Monday, January 28, 2013

Atlanta food events: Jan. 28-Feb. 3, Wine tasting, Beer dinner, Super Bowl, and more

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 11:47 AM

The Learning Tea presents A Taste of India at Dr. Bombays Underwater Tea Party
  • James Camp
  • The Learning Tea presents "A Taste of India" at Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Submit Food and Drink events here.

Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party Mon., Jan. 28, 6:30 p.m. The Learning Tea presents "A Taste of India" The Learning Tea's monthly Indian dinner features a four-course vegetarian dinner. Proceeds go to The Learning Tea's house in Darjeeling, India. Details

The Wine Shoe Tues., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. Manuel Manzaneque Wines from Spain: Specialty tasting event Sample a multitude of Vinedos Y Bodega Manuel Manzaneque's Spanish wines, and enjoy tapas provided by Zibas Bistro. Details

The Viking Store Thurs., Jan. 31, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Pasta Workshop at The Viking School Learn to make homemade pasta from a few basic ingredients using classic techniques. Details

Atkins Park Thurs., Jan. 31, 5:30-11 p.m. Monday Night Brewing Beer Pairing To celebrate the opening of the new local craft brewery Monday Night Brewing, Atkins Park will be offering a special menu with beer pairings. Details

10th & Piedmont Sun., Feb. 3 Super Bowl Screening & Specials Enjoy specials on platters and beverage options plus multiple screens to watch the game. Details

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The savory, sparkly taste of processesd unicorn meat

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM

As gags go, canned unicorn meat is kinda sophomoric...or maybe outright offensive to people who collect little glass figurines. Remember Laura in Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie? Her beloved glass unicorn is a symbol of freakishness whose breaking impels the play's action. (It is unclear whether Laura devours the shattered unicorn.)

But I digress. The best thing about this product is the commentary on Amazon. Many of the 118 comments are parodies of foodie language. Example:

The Agony of the Unicorns: Don't order this product if you have a conscience. The unicorns in the industrial unicorn farms live in appalling conditions, in many cases worse than those of the pegasus ranches. Don't believe the propaganda of Lisa Frank and the other tycoons of big unicorn; all that awaits these poor creatures is the abattoir and the rainbow factory. Be ethical and buy (kosher) dragon meat instead.

Another:

Tastes just like Satyr meat to me: I was eagerly anticipating my first meal made with Canned Unicorn Meat after I stumbled upon this product looking for recipes for Minotaur balls. I dutifully prepared a nice meal of rice, green veggies, au gratin potatoes to go with my canned Unicorn meat. I had of course eaten Unicorn before, out in the field after slaying the magnificent beast with arrows using my bow and quiver. Cooked over a fire out in the wild, Unicorn has a rougher, horsier texture and is usually best eaten well done. This canned Unicorn meat had a softer more tender texture, so I cooked it medium rare to bring out the mystical juices better.

To my surprise, there was not much difference in taste from that of the Satyrs I have eaten. Oh sure, Satyr tends to be a bit fleshier, but there really was not a significant difference. The good news is that if one is out of Satyr on a particular weekend, one can substitute this canned Unicorn meat and still serve a nice meal. I like to party with nymphs and fauns (which obviously are not the same as satyrs, as any numnuts would know) and thus it is handy to have a canned version of the sometimes elusive Unicorn meat in my forest abode.

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Daily Hash: 1/28/13

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM


In China, robots are running restaurants. And a San Francisco fast food chain plans to launch its very own robot chef.

Your food porn days may be numbered. The New York Times reported last week that some NYC restaurants have already banned patrons from taking photos of their food. Yea or nay?

Is your city one of the country's most restaurant-crazy cities? Anchorage and Juneau both ousted Atlanta to make the list. Guess those Alaskans really like to dine.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

On star ratings

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

star-ratings.png

Have you seen the local newscast that actually rates the weather on an 11-point scale? It's called the Wizometer scale, and is just another insane indication that people tend to crave easy ways to establish relative value. Whether it's wines (100 points!) or movies (two thumbs up!) or restaurants (5 STARS!), we inherently seek cues to help us gain confidence in our choices. But do we really need to be told the relative merits of a sunny, 80 degree day versus a cold, drizzly, traffic-inducing communal depression?

In any case, as a restaurant critic, I get to take part in the madness of awarding subjective ratings. The whole endeavor has been discussed and dissected many times, including here at Creative Loafing - as in Besha Rodell's post from a year ago in which she expressed a desire to do away with the whole mess. Interestingly enough, Besha just re-introduced stars for her reviews for L.A. Weekly, using a very similar scale to the one still in use here at Creative Loafing.

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Daily Hash: 1/25/13

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

According to a recent study, obesity in America is affecting road safety.

Subway responded today to the allegation by two New Jersey men that their Subway sandwich was not the advertised 12 inches, vowing to keep its commitment to ensuring all footlongs are indeed a foot long.

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of emergency room visits linked to consumption of energy drinks doubled, according to a press release by Drug Abuse Warning Network. Yet Monster calls these allegations a fallacy, citing a lack in information on coffee consumption and other potential factors. After the very public reports on increases in deaths related to energy drink consumption, Monster is taking a critical stance.

Check out this list of original restaurant signs.

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Yelp reviews under extensive new scrutiny

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Very few things can enrage restaurateurs as much as negative Yelp reviews. Customers can get online and trash a restaurant with all kinds of hidden motives. Some, as is true wherever comment is invited, suffer from what I call Multiple Screen Name Personality Disorder. They assume different identities to create a fake consensus.

Recently, businesses have started to fight back. The most recent example is a $750,000 defamation lawsuit filed by a building contractor against a Yelp-screeching customer. Ditto for the patient who wrote a blistering review of her dermatologist.

At the same time, though, an avalanche of positive reviews can be as misleading as negative ones. In fact, it turns out that many businesses actually pay people to write positive reviews. Yelp is now taking major steps to weed out such fakes with considerable success. (See video above.)

Yelp has also begun reporting restaurants' health department ratings.

Meanwhile, though, Yelp has experienced a considerable drop in its stock since Facebook announced its new tool, Graph Search. It enables searches of friends' favorite restaurants, among other businesses, so that consumers need not depend on Yelp's anonymous commentary.

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Atlanta weekend food events: Jan. 25-27, Beer fest, German pop music, winter luau, and more

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Team Hidi Benefit Dinner will be at the King Plow Arts Center
  • K.W. Baker
  • Team Hidi Benefit Dinner will be at the King Plow Arts Center

Der Biergarten Sat., Jan. 26, 7 p.m. Get Your Schlager On The Schlager Party, hosted by the German Chamber of Commerce, is the largest party put on by the chamber all year. A DJ will be spinning German pop music all night with giveaways and beer specials. Details

Masquerade Sat., Jan. 26, 2 p.m. Atlanta Winter Beer Fest 100+ beers from local breweries and around the country, in addition to live music on four stages and food options. Advance tickets $40; $48 at door. Details

TAP Sat., Jan. 26, 6-11:30 p.m. 6th Annual Winter Luau Enjoy a summer luau during the winter with Hawaiian-inspired food and drink specials in addition to live music. Details

King Plow Arts Center Sun., Jan. 27, 4 p.m. Team Hidi Benefit Dinner Support local chef Ryan Hidinger and his fight against cancer with a dinner featuring participating restaurants Abattoir, Floataway Cafe, Bacchanalia, Muss & Turner's, Local Three, and more. There will also be a live auction and entertainment provided by Frank Dux Fighting Academy Orchestra and Yacht Rock Revue. Details

The Beer Growler Sun., Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Beer School Red Brick Brewing's head brewer will host The Beer Growler's first Beer School on Winter Ales. In addition, the Pine Street Market will provide a meat and cheese pairing. Details

Yebo Restaurant & Bar Sun., Jan. 27 Mussels from Brussels Debuting on Sunday, Yebo will be offering a Belgian-inspired menu of mussels and pommes frites for $16 per order. Details

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chicks in the City Symposium

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Chicks in the City Symposium at Oakhurst Church in Decatur

Local. Farm-to-table. Organic. Backyard chicken coop. Yes.

The local food movement continues to snowball, and as the farm-to-table idea spreads from restaurants to the home, urban poultry-keeping has emerged as a supplement to that backyard garden. So if your building's pet fees have forestalled your dream to own that pug, perhaps you should think about getting friendly with a chick.

On Feb. 2, the Wylde Center is presenting the Chicks in the City Symposium at the Oakhurst Church in Decatur. With classes and demonstrations led by local chicken gurus, you can learn how to start up and maintain your very own backyard flock in Atlanta.

The event will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and will cover the following topics:

- Breeds of Chickens
- Chicken Chores
- Chicken Health and Wellness
- The Best Coop for Your Space
- Baby Chicks Basics of Incubation and Care

The Wylde Center is an organization committed to preserving greenspace in the area and to educating community members about sustainability. Cost for the event is $50 for Wylde Center members, and $60 for nonmembers. Registration is limited to the first 150 registrants. To register, visit the Chicks in the City page at www.wyldecenter.org.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dinner at D.B.A. Barbecue

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 3:50 PM

My Friday night dining companions were in the mood for barbecue last week and we headed to D.B.A. Barbecue in Virginia-Highland. This 3-year-old restaurant received a lot of mediocre reviews when it first opened. The usual complaint was that the smoked meats were dry. That's changed for the most part.

I ordered a plate of brisket and house-cured pastrami. The meat wasn't terribly dry, but it did need big doses of barbecue sauce. My favorite sauce is still the vinegar-heavy Carolina one. Others on the table were ketchuppy and cloyingly sweet, even when a bit piquant.

My sides were the addictive creamed corn and candied bacon, a true case of gilding the lily.

D.B.A. remains a festive spot with a nearly ironic decor. It's kinda kitschy, but by intention rather than ignorance. It's perfect for Virginia-Highland's upper middle class, which seems to keep the restaurant quite busy. There is live entertainment now and then, and the bar is well known for its selection of "moonshine."

You might want to order the restaurant's special chicken wings for your Super Bowl party. But you better hurry and make a reservation now. Call 404-249-5000.

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Storico Fresco Pasta store opens

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

storico.jpg
  • Courtesy Storico Fresco Pasta

Storico Fresco Pasta has opened up shop at 3210 Roswell Road (apparently around the back of the building) in Buckhead. The store is open Mon., noon-6 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 2-5 p.m.

Remember when Brad Kaplan caught up with Storico Fresco owner Mike Patrick for a riveting edition of "Get In Ma Mouth" last fall?

Here's a refresher:

Luckily for everyone, Storico Fresco will soon be opening up shop at 3210 Roswell Road (in Buckhead). The target date for opening is late October, and Mike shares that "this will be an evolving concept with lots of experiments - its nickname will be "the laboratorio" (meaning "laboratory"). We are working with everything from sand-fermented leeks to burnt grains to 24 different combinations of flours. Now, I also spent time in the porchetta production faciltiies in Italy, so, who knows, maybe? We will also have take-home foods that will be unique, but the primary focus will always be pasta.

I'm not gonna lie, whenever I've come across Patrick's pasta it's been damn good. I will definitely, for sure be there the very next time I eventually make it to Buckhead.

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