City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for May, 2011

Make your own barbecue sauce? Enter a contest at D.B.A. Barbecue

courtesy of D.B.A. Barbecue

courtesy of D.B.A. Barbecue

Do you make your own barbecue sauce?

If you’re a barbecue fan and you have a killer sauce recipe, you have a chance to win bragging rights and 15 minutes of fame. D.B.A. Barbecue is hosting a sauce contest on May 28 (3-5 p.m.). A panel of judges will choose a winner and diners will select a “people’s choice” winner. The winning sauce will be available at the restaurant during the month of June.

Interested? You’ll have to get on the ball because the entry deadline is tomorrow (May 26). To enter or for additional information, email: Only 20 entries will be accepted. Contestants will need to supply a minimum of four quarts of sauce, the recipe and a sample to the restaurant by noon on May 28. The sauce must use a ketchup base.

Even if you don’t enter, you can attend the contest and weigh-in on the people’s choice winner. What better way to celebrate National Barbecue Month?

Do you have a good sauce recipe? Is it ketchup based?

3-5 …

Continue reading Make your own barbecue sauce? Enter a contest at D.B.A. Barbecue »

Visits to El Señor Taco, Shoya Izakaya, and {three} sheets

El Señor Taco

El Señor Taco (pictures by Gene Lee)

El Señor Taco arrived to the Buford Highway dining scene late last year serving the infamous Baja California fish tacos. The restaurant doesn’t just serve fish tacos. Diners can order ones stuffed with chicken, cabeza (head or cheek meat) and lengua (tongue). Additionally, they can choose from a selection of ceviche-like seafood cocktails and menudo, a traditional Mexican soup (not the boy band).

The restaurant’s menu is posted above the cashier counter where taco, enchilada and tostada platters are paired with rice and beans and run less than $10. Recently, I stopped in to sample one of the fish tacos the Internet foodie-sphere has been raving about since El Señor Taco opened.

I got the two taco platter with fish and cabeza tacos, and admittedly I enjoyed the salty, tender cabeza much more. The fish taco is topped with curtido (slaw made with cabbage) and it was emitting an off-putting odor that resembled boiled tripe. Now, being Korean I …

Continue reading Visits to El Señor Taco, Shoya Izakaya, and {three} sheets »

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival shines light on Southern food

SweetWater Brewing Company pours beer inside the tasting tents (photos by Hyosub Shin)

SweetWater Brewing Company pours beer inside the tasting tents (photos by Hyosub Shin)

It was too expensive. $500 for three days? Who’s going to pay that?

It was too commercial. Whoever was running this thing was just trying to make a buck off gullible schmoes with too much disposable income.

It was too elitist. All these fancy chefs and fatuous foodies swanning about Midtown talking up wine and truffles. Would this event relate in any way to real people and the way they like to eat?


As is our wont, Atlantans were ready to rip the inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival before it had kicked off on Thursday night. There’s a narrative about Atlanta that too many of us buy into — namely that our talent doesn’t match our ambition.

But then the festival took place, and it was kind of magical. The streets of Midtown and the 14-floor conference rooms at the Loews hotel were filled with visitors and locals alike who were as giddy from the excellence of the programming as they were …

Continue reading Atlanta Food & Wine Festival shines light on Southern food »

Atlanta chefs tapped for Food Network shows: two coming up on ‘Chopped’

Tom McEachern, Ray's on the River

Tom McEachern, Ray's on the River

Both this week and next, Atlanta chefs will appear on Food Network’s “Chopped,” a competitive cooking show requiring contestants to use unusual combinations of ingredients hidden in mystery baskets. Our culinary pros are receiving a great deal of national attention these days.

Food Network, in particular, has tapped into the city’s talent. Sugar artist Karen Portaleo and cake artist Joshua John Russell, both from Highland Bakery, are repeat competitors on the network’s cake challenges. Cake decorator Ashley Vicos of Sweet Ashley’s secured a spot on “Have Cake Will Travel.” And Nick Melvin of Rosebud went head-to-head with Bobby Flay on “Throwdown.” The list goes on…

Like South City Kitchen sous chef Jeffrey Gardner, two more Atlanta chefs will compete for ten thousand dollars on upcoming episodes of “Chopped.” I quizzed both contenders about their experience on the show.

Tonight’s episode entitled “Have a Heart” (10 p.m.) will feature Justin …

Continue reading Atlanta chefs tapped for Food Network shows: two coming up on ‘Chopped’ »

Restaurant Inspections, Rice Box

Rice Box, a Midtown Chinese takeout, failed another restaurant health inspection, its third failure in the past two months.

The May 17 Fulton County inspection was prompted by a customer complaint and the facility at 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, was given a failing score of 59 out of 100.

There were various health code violations of properly storing food and other items. Utensils were being held in tepid water. Various chicken products were left on the counter.

Food also was being kept in open cans, and some was stored in used cardboard boxes that once held raw chicken, according to the inspection report. The restaurant was told to get rid of permanent cardboard storage and not to store food in old containers.

Among other violations, the employee hand sink was blocked with egg crates and other items, and not all the food prep employees were wearing head covers.

Rice Box has had problems passing routine inspections and those prompted by a complaint. On March 16 the restaurant was …

Continue reading Restaurant Inspections, Rice Box »

Proverb from Atlanta resident Will Spiers selected in Domino’s Pizza contest

(image used with permission)

(image used with permission)

Domino’s Pizza recently ran a contest in search of “proverbs” related to its pizza product line. Around 8,000 entries were received and only eight submissions were chosen. Local resident Will Spiers was one of the selected whose proverb “The darkest hour is before the doorbell rings” will feature on Domino’s pizza boxes across nearly 5,000 stores nationwide.

Spiers received a personalized pizza box with his proverb printed on it, a $50 Domino’s Pizza gift card, and a congratulatory letter from Russell Weiner, Domino’s Pizza chief marketing officer.

Spiers is originally from Chicago and has two children and two grandchildren.

Here is the press release:

ATLANTA, Ga., May 9, 2011 – Domino’s Pizza, the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, is giving Atlanta resident Will Spiers more than 15 minutes of fame. Beginning in May, Domino’s will deliver pizzas across America inside boxes featuring eight winning customer-submitted “pizza proverbs” – …

Continue reading Proverb from Atlanta resident Will Spiers selected in Domino’s Pizza contest »

Go to bed hungry; eat in your dreams

Nutella: much better on a crepe than a pine cone (AJC Staff)

Nutella: much better on a crepe than a pine cone (AJC Staff)

I took one small, fragrant pine cone, no longer than 2 inches, rolled it between my fingers to make sure it was clean, and proceeded to spread a thick layer of Nutella all over it. I used the knife to push as much of the chocolate spread as I could into every crevice.

Then I popped the whole thing into my mouth, reveling in the marriage of flavors and spitting out the pieces of pine cone as I chewed on this brutally tough but delicious object. Others need to try this, I thought, giddily frosting more pine cones and calling friends who seemed to be magically waiting on the sidelines.

Other strange food dreams came and went through the night, which was to be expected. I had had a busy few days and was so exhausted that I went to bed without eating any dinner.

What surprised me, however, was that I woke up without feeling ravenously hungry. Oh, I ate an ample breakfast, but it wasn’t as if I had to run downstairs and …

Continue reading Go to bed hungry; eat in your dreams »

Riccardo Ullio expects to open Escorpion next week

Chef and restaurateur Riccardo Ullio expects to open his newest restaurant, Escorpion, next week. Escorpion will join Sotto Sotto and Fritti as the third restaurant in the U Restaurants group.

A Mexican tequila bar and cantina, Escorpion will sit on the corner of 5th and Peachtree Streets in Midtown. It will serve both lunch and dinner, drawing upon ingredients and dishes of Mexico. The interior is said to resemble a rustic Mexican saloon and will feature a 14-seat “scorpion” table with cow’s hide seating.

Below are excerpts from the press release:

Escorpion’s kitchen is led by executive chef Edgar Cruz, a seasoned culinary expert most recently posted at Fifth Group Restaurants, Aquanox and Restaurant Eugene, as well as stints at Gramercy Tavern and award-winning French restaurant Daniel in New York. Cruz combines his refined efforts with sous chef Maria Palma, an Acapulco native who brings to Escorpion’s kitchen years of cooking experience and a larder of family recipes, …

Continue reading Riccardo Ullio expects to open Escorpion next week »

Will sweet potato fries soon be on fast food menus?

Chick-fil-A's sweet potato waffles fries, used with permission

Chick-fil-A's sweet potato waffle fries, used with permission

Rumors are swirling. Who will be the first fast food restaurant to offer sweet potato fries?

“It is one of our most requested items after the spicy chicken sandwich and the milkshakes,” says Mark Baldwin, Senior Public Relations Consultant for Chick-fil-A. “We try to answer all customer requests.”

Twitter exploded with comments last week as Chick-fil-A gave away free samples of sweet potato waffle fries — in Athens. Some comments questioned why Athens was chosen as the test market instead of Atlanta, which is home to Chick-fil-A’s headquarters.

According to Baldwin, Athens, Memphis, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia were selected as test cities because there are fewer stores (there are over 130 in Atlanta) and have representations of each of their concepts: mall restaurant, drive-through only and the traditional stand-alone store.

Baldwin emphasizes that it is very early in the testing process. Chick-fil-A is only …

Continue reading Will sweet potato fries soon be on fast food menus? »

Atlanta chef featured on Chopped


Credit: Food Network

Fans of the Food Network’s Chopped should get ready to root for a hometown contender. Justin Burdett, the chef de cuisine at Miller Union, faces off in next week’s episode, airing on May 24th. Press release below:

Tune in to watch Miller Union chef de cuisine Justin Burdett next Tuesday, May 24 at 10 p.m. Eastern-time on Food Network’s ultimate cooking challenge and prime-time series, CHOPPED! Burdett will go knife-to-fork against three competing rising chefs, where they’ll fight to survive the Chopping Block before a panel of expert judges. Burdett and his opposition will have 30 minutes to cook an extraordinary three-course meal using a basket of mystery ingredients.

Help the Miller Union family cheer on Burdett next Tuesday – only one chef will make the cut!

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

Continue reading Atlanta chef featured on Chopped »