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Archive for October, 2011

Restaurant Inspections, Joe’s to Goes

Joe’s to Goes, which specializes in ribs, wings, burgers and more, fell below it previous A-B inspection marks.

An Oct. 24 food safety report for the Lawrenceville restaurant at 2585 Cruse Road, Suite B, cited new violations, such as handling ready-to-eat foods with bare hands, not labeling bottles filled with chemicals and lacking proper date markings for food items. The inspector noted that all were corrected during the inspection.

The list of infractions included one repeat violation that deals with temperature and time control for foods. The inspector noted that the facility is not using its own procedures for knowing when to discard items – such as cheese, sliced tomatoes and hamburger patties – that are placed under time control when they are removed from temperature control.

Regarding the repeated time and temperature control infraction, the inspector advised Joe’s to Goes that if it needs “help regarding this item, please call the office. If this item is …

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Decatur: Best emerging restaurant nabe?

Even during last winter's snowstorm, the restaurants were up and running (AJC Staff)

Even during last winter's snowstorm, the restaurants were up and running (AJC Staff)

This week’s Sunday column looked at some of the restaurants that are making Decatur (in my opinion) the city’s top new dining destination.

I’ve already heard from a number of people who thought I left some great restaurants out of the story.

Here are a couple of the emailed comments I’ve received. Any others you feel we neglected to mention? And if you know the Decatur dining choices, do you agree that the food scene in this near-in suburb has really come of age?

  • “I have dined at [Cafe] Alsace for years and it is 4+ stars hands down; I find everything to be prepared with finesse and served gracefully. Likewise, Java Monkey is surely a core dining establishment which has added vibrancy thru its poetry slams, readings and wine tastings. I found these omissions to be an insult to their respective owners. (Oh yeah, why no mention of Sawickis? For about 5 years they’ve been selling very high …

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Alex Guarnaschelli on competing to be the next Iron Chef

Alex Guarnaschelli, courtesy of Food Network

Alex Guarnaschelli, courtesy of Food Network

This Sunday, the battle for “The Next Iron Chef” begins. Ten “super chefs” will compete on this eight-episode series to join Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Masaharu Morimoto and Marc Forgione on the Iron Chef America team.

The show, in its fourth season, will be hosted by Alton Brown. The ten chefs competing are names you’ll recognize. They include Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Faulkner, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Spike Mendelsohn, Marcus Samuelsson and Geoffrey Zakarian

I spoke with Alex Guarnaschelli, judge on “Chopped” and executive chef at Butter Restaurant in New York City, about her participation on the show.

What made you decide to compete on “The Next Iron Chef?”

I’ve been a judge on “Chopped” and I’ve loved “Iron Chef” all through my career. It seemed like a logical thing.

Did you do anything to prepare for the show?

I cooked a lot. I’m always …

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Favorite fall foods: Maple bacon butternut squash soup

DSCN0063While it may not the be most sophisticated dish, and is probably a little overplayed, as soon as the air gets chilly and leaves start to turn I get a hankering for Butternut Squash soup. More specifically, I get the hankering to make it at home.

Few soups – or any kind of dish for that matter – warm my belly like a piping hot bowl of sweet butternut squash soup. My version has evolved over the last few years, as I keep trying other recipes and stealing the bits that I really liked and adding to my own.

For those that feel like taking advantage of the bounty of squash in the produce section right now, I’ve posted the most recent incarnationof my recipe that I made for some friends a few weeks back.

What about you? What dish does the looming cold weather make you crave?

Maple bacon butternut squash soup

2lbs butternut squash, peeled seeded and chopped into 2 inch cubes

6 slices of thick bacon

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 shallot, minced

1 sweet onion, diced

1/2 cup small …

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Restaurant Inspections, Wings & BBQ

People in charge at Wings & BBQ in Smyrna agreed to voluntarily close the restaurant during a recent follow-up examination, according to the food safety inspection report.

Although the eatery at 2331 Cobb Parkway SE received a 91 (A), it still had to temporarily shut down until a sewage leak was fixed.

According to the Oct. 18 inspection report: “While demonstrating the dishwashing procedure, as the water was running in the … sink, the grease trap overflowed and sewage spilled onto the floor.”

The leak was repaired to standards, and the restaurant was allowed to reopen, an addendum report showed. The manager declined to comment.

During the routine exam weeks before, Wings & BBQ was cited for temperature control risks, improper storage issues and substandard dishwashing methods.

The inspector noted that “the PIC (person in charge) was not able to properly demonstrate the method for manual dishwashing, which showed that dishes are not being sanitized.”

Other …

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British foodie movie Toast debuts in Atlanta tomorrow

image001The British TV movie Toast, based on the memoir by British food writer and cookbook author Nigel Slater, comes to the big screen in Atlanta tomorrow at the Midtown Art Cinema.

Making its debut in U.S. theaters this Fall, Toast details a string of Slater’s childhood memories, many relating to food. The film takes its name from the singular dish his mother could make without fail. And it was this dish his family ate regularly when her boiled-in-the-can dinners backfired.

This artfully filmed movie focuses heavily on Slater’s relationship with his parents, surprisingly transforming this foodie movie into something of a tearjerker. As the boy in the film grows into a teenager, his passion for food intensifies and serves as his escape from an unhappy family life.

Though his pleas to make cakes and pies and his attempts at making “exotic food” (spaghetti Bolognese) are met with parental resistance, Slater is undeterred. He moves from secretly salivating over cookbooks at …

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Ten Bistro restaurant review, Norcross

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A wooden sign on the wall reads “Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”

Lyrics by the Fab Four seem most fitting for Ten Bistro, a healthful neighborhood joint seeking to bring the community together. Nestled in a Peachtree Corners strip mall a mere two miles from the Atlanta Athletic Club, the subtle counterculture vibe here comes as a welcome surprise.

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

Ten Bistro sources local and organic produce, dairy, eggs and grass-fed meats. The restaurant boasts a state-of-the-art water filtration system and buys organic fair-trade coffee. Vegetarian and gluten-free options? Check. When asked about the number of gluten-free dishes, owner Jesse Kauffman explained that after developing the gluten-free rice-pasta fettuccine, they noticed that many other menu items were also gluten free and “realized that [they] just tend to cook that way.”

Ten Bistro created a handsome gathering pad for locals, complete with a familiar …

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Best 10-Second Dessert

Nutella and Russian wafer sheets, which are available at the Buford Highway Farmers Market.

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Chatting with John Koechlin from Decatur’s Las Brasas

Las Brasas owner John Koechlin

Las Brasas owner John Koechlin

Since I started this new format (no star ratings), it has been a learning experience and one that I want to maximize for readers. Some of the proprietors at places I have profiled have been forthcoming and conversational, but others can be challenging to extract information from (even with a prepared list of questions) largely due to language barriers.

Last week’s story about Decatur’s Las Brasas is one I will view as a benchmark for the written story. Photography-wise, this was a tough subject. The tiny kitchen doesn’t have a lot of natural light pouring in, and it was extremely tough to get a good shot of the chickens roasting in the rotombo (roaster) when smoke was wafting all around. (All that smoke makes your shots look blue and hazy.)

But what it lacked in photographic opportunities, owner John Koechlin made up in stories. I loved talking to Koechlin, and he certainly leads an interesting life. He is a proud Peruvian with German …

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LeRoy’s Fried Chicken closes

LeRoy's Fried Chicken

LeRoy's Fried Chicken

Bill Addison of Atlanta magazine reported this morning that LeRoy’s Fried Chicken has closed. This chicken stand serving Springer Mountain chicken fried in lard and classic Southern sides opened this past summer on the Westside. It was a joint venture between chef Julia LeRoy, Clay Harper and Mike Nelson (the latter two are owners of Fellini’s Pizza and La Fonda Latina).

Was it the use of lard? The overly thick batter? Prices? Parking? Limited seating? We’ll never know.

Although I only tried LeRoy’s once in its first few weeks, I’d heard multiple reports recently that some of the initial kinks had been resolved, resulting in a better product.

Calls to LeRoy’s are unanswered this morning and no announcement has been posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, but Bill Addison has spoken directly with Julia LeRoy.

I can’t wait to see where chef LeRoy surfaces next.

-by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

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