Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Daily Deals: dining deals around town for July 29

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 9:13 AM

At DBA Barbecue, live blues with Mudcat is coupled with $10 pitchers of Hurricanes today.

The Shed at Glenwood offers Harvest Night: four vegetable sides for $10.

Half off Depot has a twofer: $25 for $12 at Big Chow Grill and $10 for $4.50 at the Atlanta-area locations of SunO.

Aspens Signature Steaks West offers $10 wine tastings from 6-8 p.m. at the bar.

Scoutmob has 50% off at Isabella's Cafe.

Divan has a pomegranate martini for $5 and a special meal featuring an appetizer, kabob choice and dessert for $35 (from 6:30-7:30 p.m.) plus half-price hookah during that time.

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‘Top Chef’ D. C., Episode 7: PEAS AT ANY PRICE

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 8:27 AM

A note to readers: this week’s entry was written by Adam Silverman, brother of your regular correspondent and general lurker-behind-the-scenes.


With hunky guest U. S. Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL), Top Chef D.C. contestants rise to political action by exploring the culinary side of lobbying, the "power lunch" and... pea puree sabotage.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A lonely dinner on North Highland

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 6:54 PM


I was all alone Tuesday night at dinnertime and, driving aimlessly around, I decided to hit Cafe di Sol in Poncey-Highland. As you can see from the photo above, my lonely condition didn't change much when I took my table in the restaurant. Despite the oppressive heat, most customers were on the patio.

I was surprised to find a very staid menu. Starters include dishes like pimento cheese, calamari, mussels and a pork empanada. Soups, salads and sandwiches take up most of the menu and there are only five entrees. I chose the 10-oz. grilled pork chop topped with crimini and shiitake mushrooms over an onion jus with corn-bacon pudding on the side (right photo).

Everything on my plate was delicious, but I'm mystified why there's nothing more adventurous on the menu. Perhaps they're offering a prosaic alternative to the esoterica emerging from the kitchen of Pura Vida, a few doors down...and quite crowded when I walked by.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)

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Wednesday food links: The sweet and the not-so-sweet

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Are we in a recession or what? Not according to these mega-expensive versions of dishes like bagels, sundaes and hot dogs, as seen on Huffington Post. Fun fact: the restaurant with the $69 hot dog already has a particular customer in mind. Cher.

TreeHugger reports on a Wisconsin school district where they changed the lunch menus and discovered a jump in positive behavior (like not carrying weapons, not fighting, and paying more attention) by doing so. Hmm...

Term Life Insurance wants you to stop drinking bottled water and made a big infographic featuring facts to hopefully encourage that.

Cookbooks are always fun. Check out 18 from celebrities who are not famous for cooking. I think the Ted Nugent one is the most up-front about exactly how the ingredients are sourced.

Continue reading »

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You oughta be on TV, Food Network to be exact

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Hey you! Do you like to cook? Do you want to be on TV and possibly win your own TV show? (Or go down in a blaze of glory and be immortalized on Food Network Humor and other sites?)

If so, then the Next Food Network Star season 7 casting call is right up your alley.

Here's the skinny:
-You don't have to be a professional chef to apply. The casting call lists "chefs, line cooks, home cooks, caterers and culinary enthusiasts." This season has food bloggers and unemployed chefs, for example, in addition to competitors with pro experience. (Don't be discouraged if you're not pro; food blogger Aarti Sequeira is looking more and more like the winner of this season each week.)
-The call is looking for folks with strong culinary skills, food knowledge, a good personality, energy and passion.
-If you wish to apply, you need two recent photos, your resume and a completed application available here.

The casting call will be at the W Hotel Midtown (188 14th St.) on Monday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Check out for more details.

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The Daily Deals: dining deals around town for July 28

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM

South City Kitchen Vinings does a 10 oz. New York strip steak with mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, barbecue jus, biscuits and cornbread for $19 during dinner (served from 5-10 p.m.) on Wednesdays.

Groupon offers $25 for $10 at all four locations of Slopes BBQ.

Valenza's Wednesday lasagna special includes lasagna paired with a glass of wine (choose from six house selections) for $15.

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

Aqua Blue offers girls' night out specials including special cocktail and wine selections, plus select appetizers, for $5 on Wednesdays.

At Shula's 347 Grill tonight, it's $5 martini night.

Wednesday is $3 slider night at The Shed at Glenwood.

West Egg Cafe has a $10 Burger and Pint Night during dinner on Wednesdays: burger, side dish and choice of tap or bottled beers (or a non-alcoholic milkshake) for $10.

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Restaurant poisoning

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 9:30 AM

I'm suffering yet another case of gastrointestinal illness, almost certainly picked up in a restaurant. A friend who ate in the restaurant with me also got sick. And, no, it wasn't an ethnic restaurant in the hinterlands. It was a popular mainstream restaurant. I'm not naming names, since I can't be 100-percent sure.

Out of curiosity, I did look up the restaurant's health department rating and found, to my surprise, that it has a history of low scores in the 70s, although its most recent score was 96.

You can look up any restaurant in Fulton County by going to the health department site and clicking on the link under "food inspections scores." (Most other counties also post scores on the Web.)

New York City inspectors, by the way, will soon be giving restaurants an A, B or C rating for food safety and cleanliness, according to the Associated Press. The rating, as in Georgia, must be displayed in a prominent spot. The new system is creating a good bit of controversy, but its rationale depends on a solid, mind-boggling statistic:

Health officials say they are changing the way they rate restaurants because every year 11,000 people go to hospitals in New York City for food-borne illness related to eating out, and that number is rising.

(Photo of mouse entombed in white bread courtesy of Burwater Pacific Group.)

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Sheik is busy

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 11:41 AM

I stopped at Sheik Burritos n Kabobs(1877 Piedmont Road, 404-815-0227) for a quick lunch Monday. Owner Jahan Ostad (pictured) has made some menu changes. I sampled, for example, a new shrimp taco that includes chicote, a delicious spread made from eggplant and three cheeses with a considerable shot of hot sauce, which the restaurant is now bottling.

Not to be outdone by the hamburger fad, Ostad has also added a burrito and skewer whose principal ingredient is grass-fed ground beef.

Meanwhile, he's prepared the soil for the garden he plans to grow in back of the restaurant. And he plans to be at Friday's Urban Picnic at Sweet Auburn Curb Market.

I ordered my usual kosher-halal burrito made with pork and an intense salad featuring romaine lettuce, golden raisins, granny smith apples, pistachios, mint, parmesan and vinaigrette.

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The Daily Deals: dining deals around town for July 27

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

When the Internet deal sites falter, other great deals are still there for you!

Every Tuesday, Bocado has a Sandwich, Sides and Suds deal for dinner: Bocado burger, fries and a beer choice, all for $12.

Valenza offers a chicken parmigiana plate with wine pairing for $18.

Haven also has a burger special: burger with wine pairing for $15.

Of course, Creative Loafing always has a variety of Eats and Bites!

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Ibiza to close

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 9:00 AM


Ibiza, the Spanish bar and restaurant next to Imperial Fez on Peachtree, is closing at the end of the month. Whatta bummer. The restaurant's website says it has lost its lease, but I hear through the grapevine that the fetching place suffered from poor sales.

It's a mystery to me why Spanish restaurants don't tend to last in Atlanta (although Ibiza did not really feature anything like a pure Spanish tapas bar). The most recent serious effort, Cuerno, tanked, was reborn as a taqueria and tanked again a few months ago. We still have the Iberian Pig in Decatur.

Eclipse di Luna also serves some authentic tapas, as do Noche and Krog Bar. But that's about it. Why?

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