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Archive for July, 2009

Hardy Wallace hired by Murphy-Goode

Credit: Broderick Smylie

Credit: Broderick Smylie

Atlantan Hardy Wallace, author of the popular Dirty South Wine blog, has been chosen from more than 2,000 applicants for a highly touted “dream job” in California wine country. After an intensive application process that played out online like a reality-television challenge, Murphy-Goode Winery in Sonoma County has asked Wallace to become its “wine country lifestyle correspondent.” The job, which requires a deft mastery of various social media outlets to market the products to younger wine drinkers, pays $10,000 a month for six months and comes with upscale housing near the winery’s tasting room.
“I am blown away,” Wallace said minutes after winning. “The support I’ve been given from Atlanta is why I am here.”
Wallace, who was laid off from a sales and marketing job with Kodak earlier this year, had been hoping to find a way to turn his passion for wine and social media skills into employment when Murphy-Goode announced the position …

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Southside Persian surprise

Sultani Kabob plate. Credit: Jennifer Zyman

Sultani Kabob plate. Credit: Jennifer Zyman

For those of you who are always complaining about the dearth of good Persian food in Mechanicsville, your prayers have been answered.

Kabobee must be the most unlikely restaurant in Atlanta. This colorful fast-food Iranian spot stands on an industrial (verging on post industrial) stretch of Whitehall Street — between the I-20 overpass and the back end of the Spelman College campus. Empty lots, warehouses and concertina wire mark the spot. The historic residential neighborhood of Mechanicsville lies on the other side of  the highway.

Inside, Kabobee is bright, clean and welcoming. A chef stands in the corner by a tandoor oven rolling out rounds of taftoon flatbread to cook on the oven’s clay-lined surface. The overhead menu offers a small variety of kabobs — either served with white and saffron rice and a roasted tomato, or wrapped with vegetable garnish in a flatbread.

In the midst of this dining desert, Kabobee seems like …

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This little piggy…

Credit: Wikimedia

Is headed to Decatur.

Decatur Metro is reporting (via The Decatur Minute) that the old Sage space on Decatur Square will become The Iberian Pig — a restaurant specializing in slow-roasted pork. Don’t drool on your keyboards.

The owners are the Castellucci family, whose small local chain of Sugo restaurants serve Italian family-style food in huge portions.

We’re not sure how they made the trek from Italy to Iberia. More to come.

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Local wine blogger finalist for ‘A Really Goode Job’ (and some serious $$$)

Hardy Wallace Credit: Broderick Smylie

Hardy Wallace Credit: Broderick Smylie

Hardy Wallace — a Midtown Atlanta resident who writes the excellent, nationally recognized blog Dirty South Wine — has been named one of 10 finalists among 2,000 applicants for a dream job in California wine country.

Murphy-Goode Winery in Sonoma announced in April it was looking for a “Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent” to spend six months at the winery and relate the experience through social media — Twitter, Facebook, blogs and online videos.

The remuneration? A cool $10,000 a month plus free housing in a Victorian mansion just off the main square in Healdsburg, the charming town in the heart of Sonoma County’s most important wine-growing region. The winery dubbed this opportunity “A Really Goode Job.”

Much like the Queensland, Australia, tourism board’s “dream job” search for a caretaker for an island in the Great Barrier Reef, the search itself served as a massive promotion. When Murphy-Goode claimed it would give a 24-hour …

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THE tomato sandwich. A first-timer’s tale

Late last night after a dinner of pasta and garden tomatoes a strange thought occurred. Not once in the dozen years I have lived in the South have I eaten a tomato sandwich. In fact, if you define such sandwich as sliced summer tomatoes, white bread and mayo, I had never — not once — eaten one. That seemed an amusing Facebook update, so up it went.

Despite the advanced hour of the posting, I quickly racked up more than 40 responses. “What’s wrong with you?” asked the aghast. “It’s a pre-requisite for citizenship,” they huffed.

The recipes that started pouring in were, of course, simple and repetitive: Tomatoes (just picked), white bread (the “no nutritional value” kind), mayo (has to be Duke’s, say most), salt and pepper (enough to turn the tomato black, according to one fellow).

One person suggested an advanced version that involved cream cheese, ground dill and Splenda, but she was quickly booed off the stage.

“No whole wheat bread, no dill, no lemon, no cream cheese. …

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One is the yummiest number

Bartender Jeff Hagley at the bar inside Bacchanalia. AJC Staff

For this week’s Restaurant Stories column, I wrote a satirical (i.e., stooopid) piece about why eating dinner alone in a restaurant can make you feel awkward.

In fact, I love eating at the bar, even if I do get a pitying look from the hostess when I walk into the restaurant with a rolled-up copy of the New Yorker. (”Just one?” she invariably asks.) I find that you do a better job of figuring out what you want to eat, you order the right amount, and you get better service when you dine solo.

For the past few months I’ve been eating at bars a lot as I’ve had to pick up my daughter from a lesson that ends at 8:30 p.m., all the way across town from where we live. In fact, I’ve gotten to know pretty much every dining bar on the west side of Atlanta. I love eating at Bacchanalia (above), where I can order any item off the four-course menu. If I can stick to just one item and a glass of wine, eat all my bread and count on …

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