure to have a glass of water as a constant companion with your meal.
Atlanta’s Ponce City Market’s vendor, Honeysuckle Gelato, was like a desert – or dessert if you will – oasis for AFWF guests. Their gelato was a great way to take a break and cool off, a frequent need throughout the hot weekend. They generously served up scoops of various flavors of gelato, including Fresh Mint, Nutella, Cheesecake, and more with the optional toppings of fudge, salted caramel, and preserves. While all of their flavors were delicious, their Fresh Mint gelato really took the flavor ticket on such a hot weekend. While you are riding or walking down Atlanta’s Beltline trail this summer, stop at Honeysuckle Gelato at Ponce City Market to get a sweet, refreshing treat to cool you off.
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
One of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, stayed busy all weekend, presenting new quick bites almost every time attendees passed by their vendor spot. Fox Bros. served Grilled Wings, Salmon, Paella, and more throughout the festival. They even hosted the Live Fire Tailgate which was available to all guests at the tasting tents. Clearly, Fox Bros. came prepared and ready to serve at AFWF.
For the cheese lovers, Bloomy Rind from Nashville, TN was definitely a top pick. They were kept busy by the constant swarm of AFWF guests wanting to try all their artisan cheese. Perhaps to pair it with a glass of wine from another vendor or simply because their cheese was magnificent. The Bloomy Rind was another one of Atlanta Food Walks votes for PNC’s Best of the Fest.
One of Atlanta’s most popular locally owned doughnut shop, Revolution Doughnuts, shined at the festival with their Fresh Peach Sliders. They also served their Raspberry Sprinkle Doughnut, Blueberry Buttermilk Bite, and Caramel Bacon doughnut, but their Fresh Peach Sliders were our favorite. Stop in at Revolution Doughnuts store in Decatur to snag a Fresh Peach Slider before the summer season is gone.
Old 4th Distillery
Among the various cocktails at the festival, Old 4th Distillery‘s Vodka cocktail really captured our eyes with its vibrant pink color contrasted with the fresh basil leaf, and shortly afterwards, the drink captured our tastebuds with its fresh, exploding flavors. Old 4th Distillery is calling it Pink Peppercorn and Basil Lemon Fizz.
Villa Maria (Sauvignon Blanc)
Among the onslaught of multiple wine vendors at AFWF, Villa Maria’s Sauvignon Blanc, grown in the Southern region of New Zealand, stuck out with its summery, fruity notes. Served chilled, Villa Maria’s Sauvignon Blanc featured mouthwatering notes of melon, passionfruit, and ruby grapefruit.
After all AFWF has to offer you in food and drink, you would think we would be sick of eating. Never! Join us again next year at the 2017 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival as we eat our way through the tasting tents yet again to give you the absolute best tastes of the festival.