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Archive for April, 2011

Upcoming food events

Pick your own strawberries at the Washington Farms Strawberry Festival.

Pick your own strawberries at the Washington Farms Strawberry Festival.

There are many food-related events this time of year. Here are a few coming up:

April 20:

Wine Club Tasting at Watershed

In keeping with their commitment to featuring varied and fairly-priced wines, Watershed Restaurant has a wine club with wine tastings. Each month the featured wine maker or winery owner will talk about their wines at a tasting. Non-members are welcome to attend for $10. Members who stay for dinner after the tasting will receive 10% off their meal.

This month, Christophe Bedouet will be at the wine tasting to feature small, independent wineries from France. The wines this month include:

  • Cotes de Bourg – Cuvee Grains Fins: 70% Semillon and 30% Colombard.
  • Grenache Syrah Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes: Grenache/Syrah blend
  • Château Le Cros Saint Emillion Grand Cru: Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 6-8 p.m. Watershed Restaurant, 406 West Ponce de Leon Ave., …

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Fun with a new iPhone camera application

"The High Life Chaser"

"The High Life Chaser"

I take a lot of pictures of food. As a matter of fact, I first started taking pictures of food then the writing followed thereafter. I use two cameras: a DSLR mostly for home cooking and/or travel subjects, and a much smaller micro 4/3 for restaurant outings.

I also take A LOT of food pictures on my iPhone. Generally I use those pics for note-taking purposes, but I’ve been fumbling around with a new camera iPhone application that makes it a decent addition into my food photography arsenal.

The application is called Tap Tap Tap Camera+ and can be bought for a whopping 99 cents. Best 99 cents I’ve spent on an app so far. Check out some of the features.

Applying an FX Effect

Applying an FX Effect

Applying a FX effect and cropping

Applying a FX effect and cropping

If I have any complaints – you can only apply one “FX effect” per picture, and there is not a feature that records the history of the effects that you applied (this would be nice in case you want to apply the same effects to another picture). Otherwise, …

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A tradition unlike any other: The food of the Masters

Disclaimer: not taken in Augusta. Their grass is much nicer.

Disclaimer: Not taken in Augusta. Their grass is much nicer.

The list of reasons that I could rattle off as to why I’m lucky to be engaged to my fiancée is long, and might nauseate a few of you. However, none seems to sicken my friends more than the fact that she has Masters badges in her family, and that I usually get the opportunity to attend. This happened to be one of those years, and I headed down to Augusta this past Sunday.

Whenever a trip to The Masters comes my way, I’m usually beside myself for the days leading up to it. Of course, I’m excited about the golf, and Augusta National is a far more beautiful place in person than even the highest of high-def televisions could hope to do justice. But the thing that I spent the most time thinking about or talking about is how many sandwiches I’m going to take down.

The Masters is an event steeped in tradition, from the Par 3 contest to the iconic Green Jacket. But the tradition that I enjoy the most – not …

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Restaurant Inspections, Thanh Thanh

At the Forest Park Vietnamese restaurant Thanh Thanh, owner Tung Le helps his employees get past language barriers in order to do their jobs. English is not their primary language.

When he’s not there, some instructions get lost in interpretation.

That’s what happened during a routine health inspection April 4. Because employees didn’t understand some of the health code procedures, the restaurant at 4446 Jonesboro Road had its food inspection score drop almost 40 points. Thanh Thanh was given a failing score of 33 out of 100. Its previous score was a 72.

Le was not at the facility when the Clayton County Health inspector came that afternoon. His wife and another employee were in charge, and neither one speaks English very well, Le said.

The inspector pointed out several areas of employee miscommunication. “There were some things I should correct and some things I should teach my workers, like how to wash their hands the correct way,” Le said.

Points were taken off …

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2 Dog Restaurant dining review, Gainesville

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Do you want to be a restaurant critic? You’re in luck. You are.

Whether we realize it, we’re all critics evaluating restaurants with a mental checklist. We pay attention to cleanliness, atmosphere, service and, of course, the food. How are ingredients sourced? How appealing is the menu? How tasty and well executed is the food? We root for restaurants to succeed on all counts.

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

As with every eatery, it is with this silent resolve that I dine at 2 Dog Restaurant in Gainesville. After passing through a sea of cars bearing Hall County license plates, I enter the restaurant and find I can check “inviting atmosphere” off the list. The original brick fireplaces, wood floors and walls hand-decorated with wine corks arranged in square patterns exude charm. Located in the historic district, this former home built in 1888, often brings Gainesville residents with memories of the family that once lived there or playing there as children.

The yard is …

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Lunacy Black Market dining review, Atlanta

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We arrive at a moribund stretch of Mitchell Street in the shadow of the Georgia Dome one Sunday at 6 p.m. It is one of those storefront-filled downtown blocks that no one has tried to redevelop or bothered to tear down, and it evinces a certain urban charm if not outright vitality.

Review by John Kessler

Review by John Kessler

We find Lunacy Black Market tucked into this streetscape among Mariama Hair Braiding, Buddy’s Snack Bar and the Excellent Shoe Care Center. We find it packed.

“I’m so sorry,” says the waitress, whom I later learn is the chef’s wife. “We don’t have any spots now, and I’d hate to have you come back later because we’ll likely be sold out.”

Six o’clock. Sunday. Downtown. Sold out.

It seems that word is out about the Sunday special — $9.95 for an all-you-can-eat pasta and risotto feast. But more than that, word is out about the return of chef Paul Luna and his idiosyncratic new project.

You will discover great pleasure at Lunacy Black Market, but you must …

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The Cook’s Warehouse to open East Cobb location

Mary Moore at the newest The Cook's Warehouse location in East Cobb.  Courtesy of The Cook's Warehouse

Construction manager Tyler Fontaine, Mary Moore, and leasing agent Michael T. Mitcham at East Cobb location of The Cook's Warehouse, courtesy of The Cook's Warehouse

The Cook’s Warehouse announced today that it will open a fourth location in East Cobb — its first location outside the Perimeter.

The new location will join the three existing locations — Decatur, Brookhaven and Midtown — in selling gourmet cookware and appliances and in conducting an array of cooking classes. The store will feature a large display and demonstration kitchen, which will be built to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

Mary Moore, founder and owner of The Cook’s Warehouse, explains the new location, “For years, our customer base has driven into the city to shop for cookware, kitchen accessories and appliances and especially to learn in our cooking school. This new store will serve devoted customers of The Cook’s Warehouse as well as open our ‘Every Excuse to …

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Food flashback with nurungji

nurungji1Spoiler alert (if you haven’t seen Ratatouille):

Have you seen the movie Ratatouille? If so, do you remember that climactic moment when sardonic food critic Anton Ego takes his first bite of the protagonist’s dish of ratatouille, and then fond memories of Ego’s childhood come gushing back?

I had that flashback experience recently, but my moment was provoked by a wafer of nurungji from a rice dish at Buford Highway’s Woo Nam Jeong.

nurungji2Nurungji is the warm crackly layer of fried rice that sticks to the bottom of the Korean rice dishes (e.g. bibimbap) that have been heated in a dolsot (stone bowl). Some Korean restaurants offer bibimbap in regular serving bowls – you will not get nurungji this way. I munch on nurungji now, and all of a sudden I’m nine years old and eating my late Korean mother’s cooking.

Nurungji is achieved by preheating the dolsot, blanketing the bottom of the bowl with oil, and then heaping in a generous serving of rice, vegetables, meat and/or mushrooms, …

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House passes Sunday alcohol sales bill

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

Senate Bill 10, one of the most discussed and hotly debated measures to hit the General Assembly floor this session has finally been put to rest. Tonight at approximately 9:45 pm, the House passed SB-10, which allows for cities and county commissions to call for referendums on Sunday alcohol sales, passed 127-44.

But don’t expect to pick up a six pack at your local grocery store just yet. Now that SB-10 has passed, it is up to the local communities to decide if Sunday sales will actually be allowed. Only those counties and cities with elections in 2011 will have the chance to get the issue onto the ballot this year, those that don’t will have to wait until next year.

For a full recap, check out James Salzer’s article on AJC.com

– By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

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Flip Burger Boutique in Buckhead fails health inspection [UPDATE]

Flip BuckheadFlip Burger Boutique in Buckhead has failed its most recent health inspection with an unsatisfactory score of 69. It is one of two area branches of this restaurant, which features the cuisine of “Top Chef All-Stars” winner Richard Blais. According to the inspection report, violations included labeling and storage of chemicals, dented cans in the stockroom and failure to post the current inspection report at the entrance. There were no problems with food handling or holding temperatures. The restaurant’s previous score was 100.

[UPDATE] On a follow-up visit today, the restaurant received a score of 98. Eat your burgers in peace.

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