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Archive for April, 2013

AJC Spring Dining Guide coming Friday


These are some of the dishes that define dining in metro Atlanta.

Come back Friday for  “The Atlanta 50: Where To Eat” to find out which metro Atlanta restaurants made our list.


Join the conversation here on the Food & More blog, or on social media using the hashtag #AJCWhereToEat


Continue reading AJC Spring Dining Guide coming Friday »

Mother’s Day gift idea: recipe-printed kitchen towels

Recipes from each of my grandmothers to be printed on towels

Recipes from each of my grandmothers to be printed on towels

Mother’s Day shopping can be a challenge. We all know you can’t get mom a vacuum cleaner or anything that smacks of domestic chores, but here’s an item you can get: kitchen towels. Yes, we’re walking a fine line here, but trust me.

There’s a nostalgic component to these towels that negates any accompanying objectionable household expectations. No one would expect mom to actually use them. The towels are printed with your handwritten recipes. Or, in my case, my grandmothers’ handwritten recipes.

A quick Google search will provide you with a number of do-it-yourself methods for creating these on your own. And while I consider myself somewhat crafty, printing on linen and iron-on transfers sent me straight to Etsy where I found someone to print them for me.

You’ll be able to find a number of places that can create these custom towels, using a variety of methods. I prefer the ones printed directly on linen.

There’s still …

Continue reading Mother’s Day gift idea: recipe-printed kitchen towels »

Tickets for Eats & Beats tonight

Eats&BeatsThere are still tickets available for Eats & Beats, the food and music charity event tonight at the Buckhead Theatre.

Proceeds go to Children of Conservation, which supports conservation of endangered species in Africa and pays for educating children of the sanctuary workers there, and The Giving Kitchen, which provides a helping hand to restaurant industry members with unanticipated medical or other hardships.

Do good while enjoying tastes from over 20 restaurants, including Local Three, The Optimist, Cook Hall, JCT Kitchen, No. 246, Cibo e Beve, Davios, and Muss & Turners. Drink craft beer, wine and spirits at multiple open bars. Listen to chef musicians, such as Ford Fry, Chris Talley and Joe Truex, who open for headliners Yacht Rock Revue. Bid at a silent auction filled with food-centric items and one of a kind finds from Africa.

Get tickets here:

— Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.

Continue reading Tickets for Eats & Beats tonight »

Restaurant inspections, Taqueria Real

A Buford Highway taqueria failed a recent health inspection due to poor hygiene practices of the food prep staff.

A DeKalb County inspector said that management at Taqueria Real, 3317 Buford Highway, Atlanta, had failed to properly train employees on assigned duties.

Some were not cleaning their hands immediately before prepping food. One employee was observed handling money then putting on gloves for food prep without first washing.

Another employee retrieved a cooked tortilla from a pan with bare hands. The inspector had to remind the staff at Taqueria Real that there should be no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods except when washing fruits and vegetables.

Employees were also washing their hands at the produce sink because the hand-washing sink wasn’t draining properly.

The restaurant scored a 49/U.

In other violations, food was subject to contamination in the reach-in cooler. Raw eggs were stored above tortillas, and raw chorizo was next to fresh salsa. Raw chicken, …

Continue reading Restaurant inspections, Taqueria Real »

AJC Spring Dining Guide coming soon


Which Atlanta-area restaurants do you think should make our 2013 Spring Dining Guide The Atlanta 50: Where To Eat?

Whether it’s that four-star restaurant famous for its twist on Southern or your neighborhood café with a great Sunday brunch, we want to know what you think are Atlanta’s best places to eat.

Here’s how to nominate your favorite restaurant:

  • Send us an Instagram or Twitter photo nomination of the Atlanta-area restaurants you think should make our list of Atlanta’s innovative, interesting and influential dining experiences and tag it with #AJCWhereToEat
  • We’ll feature the best recommendations in a photo stream on

Join the discussion here.

Facebook: AJC Food & More

Twitter: @ajcFoodandMore

Come back to the AJC on April 26, to find out which restaurants are our on the list.

Continue reading AJC Spring Dining Guide coming soon »

Atlanta’s new Indian restaurants

Chai Pani

Fathers, mothers and grandmothers still figure in the new wave of Indian restaurants showing up around metro Atlanta. But family tradition is a touchstone rather than a millstone, nowadays. And please don’t bring up those bad old memories of face-stuffing buffets set to wailing sitar soundtracks, or you just might elicit a bout of laughter mixed with embarrassment.

What you’ll find at Bhojanic in Buckhead and Chai Pani in Decatur are creative takes on Indian food that offer brighter, fresher flavors in varied portion sizes, all kinds of current beer, wine and cocktail options, and settings that are decidedly contemporary.

Read the full story here:

— Bob Townsend, Food and More blog.

Continue reading Atlanta’s new Indian restaurants »

Farmers market season begins

The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market draws crowds with children's activities, live music and chef demos. (courtesy of Community Farmers Markets by Andrea Dorsey)

The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market draws crowds with children's activities, live music and chef demos. (courtesy of Community Farmers Markets by Andrea Dorsey)

It’s that time of year. The next few weeks will bring the return of many of our favorite local farmers markets.

Here are a few of our many local markets and their opening dates. Where do you shop?

Read more about farmers market season here.

Decatur Farmers Market

This year-round farmers market opens twice a week. By alternating day/evening and weekday/weekend times, the market is accessible to a wide audience. Tink’s Grassfed Beef, Goodness Gracious Granola, Nazifa’s Bakery and Mercier Orchards are among the vendors.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round at 498 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays March-October and 3-6 p.m. November-February at 163 Clairmont Ave., Decatur.

Dunwoody Green Market

This market has a new location this year at the Shops of Dunwoody. Participating vendors must be certified organic …

Continue reading Farmers market season begins »

Taste of the Nation raises big funds for hunger relief

courtesy of Share Our Strength

courtesy of Share Our Strength

Atlanta’s restaurant community just celebrated its 25th year supporting Taste of the Nation, which raises money for Share Our Strengths No Kid Hungry campaign.

Taste of the Nation events occur around the country, but Atlanta’s has been the most successful, raising over $712,000 this year and more than $10 million since its inception.

Share Our Strength was founded in 1984 by Billy Shore, current CEO. As the world focused on hunger issues in Ethiopia, Americans like Shore began to recognize that hunger problems weren’t found only abroad. He said, “We refocused our efforts right here in our own backyard.”

At the heart of Atlanta’s first Taste of the Nation event was Pano Karatassos, founder of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. After starting the event, he has chaired it each year since and was later joined by co-chair George McKerrow, President and CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill.

Fifty chefs joined the cause this year, bringing their A-game with …

Continue reading Taste of the Nation raises big funds for hunger relief »

Restaurant inspections, Wasabi & Sushi

A sushi restaurant in Suwanee was closed last week because the raw seafood was not being kept cold enough to ensure food safety.

Wasabi & Sushi, 1291 Old Peachtree Road, failed its second consecutive routine inspection with a 49/U. The restaurant had a 36/U in October.

Management was docked for its third violation of improper food temperatures. A cooler wasn’t maintaining temperatures at 41 degrees or below and raw salmon, shrimp, tuna and eel used for sushi were all discarded.

The restaurant’s time control measures were also inadequate to protect food safety, the inspector said. Containers of sushi fish and rice combinations were discarded because there was no documentation indicating when it was prepared and when it should be discarded.

The restaurant also had no documentation showing that the tilapia, which is served raw, had been properly frozen to destroy parasites. The fish has been taken off the menu until parasite documentation is provided by the seafood supplier.

In …

Continue reading Restaurant inspections, Wasabi & Sushi »

Ecco restaurant review, Midtown

Stuffed piquillo peppers at Ecco (credit: Becky Stein)

Stuffed piquillo peppers at Ecco (credit: Becky Stein)

Have you been to Ecco since Chef Craig Richards came on board? He’s bringing an Italian influence to the restaurant’s European-inspired menu.

Richards began his career working his way up from line cook to chef de cuisine and later to executive chef in the Italian-restaurant kitchens of celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich. Upon moving to Atlanta in 2005, he took the helm at La Tavola, Fifth Group’s Italian trattoria.

When he moved to Ecco in 2011, he inherited a large restaurant with a devoted clientele.

Read the Ecco review here.


Continue reading Ecco restaurant review, Midtown »