The hosts, owners and wait staff at Saskatoon are very happy to see me. Not because I'm a critic there's no doubt that my secret is safe here but because I'm a customer. Any customer. It's 7 p.m. on a Friday night and the dining room is empty, save for the looming taxidermied heads that peer out from the walls. With his penetrating gaze and considerable heft, Mr. Buffalo is especially impressive. Or something.
Saskatoon, named after a small bush native to northwestern America, has been in business in Greenville, S.C., since 1996. The original restaurant's website says, "After 13 years of success, the steakhouse franchise Saskatoon restaurant is now ready to offer other entrepreneurs a WILD and DELECTABLE Food Franchise Opportunity ... a chance to own a Saskatoon Franchise Restaurant!!!" Buckhead is the landing spot for the first franchisee, Yash Patel.
(Photo by James Camp)
It's no secret that fat is the key to a tasty and juicy hamburger. However, getting the right mix of fat using store-bought pre-ground meats isn't easy. Grinding at home is a solution, but ultimately messy. Alon's Bakery and Market (1394 N. Highland Ave., 404-872-6000; 4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road, 678-397-1782, www.alons.com) has the answer: a house-ground burger sold in packs of two for $5.
(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)
Mother's Day is coming up and no other holiday so thoroughly captures the primary emotional state of the nation these days. I'm talking about nostalgia that sentimental longing for the idealized past. In a ruined economy, we grow especially nostalgic for the comfort actual or not symbolized by a mother.
But the dearth of sentimentality about the mother, like most nostalgia, feels surreally one-dimensional to me. It at once places the mother on a pedestal and trivializes her actual reality. At least this seems true to me of many Southern mothers.
My mother, who died a few years ago, was born in Silver, S.C., a crossroads south of Sumter in the middle of nowhere. Her father was German and her mother was very Southern. They moved to a big house in downtown Charlotte after the Depression ruined my grandfather's prosperous business as a cotton broker. He opened a furniture store where my mother, the youngest of a gaggle of daughters, kept him company.
Square watermelons from Panama. The Huffington Post has the story and a slide show.
Meat-and-three lovers, rejoice! Bobby & June's, the venerable Southern food cabin on 14th Street, will not be closing after all.
"Dad actually decided this morning," said Bobby Jr., taking a moment to answer the phone during the Thursday lunch rush. "We've gotten such a good response from all over after people heard we'd be closing. Folks came from as far away as Flowery Branch."
On Wednesday, several CL staffers stopped by Bobby & June's and saw what he meant about the crowds. As usual, Bobby Crowe greeted customers at the door, but we had to wait a few minutes before a table came open in what I call the "golf room" because of the golf balls and photos displayed on the walls.
Bobby was telling people about how the year-long DOT construction on the nearby 14th Street bridge had cut the restaurant off from its Midtown clientele.
As the AJC reported last week, Crowe had reluctantly decided to pack it in after 30 years because business hadn't recovered after the bridge was reopened at the end of last year. But, according to Bobby Jr., when word got out about the landmark's imminent demise, folks began beating a path to the restaurant's door.
State inspectors were called to the Super Giant grocery store in southwest Atlanta recently after they were shown photos of discolored meat and rotting vegetables.
State Rep. Ralph Long took the photos at the grocery store on Campbellton Road.
Customer Angela Small told CBS Atlanta that she is not surprised that state inspectors were called to the store. She said that the store smells.It smells almost like maybe blood," Small said. "I dont know if you know what dried blood smells like or rotting meat or something.
will hold a second urban picnic 11 a.m.-2 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
Unless you've been hiding under a table at Bacchanalia for the last few months, you know that street food has become the latest cause célèbre of Atlanta foodies. Local laws make vending food from mobile carts complicated and expensive.
For an ongoing account of the controversy and what we are missing that other cities take for granted, check out Christiane Lauterbach's blog, Atlanta Food Carts. Particularly check out the "Manifesto" link.
Friday's event, according to its Facebook page, will give you a taste of at least six mobile vendors: Artichoke Bliss, Black Tie Barbecue, Good Food Truck, The Pickle, Souper Jenny and Hankook Taqueria. This blurb on Facebook describes the event:
The Curb Market spills onto the sidewalks for the return of the Atlanta Urban Picnic! Atlantas up-and-coming independent food artisans bring their carts and tables and join the Curb Markets nine restaurants for an outdoor festival showcasing healthy, gourmet lunch foods. Fast food doesnt have to be bad food taste how good casual downtown food-on-the-go can be. Slow Food Atlanta, partner for the event, suggests you bring your appetite; blanket optional.
FOOD GROUP: Paleta. Or, if you don't speak Spanish: Really, really good handmade popsicles.
CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN: Pass by Buddy's on North Highland Avenue on a sunny spring day and you're almost guaranteed to spot 26-year-old Steven Carse, the wide-smiling, laid-back "King of Pops." For $2.50, you're welcome to pick from an always-changing rotation of creative, fruit-based paletas made with natural sweeteners. Unlike the flavor-from-a-chemical-plant pops you might've been handed at summer camp, Carse offers up such flavors as strawberry lemon, tangerine basil, pineapple habanero and chocolate sea salt. Although he generally sticks to that corner, follow him on Twitter he's @TheKingOfPops for his location, hours and occasional sneak peeks at his daily menu.
(Photo by Joeff Davis)
I know where I'm going to be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. this Saturday, May 1 -- at the East Lake Farmers Market.
The market will be hosting its first Collard Greens Cook-off. For a donation of $10, you'll be able to sample collards by home cooks and restaurant chefs. This is from the event's Facebook page:
Too many folks in this city of transplants missed out by not growing up with this southern staple on their plates. And too many folks in this town wake up to face an empty plate. Help us raise money for a worthy cause -- Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless -- and bring attention to healthy, back-to-roots, real food!
Judges for this fun and funky event include Gina Hopkins (co-owner of Restaurant Eugene and secretary of Georgia Organics) and Chef Mike Deihl (East Lake Golf Club), as well as Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong and a representative from HFTH. There is a rumor that a celebrity mystery judge may join us...
No, it's not an over-dyed Easter egg. It's the pickled egg available as a snack at the new Farm Burger in Decatur. A light dousing of vinegar gives the egg its flavor and a layer of beets imparts the color.
We dined at the popular new burger joint next to Watershed Monday night. We had tried to eat there Sunday night but found the line to the counter so long and slow that we left. But Monday night, we had no wait at all. That's not to say the restaurant wasn't busy. Most tables were filled, so we apparently hit it at just the right time.
The gimmick here is ethical eating. The ingredients, including grass-fed beef, are from local farms. As the restaurant's website says:
Farm Burger is sustainable, local, humane, and helping to reroute our food system to function more like an ecosystem than a corporation. Our goal is to connect soil, animal, plant, rancher, butcher, chef & you all in a simple wire basket.
How's the food in that wire basket taste? The beef itself is extraordinary. You'd have to have a ruined palate not to pick up the difference in this and the typical burger patty around town. However, toppings can rapidly overwhelm the natural flavor. I ordered the signature "farm burger" with white cheddar, caramelized onions and a heavy sauce. I added bacon. My first bites of the burger were way oily. It wasn't until I scraped away some of the toppings that I got the full flavor.
Wayne's burger -- a special with salami and pimento cheese -- was likewise excessive for my taste, but he had no complaint. He did whine about the fries, which were unduly limp.
I urge you to go easy on the toppings. There are some interesting ones available -- or not available, as in the case of roasted bone marrow. There are also snacks and side dishes, like fried chicken livers, braised local greens, pork and beans, chicken croquettes and the pickled eggs.
I'll have more to say in a few weeks in "Grazing."
(Photo by Cliff Bostock)
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