I’m willing to bet most normal families plan their activities, and then once done with the fun (or misery, depending on whether your kids are well-rested, or if it is 100 degrees outside, or if they’re coming down with something, etc.) pick a restaurant at which to re-fuel based almost exclusively on convenience. Many save by packing lunches; others make things too expensive by over-paying for sub-par food nearest the local attractions. Our family, on the other hand, often picks the restaurant we are craving, and then plans the appropriate, strategically located activity. This translates to a trip to the Atlanta Zoo when in need for our next visit to the Stone Soup Kitchen.
Dining here feels like dining in a close friend’s, or even a family member’s, kitchen. At this cozy spot nestled in Grant Park, the friendly wait staff and owners make you feel like a regular member of the community. The menu clearly reflects a simple philosophy that “the better the ingredients, the better the food,” and whenever possible, those ingredients are local and organic. Who doesn’t want that for their children?
The menu features many Georgia products, including Springer Mountain Chicken, Bagel Palace Bagels, Decimal Place Farm Cheeses, Mills Farm Red Mule Grits, and many others. There are a number of vegan and gluten-free options including the number one reason why we drive across town for Stone Soup, the Cuban black bean soup. The comforting and hearty combination of cubanelle and sweet peppers, onions, tomato, and beans, topped with red sauce and sour cream is always a winner, and on our last visit, Little A gobbled it up along with a homemade corn muffin.
Little A also tried some of my friend’s gangsta grill, which is a more sophisticated version of a grilled cheese, with gorgonzola, herb cream cheese, and monterey jack. It’s a nice change from the sad processed-cheese-on-white-bread sandwich you might normally get from any number of cafeteria-style restaurants at many local attractions. All sandwiches are served with chips or “gratitude.” Opt for the “gratitude,” even though you don’t really have to order it. It is omnipresent here. In all seriousness, the “gratitude” is usually a daily salad of some sort. We had the cold sweet potatoes mashed with shallot and jalapeño. This was an unusual combination that I had never tried before. The jalapeno added just a kick that even Little A enjoyed.
We also relished the roadrunner quesadilla, filled with black beans, potato, scrambled egg, cheese, and salsa fresca on a whole-wheat tortilla. One of several great protein-packed breakfast options (or lunch in our case) that many kids would love (you might want to ask for the spicy red sauce on the side). Great breakfast selections like this one are served all day at Stone Soup, and while there is no official children’s menu, you can virtually order everything for breakfast a la carte as well as sandwiches by the half. Consider taking advantage to order your baby something small to supplement what you might have already brought with you in the diaper bag. Opt to sit outside on their charming covered patio, open year round, or even take your order to go for a picnic in nearby Grant Park. After you’ve tried all of Stone Soup’s delicious offerings, you’ll be full of gratitude, whether you ordered it or not.
Cuban Black Bean Soup(small bowl)-$3.75
Gangsta Grill(served with gratitude or chips)-$6.75
Blueberry Corn Meal Flapjacks-$6.75