It’s a rainy night in Georgia, but that doesn’t stop Date Night from heading over to Virginia-Highlands in search of a good time. Our destination is Murphy’s, an Atlanta institution and a restaurant where we hope our local readers have visited at least once. We ate here last April on a date night, as we were conceiving this blog, but we never did write about it as the blog began in June. Considering that it’s Friday rush hour and the weather is bad, we get to Murphy’s quickly from downtown, and because it’s early, we decide to do a mini-pub crawl.
For drinks and appetizers we pop into the Highland Tap right across the street. Highland Tap has been around since 1989, but we have never been here. The place is actually underground and we walk down a long flight of stairs to the bar, which is enclosed in the brick and stone of the building’s foundation. They claim to have the city’s best burger (a claim we have seen in other places–wouldn’t it be fun to go to all of them and figure out where the best burger really is?), but we don’t want to fill up, so we order a spinach and artichoke cheese dip. It comes with a generous supply of crunchy crostini. It’s very cheesy, and we don’t taste much spinach or artichoke, but it’s really good on the crostini, as most things are.
Our beer selection for the first phase of the night is a Rogue Dead Guy Ale from Oregon and an 18-ounce bottle of Newcastle Brown from England. The Newcastle comes with a big, frosty mug, a nice touch that Eve really enjoyed. The ambiance of the Tap is perfect. It’s comfortable, laid-back, and the service is attentive. This is the start we need for our weekend wind-down. We will have to come back and see about those burgers on another night. Money saving alert: they have $2 Sam Adams beers and half-price appetizers if you go from 5-7PM on weekdays.
We finish up at the Highland Tap, and before we cross the street to Murphy’s, we have to feed our money-hogging parking meter. The meters don’t take credit cards (c’mon, City of Atlanta, they take them everywhere–get with the program), so we are scrounging for change, and come up with enough to get us through the next part of the night. We are seated on Murphy’s patio, which is beautiful during the warmer weather, but a little cold tonight. Fortunately, they have their heaters blasting, and we are able to stay warm enough.
We go right for the entree, and decide to split the Guinness braised beef brisket, which comes with horseradish mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and green beans. To make sure we have enough to eat, we also get a side order of their truffle mac ‘n cheese.
They split the order in the kitchen, so the pictures that you see here are of a half portion. It is delicious, but I am told that the brisket I make at home is just as good. I like the horsey potatoes, but Eve is not that big a fan of horseradish, so they are a little strong for her.
One of my favorite beers is on the menu, so I can’t resist a glass of Wild Heaven’s Decatur-brewed Ode to Mercy. It’s full of chocolate and coffee flavors, but since its an American brown ale, it’s much lighter than the stouts that usually have these flavors. The 8.2% alcohol content is nice on a rainy night.
The mac ‘n cheese is a winner, with a hint of truffle, but not too much, and since Eve is getting full, I get to eat more than half of it.
She’s not too full for dessert, and it’s her turn to order something to share. She wisely chooses the Tollhouse Pie, which has dark & white chocolate cookie batter, walnuts, oreo crust, and vanilla ice cream. As you can imagine, this does not stay on the plate long, and we discuss whether it is rude to lick the plate when we are done.
More money saving tips before we go: If you eat at Murphy’s from 3-6PM Monday thru Friday, they give you 25% off the bill. Murphy’s is part of the Concentrics Restaurant Group, seven restaurants in the midtown area. Concentrics is giving you $12 off if you spend $40 at their restaurants thru January. (Thanks to CT and TT of Chattanooga for that tip.) They also have a frequent diners program that gives you money off every time you visit a different place in the group.
It’s another fabulous Date Night. We visit two Atlanta institutions, and we are pleased with our choices. We’ll start our search for the best burger in Atlanta on another visit to this area. We are recharged and ready for some football this weekend.