Despite conflicting reports on opening dates (and locations), I received confirmation today from Havana's co-founder, Debbie Benedit, that she'll reopen next week at 3979 Buford Highway in the Crossroads Village Shopping Center (Buford Highway and Clairmont Road) 404-633-7549.
Debbie writes in her sweet note:
I am Debbie Benedit, one of the co-founders along with my late husband, Eddie and his dad, Guido that opened Havana Sandwich Shop in 1976. Right before the fire that destroyed the Buford Highway location, my son, Eddie, opened up in Canton. One month later, Atlanta burned down. For the past year, I have been trying to find a "new home" for my restaurant and my life of 32 years. On a wing and a prayer, and a WHOLE lot of help and support from my kids, friends and a wonderful general contractor, we have done just that. The "Original Havana Sandwich Shop/Restaurant" will be opening next week.
Me, my son Eddie, the girls, that have been with Havana for 15-20 years are all coming back. We look forward to seeing you and all our friends from "the old yellow brick building."
Debbie also writes that she has launched a new website for Havana. Congratulations to Debbie and her family. I know I'm looking forward to dining at the new digs of my old favorite next week.
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
If you haven't tried Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout, the latest joint project between Terrapin Beer Company and their friends at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, Colorado, you might want to sign up for the upcoming collaboration dinner at The Porter Beer Bar on Tues., Nov. 3. Depth Charge has been moving well, thanks to positive online reviews, so it likely will be gone soon. The dinner will also feature the breweries' first collaboration, Terra-Rye'zd, a black rye lager.
It matters, according to new research:
Whether your companions are overweight or skinny and how much they put on their plates can greatly influence how much you eat. New research shows if we eat with skinny people, we tend to mimic their food portions, regardless of how much they take. However, if we eat with overweight companions, we generally try to adjust our portions to be different.
There are two types of diners: Those who dont mind brash service, long waits or odd locales as long as the food is good, and those who prefer a more polished dining experience to feel at ease. If you find yourself in the former group and also happen to love Thai cuisine, youve most likely braved the odd yet delicious Panita Thai Kitchen in Virginia-Highland. However, Panita isnt as odd as you may think.
Its not uncommon to find yourself standing in the doorway at Sawadee Restaurant (4920 Roswell Road, 404-303-1668) waiting for someone anyone to emerge from the dark end of the dining room. But the wait is a nice chance to gawk at the faded opulence of this quirky spot tucked away in the corner of the Fountain Oaks Shopping Center. Cindy, the owner/cook/server will inevitably burst out of the kitchen with a remarkably large presence for such a tiny lady. Cindy likes to chat and has the pleasant habit of lingering near your table as you eat. It was during one of these solo meals with my inadvertent dining companion that I discovered her surprising back-story. Cindys Thai name is Panita the actual Panita after which her husband named his restaurant.
Continue Reading "Sawadee Restaurant"
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
I stopped at MetroFresh at Midtown Promenade after the gym Monday night, thinking I'd eat something low-calorie. Then I encountered this dish -- strips of grilled flank steak over blue-cheese risotto with red-pepper coulis. Sold! Cost, including a cup of Thai coconut-chicken-rice soup, was only $12.95.
This reminds me of the recent study, widely reported, that concluded that if a restaurant advertises healthy food but also offers heavier dishes, people will often choose the latter while congratulating themselves for dining in a health-conscious restaurant.
MetroFresh posts its menu daily and I noticed that tonight's entrees (Tuesday) include chicken and dumplings. I have to eat elsewhere this evening; otherwise I'd be there.
(Photo by Cliff Bostock)
Often, people ask me where I get my inspiration. I dont usually have an answer. I may ramble about the farmers market, or detail an epiphany I had while visiting a new city. But its very difficult to delve into the process in a few sentences. Its poetic to talk about inspiration being all around you, and that if you just open your eyes wide enough, you'll see. Smell the roses or garbage bin, for that matter.
The romantic notion that inspiration can strike anyone, wildly and without rhyme or reason, simply isn't true. As with any creative endeavor, inspiration is only useful when you have a firm foundation of experience and technique to filter it through.
But if you have a moment, Ill walk you through the inspiration behind a dish that Im doing at a private dinner this month. The dinner happens to be in a graveyard. At night. Outside. In total darkness, except each diner is armed with a flashlight.
Ill be describing the last savory course of a five-course meal.
I guess, although Tony always seemed like the kind of guy to just say what he's thinking. That's one of the best things about his award-winning Travel Channel show "No Reservations." That and the look on his face when he's gotta eat another poop shoot.
But we ask because Anthony Bourdain has a new TV series on the way in 2010, which promises a presumably elusive look into the celeb chef's mind. The show's animated and it looks ... kinda bad. For "Anthony Bourdain's Alternate Universe" the well-traveled chef's animated doppelganger is some sort of too-cool-for-school, brain-eating (see Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray) Dr. Evil type. Sure, the real life Tony is also a too-cool-for-school, brain-eating Dr. Evil type, but the brief Travel Channel teaser makes cartoon Tony look like a bratty, image-obsessed Frankenstein. I prefer the weathered human curmudgeon to the salty, well-coiffed drawing. The teaser's porn-y music doesn't help either.
The newest location of Pure Taqueria -- 300 North Highland Ave. -- will open Oct. 31. Inman Park residents will be treated to an open house this Thursday night. The new taqueria is in the old Grape location, across from Sotto Sotto and Fritti....
Check out photographer Mark Petko's blog Spoonfed Atlanta to see some beautiful shots of dishes at Serpas True Food. Other restaurants he's featured recently include Top Flr and 4th and Swift....
In case you missed it, Tom Maicon of Atlanta Cuisine published a great interview with Jeff Varasano, owner of the controversial Varasano's Pizzeria. Among his comments which have caused further controversy:
The biggest unexpected challenge was the fact that guests eat their pizza with a knife and fork. Coming from NY its just a reflex to pick up a slice and fold it. I really want everyone to try pizza at its best and a huge part of any food experience is the way it feels in your mouth. A great piece of fresh fried chicken has a nice crunch on the outside that gives way to a juicy interior. Similarly, folding a fresh slice allows you to bite the crust which gives way to the juicy sauce.
This style of pizza has a light crust that is too delicate to retain any crunch after its been cut with a knife or if its sat too long. We got a lot of early criticism about the texture of the crust and we spent the first two months altering the dough formula to compensate. This was probably our biggest mistake. I know of no pizza with this kind of thin, charred, light airy style that holds up to a knife and fork....
The Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp is the weekend of Nov. 7. The annual event's highlight is a chili cookoff. This year's judges are Shaun Doty, Kevin Gillespie, Linton Hopkins, Kevin Rathbun, Joe Truex and Scott Serpas....
The Anis and Carpe Diem folks have opened their new restaurant, Amuse, in the old Allegro space on Dutch Valley Road in Midtown. It's been open a week now...
Because there are so many fancy butters on the market, deciding which brand to splurge on is incredibly difficult and costly.
I assembled five tasters, including myself, for a blind taste test. The butters were chosen randomly based on availability from local stores such as Publix, Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Star Provisions.
All butters were served at room temperature. We started with rolls, but eventually switched to our fingers since the bread got in the way.
Plugrá (Unsalted) $2.99/pound. This butter is a European-style butter made by Keller's Creamery in Texas. It had the creamiest mouthfeel of the bunch. One person remarked it tasted like butter should taste. Its also one of the cheapest on our list and available at most grocery stores. www.kellerscreamery.com.
Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter $7.40/8 oz. The snow-white color of this butter had some of my tasters a bit wary. The goat milk butter made in Turlock, Calif. has won four first-place awards at the American Cheese Societys annual cheese competition. While made with goat milk, the Meyenberg is clean rather than barnyardy. Our tasters called it cheese-like and pleasantly fatty. www.meyenberg.com.
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
Andrew Smith, the (amazingly prolific) author of "Eating History," will be speaking 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (1927 Lakeside Pkw., Tucker):
Food historian Andrew F. Smith will recountin delicious detailsome of the major moments that made contemporary American cuisine, as described in his brand new book, Eating History: Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, from Columbia University Press. The style of American cooking, along with the ingredients that compose it, has never been fixed. With a cast of characters including bold inventors, savvy restaurateurs, ruthless advertisers, mad scientists, adventurous entrepreneurs, celebrity chefs, and relentless health nuts, Smith pins down the truly crackerjack history behind the way America eats.
The event is co-sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Atlanta, which maintains a Facebook page (email email@example.com). There is also a separate Facebook page for this event.
Were there sliders?
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