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Archive for December, 2010

Highland Bakery to open third location

Highland Bakery

courtesy Highland Bakery

Highland Bakery fans take note. You will soon be able to get your fix at a third location in the Atlanta Financial Center on Peachtree Road NE. It is currently scheduled to open in early February.

The newest Highland Bakery will have a similar menu to sister restaurants but will have a strong coffee and smoothie presence, attempting to fill the void created by the departure of Starbucks from this location.

Though sugar artist Karen Portaleo will remain at the original Highland Bakery location, custom cakes can still be ordered. Consultations can take place via email.

As for parking, there are a few spaces outside the storefront and availability in the parking deck. Highland is considering offering weekend parking validation for the deck.

7 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. 3343 Peachtree Street, Atlanta. No phone available yet, $.

In other news:

Bagel Boys Cafe has just opened its second location in Alpharetta, complete …

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Making the Christmas meal

Christmas Eve meal

credit: Jenny Turknett

I’m in the weeds.

I’m writing this a few days before it will post and I know that by the time you read it, I’ll be in the weeds. Each Christmas Eve, we have a group over for a meal that I spend several days preparing.

While I often cook, this is different. At Thanksgiving, Christmas and a few other times a year, I can selfishly indulge my passion for cooking and get lost in the kitchen for hours at a time. Growing up, my parents didn’t cook on a regular basis, but you could be sure to find my mom in the kitchen for the several days prior to holidays making all of our favorites.

For the first time this year, I didn’t get to cook our Thanksgiving meal. We ate our way through Disney World instead. So, I’m really itching to get my Christmas Eve meal started.

First, I spend the better part of a day planning the meal. I have boxes of saved holiday magazines — Martha Stewart Living, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Savuer, etc. I happily …

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Watershed Restaurant dining review, Decatur

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Imagine a place that is a neighborhood institution. Imagine that it’s owned by music icon Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. Imagine that the chef is a graduate of the

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

Culinary Institute of America and has worked for Daniel Boulud. Imagine that dinner for two can cost upward of $75.

What does that add up to? Expectation.

The place you’re imagining is Decatur’s Watershed Restaurant. Its new chef, Joe Truex, follows on the heels of legendary Southern chef Scott Peacock. Truex notes that the menu retains many “signature classics” believed to be essential to the “Watershed experience.”

Establishing its own expectations, Watershed’s website states that the restaurant “will take you on a fresh culinary journey or bring you back to the comfort and warmth of your grandmother’s kitchen.” Does it succeed?

Juxtaposed against the gas-station-esque exterior, Watershed’s interior glows by candlelight with a decidedly Martha Stewart …

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Caffe Fortunato dining review, east Cobb

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Caffe Fortunato offers three bottles of prosecco on its smart little wine list. One is

priced in the $20s, one in the $30s, one in the $40s.

Review by John Kessler

Review by John Kessler

“What’s the difference between them?” we ask of our waiter, who shows up at the table harried and apologetic, after making us wait for a few minutes.

“Well,” he stammers, “it’s like anything, you know. You pay for quality. The more expensive, the better.” With that expert advice, we order the medium-price one. As the waiter walks off, we can see the restaurant’s motto printed on the back of his T-shirt: “Nice. Nice.”

This waiter is nice — nicer than nice — but the unrelenting clumsiness of the service at Caffe Fortunato will do what it can to take your attention away from some interesting and ambitious Italian food. It is a restaurant worth getting to know — particularly if you live in the area — but not one that comes without caveats.

Mike Fortunato, who also owns the well-regarded …

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Top Chef Recap, Episode 4: Advantage, chef

Credit: Bravo TV

Credit: Bravo TV

Immediately following last week’s double elimination, we find our chefs where many spend the wee hours of a morning after a long night in the kitchen: a bar. I guess the 15 gallons of wine they drank in the sweatbox during judges table wasn’t enough. These are my kind of people.

We jump straight into the Quickfire with this week’s special guest, Top Chef Masters alum Tony Mantuano. In keeping with the holiday season, the chefs have to cook stuffing. Though I usually get annoyed at most things that come from her mouth, Tiffany-with-an-i’s observation that stuffing is not only regional, but mom specific is spot on. That is easily in the all-time top five of controversial dishes….the fiancée and I still have not agreed on what style of dressing/stuffing we will prepare in our house.

To make things even more interesting, the chefs can’t use kitchen utensils to make their stuffing. Soon, we see Blais using the lid of a can as a knife, Fabio grating …

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Christmas Traditions: Breakfast fondue recipe

Every family has their own holiday traditions, and the vast majority of them revolve around food. One major exception would be watching old Ralphie here shoot his own eye out, because no Christmas would be complete without that.

In my house, there are two Christmas traditions that we stick to. Messing with either of them doesn’t go over well, especially with myself and my adult siblings.

I’ve already made my love for Thanksgiving food well known, so the fact that we basically duplicate Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas eve is always something that I look forward to. But I think that it is our breakfast tradition that I’ve come to love the most.

On Christmas morning, after fighting to keep the kids at the top of the stairs until the adults can get a few cups of coffee in our system, all hell breaks loose. Once the gifts are exchanged and the dust has settled, it is finally time for breakfast.

And what screams “Christmas” more than a little fondue?

For breakfast every …

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Chinatown in Chamblee

Hong Kong BBQ, Chinatown - Chamblee

Hong Kong BBQ, Chinatown – Chamblee

Foodies who love Chinese cuisine have been going to the Buford Highway Chinatown shopping center/food court for years. It was renovated around the year 2000 and honestly, I can’t remember what it was like around then nor anytime earlier than 2003.

From time to time, I still pop in the attached Dinho Supermarket to pick up some hard-to-find Chinese ingredients. This shopping center also used to house Frank Ma’s Dinho Chinese Restaurant, which was some of the better Chinese food that was around Atlanta many years ago. Frank Ma was like the Peter Chang of the early 2000’s and would vanish and resurface just as frequently. The last place he popped up was a small eatery off Briarcliff Road, which was hot with foodies for a millisecond before Frank finally decided to hang it up altogether.

Anyways, there are quite a few things here one can explore and I have to admit I’m a relative novice to the shopping center compared to some fellow …

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How I celebrate Christmas

Two years ago, my family and I had a wonderful homemade Korean meal cooked by my father’s girlfriend which you can view below.

The first couple of pictures from the slideshow is where my dad lives in Tennessee. The rest of the pictures show off his girlfriend’s galbi (Korean bbq beef ribs), japchae (glass noodles), yangnyeom gejang (spicy raw marinated crab) and haepari nengche (cold mustard jellyfish salad).

photo(2)The next year my aunt responded big and put together a homemade spread that you can take a look at to the left. I can’t recall everything that made it to her table but there were a few types of fried vegetable fritters, her version of galbi, a spicy pork stir-fry and of course a huge medley of banchan (seasonal side dishes).

Before my schedule got too hectic (or rather before I used my schedule as an excuse to not cook), I used to put together one of those meals that I spoke of back around Thanksgiving that married my Korean heritage and American upbringing.

It’s been a …

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Last minute foodie gift

My husband is a last minute shopper. It’s entirely possible (and likely) that he still doesn’t have my Christmas gift.

I’m just the opposite. If the shopping isn’t done by the beginning of December, I’m stressed. In my family, there is no shopping on Christmas Eve. In my husband’s family, it’s the most productive shopping day of the year.

A few years ago, last minute shopping forced him to get creative — he claims he can only think of good gifts under pressure — and it paid off. He gave me a package containing a number of food-themed movies. I was delighted!

So, if you need a last minute idea for the foodie in your life – here it is. Below is a list of the movies that were in my package, but many more have been released since that time (such as Julie & Julia).

The movies I received:

What are some of your favorite food movies?

Jenny-Turknett-Tagline–by Jenny Turknett, …

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Restaurants face bottom-line dilemma: Eat rising costs or raise prices?

If you missed it, you’ll probably want to read AJC colleague Jeremiah McWilliams’ behind-the-scenes story exploring the rising costs facing restaurant chains and how they plan to deal with those increased expenses.

Here’s the top of his look at the industry’s bottom line and what it means to customers:

“In what is — they hope — the tail end of the worst slump in decades, restaurant chains big and small are wrestling with higher prices for key ingredients and crops. The costs of corn, wheat, pork, beef and chicken have risen and are expected to jump more next year.

“The big question: When or even whether to pass along those costs. Sure, charging more could help protect profits — but it could also startle customers already shocked by the economy.

“Restaurants’ choice of strategy in Atlanta and across the country will influence where Americans eat next year, and how much they spend.

“Some operators say they plan to raise prices gradually if consumers give them the go-ahead. …

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