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, 2012

Restaurant inspections, Public food code briefing

In an effort to help Fulton County restaurants and the public understand food safety regulations, the Georgia Restaurant Association has scheduled a food code briefing for Fulton County food service establishments.

The event will be held 2-4 p.m. Wednesday at the association’s office, located in Piedmont Place, 3520 Piedmont Road, Suite 130, Atlanta.

Georgia’s code requires restaurants to have a certified food safety manager on staff to ensure that all employees understand and practice the regulations. The code also defines how often restaurants are inspected and what constitutes a violation against the rules. Health services educators will provide general information and answer questions, said Ryan Costigan, GRA’s manager of membership.

Rachel Mathews, marketing and communications coordinator with GRA, said although the event is open to the public, seating is limited. She encourages people to register online at to ensure spacing is available. If not, …

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Atlanta Food & Wine Festival wraps up

Ford Fry talks about his lard cookies

Ford Fry talks about his lard cookies

“Don’t you want to just sit down and enjoy that?” my chewing partner asked.

My friend, a  magazine food editor who had come down from New York to attend the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival this weekend, and I were making the rounds of the tasting tents on Saturday afternoon. We has perfected a system. Take the proffered food — a tamale, a barbecue slider — nibble from opposite corners, and throw the rest away.

But we had come upon the fried chicken “trail” — i.e., a collection of tables where chefs from around the South were handing out crispy pieces. And after each taking a bite of a perfect drumstick from Roswell’s Table & Main, we decided we each needed our own. And a seat. And a minute or two of silence to sit and appreciate it.

It was like a wine tasting. Once we tasted the simple pleasure of this drumstick, we were then ready for the more complex stylings of Rosebud’s smoked, cornflake-breaded chicken leg with cucumber salsa.

I had a …

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Proof & Provision to open next month and other news

credit: Green Olive Media

credit: Green Olive Media

The Georgian Terrace announced recently that Proof & Provision, a new speak-easy-style spot occupying the lower level of the hotel in the former Basta restaurant space, will open early next month. Chef Zeb Stevenson, of the Georgian Terrace’s Livingston Restaurant and Bar, will also head the kitchen of this spot.

Stevenson says that the idea was to “create something that stands in contrast to what’s happening at Livingston, something more relaxed, more down-to-earth.” The menu will be composed of standard tapas, dishes with which people are familiar, made with high quality ingredients. Stevenson says, “We will pour our efforts as a team into the best products we can get and let that tell the story.”

The menu will offer snacks, charcuterie, sandwiches and French bread pizzas. Think deviled eggs, chicken liver mousse, hot pretzels with mustard and cheese sauce, grilled cheese and a take on pigs in a blanket. It was designed to complement the beverage …

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New tour in town: Atlanta Beer Tours

ATL_FINAL_700We have movie tours, ghost tours, Segway tours and culinary tours. Now, Atlanta can boast of another tour: a beer tour.

Dan Fontaine, a home brewer and self-proclaimed “beer dude,” recently started Atlanta Beer Tours, which seeks to “connect people who love craft beer with the best brewers.” Noting the popularity of all manner of tours in Atlanta, Fontaine realized that no beer tour yet existed. He set out to remedy the situation, modeling his tours after those in Asheville.

Fontaine says, “The craft beer scene in Atlanta is exploding. People are starting to explore beer more and I wanted to make it easier for them.” Atlanta Beer Tours will give participants an insider’s view (and taste) of breweries like Sweetwater, Burnt Hickory and 5 Seasons.

Typical tours will last four to five hours. Beer aficionados will meet in the lower lot behind Hop City and head off on a beer-themed adventure. Most local tours feature three breweries with flight tastings at each location. Water and …

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Restaurant inspections, Rathbun’s

Rathbun’s, noted often as one of metro Atlanta’s top restaurants, recently had to regain its high-scoring honors on food safety inspections, according to reports.

The restaurant, located at 112 Krog St. in Atlanta, rebounded to a 99 (A) after dropping to a 61 (U). The failing score resulted from various violations related to temperature controls, storage of foods in the cooling unit and hand-washing procedures, the routine report showed. The inspector also noted that no certified food safety manager was listed for the restaurant.

Rathbun’s chef/owner Kevin Rathbun said this citation was corrected immediately, explaining the manager’s certificate was up-to-date, but was not at the establishment during the inspection. Furthermore, he said all of the appropriate staff will take the training class, extending the certification beyond the two employees already certified.

While saying that this is the first failing experience for the restaurant even after Georgia implemented tighter …

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Little Alley Steak restaurant review, Roswell



Like many successful suburban restaurateurs before them, Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac cut their teeth at a strip shopping center. They opened Little Alley Tapas in 2005 in a Roswell mini-mall and showed everyone they had a real talent for vibe — getting that right mixture of food and mood, of drinks and clinks, of tight spaces and nice places to squeeze into.

John Kessler is the chief dining critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

John Kessler is the chief dining critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

But they soon learned the real action is out by the street and not in a building sequestered behind a parking lot. In 2008, Azhari and Kovac opened their next restaurant — an instantly popular pub called Red Salt (since renamed Salt Factory due to a trademark conflict) — amidst the colorful thicket of storefronts that crowd the base of Canton Street in downtown Roswell.

The following year, they opened Inc. Street Food a couple of doors down, serving casual Mexican fare. The crowds kept coming, the energy multiplied, the great vibe …

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Local Republic restaurant review, Lawrenceville



Sometimes, a restaurant comes along at just the right time and fills a void in the local scene. And the people rejoice.

Such is the case with Local Republic. This Southern/international gastropub opened in the historic Lawrenceville square a year ago, and judging by the overwhelmingly positive crowd-sourced reviews online, it couldn’t have come soon enough.

Review by Jon Watson

Review by Jon Watson

After spending years in IT, owner Ben Bailey fled the rat race to pursue his passion for food. For generations, his family had always run a business of some kind on the square, so it seemed the natural choice for his new venture. But more importantly, Lawrenceville residents looking for a solid selection of craft beers and a memorable plate of food had few options, and Bailey sought to change that.

At first glance, Local Republic looks like it belongs in Decatur instead of the heart of Gwinnett. The small space has the feel of a semi-industrial loft, scattered with chrome-legged chairs across a …

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Celebrating Mother’s Day in Atlanta

AJC file photo

AJC file photo

Don’t forget mom this Sunday on Mother’s Day. Atlanta’s restaurants are more than happy to help. Here are a few ways of the many ways to celebrate her with food.


  • Treat mom to brunch at the historic Swan Coach House, a converted carriage house in a picturesque setting. This popular ladies’ luncheon spot will help you celebrate mom on Sunday with a menu of its house specialties. Try the “Swan’s Favorite,” chicken salad with frozen fruit salad, shrimp and grits or crab cakes. A kids menu is also available. Save time to browse in the attached gift shop and art galleries. 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 3130 Slaton Drive, Atlanta. 404-261-0636. $35 adult, $19 children 10 and under.
  • Roswell’s Bistro VG will help you thank mom with an a la carte brunch. Popular menu items include the restaurant’s signature crab cake served with eggs benedict, a smoked bacon, leek and Gruyere cheese quiche and grilled tuna Niçoise salad. Bistro VG will also serve its regular dinner menu …

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[UPDATE: Park Reopens] Atlanta Food Truck Park temporarily closed due to permit issues


UPDATE: The park has reopened. The AJC has the story.

Last fall, the Atlanta food community won an important battle in the struggle to make our city a more business friendly environment for food trucks and mobile vendors. Kwanza Hall’s Food Truck Ordinance, passed with a 15-0 vote last September, significantly relaxed a few key vending regulations that had previously made successfully operating a food truck in Atlanta nearly impossible.

However, eight months later, we are seeing that putting those new policies into practice still has its share of road blocks.

Last Thursday, the Atlanta Police Department License and Permits unit arrived at the Atlanta Food Truck Park and began shutting down trucks left and right. The park on Howell Mill Road, the first permanent food truck park in Atlanta open 7 days a week, remains temporarily closed until enough of the vendors can clear up the permit issues with the APD.

For the most part, news about the closing has been limited to …

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Food & Wine Festival after dark



Those attending this weekend’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival certainly aren’t lacking in options for how to spend their time. As John Kessler reported yesterday, the festival organizers have trimmed the number of programmed events by nearly 30%, down to 88 options over the three-day weekend.

Let’s be honest here…if you are so inclined or if your income allows, you can blow a lot of money this weekend. Tickets range from $100 for a single day Tasting Tent pass, up to $2,000 for the 3-day Connoisseur pass, and a range of pricing and access levels lay in between.

But, like any good music festival, it is often the after-parties where you get the biggest treats of the weekend. Every night of the festival, there are extra-special dinners planned all over town, each with their own set of tickets at an additional cost (though some ticket packages include the evening dinners or events.) If you so choose, you can skip the day-passes all together and spend your …

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