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Monday, December 3, 2007

Man totes Bible to restaurants

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Eating. It's all in a day's work. My partner Wayne and I call days when we don't have to eat somewhere new for a review "freedom from food days." Saturday was such a day. Indeed, my diet that day ranged from healthy fare to junk food.

For lunch, I stopped at Dynamic Dish for a sandwich — remarkable, as always — but I found myself caught up in owner David Sweeney's festive displays, like the persimmons in the photo above, the red Bartlett pears, and the herbs and produce on the counter behind the register.

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Granted, the persimmons are sharing space with a poinsettia and some green candles, but the place is otherwise mercifully free of the usual Christmas kitsch. It's unusual to find a chef/owner who projects such personal style. Most these days are trying to out-Johnson Studio one another, which usually means a frenetic interior. Dynamic Dish is as restful to the eye as its food is comforting.

By the way, Dynamic Dish is vending beautiful fruit baskets for Christmas gift-giving. They're made with fruit that actually tastes good.

For dinner Saturday night, we headed to Eats on Ponce de Leon. Both of us ordered the jerk chicken, a delicious bargain. The vegetables here are always good, too. I ordered corn on the cob, lima beans and collards. Wayne ordered broccoli, my least favorite vegetable on earth. Broccoli seems to be everywhere these days. It's just about impossible to order a special at Grant Central without it arriving with a pile of the stuff dominating the plate.

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At dinner, I told Wayne that someone had pulled me aside at the gym earlier Saturday to tell me, "You seem to have led a very strange life." I told Wayne I couldn't protest because, for example, here I was at Eats with my partner, who had brought along the Bible to read while he ate jerk chicken and swilled a PBR.

This is not an unusual occurrence. I believe he is engaged in an ongoing debate with fundamentalists on some wacky site on the Internets. "I believe Jesus was gay," he said. "I am combing the Bible for evidence."

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After dinner, I couldn't help stopping at Zesto, up the road, to order a toffee-coffee arctic swirl — soft-serve ice cream blended with something like Heath bars and coffee syrup. Very addictive.

Although Ponce de Leon has been undergoing steady gentrification, Zesto is almost always filled with characters — urban ones and people visiting from the sticks. Many were ordering ice cream cones dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts. Then they'd invert the cone in a cup to eat with a spoon. What's that all about? I'd never seen it before, but Wayne, who continued to read the Bible and resist Satan's menu of ice cream novelties, said it's commonplace.

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