The much-anticipated Villians Wicked Heroes sandwich shop will open for business at 11 a.m. on Friday in the space that formerly housed Little Azio in Midtown. We caught up with owner Alex Brounstein, the brains behind Grindhouse Killer Burgers, to find out what his new Villains operation is all about. (Check out Villains' menu after the jump. Updated hours: Mon., 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.)
So Villains is partly a riff on the hero sandwich. Can you flesh out the concept for us? Where does this dark side come into play?
Atlanta-based nonprofit Open Hand announces the 21st anniversary of the fundraising event Dining Out for Life, bringing together more than 100 local restaurants on Wed., April 24. Participating restaurants will donate 25 percent or more of proceeds from the evening to support the community nutrition programs of Open Hand.
In addition to the participants below, you can check out the exhaustive list here.
Brick Store Pub
Carroll Street Café
Eclipse de Luna
Fat Matt's Rib Shack
Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House
South City Kitchen
Steel Restaurant & Lounge
Table & Main
The Original El Taco
Watershed on Peachtree
West Egg Café
Downtown's Pencil Factory Flats & Lofts has a new fast-casual, healthy Asian restaurant. Boasting tons of parking at 349 Decatur St., Chow Bing serves up (mostly) gluten-free dishes incorporating sustainable seafood, all cooked to order, at affordable price points. It's "responsible Chinese food," (that means no MSG!), according to owner Gary Lin, who is a native of Fugian, China and also the proprietor of Sandy Springs' R Rice restaurant and Papa Chow on Camp Creek Parkway. At Chow Bing, expect build-your-own "burrito" bowls, lobster Philly wontons, sesame fries, soups and salads as low as $2.25.
Woodfire Grill (1782 Cheshire Bridge Road) has hired a new pastry chef in Canoe and Chicken and the Egg alum Karie Brown. Brown's desserts have delighted countless foodies across Atlanta, as the Le Cordon Bleu-educated cuisinier has made her way through the local restaurant scene with stints at Repast and with pastry chef Heather Hurlbert, to boot. Her international experience, including early childhood memories savoring her first sweets from authentic German bakeries, makes her an expert in nostalgic but nuanced desserts.
BurgerFi (1520 Avenue Place) has officially debuted in Emory Point. The Florida-based restaurant chain, with dozens of locations around the country, has built a tried-and-true brand on all-natural burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, craft beer and wine offerings and earth-friendly practices. We dare you to resist the red velvet milkshake.
Chef Todd Richards - formerly of the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, currently of The Shed at Glenwood, and soon to helm the Wildflower later this year - was crowned the winner of Ron Eyester's second annual Mother Clucker Fried Chicken Festival, held April 13 at his Morningside restaurant Rosebud. Coming in second for their own renditions of fried chicken were Matt Swickerath of Brookhaven's Valenza and Scott Weaver of Atlantic Station's forthcoming Chick-a-Biddy, respectively.
Chef Daniel Chance, top toque at Maureen Kalmanson's Midtown Italian eatery Campagnolo, has taken top honors at the 36th annual Vidalia Onion Festival, held April 14 in Vidalia, Ga. He was crowned champion of the second annual Golden Onion professional cooking competition, thanks to a savory scallop-stuffed Vidalia with onion puree.
Whiskey Blue Atlanta will soon launch its Sundaze events for the summer 2013 season. Held on the WET Deck of the W Atlanta - Buckhead hotel, the series will treat Sunday revelers to DJ beats, gourmet eats, chilled towels, and "deep-end" cocktail service, starting May 5. Guests can also grab up extras like Champagne and boozy popsicles. Order them on arrival, because they go fast.
Earlier this week, Green Olive Media tweeted that Atlanta rapper-actor-restaurateur Ludacris will soon be collaborating with One Flew South chef Duane Nutter on yet another Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport restaurant. Ludacris' first airport concept, Chicken & Beer, should appear later this year, but his "hard-rocking" second restaurant will serve travelers at the world's busiest airport starting in January 2014.
Last Wednesday night was a momentous occasion. (So momentous that I couldn't stop trembling to get decent pictures.) It was the last night of the Shed at Glenwood's weekly $3 slider night.
There was a funereal ambiance in the restaurant. Among those grieving was our server Chris (right), who wore his mourning outfit for the occasion. When I went to the restroom, a man was weeping by the sink. I asked him if he needed support. He said it was just severe allergies. But I knew what was really going on.
A woman at a nearby table on the patio had her dog with her. He seemed lethargic and I asked his owner if he was OK. She said he was old and lazy. But I knew what was really going on. Our pets sense and share our feelings of loss.
Someone else said he would never be able to think of Margaret Thatcher's funeral without recalling that it was on the same day we lost slider night.
Wednesday is the restaurant's fifth-anniversary celebration and Chef Todd Richards will debut his new Wednesday night "Southern Spread" meal. It will star his fried chicken, which, in fact, filled my last slider (pictured) - a tasty, bittersweet aloha to a weekly ritual with which I've enjoyed torturing my following of haters for several years.
Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria Mon., April 22, 8:30 p.m. Pizza-Making Classes at Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria These two-hour interactive pizza-making classes guide you through the steps to make your own pizza pie. Details
Steel Restaurant & Lounge Wed., April 24 Administrative Professionals Week Lunch Special In honor of Administrative Professionals Week, Steel is inviting employers to bring in their Administrative Professionals for lunch. Details
Del Frisco's Grille Atlanta Wed., April 24, 6:30 p.m. Taste of Atlanta's Second Annual Best Sommelier Competition Eligible participants will vie for the title of Atlanta's best sommelier at this competition hosted by Del Frisco's Grille. Details
Kaleidescope Wed., April 24, 7 p.m. Meeting of the Minds This monthly event brings together marketing & PR professionals within the growing tech and startup community, along with foodies and restaurateurs, in order to celebrate and support local business. Details
If Peacock's ghost haunted the Decatur location, he's now been exorcised completely with the opening of Chai Pani, basically an instant hit with its inventive menu of Indian street food. It's part of a growing scene that is moving contemporary Indian fare off Scott Boulevard and Lawrenceville Highway to more mainstream locations. If Cardamom Hill represents expensive, contemporary fine dining, Chai Pani brings inventive but inexpensive fare to the scene. (You can check out CL's First Look at Chai Pani here.)
We visited the restaurant last Sunday and it was packed. If the presence of a large number of Indian diners means anything, it's getting a nod of approval.
Wayne and I tried a few dishes from the engaging, relatively brief menu:
Matchstick okra fries are amazing. Shredded and fried okra are tossed with lime, salt and secret seasonings. The dish beats the usual Southern version of fried okra by a mile.
A samosa, stufffed with cumin-seasoned potatoes, was less pleasant, being a bit doughier than I like.
The real disappointment was a thali (right photo) with chunks of chicken cooked in a red curry. That was good, but sides were less pleasing, especially a daal (yellow-lentil soup) with a really unpleasant flavor. Breads - naan and papadam - were yawners. A sprouted lentil stew was the best of the sides. (Chai Pani changes the thalis daily. One is always vegetarian and the other includes meat.)
I ordered a thirst-quenching sweet raspberry-lime rickey (left photo). It joins the chili-cheese fries as an obsession.
There's much more to sample here, including slider-like "sloppy jais" with lamb hash, or the parsi chicken. Even if you don't find the food special, the experience is great.
BLT Steak Fri., April 19-Sun., April 21 Pork Boucherie Dinner Series Chef Cyrille Holota will highlight a variety of serving techniques and approaches for incorporating a whole animal into a unique four-course dining experience. Details
Tonight, get your booze on for a good cause. Edgewood Corner Tavern is hosting a Do Good Happy Hour from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to help raise funds to honor late Old Fourth Ward community activist Marie Cowser with a memorial park.
Cowser passed away in 2009, and left behind a foundation for the neighborhood to use to develop the community by investing in its future. Through CL's Do Good Campaign, sponsored by the Home Depot's dollar-for-dollar grant matching, the Old Fourth Ward community is working to raise funds to dedicate a neighborhood park on the corner of Auburn Avenue and Randolph Street in her memory this June.
Head to Edgewood Corner Tavern tonight and mention you're there to "Do Good" for food and drink specials, including half-priced appetizers and $4 tapas. Corner Tavern will donate $1 for every Ice Candy Cocktail ordered. Plus, one lucky winner will walk away with tickets to Party in the Park.
If you can't make tonight's event, you can support the project directly here. With 11 days to go, the campaign has successfully raised $1,610 of its proposed $2,500 goal.
Creative Loafing's Do Good Campaign is an ongoing project that partners up with grassroots organizations and nonprofits from around the city to help raise funds for neighborhood-based projects that might not have found the resources otherwise.
The names Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison are synonymous with great food in Atlanta. The powerhouse couple seem to be everywhere, whether it's through one of their existing (or upcoming) projects or whenever a staff member whom they've trained lands at a top-tier Atlanta restaurant. While Bacchanalia and Star Provisions remain their strongest and most consistent concepts, the other two - Abattoir and Floataway Café - are in a state of flux, one bad and one good.
When Abattoir opened in 2009, fresh on the heels of the exploding nose-to-tail trend, the restaurant positioned itself as a place for the offal-seeking, adventurous diner. (Abattoir is French for slaughterhouse.) While Atlanta was initially excited by the newness and the restaurant's perceived edginess, it never became a destination despite its pedigree, location, and styling. Since opening, the kitchen has gone through changes. Its opening chef, Joshua Hopkins, left at the end of 2011. Tyler Williams was then promoted to top toque. Under Williams' leadership, it seemed that Abattoir might realize its potential, but he left in January 2013 to head up the kitchen at Woodfire Grill and Brett Ashcroft took the lead. Recent visits to Abattoir have revealed a restaurant that still has not decided what it would like to be.
Continue reading "Glutton at Large: Abattoir and Floataway Café" by Jennifer Zyman
Atlanta foodies remember that Chef Obunai co-owned Repast (R.I.P.) with her ex-husband Joe Truex, and most recently teamed up with Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya to serve ramen lunches that received national attention.
I had my best meal in weeks at Joli Kobe. Obunai's culinary influences are principally from her native Japan, but she also attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and worked in some renowned French restaurants in that city. Her cooking's flavors both tease and blaze.
The menu, which changes daily, included nine choices, three of them starters.
We ordered all three starters: a salad with asparagus and thin-cut baby carrots; an arugula salad with farro, grapefruit, and fennel; and cured Atlantic salmon with fennel and baby celery.
Obunai's presentation is as gorgeous here as it was at Repast. The trout, for example, was served beneath the fish's detached, crispy skin. My friend wouldn't eat it. Were I him, I would have broken the skin into pieces and mixed it with the chunks of flesh beneath it.
Dessert was easy. You pick out a pastry from the adjoining bakery. Mine was made with white chocolate and a whisper of raspberries (left).
There wasn't a dish on the table that failed.
This Friday, Obunai will be joined by Chef Shigetosi Nakamura of New York's Ramen Lab, which is reputed to make the nation's best ramen noodles. Rusty Bowers, owner/butcher of Pine Street Market, will also be present. Get your tickets online.
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NYE Party at Smoke Ring with Sweet Auburn String Band. Come hang!