Obviously by now you've seen our 2010 Best of Atlanta. No? Where you been? I hear the Oral Pleasures section is especially appetizing...
Also, today kicks off our 10th annual Fiction Contest. The theme this year is X, and first prize is $1000. Get to writin!
Reminder: Field of Greens, "Georgia's sustainable farming fair," is Sunday, Oct. 3, at Whippoorwill Hollow Farm.
The event, which benefits Slow Food Atlanta, will feature small-plate tastings by farm-to-table chefs, cooking demos and a farmers' market and educational expo. There will also be tastings from farm-sourced street-food vendors.
Ron Eyester of Rosebud has helped organize participants and it's quite a comprehensive list.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Whippoorwill Farm is located in Walnut Grove, about 45 minutes east of Atlanta.
Inman Park Restaurant Week and Hunger Month, Mon., Sept. 20-Sun., Sept. 26: Event offerings include three-course, prix fixe menu by The Albert,Fritti, Kevin Rathbun Steak, Krog Bar, North Highland Pub, Parish, and more. (Full list of participants on website.) Proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s monthly Supper Club. $15 to $35. Inman Park. www.inmanparkrestaurantweek.com.
Publik Draft House, Fri., Sept. 24: Second annual Bourbon Dinner featuring the Jim Beam small batch line of Bourbons. Menu features bourbon based cocktails, bourbon tastings, and a seven course bourbon inspired menu. Live music by John Timberlake and The Newbies, and Eddie V. $50. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. 654 Peachtree St. 404-885-7505. www.publikatl.com.
The Celebrity Chef Tour, Fri., Sept. 24: Sample food from Celebrity Chefs Kelly Liken and Kenny Gilbert as Jonathan Jerusalmy hosts this event benefiting the James Beard Foundation. $130. 6:30 p.m. 88 W. Paces Ferry Road. 404-563-7900. www.celebritycheftour.com.
Editor's note: Welcome to Gravy Train, our new weekly news and gossip column. Each week, we're bringing you restaurant industry business news, openings and closings, chefs' movements, and good old fashioned gossip. Have a tip for us? Heard a rumor you'd like to share? Anonymous tips are greatly appreciated. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Besha Rodell
Despite reports of Montaluce Vineyard going to the auction block, sources within the organization have confirmed that it’s business as usual in the North Georgia Mountains. Both the property and it’s restaurant, Le Vigne, will remain open and under current ownership.
As many suspected, Atlanta local Richard Blais is a part of the lineup for Top Chef All Stars, airing in December. Bravo announced the cast during Wednesday night's Season 7 Reunion. Earlier this month, Blais was spotted shopping in an NYC Whole Foods along with other past contestants - and a camera crew, of course.
I eat regularly at the Saigon Basil at 1870 Piedmont Rd. My favorite dish there is the bun with shrimp, spring rolls and pork (pictured). It's #7 on the menu....
A friend tells me that Scott Peacock, the former chef of Watershed who is widely regarded as the South's best traditional chef, was in town yesterday to give a talk at Emory. He was invited by the chaplain and, according to my friend, spoke a good bit about spirituality and cooking in the South.
My friend said Scott has bought a house in a small Alabama town and is in the middle of a "creative explosion."
How come nobody does this in restaurants any more?
The Food Not Bombs peeps were harassed by police during their weekly free lunch event in Hurt Park. Below is the resolution, but you can also see video of the actual harassment.
Here's a scene from the recent Atlanta Food Rave. What did they put in that food?
Just got this news release from the Midtown Festival for the Arts:
The Midtown Festival for the Arts is Sept. 25-26, and of particular interest to foodies this year is the Plates on Peachtree Tasting Area, which will offer tastes of dishes and drinks from popular restaurants like Bacchanalia, Park 75, Tap, Bakeshop and Noon Midtown. Plates on Peachtree starts at noon and continues until 5 p.m. on Saturday and takes place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Though it's free to attend the arts festival, admission to Plates on Peachtree is $30 in advance and $40 at the door. The price includes one complimentary beverage. Expect roast pork belly from Empire State South, assorted sushi from RA, shrimp and chicken potstickers from Gordon Biersch and beef ravioli from La Tavola, among other tasty delicacies. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit
Wendy's is now serving breakfast....again. The linked article notes that "Breakfast grabbed close to 60 percent of restaurant traffic growth over the past five years." Hard to believe.
Yesterday, Sept. 22, was National White Chocolate Day. I hope you got your share....
N'awlins has opened at 1271 Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta Village. The owner-chef is Frankie Capobianco, who most recently had a booth in the Irwin Street Market. N'awlins was recently featured by Scoutmob, which has the full story on the place.....
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Atlanta-based Stevi-B's Pizza is opening three new restaurants in New Mexico....Meanwhile, Genghis Grill has opened in Buford, Ga., with two more planned in Buckhead and the Perimeter Mall area. It's all about Mongolian barbecue...
Speaking of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market (see my post below about Bell Street Burritos), I couldn't resist snapping a photo of this sign after a customer — out of the blue, for no discernible reason — began urging me to buy one of the pigs.
"It's only a hundred dollars," he said.
"Why don't you buy one," I said.
"Oh, I would if I had a deep freezer," he said.
"I don't have a deep freezer, either," I said.
"Too bad," he said. "Guess you'll have to settle for a few pork chops."
I just tried breakfast at Empire State South and enjoyed it thoroughly. A warning: Don't believe what you read on the restaurant's website. Breakfast is served until 10 a.m., not 11 a.m., as the site says.
I had a biscuit with "peabacon," something like Canadian bacon that is rolled in peas, a scrambled egg and hominy grits so creamy and tasty that I'm going to end up with a constant craving.
I asked my server about Nick Melvin, chef de cuisine, who announced he's leaving the restaurant after only a few weeks. He is still cooking there, it turns out, and won't leave for two weeks.
Help! You don't see a picture of my breakfast because I managed to lose my camera between the restaurant and Starbucks. If you have suggestions for a digital SLR that doesn't cost a zillion dollars, please let me know.
I stopped by the new Bell Street Burritos at Sweet Auburn Curb Market for lunch Monday. As I've written recently, the new operation is Matt Hinton's homage to Tortillas, the legendary San-Francisco-style burrito joint on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown. Before opening this space, Hinton was delivering his burritos under the name West End Burritos.
I ordered a green-chile burrito and it was indeed a quick and delicious transit to Tortillas: soft, billowy tortilla, perfect red beans, rice and roasted chiles. It was the beans that particularly surprised me; Tortillas' were always unnaturally delicious. I remember eating frequently at Tortillas with Scott Peacock and he often ordered nothing but the beans.
The only thing that seemed a bit off was the green sauce. It was actually a bit congealed or frozen, but tasted great.
I am disappointed Bell Street isn't serving my all-time favorite Tortillas burrito, the shrimp. I asked why not and the woman at the register explained that Hinton is "severely allergic to seafood." Okay, he's forgiven.
The place is a great addition to our city's culinary life.
By the way, I ran into Christiane Lauterbach and Bill Addison, dining critics at Atlanta magazine, while I was at the market. It was Christiane who first introduced me to Tortillas years ago. She and Bill were at the market to confer about the magazine's upcoming "Best of Atlanta" issue.
Bill, commenting on my post about "Eat Pray Love" this morning, told me he is researching an article on food and spiritual traditions in the city. I can't wait to read it.
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