After walking through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, we peeked at the outdoor menu in front of Longleaf Restaurant. The prices were what I expected since this was a touristy cafe.
“Do you see anything you’d eat?” Between the Georgia heat and my lack of breakfast, I was starting to get a headache. Anything on the Longleaf menu appealed to me.
“Yeah, I could do one of these.” Kathryn pointed to the sandwiches.
“Let’s go in then.”
Longleaf Restaurant’s Interior
The space was airy and minimalist with clean lines. Natural light came through the front windows brightening the neutral colored space.
We stood at the hostess podium and waited for a table. Booth seating paired with tables down the left-hand wall. Directly in front of us, a large family (or was it a community table?) took up the middle of the room. I loved the orb lightening which dangled at different heights.
On the right, more two and four-top tables were set with glasses and rolled silverware. A cream curtain divided the smaller dining room from the back of the room.
We sat down at the two-top table near the front door. A row of chairs lined the windows on my right. I watched the groups of tourists pause in front of the restaurant. They read the menu and took pictures of the floral Phoenix.
Longleaf Restaurant’s Menu
The menu was small and minimalist. I liked the logo design and the clean font. A consolidated menu is also a good idea for high volume of guests that the Botanical Gardens served.
But a smaller menu meant fewer options. We didn't see any appetizers we wanted (besides the rolls). Salads normally don't impress me, so I skipped over those and focused on the sandwiches.
Since Longleaf Restaurant would be my first meal of the day, I considered getting the grass-fed burger. But in the end, I selected one of the other sandwiches.
The Drink Menu
Kathryn recommended I try a half sweet tea, half lemonade while I was visiting.
Longleaf only offered standard sodas. While I browsed some of their drinks — like the ciders — I knew I was too dehydrated to have any liquor, so we stuck with water.
Prairie Rolls with Whipped Butter | $3.00
We ordered the fresh rolls since we both love carbs and we were over-hungry. They came out with our meal instead of as an appetizer, but they were fresh and warm.
There were four or five rolls in total, served in a wicker basket and wrapped in a white cloth napkin. They were the size of my palm. The seasoning on the rolls’ exterior provided some texture and flavor, reminding me of everything-bagels.
A small dish with a butter quenelle was light and fluffy like whipped cream. I basically ate the entire dish myself.
Chimichurri Cauliflower Pita | $13.00
The pita size is what I would expect for lunch. The salad was large and made of butter lettuce. It was the most tender lettuce I’ve had. Plus, a slice of that bright vegetable that I had on my dish at the Walpack Inn and in my favorite breakfast in Florence.
I enjoyed that the slaw was dressed. The cherry tomatoes were a nice surprise. The creamy avocado was perfect with the Chimichurri seasoning. I would’ve liked the pita warmed or toasted in some way, but maybe that would’ve contradicted the chilled slaw.
I thought the ratio of slaw to cauliflower was off. My pita was mostly cabbage with bits of cauliflower. This was fine, since the slaw was refreshing, but I was expecting larger pieces of cauliflower, which would’ve been more filling for me.
Luckily, we had the rolls, and I ate most of them, even after I finished my lunch. In the end, I was happy that the lunch got rid of my headache. Even if it was lighter, it was enough to hold me over until we drove home for dinner.
Roast Beef Po Boy Sandwich | $14
I was impressed at the amount of roast beef on the roll. Everything looked fresh and Kathryn enjoyed it. Sometimes roast beef can be hit-or-miss, but considering Longleaf’s use of fresh produce, we thought the rest of their ingredients were also prepared well.
We spent about an hour and a half at Longleaf. We lounged back in our chairs, catching up on everything — as the tables switched and the sun drifted around the late afternoon sky.
In all, Longleaf Restaurant was a great on-site location for us to have lunch while touring the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Based on our weekday lunch, I would give Longleaf Restaurant an 8/10 for the following:
Decor and Design
Bright, clean, and refreshing. The natural light and large windows let you take in the surrounding gardens while feeling relaxed.
Our table was right in front of the floral Phoenix — so I had an amazing window view. I’m not sure what the other dining areas looked out onto, but we had great seats.
No complaints — our waiter was friendly and made sure that our water glasses were always filled. The waiters might’ve collectively served the room, as different men brought out our entrees, cleared our dishes, and brought us our check.
Fresh (and I wonder, if grown in the edible gardens?). My portion was a bit smaller than I expected, but still a healthy, light option considering the Georgia heat.
Up Next | Donuts!
This post wraps up part 1 of my first day in Georgia. I have many adventures from my long weekend. Click here to read our next day in Georgia — featuring Krispy Kreme Donuts!