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Last Resort Grill – Athens, GA

Wow, it has been a minute, folks!

As you might know, the last two months have been utter madness for me as I completed my document and lecture recital, as well as my DMA recital, in order to graduate. Happy to report that I am DONE, stick a fork in me! I am not just the maestro anymore, I am Doctor Maestro. What a time!

So, I have a lot to catch y'all up on! I'll post an update a day until I'm caught up, and hopefully y'all will get the opportunity to try some of these wonderful restaurants, beverages, and recipes!

I'll start with a quicker one! At the end of February I got to head back to Georgia, where I loved for two years to get my MM, and visit/stay with two dear friends just north of Atlanta, and make a little voyage over to Athens, home of my alma mater, the University of Georgia.

A lot in Athens has changed since I graduated in 2013. Some of my favorite old haunts are gone, and some fabulous new places have popped up. However, some things never change, and Last Resort Grill, my favorite restaurant in Athens, is still going strong in it's compact Clayton Street location in the heart of downtown.

The food is really reasonably priced for a restaurant of this caliber, and there's something for everyone. Of course, you get the southern components (the legendary salmon and grits, for example), but the food is eclectic and interesting, with many diverse influences.

Justin, Jake, and Milton joined me for dinner after an afternoon at Creature Comforts, Athens' new brewery (well, new for me). The beer is outstanding, and I can happily recommend their Athena, a tart Berliner Weisse, as my favorite. A surprise given how I generally feel about sour beers! You can grab their beer throughout Georgia, and they have a tasting room and patio on the edge of downtown.

We headed over to Last Resort early like the old people that we are and prepared to chow down. It had been several years since I'd been here, and I was so excited! The trick was, do I try something new, or something tried and true that I've missed? Hmmm.

I started with the potato cake, which is essentially a conglomeration of hash brown-style potatoes, onions, and feta cheese, which is served with bacon vinaigrette and a smoky tomato jam on top. Essentially the most delicious hash brown you've ever had.

Every entrée at Last Resort comes with a mixed green salad and choice of dressing. There is, however, only one dressing you need to concern yourself with: the Vidalia onion and bacon dressing. Hooooooly shit folks, it's just as good as I remember; creamy and umami-laden. You'll forget you're eating greens.

For my entrée, despite entering the restaurant quite convinced that I'd be dining on salmon and grits with a caper cream sauce, my old standby, I decided to go with something new. Fortunately, it was just as delicious, although I found myself staring longingly at Justin's salmon and grits across the table.

Before me were four lovely scallops on top of parmesan grits and corn bisque, garnished with crispy pork belly (they call it a "crouton") and an herb and tomato salad, with a hint of ancho chili. Just as good as anything I've had at Last Resort, and comfort food to the core, filling me with nostalgia for dear ol' Athens town.

Forthcoming this week: a winery tour of Texas Hill Country with mama, two Chicago restaurant reviews, a stellar recipe for Dungeness crab bisque, and a sneak peak of my upcoming month-long trip, which I will be blogging about extensively. :-)

Thanks for reading; it's good to be back!

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