A recent Sunday found me and LC hungry for lunch with no food in the pantry. We decided to try Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall, one of the new restaurants that has sprung up along the Atlanta Beltline.
However, lunch on Sunday is brunch. Having already had eggs for breakfast, I was not super excited about eating more eggs. Perhaps a bellini would help me get in the mood.
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife, nicknamed Ladybird, was an advocate for conservation, promoting development while maintaining green spaces and parks. The restaurant’s decor is an ode to the great outdoors, with a lifelike wilderness mural spanning the back wall and maps of North America’s trails behind the bar. Think campfires and comfort food.
The bar is made from a thick lacquered slice of tree, flanked by metal stools with wooden seats. Family style picnic benches in the dining area and on the large patio invite guests to hang out.
Studying the menu, LC was smitten with the ham and potato soup, ordering it with a side of bacon to start, along with a bloody Mary. Presented in a ceramic bowl, the soup was a puree thick enough to hold up a very salty, dense cheese crouton, but unfortunately there were no chunks of ham. Thankfully, a piece of thick-sliced bacon crumbled on top provided porky flavor and texture.
Despite my egg dilemma, I chose the chilaquiles, a skillet of tortillas topped with black eyed peas, avocado, queso fresco, salsa verde, and a fried egg; a Southern take on a Southwestern classic. I ordered another bellini and picked around on my food, avoiding the soggy tortillas at the bottom. More cheese and avocado, preferably ripe, would benefit this dish. A second side of bacon was chewy and delicious.
LC ordered chicken biscuits, two hefty biscuits with fried chicken, honey, and pickles. For me, they were a bit dry, but I’m no biscuit eater. However, the chicken was tender and tasty. The current menu offers the same dish made with Nashville hot chicken, a spicier version that LC would have preferred.
Our accidental brunch at Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall was a nice treat, but the food wasn’t nearly as impressive as the atmosphere and service. A dinnertime visit is coming soon.
684 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue 404-458-6838