Taste Network sponsors the Slow & Smoky Sunday Supper (a Slow Food Fundraising event) on Sun. Sept. 28th at 6 p.m. Held in the TROIS private dining room, this pork-tastic five-course dinner includes French wine pairings and meat from Split Cedar Farms and Smoky Mountain Country Hams. Mixologist Eric Simpkins will be stirring up some conceptual cocktails in the bar, while guests meet with local farmers and chefs, Jeremy Leib and Matt Harris. Walk-ups are welcome as long as youre carrying check or cash. Click here to buy your ticket online. ($105 per person).
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
I enjoy a dry, toasty Oktoberfest as much as the next stein-hoisting temporary German, but my favorite fall beer is still a rich, nutty dopplebock. Weihenstephan is the self-proclaimed oldest brewery in the world, and they know a thing or two about perfection. This dunkles starkbier (dark strong beer) is loaded with malty goodness, embedding flavors of chocolate, mild coffee, soy, and raisin bread into a beer brewed with only four ingredients. An earthy, herbal bitterness is the only hint of hops, but this autumnal brew is all about the malt. Like an artisanal bakery on a rain-soaked November day.
5 chefs, 5 pigs, at 5 Seasons Brewing. Find out who of Atlanta's kitchen kings will be crowned the Prince of Pork or the Sultan of Swine, Mon. Sept. 29th from 6-10 p.m. ($60 per person) at 5 Seasons Prado. Proceeds support farmers and chefs attending the Terra Madre Conference in Turin, Italy.
This strange apparition, shot with my mediocre camera in practically no light, is the grilled Caesar salad at The Porter Beer Bar (404-223-0393), the latest gastropub to open in town.
Located in Little Five Points at 1156 Euclid Ave., The Porter has received a lot of attention since owner-chef Nick Rutherford and sous-chef Austin Dreier are both former employees of the defunct Seeger's, long regarded as one of the nation's best restaurants. Molly Gunn, Rutherford's fiancee and co-owner, also worked at Seeger's. Rutherford was last at the Chocolate Bar in Decatur, where he produced some of the city's most whimsical desserts.
This partial decontruction of the classic Caesar salad includes a grilled "boat" of Romaine lettuce, stuffed with white anchovies, aged Asisago and some garlicky croutons. My entree was a special of beef Stroganoff made with meatballs. It's great, slightly kinky food at low prices. And there are over 100 bottled and draft beers avaialable.
The new gastropub has been attracting capacity crowds, so you might want to go early....or late. It's open until midnight every day except Saturday night when it closes at 2 a.m. I'll have more to say in next week's Grazing column.
On September 27th, chef Carmen Cappello will prepare five farm-fresh Southern courses to be paired with five local brews. The dinner will feature produce from Georgia's Terra Madre farmer delegates. This Slow Food Event is located at the Studioplex and begins at 7:30 p.m. Planning on attending? Mail a check for $75 (which includes tax and tip) to:
Slow Food Atlanta, 4148 Kings Troop Rd. Stone Mountain, GA 30083
That's right, Cuban sandwich lovers. There's no point in holding out hope that the Kool Korner Grocery on 14th Street will reopen.
Clark Brown, a photographer who owns the next-door Kool Korner Gallery with his wife, confirms that the corner property has been sold to a developer and the old tenants are moving out. In fact, Brown says, grocery owner Silvesonso Ramirez has already relocated to Birmingham, Ala., to be near his son.
Perhaps he'll open a sandwich shop there.
Not one, but 10 of the burrito joints are planned in our dear city over the next three years. Specific locations include Midtown, Vinings and Buckhead.
What's Barberitos? Think Willy's, but with spinach tortillas and fish tacos as added options to the menu.
Hat tip to Joe Guy Collier at the AJC, who has the coolest name of anybody at that paper.
Stone Mountain Park hosts the grandest chili fest east of Texas, Sat., Sept. 27. More than $10,000 in prize money will be awarded, so if you have a taste for competitive chili, youll love this. Cooks will compete for titles like Best Of, Peoples Choice, and Showmanship. All proceeds support Camp Twin Lakes, a non-profit organization for children with mental and physical disabilities. For directions or additional information, click here.
(Photo by KyleandMelissa22)
I've revisited three new restaurants during the last few days. You may be sick of hearing about it, but the first was La Pietra Cucina. Look at this special (above) I had for lunch last Friday.
It's veal hanger steak, sliced and placed over Swiss chard and polenta, surrounded by oven roasted tomatoes and some kalamata olives. How many veal hanger steaks have you run into in our city? The contrast of the chard and sweet tomatoes really made this dish.
We also returned to Noni's Italian Deli and Bar. We had a great meal that included this New-York-Italian-style eggplant and chicken parmigiana (above, right). The chicken was a flattened breast, lightly coated in flour and fried, then topped with homemade mozzarella and a thick slice of eggplant and tomato sauce. The chicken was still crispy, a very nice effect not normally encountered in this dish. Wayne had the house-made tagliatelle with a very savory, bright lemon-anchovy sauce.
Our appetizers were a fritto misto and a caprese salad made with thick slices of beefsteak tomatoes. Yes, they are still serving the dish with some reduced balsamic vinegar, despite the objections of purists like Elisa Gambino of Via Elisa. "I know it's not 'authentic'," owner Matt Ruppert told me. "But everyone expects it."
Finally, I returned to the new location of Joli Kobe. I ordered the day's special -- two crepes filled with chicken and mushrooms, topped with melted cheese and salad (above, left). The dish felt quite retro to me as I ordered it -- I haven't eaten crepes in years -- but it was ideal. The kitchen makes two fluffy, almost pancake-like crepes, stuffs them and folds them neatly. The chopped cubes of chicken and the button mushrooms were fresh.
I also couldn't resist buying a sugar cookie and some croissants, including an almond one. The pastries are still among the city's best -- part of what has made the Sandy Springs location so popular for more than two decades.
Here's some new strangeness brought to you by our federal government:
Beef exporters are banned from testing their cattle for mad cow disease without approval from the government, which has exclusive control on test kits, a divided federal appeals court panel said today.
A Kansas-based exporter, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, seeking to test its cattle to minimize public fear, challenged Department of Agriculture regulations that block corporations from buying and using kits to test for mad cow disease. There is no cure and no treatment for the neurological disease. Its 100 percent fatal.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion, upheld USDA control of the kits. Judges Karen LeCraft Henderson and Judith Rogers sided with the government; Chief Judge David Sentelle dissented.
In other words, if the feds don't test our beef, nobody else should be allowed to, either, even if foreign markets insist on it. You can read the whole story here.
Meanwhile, the FDA is proposing regulations for genetically engineered animals. The Washington Post has the story. Here's a sample:
Some of the genetically engineered animals in development, called biofarm animals, are designed to grow faster to reach market more quickly. Others are being developed to make food healthier, Lutter said. "For example, some pigs have been genetically engineered to contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids," he said.
Still others are intended to produce drugs. Certain animals are being genetically altered to be used in human transplantations -- for instance, providing cells or tissues or organs that are less likely to be rejected by the human immune system, Lutter said.
Were there sliders?
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