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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for August, 2012

The rise of foodie comic books?

Credit: Image Comics

Credit: Image Comics

In honor of this weekend’s Dragon*Con, I figured I’d let my nerd flag fly a little.

So, I was a late adopter to the iPad/E-reader thing. Perhaps it is the English major in me, but there is something about the feel of an actual book in my hand that I’ll always love. But now I’ve crossed over and do most of my reading on a screen instead paper.

And like all of those housewives out there who think that people don’t know they are reading one of the “Fifty Shades” books on that little device (I’m looking at you, lady sitting in seat 23F on the flight back to Atlanta), I’ve picked up my own little guilty E-reading pleasure: Comic books.

I was a comic book kid. And even as an adult, my bookshelf at home occasionally gets a new hard copy graphic novel or two added to it. But once I realized that I could easily download and read graphic novels and enjoy them in public while looking like I’m responding to an email, I went on a downloading …

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Kevin Gillespie leaving Woodfire Grill to open new restaurant

kevinThis afternoon, Bernard Moussa and Nicolas Quinones, co-owners of Woodfire Grill, announced the upcoming departure of Chef Kevin Gillespie and promotion of Chef de Cuisine E.J. Hodgkinson to Executive Chef.

In a recent review of Woodfire Grill, John Kessler noticed that Gillespie was rarely in the kitchen these days, those duties already executed by Hodgkinson.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, the transition period will be complete and Gillespie will leave Woodfire to open a new restaurant. No details have been released on plans for Gillespie’s new spot.

Back in March, the restaurant restructured so that Gillespie was no longer an owner. At that time, assurances were given that the former “Top Chef” finalist would remain at Woodfire Grill.

In a press release, Gillespie said, “I am very proud of the wonderful restaurant that Nicolas, Bernard and I were able to create,” said Gillespie. “It’s now time to usher in a new era for Woodfire by passing the torch off to the person who has been …

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Restaurant inspections, Taco Mac

A Duluth Taco Mac has had stellar inspection scores, rarely dipping below an A rating. But that changed during a recent routine health inspection after points were deducted because employees handled raw meat then ready-to-eat food without first washing their hands.

The restaurant at 3543 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard was given a failing score of 60, and managers were instructed to re-train and monitor the staff on cross contamination prevention.

According to the report, an employee wearing gloves handled raw beef then some buns, and another handled raw meat then placed cooked chicken on a salad. The salad and buns were thrown away.

Employees are supposed to change their gloves and also wash their hands between glove changes, especially when moving from raw meat to ready-to-eat foods, according to the inspector.

Taco Mac also had a few other code violations, such as black, mold-like growth on the margarita machine nozzle, some undercooked chicken and a few cold food …

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Oak Street Cafe restaurant review, Roswell

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What does every neighborhood need? Maybe a coffee shop, a pizza joint and a cafe. Definitely a cafe — a place to get a sandwich, burger and something a little heartier in the evenings. A place for PTA committee meetings, lunch with a co-worker or dinner with the family.

Review by Jenny Turknett

Review by Jenny Turknett

Roswell has such a cafe, tucked away on a quiet street between the main thoroughfare on Canton Street and the historic square. Oak Street Cafe sits at the end of the SoCA (South of Canton) development, a block behind Krispy Kreme.

Joseph McCaffrey and his wife, Kim, opened Oak Street Cafe in 2005 upon relocating here from New York. Although McCaffrey grew up in Roswell, he revealed that he was no longer familiar with the Atlanta food scene at that time and had to make predictions about the area where he set up shop.

Good call. Roswell’s dining scene has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Oak Street Cafe’s location, a few blocks from the hullabaloo (and parking …

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‘Julia Child Remixed’ by PBS

Enjoy this auto-tuned version of Julia Child by John D. Boswell for PBS Digital Studios.

Bring on the roasted potatoes.

If you like this remix, also look for the Bob Ross and Mister Rogers videos by Boswell.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

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Speakeasy Cocktail Festival comes to Atlanta Labor Day weekend

speakeasy cocktail festThis weekend has truly gone to the nerds.

Comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, and pop culture nerds will descend en masse onto the city for this year’s DragonCon. And cocktail nerds now have The Speakeasy Cocktail Festival. If only I could decide which of my inner nerds is the strongest.

Celebrating the prohibition era of drinking, The Speakeasy Cocktail Festival will come to the World Congress Center this Labor Day weekend from noon- 6 p.m. September 1st and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. September 2nd. The idea is that the festival will transform the GWCC into a massive 1920’s style speakeasy, and will include a whole lotta booze. The festival includes a charity poker tournament, seminars from industry experts, hands-on demonstrations, a cigar and cocktail tasting lounge, and the “culinary corner” where southern inspired tastings will be available as well.

The event targets both industry professionals and amateur enthusiasts. The event also includes the “Makers and Shakers Mixology …

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Fig Pie Recipe

IMG_5678This is a recipe in progress, but one I should share now before the fresh fig season ends. It started with some inexpensive, super ripe Brown Turkey, Black Mission and green figs from the market. It figured in a container of mascarpone cheese, some honey and a pre made whole-wheat crust. It ended with sighs of contentment and second pieces for all after dinner.

There was some talk of reducing the amount of egg in the custard or waiting longer for it to set. But when that warm pie met a scoop of vanilla ice cream we were all entranced.

Alas, we didn’t measure, or time, or even pay much attention to the temperature of the oven. I’m going to try and tinker to get the recipe down pat. But for the time being, here’s what I think my wife and I did:

FIG PIE WITH MASCARPONE HONEY CUSTARD

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat crust
  • 2 quarts fresh figs (and variety) halved or quartered
  • 1 container (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon …

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Mi Cocina to open in October and more news

logoThe Dallas-based Tex-Mex restaurant Mi Cocina will open its first Atlanta location this October in Midtown in the 12th & Midtown development. This two-level, 300-seat spot will be open for both lunch and dinner. Menu items include brisket tacos, bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with Jack cheese and jalapenos, and garlic-lime grilled tilapia. The restaurant’s signature beverage is the “Mambo Taxi,” a frozen margarita made with Sauza Blanco tequila and Mi Cocina’s house sangria. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. 1080 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. $-$$.

Chef change at Milton’s

  • Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails has announced a change in its kitchen. Chef Shane Touhy, who owned the now-closed Dogwood Restaurant on Peachtree Street, has taken charge of the kitchens at both Milton’s and Big Ketch. Touhy joined the Big Ketch team in January and will now add his Southern and coastal-inspired style to Milton’s. According to a press …

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Is the entree dead?

Pork belly buns at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub (Becky Stein)

Pork belly buns at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub (Becky Stein)

Have you been noticing lately that the small plates often outshine the entrees on restaurant menus?

For this week’s column I look at the issue — something I see as a sea change in the way Americans are eating out. Other food writers have weighed in on the issue lately:

The most excellent Besha Rodell, late of Creative Loafing and now the lead critic for LA Weekly has this to say:

“… the tapas trend has done for American dining what no other trend has done, at least not as pervasively, and that is to make eating out more communal and less formal.”

Pete Wells, restaurant critic for the New York Times, grouses:

“…many dishes served at allegedly tapas-style restaurants simply don’t split well. Either they look like a car crash by the time you’ve divided them in four, or your portion ends up being so small you hardly get to know it before it’s gone.”

Here’s what I have to say:

I love my readers, even when they …

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Mae’s Bakery opening today in Buckhead and more news

maes-bakery-webLook out, Buckhead. There’s a new sweet spot opening today in your neck of the woods.

Mae’s Bakery on Lenox Road sells a range of from-scratch sweets from cinnamon rolls and cookies to cupcakes and whoopie pies. Owner Beth Castro has been an avid baker since she was a child and, like many, has long considered opening a bakery after receiving compliments on her treats from friends and family.

Castro has worked in the restaurant industry for the majority of her career. She has been a server, bartender and restaurant manager in both mom-and-pop spots and at chain restaurants like Ruby Tuesday and Longhorn Steakhouse. But it’s baking that “has always been a passion.”

Mae’s Bakery, named after Castro’s six-year old daughter, has also attracted the talent of Fahra Krifkovic, who served as head baker at Decatur’s Southern Sweets for nearly 12 years. A few of the goods you’ll find at the bakery include s’mores cupcakes with layers of butter-graham crust, chocolate …

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