Tribute to My Mother-Part One, The Busy Bee Atlanta

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @FoodIsMyClassroom here with a tribute to my mother on this special day, December 3rd. It’s her birthday!🎂 Read more about my mom’s life and favorite eatery, Busy Bee Cafe, today!

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @FoodIsMyClassroom here with a tribute to my mother on this day, December 3rd. It’s her birthday!🎂

Today we’re diving into one of my mother’s favorite restaurants, The Busy Bee Cafe Atlanta. This Downtown Atlanta staple has been serving up delicious traditional soul food since 1947. Read more about Busy Bee Atlanta’s history on their website at https://www.thebusybeecafe.com/our-history/.


Classroom:  The Busy Bee Cafe, est. 1947
    📍810 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW, Atlanta, GA 30314

The Lesson Plan [Full Review of Experience]

Materials Needed:
1. Patience
2. Appetite 
3. Something to keep you busy while you wait.
4. An umbrella in case it rains. There is no covering for patrons to protect you from the elements.
5. Comfortable shoes. The gravel is uneven and only 2 benches outside for those waiting. So, expect to stand.

Observation: [The Best of the Day]
Opening (Appetizers)
– Bread basket and butter

Busy Bee Cafe Atlanta, bread basket and butter
Bread basket and butter

During (Entrees)
-Meats: Smothered Pork Chops, Fried Pork Chops, smothered fried chicken
-Sides: Collard greens, potato salad, cornbread dressing, macaroni and cheese, and yams.
-Drinks: Sweet Tea & lemonade

Closing (Desserts)
– Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake at Busy Bee Cafe Atlanta
Red Velvet Cake

⭐ The Glows [Pros]
1. Still traditional.
2. Homemade dinner and desserts.
3. Excellent sweet tea.
4. They cater full meals for holidays and all other special occassions.
5. Days & Hours have been extended now to the weekends.6. All the veggies are super yummy but they have thee best potato salad I’ve ever had in my life.

The Grows [Cons]
1. Very small dining space. Never expanded for a larger eating area or moved to a larger location to accommodate their popularity and the growth of Atlanta.
2. Long lines and waits.
3. Very limited parking. Parking is shared with two other businesses. 
4. The prices are higher than most Soul Food restaurants and the portions are smaller. But, the taste is in a league of its own, bar none. 

Evaluation: [The Score]
Grade📋 A+


One last thing…


Feedback [Comment & Share]
#foodismyclassroom #atlfoodie #atlblogger #FIMC #foodnews #tribute #happybirthday
📸 and 📽 by Adriena Long

Tribute to My Mother-Part Two, The Interview

In honor of my mother’s birthday, I interviewed her about life while growing up, in college, and through the Civil Rights era. We also discussed her favorite restaurant, The Busy Bee Cafe, life after having kids, retirement plans, the joy of grandkids, and the future.

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @FoodIsMyClassroom here with a tribute to my mother on this day, December 3rd. It’s her birthday!🎂

This tribute was a interview I had with my mother about her life while growing up, in college, and through the Civil Rights era. We also discuss her favorite restaurant The Busy Bee Cafe, life after having kids, retirement plans, enjoying grandkids, and the future.

1. The beginning
Born in 1951 in Taliaferro County, GA.

Eastern face of the 1902 courthouse and clock tower in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Photo Credit: TampAGS, for AGS Media
Eastern face of the 1902 courthouse and clock tower in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Photo Credit: TampAGS, for AGS Media

2. Birth and Adoptive parents
l lived with my birth mother until I was 18 months old.  Then, I was adopted by Mary and Wade Long. We lived in Crawfordville, GA.

3. Sold at courthouse
None of us were for sale or sold!  However, my birth mother had us standing on the courthouse square letting people know we could be adopted.

Friendship Baptist Church, Crawfordville, GA.  Photo Credit: Friendship Baptist Church Facebook Page
Friendship Baptist Church, Crawfordville, GA. Photo Credit: Friendship Baptist Church Facebook Page

4. Growing up (only child/Elizabeth best friend/givinglife to Christ)
My adopted mother had 3 birth children.  However, I was raised up by myself due to their age.  My adopted parents were old enough to be my grandparents. My closest friend during my childhood was Elizabeth.  I met her when she came to live with her great aunt.  After her aunt died, she spent her senior year in our home. We both attended and joined Friendship Baptist Church.  I joined when I was 12 years old.

5. Siblings (biological/adoptive family)
My biological mother had 7 children (six girls and one boy) including me, my biological father had 4 biological children (2 boys and 2 girls, including me and 4 step children), and my adoptive parents raised 2 boys and 2 girls, including me and a grandson.

6. Basketball/Track
I played 4 years of first string Varsity basketball, as a power forward, in high school and ran track, where I injured my knee jumping hurdles. 

Morris Brown College Fountain Hall, Atlanta, GA. Photo Credit: David Kaminsky, Photography
Morris Brown College Fountain Hall, Atlanta, GA. Photo Credit: David Kaminsky, Photography

7. Upward Bound
I attended the Upward Bound Program at Morris Brown College for 4 years.  The students attend classes taught by college professors on Saturdays during high school and lived on campus during the summer.  Most of the kids lived in metro Atlanta, but my classmates and I were bused to and from Morris Brown College.  We took the usual core classes taken in high schools and were taking many interesting trips around Atlanta and out of the state of Georgia.

SCLC/SCOPE orientation at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. Photo Credit: https://www.crmvet.org/images/imgscope.htm

8. Civil Rights/Going to jail
I was very active in the civil rights demonstration in 1960’s in Taliaferro County.  I was arrested for trying to go in the front of the only restaurant in Crawfordville, GA.  Black people had to eat in the back of the restaurant in booths in the kitchen.  My mother could sign me out if I admitted that I broke the law.  I refused!  Thus, the judge gave me and an adult lady 10 years in jail in Crawfordville, but more people were in jail in surrounding counties. I was 13 years old. 

During this time, my family would house civil rights activist.  Two White Civil Rights Workers were living in our home named – Judy & Candi. In retaliation, the KKK (Klu Klux Klan) burned our home to the ground!  Thankfully the was no one home.

The public school system was using county, state and federal funds to bus white children out of the county to prevent them from having to attend school with black children.  We protested against this by laying on the ground in front of the buses.  The Georgia State Troopers were there to keep us from stopping the buses. They were hitting us and twisting our arms behind our back.  In the end, the court ruled that black kids must be allowed to attend school with the surrounding kids too.  I went to school in Warren County.  It was the second worse experience of my childhood.  The white children and teachers treated us like we were the scum of the earth. The white kids were destroying my classwork and homework, but the teachers refused to let me give her my work directly.  Thus, I repeated 9th grade back in the all black school in Crawfordville the next school term. 

Marching to the courthouse, Crawfordsville GA. 1965. Photo Credit: https://www.crmvet.org/images/imgscope.htm
Marching to the courthouse, Crawfordsville GA. 1965. Photo Credit: https://www.crmvet.org/images/imgscope.htm

9. Morris Brown /Magnum Cum Laude and the AU Center
I attended Morris Brown College from August 1969 to December 1973.  I majored in Social studies with a minor in education and graduated magnum cume laude in May 1974.

10. Busy Bee Cafe
I ate in the Canopy Castle Restaurant on Hunter Street (now Martin Luther King Drive) regularly while attending college.  Busy Bee Café was next door and basically served the same food but cost more.  Thus, I seldom ate Busy Bee Café until I graduated from college.  When I bought my home in 1978, I started having Busy Bee Café cater my Thanksgiving and/or Christmas meals if not going out of town.  The décor and menu have basically remained the same until now, but the prices have gone up drastically. We still use them to cater many holiday meals and special events.

Tribute to my mother’s birthday. Photos taken at Busy Bee Atlanta.

11. Teaching temporarily 
I was substitute teacher for high schools for Atlanta Public Schools for one year.

12. Federal government years 
I worked as a Program Specialist for the Federal Government from 1974 until retirement. 

13. Having kids
The greatest experiences of my life were the birth my two children.  Sheldon was born in 1980 and Adriena was born in 1983.  I was not lonely any more.  My children brought great joy to my life. Sheldon is a police officer and Adriena is an elementary school teacher and entrepreneur.  I am very proud of them. 

14. Having grandkids
My son gave me four grandchildren; three girls and one boy.  My children are wonderful, but my grandchildren are special.

15. Retirement
I enjoyed my life as a child through high school.  Now that I am I retired, I have peace in my life again.  I enjoy being retired. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

16. What’s next for you?
I do not have any plans for the future.  I live one day at a time.  No more schedules, deadlines or stress!  Now, I just want to get my house in order and live my life so my soul will be saved. However, I am still praying that I live long enough to see more grandchildren before I die.  God’s will be done!

Happy Birthday Mom 🥳😘

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning about my wonderful mother 🥰

Feedback [Comment & Share]
#foodismyclassroom #atlfoodie #atlblogger #FIMC #foodnews #tribute #happybirthday
📸 and 📽 by Adriena Long

 

Mangos Caribbean Restaurant Review

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from Food is My Classroom here at Mangos Caribbean Restaurant. I found this Caribbean restaurant right in the Heart of Downtown Atlanta affectionately called “Sweet Auburn.” Click the link for more goodness 🙂

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @foodismyclassroom here at Mangos Caribbean Restaurant. I found this Caribbean restaurant right in the Heart of Downtown Atlanta affectionately called “Sweet Auburn.”

Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

Classroom: Mangos Caribbean Restaurant, 180 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

The Lesson Plan [Full Review of Experience]

Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

⭐ Materials Needed:

  1. Major Credit Card: To pay for street parking, which is $2.00/hr. Max 4 hrs. Must enter your tag number. Police monitor these spots heavily.
  2. Patience: There can be a bit of a wait to order (to-go) during the lunch rush due to the large crowd.

⭐ Observation:

Opening (Appetizers)
-n/a

During (Entrees)

Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

Regular Oxtails Plate:

  • Comes with approximately 6 small bones in gravy. The plate includes a small portion of cabbage, 2 plantains, and a large amount of rice and peas. Oxtails were on the small side, and the amount was seemed justified and expected due to the market value as oxtails are considered a delicacy in the food industry. They were tender, and the gravy from the meat was soooo yummy that it made me want to lick the plate. The cabbage was a bit salty and overcooked while the plantains had a slight crunch, which was unexpected only to be further let down by the dryness of the plantains. Lastly, the rice and peas were filling, but nothing stood out about it in comparison to any other Caribbean restaurant.
Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

Curry Shrimp Pasta:

  • Bowtie Pasta with large juicy shrimp, broccoli, red and green peppers, and onions all coated in a fragrant and flavorful Curry Sauce. The bowl was placed in front of me, and the aroma was breathtaking and made me want to dig in immediately. The shrimp were large, plump, and perfectly cooked. The veggies had just enough crunch, and the curry sauce was absolutely impeccable. They need to sell it! This dish is large, so share!
Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

Mango Lemonade:

  • The suggestion made by my waitress was Mango Tea or an Arnold Palmer, but I went for the Mango Lemonade. It was a great choice! The punch is a perfect blend of lemonade and mango punch to create a delightful concoction. The punch made me feel like it was native to the Caribbean islands, especially if it had a little Rum.
Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

Closing (Desserts)

Signature Mango Cheesecake:

  • A large slice of creamy mango cheesecake on a caramel drizzle with whipped topping. The cheesecake was very smooth and creamy with a soft crust. There is a thin mango-flavored gel layer on top that I didn’t care for. The caramel drizzle on the plate was delicious. The whip was not flavored and had no taste.
Mangos Caribbean Restaurant
Food is My Classroom at Mangos Restaurant

⭐ The Glows [Pros]

  1. They opened on time at 11 am, and food was ready to be ordered & served. All options were available.
  2. Portions are large enough for sharing. This way, you can sample multiple menu items.
  3. Depending on your location, Mangos is available via many means of transportation. (i.e., car, the Marta bus, the downtown trolley, scooters, bike, and on foot)
  4. They are walking distance from/to Georgia State University (my alma mater) which will allow college students to get there on foot.
  5. They are right next to a Marta bus & Trolley stop, which is good for public transit commuters.
  6. They offer Door Dash.
  7. They are minutes from I-75 and I-20.
  8. My waitress, JOELLE, was an ABSOLUTE Godsend. She was kind, attentive, and made suggestions on what most people order & what she liked.
  9. Since they are in the heart of downtown Atlanta, they are close to public parks, night clubs, luxury apartments, historical places to tour, and other small businesses.

The Grows [Cons]

  1. The decor is a bit outdated and visually busy.
  2. The restaurant is a bit cluttered with items that need to be in storage, especially in the bar area.
  3. They decorate the plate with so much parsley, and I do mean a lot of it. It’s unnecessary and a bit messy. It was all over my table.
  4. The meats are done well, so they shine brightly, but the veggies are just okay.

⭐Evaluation: [The Score]
Grade📋 B

Most Popular:
Per Joelle, most people order Mango Lemonade or Tea, Oxtails, Jerk Shrimp, Curry Shrimp Pasta, Red Snapper, and Mango Cheesecake.

⭐Teacher’s Notes✏:

  1. If you go on Mondays, they have BOGO.
  2. If you go during lunchtime for DINING-IN, the crowd isn’t that bad.
  3. The owner, Tru, used to own The Royal Peacock. But, they are still deeply tied to the location.
  4. The Royal Peacock crowd frequents Mangos after they party, which is why on the weekend, Mangos stays open to 4 am.
  5. From Thursday – Sunday night beginning @9pm, Mangos has a live DJ for what is called “Club Mangos.”

⭐ Feedback [Comment & Share]

📸 and 📽 by Adriena Long

#foodismyclassroom #atlfoodie #atlblogger

The Original Hot Dog Factory!

Hey Students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, of Food is My Classroom here with today’s mini-lesson for National Hot Dog Day! Click on the link for more goodness 🙂

Hey Students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, of @foodismyclassroom here with today’s mini-lesson for National Hot Dog Day. My Marketing Director and I had lunch today at The Original Hot Dog Factory, a black-owned eatery with 18 choices of franks. It was soooo delicious!

See my RECOMMENDATIONS below:
⭐Corn Dog
⭐BLT Dog
⭐Taco Dog
⭐Onion Rings
⭐The Deep Fried Oreos (eat hot)

Background Knowledge:

You may be familiar with the owner Dennis McKinley, because he has been seen on the 11th Season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. He is the fiancé of Porsha Williams and the father to her daughter. This is the first baby for both parents. McKinley, a native of Detroit, opened a second corporate Hot Dog Factory on Piedmont Avenue (formerly Slice) in Midtown Atlanta. McKinley is a college-educated serial entrepreneur as he also owns Cru Hookah Lounge here in Atlanta as well. The Hot Dog Factory does also offer Catering/Food Truck and Franchise opportunities.

Alternative Options:

  1. Beef hot dogs are 100% beef.
  2. All turkey, chicken, and veggie dogs are gluten-free.
  3. All factory dogs can be substituted for polish, chicken or veggie at an upcharge.
Food is My Classroom at Hot Dog Factory

#NationalHotDogDay #foodismyclassroom #atlfoodie #atlblogger #FIMC

Greens and Gravy Atlanta

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @foodismyclassroom here with today’s mini-lesson. We’re checking out Greens & Gravy, which is one of my favorite Atlanta restaurants to attend for BRUNCH. This black-owned eatery is owned by Chef Darius Williams! Click the link for more goodness 🙂

Greens and Gravy Restaurant

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @foodismyclassroom here with today’s mini-lesson. We’re checking out Greens & Gravy, which is one of my favorite Atlanta restaurants to attend for BRUNCH. This black-owned eatery is owned by Chef Darius Williams! Scroll down for more goodness 🙂

See my TOP 5 BRUNCH items below: 

⭐Lemon Pepper Honey Fried chicken that was brined in Apple Cider vinegar for 24hrs before cooking. Served with a warm buttermilk biscuit.

⭐Skillet Macaroni & Cheese

⭐Toasted Sour Cream Pound Cake with fruit, fresh mint, and vanilla bean mascarpone

⭐Braised Collard Greens (w/smoked Turkey) served with Watermelon Chow Chow

⭐Buttermilk Chicken Biscuits with aged cheddar and country white gravy. Served with 2 eggs made your way.

#greensandgravy #DariusWilliams #brunch #foodismyclassroom #atlfoodie #atlblogger 

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