Let's Go Thrashers!
Steakhead is one happy guy. Why you ask? Is it "All You Can Eat Night" at Chops? No. Did the Sweetwater 420 truck just break down in front of my house? Good guess, but no. Steakhead is happy because NHL hockey has finally returned to the ice, and tomorrow is the Thrashers home opener. And with the new economic system, the recent trades and the new rule changes, it figures to be an exciting time at Philips Arena this year.
But, every time I go to a game, I struggle with the same question around the restaurant-depraved CNN Center- "Where do we eat?" Usually, I suck it up and eat at the Food Court. But for tomorrow night's game, that is not acceptable for two reasons. 1) Its a Saturday night, and there is ample time for a fun/decent meal beforehand, and 2) I eat at the Food Court everyday for lunch and is the last place I want to spend my Saturday night.
So what are the choices? For those looking for something in walking distance of the arena, McCormick & Schmick's runs a great happy hour on weekdays- $1.95 menu that includes cheeseburgers and appetizers in the bar area. There is a Ted's Montana Grill on the corner of Spring and Luckie streets that is a short walk to the arena. Jocks n Jills in CNN Center is okay, but much better for a beer after the game. Clearly, the Centennial Park/CNN Center area still has plenty of opportunity for restaurant entrepreneurs to enter. Especially with the opening of the Georgia Aquarium next month.
If you are driving to the game, you may want to consider hitting Taqueria del Sol or Real Chow Baby on Howell Mill beforehand. Both are relatively quick and provide an easy back-way down to the arena via Marietta St. One place I am eagerly awaiting is the opening of The Spotted Dog- a revamped firehouse on North Avenue that will be the newest Derek Lawford pub concept (I have been eagerly awaiting this for about 3 years...I am hoping it is still on track to open at all).
As for myself, its going to be a McCormick & Schmicks pre-game. Even though there is no Happy Hour special on a Saturday, the bar area is nice and its right next to the arena. Go Thrashers!