Saturday, March 11, 2017

Iberian Pigs Invade White Oak Pastures

White Oak Pastures’ owner Will Harris and Jaime and Kurt Oriol of Cobacha, LLC in Spain have formed Iberian Pastures LLC to import Iberian hogs into the United States for raising, breeding and slaughtering on Harris’ Bluffton, Georgia, farm. In Spain, these pigs wander the woods and forage for their food, a lifestyle perfectly suited to White Oak Pastures’ commitment to animal welfare, environmental sustainability, locally produced food and quality meat. Prior to 2013, both Spanish and U.S. governments forbade exportation of the live animals. When policies changed in 2013, the Oriols came courting Will Harris, and it was pure pork love at first sight for all parties, including pigs. Genetics, diet and versatility add to the desirability of these 100 percent pure Iberian pigs, which have not been bred with other types of swine as is sometimes done in Spain to keep production costs down. And while their cousins in Spain may munch acorns, Iberian Pastures’ pigs will graze on peanuts and pecans (courtesy of White Oak Pastures’ recently acquired 30-acre pecan orchard), which yield fatty profiles “equal or better to that of the best Spanish boars,” according to Harris. Butchery and curing of Iberian pigs also differ from procedures followed for traditional American pork. But that’s a “tail” for another time as we can’t hog all of the space here raving about these proud pigs. Poke around for more details on the White Oak Pastures blog and shop the White Oak Pastures online store for Iberico pork -- from chorizo and chops to jowls and tails.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hoop It Up during Taco Mac Bracket Showdown 2017 through April 3 and Maybe You’ll Net a Chevy Equinox

Seems everyone’s madly following college basketball this month, filling brackets in hopes of correctly choosing the eventual NCAA champion. As long as you’re penciling in teams, send strategizing into overtime by entering your choices in the Taco Mac Bracket Showdown. Registration is already underway and fans can begin filling brackets Mar. 13. At tourney’s end, the person with the best bracket for each Taco Mac location wins a $100 Taco Mac gift card, and the best overall bracket champs a Chevy Equinox. Those watching the games at their favorite Taco Mac location can opt in for the “3 Pointer,” a special limited-time-only appetizer featuring a trio of three mozzarella sticks, onion rings and fried pickles along with marinara and Buffalo ranch dipping sauces for $8.95. Domestic beer specials prevail throughout the series with Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Shock Top served in 60-ounce pitchers for $11.95, 20-ounce drafts at $4.75 and a bucket of four beers (mix and match) for $13.95. Taco Mac covers court action from the first tip-off to the last buzzer. Jump in!

Tip White Wines with the Sommelier at 5Church Somm Series Mar. 12

Wouldn’t it be nice to add several diverse white wines to your “cool” wine repertoire, considering warmer days will soon be here? Answered prayer comes through 5Church Atlanta’s inaugural Somm Series on Sunday, Mar. 12, led by the Midtown restaurant’s beverage director and certified sommelier Patricia Smith. Explore four lesser-known wines from diverse regions -- say, a Hungarian Furmint and a Spanish Pedro Ximenez -- paired with small bites from executive chef and partner Jamie Lynch. Sip, laugh and love the laid-back learning experience from 3-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $38 (includes tax and gratuity). Seating is limited. Complimentary valet and validated parking are available.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar Cracks Open Kegs & Eggs for Early St. Pat’s Egg-citement Mar. 11

Go green on Saturday, Mar. 11 at the 6th annual Kegs & Eggs bar hop in Virginia-Highland. Jig and jump-start the St. Patrick’s Day week at 10 a.m. by gleaning Irish- and green-themed grub and spirits -- complimentary or at special 3/2/1 prices -- upon showing off your K&E wristband at participating restaurants and bars. Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar, for instance, will load Shamrock Shots and green fruit cups for incoming wristband-wearing leprechauns, and 3/2/1 drink prices translate to $3 well drinks or $2 beer or $1 shots. Atlanta Bar Tours organizes the Kegs & Eggs-travaganza. Buy tickets online, $19.99 per person. Must be 21 or over and show valid I.D. to partake in the party.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Unwind with Drink Specials, $7 Pizzas and Live Music at Dolce Italian Aperitivo Wednesdays

Say, “Ciao!” and celebrate the end of the work day Italian-style at Dolce Italian Aperitivo Wednesdays. Enjoy this midweek slice of “la dolce vita” at the bar and on the terrace of the authentic Italian restaurant located on the second level of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. From 5-7 p.m., socialize while sipping $10 Double Cross vodka cocktails and chowing on $7 pizzas. Live music continues until 7:30 p.m. Make this Italian post-work ritual your own midweek tradition.

Spend Wednesday Night with Monday Night’s New Scottish-style Whiskey and Cellared Brew at Atkins Park Va-Hi Mar. 8

When Monday Night Brewing rolls out its new Scottish-style whiskey this week, Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar readily receives -- and pours on Wednesday, Mar. 8. The Virginia-Highland tavern will offer cocktails incorporating the new whiskey and Monday Night Brewing’s Ginger Soda, already on tap. And while they’re tapping, they’ll break into a keg of Monday Night Brewing's Nitro Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt that’s been cellared since 2015. Talk shop about whiskey and brews with Monday Night Brewing experts. Enjoy special dishes to pair with the whiskey and brews: Drafty Kilt scotch ale and cheddar soup with beer bread ($6.50), frisée salad with shaved almonds, blood orange and honey citrus vinaigrette ($6), spiced apple braised lamb shanks over coconut rice ($18) and salted dark chocolate ($6). Whiskey and beer mean lots to cheer!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads Brings Fresh, Robust Fare to Sandy Springs

Top-enders can now enjoy their favorite Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads specialties for lunch or dinner close to home and on every day of the week. The restaurant’s second Atlanta-area location opened Monday, Mar. 6 in Sandy Springs at 6050 Roswell Road, offering lunch and dinner daily from a menu of chef-driven, global American fare including artisan pizza, handcrafted salads and pasta with bold flavors along with carefully crafted beverages. As at Atlanta’s original Poncey-Highland location, fare is made from scratch every day using premium ingredients. No freezers, fryers or microwaves are involved in creating the innovative artisan pizzas, flatbreads, pastas, small plates and salads. Ok, so maybe some freezing comes into play in Rize’s premium gelato and sorbet. Rize offers a children’s menu for kids 10 and under, featuring a cheese or pepperoni pizza, pasta or a hummus and veggies combo, inclusive of a kid’s beverage and a kid’s scoop of gelato. The business crowd can dine and dash with Rize’s 11 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch menu of soups, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads and pick-two combo meals. Wine by the glass, craft beer and Rize’s fresh fruit and herb-infused Marbella Red and Andalucia White sangrias are balanced by non-alcoholic options including brewed premium iced tea and fresh lemonade, Caleb’s Kola and Stubborn craft sodas. The restaurant’s menu accommodates both high-tech (online) and traditional ordering, paying and delivery. For more updates, follow the restaurant on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Brunch with the Best of ‘em -- Including Ormsby’s, Marlow’s Tavern and More -- at Atlanta Brunch Festival in Atlantic Station Mar. 11

Let the brunch toasting begin -- with bloody marys, mimosas or beer and wine if you prefer -- to the holy grail of weekend meals, brunch. Our city’s best brunch spots come together like sweet pancakes and syrup and savory shrimp and grits at the Atlanta Brunch Festival waffling through Atlantic Station Saturday, Mar. 11 from 12-5 p.m. Live music and DJ tunes turn the mega-brunch bunch into a party zone as fest-goers enjoy classic brunch beverages and sample brunch dishes from Marlow’s Tavern (an event sponsor), Ormsby’s and many other eateries. Buy tickets online in advance: $20 general admission includes entry and one food ticket; $75 VIP admission includes 11 a.m. early entry, unlimited drinks, VIP food tent and three food tickets. General admission tickets will be available on festival day for $25 each. Buy additional food tastes from vendors for $3 each; drinks will be available at the cash bar. Atlanta Beer Festivals and Atlanta Wine Party are producing the ages 21-and-up event (no under-21 exceptions; leave the kids, babies and pets at home)

Monday, March 6, 2017

What’s New on Pinterest: Dishes to Noodle Over

March is National Noodle Month, and we’ve found ourselves doodling about oodles of globally inspired Dishes to Noodle Over. First thoughts head to Italy for sun-dried tomato Alfredo, saucy Italian drunken noodles with spicy Italian sausage, baked ravioli and vodka cream sauce, and chicken bruschetta pasta. Million dollar spaghetti casserole owes its riches to butter, ricotta and a wealth of other yummy easy-to-find ingredients. Bang Bang shrimp pasta, 15-minute lo mein and quick-fix Asian noodle recipes come together in a flash. A hearty pasta with beer, cheese and sausage? What more does one need besides, well, another beer?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

#Foodgram: Kale and Caramel

Lily Diamond, a.k.a. Kale and Caramel, has been mixing concoctions as long as she can remember. Now all grown up, she’s all in when it comes to sourcing ingredients from local, first-name-basis farmers and pouring the love into preparing feasts for all five senses by hand. Hit her website for recipes -- fatteh with cumin chickpeas and tahini yogurt or deep chocolate cherry yogurt truffles – and start salivating for her “Kale and Caramel” cookbook due out this May.

Appetizing Aperture

We won’t have to sell you on the Merchant Burger at Seed Kitchen & Bar. Start drooling over the photo and let the hankering begin. Seed dresses the hefty half-pound beef burger with caramelized onions, white cheddar, tomato and merc sauce, barely leaving room for a side choice of fries or salad. The $14.95 Merchant Burger can be yours for lunch, dinner or brunch. Add bacon for $3 more. Brunchers get a crack at a fried egg topper for an additional $2.