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Archive for September, 2012

Atlanta Classic: McKinnon’s Louisiane, Buckhead

A lot has changed in Atlanta since 1972.

The metro area grew by thousands of square miles and its population swelled by millions. We’ve hosted the Olympics, have the busiest airport in the world, and have out-sprawled nearly every other city in the country. But some things haven’t changed, and McKinnon’s Louisiane is one of them.

Review by Jon Watson

Review by Jon Watson

By the time I migrated from Cobb County into the city, McKinnon’s already qualified as an Atlanta Classic. So much so that in my eagerness to try out all of the newly opened bars and restaurants, I didn’t even think about stopping in. For years, I’d drive past the weathered sign in front, and images of a smoky bar filled with salty, hard-drinkin’ regulars flashed through my mind. As I discovered upon my first visit, I had it all wrong. That is, except for the part about the regulars.

It’s a time capsule of old-school Atlanta dining, with a feel that couldn’t be recreated if you tried.

Savannah native Billy …

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Slip Sliding Away?

Photo by Becky Stein

Photo by Becky Stein

I’ve never been an enormous fan of sliders, mostly because bad ones remind me of foofy, bready, cocktail-party fare. The bun is often too soft or too elastic to really meld with the contents. The mini-burgers are often too springy and dry. Plus, you have to hold them with your two hands pressed together, like a squirrel with a nut.

Recently, I saw an alternative. My nephew was in town and I took him out for a late-night drink at Watershed on Peachtree. He ordered a bar burger, which was sized halfway between a slider and a full hamburger. It was like the iPad of burgers — small enough to qualify as a portable snack, big enough to enjoy as sandwich.

I wonder if this will catch on. Seems like a good idea.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

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Atlanta chefs win Cochon Heritage BBQ competition in Memphis

Credit: Cochon555.com

Credit: Cochon555.com

The inaugural Cochon Heritage BBQ festival, a three day celebration of all things pork, was held this past weekend in Memphis. The festival culminated in the main event – the Heritage BBQ competition where a dozen teams compete in a whole hog cook off. And a crew of Atlanta chefs brought the title home.

The team of Todd Mussman (Muss & Turners/Local Three), Jay Swift of 4th and Swift, Nick Melvin, and Tommy Searcy of Gum Creek Farms claimed the top overall prize. Each team was responsible for presenting four meats – broken into the categories of Pull, Muscle, Bone, and Stew – and two sides, one mayonnaise based and another mustard-based.

Some of the team’s winning dishes included the “Memphis State Fair Sandwich”, a Hawaiian-roll grilled pork loin slider with lard aioli and broccoli chow-chow, and a Szechuan style bone-broth with smoked mushrooms, chile lard, and cilantro. The Pig Head Gumbo served with dirty rice calas (Cajun deep fried rice …

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Buttermilk Kitchen opens later this month

187956_410864798950471_776439603_nButtermilk Kitchen, a new restaurant by Suzanne Vizethann, will offer Atlantans another Southern-with-a-twist breakfast and lunch option in the Chastain Park area. Vizethann, of The Hungry Peach and pop-up BYOBakeshop, plans to open Buttermilk later this month.

According to a press release, “The restaurant is distinguished by its kitchen, where most everything is made in-house from scratch, paying tribute to its name, ‘Buttermilk,’ which refers to the liquid utilized after butter is churned; carrying out the philosophy of letting nothing go to waste.”

Vizethann, winner on the Food Network competitive cooking show “Chopped,” will serve breakfast and lunch seven days a week and fried chicken on Tuesday evenings beginning Oct. 22.

The restaurant will use local and sustainable ingredients, educating customers about sourcing and preparation methods along the way. Apparently Vizethann will “be running an open kitchen, where guests are encouraged to walk through and see …

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Restaurant inspections, Mariscos Las Islitas

A Norcross restaurant had its permit suspended briefly last week because of repeat Georgia health code violations that resulted in a failing inspection score.

Andrew Villarreal, manager of Mariscos Las Islitas, a Mexican seafood restaurant at 5495 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, said he closed the facility for a day to have it thoroughly cleaned. “It takes a whole day, and we can’t cook food when this is going on,” he said.

He said he also took this time to re-organize the kitchen to earn a higher score than the 61 the restaurant received on its Aug. 27 routine inspection.

“The managers weren’t here and when that happens the employees can sometimes get out of hand,” Villarreal explained.

The inspector cited several repeat code violations, such the hand sink being used to wash or prep food. Also, cold foods were not being kept at 41 degrees or below, and employees weren’t checking and documenting the temperatures. Shrimp, crab legs, raw fish and raw chicken were thrown …

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