Soft white sandwich bread gets a bad rap. Health nuts extol the virtues of breads packed with grains and seeds. Food snobs prefer crusty artisan loaves and consider white bread an affront to their delicate sensibilities. Well, I say white bread absolutely has its place in everyones kitchen. Sandwiches such as egg salad, BLT, grilled cheese and PB&J simply arent the same without white bread's soft, formfitting goodness.
Now I'm not talking about any old white bread here. I've tried almost every grocery store brand and none approaches Japanese shokupan, also known as milk toast or milk bread. It only takes one aromatic whiff to let you know how radically different it is from its spongy Wonder Bread cousin. Shokupan is an intricate series of airy and buttery layers. The golden crust is just thick enough to provide some structure without having to run interference if you're eating it untoasted. When it is toasted, the bread resembles a crème brulee with its shattering crust and creamy insides. It's a beauty to behold.
Many local Japanese and Korean bakeries make some version of shokupan. Although each bakery has its own twist on the shape, height and size, the insides are always intoxicatingly similar.
Check out the list below to find a shokupan bakery near you.
BAKERY CAFE MAUM: 7130 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-263-7447; and other locations. www.bakerycafemaum.com.
JOLI KOBE BAKERY & BISTRO: 5600 Roswell Road. 404-843-3257; 1545 Peachtree St., Suite 115. 404-870-0640. www.jolikobe.com.
MOZART CAFE AND BAKERY: 5301 Buford Highway. 770-936-8726, and other locations.
TOMATO JAPANESE GROCERY: 2086 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna. 770-933-0108; 7124 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross. 770-263-7838.
WHITE WINDMILL BAKERY AND CAFÉ: 2550 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 678-584-0000; and other locations.
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
PUBLIC HOUSE: Most taverns have that worn in feel from years of drunken revelry, but Marlows Tavern a chain with locations all over metro Atlanta aims for spruced up décor with a laid back vibe. Contemporary touches such as clusters of black-and-white photos in glossy black frames, modern light fixtures, and discretely placed plasma televisions create a posh feel. Sleek, however, doesnt equal cold here. Cozy dark wood booths and brick walls add the kind of warmth that begs you to linger. Plus, the staff is friendly and attentive.
LIBATIONS: Beers ubiquitous brands, regional microbrews and imports abound. Since this is a tavern, the wine selection is small and middling. But the long list of signature and classic cocktails, including a Dirty Vodka Martini made with Level vodka available in filthy, is the thing to order here. Look for the seasonal hot drink menu (made with and without alcohol), with choices such as Marlows Nip Caribou coffee spiked with brandy, Kahlua and chocolate liquor.
RAISING THE BAR: The menu holds many familiar pub grub dishes with a slightly upscale twist. Some entrees verge on too creative, so stick with the basics. Filling starters such as crunchy kettle chips topped with blue cheese, scallions, bacon and tomatoes are perfect for sharing with friends. Burgers are always a safe bet, as are a side of hand-cut fries, also available as a starter topped with truffle oil and Parmesan.
Marlows Tavern, 950 W. Peachtree St., Suite 215. 404-815-0323. Sun.-Wed., 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.- 2 a.m. www.marlowstavern.com.
(Photo courtesy Marlow's Tavern)
RogueApron, the (not-so-}underground supper club, reports that it will be hosting one of its "dirt-to-table dinners" at the new Harvest Farms this summer. The sustainable farm, owned by Collins Davis, is actually located in East Atlanta and work has just begun on it, as this video, featuring a bumper crop of tires, demonstrates.
Our former dining critic, Bill Addison, is back in Atlanta.
When Bill left Creative Loafing, he moved to San Francisco where he worked at the Chronicle about a year. Then he became critic for the Dallas Morning News. Now, he is dining editor and restaurant critic for Atlanta Magazine. I feel sure this is a temporary gig while he waits for Frank Bruni's job to become available at the New York Times. Gourmet Magazine will likely try to derail that by offering him Ruth Reichl's job.
Meanwhile, you can read Bill's blog, Covered Dish, on the Atlanta Magazine site. (Bill did not choose the name of the blog, by the way.) He's posted a great photo piece about his Chinese New Year dinner.
It is really great to have him back in town!
A vegetarian Wall Streeter has a real beef with his macho man ex-boss, who he says tormented him for being a "homo" who wouldn't eat steak with the boys.
Ryan Pacifico is suing Calyon in the Americas, charging that his one-time boss at the French financial firm presided over a testosterone-fueled trading desk, where he was mocked for avoiding meat and wearing snug-fitting shorts during triathlons.
"A trading floor is certainly a manly man's world," Pacifico said. "I just never expected someone to think it's gay to be a vegetarian or to constantly poke fun at me."
Free fat! They're not addictive. We promise:
Next week provides a golden opportunity for Atlantans craving one of the most famous foods from McDonald's restaurants.
On Tues., Feb. 3, from 10:30 a.m. until midnight, the Greater Atlanta McDonald's Operators Association will offer one free small order of McDonald's French fries to guests at local, participating restaurants. No purchase is necessary.
The offer is good for guests dining-in or using the drive-thru.
This sounds very cool:
If you love books and love to cook, Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta (LVA) and the Southeast Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers invite you to unleash your imagination and your culinary talents for the sixth annual Edible Book Festival.
The event benefits LVA and will be held on Saturday, March 28, in The Gallery at The Art Institute of Atlanta Decatur. Childrens entries will be presented at Cooks Warehouse, 180 West Ponce in Decatur at the other end of the block from The Art Institute.
To participate, create a piece of edible art related to books. All creations will be exhibited and judged based on the relevance to the theme of the event and the creativity involved. Judges will award prizes in a variety of categories.
Registration fees will be accepted in four categories: professionals, $25; culinary student, $15; home chef, $5; child (age 6-16), $5.
The entries can promote anything related to books: a scene or character from a book, play, short story, comics, or poem; a book cover; or a books structure. All the ingredients must be entirely edible: chocolate, cheese, vegetables, fruit sweet or savory. Deadline for registration is Monday, March 16.
The International Edible Book Festival is an annual event held throughout the world, uniting bibliophiles, book artists and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment.
For more details about the local festival to register, consult LVA's website or call 404-377-7323.
(Photo courtesy of LVA. I'm sure you recognize the book to which it refers.)
I'm sorry to get to this so late because only two days remain in the very important celebration of barbecue called Meat Week. Consult the national organization's website for the full story.
You can join barbecue lovers for dinner at Hae Woon Dae tonight at 8 p.m. or at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at Fresh Air Barbecue in Jackson, Ga. Go to the website's Atlanta page for complete details.
"May I see your ID? our server, Jason, asked.
Wayne and I looked at one another, incredulous. Are you kidding? I asked. We were paying for our meal not buying alcohol and in more than 20 years of reviewing restaurants and paying with a credit card, Ive never been asked for my ID.
Jason grimaced and said, no, he wasnt kidding. We handed him our IDs and he studied them closely, comparing them to our credit cards. Then he announced that all was well. Yay! We got to pay for our meals and we didnt have to go to jail!
We were at the newly opened Serpas (659 Auburn Ave., 404-688-0040) in the mixed-use Studioplex in the Old Fourth Ward, which has become a favorite location for new restaurants. This may be the most ambitious undertaking in the neighborhood so far.
Kozmo Gastro Pub (11890 Douglas Rd, 678-526-6094) is opening Tuesday, Feb. 3, in Johns Creek. Owner is Oswald Morgan and chef is Travis Collum. Star mixologist is Jimmy Rudnick.
The menu includes starters like tempura-fried green beans and herbed popcorn. Entrees include short ribs with cauliflower mash, roasted chicken, fried chicken and hamburgers....
This just in: "After two years in the making, the City of Atlanta has approved the plans for The Mix, a multi-story retail, restaurant and residential project at 841 North Highland Ave." Construction is scheduled to begin in April. It will be interesting to see if the development attracts another round of out-of-town, big-name retaurateurs....
This from the folks at Liz Lapidus: "Slated to open February 5 in Atlantas W Atlanta-Downtown hotel, Drinkshop will be the citys first-ever haute-cocktail beverage program with a focus on fresh ingredients and a selection of ices. Developed by David Tetens of Starwood Hotels, and Sasha Petraske, world class mixologist credited with New York ventures Milk and Honey and Little Branch, the focus of DRINKSHOP will be to take patrons back to the 1920s and 30s, before invention of ice machines and soda guns."
@TheGorgeousJR: "[It is] very inexpensive; we sell it at the shop. You can get it…
Where can you buy caul fat?
This looks amazing. However, I see a bell pepper on the counter, and bell pepper…
Love pork belly.
Some food just doesn't photograph well, even if it is tasty.
Nothing wrong with grease on the walls if the burger is tasty.