So, the next step on my
stomach expanding Southern hospitality tour was a visit to The National, located in Athens, GA (and ranked quite highly on Trip Advisor). As Hubs used to work for one of the best restaurants in the city (The Last Resort Grill, still quite popular…with people waiting as I walked by), my standards were high. While said husband was off getting a(nother) tattoo, I strolled down Hancock and was seated for lunch in the open space restaurant.
With a slightly modified lunch menu (I appreciated there are different choices than what’s on offer for dinner), I found a nice bright mix of plates (so much so that I had a difficult time making up my mind). In the end, I opted for a glass of cava, the goat cheese appetizer and a turkey burger (which I had halved to bring to Hubs, who usually gets hungry after sitting for a tattoo). Had I been able to select an alternative menu, I would’ve kept the goat cheese and ordered a froze and the chicken salad sandwich (which is usually my default order if I find it on the menu).
The Friday lunch crowd filtered in — probably less crowded than if the semester was in session, but I was well looked after by the service staff, who frequently rotated with water and checking in to ensure I was doing well.
The goat cheese was an absolute treat — creamy with a bit of sweetness from the honey and crunch from the chopped pistachio. The crostini was a perfect vessel for the appetizer and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again. Watching the other plates go by, I noted the hummus looked quite good as well.
I was less impressed by the turkey burger, which I felt was a bit dry and less flavorful than expected. Served with grated zucchini, smoked paprika mayo, fontina cheese, caramelized onion, pickled carrot, lettuce, Independent Baking Co. bun, with chips and a green salad, I’m still not sure it’s worth $13.