For now, the restaurant, which has been painted and will receive further cosmetic improvements, is serving an abbreviated version of Las Palmeras' menu. Happily, Wayne and I found our longtime favorites still available: juicy, crispy chunks of pork (masitas de puerco) for me and the roasted, crispy chicken (pollo frito) for him. They were as good as they've ever been.
When I returned to lunch the next day, my friend Frank also ordered the pork and raved about it, as has everyone I've ever introduced to it. I hope it remains on the menu. My lunch dish was roasted chicken just pulled from the oven. My favorite sides here are the black beans and rice (mixed as "moros" or served separately), the sweet plantains and the yuca frita.
Grace has hired Patric Bell, longtime chef at the West Egg Cafe, as chef-consultant. Patric most recently consulted with the Fifth Ivory, a few blocks down Fifth Street from Cruzado.
The plan is to retain a mainly Cuban menu but to introduce dishes from other Latin American countries. That should be good news for anyone missing Tierra, the pan-Latin restaurant on Piedmont that closed a few months back.
An early move in that direction is the bottles of the Puerto Rican hot sauce, pique, on each table. I concur with Patric, who told me he could "drink the stuff."
It is basically vinegar with a variety of chilies and other seasonings. It blends almost magically with anything on your plate. It's actually mild except for the occasional spike of heat.
I've eaten at Las Palmeras literally since its opening 20 years ago. I was disappointed to say the least, when I learned the owner had sold it, but it looks like it will thrive in its new incarnation as Cruzado.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's anti-gay marriage comments, it seems that the company's image has taken a hit. Nation's Restaurant News cites research from YouGov Brandindex that suggests that Chick-fil-A's image has fallen in the eyes of consumers.
The YouGov BrandIndex, according to Nation's Restaurant News, "creates an index score based on consumers' average ratings of perceptions of a brand's buzz, quality, value and reputation." This recent study marks Chick-fil-A's decline from well above its competitors to their lowest score in two years.
After Dan Cathy's comments were published by Baptist Press on July 16, YouGov BrandIndex conducted their research. They found that "In the Midewest, Chick-fil-A's perception jumped up for a week, and has tapered off to where it was before the interview was published." But, "As the controversy has snowballed, the company's overall consumer brand health with fast food eaters has dropped to its lowest levels since mid-August 2010."
Yoforia founder Justin Lim, announced that Waffold, his newest concept, will open today for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Originally, Waffold was slated to open August 1, but a quick phone call confirmed the restaurant opened for business this morning — and they sounded pretty busy.
The waffle sandwich concept is housed in the former Burger Tap location at 1409 North Highland Ave., and features an interior with wood beams, earth tones, and metallic accents.
Waffold's menu is divided into sweet and savory. Savory items feature the turkey gauc club, tuna salad, grilled cheese, and the Waffold burger. The sweets that compete are the PB & J, Nutella and banana, Belgian s'mores, berries and lemon cream, and a creme brulee. And don't worry, they have a salad—romaine lettuce, waffle, almonds, mandarin oranges, and sesame vinaigrette— for anyone watching their figure. And for those of you watching your bank accounts, everything on the menu is under $9.
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday (for brunch): 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Steven Colbert weighs in on politicized food.
According to research, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on big sodas in New York City could cut 63 calories per fast food trip.
A group of lawmakers, led by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), have introduced the Common Sense Nutrition Act aimed at limiting a proposed federal rule that would require grocery stores and other establishments to list calorie information on ready-to-eat food.
"Is it that time already?" you're asking. "Doesn't the Best of Atlanta issue come out in, like, SEPTEMBER? Do I have to vote again?"
Yes, yes, and yes. But fear not, CL reader. We've made it easier on you. This year, we've broken down the voting over five weeks - one category a week - so you don't have to answer 250 questions at once.
Instead of a six-pack to get through it, now you need a shorty, a pint, or, at most, a growler. So for the next five weeks, you'll vote on your favorite things about the city.
This week, sink your teeth into those Atlanta edibles that make your mouth water and cast your votes for the best "Oral Pleasures" in town. What fine establishment has the chillest patio vibe, who's the wittiest foodie in the ATL Twitterverse, or which chef slices and dices better than the rest? CL, and Atlanta at large, want your thoughts on the things that help make this city great - the best of the best and nothing in between.
Get started, happy voting, and remember - don't vote and drive. Best of Atlanta 2012 ballot.
In case you were wondering, the rest of the voting schedule goes like this:
Week 1: CONSUMER CULTURE (July 2)
Week 2: AFTER DARK (July 9)
Week 3: POETS, ARTISTS & MADMEN (July 16)
Week 4: CITYSCAPE (July 23)
Week 5: ORAL PLEASURES (July 30)
Asylum, a new full service restaurant and live music venue recently opened in East Atlanta, in the space that formerly housed The Echo Lounge. Asylum's sprawling menu ranges from bar bites like pot stickers, and Frito pie, to burgers, salads, sandwiches, and even a $100 pizza. The Crazy Capobianco is topped with champagne-infused caviar, lobster tail marinated in Cognac, seared duck breast, white truffle oil, and dusted with edible, 24 carat gold flakes.
Following Grace Lee's recent purchase of Las Palmeras Cuban Restaurant, chef Patric Bell (formerly Executive Chef at West Egg Café) announced that he will be on hand to help Lee "reinvent" the Midtown restaurant, now called Cruzado. "I'll be there for a while, expanding the menu, revamping old favorites, and taking it all to the next level," said Bell via Facebook.
Owners of P’cheen International Bistro & Pub recently acquired and reopened Pizzeria Vesuvius on Edgewood Ave. The restaurant closed back in April; a sign in the window cited construction on The Atlanta Streetcar taking place on Edgewood Ave.
F&B is now open at 3630 Peachtree Road near Phipps Plaza. The newest enterprise from owners Fabrice “Fab” Vergez and Cindy Brown (formerly of Brasserie Le Coze and FAB), serves contemporary French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes including a few old favorites from Brasserie Le Coze like roasted skate wing, a lamb sandwich, and white bean soup with truffle oil.
BuckheadPatch reports that two Starbucks locations in Buckhead (1230 West Paces Ferry Road and 1801 Howell Mill Road near Walmart and I-75) have been approved by the Atlanta License Review Board to sell beer and wine.
Here To Serve Restaurants owner chef Tom Catherall will open his 12th location, Noche Alpharetta, in early October. The 80-seat Noche Alpharetta will feature the traditional Noche menu and covered patio.
Osteria 832 Mon., July 30, 8 p.m. Trivia Night Start off the work week with Italian fare, drink specials, and a little friendly competition. General knowledge trivia starts at 8 p.m. every Monday. Details
Atlanta Wine School Tues., July 31, 7-9 p.m. Viva Italian Wine Class Learn a little Italian wine-making history while indulging your taste buds in some fine wines and select Italian dishes like salumi, antipasto, and artisanal cheeses. Details
Cyprus Street Pint and PlateTues., July 30, 7 p.m. Beer Geek Tuesdays You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! This week's installment of Beer Geek includes frozen pints or craft beer ice cream. Details
Canoe Sat., Aug 4, 1 p.m. End of Summer Barbecue Canoe and Sweetwater Brewery join together for their third annual barbecue to benefit the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Save the Hooch campaign, as well as celebrating Canoe's 17th birthday. Tickets include beer, barbecue, and live music. Details
As usual, we hit the Shed at Glenwood Wednesday night for $3 sliders. Well, I had sliders, Wayne had the dietetic meal of a wedge of lettuce with blue cheese dressing and a plate of profiteroles.
I asked owner Cindy Shera about the rumors that Todd Richards, the chef who is replacing Lance Gummere, will be mainly responsible for developing and running a restaurant in partnership with the Shed.
She rolled her eyes and sighed. "We have our eye on a spot in Midtown, but we've made no commitment," she said. "So, that may or may not happen. Our first priority is getting things in order here."
Cindy also told me that she had been approached about opening a restaurant in Tyler Perry's planned mix-use development on Krog Street. Two restaurants have already signed on. I have no details at present.
Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week Fri., July 27-July 29 Visit restaurants like Alma Cocina, Atlanta Grill, BLT Steak, and Peasant Bistro after 4 p.m. for a three-course dinner for $25 to $35 per person. Details
Mac McGee's Irish Pub Fri., July 27, 6 p.m. National Scotch and Whiskey Day Celebrate this tasty holiday with Mac McGee's as they bring you rare malts, special flights, and maybe some bagpipes. The pub will also be offering a special menu with all things Scottish. Details
Rosebud Fri., July 27, 9-11 p.m. Taste the U.K. In honor of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, Rosebud will be hosting a U.K.-themed night of food and music. Enjoy a Beatles cover band and snack on British-inspired dishes like fish and chips, rice fritters, and more. Details
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Sat., July 28, 7 p.m. Pitmaster Dinner Peg Leg Porker in Memphis will join the brothers for a special four-course dinner that will celebrate all things barbecue. Guests will enjoy the dinner, live music, and all-you-can-drink beer pairings. Details
Sprig Sat., July 28, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Summer Beer Tasting Enjoy a beer tasting at Sprig featuring Indian Summer and Southern Pecan by Lazy Magnolia, Gangway IPA by Red Hare, and Drafty Kilt by Monday Night Brewing. Appetizers like homemade pub pretzels and hand-cut fries will be served. Details
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NYE Party at Smoke Ring with Sweet Auburn String Band. Come hang!