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Learn how to make this balanced, refreshing cocktail from The Optimist

Learn how to make this balanced, refreshing cocktail from The Optimist

The beverage director at The Optimist shares the secret for the A Nod & A Wink cocktail.  A Nod & A Wink from the bar at The Optimist is a great cocktail. Really refreshing. I’d love to make it at home if it’s not too complicated. Can you get the recipe? — Greg Cooper, Acworth This drink was created by The Optimist’s beverage director Eduardo Porto Carreiro and the...
VIDEO: We filled up on ants, scorpions and crickets at this event 

VIDEO: We filled up on ants, scorpions and crickets at this event 

We had some ants in our pants, so we took a trip to Athens and got some on our plates. AJC food editor Ligaya Figueras tried crickets, ants, scorpions and other bugs as part of The Buzz: An Evening of Insect Cuisine prepared by  at this year’s Eating Insects Athens conference, which runs through Aug. 15 at University of Georgia. Watch the video above to find out how the chef for Brooklyn...
Fruity, chilled gazpacho hits the spot at this Atlanta chain

Fruity, chilled gazpacho hits the spot at this Atlanta chain

If gazpacho is not firmly planted in your rotation of summer meal staples, it should be. It certainly has become a regular item on the board at Souper Jenny, where a version of the chilled Spanish soup can be found on many summer days.  Traditional gazpacho is a bit like salsa that’s been bulked up with extra olive oil and dried bread. Though it’s cool and refreshing, the healthy...
Featured food events in metro Atlanta Aug. 16 – 19

Featured food events in metro Atlanta Aug. 16 – 19

Head to several restaurant anniversary parties including Davio’s and Table and Main which will offer everything from  free food to live music. For a four-course meal paired with scotch, Canoe will be the place to be. There are several fun, food events happening in metro Atlanta, so add one or all four of the following activities to your calendar. Be prepared to eat, drink and have a grand...
First Look: El Super Pan debuts at The Battery Atlanta next to SunTrust Park

First Look: El Super Pan debuts at The Battery Atlanta next to SunTrust Park

In late July, chef Hector Santiago opened the second location of his El Super Pan at The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park. The concept, which Santiago has called “Spanish-Caribbean,” features Latin American bakery classics, including savory and sweet pastelillos, pies, cakes and breads, and sandwiches, buns, salads and sides. Plus, at dinnertime, you can find churrasco-grilled...
Lazy Dog -- with menus for pups and humans -- coming to Peachtree Corners

Lazy Dog -- with menus for pups and humans -- coming to Peachtree Corners

A place for dogs -- and the food lovers who love them -- is coming to Peachtree Corners.  California-based Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar will open its first metro Atlanta location in the Peachtree Corners Town Center development in spring 2019.  The family-owned eatery’s decor and menu are inspired by Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where CEO Chris Simms spend time every year, according to a press...
Wine and beer lounge Pinkies Up now open in Roswell

Wine and beer lounge Pinkies Up now open in Roswell

There’s a new spot to wind down with a glass of wine or pint of beer in Roswell. “Sipping parlor” Pinkies Up, which opened at the end of July, celebrated its grand opening this past weekend, Scoop OTP reported.  The shop offers wine and beer by the glass, and also has a retail side featuring take-home growlers, bottles of wine and six-packs of beer. The beer list features a...
Acai bowl chain Playa Bowls coming to Georgia

Acai bowl chain Playa Bowls coming to Georgia

The owners of a Brookhaven restaurant are bringing an acai bowl chain to metro Atlanta. Johnny McCall and Matt Huckeba, the owners of Pour and Pour A.M., are the franchisees for the first Georgia locations of New Jersey-based Playa Bowls, What Now Atlanta first reported.  An Old Fourth Ward spot will open this fall in the SPX Alley development at 661 Auburn Ave. NE, while a Chamblee location...
Buy This: Serving iced tea for Labor Day? Yes! Three products to brew or savor. 

Buy This: Serving iced tea for Labor Day? Yes! Three products to brew or savor. 

We drink iced tea all year round, and love having pitchers of different kinds of tea available. Some straight up sweet tea, some herbal and caffeine-free. Sometimes you want to brew your tea and sometimes there’s no time. For Labor Day, we’re serving these. Sometimes there’s no time to brew tea. Or no place. Or you just don’t think you do as good a job as the professionals...
Cocktails start at $2 this week at Bahama Breeze in honor of National Rum Day

Cocktails start at $2 this week at Bahama Breeze in honor of National Rum Day

Celebrate National Rum Day at Bahama Breeze with the restaurant’s four-three-two-rum offer featuring the Painkiller made with Pusser’s dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juices plus ground nutmeg for $4; Bahama Mama, a mix of Cruzan coconut, Bacardi Black and Castillo Silver rums, Leroux banana liqueur and pineapple and orange juices for $3; and Captain and Coke...
Skewers opening in Marietta and other metro Atlanta restaurant news from the week

Skewers opening in Marietta and other metro Atlanta restaurant news from the week

These are the dining, drink and food stories that made a splash in metro Atlanta this week:  A new spot for a variety of kebabs and skewers is set to open by the end of the month in Kennesaw. Skewers, which will be located at 34 Powder Springs St. off the Marietta Square, will serve “GMO-free, organic and gluten-free skewers representing various International cuisines with a matching...
Try Southbound Mountain Jam at Dames + Dregs Beer Festival Saturday

Try Southbound Mountain Jam at Dames + Dregs Beer Festival Saturday

Billed as “an Atlanta-based experience that seeks to empower and educate the community by celebrating the female contributions to brewing, both in the present and throughout history,” the first annual Dames + Dregs Beer Festival runs from 1-6 p.m. Saturday at the Masquerade at Underground Atlanta.  The co-founder of the event, Rebecca Royster, who previously worked at the Porter Beer...
Treat yourself to a free s’mores kit at this Atlanta restaurant today

Treat yourself to a free s’mores kit at this Atlanta restaurant today

If you’re looking for a melt-in-your-mouth, drippy chocolate, gooey marshmallow treat today, you’re in luck.   Donetto is celebrating National S’mores Day by offering dine-in dinner service guests a complimentary s’mores kits from 5-11 p.m. today. Guests will receive a yummy box of ingredients, which they can immediately take out to the cowboy cauldron on restaurant&rsquo...
Jamie DeMent pens another keeper -- this time on preserving

Jamie DeMent pens another keeper -- this time on preserving

Jamie DeMent believes in the honesty and integrity of fresh food. She knows it’s something you shouldn’t really mess with. The best thing you can do with field peas, corn, squash and tomatoes, she seems to say in her work, is to eat them the minute they are picked.  The next best thing is to preserve them for later, when the fields and deep-freezers are barren. That’s the smarter...
Review: Mission and Market surprises at Alliance Center in Buckhead

Review: Mission and Market surprises at Alliance Center in Buckhead

On a recent Saturday night, the members of an exclusive, invitation-only group called the Elite Club convened for dinner at Mission and Market. As they arrived, the valet lined up their cars one by one in front of the glittering, 30-story Buckhead tower known as Three Alliance Center: candy-green Porsche, bright red Ferrari, silver-gray Bentley, and so on. They walked by the thick white marble bar...
Learn to make Stockyard Burgers and Bones’ bread pudding

Learn to make Stockyard Burgers and Bones’ bread pudding

Learn to make the bread pudding from Stockyard Burgers in Marietta:  Alexis Kinsey, co-owner of Marietta-based Fork U Concepts (parent company of Taqueria Tsunami, Latin Asian, Kitchen, Pressed Panini Bar and Stockyard Burgers and Bones), was happy to supply this recipe. She agrees with our reader that it’s an amazing dessert. To duplicate the recipe you’ll need to use H and F Bread&rsquo...
Featured food events in metro Atlanta Aug. 8 - 12

Featured food events in metro Atlanta Aug. 8 - 12

Paleo participants can indulge in a special dinner that caters to their nutritional needs. Learn to make a couple of cocktails and drink ’em too. There are several fun, food events happening in metro Atlanta, so add one or all three of the following activities to your calendar. Be prepared to eat, drink and have a grand ole time.    Wednesday, Aug. 8: Paleo participants, indulge! ...
Chef Joey Ward leaving Gunshow to open his own restaurant

Chef Joey Ward leaving Gunshow to open his own restaurant

A chef who has worked with Kevin Gillespie for years is branching out with his own venture. Joey Ward is working on his own restaurant in Poncey-Highland in the former Island Flowers & Gifts space at 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Eater Atlanta first reported.  Ward, who will remain at Gillespie’s Glenwood Park restaurant Gunshow until the first of the year, said in an interview...
Bowling meets football at Pin & Proper, opening this month in Grant Park

Bowling meets football at Pin & Proper, opening this month in Grant Park

A new type of game is ready to make its debut in Grant Park. Pin & Proper, which is slated to open to the public Aug. 24 in The Beacon development, will feature Pinfall, a bowling-football hybrid that representative Natalie Beard described as a cornhole-like game wherein players try to knock down opponents’ pins using a football. Pin & Proper will be the first place in metro Atlanta to offer...
Rozina Bake House & Coffee to open soon near Georgia State

Rozina Bake House & Coffee to open soon near Georgia State

A spot with an international flair is coming to downtown Atlanta. Rozina Bake House & Coffee is slated to open in about three months at 33 Hurt Plaza SE near the Georgia State University campus, Atlanta Magazine first reported.  The eatery from Shay Lavi, also the owner of catering company Let’s Eat, will offer a variety of Mediterranean-inspired pastries, including Italian, Turkish, Greek...
First Look: Chef Jason Liang brings dipping ramen and more to Midtown at Momonoki

First Look: Chef Jason Liang brings dipping ramen and more to Midtown at Momonoki

Jason Liang, former One Sushi Plus executive chef and Craft Izakaya sushi chef, opened Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur in April 2016. Since then, Brush has become a fixture of the dining scene around the square, and Liang has become a star for his deft ways with omakase. But Momonoki, the new casual counter service spot from Liang and business partner John Chen, is something different. For...
Growing up in Athens, the Varsity’s other hometown

Growing up in Athens, the Varsity’s other hometown

Maybe it’s because it was a much smaller town than Atlanta, but the Varsity played an inordinately large part in the lives of those of us growing up in Athens in the 1950s and ’60s. <<RELATED: The Varsity turns 90, why drive-thru restaurant keeps its hold on Atlantans’ hearts, stomachs The Varsity’s original location across from the University of Georgia arch...
Fresco Cantina Grille Mexican restaurant to open in Roswell 

Fresco Cantina Grille Mexican restaurant to open in Roswell 

Roswell is swapping a Southwestern-style restaurant for a Mexican one.  Fresco Cantine Grille is set to open this summer at 10779 Alpharetta Highway, Tomorrow’s News Today first reported. It will take over the space previously occupied by Barberitos, an Athens-based Southwestern chain that has several other metro Atlanta locations including Sandy Springs and Buckhead. Fresco will serve...
Kevin Gillespie returns to kitchen with fellow ‘Top Chef’ alum  

Kevin Gillespie returns to kitchen with fellow ‘Top Chef’ alum  

Culinary top gun Kevin Gillespie returned to the kitchen over the weekend for the first time since his surgery earlier this year following his cancer diagnosis. He teamed up with friend and fellow “Top Chef” alum Bryan Voltaggio Sunday for the latest installment of the Hired Guns series at Gillespie’s Glenwood Park restaurant Gunshow. <<RELATED: Atlanta-area chefs tell...
Buy This: Three Southern pickles you’ll want to try      

Buy This: Three Southern pickles you’ll want to try      

Late summer meant your grandmother would have putting up pickles like crazy. It’s the way to preserve all those bountiful vegetables for fall and winter feasting. We say let somebody else do the work for you. We’ve got three pickles we think you should try.  Chow Chow is one of those old-fashioned relishes that was a staple of Southern kitchens. If you needed to use up cabbage, green...
Pho 24 opening in Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta dining news from the week

Pho 24 opening in Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta dining news from the week

These are the dining, drink and food stories that made a splash in metro Atlanta this week:  •Fast-growing Atlanta pho chain Pho 24 is set to open a new location Sept. 25 at Square One apartments at 6050 Roswell Road NE in Sandy Springs, Eater Atlanta reports. It will join a soon-to-open location at Atlantic Station as well as locations in Chamblee on Buford Highway,...
Celebrate Monday Night Brewing’s 7th anniversary this weekend 

Celebrate Monday Night Brewing’s 7th anniversary this weekend 

Monday Night Brewing is celebrating another major milestone this weekend. This year’s annual “Tie One On” marks its seventh anniversary. And the big two-day party will be at The Garage, its beautiful, barely one-year-old second location on the Atlanta BeltLine in the West End. Musical acts include Kebbi Williams & the Wolfpack, followed by Quiet Hounds. Food trucks will be on...
Love food, beer and wine? Here’s what to do, eat and drink this weekend in metro Atlanta

Love food, beer and wine? Here’s what to do, eat and drink this weekend in metro Atlanta

Hungry? There are plenty of events to check out and new restaurants to try this weekend in metro Atlanta. Raise a glass to the second annual Atlanta Summer Wine Fest at City Winery. Read more here. Cool down with Slow Food Atlanta's 12th annual Ice Cream Social with samples from amateurs and Atlanta chefs. Proceeds support the Peachtree Road Farmers Market and Slow Food Atlanta. Read more...
First Grand Lux Cafe in Atlanta to open next week at Phipps Plaza

First Grand Lux Cafe in Atlanta to open next week at Phipps Plaza

The first Atlanta location of an eatery from the team behind The Cheesecake Factory is set to make its debut next week. Grand Lux Cafe will open at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 on the second floor of Phipps Plaza. The California-based restaurant also has locations in Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.  The menu features a variety of internationally-inspired...
Iron Age Korean barbecue lands in Sandy Springs

Iron Age Korean barbecue lands in Sandy Springs

Korean restaurant Iron Age has opened its third metro Atlanta restaurant. The eatery announced the opening of a Sandy Spring location at 5600 Roswell Road on its Facebook page: Iron Age, which offers a variety of all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue options also has restaurants in Duluth and Kennesaw, as well as locations in Virginia and Maryland. Tomorrow’s News Today reports that the restaurant...
The Barrelhouse relocating to Old Fourth Ward

The Barrelhouse relocating to Old Fourth Ward

A Midtown tavern has plans to relocate after closing earlier this year in Midtown. The Barrelhouse, which was located at 22 5th St. NW at Tech Square for seven years, will open at 701 Highland Ave. NE in Old Fourth Ward this fall. The space was previously occupied by Cast Iron, which closed earlier this year. Before that, the space was home to restaurants Last Word and P’Cheen. Barrelhouse &ldquo...
Cactus House closes in Midtown

Cactus House closes in Midtown

A Midtown Mexican restaurant has closed its doors. Cactus House announced the closure on its Facebook page earlier this week: Located in the Azure on the Park at 1020 Piedmont Ave. NE development last summer, Cactus House served a variety of tacos and other Mexican staples. The restaurant was supposed to change hands June 1 of this year, but the deal fell through, What Now Atlanta reports.  RELATED...
Curious about cooking with kudzu? Try these 7 recipes

Curious about cooking with kudzu? Try these 7 recipes

Kudzu is seemingly everywhere in the South, but it hasn’t made it’s leap into mainstream cuisine -- yet. Interested in trying to cook with it yourself? Check out these recipes from the AJC archives for inspiration. 1 tsp. organic kudzu 2 tsp. cold spring or filtered water 1 cup filtered water 1-2 tbsp. organic rice syrup (or honey) 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed...
Where to eat oysters in Atlanta for National Oyster Day 2018

Where to eat oysters in Atlanta for National Oyster Day 2018

Aw shucks -- Aug. 5 is National Oyster Day, and there are plenty of places in metro Atlanta that want to help you celebrate with deals and specials. Beetlecat. The Inman Park spot is offering $5 oyster shooters including the Chill Dill made with gin, dill and pickle brine and the Hot Shot made with mexcal, lemon and hot sauce alongside its $1 oyster Happy Hour menu starting at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday...
Cheap eats: Tapas are $5 at this Midtown restaurant weekdays

Cheap eats: Tapas are $5 at this Midtown restaurant weekdays

Five bucks can go far during happy hour.   Guests can nosh on menu items like ham croquettes, crispy potato cubes with sauce, Andalusian gazpacho or potato tortilla, a traditional Spanish omelet with caramelized onions and garlic aioli,  for $5 at the bar at Bulla Gastrobar weekdays 5-7 p.m. For those who can ante up three extra bucks, tapas like sautéed garlic shrimp, a...
Review: Easy entertainment awaits at 2 new Battery Atlanta spots

Review: Easy entertainment awaits at 2 new Battery Atlanta spots

The entertainment district adjacent to the Braves stadium known as The Battery Atlanta debuted last year, but now that the bulk of restaurants, bars and shops are open, the place is in full swing. Among the spots to have opened this season are Garden & Gun Club and Punch Bowl Social. Garden & Gun Club gets you close to pregame revelry near the Right Field entrance yet far from ballpark concessions...
Review: Won Won Seafood a worthwhile addition to city’s dim sum scene

Review: Won Won Seafood a worthwhile addition to city’s dim sum scene

To be a truly fine dim sum house, you must proffer a cacophony of carts and surprises at every turn. I want the crunch of deep-fried stuffed crab claws that I can pick up and chew like chicken wings. I want rice-noodle rolls with minced pork and shrimp tucked inside their glossy, silken sleeves. I want meatballs wrapped in crinkly tofu; roasted duck with crispy skin over a layer of fat and bone; piles...
Meet Edward Lee, Sean Brock as part of Holeman & Finch’s Ten Year Tour

Meet Edward Lee, Sean Brock as part of Holeman & Finch’s Ten Year Tour

A celebrated Atlanta restaurant is marking a decade in business by bringing some of the top chefs in the country to town. Holeman & Finch’s Ten Year Tour series will produce a dinner one Sunday most months through April in partnership with a visiting chef. First up on Aug. 5 is Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky. Lee was recently in town touring...
Kudzu is edible. Why aren’t we eating it?

Kudzu is edible. Why aren’t we eating it?

You’ll find kudzu draping the scenery off the side of the interstate. You’ll find kudzu climbing that abandoned barn in your neighbor’s backyard. And if you sit long enough in one place in the South, you may even find kudzu growing up your leg — the picturesque, prolific creeper vine can grow up to 12 inches in a day. But one place you’re unlikely to find kudzu is on...
How do lobster roll, crab spice Lays chips taste?

How do lobster roll, crab spice Lays chips taste?

Lays introduced eight new Tastes of America flavors last month inspired by different regions of the U.S., and several of them will likely raise eyebrows. From Chile con Queso to Deep Dish Pizza and Fried Pickles with Ranch, the company is certainly not playing it safe.  Check out the video above to see what we thought of Cajun Spice, Chesapeake Bar Crab Spice and New England Lobster Roll, and...
These are the top August 2018 metro Atlanta food and drink events

These are the top August 2018 metro Atlanta food and drink events

There are tons of events for food and drink lovers this month, with everything from a wing showdown to a chance to go behind the chocolate curtain. When it comes to making plans, this is one time you can feel OK winging it. The third annual Springer Mountain Farms Southern Wing Showdown, produced by Taste of Atlanta, features wings prepared by more than 30 Southeastern chefs, including Jared Hall...
Get a taste of soccer spirit with this new gin

Get a taste of soccer spirit with this new gin

Distill Atlanta’s beating heart. Old Fourth Distillery has teamed up with Atlanta United FC for a bottling of soccer spirit. The mission statement on the back of the new bottle reads, “Together we raise a glass to what’s possible with the passionate spirit of the fans and the collective spirit of our city.”  Limited-edition bottles of O4D Atlanta United 2018 Season...
New Smyrna cafe serves up Creole and Puerto Rican cuisine

New Smyrna cafe serves up Creole and Puerto Rican cuisine

Louisiana meets Puerto Rico at new 2 Sistas Soul Food in Smyrna. The cafe, located at 2148 South Cobb Drive, inside the Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market, makes its debut today. The spot is a venture by Allyson Lewis and JoAnn Fuentes. Lewis brings to the table the cuisine of her native New Orleans. Fuentes, who hails from New York City, has Puerto Rican roots.  The pair have united to create a...
This Atlanta ‘restaurant’ was named one of Bon Appetit’s top 50 new eateries for 2018

This Atlanta ‘restaurant’ was named one of Bon Appetit’s top 50 new eateries for 2018

The one Atlanta restaurant named to Bon Appetit’s Top 50 Nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants 2018 list isn’t a restaurant in the traditional sense -- yet. Talat Market, the Thai fusion brainchild of chef Parnass Savang, has been operating as a part-time pop-up out of Inman Park restaurant Gato since spring 2017. Savang and co-owner Rod Lassiter launched a Kickstarter...
Author Von Diaz explores kinship between Southern, Puerto Rican food

Author Von Diaz explores kinship between Southern, Puerto Rican food

When Von Diaz talks about her new book, “Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories From Puerto Rico to the Deep South,” she usually describes its genesis as a “Julie & Julia,”-style project in her tiny Brooklyn kitchen. Diaz decided to cook her way through a copy of her grandmother’s favorite cookbook, “Cocina Criolla.” That volume, by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli...
Learn how to make Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q’s creamy Mac and Cheese

Learn how to make Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q’s creamy Mac and Cheese

The Fox Bros. share their secret for the creamy goodness of their macaroni and cheese: Thanks for having this column in the AJC Food section! You have found some recipes that I have requested as well as published some really good ones from places I haven’t even been yet. Last fall, I attended a wedding reception that was catered by Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. It was a knockout! I thought I died and went...
Sandy Springs shopping center loses one cafe, gets several new restaurants

Sandy Springs shopping center loses one cafe, gets several new restaurants

A Sandy Springs shopping center is doing a bit of a culinary shuffle this month as it says goodbye to one longtime restaurant and welcomes several new eateries. Cafe Posh closed earlier this month in Fountain Oaks at 4920 Roswell Road, Tomorrow’s News Today first reported. Open in that location for 17 years, the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant has plans to relocate first to the Hanover Buckhead...
This light, elegant dish is a nice change of pace for brunch

This light, elegant dish is a nice change of pace for brunch

The days of brunch as an afterthought are over.  This has been the case for a while, but the point was driven home again at Bread & Butterfly on a recent Saturday. Chef Billy Allin was working the line at the Inman Park restaurant, his flagship now that Cakes & Ale in Decatur has closed.  Not only was a well-established chef working brunch service, but the short menu appeared to be thoughtfully...
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