If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been to Atlanta three times since April. I can’t help it that the Braves had good events so close together. Side note: I’ll have you know that the Braves are 3-0 when we’ve been in attendance. At least there has been a variety of food options for the dietary-conscious. As of this post, there are no plans to return to Atlanta/SunTrust Park until September (unless I just really miss it or there’s an event to good to pass up).
Braves Social Media Night is the reason we made the trek to Atlanta this time. This was actually the first time we attended their Social Media Night and it was actually Afternoon since it was a 4:05 PM game. When we went down to Atlanta two weeks prior, we drove down the same day as the game. Not a good idea. Even though we left mid afternoon, we still caught traffic on the way down. Once we were in Atlanta, the Waze app took us 20 minutes out of the way. We almost missed out on getting our Bartolo Bobbleheads, which was the entire reason we chose this game.
This was the sole reason that we left on Friday night this past weekend. We left around 7:30 PM and didn’t hit much traffic, though we did hit a downpour in Anderson, SC. Luckily, we were already stopped at a QuikTrip for gas and a bathroom break. We decided to wait it out, which left us plenty of time to peruse QT’s food selections. They actually have a pretty good selection and have good food (Seriously. Their hot dogs and pizza are really yummy). For all the food options they have, there aren’t many options for the dietary-conscious. Most items have gluten, soy, and/or dairy. The fruit options aren’t great for those that follow the FODMAP diet like Nikki. Our go-to road trip snack is chewy Spree. Nikki ended up also getting RUNTS and Black Forest Gummies. Hopefully, QT will add more options for those with dietary restrictions.
After our longer-than-expected pit stop, we arrived at our hotel around 11:45. Our friends made it to the hotel before us, so we didn’t have to go through a late check-in process. We stayed at StayBridge Suites for the first time. Our friends had stayed at one in Mississippi a few weeks prior & made the suggestion for this trip. I really liked this hotel. It was clean, comfortable, and cost-effective; my top three reasons to stay at any hotel. Our suite had a queen sized bed and a pullout couch (which was pretty comfortable). StayBridge Suites also offers equipped kitchens, a work space section, flat screen TV, free wifi, and more. Another note about the room, the pullout couch is in the same area of the bed. When fully pulled out, it leaves a small path between the couch and bed.
Complimentary breakfast is also offered from 6:30-10:30 AM. From what we could tell, there weren’t any options for the dietary-conscious save for fruit. Nikki had cantaloupe, honey melon, and pineapple. She also ate a Glutino’s Toaster Pastry that she brought from home. During the week, they hold an Evening Social that offers food, beer, and wine. We didn’t attend the Evening Social.Read my recap of #BravesSocial & find out what to order at @eatatmurph's if you have dietary restrictions. Click To Tweet
Our hotel was about 20 minutes from SunTrust Park. We had no trouble getting to the ballpark. We were in Lot 31 again which is a pretty quick walk from the ballpark. Those of us attending Social Media Night were encouraged to arrive at 2:15 to ensure we were there for the Player Photo Op at 2:45. Upon our arrival to the XFinity rooftop, we were given gold armbands and our exclusive Social Media Night tee shirt. Some of our friends were already at the XFinity rooftop when we got there. Private cabanas are on the rooftop and we all had access to this area. This is also where the Player Photo Op would take place.
The fans were treated to a photo op with *two* players, Lane Adams and Luke Jackson. I was pretty excited because I had just started following them on Twitter a couple of days before after reading a funny exchange between the two. Though the encounter was brief, they were both nice guys. It was a cool experience.
After the photo op, we wandered around the rooftop to chat with various members of #BravesFam (the term we use on Twitter). Ping pong tables and cornhole boards are set up in front of the cabanas. There’s also a large widescreen TV. When you first enter the XFinity Rooftop area, you’ll find more seating that’s like the seating in the cabana. It surrounds two large flat screen TVs as well. Around this area is more seating with built in tables. One section faces the field while another faces one of the TVs. A few feet away is a trailer that’s a makeshift concession stand (you can see it in the picture above). It offers a couple of food and drink items. Beyond that is the XFinity Rooftop lounge. This is a great place to escape for air conditioning. There’s a bar, more seating like that in the cabanas and an area with tables and chairs. You can also walk out onto a deck for a great view of The Battery Atlanta. Inside the lounge is a really cool selfie station. You can choose between two still photos, a Boomerang, and a gif. Luckily, you can retake the photo multiple times in case you aren’t prepared repeatedly as we learned. We made a Boomerang and gif.
Since there aren’t many dietary-conscious food items in this area, we made our way back down to the main concourse. We made a quick stop in the main team store to make a few purchases. We over to the ChopHouse with some friends. This two section restaurant (there’s a downstairs on the main concourse and another section above it that’s accessible by two flights of stairs outside the restaurant) was also at the Braves last home, Turner Field. The new version only has about 5 items and is overpriced. They also offer no options for dietary-conscious eaters except removing the bun from its $18 burger. No thank you. Nikki & I decided to go to the Centerfield Market while our friends stayed behind since they were meeting up with another friend. Later, they told us that the food wasn’t that good and if it wasn’t for the other friend, they would’ve left with us.
We made our way over to the CenterField Market. Since no one is sure if their hot dogs are made with soy, we decided to purchase a hot dog from there and a hot dog from the stand next door and swap buns. On the way back, we stopped at the Potato Cutters for an order of regular fries (if you read my last Atlanta blog, you know about these two options; if you haven’t read it, here you go). This was a solid decision as the hot dogs and fries were just as good as our previous visit.
The Battery Atlanta
The Braves won and a good time was had by all. After staying in the Xfinity Rooftop area until they kicked us out, we made the executive decision to do some wandering around The Battery Atlanta. Our first stop was the Baseballism store. If you’re a baseball fan, I highly recommend this store. They have awesome shirts, purses & wallets made from baseball glove leather and phone cases made from baseball leather.
After leaving Baseballism, we headed over to The YardHouse for dinner. As you know from the last Atlanta blog (please tell me you read it; I made it super easy & just linked it a few paragraphs ago), they have delicious food and they have options that are dietary-restriction friendly. They had an hour and a half wait, so we decided to pass. As we were on our way to the parking lot, I noticed that The Roxy was having a 90s Night event (on top of Brave SMN, it was also 90s Night and Zack Morris lead “The Chop” during the game; sadly, he didn’t make an appearance on the rooftop). We decided to check it out. It wasn’t very packed and I don’t think fans even realized they had anything going on. It was nice and cool in there and had comfortable seating. They were also blasting 90s music on the TVs. After briefly debating drinks versus food, our stomachs won. We headed back to the hotel and decided to order Domino’s since they have a gluten-free crust. This wasn’t the best idea; long story short: it took nearly an hour and half for our food to arrive even though the confirmation said 30-40 minutes. It was after midnight when we finally got our order. The pizza was alright, but the crust was burned. -_-
Sunday was our last day in Atlanta and we decided to have lunch at a brand new restaurant near the ballpark. This restaurant is owned by Braves legend and Hall of Famer, Dale Murphy. Murph’s just opened this month. Within vicinity of SunTrust Park, it’s the perfect spot for a pre- or post-game meal. In our case, it was a good spot for lunch while the game was happening. Of course all of the TVs were tuned into the game.
When you walk in, the first thing you see is a a giant baseball sign adorned with Murphy’s #3. To the left, you’ll see a black and white photo that takes up the middle of the wall of the famous Brave in the on-deck circle. Various memorabilia decorates the restaurant, including some that’s available for purchase along with Murph’s tee shirts (definitely need one of these). There’s a bar to the right of the entrance with TVs overhead. No matter where you are in the restaurant, you can see a TV.
Prior to the restaurant opening, I tweeted Murph’s to find out if they had any menu items that were for those with dietary restrictions. The response was eventually. Nikki spoke with our waitress about her options. She decided to get a hamburger (it’s actually 2 patties) with lettuce and nothing else. For her side, she had a bowl of fresh fruit. Unfortunately, their fries have gluten and are cooked in soy. Nikki really liked the food, especially the fruit.
For those that don’t have dietary restrictions, our friends had the Mini Crab Kickers which they really enjoyed. One friend got the Pot Roast Wet Fries as her meal and she thought it was delicious. Her boyfriend got the Bourbon Burger and he was a fan. You can see what I said in the NSFGF section below. You can also view Muprh’s menu here. We all highly recommend Murph’s. I spoke to some friends that went the night before & they also loved it.
This is the portion of the blog where I show you what I ordered. If you don’t want food jealousy, I suggest scrolling…NOW.
If you’ve read the “Who Am I?” page, you know that I’m a picky eater. On this trip, I decided to be a little adventurous with my palette. Though I’m not a fan of Jif (Peter Pan or Earth Balance all the way) and I could taste the difference, I still really liked this burger. Fair warning: it’s messy! I don’t recommend this if you’re wearing white or a nice shirt.
I took a look at the menu a few days prior to our visit and saw this item on the dessert menu. I almost wanted to go just for this. It is so sinfully yummy and I wouldn’t blame you if you went solely for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie.
And thus concludes our most recent trip to Atlanta.
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