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Archive for June, 2010

KFC

How do you make your coworkers happy? You bring them back a box of KFC, as in Korean fried chicken.
Look for a report this Friday — online here and in print in the Go Guide — on the exploding Korean food scene in Duluth and Suwanee. Even people who don’t like spicy food or kimchi will find plenty to love.
Like fried chicken.

Continue reading KFC »

Atlanta magazine’s smokin’ hot barbecue issue

bbq

The July issue of Atlanta magazine is a don’t miss for fans of fine smoked swine. Dining editor Bill Addison spend two months scouring the metro area’s barbecue joints and turned in an exhaustive and fascinating report on both the revelations and disappointments he encountered on the trail. There’s also a beautifully written essay by my former AJC colleague Jim Auchmutey on Georgia’s protean barbecue identity, as well as a humorous list of tips from pitmaster Sam Huff from Sam’s BBQ1 in Marietta.

The magazine was mailed to subscribers yesterday, and it goes on the newsstand next week. There will also be an online version available for purchase for 99 cents from Zinio on June 28.

Here’s a quick Q&A with Addison as a preview:

Q: How many barbecue places did you hit over those two months?

A: 58.

Q: Good Lord. How much weight did you gain?

A: Eight pounds. But I’ve already lost 4 of them.

Q: What was your methodology?

A: I went at prime lunch or dinner hours, but gave every place …

Continue reading Atlanta magazine’s smokin’ hot barbecue issue »

First Look: Yeah! Burger

photo 2

Organic veggie burger, Fifty-Fifty (fries and o rings)

I’m in the club with my homies, tryna get a l’il V-I, keep it down on the low key, ’cause you know how it feels.

I said shorty she was checkin’ up on me, from the game she was spittin’ my ear you’d think that she knew me.

So we decided to chill

Conversation got heavy, she had me feelin’ like she’s ready to blow! She saying come get me, come get me, So I got up and followed her to the floor, she said baby lets go, When I told her I said….

You know, on second thought, I don’t really feel like dancing. V-I, schmee-I. Can we just ditch this place and go get a burger?

So, anyhow, to make a long story short, shorty and I left the club together and went to this new spot called Yeah! Burger that just opened in the White Provision complex. We had a nice time getting to know each other as we waited in line to place our order. This is what we observed:

White Oak Pastures grass-fed beef burger

White Oak Pastures grass-fed beef burger

The line: Moves at Taqueria del Sol …

Continue reading First Look: Yeah! Burger »

Are you really, really sure you want those bones?

Chinese chicken curry

Chinese chicken curry

The nice waitress at Canton Cooks really, really, really tried to dissuade us from ordering this Chinese curried chicken special. “It has bones,” she intoned gravely.

“We’re fine with bones,” we said.

“You’re sure. It’s Chinese style.” The  warning in her voice was so somber she might as well have uttered, “It causes permanent erectile dysfunction.”

No problem, we persisted. Nevertheless, the waitress came out of the kitchen a few minutes later and let us know we could get a boneless version of the dish, if we preferred.

No. Thank you.

Indeed, we knew what we were getting into, since there was also a warning printed on the menu. Little, mystery chicken chunks clinging to chunks of bone. We were down with that.

The dish was wonderful. The chicken chunks had been fried then braised with hunks of eggplant and tofu in a coconut-rich curry sauce that tasted almost Vietnamese. Each bony nugget offered bits of beautifully rendered skin and tender meat. I love …

Continue reading Are you really, really sure you want those bones? »

Repast to close

image_8458291The AJC’s Katie Leslie reports that Mihoko Obunai-Truex and Joe Truex have decided to close their Old Fourth Ward restaurant, Repast, after dinner on Saturday.

Continue reading Repast to close »

Watch my panel discussion with chef Marcus Samuelsson

If you missed all or part of the live stream of our food panel, here’s our entire hour-long discussion.

I also hope you enjoyed chef Marcus Samuelsson’s entertaining and informative cooking demonstration. In this excerpt, Samuelsson demonstrates a different way of making fried chicken.

I had the pleasure of moderating the panel discussion with Samuelsson at the Macy’s at North Point Mall. We sat down with some of Atlanta’s top food folks, including Bill Addison and Christiane Lauterbach from Atlanta magazine.

Feel free to comment below on our discussion or on the chef’s subsequent cooking demonstration. (Here’s Samuelsson’s entire demonstration.)

Samuelsson was in town as a member of the Macy’s Culinary Council — a group of high-profile chefs who are working with the department store to bring attention to its housewares and restaurants. And, as you may know, he is  the recent winner of “Top Chef Masters.”

Thanks for watching, and for joining the conversation.

Shelia Poole’s …

Continue reading Watch my panel discussion with chef Marcus Samuelsson »

And so it begins: “Top Chef D.C.” premiere

Top ChefWelcome back to the world of “Top Chef” — that strange and mythical place where bacon turns into foam and 300 Washington yuppies can be conjured up with the snap of fingers.

A lot has happened since we bid our goodbyes to the last TC crew in December:

  • Eli Kirshtein has moved to New York.
  • Kevin Gillespie has not opened a barbecue restaurant.
  • Hector Santiago has organized a gourmet tour of Peru and can occasionally be seen selling burritos on the sidewalk in front of his restaurant, Pura Vida.
  • And Padma Laskhmi. Ahh, Padma. She’s been a very busy omnivore. First, she had a baby. Then, thanks to a new sponsorship deal with Lipton, she joined the Tea Party and was promptly swept into public office as the representative from the 3rd congressional district in West Virginia. Because of her busy legislative schedule, the entire “Top Chef” operation has decamped to Washington, D.C.

And so it begins.

We meet our new crew of bacon-foaming aspirants on a Washington rooftop. (The …

Continue reading And so it begins: “Top Chef D.C.” premiere »

Help! How do you moderate a panel?

Image: Wikimedia

Image: Wikimedia

So Thursday at 4:30 I’m supposed to moderate this panel discussion with a bunch of really great food people:

  • Marcus Samuelsson (left) — the Ethiopian-born Swedish chef who made his name at Aquavit in New York 15 years ago, and has since gone on to many impressive accomplishments. Plus, he just won that “Top Chef Masters” thing.
  • Christiane Lauterbach — the Atlanta magazine columnist and publisher of the estimable  Knife & Fork newsletter, which is the first source I turn to when I am cribbing ideas.
  • Bill Addison — Atlanta magazine’s dining critic, who is worried about revealing his identity, so he will come wearing either an elaborate costume or a pair of  “Risky Business” era Ray Bans and a porkpie hat.
  • Barbara Petit — the director of the Atlanta Local Food Initiative and Georgia Organics bigwig.
  • Tami Hardeman – the Running with Tweezers blogger who styles glistening food photography for chain restaurants during the day and cooks like Alice Waters at …

Continue reading Help! How do you moderate a panel? »

New frozen treats all over town

photo-23When I was at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market this past weekend, I snagged a very tasty lime mint ice pop from the Frescopops cart. Other flavors included peach sweet tea, peach honey and blueberry, the latter using Gaia Gardens local berries. Boy, did this ice pop hit the spot on a 95-degree morning.

This new pop vendor joins King of Pops and Lottafrutta in supplying Atlanta with gourmet versions of traditional Mexican paletas.

The King of Pops pops are available in several places, including Souper Jenny in Buckhead and Cabbagetown Market. But I often drive by owner Steven Carse’s cart parked at the corner of North Avenue and N. Highland Ave. and can never resist stopping for a quick pop fix. Earlier this week I got a really fantastic lemon basil, while my daughter tried a cantaloupe cream with ginger.

I’ve noticed that all kinds of ice cream alternatives are popping up this summer. Sun-O Dessert has opened a branch in Decatur, where a crossover clientele has learned the …

Continue reading New frozen treats all over town »

Flavor tripping at Three Sheets

MIracleFruit_Image_ApprovedThe new Sandy Springs lounge Three Sheets features comfy seating on overstuffed sofas, a humidor filled with cigars, a full menu of plates big and small, live music and a list of trendy cocktails with names like “Rain,” “Storm” and “Cloud.”

And, then, every Wednesday night Three Sheets offers to mess up people’s taste buds but good at a “flavor tripping party.”

On these evenings, a small group of guests gathers together to ingest Tic Tac-sized red berries called miracle fruit and, for the next hour or so, marvel at their effect. No, these people won’t see pink elephants flying through the room, but rather find the flavors of familiar foods — provided by Three Sheets chef Josh Carden — altered.

Even though the miracle fruit (a West African plant taxonomically known as Synsepalum dulcificum) and its properties have been known for centuries, flavor tripping parties came into semi-underground vogue a couple of years ago, after a pair of New York Times reporters attended one. The …

Continue reading Flavor tripping at Three Sheets »