During live filmings in Metroplex Theater of Fine Arts' enormous dining room, the actors of Saturday Nite Live in Atlanta put a local spin on sketch comedy. The show invites guests to sit back and snack on a four-course Italian meal and, if they choose, jump on stage to join in on the comedic antics. The two-hour tapings intersperse comedic performances with the delivery of meal courses, filling plates with chicken encrusted with roma tomatoes and mozzarella, spaghetti and meatballs, or vegetarian and gluten-free entrees. Additionally, a souvenir DVD—replete with a backstage feature revealing the secrets behind the curtain's tightly sealed lips—lends clients a permanent record of the production.
At Soul Vegetarian, gravy cascades over the burgers and country-fried steaks and creamy cucumber sauce nestles into a gyro pocket. This picture of decadence aside, even as the chefs eschew animal products, they also avoid heavy fats or preservatives. The result is a surprisingly healthy take on classic Southern cuisine, including macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Savory protein comes in the form of tofu, lentils, and a flexible vegetable-protein roast they've dubbed "kalebone."
Even dessert has a healthy side at Soul Vegetarian. Blenders whir with fruit smoothies and soy shakes, many of which incorporate nutrient-dense foods such as coconut milk and almond butter, and even energy or protein supplements. To make perfectly creamy shakes, the restaurant's food inventors created the soy-based Dream Kream—also available by the scoop.
If you’re looking to pull the kids away from the television screen this weekend but can’t stand the thought of visiting the same dull museums, consider a stop into the Wren’s Nest House Museum. One of Atlanta’s oldest museums, the former home of Joel Chandler Harris educates tykes on the life of the author of the famous Brer Rabbit stories. Every Saturday afternoon, one of several local readers thrills children by re-enacting one of Harris’s popular tales. The walls of the small home are lined with mementos from the author’s life, and the rich, green brocade and period furniture give a welcoming atmosphere that your children will warm to quickly. You may find yourself enchanted by the stories as well, and you’re guaranteed to come away with a new appreciation for the classic stories of Joel Chandler Harris.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
After the birth of her son, Debra Coleman resigned from her corporate job, and started working from home in a field for which she has a true passion: baking. Today, her handmade, handheld cakes excite taste buds with the flavors of real sweet cream butter, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, free-range eggs, and fresh fruit. Thanks to her handiwork, wedding and banquet guests of all ages dine on decadent desserts topped with cloud-like dollops of frosting and gourmet sprinkles, while grown-ups celebrate responsibly with cupcakes spiked with rum and Kahlua.
Coleman and her company give back to the community through a wealth of civic-minded initiatives. That includes using only eco-friendly cleaning products and recyclable materials in the kitchen, and donating a portion of the weekly profits to Atlanta-area schools and women's and children's shelters.
At Blu Canitna, chefs play with the traditional flavors of the Caribbean and Latin America to create inventive fusion dishes. They toss wings in spicy peach-bourbon sauce, and they put an upscale twist on beef brisket tacos by adding a dollop of creme fraiche infused with cilantro. They also turn plates of nachos and quesadillas into hearty meals by topping them with proteins such as brisket, tilapia, and smoked chicken. These all pair with aromatic hookahs and an extensive drink menu that showcases margaritas in unique flavors such as Sassy Strawberry Sriracha, which tastes like a combination of spicy chilies and alliteration.