Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jerk chicken sabotages AA meeting

Posted By on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Eats, one of my favorites for an inexpensive meal, has produced a series of You Tube videos featuring an obnoxious chicken. Here's a sample:

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Chef Landon Thompson leaves Ziba's Wine Bar

Posted By on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 11:14 AM

I was just contacted by Landon Thompson, who delivered the sad news that he is no longer the chef at Ziba's Wine Bar in Grant Park. I had contacted Ziba's last week (while in the process of working on an upcoming story about chefs worth watching) to make sure Thompson was still at the restaurant and that he had no plans to move on. I got an enthused response from the owner assuring me that Thompson was at Ziba's for the long term. Then last night came the email from Thompson himself saying that, as of yesterday afternoon, he was no longer the executive chef. He wrote that it was "a very long, strange story," but gave no other details.

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Salmonella outbreak traced to Georgia

Posted By on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Unbelievably, the latest outbreak of salmonella — 400 people in Britain and a few dozen in the U.S. — has been traced to a company in Cleveland, Ga. Their product isn't the usual chicken or dairy products. It's frozen mice to feed pet snakes and other reptiles. The company, MiceDirect, has recalled millions of the frozen treats.

The New York Times reported on the outbreak Thursday and its story, besides sounding a warning, provides a peek into the world of snake lovers:

Steve Gilfillan, a deputy sheriff in Council Bluffs, Iowa, keeps “a couple hundred” garter snakes in several neat rows of roomy enclosures in his basement. The snakes, he said, are like part of the family, which leads to a certain familiarity.

“As far as precautions, I don’t know,” said Mr. Gilfillan, 51, who said his three children helped feed and care for his pets. “Snakes got to eat and snakes got to poop and you got to clean it up. It’s just the nature of keeping them.”

Mr. Gilfillan said he bought 10,500 mice from MiceDirect early this year, delivered to his door. He keeps them in the freezer compartment of a basement refrigerator. He said he had not heard about the recall until a reporter called him on Wednesday.

“I never thought that a mouse could have salmonella,” he said. “It just never entered my mind.”

So take heed. Wash your hands after feeding your menagerie of snakes.

(Photo of "pinkies" for reptile snacks courtesy of MiceDirect.)

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday mole at Bone Garden Cantina

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 4:11 PM

  • Besha Rodell
I stopped by Bone Garden Cantina (1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. 404-408-9072) for lunch yesterday, and found that half the city had decided to do the same. The place was packed. But luckily, my coworkers and I were able to snap up the last table.
Along with the regular menu, we were presented with a daily specials menu, and although I had planned to have one taco and maybe a healthy side, I was unable to resist the special of the day: duck enchiladas with mole sauce.
The duck itself was fine - the meat was moist, but could have been moister, and there was a bit of gristle in a couple of bites. But the mole was fantastic - dark, rich, with just enough heat and depth to create that amazing, multilayered intrigue that made us mole lovers in the first place. With a side of rice and re-fried black beans, I'm happy to say I cleaned my plate.

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It's time for fresh figs

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

The heat is oppressive, but summer provides one gift I never tire of: figs. They are delicious and they have remarkable powers to heal just about everything — sort of like God.

I had my first fig of the season Wednesday night at the Shed at Glenwood. It was $3 slider night, and Chef Lance Gummere made a panino with ham, blue cheese and figs.

I've been lamenting the closing of Stella in Grant Park because the chef there used to make a flawless summertime pizza topped with figs and prosciutto. So I was very happy Thursday night to find that Grant Central was offering a pizza special with that combo, plus blue cheese and arugula. Delicious.

I'm not sure if Jake's is making their annual fig-honey ice cream now, but it's among the city's best uses of figs.

If you come across any good restaurant dishes that include fresh figs, please let me know. (And I'm not talkin' Fig Newtons.)

(Photo courtesy of Zazzle.)

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Best of Atlanta 2010: Time's almost up

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Don't forget, voting for Best of Atlanta ends tomorrow, July 31. You don't need to vote in every single category if you're stumped on some of them, but do make sure to vote in at least five overall.

Here is the ballot. As they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often*!

*you can only vote once

Where's my corn cobbler?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Creamed corn, bacon-corn pudding, cornbread pudding — I've encountered all three as entree sides recently. But, besides Morelli's corn ice cream, I've yet to encounter a corn dessert, unless you include the grits pie at Home Grown.

Tasting Table has a round-up of desserts made with corn at four USA restaurants. We're not talking candied corn::

Though pastry chefs measure their day's work in sugar, life's not all sweet for them. As such, we're particularly excited about the latest muse of the dessert world: sweet corn. Pastry chefs around the country are pairing it with meal-ending stalwarts—with peerless results.

Uchiko, the recently opened sibling to Austin's famed Uchi restaurant, features a polenta custard with sweet-corn sorbet (pictured in the link to Tasting Table). Pastry chef Philip Speer tops it off with caramel salt, a blend of dehydrated caramel and popcorn.

One of pastry chef Karen DeMasco's signature dishes at New York's Locanda Verde is her sweet-corn budino (pudding) with berries; she achieves its rich flavor by steeping kernels and cobs in milk to form the base of her dessert.

The corn dessert offering at Stephanie Izard's new Girl & the Goat blurs the line between sweet and savory: Frozen corn nougat meets apricots and a tangy bacon gastrique.

And at Tony Maws's Boston fixture Craigie on Main, Anson Mills grits support a cardamom-infused strawberry compote and crème fraîche ice cream (click here to download the recipe).

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The Daily Deals: dining deals around town for July 30

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 8:27 AM

South City Kitchen Vinings offers shrimp, catfish and crab with French Fries and hush puppies for $16/person and $14 draft beer pitchers to go along with the seafood.

Pura Vida has $3 tapas from 5:30-6:45 p.m. tonight and every weeknight.

Groupon's deal of $30 for $15 can be used at either Strip or Cantina.

Straits has a live DJ plus $5 House Drinks, $2 Shots & $5 Pink Ponies. Come early for Early Bites, a three-course prix fixe menu with a complimentary house cocktail, for $16.99 from 5-7 p.m.

Aqua Blue brings $3 Blue Moon drafts, $4 select wines and live jazz and blues music.

Scoutmob offers 50% off at Milltown Tavern.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Atlanta weekend food events, July 30-August 1

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons
Go out for brunch this weekend—or enjoy the other events on offer!

Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week, now until Sun, Aug. 8: Enjoy special three-course meals at a selection of downtown’s restaurants. No coupons, passes or tickets needed. Event features a special signature cocktail. Visit website for list of participating restaurants and menus. Reservations recommended. $25-$35. Various locations.

Cook's Warehouse Midtown, Sat., July 31: Cooking 101 teaches students the basics of preparation, including knife skills (with hands-on practicing), recipe reading, pantry stocking and preparing a meal with homemade stock, seared meat and sauce on top. Registration required. $50. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 1544 Piedmont Road. 404-815-0543.

Bone Garden Cantina, Sat., July 31: Bone Garden turns two and celebrates all day with food specials, tiki band live music and the launch of the Bone Garden Tequila Club. Noon-11 p.m. 1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. 404-418-9072.

Soho, Sun., Aug. 1: Weekly Low Down Lobster Boil includes Maine lobster, andouille sausage, corn, potatoes and salad for $25. $3 pints of Sweetwater 420 also available. Call to reserve lobster. 4300 Paces Ferry Road, Vinings. 770-801-0069.

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Dynamic Dish reopens, parking goes to hell

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 4:02 PM


Dynamic Dish has reopened
after closing a month for remodeling. I lunched there today and the space is much improved, both aesthetically and functionally. There's a new restroom and a much more comfortable bar.

Speaking of bars, owner David Sweeney has applied for a liquor license and you'll soon be able to drink yourself under the table while eating his super-healthy, mainly vegetarian cuisine.

Today, I ordered this sandwich of roasted tofu and carrots with walnut-basil pesto. It came with two side dishes — sliced Georgia cucumbers and South Carolina peaches. It was thoroughly delicious, even if it had twice the garlic any human being should eat before speaking to another human.

Wayne ordered a spicy babaganoush made with Georgia eggplant, tomatoes, chilies, cilantro and sesame seeds, served with toasted pita bread. He also ordered a cold soup of cucumber, yogurt and dill.

We did have an unpleasant experience outside the restaurant. Edgewood Avenue is now lined with parking meters. Wayne put coins in a meter and it kept responding with the word "FAIL." We gave up, went inside and one of the staff suggested we move the car to a side street.

When Wayne went out to do that, a city employee was writing a ticket for the car behind his. He told the guy our experience with the meter and he responded with, "If that's the case, you won't get a ticket."

When we left the restaurant — you guessed it — there was a ticket on the car's windshield.

(Photo by Cliff Bostock)

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