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Southern Living shows Atlanta some love: 3 top bakeries and a recipe from Hugh Acheson

courtesy of Southern Living

courtesy of Southern Living

Atlanta fares well in the January issue of Southern Living magazine. Decatur was named among the top ten “tastiest towns” in the South and it doesn’t stop there. The magazine also features three Atlanta bakeries in a round-up of best ones in the South and a recipe from Empire State South’s Hugh Acheson.

To find the best bakeries in the region, Southern Living sent Bill Addison from Atlanta Magazine all across the Southern states to find the best cakes, cookies, breads, pastries and pies. While Atlanta didn’t have any mentions in the cookie category, our shops made the top five in the other three.

Alpine Bakery & Trattoria in Alpharetta earns recognition for its stellar cakes, “Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but Alpine’s ginormous masterpieces deliver on quality.” The article puts money on the Million Dollar cake. Mine is on the red velvet cake here, the one that ranked number one of my list of best red velvet cakes in Atlanta on Best of the Big A.

It should come as no surprise that H&F Bread Co., part of Linton Hopkins’ growing empire, holds its own in the bread and pastries category. Southern Living notes, “H&F brings a distinctly Southern lilt to baking, topping focaccia with peaches and elevating glazed fried apple pies into dulcet handheld delicacies.” Southern Living’s don’t-miss item here is the “Southern sandwich bread, the ideal base for the bakery’s pimento cheese.”

Atlanta also receives top marks for pie with Buckhead’s Pie Shop. Having only opened this charming little pie stop last summer, 28-year-old Mims Bledsoe made quick work of winning the hearts — and taste buds – of Atlantans. Southern Living says they love it because, “On Fridays and Saturdays, the shop keeps longer hours for ‘late-night pie.’ As people leisurely show up, the place takes on the air of an in-the-know soiree.” The suggested pie here is the coconut cream pie. My next order will be the German chocolate pie.

Hugh Acheson also represents Atlanta in the January issue of Southern Living with his Southern mac and cheese recipe. The magazine asked 10 celebrated Southern chefs to create new versions of homestyle Southern classics such as meatloaf, shrimp and grits and chicken-fried steak.

Hugh describes his mac and cheese,

This recipe’s roots are classically Southern with the hearty addition of leeks and bacon. I also like to use Canadian cheddar, which reminds me of my childhood growing up outside of Ottawa. That’s a key element to comfort food — it has that resonating chord in your history. The dish, like me, is a lot of Canada happily enmeshed in the South.

Try the recipe at home or at Empire State South. The mac and cheese will be on the menu at the restaurant tomorrow, Jan. 14. Just ask for Hugh’s mac and cheese.

And, by the way, it isn’t too late to vote for Decatur as the “tastiest town.” As of this morning, it was in eighth place. Voting runs through Jan. 31.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

20 comments Add your comment

1164mgc

January 13th, 2012
12:46 pm

All that bacon in Hugh’s “mac and cheese” – I’m not doubting that it’s good, but it is NOT mac and cheese when you add bacon, onions (leeks) or whatever. It’s a CASSEROLE. The cover of the magazine also shows a CASSEROLE of pasta (macaroni) and cheese and chicken. Call it what it is!

Sarah

January 13th, 2012
1:39 pm

I have voted for Decatur several times, but can you comment on Baltimore’s inclusion? How is Baltimore considered to be in the South? And how has no one called this out! Please help me figure this out…is it all in the name of selling magazines?

jack trent

January 13th, 2012
1:53 pm

they have PR companies that feed them bs

Muffin

January 13th, 2012
2:00 pm

Maryland is considered part of the South because it is below the Mason Dixon line.

Sarah

January 13th, 2012
2:12 pm

That’s wild. It is south of the Mason Dixon, but sure doesn’t feel like part of the South.

George

January 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

Maryland is as much a part of the south as my goldfish is a part of my family. Anything North of North Carolina is no longer in the south. The tell tale sign…. green beans. Not to say there aren’t places that serve Yankee beans down here but Yankee beans become predominant anywhere north of NC.

oh please

January 13th, 2012
3:41 pm

I bet 1164mgc is also one of those obnoxious people who calls deep dish pizza a casserole too. God forbid anyone add things to a dish to give it their own unique spin.

LindaK

January 14th, 2012
10:10 am

Well, others can call it a casserole, but I think it sounds YUM and I hope to make it soon.

Edward

January 14th, 2012
10:35 am

I will have to try the leeks. I typically use minced shallots in my mac&cheese, but leeks could add a nice texture, as well as the flavor.

Edward

January 14th, 2012
10:37 am

btw, the 3 bakery choices seen top notch. I have not tried Alpine, but H&F Bread and Pie Shop are indeed superior to anyone else in the city.

1164mgc

January 14th, 2012
11:34 am

No I don’t call a deep dish pizza a casserole. I call it a deep dish pizza. And I never said that CASSEROLES tasted bad. I’m just saying it isn’t “mac and cheese.” People are jumping on the fact that “mac and cheese” is a great comfort food that nearly everyone likes, so they put whatever the heck they want to in it and call it the same. It’s NOT. It’d be more correct to call fettucine Alfredo “mac and cheese” than what some of these people are doing.

Tracy

January 14th, 2012
11:55 am

People real southern mac and cheese do not include bacon,onions, bread crumbs etc….@1164mgc you are correct when you start to add to mac and cheese it does turn into a casserole. Real southern mac and cheese has the basic ingredients (milk -condensed or sweet i have used both, noodles, butter and 4 different cheese that I shred myself, eggs and one other I will not tell because I am giving to much info away to my recipe

Dunwoody Don

January 14th, 2012
3:02 pm

Virginia’s not in the South? Robert E. Lee is spinning in his grave. And Maryland’s crab cakes alone are enough to get it included in Dixie, not to mention its she crab soup and oyster stuffing. As for Hugh’s new spin of M&C, it sounds mighty good.

Edward

January 14th, 2012
3:32 pm

WTF is “real southern”??? It is whatever the F I want it to be, and if I (and my mom and grandmom who are VERY southern) make a bechamel with onions (I use shallots) and melt the cheese into that before mixing with the cooked macaroni and baking, then that is SOUTHERN mac&cheese. I would never put an egg in mac&cheese, but if you do and like it, then that’s YOUR version. Stop trying to dictate what is “real southern”, I don’t think you have the necessary qualifications and credibility to be considered the arbiter. BTW, by definition, any baked mac&cheese *IS* a casserole. And Tracy, your recipe sounds bland and mediocre, at best.

cafeej

January 14th, 2012
4:52 pm

FYI – Maryland was OCCUPIED by FEDERAL troops under the orders of President Lincoln during the war of southern scession.

George P. Burdell

January 14th, 2012
7:32 pm

I’ve lived in the South and the state of Georgia for all of my 54 years. Macaroni and cheese originated in medieval Italy. It’s only in recent years that the claims of it being Southern have become more vocal. So if Mr. Acheson wants to include leeks and bacon in his recipe, let him. Personally, I prefer my wife’s rendition of Paula Deen’s recipe.

Mar -Atl Foodie

January 18th, 2012
9:24 am

Southern Mac and Cheese doesen’t have onions and bacon.

Marsh

January 19th, 2012
10:17 am

Edward – it’s time for your medication. I hope.

Edward

January 19th, 2012
12:05 pm

Marsh, try to come up with an original comment next time. Your meme is banal.

Tracy

January 20th, 2012
4:40 pm

@Mar -Atl Foodie
My point exactly some people like Edward wouldn’t know real mac and cheese. In all my 54 years I have never known anyone to put onions and bacon in mac and cheese. I am Southern born and raised.@Marsh – yes I think it’s time for Edward medication. It is not that serious just friendly chatter