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Archive for October, 2011

Thai brunch

Have any of you tried Thaicoon & Sushi Bar’s (Emory location) Sunday brunch/lunch Thai menu? The first time I sampled this was almost 15 years ago and went with a beef rice noodle bowl doused with a cascade of chile pepper that a server will bring you upon request. (Blogger EatBufordHighway paid a visit earlier in the year, and his recap is worth taking a look.)

Left: Rice noodle soup with minced pork & spinach; Right: Thai dumplings

Left: Rice noodle soup with minced pork & spinach; Right: Thai dumplings

My wife and I went a couple of Sundays ago and sampled the rice noodle bowl with minced pork, spinach, pork meatballs and fish cakes. We also shared some bulky, fried Thai dumplings stuffed to the brim with pork and paired with a sweet chile dipping sauce. The porky noodle bowl sitting in lukewarm broth is nothing special, but I enjoyed it a whole lot more after jazzing it up with chiles.

Crispy pork with kale on rice

Crispy pork with kale on rice

We also ordered the crispy pork and kale dish consisting of chewy chunks of fried pork belly sauteed with kale and topped over …

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Live blogging: making Swiss rösti


Over the weekend I stumbled upon this recipe for the “perfect rösti” by Felicity Cloake. Rösti is a fried potato dish Swiss in origin, but variations exist elsewhere and can also be compared to hash browns. Ms. Cloake poured herself into the process and surfaced with a rösti recipe that matched her tastes.

This past weekend, I skimmed over the author’s recipe and jumped into making my own version. But as of last night, my kitchen was still top-heavy with potatoes so I thought I would give the recipe another try — while simultaneously scribing this post.

So here I go.

5:06 p.m – Washing my skin-on waxy (medium red and white) potatoes.

5:08 p.m. – My pot of water is boiling, and I drop the potatoes in it for six minutes total boiling time.

5:10 p.m. – I’m getting dizzy from all the heated reader comments from Ms. Cloake’s rösti post. She originally thought it was pronounced row-sti, but now believes it is reursh-ti. However, one adamant reader insists it’s ri-sch-tee. I’ll just …

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Win a year’s worth of Cheesy Bacon Bowls!

baconbowlI know it’s completely lame to cut and paste a press release right onto a blog, but my jaw dropped when I read this missive today from KFC:

“The world’s largest chicken restaurant chain will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the introduction of its Famous Bowls with the addition of a sizzling sixth layer – bacon! The new Cheesy Bacon Bowls feature a generous serving of creamy mashed potatoes, layered with sweet kernel corn and loaded with bite-sized pieces of crispy Popcorn Chicken. The entire bowl is drizzled with signature home-style gravy and topped off with a shredded three-cheese blend – and now, a layer of crispy bacon.

To celebrate, we’re awarding one KFC consumer a year’s worth of Cheesy Bacon Bowls…”

And all you have to do is eat 14 of them with your hands tied behind your back!

No, seriously, to win the contest you’ve got to fit the entire contents of a Cheesy Bacon Bowl between the two deep-fried halves of a Double Down and then eat the whole thing like a Dagwood …

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C is for Carrot: That’s all there is for lunch

carrotjuiceToday marks the last day of a week-long cleanse I’ve decided to put myself on, which is why I haven’t been popping into this blog with pictures of chicken or cake.

Or cocktails.

Or fried potatoes.

Or pork tamales smothered in red sauce and cheese.

Or coffee. Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee….

Sorry about that. Been prone to such reveries lately.

So my cleanse consists of two days of vegan raw food, three days of juice and tea made from Asian botanicals, and a final two days of raw food. My motivation was to cut out caffeine and alcohol for a week and maybe do penance for the self-indulgence that comes along with this job. Hopefully, I’ll lose a little weight in the process.

I’ll tell y’all more about it when I’m comp0s mentis. Now off to my herbal infusion and raw kale salad.

Has anyone out there done this? Any words of encouragement for the last day?

- By John Kessler for the Food & More blog

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Roswell family wins milkshake contest

courtesy of Dean Foods

courtesy of Dean Foods

Want one last taste of summer? Toast the end of summer with a milkshake — an award-winning whoopie pie-inspired milkshake developed by a Roswell family.

Over the summer, Mayfield Dairy® held its second annual Below Zero Hero™ milkshake recipe contest. The Guziel family in Roswell learned about the contest in Atlanta Parent Magazine and declared it their summer project. After a weekend of brainstorming flavors, Paul Guziel took daughters Maggie, 11, and Kelsey, 9, shopping for ingredients.

Paul says “I can only imagine what other people thought,” admitting he felt the judging eyes of other shoppers as his daughters piled the cart with ice creams, toppings and mix-ins. But that didn’t stop them from creating a milkshake lab in their home for a chance at the $10,000 top prize.

After scouring the rules, mom Ellen Guziel realized that could only submit one recipe per adult per week. They had to pare down. Their list contained about 50 recipes for milkshake …

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Restaurant Inspections

Georgia’s food safety rules and regulations serve as guidelines to hold restaurants to protective standards. They also help keep patrons informed of ratings, requiring eateries to post their latest inspection reports where consumers can see them.

“Food service establishments are required to post the most current inspection report within fifteen feet (15’) of the front or primary door and between five feet (5’) and seven feet (7’) from the floor and in an area where it can be read at a distance of one foot (1’) away,” according to guidelines. (For governing rules, visit

Recently an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reader, Everett Smith of Canton, inquired about the posting of a report for Mr. Taco, 893 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell.

“We have visited the below restaurant several times over the last 5 months and have yet to see their posted health score. I thought it was supposed to be posted where consumers can see it?” …

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Halloween festivities at Atlanta restaurants

Where will you celebrate Halloween?

Where will you celebrate Halloween?

Think Halloween is just for the kiddos? Think again. Restaurants in the ATL are gearing up for Halloween with a whole host of specials and parties for adults, kids and even your four-legged pals. Here is just a sampling of those events…

Go for drinks:

  • Start with a toast to the spirits at Briza. On Oct. 26-31, Briza will offer a variety of Halloween cocktails such as the Poisoned Appletini and the Cyclops Sakétini.
  • If you don a costume on Halloween night, you’ll be treated to a complimentary small plate to accompany the half-priced bottles of Bad Impersonator wine at Cellar 56 (56 East Andrews Drive, Atlanta. ).
  • Cibo e Beve will have both food and drink specials on Oct. 31. Mixologist Justin Hadaway will whip up cocktails such as Satan’s Whiskers and the Corpse Reviver. Chef Linda Harrell also has a few tricks up her sleeve for the evening with her Halloween-inspired menu. Try the vampire’s kiss (crispy sweetbreads, smoked potato puree and …

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The hard stuff arrives at H&F Bottle Shop

Credit: H&F Bottle Shop

Credit: H&F Bottle Shop

So, it looks like my “Where am I”? post from yesterday was a little easier to figure out than I’d hoped. Most of you quickly realized that I’d snapped that photo from H&F Bottle Shop in Buckhead. The guessing game was less important that the content of the photograph however, as it confirms that the booze – and the most important part as far as I’m concerned, the bourbon – has arrived at the boutique package store.

A little over 2 weeks ago, word quickly spread after an excited post from H&F’s Bottle Shop’s Facebook page that “Prohibition ends at last!” After 6 months of carrying a wine-only inventory, their liquor license had been approved and the hard stuff was finally on its way. This isn’t new news, but since the liquor wasn’t actually in stock yet, I wanted to check things out once the change was actually in place.

Why is that a big deal? Well, let’s be honest here. The primary reason anyone got excited about the new bottle shop from the team …

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Where am I?


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Rathbun’s restaurant review, Atlanta



Rathbun’s is, of course, packed. My wife and I decide to stop by around 6:30 on a Thursday evening as boisterous groups file past us and up the loading-dock entrance. Parties of six here and eight there, lavish birthday celebrations and swarms of hungry-looking business dudes raring to throw down some big California cabernets on their expense accounts.

Review by John Kessler

Review by John Kessler

We make it to the hostess stand, but don’t even set foot in the dim, noisy dining room. Instead we find ourselves ushered out to the patio with its burbling water feature and corrugated roof, the only part of the Inman Park restaurant that can accommodate walk-in customers on busy nights. That’s just fine by us on a balmy fall evening with our teenagers safely at home. We can talk.

“Wow, it’s been years,” my wife realizes with a start. We used to come here every few months, usually with another couple for one of those evenings of passing plates around the table, ordering another bottle of wine, …

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