Since this is my “get to know me” post, I figure that I should start with something I’ve never told anyone before.
When I was growing up, I absolutely refused to eat bacon.
Whew! It just feels good to get that off my chest, you know? But before you write me off completely, rest assured, I grew out of it.
I’m a born-n-raised Atlantan (Ok, technically East Cobb) with Alabama roots and, as is often the case with southern families, food was a major part of my upbringing. Some of the most vivid memories I have as a child are of my Grandfather’s fried chicken and helping my mom make the dressing for Thanksgiving dinner. Food took hold of me at a young age.
Shortly after college, I moved back to Atlanta and landed a good job that afforded me more disposable income than a food and drink obsessed 22-year-old should have access to. Nothing crazy, but enough to be dangerous. Predictably, I blew every penny of it. And I blew most of it on food.
Then reality came crashing down on my young, irresponsible head. Suddenly, my financial situation took a turn for the worse and I could no longer keep up with the lavish tastes I’d developed.
That period of my life taught me a few lessons, not the least of which that I should have listened to my parents when they kept bugging me about this thing called a “savings account”.
However, I was also reminded that you don’t have to line up for the biggest name chefs or most expensive restaurants to find food that makes your eyes roll back in your head. I never lost the sense of joy that comes from a sloppy, greasy burger or a fall-off-the-bone baby back rib. My ears may still perk up when someone says “foie gras”, but I’m not scared of a sackful of cheese Krystals or a good slice of pepperoni and mushroom.
I might be a food aficionado, but I’m no snob.
Along the way, I decided to finally put my English degree to use and share my enthusiasm with the world on my blog, Live To Feast. Somehow, through a healthy dose of luck, I’ve found myself as part of the new dining team here at the AJC. To say that I’m humbled would be an understatement.
My job is to spread the word about a class of restaurant that all too often falls under the radar in this town. I’m writing about the restaurants that we visit in our everyday lives. I’m here to tell you about the hole in the wall pizza joint that makes a meatball sub that is so good that you’ll drive—gasp— across 285 to get it. My job is to find the bar dishing out the best fried pickles this side of Louisiana. But most of all, my job is to make you hungry.
Compared to the Atlanta fine dining beat, I’ve got a LOT of restaurants to choose from. And this is where you come in.
What “everyday” spot do you love that deserves some attention? Who’s got the best pizza/BBQ/burgers in your neck of the woods?
I’m all ears.