The Big Zombie Tour 2 with Atlanta Movie Tours Review

Our tickets were comped by Atlanta Movie Tours so that I could write this review, but all opinions are mine. 

The Walking Dead. I absolutely love that show. I love it so much that we watched all the episodes from season 1 through season 6 over the summer. I am itching to see the season 7 premiere. October 22 can’t get here fast enough! To say that I am a fan is, well, an epic statement.  So, when Fabgrandpa was in the hospital back in August, we were talking about The Walking Dead with two nurses who were in the process of removing the catheter from his leg. One of them asked me if I had been on any of the Zombie Tours yet. And I said, “No! I didn’t even know they had tours.” She said her mother works for Atlanta Movie Tours, and we talked a little bit about it. You never know what you are going to learn from talking about things you love. 

So, I got in touch with Atlanta Movie Tours, and worked out a plan for doing a review of Big Zombie Tour #2. Fabgrandpa still did not feel well enough to go, so I asked my daughter, Emily, if she wanted to go with me. Even though she is a teacher, and it was on a school day, she took the day off as a personal day so she could go. She is an even bigger fan of The Walking Dead than I am, if that is even possible! 

senoia georgia

Senoia, Georgia is the starting point for The Big Zombie Tour #2.

On the day of the tour, we left my house at noon, headed to Senoia, Georgia. It was a 66 mile drive from my house to The Waking Dead Cafe, the check-in point for the tour. You can also meet at the Atlanta Movie Tours office in Atlanta, and ride their bus to Senoia. There was a sign on the sidewalk in front of the cafe so it was easy to find. Inside the cafe, there were The Walking Dead posters on the walls. The coffee drinks were all named after characters in the show. 

The Big Zombie Tour #2 with Atlanta Movie Tours

The Big Zombie Tour sign on the sidewalk.

The Big Zombie Tour #2

The Waking Dead Cafe sign.

The Big Zombie Tour #2

The Walking Dead posters decorated the walls in the cafe.

When all of the people who were going on the tour had checked in, we got on the bus and started the tour. The tour guide, Kent, has worked as an extra and as a Walker on the show many times. He had a remarkable amount of knowledge about the show, and kept us entertained with inside information about the show, the actors, how to get a job as an extra or a Walker on the show, and about the movie and TV industry in Georgia. The bus also had a TV, and when we were passing by or stopped at a location that was used in the show, one of the tour employees played clips from the show with scenes from that location. The clips made the places we were seeing come to life. 

The Big Zombie Tour #2

Atlanta Movie Tours bus. It was very comfortable.

One of my favorite locations was the “Pudding House”. On one of the episodes, Carl found a 112 ounce can of chocolate pudding, and sat on the roof of the porch while he ate the entire can. I loved that episode, because it showed that even though Carl was mature beyond his age due to the challenges of living in a post apocalyptic world, he was still just a boy at heart. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

The “Pudding House”, where Carl ate an entire 112 ounce can of chocolate pudding while sitting on the roof of the porch.

The railroad was central to a couple of seasons of The Walking Dead. We saw several places along the railroad that looked so familiar because we had seen them in the show. This was the tower where Tara had to rest after twisting her ankle. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

The railroad tower where Tara rested after twisting her ankle.

Most of the tour we were on, The Big Zombie Tour #2, was easily accessible for me. I have a disability that makes getting up from a seated position, sitting down, going up and down stairs, and walking long distances difficult. There were only two places where it was hard for me, but I managed to do it. The first place was at an abandoned factory that was the location of the “fight arena” in Woodbury, where The Governor pitted Merrell against Darrell in a fight to the death of one of them. The only way to get to the set location was via a very steep, narrow, stairway. It was harder going down them than coming back up. I’m glad I made the effort, because I volunteered to be one of the people in “Zombie School” where we learned how to walk like a Walker on The Walking Dead. Fun! That’s my daughter, Emily, on the stairs in front of me. I went last so I wouldn’t hold anyone up. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

Very steep stairs down to the fight arena at the abandoned factory.

The fight arena location:

Big Zombie Tour #2

The set location of the fight arena where The Governor made Merrell and Darrell fight.

The second place where I had a hard time was when we got to the place where Morgan’s Apartment was. The tour guide parked the bus, and we had to walk a couple of blocks. I was waaaay behind everyone else, because I am so slow walking, but I made it all the way to the apartment. This is what is on their FAQ page about accommodating handicapped guests:

Do you make provisions for handicapped guests?
Yes. We want everyone to enjoy themselves. There are portions of the tours that occur on foot, but all surfaces should be safe for wheelchairs. The bus is not equipped with a lift and we ask that you notify us in advance if you need to bring a folding wheelchair with you so we may make arrangements for storage.

Big Zombie Tour #2

Emily was attacked by a walker in Morgan’s apartment. She was bitten, poor thing!

You can also find information on the FAQ page about transportation to Senoia from Atlanta for the Big Zombie Tour #2 and Big Zombie Tour #3; refund policy; interpreters; and a lot more. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

Emily and me at the wall.

Tours are priced at $65 per person, which in my opinion are well worth the cost. My daughter and I really enjoyed our tour. We saw a lot of places (I didn’t even show you pictures of more than half of them!) and learned a lot about how and where our favorite show is filmed. We are planning to go on Big Zombie Tour #1 and Big Zombie Tour #3 as soon as we can!

To contact Atlanta Movie Tours, you can call them at 855-255-3456; send them an email at info@atlantamovietours.com ; or visit them at their shop at  327 Nelson St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313. You can save $5 per ticket when you purchase them online using promo code FABGRANDMA at checkout! 

 

la Madeleine Country French Café: The Holiday Feast Is Ready!

This post is sponsored by la Madeleine French Café
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My friend,  Elaine, and I recently visited la Madeleine French Café in Marietta to taste their Family Holiday Feast. We were both pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. We were served oven roasted turkey breast, cranberry apple stuffing, cranberry orange chutney, roasted asparagus, and creamy wild mushroom sauce. (note: this is NOT gluten free),

la Madeleine Holiday Feast

la Madeleine Holiday Feast

The turkey breast was so moist and delicious! I don’t think I have ever had turkey that good. (Sorry, Mama). The dressing was really good too. It had a nice texture and was seasoned just right, and had cranberries and diced apples in it. I am thinking of adding them to my dressing next time I make it. For dessert, the waiter brought out Crème Brûlée Cheesecake and Grand Chocolate Tart.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Grand Chocolate Tart.

Grand Chocolate Tart.

This meal for two was so delicious, and very reasonably priced. If we had been paying customers, it would have been less than $25 for entree, sides, drink, bread, and dessert.

Imagine being able to serve a meal this good to your family and friends for the holidays, with no work on your part other than driving to La Madeleine to pick it up! La Madeleine is taking the worry out of holiday event hosting with the Holiday Feast, suited for every celebration this season.  Holiday Feasts for the family are prepared in la Madeleine’s cafés and available for pick-up. Both Turkey and Ham Feasts serve up to eight people and are served with three house-made sides, accouterments and desserts. Reminding hosts and their guests why this time of year is truly “la Madeleine season,” Feast recipes blend time-honored traditions of the holidays with la Madeleine’s own unique French twist.

After pick-up, a simple reheat is all that is needed to serve the Feast at home for $14.99 per person.

La Madeleine Country French Cafe Holiday Feast

La Madeleine Country French Cafe Holiday Feast

 

The feast includes:

  • Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast or Hickory-Smoked Spiral Cut Ham
  • Cranberry Apple Stuffing
  • Cheesy Potato Gratin
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • Cranberry Orange Chutney
  • Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce
  • Sourdough Petit Pain
  • Choice of two desserts: Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Tart, Chocolate Tart, Lemon Tart or Bûche de Noël, the traditional French Yule Log cake (available after Thanksgiving)
  • For more information, visit www.lamadeleine.com.

About la Madeleine Country French Café

Dallas-based la Madeleine Country French Café was established in 1983 by self-described “French country boy” Patrick Esquerré to fulfill his dream of bringing classic French country fare to America. Inspired by his mother’s cooking, Patrick insisted on maintaining the integrity of French cuisine by using fresh ingredients and recipes that have been passed from one generation to the next.

From its signature fireplace to its crave-worthy food, la Madeleine offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere where guests are invited to come and stay in a casual, French home atmosphere. La Madeleine’s French-inspired fare served throughout the day during breakfast, lunch and dinner features handcrafted entrées, sandwiches, salades and soupes, as well as freshly-baked breads, artisan pâtisseries and several additional distinctive specialties. La Madeleine’s authenticity, innovation and fresh menu items differentiate the brand, creating widespread appeal.

A treasured part of many communities for more than 30 years, there are currently more than 75 cafés across Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Florida. For more information on menu items, café locations and hours of operation, visit www.laMadeleine.com.

WIN IT! One reader will win a $50 Gift Card from La Madeleine. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below:

Mellow Mushroom Now Has Hamburgers!

mellow mushroomThis post is brought to you by Mellow Mushroom. 

About forty years ago, Mellow Mushroom was a hippie pizza hangout on Spring Street in downtown Atlanta. I may or may not have been there to eat a time or two way back then, LOL. They have served pizza and “munchies” ever since. The menu has included things like Magic Mushroom Soup, Calzones, Salads, Garlic Bread, Cheese Bread, ice cold beer, and of course, pizza. A few years ago they added gluten free pizza crusts. And now, they have added Hamburgers!

Zane and Delanie

Zane and Delanie

Fabgrandpa and I were invited to go over to the Mellow Mushroom in Hiram to take a taste of the new burgers for ourselves. We met with the manager on duty, Zane, who introduced us to our server, Delainie. Zane was so gracious and came by our table several times to make sure our food was just right. And I have to tell you, it was really good.

A cute flyer on the table

A cute flyer on the table

 We started off with the Artichoke and Spinach dip but I forgot to take a picture of it. If you like that kind of appetizer, you will love the one at Mellow Mushroom.

Fab grandpa is always happy to eat at Mellow Mushroom

Fab grandpa is always happy to eat at Mellow Mushroom

Look at that smile on Fabgrandpa’s face. He loves to eat at  Mellow Mushroom. We wen to the one in Oxford, Alabama last week for dinner, and he was smiling just as big then, see:

Fabgrandpa at Mellow Mushroom last week in Alabama.

Fabgrandpa at Mellow Mushroom last week in Alabama.

We met up with our friends, Denney and Elaine. We always have such a good time with them. We just don’t see them often enough. They loved the new hamburgers, too.

The Veggie Burger

The Herb Veggie Burger

Zane brought out one of the Herb Veggie Burgers so I could taste it. It was really good, and I say that even though I have never been a fan of veggie burgers. It was piled high with cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, pickle, and avocado. How could it NOT taste good with all those toppings??

Mellow Mushroom's new Veggie Burger.

Mellow Mushroom’s new Herb Veggie Burger.

The star of our lunch was definitely the Carnie Pub Burger. This one has a Black Angus Beef Patty, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, and garlic aioli. They do not have gluten free buns. I asked. I ate the burger anyway. I am sure you could order it without a bun, and it would still taste great.

The Mellow Mushroom Carnie Pub Burger.

The Mellow Mushroom Carnie Pub Burger.

Both of the new Mellow Mushroom Burgers came with a side of roasted red potatoes with caramelized onions. You don’t find that side anywhere else in town. These potatoes were good too.

Mellow Mushroom Roasted Red Potatoes

Mellow Mushroom Roasted Red Potatoes

These potatoes had a really grown up taste, and were garnished with sprigs of rosemary but I think children would like them too. It was a refreshing change from the ever present French fries that come along with a burger.

I'm Good. Me, Too.

I’m Good. Me, Too.

When are you going to Mellow Mushroom to try out the new burgers? It’s still ok to order a pizza, too! Find a Mellow Mushroom near you here.

Unicoi Lodge, Helen, Georgia

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Fabgrandpa and I recently spent the night at Unicoi Lodge, at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia. In the past, we have camped at Unicoi State Park many times, and spent four winters during our workcamping “career” as volunteer campground hosts. We had never stayed at the lodge before, though.

The lodge has 100 guest rooms, a dining room, and several meeting rooms that  you can reserve for your functions like corporate retreats, weddings, or reunions. I once attended a quilting retreat there. I reserved our room online and received a lower rate than I would have if I had called the reservation desk. We went during Oktoberfest, which I had forgot about, so it was a peak demand weekend in the area, but we only paid $176 for a Saturday night in a tourist area.

Our room was handicap accessible

Our room was handicap accessible

We were lucky in that we got the last available room. It had two double beds, and was handicap accessible.

The TV and Dresser

The TV and Dresser

There was a desk, a large dresser, a flat screen TV, a chair and a side table. This room was comfortable, as were the beds. There was plenty of room to move around in, and I imagine someone in a wheelchair would have enough room. Wifi and cable TV were both available in the room.

The bathroom

The bathroom

The bathroom is where I really need for a hotel room to be handicap accessible. This one was really great, with a shower that had no barrier: you just walk in. There was a shower seat and grab bars, and a hand held shower head.

The sink

The sink

The lodge provided plenty of towels and washcloths. The sink area was a bit cramped but functional. Our room was clean, and did not have a smell like some older hotel rooms can have.

Map of the area

Map of the area

Unicoi State Park and Lodge is located at 1788 Highway 356, in Helen, Georgia. There is a buffet restaurant on the premises, and many restaurants nearby in Helen. Visitors to the state park can hike, bird watch, ride bikes, fish for trout, and take part in ranger programs provided by the staff. There are many other attractions located in surrounding areas, including the Appalachian Trail, Brasstown Bald, Babyland General Hospital (the home of the original Cabbage Patch Kids), the Dahlonega Gold Museum, and a Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia in Sautee Nacoochee.

 

Ted’s Montana Grill Now Has Gluten Free Buns!

This post is sponsored by Ted’s Montana Grill

Ted's Montana Grill

Ted’s Montana Grill

Even though we just went to try out Ted’s Montana Grill last month, we decided to go again after we found out that they have now included gluten free buns on their menu. There are not many  places in the Atlanta suburban area where you can get a delicious hamburger on a gluten free bun, and only one place where you can get a bison burger on a gluten free bun. Ted’s Montana Grill is that place.

Fabgrandpa waiting for our meal to be served.

Fabgrandpa waiting for our meal to be served.

Fabgrandpa doesn’t have to eat a gluten free diet. He is a lucky guy who can eat just about anything on the menu every where we go. He ordered the bison pot roast with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. It is slow cooked to perfection and has a brown gravy that looked soooo good. It’s a good choice if you don’t have to keep gluten out of your diet.

Bison pot roast with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots.

Bison pot roast with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots.

I, however, am gluten intolerant, and have to make sure what I eat does not contain gluten. That is what makes it so special for me to get a burger at Ted’s Montana Grill now. The gluten free bun on my Ted’s Bacon Cheeseburger made with bison, swiss cheese, bacon, and avocado, tasted to good. It was soft, and springy, just like a regular bun would be. Now THIS is what a burger should be like:

Bison burger with swiss cheese, bacon, and avocado.

Bison burger with swiss cheese, bacon, and avocado.

I ordered two sides: roasted asparagus and sliced tomatoes. The roasted asparagus was cooked to perfection! So often restaurants don’t do so well with the vegetable sides, but I can tell you I would order the asparagus again.

I thoroughly enjoyed my gluten free bison burger!

I thoroughly enjoyed my gluten free bison burger!

Here is one more look at that burger. I can’t tell you just how good it was, you  really have to go to Ted’s and experience it for yourself. If you eat a gluten free diet for whatever reason, you owe it to  yourself to get one of these gluten free burgers. Whether you get the beef or the bison version, the same great tasting gluten free bun will hold it all together.

The avocado is an extra, but worth the cost. Great tasting burger at Ted's Montana Grill

The avocado is an extra, but worth the cost. Great tasting burger at Ted’s Montana Grill

Ted’s Montana Grill gets their gluten free buns from Pure Knead Bakery in Decatur, Georgia. Find a location near  you at the Ted’s Montana Grill website.

In addition to gluten free hamburger buns, Pure Knead also bakes up Classic Sandwich Bread and a variety of sweets available in bakeries around the area.

Ted's Montana Grill

This post is brought to  you by Ted’s Montana Grill

Ted's Montana Grill

Ted’s Montana Grill

Last week Fabgrandpa and I were invited to Ted’s Montana Grill in Marietta, Georgia to try the bison on the menu. We asked our friends, Elaine and Denney, to meet us there.

Denney said

Denney said “She’s not taking pictures again is she?”

Ted’s Montana Grill began when Ted Turner and George McKerrow Jr. joined forces to bring a dream of creating a restaurant that would share his love of Big Sky Country and its tradition of hearty food. He also wanted to celebrate an American icon: The bison. The first Ted’s Montana Grill opened in Columbus, Ohio in 2002. Now every Ted’s serves up meals made with the ingredients and hospitality that define the Great American West while also preserving and building the bison herds in America. (from Ted’s Montana Grill website)

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Fabgrandpa started out his meal with the Kale Salad. This was a delicious combination of roasted corn, anaheim pepper, vine-ripened tomato, and fresh herbs, with vinaigrette dressing. I tasted it and would likely order it next time we go. I, of course, had the Crab Cake Appetizer.

Crab Cake Appetizer Plate

Crab Cake Appetizer Plate

Ted’s version of Crab Cakes was pretty good. It was served with a bit of guacamole and kale salad.

Our Servers

Our Servers

Next, I ordered the George’s Cadillac Bison Burger. It was huge! The toppings on the Cadillac were BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, chipotle ranch dressing, and onion straws. To get it gluten free, ask to leave off the bun and the onion straws. I was distracted when the food was served, and completely forgot to take a picture of my meal! I just can not believe I did that. The plate was completed by french fries.

Bison Meatloaf

Bison Meatloaf

Fabgrandpa loves meatloaf. He orders it whenever it on the menu anywhere we go. This meatloaf was made with bison, and a very generous portion was served. I did not taste it, but Fabgrandpa loved it, and ate every bit. It came with real mashed potatoes, gravy, a biscuit, and squash casserole.

Checking to make sure we had everything we needed.

Checking to make sure we had everything we needed.

When I saw the squash casserole, I ordered a side for myself, and I have to say, it was the best squash casserole I have ever had in a restaurant. It tasted like the squash casserole that my Mother makes.

Elaine's Bison Meatloaf.

Elaine’s Bison Meatloaf.

Elaine also ordered the meatloaf. She told me she has been to Ted’s before, and loves their meatloaf.

Denney's Cheddar Burger

Denney’s Bacon Cheese Burger

I did get a photo of Denney’s Bacon Cheese Burger, but it doesn’t show the goodness of it, just the bun mostly. The Bacon  Cheeseburger comes with cheddar or swiss cheese, bacon, and grilled onions.

Inside Ted's Montana Grill

Inside Ted’s Montana Grill

Besides  burgers and meatloaf, the menu has a varied selection: fish, chicken, and meatloaf sandwiches; entrée salads  such as Balsamic Blue Steak Salad, Caesar Grilled Chicken Salad; Steaks, Pot Roast, Salmon, Roasted Chicken, and more. The Desserts menu looked pretty good but we were all too full to try any. There were Strawberry Shortcake, Wildberry Cheesecake, Haagen Daas Ice Cream to name just a few.

Fabgrandpa and me

Fabgrandpa and me

There is a gluten free menu available, as well as a kids menu. Elaine had a cup of coffee that made me wish I had ordered it because it smelled so good!

Burgers are priced in a range of $11 to $18, the meatloaf is $16. Sandwiches are in the $11 to $13 range. We had a late lunch that was very filling, and left us with no need to have a supper later. We felt that the prices were fair for the foods that were served.

Ted's Montana Grill

Ted’s Montana Grill

Check the locator to see if there is a Ted’s near you.