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Comment Archives: stories: Food & Drink: Grazing

Re: “Shared space

I do understand that one of the strongest desires of human beings is comfort and security, the concept of personal space comes from that need.

Personally I try and always think of life as an adventure and eating with strangers is a bit of an adventure. Anytime I feel totally secure and comfortable I know that probably nothing interesting is going to happen. But when I feel a bit of nerves, a bit insecure and uneasy, like asking a beautiful woman out on a date, that is when life gets interesting.

Its like how Jay Leno claims he used to always fly coach as nothing funny ever happened in first class.
I understand that, I have stayed in hundreds of nicer hotels, I have few memories of them, but I have some of the best memories and funniest stories from staying at low budget motels as you simply encounter a greater range of characters and experiences.

Sure, when eating with strangers 8 out of 10 times nothing interesting is said or done, 1 time the experience might even be bad but usually a bit of magic happens at least 1 out of 10 times and someone says something that makes you look at or think about the world in a different way or you make a new friend or a new business contact or someone simply makes you laugh.

I will always roll the dice that a bit of magic happens than always simply getting exactly what I expect or maybe even what I think I want.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Carl R White on 04/11/2016 at 3:04 PM

Re: “First Look: Tantra

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Posted by Sayed Mominuzzaman on 07/29/2015 at 6:04 AM

Re: “Cliff's top 10 Atlanta restaurants

Food very good, do not know really delicious. :)
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1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Emily Bautista on 03/25/2015 at 10:42 AM

Re: “First Look: Barcelona Wine Bar

Have you tried The Spaniard's?

Posted by Alejandro Montes Granada on 02/17/2015 at 10:56 AM

Re: “Lindbergh lunch

Boy Cliff,
I was enjoying this review until the comment about" the Hispanics that over populate this area." Maybe its because they are the ones most talented enough to cook the food you write about! You are a good food critic, don't be such a snob. Love Zenobia

Posted by Zenobia Martin on 02/11/2015 at 6:35 PM

Re: “Grazing: The Painted Pin

1 - I am a little surprised that you bothered to review the food at a bowling alley, but I guess some people might want to eat there.

2 - RE: the "mixologist" comment above, that's not a real thing. The word you're looking for is bartender.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 08/27/2014 at 7:39 PM

Re: “Grazing: The Painted Pin

The worst ever! Customer Service isn't great the place is way to much for what it is worth!!! Please stay away! I have found the rest room very nasty! Worker are rude when you ask him/her for a extra plate! what kind of place is this?!?!?!?!! STAY AWAY!

3 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Sara Diaz on 08/26/2014 at 10:34 PM

Re: “Grazing: The Painted Pin

Can the food at a bowling alley be considered "amateurish"? I think the only "amateurish" thing here is reviewing the food at a bowling alley in the first place. This is the sort of stupid nit-picking that belongs on yelp.

At least you've stopped putting mixologist in quotation marks.

12 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Adam Fox on 08/26/2014 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Grazing: New and cheap

So sorry Cliff, but I disagree with your thoughts on La Hacienda. Been there several times and enjoyed the food. They do have a big menu, so I am sure some things are better than others. Good addition to the area. What else do we have? FROGS, El Azteca, or god forbid, Chico and Chang's? Unless you get in a car, this place is just fine!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jhh on 08/21/2014 at 6:59 PM

Re: “Grazing: New and cheap

If you like spicy, get the Gunn Slinger at Delia's: chorizo chicken sausage, guacamole, salsa, fresh jalapenos, “comeback” sauce. It's a really nice combo; the guac makes it creamy and cool over the spicy chorizo (lots of pepper) and the fresh jalepenos.

My favorite at Delia's, along with the grinder and Italian Stallion. Plus, the Cake Shakes, of course! (I get one almost every week...)

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by mrmambo (610268) on 08/18/2014 at 8:07 AM

Re: “Grazing: Sumerian roots

I've been to Babylon Cafe several times and they do offer a special consisting of your choice of 3 or 4 of the apps including the salads. The interior is quaint and chic, compared to other middle easten restaurants I've been to, the artwork depicts ancient Babylon, meanwhile the so called "loud" yellow and blue exterior" is a replication of the procession of Gate Ishtar and in my opinion pretty impressive! The menu is quaint and to the point offering the best of the best from Babylon cuisine. Babylon Cafe is a new restaurant and the owners are what really make this restaurant as they have passion for what they do! I heard they will be offering entertainment when the time is right. The food is awesome and the service is excellent. Babylon Cafe is one of my new favorite restaurants since they opened in March and I've dined mostly in the evening and have witnessed their business increase week after week. For me, everything I have tried so far on the menu was superb and the desserts are phenomenal. The food is fresh and flavorful and really blows away any competition because of the freshness and authenticity!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ameera on 07/28/2014 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Grazing: Varuni Napoli

We've been two times and won't return. Service was unacceptable both times. Pizza was soggy. Desserts ordinary. And overpriced. Antico is much better.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Foodie1966 on 07/23/2014 at 10:05 PM

Re: “Grazing: Sumerian roots

*Iraq/Sumeria, rather.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 07/18/2014 at 2:49 AM

Re: “Grazing: Sumerian roots

Bostock still doesn't know the difference between Iran/Sumeria and India, huh?

FWIW, I ate at Ghion a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. If the injera/spongy bread isn't to your liking, you can ask for a fork.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 07/17/2014 at 1:16 PM

Re: “Grazing: Sumerian roots

Mr. Bostock fails to convey understanding of traditional ethnic foods. He describes grape leaves stuffed with rice as "gooey" and other foods as "slippery." Then he asks, "Did the Sumerians like goo?" after he stated that all food is "deposited in the piehole." This is not the writing of a semi-Caféfood critic!

Then he describes the colors of the Babylon Cafe as being "loud blue and yellow outside" all the while failing to mention that these are the colors of the Gate of Ishtar and that the mythical animals from that ancient fortress entrance are painted on the facade of this new restaurant. He describes the interior as being "pretty shabby" without any thought to say that the owners have decorated it with the imagery of ancient Mesopotamia.

Perhaps Mr. Bostock should be locked in a library reading room and fed zucchini for a month. Then maybe he would emerge with a lexicon of a new culinary language and an appreciation of the different cultures which the owners of these three restaurants wish to share with Atlantans.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by solderdoc on 07/11/2014 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Grazing: Sumerian roots

As a frequent patron of Babylon Cafe on Lenox Road, I find it of massive import to correct some of the backhanded compliments offered by Mr. Bostock in the above article. Aside from some blatant misspelling and clearly incorrect pieces of information, Mr. Bostock's writing style in the above article also displays gross unprofessional on the part of the writer, meant to color the opinion of the reader.

First and foremost, Mr. Bostock claims that Babylon has no "sample platter of starters," or, as any reasonable person would describe it, an "appetizer plate." Every time that I have dined at Babylon, the first thing the wait staff has offered me is two-tiered appetizer starter, which, I have found to my chagrin, is both delicious and plentiful. Moving forward down this abortive paragraph, Mr. Bostock uses the phrase "repulsively gooey," quickly followed by the justification of "to my taste, but delicious to a friend."

Read that again. As Mr. Bostock has been writing in Atlanta for 30 years, I would, as a reader, like to think that years of experience would have taught the author the meaning of the world "professionalism," but sadly, this is clearly not the case. At the very least, if you deride a place of business in a publication, stand by your guns and don't couch your criticism with inane qualifiers to avoid the risk of "offending someone."

Next paragraph, Mr. Bostock shows an utter lack of research do to the clear fact that he didn't even Google "babaganush" to attempt to provide a correct spelling. This is even further emphasized in his comments about the Iraqi flatbread, a homemade bread designed to accentuate the flavors of the appetizers. But remember, Mr. Bostock finds the appetizers "annoying," even "repulsive."

Placing aside the impeccable Babylon for a moment, Mr. Bostock continues to display his gross unprofessional. Every phrase in the rest of the article is one backhanded compliment after another, Mr. Bostock making it clear that what interests him in a restaurant is an "offbeat" atmosphere, rather than quality, traditional cuisine. Mr. Bostock obviously would make much better use of his time reviewing the kind of quaint hipster holes that tickle his fancy, rather than legitimate traditional restaurants.

Finally, Mr. Bostocks's points on the design of each establishment are not only uninformed, but also outside the apparent purview of his trade. Once again, a minute amount of research would have showed traditional design aspects in each of the restaurants, meant to accentuate their traditional fare. Babylon's exterior in particular is a representation of the Gates of Ishtar, on display in the Louve in France, with another portion on display in Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

At the end of the day, this is just another example of Mr. Bostock attempting to play kingmaker with the restaurants of Atlanta. Honestly, it warms a cold heart to see such a longtime writer treating an article with such flippancy. At least a sense of whimsy exists, because Mr. Bostock clearly lives in a fairy tale land.

13 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by EnderBender on 07/10/2014 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Grazing: Sumerian roots

Weird that the reviewer disliked Ghion so much! I've dined there a handful of times with friends and family, many of whom had never had Ethiopian prior, and everyone's always been very satisfied!

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by heckler0077 on 07/10/2014 at 2:52 AM

Re: “Grazing: Varuni Napoli

It is not an antico rip off, it is genuine, better than antico, and fresher salads. Besides you can add or subtract items at ANTICO you have to eat what they have on the menu, NO CHANGES. The environment is customer friendly, not hot and standing up to eat.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by vick on 06/29/2014 at 8:23 PM

Re: “Grazing: Varuni Napoli

Went early in their run and had a mixed experience: tasty-enough pizza but under-trained FOH staff, and the pacing between the line to order, time to sit, and waits at the bar for second drinks was not worked out. Also: Why does authentic-oven pizza, in the US, get so soggy in the center so quickly? Is it the temperature contrast between the oven and what the pies are being served on (porcelain, stone)? I have never experienced this in Italy, only in the US, but it's common and frustrating.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by just commenting on 06/26/2014 at 12:14 PM

Re: “Grazing: Varuni Napoli

I can't disagree more. My Italian husband and I have been to Varuni Napoli four times, so far, and we have completely fallen in love with the place. We haven't tried the arancini or any of the antipasto, yet, but we have tried several of the pizzas & they were some of the best we've had. The Amore Mio was a stand-out. And Luca Varuno couldn't be nicer. He goes table to table to make sure everyone is enjoying the food, and he remembered us after just one visit. My only improvement would be tweaking the bar menu and adding acoustic panels (VERY noisy when busy).

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by abbaks on 06/26/2014 at 6:40 AM

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