Hotlanta! Plenty to Do in the Host City of the PGA Championship

By: Jay Flemma

I always get a kick out of the TV show Futurama's hilarious send-up of the ATL Chamber of Commerce video where folk singer Donovan urges people to "Come visit Atlanta! We've got plenty to do . . . the Coca-Cola bottling plant, the airport, Turner Field . . . uh . . . the airport . . . please don't leave!!"

Despite the jokes about being "an even bigger Delta hub!" there's plenty to do in Hotlanta, from food to music to sports to diversions.

For Italian, everyone recommends Antica Posta, where owner Marco Benni will spend all weekend celebrating the PGA Championship with a golf themed wine and food pairing event. "Everyone loves Antica," gushed both Hal from Atlanta, your typical, affable Southern gentleman, and Jeff Hochberg, a computer scientist by day who moonlights as a foodie. "Antica is the standard by which all other Italian places are judged."

For modern fusion there are many options. South City Kitchen is hailed as "new Southern, where they take old Southern flavors and standbys and jazz them up." For example, coal-fired chicken breast is served with contemporary versions of spicy grits, mulled collard greens and jalapeno cornbread. Another great choice is JCT Kitchen another new /contemporary Southern restaurant.

Had enough of needing a grad school degree to read the flippin' menu? Want good old-fashioned stick-to-your-ribs food without the mucky-muck of foodies bragging about "This pig's foot is marinated in a juniper berry dressing?!" Try Bones Steakhouse, with its old-school brass and leather fixtures, mahogany paneling,= and big thick juice steaks. It's the Peter Luger's of Atlanta.

Also, Chops is not only a great steak restaurant, but they have a sizzling lobster bar with a hoppin' bar scene. For those seeking a Southwest spin, Rathbuns is a little bit Texas, a little bit New Mexico and a little bit more. Seafood lovers will love the huge portions, but casual atmosphere of Big Ketch.

Best of all, there is no smoking in restaurants in Georgia!

The Braves are honoring Bobby Cox as we go to press, so they are in town at Turner Field this weekend. Why they would book Bobby Cox Night the same day as the Falcons-Dolphins pre-season game is beyond me, but then who watches pre-season football anyway, so that leads to . . .

Bluegrock - that's bluegrassy-rock for those of you scoring at home - will be burning up the Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta as Bela Fleck and the Flecktones rip it up for two nights. In fact, Alpharetta has become a favorite across the music industry with its transparent roof, so you can rock under the stars. Bands are flocking to play this place and you should too. For a smaller, but equally celebrated venue, the Fabulous Fox has been a favorite since the '70s and is still going strong.

Or of course, if you want your caffeine fix, there's the Coca-Cola museum or bottling plant. "America's Drink" as hey like to say . . .

Hat tips: Sarah from Atlanta - a statuesque blonde - so beautiful she'd make a bishop kick a stained-glass window. Also kudos to Jose, Jeff H. and Hal the Southerner.

Since launching his first golf writing website in 2004,, Jay Flemma 's comparative analysis of golf designs and knowledge of golf course architecture and golf travel have garnered wide industry respect. In researching his book on America's great public golf courses (and whether they're worth the money), Jay, an associate editor of Cybergolf, has played over 420 nationally ranked public golf courses in 40 different states, and covered seven U.S. Opens and six PGA Championships, along with one trip to the Masters. A four-time award-winning sportswriter, Jay was called the best sports poet alive by both Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports writers and broadcasters. Jay has played about 3 million yards of golf - or close to 2,000 miles. His pieces on travel and architecture appear in Golf Observer (, Cybergolf,, Golf Magazine and other print magazines. When not researching golf courses for design, value and excitement, Jay is an entertainment, copyright, Internet and trademark lawyer and an Entertainment and Internet Law professor in Manhattan. His clients have been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards, won a Sundance Film Festival Best Director award, performed on stage and screen, and designed pop art for museums and collectors. Jay lives in Forest Hills, N.Y., and is fiercely loyal to his alma maters, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Trinity College in Connecticut.