Tuesday, February 11, 2014


You may already be familiar with this restaurant from my Jaclyn's Favorites of Atl post. I’m a big fan! I’ve spent birthday dinners, girls brunches, and taken many out-of-town guests here. Murphy’s is my “go-to” because they do everything right, in my mind at least. Or they did everything right. And this post pains me to write but I have to reveal the few downsides to this place only because I feel obligated to give it to you straight! (I snagged writing this post from Anand because I feared he would be a little harsh as he’s known to be ... ahem Octane post.)

Overall, I think Murphy’s menu is flawless and their restaurant has this southern cottage feel that instantly relaxes you and makes you want to stay a while. From my often brunching here I’ve taken notice of their coffee selection. I decided it was time for the other half of Atlanta Coffee Scene to pay Murphy’s a visit and do a proper review. So, one chilly Sunday morning Anand and I took a seat at the bar that doubles as a waiting area. This was the faulty decision that brought the entire experience down.

Atmosphere- The atmosphere in Murphys is warm and upscale, yet relaxed. But, when you sit near the entrance on a busy Sunday morning that atmosphere is completely ruined. We chose to sit at the bar where the espresso machine and café menu are boldly displayed, we wanted to be as close to the action as possible! In hindsight that was a mistake. The cold air rushing in from the door forced us to keep our coats on, the busyness of people waiting for tables took away from what a relaxing brunch should be, and it seemed there was no server assigned to us. Had we sat at an actual table the whole experience may have been far more positive. However, Murphy’s isn't a coffee shop. It is a nice restaurant where they seat you and hand you a menu. Don't bring your laptop hoping to get some work done, or even pull out a book. You may be able to get by with a newspaper at the bar, but really this is more of an ideal setting to have a nice conversation and enjoy quality dishes and drinks.

Coffee- I ordered a café au lait that was delivered to me with a scone on the side. That’s a little touch that I can’t get enough of. You will find a few creative drinks on the cafe menu. Try one! You'll be pleased.

Service- This category was the most disappointing. The two women working that Sunday morning behind the bar payed little attention to us. Come to think of it, the last time I brunched there I was disappointed with my moody, couldn't-care-less waiter too. Let's just hope they are going through some transition with their brunch service (I like to be hopeful).

Location- Situated in the center of Virginia Highlands, Murphy’s has a fantastic location. This restaurant has been in the Highlands for 30 years making it an anchor to such a pleasant part of Atlanta. With plenty of shops and boutiques to walk to you can easily spend an entire afternoon here. For parking, plan to snag a parallel parking spot on the street or use Murphy's valet. 

Legitimacy- The menu is fantastic. Each plate and drink I've tried has been spot on! The wine shop is bursting with great finds. The wine bar offers weekly wine classes. Murphy's has thrived in this prime spot for 30 years. I would say it's here to stay.

We rate places based on their cafe potential and Murphy's in its essence is a restaurant. That said, it did not get a very high rating. But go back for dinner (I recommend the artichoke appetizer) or add some incredible french toast alongside your latte. 
Overall Rating - 3 Stars 
::by Jaclyn Overall
Murphy's on Urbanspoon

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