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Archive for July, 2011

Watershed Restaurant to close Decatur location, reopen another

courtesy of

courtesy of

Watershed Restaurant announced today that it will be closing its current location after dinner next Saturday, Aug. 6th. The restaurant is relocating to an undisclosed location but the email sent to customers makes it sound as though it will no longer be in Decatur. It seems that Watershed is trying to reinvent itself, even using the phrase “the ‘new’ Watershed” in the announcement. The new location is slated to open by the end of the year.

Here are excerpts from the email announcement:

The new location (to be announced) will combine a fine dining experience with a casual and comfortable atmosphere. The “new” Watershed will continue to serve the outstanding southern-inspired cuisine it has become famous for, including the award winning Southern Fried Chicken and Sunday Brunch. The restaurant design will offer guests a vibrant bar, spacious dining room, large outdoor patio, and ample parking. It will also include a private dining …

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Grinding your own burgers

photo-1“I had my doubts, but I have to say…this really was a revelatory meal for me. I need to buy a grinder.” – Brandon W., guest at my house last weekend.

Brandon and I both learned a good lesson last weekend. Though I’ve known better for a while – an argument that could be made for many of the things that I do – I have re-discovered the difference that it makes when you grind your own meat.

A few months ago, I received some mail from my Grandmother-in-law containing a cut out article from The Wall Street Journal including the recipe for Holeman & Finch’s 10 p.m. burger. Though my kitchen has been pretty well stocked with rarely used gadgets for years, it was only after the recent deluge of wedding gifts that I actually got my hands on a grinder. Thankfully, I hung onto the recipe and finally decided to try it out.

Much like many of the recipes that I use, I went completely off-book. Granted, some of this was intentional, and some was oversight. Though I didn’t …

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Richard Blais on his cookbook deal and more ‘Top Chef’ cookbook news

Credit: Concentrics Restaurants

Credit: Concentrics Restaurants

Atlanta has been well represented on Bravo TV’s Top Chef shows. Now three of our own Top Chef stars — Richard Blais, Hugh Acheson and Kevin Gillespie — are capitalizing on their national exposure with cookbooks.

Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais announced his cookbook deal on his Facebook page last week. He wrote, “BIG NEWS, as promised!! I’m so excited for you all to see this book…” The book deal is with Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House, Inc. and is scheduled to be released in November 2012.

According to a press release, the book “will feature Blais’s signature style—a creative and often quirky approach to cooking and food.” I had a chance to speak with Richard about his cookbook and asked him about the “quirky” label. He tells me the use of the word is a move away from the “mad scientist or crazy chef” terminology. To him, quirky means doing “something unique and somewhat …

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Street vendors’ lawsuit against Atlanta could impact food trucks

IMG_1291The Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta this morning on behalf of clients Larry Miller and Stanley Hambrick for what they believe is the city’s violation of Miller and Hambrick’s constitutional right to earn a living by handing over all public vending to a single company. Ernie Suggs of the AJC reported on the story following this morning’s press conference announcing the suit.

In 2009, the city of Atlanta awarded a contract for the management of all public property vending to General Growth, a multi-billion dollar shopping mall operator that owns Cumberland, Perimeter, and North Point malls to name a few. The contract allows GGP to build kiosks specifically designated for street vending on public property, which is then leased out to potential vendors. The lawsuit claims that this is not only a monopoly, but that it interferes with entrepreneurs’ ability to conduct successful businesses.

Though the vendors in this particular lawsuit operate …

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Restaurant inspections, Lawrenceville’s American Deli

If you’re in the mood for comfort food from a delicatessen, chances are there’s an American Deli near you. The ubiquitous sandwich shops are everywhere, especially in the ‘burbs. Just make sure the one you frequent is clean.

In Gwinnett County, the American Deli at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville, was given a failing score of 66 out of 100 on a routine health inspection because employees were too careless in keeping their hands and kitchen supplies clean.

The inspector observed one employee with gloves on handling raw chicken then touching some bread with the same gloves. The bread was thrown away. Other points were taken off because employees were putting on their gloves without first washing their hands.

The restaurant also was flagged for not cleaning utensils and other equipment. A slicer was put away dirty. Serving utensils were stored unclean. A fly swatter had been placed on top of a stack of clean trays, according to the inspection report.

Among other code …

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Victory Sandwich Bar restaurant review, Atlanta



The Great Recession has given Atlanta foodies plenty to lament. As many of us tighten our purse strings, the first restaurants to feel the pinch are understandably on the higher end of the spectrum, and we have witnessed the near disappearance of fine dining in Atlanta.

Review by Jon Watson

Review by Jon Watson

But there is a silver lining in all of this: While there may be fewer white tablecloths in town, we haven’t stopped eating out, and restaurateurs have to be more creative to compete for our everyday dining dollar.

One such byproduct of the new economy is Victory Sandwich Bar, tucked away on a side street in the heart of Inman Park. One part deli and one part pub, with a healthy dash of hipster, Victory offers something that few other restaurants in town can — a place to get affordable, creative sandwiches and a full bar serving up an impressive collection of cocktails.

Going for the retro-industrial look, the inside consists of plywood tables and steel park benches, walls of painted …

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In the news: Botekim Brazilian Bistro opens in Marietta, Cafe Agora to open second location

Botekim Brazilian Bistro, dubbing itself a “non-churrascaria” and owned and operated by natives of Rio de Janeiro, has opened in Marietta. The restaurant offers traditional Brazilian dishes and is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturdays. Starting in August, the restaurant will offer Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lunch 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., dinner 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sundays starting in August), 1410 Terrell Mill Road, Marietta. 678-402-7584.

Website What Now Atlanta has posted that popular Mediterranean eatery Cafe Agora is opening a second midtown location at 990 Peachtree Street. The original Buckhead location off E. Paces Ferry stays open nightly on weekends until 4 a.m. A call to the restaurant confirms the plans for the second location but no further details other than the menu will be the same.

In other news:

Website Georgia Asian Times has reported that Duluth Asian creperie EeRecipe is now open. The restaurant specializes …

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Teppanyaki, wrong or delicious?


Teppanyaki, the showboating by-product of Japanese cuisine, either infuriates or entices diners. Teppanyaki generally caters more to Western tastes such as loose white rice heavily flavored with garlic butter, soy sauce and fried with egg right on the griddle. Meats, chicken and seafood are liberally salted and quickly fried. And an onion exploited right in front of your eyes to simulate a volcano gushing smoke and fire. It may be the “non-Japanese” of this all that does not sit well with some. To add to this, I think the last time I actually saw a teppanyaki chef of Japanese descent was in the 1980’s.

I could expand this topic to other dishes or dining styles that have evolved, and in some cases devolved (sushi comes to mind), but let me just stay on point with teppanyaki. Personally, I don’t need the exhibition of twirling, tapping, egg-flipping and volcano-producing, but I would be lying if a part of me was not dazzled by it. And if I’m sitting there with a bunch of …

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Where is this?


Have you seen this mural? If so, what restaurant does it belong to?

I do have a confession to make. I altered the photo a bit to hide a huge hint that was printed on the chalkboard menu. I’m curious to see if you can guess the place on the artwork alone.

Chime in and I will post an update later on.



Some solid guesses but before it gets too late in the day I’ll pull back the curtain. The restaurant is Le Triskell (written about in the Creative Loafing last year) and specializes in crêpes of the sweet and savory variety. Le Triskell also offers sandwiches, salads and sparkling imported fruit-based sodas.

Pictured to the left is the restaurant’s galette complète — a crêpe made with buckwheat flour and filled with ham, egg and cheese.

Le Triskell, 3833 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-814-8208.

- by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

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Chicken and the Egg to open in Marietta and more restaurant news

Chicken and the EggStarting next Monday, August 1, Marietta will have a new neighborhood spot to call their own with the opening of Chicken and the Egg. The restaurant, by Marc Taft, former general manager of Pacci Ristorante, will serve what it calls “American farmstead fare” and will focus on sourcing seasonal local ingredients. Here are excerpts from the press release:

The restaurant’s name represents the cycle of life and the importance of sustainability, as well as the impact humans leave on this planet.

“Food is an integral part of the hospitality that is celebrated in the South, and I want Chicken and the Egg to be a place where guests have a sense of belonging, a place that is comfortable, familiar and takes them back to a simpler time,” says Taft. “We want to become familiar faces to the West Cobb community, and we want our patrons to feel like family.”

The menu at Chicken and the Egg features innovative twists on classic American dishes. The cuisine will incorporate …

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