So we walked together to the market's main booth, where you can use a card to purchase tokens to pay for the glutton-worthy variety of goods. But the line was long and slow. Soon, the man said he was leaving. "I let myself splurge last year on opening day," he said, "but, after that, I made a weekly list before I came over and wouldn't let myself buy anything else. I should have done that today."
He wandered away, munching on a quite reasonably priced ($7) banh mi from the Dumpling Girl, exactly what I was pining for when my wallet went belly up. I've been craving the things ever since Brad wrote a cheap eats column about them.
The bound book of a menu at Yard House is unlike anything our small lunch party had ever seen: page after page after page of dishes. So many dishes that the small printed columns began to run together in a blur. Seriously, take every family chain restaurant in America and roll them all into one; the result is Yard House. Pizza Margherita, Roasted Turkey Cobb, Chilled Edamame, Blue Crab Cakes, Onion Ring Tower, Korean BBQ, Spicy Jambalaya, Truffle Fries, Porcini Crusted Halibut, Deviled Eggs, and Mushu Egg Rolls. There are hundreds of choices. Burgers, sliders, sandwiches, soups, 16 different salads, 14 "meatless" meat dishes for vegetarians, and if that weren't enough, a separate menu insert for their trendy Street Tacos. Oh, and they had a special fish of the day, salmon or something.
Not gonna lie, it took us about 15 minutes, and several check-ins from our spirited server, to figure out what to order. For starters, Deviled Eggs ($2.95) topped with spicy tomato sauce, sweet chili sauce, and minced chives. Living in a city where great Deviled Eggs can be found at some of the best restaurants in town (Bocado, JCT., Holeman & Finch), we had high hopes. Unfortunately, these runny, saucy egg halves did not measure up, the flavor dominated only by a generic sweet chili sauce.
More after the jump
Check out Paul Simms' "New Yorker" piece,"Restaurant Mental-Health-Code Violations." It's a compendium of craziness any regular restaurant diner has seen and overheard during meals — or, just as likely, dumb s*it we all do. A few examples:
Open kitchen layout allows customers a clear view of line cook wearing regulation hairnet but no covering on his gigantic, filthy lumberjack beard.
Earnest foodie is despondent owing to an inability to conceal his revulsion at much ballyhooed stew of braised organ meats and raw root vegetables.
Irate customer at nearby table repeatedly uses phrase "dry-cleaning bill" when arguing with server over accidental spill, even though it was a glass of water and customer is wearing tank top and cargo shorts.
Party of seven all wearing flip-flops in plain sight.
Cook's Warehouse, Brookhaven Mon., April 30, 7 p.m. Meehan's Chef Val Domingo at Cook's Warehouse. Chef Val Domingo will prepare a selection of springtime favorites. He'll begin with an assortment of seasonal tapas and follow up with a salad and an entrée. Guests will learn how to craft dishes like heirloom tomato and crab bruschetta or slow-roasted boneless leg of lamb with apricot shallot glaze. Details
Woodfire Grill Tues., May 1, 6:30 p.m. Five-Course Beer Dinner. The restaurant's beer dinner will feature a selection of Belgian, German, and American beers including Dogfish Head Midas Touch, Saison Dupont Belgian Farmhouse Ale, Ayinger Ur-Weisse Dunkelweizen, and more. The cost is $120 per person. Details
RA Sushi Tues., May 1, 7 p.m. May Sake & Sushi Social. RA Sushi is hosting its monthly Sake and Sushi Social on Tuesday. Guests will roll up their sleeves and learn about sushi rolling and sake pairing basics while treating themselves to a selection of RA Sushi's sushi, appetizers, and sakes. The cost to participate is $35 per person or $60 per couple, and includes a sushi lesson and a four-course sampling from RA Sushi's menu paired with sake. Details
Meehan's Public House Tues., May 1, 7 p.m. A Not So Unnatural Beer Dinner. Chef Branden Holte is holding a beer dinner featuring Uinta Brewery and a locally-inspired three-course menu. Menu selections include Georgia peach romaine salad, Meyer lemon PEI mussels, and a roasted leg of lamb. Beer pairings come with each course. Details
Octane Coffee Wed., May 2, 5:30 p.m. Brooklyn Brewery Beer Tasting. Hop City Craft Beer & Wine will host a Brooklyn Brewery beer tasting at neighboring coffee shop, Octane. Named after the 1955 World Champion Dodgers baseball team, the Brooklyn Pennant Ale is sure to excite taste buds. Details
Deadwood Saloon Thurs., May 3, 7:30 p.m. Free Exclusive Johnnie Walker Tasting. Deadwood Saloon will hold an exclusive Johnnie Walker tasting of Johnnie Walker Red, Black, Green Gold, Blue, and Double Black. Master of Whiskey Kevin Mulcahy will host the event. The event is free, but only open to Deadwood Times Members. Details
The St. Regis Atlanta Sun., May 6, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Mad Hatter Tea. Starting on May 6 and every week for the rest of the month, the St. Regis will hold an Alice in Wonderland-inspired Mad Hatter Tea. To get in the Mad Hatter spirit, guests are encouraged to wear fabulous hats. The menu will feature festive bites including the Mad Hatter's peanut butter fudge creation, Tweedle Dee cookies, and White Rabbit's coconut mousse tea cup. The tea is $40 for adults and $22 for children 12 and under. Details
- The pizza prices range from $17 up to $22, which sounds high at first, but these are 16 inch pies and easily feed two people each.
- The sausage and rapini pizza? If you dig this classic combo, you will be happy. Well seasoned and crumbly slices of sausage sit beside strands of tender and bitter rapini, bits of hot Italian pepper and juicy cherry tomatos are scattered about, and the mellow mozzarella is there to tie it all together. Despite being unencumbered by sauce, this is knife and fork pizza - do not attempt to balance the weighty toppings atop the perfectly charred pizza by hand. By the way, the dough is nice, but it does get a bit more bready around the edges than I care for.
- Amaro soda? Brilliant. Clocking in at a lower price and lower alcohol level than most cocktails around town, these clever Italian-inspired cocktails hit the spot on a spring day. The "My Amaro Cola" nicely offsets the bitter amaro with some sweet cola and lime.
- I had heard about the "tunnel of wine" (wasn't that a Springsteen song?) and had visions of something akin to that tunnel in the Georgia Aquarium where sharks swim above you (but with wine!). Alas, I walked in to mostly barren walls. The wine wall needs work. Oh, and speaking of wine, the iPad wine and cocktail menus may not be the best idea (yet, at least) - my server had to sort through three faulty iPads before finding one that worked.
Based on that one quick lunch, I'd say "get thee to STG."
YOU ARE VERY STUPID...beans and rice are very inexpensive and they are GOOD for you... you should be spreading the word...not tearing people down for sharing ideas that will help the poor people of all colors.. I learned about beans and rice as a young adult THERE IS NO REASON TO STARVE UNLESS YOU ARE JUST STUPID!
Actually, Suzanne, YOU ARE VERY STUPID. My post doesn't dispute that rice and beans are a cheap meal. What I dispute is that people in America don't go hungry, that Mittens isn't out of touch, and that the simple solution to hunger is rice and beans. (Call me crazy, but I'm guessing poor people already know about rice and beans.) Please take yourself to an elementary school cafeteria in a poor section of town and scream at the kids, "THERE IS NO REASON TO STARVE UNLESS YOU ARE JUST STUPID."
I did write a response to people in the comments section of the post....
Maybe it's just me — I know, it's always just me — but I find The Daily Eater's article about the "Top 15 Badass Women Chefs in America" kind of strange.
It's not that the women chefs don't deserve attention, to say the least, but what is the point of measuring their skills in terms of male chefs? That's what the article and slide-show commentary do. It all basically boils down to: They are badass because they measure up to a certain set of male chefs.
Many of the women have participated in competitive food shows like "Iron Chef." I understand the entertaining idolatry of TV chefs, but it ought to be obvious that there are plenty of chefs far better than the theatrical titans of "Top Chef" and such. Badassery — theatricality — does not in itself make anyone a good chef.
Don't freak out—Mother's Day isn't until May 13. But knowing your mom, she'll want to know that you have brunch reservations. Like, now. Here are some tasty options:
Alon's Bakery and Market Brunch is available 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. and includes a buffet and omelet station. The cost is $29.99 per person and $12.99 for kids 12 and under. Mothers will receive a special treat with their meal. Details
Haven Haven's Mother's Day brunch will start at 10:30 a.m. Chef Stephen Herman has prepared a three-course prix-fixe menu featuring items such as poached Georgia shrimp, roasted Scottish salmon, warm chocolate brownies, and beignets. Brunch costs $29 per person and an a la carte children's menu will be available for $8 per item. Details
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse Fleming's is offering a three-course Mother's Day brunch menu, available from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The brunch price is $34.95 for adults and $16.95 for children ages 12 and under. The restaurant is also offering a celebration cocktail, the Blood Orange Fizz, for $6.95. Moms who celebrate at Fleming's on Mother's Day will receive a $25 gift card. Details
No. 246 Starting at 11 a.m., No. 246 will serve brunch, featuring items such as Kumamoto oysters with prosecco horseradish mignonette; French toast with wood-oven roasted peaches, pecans, local honey, and cinnamon cream; and a breakfast pie with poached eggs, bacon, cheddar, potatoes, and mozzarella. Details
I've got just the thing for you. Go to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, walk through the front door and look to your immediate right. You'll see Miss D's New Orleans Pralines. This is not a new merchant. Dionne Gant, who appropriately calls her customers "sweetie," piles her counter mainly with caramel popcorn and I've enjoyed that candy crack before. This time, her crew was busy making candy-apples fat and red enough to de-repress sugary memories of childhood carnival visits.
But I wanted a praline. I've never actually tried one before. I haven't even seen one.
But after lunch at Ciao Bocca earlier this week, I stopped by and asked where they were. Miss D pointed at the stash behind the counter and I bought two. They're $2 each and let me warn you: they are packaged in a plastic envelope so tough you should open it before you leave. If you try to tear it open while driving, you'll shatter the delicate contents before you even nick the envelope. Carry scissors.
The packaging protects what may be the best praline I've ever tasted in our city. They're sweet enough to put even Paula Deen into a diabetic coma, of course. They melt, they slightly burn the back of the throat. They are afloat — and I think this is the best part — with chunks of Georgia pecans that actually taste like pecans. The chunks are few and far between, but you'll be amazed.
I live in Grant Park and the temptation to return for a dozen or two is almost unbearable. Damn you, Dionne Gant!
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse Fri., April 27, 7 p.m. Spain Wine Dinner. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is holding a five-course tapas dinner featuring Chris Elam from Prestige Wine. Elam is a Spanish wine expert who has spent the past 15 years exploring vineyards, tasting little-known wines and learning the secretive culture of Spanish winemakers. The menu will be prepared by Fleming's Chef Partner Kenneth Bills and paired with four different Spanish wines for $85 per person. Details
Carolyn's Gourmet Cafe Fri., April 27. Carolyn's Blazing 10 Years. Carolyn's Gourmet Café will celebrate a decade of business with a benefit for the Atlanta Fire Foundation. Stop by for reduced food prices, drinks specials, live bands, and giveaways. Details
Der Biergarten Sat., April 28, 12 p.m. Pilsners on the Patio. Der Biergarten will open their deck for the season with Pilsners on the Patio. The event will feature German food and beer specials, and outdoor games including beer pong, corn hole, shuffleboard, and foosball. Krombacher Pilsner, dark, and wheat liters will be on tap for $8 all day. March of Dimes walkers can score a free pretzel if they bring in proof of participation. Details
W.H. Kiser House Sat., April 28, 2 p.m. Boutique Wine Tasting - 2012 Decorators' Show House & Gardens. The 42nd Annual Decorators' Show House & Gardens features a boutique vineyard wine tasting and commentary from Master Sommelier Perrine Prieur of Perrine's Wine Shop. Ms. Prieur is a graduate of the highly regarded Le Castel sommelier school in Dijon, France. This event will benefit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its education and community engagement initiatives. Details
Meehan's Public House Sat., April 28, 2 p.m. Grassroots BBQ Festival with Meehan's Public House. The Sandy Springs location will host a music and barbecue festival. A lineup of grassroots music will compliment the delicious food that chef Val Domingo and his team are preparing, which will include two roasted hogs. Chef Branden Holte from the Vinings locations will be posted up in the front serving up some of his grub from his "Get Smoked" menu. There will be a bourbon tasting that will include a bourbon flight for $10. Details
Bella Cucina Porta Via Sat., April 28, 2 p.m. Hip and Healthy Indian Food. Join Punjab native, Sucheta Rawal, and learn to cook Indian inspired dinners, lunches, and snacks. You'll learn how to make crunchy Indian cashews, Daal that will be served as a dip with Naan, Chicken Tikka on a pizza, Saag Paneer sandwiches, and more. The class costs $35, and participants will eat the meal at the end of the class. Details
Imperial Fez Sun., April 29, 3 p.m. Cooking Class for Mom with Chef Rafih. Chef Rafih will hold a special Sunday cooking class in honor of Mother's Day. Guests will prepare lentil bean soup spring salad with raspberry dressing, Cornish-hen with berries, honey, roasted almonds, and sesame seeds, and saffron rice. One complementary glass of wine will come with dinner. The class is $100 per person or $175 per couple. Details
Love pork belly.
Some food just doesn't photograph well, even if it is tasty.
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