Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Playing footsie with big-ass BBQ

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 11:16 AM

(H/T: Todd Harkleroad)

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This week's feature: Wrecking Bar rising

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 10:46 AM

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  • Joeff Davis
Last week, I got to go take a look around the Wrecking Bar, and talk to owner Bob Sandage about his plans for a brewpub in the old mansion. For this week's feature, I talk about the pub, and the massive undertaking of resurrecting the Moreland Ave. landmark.

Also, check out Joeff Davis' slide show of the project.

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Fried green tomatoes and dirty sunshine

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Kevin Clark, chef and co-owner of Home Grown, shows you how to make fried green tomatoes in the top video. The bottom video features Cornbred Gallery, which is inside the restaurant. Don't miss Johnny Waggener's mixed-media show, "Dirty Sunshine," on display there Sept. 3-25. The opening reception on Saturday is scheduled 7 p.m.-12 midnight. (Click the events button on the gallery's website.)

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Monday, August 30, 2010

What's southern enough to be filmed?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 5:12 PM

The Southern Foodways Alliance asks this question on Facebook:

What's the one dish/ingredient/food event/restaurant/etc. from your home area that you'd like to see in a documentary abt Southern food?

Within 30 minutes, a slew of responses appeared. Check it out if you're on Facebook. It's like an idiosyncratic guide to Southern dining.

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Today's the day

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 3:49 PM

It's the day that Hugh Acheson's restaurant, Empire State South, opens. It's at 999 Peachtree St. and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The website describes it this way:

The food of Empire State South is an homage to the great foodways of the South and works in a meat 'n' three format. For those unfamiliar: you choose your protein, two sides and a choice of accompanying bread. Think Elberton pork with chanterelle gravy, succotash, okra with crushed pecans and cornbread.

Besha recently cited Acheson and the new restaurant's day-to-day chef, Nick Melvin, in her piece about "Atlanta chefs to watch."

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Madras Woodlands opens for dinner

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

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  • Cliff Bostock

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  • Cliff Bostock
Decatur is the place to head when you're hungry for Indian food. We visited the latest to open there, Madras Woodlands (2201 Lawrenceville Hwy., 404-248-9333), Sunday night.

This restaurant occupies the shopping center space that was most recently Madras Chettinaad. Before that, it was Bollywood Masala. The new name is a common one, derived from restaurants of the same name in India, according to our server.

The restaurant's very inexpensive lunch buffet has created some buzz (11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily), but it apparently only opened for dinner the night before our visit.

Madras Woodlands' enormous menu includes cooking from both the southern and northern parts of India — meaning that both meat and vegetarian dishes are on the menu. The most unusual dish we sampled — unusual to us, anyway — was a very aromatic curry flavored with cinnamon, featuring crab claws (top photo). We also nearly killed ourselves with an order of batter-fried hot peppers that looked kind of like corn dogs (right photo).

Overall, our meal was good. I'll have more to say in "Grazing" later this week.

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Atlanta Food Events

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

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Chef Julia LeRoy Cooking Demonstration, Tues., Aug. 31, Thurs., Sept. 2: inTown Farmer’s Market provides Georgia’s farmers, merchants and artisans with a new, centrally-located and high-traffic venue. This week’s featured chef will be offering a cooking demonstration as well as samples. Experience the beneficial economic impact of buying naturally grown, or organic produce and other products from some of our finest local sources. Opening week hours are 3-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. www.intownfarmersmarket.com.

Social Resto Café Bar, Wed., Sept. 1: Gathering of the Downtown Atlanta French Language Meetup Group organized by Marvin Chapman. The Meetup is open to anyone who is interested in speaking and practicing the French language, eating authentic French food and discussing French culture. 7 p.m., 12 West Peachtree Place. www.socialintown.com.

Zydeco Picnic and Decatur Book Festival, Fri.-Sun., Sept. 3-5: Presented by DeKalb Medical, this annual book festival features presentations given by cooks, authors, and food columnists. The event will be closed out by popular band, Zydeco T. Free concert, $10 at the gate for food. Downtown Decatur Square. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Midtown Restaurant Week, Sat., Sept. 4-Sun., Sept. 12: During this fifth annual restaurant week, participating restaurants will offer a $25 three-course meal. Participants include Two Urban Licks, Silk, Lobby, Dogwood and more. (Full list of participants on Web site.) Various locations. www.atlrestaurantweek.com.

Beer and Whiskey Fest, Sun., Sept. 5: Sixth annual event features tastings of many beers and whiskies, plus barbecue, five tribute bands, a DJ and a silent auction with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Nature Conservancy Gulf Coast Relief Fund. Portions of ticket sales also benefit the relief fund. 2 p.m.-11 p.m., $10 advance, $15 door. 500 10th St. 404-249-0001. www.beerandwhiskeyfest.com.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

'The bold and beefy are those who believe in their burgers'

Posted By on Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Four hours of intense gluttony are scheduled here Saturday, Oct. 2. That's the day the possibly epic Battle of the Burgers will be held at John Howell Park in Virginia-Highland.

I say "possibly epic," because some notable Atlanta burger venues have not yet signed up for participation, although 11 have. This event is for a very good cause. Proceeds will benefit Embraced, an organization that collects and distributes "gently used" medical equipment locally and globally. So don't make us name names of the nonparticipants (although the event's website kinda-sorta does, in comical fashion).

The event has signed up Slim Chickens and Stephanie Scarlet for music and is looking for more. Judges are a motley mix of foodies, including, among others, the venerable Foodie Buddha, Jonathan Baker and Hugh Acheson.

Tickets, if bought in advance, are $20 and include 20 "tastes." But you'll pay a good bit more if you wait to buy tickets on the day of the event, which will be held 12-4 p.m.

Absolutely check out the website, which is quite entertaining.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Merguez at Anis

Posted By on Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 5:30 PM

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  • Cliff Bostock

I lunched at Anis Friday, as I often do with friends. This week's meal was merguez, the spicy North African sausage favored by the French. It was served with a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and pickled onions. That's my friend Brad in the background devouring a dish of striped sea bass.

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A visit to Ca Dao

Posted By on Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Burnt rice with grilled pork
  • Cliff Bostock
  • Burnt rice with grilled pork

Giant summer rolls
  • Cliff Bostock
  • Giant summer rolls
I was all alone on Friday evening and, as usual when that's the case, I headed out Buford Highway to see what might be new. I landed at Ca Dao (4166 Buford Hwy., 404-982-0700), a Vietnamese restaurant in the location of the very short-lived but very well reviewed Bamboo Grill and Hot Pot. It's been open two weeks.

My meal was delicious if a bit surreal. When I arrived, the restaurant, which is quite large, was completely empty. About halfway through my meal, a family came in and greeted the owners excitedly. It was obvious that the Ca Dao owners operated another restaurant.

I asked the owner for the story when he came by my table. He explained that he and his wife owned a pho restaurant farther down the road for 17 years. He said that his landlord raised his rent astronomically and, with business declining due to the recession, he decided to move to this new location. I asked why Bamboo Grill had closed. "No business," he said. I looked around at the empty dining room. He laughed.

He told me he expected his customers to follow him to the new location. He put a sign on the door of the closed restaurant and the landlord removed it.

He also told me that before opening his pho restaurant he operated the first Vietnamese restaurant in Atlanta, also called Ca Dao. Then he told me something that shocked me.

Continue reading »

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