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Archive for June, 2012

Restaurant inspections, food safety session

The Georgia Restaurant Association is presenting a food safety session during its annual meeting Monday in Atlanta.

The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, 7 Concourse Parkway, featuring a morning session on topics ranging from alcohol regulation and employment law to wages and harassment.

During the afternoon session – 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – Mick Miklos of Waffle House Inc. will present updates related to food safety, compliance and more.

For more information on registering, lodging, costs and details of the event, please visit the website.

Three Dollar Cafe improves to B level

After dipping into an unsatisfactory food safety range, Three Dollar Cafe in McDonough has rebounded. The sports bar and grill, located at 1000 Regency Plaza, received an 81 (B) on June 13, during its follow-up. While it returned to a satisfactory level, the inspector noted several repeat violations, according to the report. The citations included …

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Fresh looks at One Eared Stag and Woodfire Grill

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

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

The inverse rule of culinary stardom goes something like this: The more famous a chef becomes, the less likely the chance you’ll actually see him or her in the restaurant. There are events to attend, special dinners to cook, brands to build.

Perhaps this doesn’t matter. A chef with a busy schedule will tell you that he writes the menus and has full confidence in his team.

A chef who has built his brand solely on sweat equity may instead assert that he has to taste every sauce and watch every plate leaving the kitchen.



I was thinking about this when a whole roast tuna collar ($24) landed on our table at One Eared Stag. Good grief! You should have seen this thing. It looked like some kind of double-sized scythe — a great, table-filling zigzag of sea beast, a bi-directional boomerang of bone and cartilage, fins and skin, and deep pockets of fat-bathed meat. Bracing globs of green sauce made …

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Phish Phood Café



So, there you are, driving through suburban Roswell in your eco-friendly hatchback, 12 minutes into an epic guitar jam, when your head snaps to the strip mall on Woodstock and Holcomb Bridge Road. Dude … does that say Phish Phood Café?

Review by Jon Watson

Review by Jon Watson

But before you throw on your old “Summer Tour ’96” shirt and a splash of patchouli, be warned: This “Phish” has no relation to the jam band, nor is it a rogue one-trick-pony Ben & Jerry’s shop.

Rather, this cafe in Roswell is the evolution of chef and owner Dave Fast’s faith-based catering service, Phish Phood Event Services. The name is actually a reference to the fish-like Christian symbol, the ichthys. However, before the non-religious among you scoff, nothing about the atmosphere is preachy. Save for spying a cross or two on the wall, the Phish Phood experience is really about the food.

Known as “Chef Dave” to regulars, Fast brings over 25 years of industry experience to the new homegrown …

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Farm Burger and Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream coming to Dunwoody

Credit: Farm Burger

Farm Burger will open its third location next to a new Morelli's in Dunwoody this fall. Credit: Farm Burger

Exciting news for those of us living outside the Perimeter…

Yesterday, Tomorrow’s News Today announced that Farm Burger and Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream are teaming up to expand to Dunwoody.

George Frangos, owner of Farm Burger, confirmed the news. Farm Burger and Morelli’s will move into a spot in the Georgetown Shopping Center off of Chamblee Dunwoody Road. According to Frangos, the two eateries should open close to Labor Day.

The size of the Dunwoody space prompted the FarmBurger/Morelli’s collaboration. Frangos says, “This is a larger restaurant for us, which dictated a partnership.” Frangos connected with Donald Sargent, owner of Morelli’s, through a real estate broker, who became familiar with both parties through their (unsuccessful) airport bidding packages.

You can expect the Dunwoody Farm Burger menu to be similar to that of the Decatur and …

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Weekend event: Slow Food Atlanta Ice Cream Social

ice cream socialSweet corn ice cream with candied lemon zest and blueberry compote. Sound good? Oh yes, it was. That was the ice cream flavor Miller Union crafted for last year’s Slow Food Atlanta Ice Cream Social.

This Saturday, Miller Union and many others will participate in this year’s ice cream social. Pack a spoon, come out to sample each flavor and cast a vote for your favorite.

Participants include:

  • 5 & 10
  • Bocado
  • Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
  • FoodOptimist, LLC
  • Kyma
  • Le Cordon Blue
  • Livingston
  • Local Three
  • MARKET Buckhead
  • Miller Union
  • Murphy’s
  • No. 246
  • Pricci
  • Red Queen Tarts and Ice Cream Fellow
  • Rosebud
  • Sotto Sotto/Fritti
  • Southern Art
  • Spice Market
  • The Hungry Peach
  • The Spence
  • Watershed

The event is held in conjunction with the Peachtree Road Farmers Market and will be held in the garden of the Cathedral of St. Philip (behind the lot where the market is held).

Purchase tickets online in advance. $15 for adults, $5 ages 5 -10, children under 5 are free. Proceeds benefit the …

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Burger King bacon sundae: Genius or gimmick?

Credit: Burger King

Credit: Burger King

During Burger King’s recent revamping of their menu, aside from blatantly copying McDonald’s menu, The King has given us the next big fast-food punch line.

He will see your Double Down, and raise you a bacon sundae.

As part of their special summer menu, BK has dropped the unoriginal yet oddly hyped bacon sundae (Unoriginal because Denny’s, as well as stoners everywhere, did it first.) As always happens when one of these attention-getting absurdities hits the menu, the media/blogger reaction has been loud, and has elicited more than one “why are Americans so fat” posts. Clocking in at 510 calories, 61 grams of sugar, and 18 grams of fat, I can’t say that I’m surprised the whole “rampant obesity” thing came up, though in the pantheon of bad-for-you fast-food all-stars, this wouldn’t even make the top ten.

But more than a few folks have been irritated by the bacon sundae, not because of the calorie count, but because it is such a blatant …

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Revolution Doughnuts opens in Decatur and more news

Revolution 1There’s a new doughnut in town. Revolution Doughnuts, a modest shop with its name handwritten on the door, recently opened in Decatur.

The owner, Maria Moore Riggs, originally sold baked goods at several of Atlanta’s outdoor markets under the name “Little Red Hen Bakery.” After building a customer base for her baked goods, Riggs decided to open Revolution Doughnuts. She says, “It’s hard to make a living” working at markets that are seasonal and weather dependent.

While she had a little money to invest in securing a brick-and-mortar location, Riggs says they needed more. There was enough to get the kitchen up and running, but she had to get creative to fund the front-of-the-house build out. She started a funding campaign on Kickstarter, a creative project funding website, and raised $12,371 seed money from 333 backers.

At markets, Riggs sold more than just doughnuts. There were scones, cookies, muffins and more. She noticed that the doughnuts always sold first and …

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Botched pie turns out peachy

IMG_5349Peeled and sliced fresh peaches. A pint of raspberries. A treacly syrup made of sugar, bourbon and vanilla. The juice and finely rasped zest of a fat lemon. My pie filling was looking just great.

And as I reached for the cornstarch to seal the deal, something in the pantry caught my eye. Tapioca. That could thicken the juices just as well, if not better.

As soon as the fat spheres of pearl tapioca went clattering into the bowl, I knew I had repeated a mistake. Last year I reached for the same bag of tapioca and ended up baking a watery blueberry pie marred by hard white globules of starch. This large pearl tapioca is not the same as the finer kind used as a thickener. What an idiot.

But I wasn’t going to give this pie up easily — not after all that peeling and slicing. Adapting the tapioca pudding instructions on the bag, l let the filling sit for 30 minutes to plump the grains of starch. Then I turned the filling into a pot and cooked it slowly until I had a …

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Additional gluten-free pizza options in Atlanta

This piece is a follow-up to the gluten-free pizza roundup that appeared on the blog yesterday and in the print edition today.

Last month while my family was on vacation, a friend stopped by our home each day to care for both our pets and our garden. When we returned home, I opened the refrigerator to find the squash and zucchini she’d harvested in our absence. What I saw was a shocking sight — one that I realized, to my shame, my friend had seen while at our house. Pizza boxes were wedged in awkward positions jockeying for space in our full-to-bursting refrigerator. They were the remains of the many, many gluten-free pizzas I’d tasted while researching Atlanta’s offerings (and ones I’d neglected to toss before heading off for sandy shores).

While I was only able to include four gluten-free pizzas in my original roundup, I thought I would share some of the others I sampled.

Uncle Maddio's (I accept responsibility for all hastily snapped cell phone photos of each of these pizzas.)

Uncle Maddio's (I accept responsibility for all hastily snapped cell phone photos of each of …

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Recipe contest for kids: The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge



If you have kids between the ages of 8-12 years, here’s a summer project for you. Enter The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Work together to create a healthy lunch recipe for a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House where some of the winning recipes will be served. First Lady Michelle Obama has partnered with the U.S. Department of Education and Epicurious to host this contest.

Here’s the skinny: the recipe should be original and include each of the food groups (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy). You can either incorporate them all or use some and suggest the remaining as accompaniments to your recipe. Recipes can be for any kind of dish (sandwiches, salads, pastas, stews, etc.) but should be affordable to make.

I have good news and bad news for you here. The bad news is that time is short. The entries are due by this Sunday, June 17. They can be submitted …

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