Friday, January 31, 2014

One bag of Cheetos equals three big salads at Panera

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

So, I was at the Kroger the other day, picking up a few things (including 15 protein bars) before I hit the gym. Uh-oh. Flamin' Hot Cheetos on sale for $1.70. I admit it. I love the things, but it's been several years since I bought any.

The rationale of impulse took over. "I'll eat some of these before the gym, instead of a protein bar," I thought (not bothering to observe that was like substituting chocolate mousse for tofu). I ripped open the bag on my way to the car and started eating. If Ronald McDonald's lips were orange, he'd look like me as I walked in the gym. A friend noticed and laughed as I entered the locker room. I wiped my lips and hands on my white gym towel. Ronald just removed his makeup.

About 90 minutes later, I was back in my car. I grabbed the bag. By the time I was home, it was empty. I felt kinda queasy. I remembered that Flamin' Hot Cheetos made the news a year or two ago because they sent children to hospital emergency rooms - because their stomachs burned and their parents were stupid.

I took the bag inside, and looked at the nutrition label for kicks. I had, in the course of a few hours, consumed 1600 calories. A snack of 1600 calories! I decided not to eat dinner. I felt bloated and still queasy. I shook the empty bag to make sure no more were inside. I woke up in the middle of the night. I was starving. I ate two protein bars.

I vowed to eat light the next day.

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Quick Bites: Aqua Bistro shutters, Lovies BBQ opens, and more

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Chef Ron Eyesters Rosebud is no longer open for lunch

A new barbecue joint, Lovies BBQ, recently opened at 3420 Piedmont Road in Buckhead. Planned for nearly a year, the casual, sit-down or take-out restaurant serves pulled-pork, chicken, ribs, and classic sides in an old-school interior complete with stadium seats salvaged from the 1996 Olympic Stadium, plus a covered patio to boot.

Buckhead's pan-Asian sushi restaurant Aqua Bistro closed unexpectedly last week. Known for its diverse menu of small dishes for dine-in or delivery, the eatery has been part of the swanky Eclipse building since it opened in 2005. Loopnet real estate records show that the corner restaurant has been available for acquisition since October 2013. Have intel on what restaurant will take its place? Let us know in the comments.

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Atlanta food events, Jan. 31-Feb. 2

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Chinese New Year celebrations at Spice Market and Chinese Culture Center
  • CL File
  • Chinese New Year celebrations at Spice Market and Chinese Culture Center

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Send your Food and Drink happs to

Here's a list of food happenings for Friday and Saturday. Don't forget to check out our roundup of Super Bowl events and specials going down this Sunday.


Spice Market Fri., Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m. Chinese New Year Dinner Celebrate Chinese New Year and bring in good luck with a traditional dinner prepared by Chef Shean Suter. Details

Preserving Place Fri., Jan. 31, 7 p.m. Mystery Box Cooking Pick up a few tips from "Chopped" winner chef Ed Harris as he prepares a meal from a mystery box full of unusual ingredients. Details

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Senate issues beer bill recommendation, beer community pushes back

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Late on Friday, Jan. 17, out from under the Gold Dome came the final report of the Georgia Senate Study Committee on Brewpubs and Alcoholic Beverage Tastings. For those following the fight for House Bill 314 (and its Senate companion, SB 174), now on its second and final attempt to allow Georgia breweries and brewpubs to sell a limited amount of their own beer (288 ounces, or one case, per person, per day) on-premises to customers for off-premise consumption, the name of the committee may come as a surprise. After all, the original bill did not pertain solely to brewpubs, nor did it focus on "tastings."

The 21-page report includes history, testimonies given at the three study committee meetings last fall, and a recommendation for on-premise brewpub sales:

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Atlanta Super Bowl events and specials

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Last year, Falcons fans were celebrating a divisional playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks. This year, in a cruel twist of fate, the Dirty Birds went 4-12 and the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl.
  • Joeff Davis/CL file
  • Last January, Falcons fans celebrated a divisional playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks. This year, in a cruel twist of fate, the Dirty Birds went 4-12 and the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl.

It's been 15 long years since the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl. At times like these, many fans look to the past for solace, remembering former heroes such as Deion Sanders (Prime Time, baby!), Warrick Dunn, Keith Brooking, Patrick Kerney. Those were the days.

But it's 2014, and this year the Falcons went 4-12. Nevertheless, the biggest football game of the year is upon us and 100 million or so viewers are expected to tune in, Falcons fans included. Whether you're in it for the love of the game, the commercials, or just looking for an excuse to drink lots of beer and eat wings, here's a list of Super Bowl viewing parties and food and drink specials going down in Atlanta this Sunday.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ryan Hidinger's death and thoughts about health insurance in the restaurant industry

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM

  • Courtesy the Giving Kitchen

Condolences to the family and friends of chef Ryan Hidinger who died earlier this month. John Kessler of the AJC wrote the story of Hidinger's journey, his colleagues' support, and the creation of a foundation, The Giving Kitchen Initiative, to help when medical crisis hits others in their business.

Although I don't know Hidinger's personal situation as far as insurance goes, the story points to what's been one of the most shameful aspects of the restaurant industry for years - the widespread lack of adequate employer-assisted health insurance, if any at all. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare - will change that for many during the next two years.

I say "two years," because in July the Obama administration approved a yearlong delay in the requirement that those employing 50 or more full-time employees offer health insurance. Meanwhile, the employees can still purchase individual discounted plans by way of the ACA marketplace exchange. (Well, that's true unless their earnings are so low they only qualify for the expanded Medicaid, which our ideologically cretinous Georgia legislators decided not to offer.)

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Meal of the month: BoccaLupo's pasta tasting menu

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:28 AM

I visited BoccaLupo with my friend Ryan two weeks ago. We ate at the bar and ordered Chef Bruce Logue's pasta-tasting menu. We agreed that it was the best meal we'd had in a couple of months. The dish above particularly drew oohs and ahs when it hit the bar. I asked Logue to describe it:

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Atlanta food events, Jan. 27-Feb. 2

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Start planning a balcony or backyard garden at Red Wall Studio & Gallery
  • Jeoff Davis
  • Start planning a balcony or backyard garden at Seed Starting for Spring

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Send your Food and Drink happs to


Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Mon., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. Meat Week Atlanta's Meat Week kicks off at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Meat Week celebrates barbecue in different cities around America, bringing together meat lovers for seven days. Details

Six Feet Under Mon., Jan. 27. 7 p.m. January Tap Takeover Six Feet Under is hosting a prix-fixe dinner with SweetWater Brewing Company taking over the taps at its Westside location. Details

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Quick Bites: Updates on Staplehouse and Krog Street Market, Sprinkles Cupcakes opens, and more

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Sprinkles Cupcakes opens today at Lenox Square
  • Photo courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes opens today at Lenox Square

Beverly Hills-based Sprinkles Cupcakes, billed as the world's first cupcake bakery, debuts its Atlanta outpost today at Lenox Square mall. The sweet shop's arrival comes after a long wait, but finally grants Atlantans more than two dozen varieties of cupcakes, cookies, ice cream sandwiches, sugary shakes, doggie cupcakes, and a 24-hour ATM for the signature treats.

After a couple of false starts, Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere have unveiled the second location of Bantam & Biddy, their fast-casual chicken restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The new addition, located at 1050 Crescent Ave., opened on Tuesday and features roasted chicken, seasonal vegetables, a full breakfast menu, and Batdorf & Bronson coffee.

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Chasing bacon and hot dogs for charity

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 11:17 AM

  • Courtesy

Ah, the riches that come to those who open their hearts to the suffering of others! Bacon, for example. If you love cardiovascular exercise and bacon, you won't want to miss the March 22 Bacon Chase, benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The gimmick:

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