The first vacation I took my oldest daughter on was to Orlando when she was 4. My husband was on a business trip and we decided to piggy back some fun family time on top of it. We went to all of the must see attractions located in the Orlando area and we had a ton of fun. The one location we visited that has always stuck out in my mind, was the dinner we had at the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando. From the moment we walked in the door, we were treated like old friends, the food was superb, the service was spot on and we just had a great time. I am a huge music lover and play music in my home all the time.
About halfway through the meal, Chelsea recognized a song which was playing and jumped up and began to dance. That child danced liked no one was watching and the look on her face was pure joy! After the song ended and she sat back down, the whole place erupted in applause. We recently took the two younger kids to Atlanta to see Chelsea and this was the first vacation we had all taken as a family with the 2 younger kids. How fitting it was to make sure one of the stops on the Hutchinson Family Atlanta Tour would include a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta!
If you have not been to a Hard Rock location, you really are missing out! If you are a music buff like myself and my kids, you will be in heaven! Each location is filled with music memorabilia which has been donated to the Hard Rock family. The very first thing you see when you walk into the Hard Rock Atlanta is a motorcycle which was owned by Elvis Presley. Henry was extremely disappointed he was unable to sit on it for a picture! Chris, our server for the night, showed me his favorite, which is Bill Clinton’s saxophone. The host staff is extremely upbeat and friendly when they greet you and show you to your table. The music is always fun and singing and dancing is always welcome and sometimes encouraged! When they started playing Y.M.C.A. by the Village People, the staff jumped up and led everyone to a Hard Rock Atlanta style dance and sing-a-long! I was on the way to the restroom when it started, so of course I had to stop and join in the fun!
Kimberly Weiss, the Sales Manager for the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta, had a large table reserved for us with a Hard Rock Cafe 20th Anniversary magnet for each of us. As soon as Kimberly came over to introduce herself, of course I had to hop up and give her a big hug and thank her for her generosity! Kimberly asked if she could take the kids to the gift shop and let them each choose a shirt. They were so excited! I whispered to Robert, one of the staff members in the gift shop, that due to his autism, Henry gets a bit overwhelmed with making choices. Robert immediately took Henry under his wing and said he knew just the shirt for him. Henry is big into military and Robert chose a Hard Rock tee with a military look which was just perfect. I am forever in Kimberly and Robert’s debt for making myself, the kids and the rest of our party feel so at home and taking such great care of us.
Once we returned to the table, Kimberly introduced us to Chris who would be our server for the evening. I have been a server and manager in many restaurants in my time and I can honestly say I have never met anyone like Chris. He was funny, polite, patient, and extremely knowledgeable about the menu. The first thing Chris did was to take our drink order and he was back with our beverages faster than I expected. I am not a huge drinker, but in honor of the special occasion, I did imbibe a bit. To prove to you how infrequently I do drink, this was the first adult beverage my oldest daughter and I ever had together! I love a cold draft from a real glass and even better knowing I got to take it home at the end of the night! Chelsea and the others who had mixed drinks said they were some of the most balanced and flavorful drinks they have ever had! Way to go bartender!
To start off our delightful food journey for the evening, Chris suggested we order an appetizer for the table. With the Jumbo Combo, you get a sample of several of their most popular mouth watering appetizers like their Signature Wings, Onion Rings, Tupelo Chicken Tenders, Spinach Artichoke Dip with Parmesan flat bread, which was the favorite of the table and bruschetta. The servings are generous, so there was plenty for everyone in our party of 8 to enjoy.
When it came time to order our entrees, several of us completely depended on Chris to suggest some of his favorites. I knew I wanted something from the Smokehouse menu, but otherwise, I was stumped. Chris suggested the Smoked Beef Brisket, which is slow-cooked for over 12 hours. It is topped with a tangy hickory barbecue sauce and tasty crispy onions on grilled sourdough bread and comes with a side of crispy seasoned fries.
Caitlin and my husband both had the Twisted Mac and Cheese, which was absolutely to-die-for! It is Cavatappi macaroni, which is a curly/twirly/tubular pasta, which has been tossed in a three-cheese sauce with roasted red peppers, topped with Parmesan parsley bread crumbs and grilled chicken breast. Chris, our server, recommended my husband add bacon to his and it took the flavor profile to completely new level.
Chelsea’s BF Mike ordered the Grilled Chicken Arugula Salad, which is a bed of baby arugula with thinly sliced grilled chicken, spicy pecans, dried cranberries and fresh oranges, which are then tossed in a lemon balsamic vinaigrette and topped with crumbled feta cheese. Chelsea and Lindsay ordered the Mahi Mahi, which was one of the specials of the night, also recommended by Chris. I am not a big fish lover but I do love Mahi Mahi and this was honestly the best I have ever eaten. Amanda had the Hickory Smoked Ribs which was a huge rack and are literally falling-off-the-bone tender. They are rubbed with the Hard Rock’s signature seasonings and basted with a mouth tingling hickory barbecue sauce. Again, this was some of the best BBQ I have ever eaten and I am kind of a BBQ aficionado, so I should know lol!
To end the meal, Chris suggested we try two of the most popular Hard Rock Cafe desserts; the Hot Fudge Brownie and the Cheesecake made with Oreo Cookie pieces. The brownie consists of Ben and Jerry’s® vanilla ice cream with hot fudge on a fresh homemade brownie. This enormous masterpiece is topped with chopped walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, fresh whipped cream and of course, a cherry. The cheesecake was some of the most creamy, moist and flavorful cheesecake and is actually made in-house. It has a very generous portion of Oreo® cookies which are baked into this Ah-Mah-Zing NY-style cheesecake, with a decadent Oreo® cookie crust.
One of the guests in our party, Amanda, has been Chelsea’s BFF of 24 years. I have not seen Amanda in almost 15 years and had not yet met her GF Lindsay. It was Amanda’s birthday the following day, so of course Chris had to make sure she was treated liked royalty at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta! Isn’t she absolutely stunning and look at how happy that Birthday Sundae made her! Again, Chris, you rocked our world!
So, if you are looking for a place to take your friends, family, co-workers or an event, you must consider the Hard Rock nearest you! The atmosphere is so much fun and each location is rich in music history and memorabilia you cannot see anywhere else. The food was by far some of the very best I have ever had and we are still talking about how delicious it was. But above all, the folks at the Hard Rock will treat you like royalty while at the same time, like family. The attention to detail the staff puts into every aspect of your visit is almost unheard of. Kimberly and Chris knew this was a bit of a family reunion and they made it one of the most memorable and most fun nights of our lives. Thank you guys! You won our hearts for sure! When you are in Atlanta, please make the Hard Rock one of the places you visit and say hello to Kimberly, Robert, Chris and the rest of the gang! You can keep up with the hard Rock in Atlanta by following them on Facebook as well as Twitter.
Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta
215 Peachtree St. NE,
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 688-ROCK (7625)