however, when i arrived yesterday, compared to the cold and wet weather of baltimore, atlanta was sunny and pleasantly cool. after i checked in to the hotel and tried to figure out the tv remote (and accidentally ordered porn, only to call the front desk and tell them to ix-nay the order because i'm REALLY not watching strangers bump uglies! honest!), i headed out for dinner. at first, i was a little unnerved about eating alone but then i remembered all those times at cafes or even in college, i always had the best time when i was eating alone. it was ME time. plus, it gave me the opportunity to people watch or read. last night was no different, i found out. i chose a jamaican restaurant called Tropical Cuisine. i did a quick search of restaurants near the hotel. unfortch, they don't have a website, which is a shame because they were great. the waitress was a joy to chat with (she and i share an unnatural love for our puma kicks), very friendly and so hospitable. for apps, i picked the fried conch. it was a simple presentation on a bed of lettuce and a wedge of lemon for garnish. i knew kinda sort what conch was but i'd never had it and i figured why not? it was chewy. and now that i know it's part of the snail family, and i've had snails (or escargot) before, i guess now the chewy texture makes sense to me. i maybe had four pieces? i didn't love it but i didn't hate it.
the waitress recommended that i try their chicken simmered in tomato sauce with brown rice. ok. i'm pretty easy going so i went with that. it was really good. i enjoyed it immensely. it wasn't too spicey that my tongue was completely numb but it def had a kick to it. if i ever come to atlanta again, i would come to this restaurant again. they ran out of their beef pattie (actually, all patties) so i wasn't able to grab one to go. i think i'll try their jerk chicken next time. the decor was a bit unbalanced. one part of the place was similar to the way a chinese take out joint is: with pix of the dishes blown up with the prices and a small waiting area but the back area had a bar and a good number of tables. CNN was on, volume at full blast but one could still hear the sounds of the islands blaring from the stereo at the bar. i didn't mind tho, i thought it was cute. all in all, on a personal standpoint, the highlight of my trip.