Saturday, June 27, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

Rivaling the pure joy of stuffing your face with you-pick-em strawberries fresh from the field? The Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake ($5) at FLIP burger boutique. When juicy strawberries collide with divine vanilla ice cream and pound cake under a heavenly cloud of vanilla foam and a ruby red strawberry, all is well with the world.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Glory Be! Fourth of July Sparkles at Atlanta Restaurants

Fly the flag, find the sparklers and pick a parade and fireworks to watch. Our nation’s founders had no idea we’d make such a party out of their fight for freedom, liberty and independence, but if they were here, they’d probably be celebrating in red, white and blue right along with us. Atlanta restaurants are equally patriotic, declaring they’re open for dining in or packing up meals to grab and go. Some are closed for the day, but hey, even restaurateurs love going to picnics and firework displays.

Saturday night is for sparklers and Roman candle displays, Friday night is for candle-light dinners at
Aria. The Buckhead restaurant will be closed on Saturday so staffers can celebrate Independence Day with friends, family and fireworks.

Hurray for the “Red, White and Boil” Low Country boil and brunch at
Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland on July 4. Brunch hours of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. are ideal for Peachtree Road racers, and the Low Country boil and oyster roast will be ready to devour at noon. In the boil: wild Georgia shrimp, snow crab legs, black mussels, andouille sausage, new potatoes, sweet corn and Vidalia onions steamed in beer with Old Bay. Rip into one pound for $17.76 -- the price and year our great nation was officially founded. Includes okra fritters plus spicy remoulade, pepper vinegar and cocktail sauce. Pay $10 for a half-dozen smoked Gulf oysters on the half shell with melted leeks and Parmesan.

All four
Bantam + Biddy locations (Ansley, Crescent, Lenox and Avalon) will be open for business as usual. Peachtree Road racers, celebrate your accomplishment over food and drinks at Ansley Mall, Crescent Avenue and Lenox locations. Free up your day for holiday parade watching and pool time -- order a Bantam + Biddy family meal to go ($52, feeds 3-5 folks). If Lenox fireworks are on your horizon, picking up dinner at the Lenox location is a tailgating no-brainer. Meal includes your choice of a whole roast chicken, meatloaf or pork loin (24 oz.) served with an organic green salad, choice of dressing, cornbread (gluten-free bread upon request +$3), three generous sides and a half gallon of fresh-brewed tea. Family meal rules: take-out only, allow 30 minutes to prepare, no substitutions, 5 percent eco-friendly packaging fee added. Remember dessert! After all, it’s a holiday.

Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station will remain open, serving brunch and dinner during its normal hours. Go all-American with waffles, healthy smoothies, chicken dishes (grilled or fried), Southern breakfast all day and your favorite cold beverages.

Raise a glass of sangria ($5) or tinto de verano ($4) to cheer Spain’s part in U.S. history and dine on fare influenced by the nation’s diverse cultural areas at
Gypsy Kitchen. Basque in the sunset on the Buckhead Atlanta restaurant's patio; open for dinner July 4 from 5-11 p.m.

Twenty-one bun salute? Close.
Marlow's Tavern is sending Insiders an email for a free burger with the purchase of an entrée. Sign up for the Insider’s Club online. Shout out: the Dunwoody 4th of July Parade sets off at 9 a.m. Saturday and concludes right outside the Dunwoody Village Marlow’s Tavern.

MAX's Wine Dive in Midtown is extending weekend brunch from Friday, July 3 through Saturday and Sunday. Peachtree Road Race fans, chicken and champagne call your names and numbers.

All three
Ray's Restaurants -- Ray’s in the City, Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek -- are open noon-8 p.m. For a tastes-rich, costs-little coastal treat, order the $16.95 lobster special featuring a one-pound whole Maine Lobster joined by drawn butter and side of your choice.

On July 4,
Smokebelly BBQ in Buckhead waves the Red, White and Q flag, pulling pork from a whole hog roast starting at 4 p.m. (while supplies last) followed by live music from 6-9 p.m. Cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon are $2 each. Reminiscent of a spiked watermelon, From the Vine mixes vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup for $5 (usually $7).

The Fourth of July barbecue pack from
Kevin Gillespie’s Terminus City satisfies four to six of your most-spirited friends with two pounds of barbecue pork, one pint each of coleslaw and Revival potato salad, six sandwich rolls, barbecue sauce, pork cracklings and six chocolate chip cookies for $50. Throw in a copy of Gillespie’s new cookbook “Pure Pork Awesomeness” for just $25. Orders can be placed the day of, but orders placed by July 1 are guaranteed. Pick up orders at Gunshow. To place an order or discuss catering for a larger party, call the restaurant at 404-380-1886. More info:

Skipping beach-bound traffic over the holiday weekend? Sub in Buckhead-bound. Flip-flop over to
The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill for Berry United cocktails -- New Amsterdam vodka, strawberries, lemonade, simple syrup and blueberries ($7.50) -- and live music from 1-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. on Saturday, July 4.

The Southern Gentleman is a patriotic gent. The gastropub atop Buckhead Atlanta serves its modern take on Southern dish and libation traditions at lunch from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5-11 p.m. on July 4. Foil the hot day with a few $2 Miller Lites, especially refreshing post-Peachtree Road Race or pre-Lenox fireworks.

Fire up the grill and toast land stewardship, sustainability, American entrepreneurship and independence from factory-farmed meats. Order
White Oak Pastures’ grass-fed meats and pasture-raised poultry online or look for them at local stores including Atlanta-area Whole Foods Markets.

Wear your 2015 Peachtree Road Race T-shirt to
Willy’s Mexicana Grill locations on July 4 and buy a burrito for $5 (excludes airport eatery).

Rush In for an Hour of Half-Off Appetizers Monday-Thursday at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub in Brookhaven

Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub in Village Place Brookhaven is defining its own “rush hour” of sorts by offering half-price appetizers from 5-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday evenings. Who wouldn’t want to rush in for addicting bites like these: house pimento cheese with Tillamook, piquillo peppers, local apples and crostini; Berkshire pork potsticker with ginger, toasted sesame and chili soy; ahi tuna tartare with avocado, tomato, coriander, feta and yuzu; Indian curry chicken spring rolls with garam masala, tamarind and cilantro-yogurt dip; and duck fat pub fries to dab in bacon mayonnaise. Appetizer prices are regularly $4-$12. Summer’s scorchers are no match for Kaleidoscope’s array of cold beer, cocktails and global wine list.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Atlanta Coffee Supply Group Pours Over the Southeast for 20 Years -- Now That’s a Wake Up Call

While you were sleeping, Atlanta Coffee Supply Group (ACSG) was distributing specialty hand-roasted coffees and premium teas across the Southeast for 20 years. That’s news worth jumping out of bed for -- and a whole lot of java. First brewed up in 1995, Smyrna-based ACSG has become Atlanta’s premier, full-service distributor of specialty coffees and teas and now produces its own lines of proprietary coffee and iced tea. Lakehouse Coffee features a range of 10 blends, and Blue Durango Iced Tea offers three blends -- classic, herbal and antioxidant-rich green tea with fresh mint. If you’ve sipped iced tea at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, MAX’s Wine Dive or Bantam + Biddy, you’ve sipped Blue Durango. Milton's executive chef Derek Dollar has been serving it for eight years. He’s also an early morning fan of Lakehouse Coffee. ACSG’s cup runs over with additional offerings: Lavazza coffees, Ghirardelli sauces, Mighty Leaf Tea, Rancilio espresso machines, Bunn coffee and tea equipment, Monin flavored syrups and Dr. Smoothie. Even while celebrating its first two decades, ACSG is steeping plans for the next 20 years, including bringing Lakehouse Coffee products to the consumer market.

Spear Harpoon Summer Beer for $2 at Bantam + Biddy Avalon

Those waves shimmering on the horizon would be oh, so chillin’ if they weren’t heat waves rising above the asphalt. Ride that thought to Bantam + Biddy Avalon where $2 Harpoon Summer beer does its part to keep summer sanity afloat. Cooling thoughts prevail: the $2 price tag stands all summer for this German Kölsch-style ale brewed at Harpoon’s Boston and Vermont breweries, destinations 10 or 20 degrees cooler than Georgia about now. All the more reason to come in this summer for a Harpoon Summer beer and something light like a pimento cheese snack, Jb Farm deviled eggs or a substantial rotisserie chicken dinner. Bantam + Biddy Avalon in Alpharetta is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Say, “Through!” to Drive-Thru. Opt for Ray’s at Killer Creek $12 Value Lunch

How will you spend $12 for lunch today? Conversing with a menu mic, swapping $12 at the window for a lucrative lunch to savor in your (hot) car or office (interruptions)? Opting for the weekday $12 Value Lunch at Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta sets a more pleasing picture: you, friends, sitting in a chair, at a table, decompressing amid air-conditioned comfort while scanning the special menu and sipping a soft drink, coffee or iced tea from a real glass or cup (included with meal; tax and gratuity not included). Achievable, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. In addition to a daily blue plate special, selections spotted on the menu include an Angus beef cheddar burger on toasted brioche with choice of house-cut fries, chips or side salad; slow-roasted chicken baguette with roma tomatoes, melted havarti cheese, champagne vinaigrette, arugula, pesto aioli and fries, chips or side salad; Ray’s chopped chicken salad; salmon Caesar salad; chopped steak of fresh-ground Angus beef with Yukon gold whipped potatoes, wood-roasted mushrooms and crispy onions; and soup and salad. Ray’s welcoming and efficient staff is always glad to see you -- and you’ll leave refreshed and ready to seize the afternoon. 

How Do Chefs Stay Cool as Cucumbers When They’re In a Pickle? Panel Tells All at Heart of the House, ATL industree Debut on June 29

Ah, the stories they could tell, especially the chefs and food and beverage folks who have watched Atlanta’s restaurant world explode and rise in reputation faster than yeast dough in hot sun. Hear their stories at Heart of the House, the debut event for ATL industree on Monday, June 29 from 2-5 p.m. Following cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvre in The Marianna, located above Wrecking Bar in Little Five Points, hear Atlanta’s top toques share challenges and chutzpah during a panel discussion moderated by Aria executive chef/owner Gerry Klaskala. ATL industree will provide an event-based platform to draw together seasoned Atlanta restaurant industry veterans, future trailblazers, everyone in between and those interested in the city’s food scene and related industries. The “tree” in industree branches out with ways for industry members to connect, mentor and support each other -- and make opportunities happen. Read details here. Proceeds from the event benefit The Giving Kitchen, and tickets are $15 for industry folks, $30 for non-industry when you use the code “ATLFBVIP." 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Forecast Calls for Chicken and Waffles when Al Roker and SORTEDfood Visit 10th & Piedmont -- Watch the “TODAY” show June 24

NBC’s “TODAY” show weatherman Al Roker and the SORTEDfood blog guys pulled into 10th & Piedmont recently to investigate a hot spot shining on their respective radar screens: chicken and waffles with a chance of sorghum syrup, Sriracha and confectioner’s sugar. Roker knows his way around the kitchen as well as he does the weather map. The SORTEDfood bloggers? They’re clocking miles across the U.S.A. on a #LostAndHungry eating adventure, following lead suggestions from blog fans. All three gents join chef Javier Viera and owner Gilbert Yeremian for table talk and kitchen time to witness how Viera turns the tables on this dinner and breakfast food combo. The unconventional chef dunks skewered chicken and smoked bacon into waffle batter, runs it through the fryer and perches the crispy wonder alongside the sweet and spicy dipping trio. Roker’s camera entourage captured many a mouthwatering moment for the Wednesday, June 24 “TODAY” show segment. Convinced that yes, breakfast and dinner foods can share a plate and loving the “corn dog” approach, the SORTEDfood dudes are now chicken and waffle converts. (#todayshow, #sortedfood)

Marlow’s Tavern Throws Six-Week-Long Midsummer Cocktail Party Beginning June 23 with Inspired Drinks, Fare and a South Africa Trip Giveaway

What a life. Summer in Atlanta, winter in South Africa. Marlow’s Tavern spans the best flavors of both hemispheres during a six-week-long Midsummer Cocktail Party stretching from Tuesday, June 23 to Monday, August 3. Toast summer with festive handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and bold South African wines while reviewing a menu of authentic South African cuisine created with party partner 10 Degrees South and registering for a chance to win an eight-day trip to Cape Town, South Africa. One lucky winner and a guest will jet off to experience the culture driving Marlow’s midsummer celebration. The rest of us can unpack a culinary lunch or dinner adventure of South African-inspired fare such as peri peri firecracker eggs; watermelon and buffalo mozzarella salad; daily cocktail party flatbread; and the classic “Gatsby” of grilled filet mignon, leafy greens, roma tomato and thin red onion on a toasted roll slathered with peri peri aioli. A must-eat South African sweet is the traditional baked malva cake, a cream-soaked pound cake with Baileys Irish Cream and apricot jam. Marlow’s regular menu favorites also will be available. South African wines include Riebeek Creek Cellars 2013 chenin blanc, Boschendal chardonnay/pinot noir, KWV pinotage and Mulderbosch Faithful Hound red blend. For those seeking summery cocktails, Georgia peach lemonade, The Gin Job and watermelon margarita fit the bill. Midsummer night’s dreaming about the trip giveaway? Register at all Marlow’s Tavern locations or online

Monday, June 22, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest

National Vanilla Milkshake Day is Saturday, June 20. Ask yourself, why stop at vanilla? Exactly. We couldn’t either, so we’ve blended a frosty board of frozen delights for all ages: sweet with bubblegum or Little Debbies; boozy with beer or bourbon chocolate; patriotic red, white and blue or apple pie; novelties like wedding cake shakes and Cookie Monsters for kiddies or adults. Georgia peach? You know it. Hit the on switch with us and Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Not everything worth eating is food. Proof in point and photos: Adam Goldberg / A Life Worth Eating. The editor in chief of @driftmag and @ambrosiamagazine presents
eye-popping photos that slice into food, travel and design. Eat up.