In the span of an hour I consumed caramelized banana chocolate chip pancakes, a roasted tomato brie omelet, skillet potatoes, bacon and a warm biscuit. That’s what I love about brunch; you can eat enough food for two meals in one sitting and not feel guilty about it. I encourage, no demand, that within your four years at Emory you make a trip to Ria’s Bluebird in Grant Park. In this one meal I got the full experience and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
There were three things that stood out most about Ria’s: the $2.50 bottomless coffee that kept on coming, the 30 minute wait that turned out to be 25 and the great hippy vibes that the dining room exuded when you walked in. Ria, the beloved former chef of the restaurant, died last year, and the place couldn’t celebrate her more.
The expansive menu made it hard to choose, but I was completely satisfied with my choices. All the plates were colorful, portions big and everyone at my table was very happy. The banana pancakes were the highlight for me and lived up to the expectations that the New York Times set when they called them, “the world’s best pancakes.” The fluffy texture of the pancake was perfectly complemented by the not too sweet caramelized bananas, melted chocolate chips and warm maple syrup. I opted out of the choice to add toasted Georgia pecans, but I can only imagine that they’d be an awesome addition to the dish.
The only downsides were the slow service, which left me hungry, and their rule against substitutions or additions to dishes, which left some of my pickier friends in a bind when ordering.
Despite these small faults, we cleaned our plates and paid the bargain of a bill. Needless to say, I left Ria’s Bluebird feeling full, happy and much less hungover than when I arrived. Ria’s gives ATL brunch a good name.
Location: 421 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Hours of Operation: Daily 8am-3pm