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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for February, 2009

Buy a pint, save a job

Beer fans and Decaturites have spent all fall and winter pressing their noses to the glass of Leon’s Full Service — the new (Are we gonna say it? Yeah, we’re going to say it.) gastropub from the Brick Store Pub guys. 

The opening date is upon us — this Sunday or Monday according to the Decatur Metro blog. 

The blog also reports that the first pint will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on eBay, with all proceeds benefitting the fund set up for employees of the Trackside Tavern and 5th Earl Market, the two Decatur businesses that were destroyed by a fire about two weeks ago. 

I checked out the eBay auction at about 2:30 p.m., and the bidding had already gone over $100. (Update: it was over $560 at 1 p.m. Thursday) The high bidder not only gets one tasty pint, but a little sumpin-sumpin for posterity, according to the item description:

“The historic moment will be photographed and enshrined on the wall of Leon’s along with the first bill. This is history in the making. …

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Please do not…

  • write on counter
  • scratch counter
  • kick the walls

You must be mistaken. I wasn’t kicking the walls per se, but rather placing my foot forcefully upon them. 

Photo taken at Shrimpee’s New Orleans Style Seafood, located in the Riverside neighborhood of Northwest Atlanta. 

Shrimpee’s website, taking a very different tone, admonishes diners to “stop eating the crap out of their food.” Seriously. See it. Believe it. Never look at a shrimp po’ boy the same again.

Me, if I can’t scratch the counters, I’m going back to flipping salads.

Continue reading Please do not… »

Joel Antunes at the Plaza Gets 1 Star from the New York Times

The New York Times restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, has weighed in on Joël Antunes’ (left) effort at the newly refurbished Oak Room in the Plaza Hotel.

Giving the restaurant a lukewarm one star, Bruni called the food “forgettable, or even frustrating.”

Some of the dishes mentioned — chicken wings with foie gras sauce, lasagna with sunchoke puree, and salmon with mustard ice cream — will be familiar to diners who tasted them at the chef’s namesake Buckhead restaurant, Joël. 

It sounds like Antunes hasn’t hit his stride in the new, gilt-crusted surroundings. He is, no question, a brilliant chef.

You can read the review here. (Sorry, you have to click through to get the word “here” to turn a lovely, hyperlinky blue.)

Continue reading Joel Antunes at the Plaza Gets 1 Star from the New York Times »

The Bacon Bomb has Dropped and…

On Super Bowl Sunday, people across America woke up early to prepare this 5000-calorie log of porcine overload, dubbed the “Bacon Explosion” by its inventors.

It consists of sausage stuffed with a core of crispily cooked bacon, then rolled in a lattice of bacon strips and slowly smoked. Oh, yeah: The lily gets one more coat of gilt — a barbecue sauce glaze. 

Jason Day and Aaron Chronister, a barbecue team from the Kansas City area, published the recipe on their website and got thousands of hits. But what really made the recipe go viral was this article from the New York Times, published just in time for game day. 

The verdict from two Atlantans who tried it? Big thumbs up.

“It is really good and not greasy as I imagined,” wrote Alison Bearman, whose husband, Granger Marchman, prepared it. “It is smoked for quite a while so it mainly tastes like smoked meat. I didn’t really taste the bacon flavor as the smoke flavor trumps all.”

Adam Waterson was also impressed by how …

Continue reading The Bacon Bomb has Dropped and… »

Oprah loves this cheese!

 

Sottocenere al Tartufo

Sottocenere al Tartufo

And, frankly, so do I. In fact, I crave it though I might lose a little of my gastro cred by admitting as much. Let me explain:

Sottocenere al Tartufo, suddenly everywhere, is shaping up as one of the hot cheeses of the season. The name means “under ash with truffles,” and that’s precisely what you get. This semi-firm cheese from Italy’s Veneto region gets its flavor from its thin coating of spiced wood ash and shavings of black truffle studding the curd.

It is expensive, though not as much as you might think. Formaggio Kitchen — the great cheese shop and mail-order resource in Cambridge, Mass. — sells a half pound for $13.95. I find that a thin wedge at Whole Foods goes for a cool 10 bucks. 

On a cheese board, it makes its presence known. The rind sends an attractive tingle to the nose, and the flavor follows through. 

“It has such a persistent flavor,” says Formaggio Kitchen’s Tim Bucciarelli, who notes that Oprah Winfrey particularly liked it among …

Continue reading Oprah loves this cheese! »

Atlanta Beer Bars Among Best in America

The editors of Draft, the magazine for beer enthusiasts, have come out with a huge honking list of the best beer bars in America, and they had plenty of love to bestow upon these Atlanta-area taverns:

  • Brick Store Pub: Calling it the “go-to place for beer in the ATL,” the magazine cites the Decatur pub’s savvy staff, monthly beer-and-cheese pairings and cellar program. 
  • The Porter Beer Bar: The magazine dubs this Little Five Points newcomer “a cover band” of the Brick Store, “right down to the lip-synching design of its beer menu.” But it heaps praise on the selection and says that chef Nick Rutherford’s menu “ups the ante for beer bars in the city.” 
  • Summits Wayside Tavern: The Woodstock location boasts, according to the magazine, a “world-class beer list” with 150 choices on tap and 700 in the bottle. Also of note: regular cask-ale tapping and beer-and-chocolate tastings. 
  • Taco Mac: The wing-and-brewski chain gets a nod for its Lindbergh City Center locale, which has 100 …

Continue reading Atlanta Beer Bars Among Best in America »