You'd be forgiven for not associating Sweet Grass Dairy with beer. They sell cheese, after all. But, as they say on their website, the Thomasville, Ga. fine-food purveyors "labor to find enthusiastic, gifted people who are applying [passion and respect] to another venture, whether that's curing meat, making chocolate, pickling okra, or brewing beer."
In this case, the gifted folks in question are Bob Sandage and company at Wrecking Bar Brewpub. Sweet Grass used the Inman Park establishment's Punch Yo Momma Smoked Porter as a wash for the dairy's Black Swan, a firm-but-creamy cheese in the French farmhouse tradition that's become one of their most popular items.
Black Swan is available now via the dairy's online store, the Larder, until it sells out. Additionally, Wrecking Bar will have a wheel (9-10 pounds of cheese) to use however they see fit until it runs out. The Larder has the other nine wheels that were made, and Sweet Grass' Mat Willey imagines they'll be gone in a month.
Creative Loafing caught up with Willey to find out why one washes a cheese in the first place, the parallels between cheese and beer makers, and why collaboration is so important to Sweet Grass.
I posted an interview with Ratio Bakeshop owner Chris Flores recently, and mentioned that he spent some time at Jonathan St. Hilaire's Bakeshop (R.I.P.). Jonathan, who is now somewhere in New Hampshire, made addictive scones, among my favorite comfort foods. Chris said he's been tweaking a recipe of his own for some time, and here's an example, direct from Ratio's kitchen.
It's a sugar-glistening blend of pecan pieces, dried cranberries, and white chocolate. Chris intentionally evokes nostalgia in much of his baking. For me, this was a flashback to the pecan sandies I pigged-out on as a kid. The crispy pecan bits and taste of sweet, creamy chocolate get a slight acidic bump from the dried cranberries. It crumbles but doesn't shatter.
Don't eat two in the middle of the night. Your sugar-fired brain will be ruminating at warp speed.
A. Scrape du Plates
B. Yo Mama's Acid Trip
C. Redneck Banh Mi
D. Hog Pen Hoagie
E. Croque Monsteur
F. Sloppy Ho'
G. Ho' Boy
Gone are the days when a popsicle stick picture frame studded with macaroni will do. You're older and wiser (well, older for sure), and maybe you have your old man to thank for helping you get here.
Whether your dad is your right-hand man or just a monthly friendly face, here are some last-minute gift ideas for any food-loving father.
For the dad who gets up at the crack of dawn to run and grows a patch of wheatgrass in the kitchen, get him a subscription to PaleoPax Tasting Box. Keep him happy and caveman healthy.
If pork is his vice, you know, melts over fall-apart ribs and drools over braised pork belly, get him a membership to the Bacon Club. Nothing says appreciation like cured hog.
Maybe he's a music man, eats with every sense, especially his ears. Turntable offers a Pairings Box that packages music, recipes, and ingredients gathered for an euphonious and tasty experience.
Before I get to the heavenly concoction that's the focus of this ode to a certain kind of ice cream, I have to ask ... Have you ever heard of Berens Frozen Custard? If you a) grew up in Atlanta in the '70s or '80s, b) frequent the Scott Antique Market, or c) live near Snellville, then there's a very good chance you do. Otherwise? Not so much. Which is a shame. You're missing out. Really.
Once upon a time, back in the '70s and '80s, Berens was well known for serving up some of the city's most lauded ice cream out of a little shop on Buford Highway in Doraville. It expanded to a few shops, then dialed back again. Eventually, Berens opted to focus on serving its frozen custard at fairs and festivals, and at the monthly Scott Antique Market. And for the past few decades, those festivals and the antique market were the only way for longtime fans to get their fix. That is, until three years ago.
Harrison is, of course, half of the James Beard award-winning duo behind Star Provisions, and Bacchanalia, and Abattoir, and Floataway Cafe. Saying he knows his stuff is a vast understatement. His ability to take inspiration from a long-lived mini-chain like Martin's and spin it into something (even more) magical is just part of what makes Star Provisions a food destination without peer in Atlanta.
There's plenty of magic behind the counter at the take-out shop within Star Provisions, but today I'm focusing on the sausage biscuit. These are not your ordinary sausage biscuits, starting with the fact that they come with a generous smear of strawberry preserves. And the biscuit itself is not necessarily the draw - it's good, with a nice toasted crunch around the exterior, but not particularly lofty, and not fluffy at all. The draw here rests in the combination of biscuit and savory sausage and sweet fruit that falls into the classic category of the-whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts.
It was on the late side, after seeing a play at the Alliance. Our friends were in the mood for coffee maybe, maybe dessert, something light. It took me all of five seconds to suggest heading to Empire State South. It all went downhill from there. Or uphill, depending on your perspective.
First, it was coffee, decaf. Then, a few cocktails. Then, oh maybe we should order a few things. We took the party outside to the bocce court, post-cocktail glass of wine in hand, and it all gets just a little hazy somewhere around walking back to the table with dust-covered hands. One thing stands out clearly in my memory, though. The farm egg.
It's hard not to love Heirloom Market BBQ — for its artful blending of Korean and Southern barbecue influences, for its decidedly shack-like setting and decor, for its willingness to push the bounds of what a barbecue shack should even serve. Heirloom's BLT sandwich, a special that's been on the menu basically daily for a little while now, captures their essence pretty well. It's not at all like any BLT you've had before.
Actually, when I think about BLTs (and I do think about them a lot), what I daydream about has nothing at all in common with Heirloom's BLT. My dream BLT involves toasted white bread, a generous spread of mayo, crisp bacon, just-as-crisp lettuce, and thick cut tomato at the peak of summer freshness. And what does Heirloom offer? Basically none of that!
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