An inquiry from a reader:
Do you remember the name of the Vietnamese place on Piedmont near Rock Springs? Must have been 15 years ago? What place in town now do you think has the best Vietnamese?
Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant? Frankly, I don't even remember one there. I do remember one at the corner of Cheshire Bridge and Lenox Road that I loved. I can't recall its name either.
The best Vietnamese is at Com, Nam and Chateau de Saigon.
This February, Atlanta-area restaurants are showing their love for lobsters and giving guests easy-on-the-pocket eats in the process. Aqua blue in Roswell is offering A Tale of all Tails combo dinner selection for the month of February (excluding the 13th and 14th), so diners can enjoy fresh water cold lobster tail at an affordable price. On the other side of town, both locations of Mortons The Steakhouse are serving up a Classic Combination to give guests a more reasonably priced version of surf and turf through March 31, 2009.
Three different lobster combinations are available at Aqua blue. The three tail combo costs $31 and features one lobster tail stuffed with Newburg sauce, one lobster tail stuffed with lump crab and shrimp and one lobster tail broiled with white wine and garlic. Other combos are available for $23 and $28.
At Mortons The Steakhouse, the Classic Combination steak and lobster meal costs $75 per person and includes Mortons single cut filet mignon, an Australian lobster tail, tender asparagus spears and the choice of either a Mortons or Caesar salad. the judge
The Fifth Group Restaurants are offering recession-buster specials. I've tried the Tuesday-night cocido at Ecco and liked it very much.
TGIS AT ECCO
Every Sunday night at Ecco, guests can choose a plate of pasta or a wood-fire pizza and a glass of wine or bottle of beer for only $15/person (plus tax and gratuity). Special is available at the bar or in the dining room. Reservations are recommended but not required. 40 7th St., 404-347-9555.
TUESDAYS IN SPAIN AT ECCO
In Spain, it has long been a tradition to gather with friends and family each Tuesday to enjoy a glass of fine wine and cocido, a hearty Spanish stew. Ecco now brings this charming custom to Midtown for only $24/person (plus tax and gratuity). Special is available at the bar or in the dining room. Reservations are recommended but not required. 40 7th St., 404-347-9555.
MOLTO MONDAYS AT LA TAVOLA
Every Monday night at La Tavola, guests can choose a plate of pasta and a glass of red or white wine for only $15/person (plus tax and gratuity). Special is available at the bar or in the dining room. Reservations are recommended but not required. 992 Virginia Avenue, 404-873-5430.
BEER & BBQ AT SOUTH CITY KITCHEN Midtown & SOUTH CITY KITCHEN Vinings
Join us at South City Kitchen in Midtown and Vinings every Sunday night for a celebration of traditional BBQ. From slow-smoked-all-night-long brisket and pork to tender dry-rubbed ribs to delicious days-gone-by sides and fresh biscuits and cornbread with every orderits finger-licking, mouthwatering, More napkins, please! good. Plus, locally brewed Sweetwater beers are only $3 all day Sunday, too. 1144 Crescent Ave., 404-873-7358; 1675 Cumberland Pkwy., 770-435-0700.
CL's Chanté LaGon and Curt Holman discuss three food documentaries: Our Daily Bread, King Corn, and Tableland.
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I recently ran across several beers from this small-town Vermont brewery and picked up the altbier on a whim. The Copper Ale is Otter Creek's flagship beer, and the first one it produced back in 1991. A Czech pilsner and a porter are part of the lineup in Georgia. The brewery also produces Wolaver's Organic Ales.
Altbier (literally "old beer") is a German ale style popular in Dusseldorf, and a throwback to the pre-lager days. Altbiers have a bit more malty character and body than German lagers, with perhaps a hint of fruity esters from the ale yeast, but this is still a clean, well-structured ale. Otter Creek's version features toasted grains and caramelized malt nicely balanced by a floral hop character and a quenching citric sourness. The firm body is consistent throughout, with a lively carbonation and a moderately bitter finish. The toasted malts and slightly sweet grains are a natural match for a burger or wings; just in time for your Super Bowl party.
(Photo by Jeff Holland)
Please plan to participate in this tomorrow. You can get the list of the many participating restaurants on the Atlantans Together Against Crime website.
I lunched at Taqeria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge today. The special taco this week is one of my favorites -- al pastor with an avocado salsa.
At lunch, a local gossip told me that Ria Pell, owner-chef of Ria's Bluebird Diner, will be opening a new restaurant in Inman Park at 753 Edgewood Ave. and Waddell St.. It's the space formerly occupied by 11:11 Tea House.
In fact, her website includes an announcement about the new venture, called Sauced Atlanta. She will be opening it with partner Stephen Gannon:
At the packed eighth anniversary celebration of Ria's Bluebird in October, chef/owner Ria Pell announced plans to open a new dinner restaurant in Inman Park with partner Stephen Gannon. Slated to open in Spring of 2009, the restaurant will star chef-driven cuisine made from high-quality ingredients including locally farmed and organic produce, and native Southern fish and meats.
Sociable food, global flavors is how Pell describes the menu. The emphasis will be on a broad variety of innovative sauces paired with playful pinchos (appetizers) and family-style shared entrees. Complementing this fare will be creative wine pairings, fresh juice cocktails, house-made infused spirits, and unique pastry confections.
The ambience she looks to create is romantic-yet-friendly, neighborly and vivid similar to the popular supper clubs hosted at the Bluebird in the past. She intends the food, drinks and atmosphere to spur lively interaction, captivating discussion and a spirit of tabletop adventure.
Ever since David Cash wrote to tell me about the brisket burger at Fox Bros.-Bar-B-Q, I've been craving it. Last night, after 30 minutes of cardio at the gym, I rushed to the restaurant and ordered one, which I devoured at the bar along with some tater tots. I think this is called neutralizing the benefits of cardiovascular exercise.
The thing was incredible. I'm overly fond of brisket, but the jalapeno mayo, the bacon and the melted pimento cheese added to the usual irrresistibility. It was a gigantic serving that put me in an altered state -- similar to the way the Ghetto Burger at Ann's Snack Bar makes me nearly comatose.
You gotta try it.
(Photo by Cliff Bostock)
JCT KITCHEN & BAR: JCTs vegetable plate is just what we crave when the spectrum of brown winter foods has grown tiresome. Chef Ford Fry uses an assortment of seasonal vegetables from the Local Farmstand located outside of Star Provisions and cooks them with great care. Fry adds some heft to the dish with the addition of pillowy homemade gnocchi as a base. The dish is finished with a buttery sauce made with chicken stock. A vegetarian version using white wine is also available. 1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18. 404-355-2252. www.jctkitchen.com.
RIA'S BLUEBIRD: Chef/owner Ria Pells Brisket Breakfast is not only soothing, but a guaranteed hangover killer. Pell slow cooks the brisket for 14 hours and uses the braising liquid to create a spicy tomato broth. The broth is ladled into a large bowl and topped with chunks of the fork-tender beef and two poached eggs. The combination of the silky broth, rich egg yolks, buttery beef, and crunch of the accompanying toasted baguette creates an orgy of textures in each bite. It's had us hooked since we first tried it years ago. 421 Memorial Drive. 404-521-3737. www.riasbluebird.com.
SOTTO SOTTO RESTAURANT: Hearty pastas with rich meat sauces are a no-brainer when there's a chill in the air. One of our favorites is Sotto Sottos Lasagnette alla Bolognese, a sort of free-form lasagna. Chef/owner Riccardo Ullio takes the long strands of homemade lasagnette pasta (a lasagna and pappardelle hybrid) and tops them with a slow-cooked traditional Bolognese sauce (made with veal, pork, beef and bits of charcuterie) and creamy bechamel sauce. He then flash bakes the dish in the restaurants wood-burning oven to marry the flavors. 313 N. Highland Ave. 404-523-6678. www.sottosottorestaurant.com.
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
If the cold weather and gray skies have got you feeling down, buck up! Its already time for a spring release, the return of a classic barleywine, and other random oddities.
You Blockhead! Human Blockhead, the latest in the Coney Island Lager line from Schmaltz Brewing Company, hits stores this month. Billed as a "Tough-as-Nails Strong Lager," the seasonal offering is brewed from eight specialty malts including rye, wheat and oats, and six hop varieties that suggest a dopplebock style. It packs a whopping 10% ABV that might have you feeling like Melvin Burkhardt, who for 25 years pounded nails into his head as the original Human Blockhead at the Coney Island sideshow. The current MC of the sideshow, Donny Vomit, now keeps the act alive and is featured on the label. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Coney Island Lagers goes to support Coney Island USA, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of American popular culture.
Magic Hat Spring Fever Variety 12-Pak. It seems a bit odd to offer a spring variety pack from Jan. 1 to April 1, since the dates only include 10 days of actual spring. But then again, the folks at Magic Hat often seem to have dipped into the psilocybin bag. This years Spring Fever Variety 12-Pak contains three bottles each of the #9 ale, Circus Boy, hi.P.A., and the latest Odd Notion, a Poppy Agave Pilsner that contains agave and blue poppy seeds. Perhaps that explains the odd release dates. The hi.P.A. is a regular in the spring lineup, made with English pale malts and Columbus hops. It has 45 IBU (International Bittering Units) and 5.8% ABV.
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