Mary Charles Jordan has brought something exciting with her to Athens.
Mary Charles moved here a few months ago from the Research Triangle area, where she worked as a tour guide for Taste Carolina. Newly engaged and eager to get to know her new city (again–she graduated from UGA with a degree in Landscape Architecture), Mary Charles founded Athens Food Tours earlier this year. I’m now working with her as a Guide for tours of Athens restaurants.
Athens residents as well as tourists are interested in learning about the city’s bourgeoning food culture. I’ve accompanied Mary Charles on several tours now, and I’ve noticed that people tend to be struck by the same thing as they experience what Athens has to offer: we have really high-end food and not a bit of snobbery. These tours allow diners to see firsthand how generous and passionate the chefs are in our town (The National and Farm 255 come immediately to mind). It’s sophisticated food offered unemcumbered by the ‘mystique’ thought necessary in the past.
In this spirit, Mary Charles offers a “Farm to Table” tour that begins at the Farmers Market in Bishop Park and ends by a traipse through downtown Athens, from the Jittery Joe’s Roasting House to the refreshing Yoguri.
This guy is the best: Mr. Johnston expanded his once-small family farm because his sons, now 6 and 10, talk about nothing but helping run it someday (they love milking the cows!). His business is booming now–so much that he can hardly meet demand from the likes of Whole Foods and high-end Atlanta restaurants! “People are calling to ask me why they didn’t get their full order! I’ve been called everything but a child of God!” he told us with a mixture of glee and consternation.
Jittery Joe’s Roasting House
Complete with passionate instruction from Charlie.
Pauley’s. Strawberry. Nutella. I don’t think I need to say more.
The National. Fresh cantaloupe w/ aged balsamic, cucumber gazpacho (my favorite), arugula, fig and ricotta salad.
The best part: really cool people like Winston, Anna, and Michael.
Yoguri. Chocolate, bananas, Oreos.