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2018 AJC Spring Dining Guide: Explore Atlanta’s new fusion revolution

2018 AJC Spring Dining Guide: Explore Atlanta’s new fusion revolution

More than ever, the food we eat is an expression of cultural globalization, a reflection of our diversity and interconnectivity. Take tacos, for example. They aren’t just filled with the flavors of Mexico. These days, they are getting stuffed with the far-reaching flavors of Korea, Thailand, Hawaii and the Middle East. Our taste buds can experience the delicious intermingling of Cajun and...
Secret no more: An insider’s guide to hidden menus

Secret no more: An insider’s guide to hidden menus

The secret menu item is irresistible to diners, restaurateurs and journalists alike. It takes a variety of forms, such as the off-menu Meat Stick at One Eared Stag, an open secret for years now. Sometimes it’s offered in limited quantities, like the original burger at Holeman & Finch, where tightly controlled supply drove demand to unusually frenzied heights. In other restaurants, it’s...
Review: Ok Yaki brings Osaka to Atlanta

Review: Ok Yaki brings Osaka to Atlanta

Okonomiyaki is the sort of food that inspires unreasonable, outlandish devotion. It is most commonly described as a Japanese pancake, a flat concoction of cabbage and batter cooked on a griddle and topped with various meats and a distinctive sweet and savory sauce. That is technically accurate, in the way it is technically accurate to describe pizza as some dough, sauce and cheese baked with some...
AJC EXCLUSIVE: Chef Kevin Gillespie talks about his battle with cancer

AJC EXCLUSIVE: Chef Kevin Gillespie talks about his battle with cancer

One month ago, chef Kevin Gillespie underwent surgery to remove a kidney after having been diagnosed with renal cancer. The 35-year-old Atlanta native with the red beard that gives his restaurant group its name has since been recuperating in his home, contemplating what could have been, as well as what’s to come. “I feel like I dodged not a bullet, but an atom bomb,” Gillespie said...
Vacation mom: Role evolves into cocktail consultant

Vacation mom: Role evolves into cocktail consultant

Folks, I am fresh from vacation. You know what that means? I spent money on stuff I didn’t need, slept in cramped lodgings, and ate overpriced food. So, to get my money’s worth, I need to relive it by talking about our family travels, pulling out my phone and scrolling through zillions of photos for any willing audience. Look, mountains! See that beach? Get a load of that sunset! I&rsquo...
Learn to make the chicken salad from Tate House

Learn to make the chicken salad from Tate House

From the menu … The Tate House, 61 Georgia Marble Road, Tate. 770-735-3122. tatehouse.com The 1926 Tate House is an elegant pink marble mansion, a once private home turned into a wedding and special-event venue. The only time it’s open to the public is in December for the Christmas open house which offers lunch and a tour. <<Learn to make The Fickle Pickle’s Chicken Salad...
At Atlanta Botanical Garden, refugees to make meals representing ‘home’

At Atlanta Botanical Garden, refugees to make meals representing ‘home’

Cultural exchange can happen in many ways. Often the most accessible, and easily the most delicious, form is by sharing a meal. There’s no lack of Atlanta restaurants where you can sample dishes from Thailand, say, or Ethiopia, but how often does the diner connect with the chef and learn not only what goes into a dish but why that dish is important in the chef’s culture? Next weekend (June...
Review: Buford’s Wicked Sushi & Grill tries hard but is somewhat uneven

Review: Buford’s Wicked Sushi & Grill tries hard but is somewhat uneven

At Wicked Sushi & Grill, you can get your sushi rolls cold, deep-fried, baked and flambéed. Some have foreboding names (Black Widow, Rattlesnake, Heart Attack). Others riff on nearby landmarks (Mall of Georgia). These rolls with the mock-provocative names and alternative techniques are the handiwork of chef-owner Rex Jeong. The Atlanta newcomer was born in South Korea, moved to the States as...
Review: Chai Yo brings Thai fine dining to posh Buckhead

Review: Chai Yo brings Thai fine dining to posh Buckhead

There’s no need to look around for Thai starter staples like a green papaya salad or satay when the Nam Prik Ong platter is an option. You dunk this spread of crispy lotus chips, curly cue pork cracklings and fresh cucumber slices into a chunky dip of chiles, ground pork and roasted tomatoes. Between bites, you sip on sparkling lychee sake, perhaps a Thai lager or even the nonalcoholic Lemongrass...
Learn how to make Twin Smokers BBQ’s balanced, creamy coleslaw

Learn how to make Twin Smokers BBQ’s balanced, creamy coleslaw

From the menu … Twin Smokers BBQ, 300 Marietta St. NW., Atlanta. 404-698-4707. twinsmokersbbq.com The folks at Twin Smokers BBQ were happy to share the recipe. Was it the green onion that intrigued Willis or the parsley? Maybe it’s the combination of Duke’s mayonnaise with onion and garlic? <<Recipe: Farmview Market’s Chocolate Buttermilk Pie <<Recipe: Squash...
Review: Grain bowls that break the rules at Recess

Review: Grain bowls that break the rules at Recess

The Casablanca bowl at Recess is a perfect little name for a perfect little dish. Not that it has much to do with Moroccan food. Outside of a few spices that season a bright orange smear of pureed carrot, the contents of this bowl would likely be hard to find in the Old Medina in Casablanca. Instead, the name seems to simply conjure up a far-out place where rice crispies mingle with beluga lentils...
Atlanta’s long-term love affair with old-style chicken salad

Atlanta’s long-term love affair with old-style chicken salad

It’s a composed dish lost in time, a relic from another era, the apotheosis of Southern lady food. On a doily of lettuce, a scoop of chicken salad amandine is paired with a blob of pastel-colored frozen-fruit melange. Off to the side sit a couple of crispy cheese wafers for delicate nibbling. Years ago, when the AJC was literally across the street from Rich’s Department Store downtown...
Learn to make Farmview Market’s Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

Learn to make Farmview Market’s Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

From the menu … Farmview Market, 2610 Eatonton Highway, Madison; 844-210-7030. farmviewmarket.com. We have a group in Providence Club in Monroe that gets together every Friday night. We bring a dish to share. I would love the recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Pie from the Farmview Market in Madison, so I can share with my friends. — Jeanette Jimenez, Monroe Laura Rotroff...
Mobile markets provide access to fresh produce in metro Atlanta food deserts

Mobile markets provide access to fresh produce in metro Atlanta food deserts

Phyllis Cain is smiling as she stirs a skillet of turkey and squash dinner. She’s one of several University of Georgia Extension staff cooking and serving healthy dishes at the kickoff of the 2018 season of DeKalb County’s mobile farmers market, Fresh on Dek. “They love it,” she says about the recipe, which needs just five ingredients and 30 minutes to make a delicious dinner...
Review: Uncommonly excellent fried chicken at Mary Hoopa’s

Review: Uncommonly excellent fried chicken at Mary Hoopa’s

On Friday night at Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken and Oysters, I could detect a certain kind of fear in the eyes of the man standing behind the host stand. The front of the restaurant was packed with customers: two couples with strollers in tow, a gaggle of teens hanging irritatingly in the way of the door, a three-top here, a four-top there. If one more customer walked in, there wouldn&rsquo...
Review: Ponko Chicken does tenders and sides with Amer-Asian twist

Review: Ponko Chicken does tenders and sides with Amer-Asian twist

Colonel Sanders had his original recipe. The peeps at Ponko Chicken have theirs. Twenty years ago, sisters Reiko Clark and Maggie Antoine opened a Stone Mountain restaurant called Food Ease, where they developed a following around Antoine’s panko-crusted, sweet-soy-sauce-drizzled “Amer-Asian chicken tenders.” Eventually they changed the name to Ponko Chicken, after their most famous...
These metro Atlanta businesses unite family, food and culture

These metro Atlanta businesses unite family, food and culture

Our most vivid food recollections often are related to family, like gathering at Grandma’s for Sunday supper, or climbing on a stool to be Mom’s little helper whenever she baked cookies or needed the pot stirred. For me, it would be the fried bologna sandwiches my dad made on Saturdays when I was a kid, and the copious amounts of chicken my mom grilled on the deck practically every evening...
Learn to make General Muir’s Apple Kugel, good enough for dessert

Learn to make General Muir’s Apple Kugel, good enough for dessert

From the menu of … The General Muir, 1540 Avenue Place, Atlanta. 678-927-9131; thegeneralmuir.com I would love to get the recipe for the delicious apple kugel from The General Muir. I had it a while ago and can’t get it off my mind. I would love to make it for my niece who was with me when we tried it. She’s the one who ordered it for dessert. “A kugel for dessert?&rdquo...
Guidelines for greater grilling

Guidelines for greater grilling

Summer celebrations are in full swing, with grilling high on everyone’s list of “easy” dinners to pull off. But are they really easy? Tucker Shaw, editor of “Cook’s Country” and America’s Test Kitchen, says grilling has always been popular with his readers, but sometimes the readers’ go-to dishes can be a nightmare on the grill. “Boneless skinless...
Review: At Old Fourth Ward’s Taco Cantina, tortas surpass the tacos

Review: At Old Fourth Ward’s Taco Cantina, tortas surpass the tacos

Back in January, when I started exploring the plethora of new taco places turning up all over town, I felt that Taco Cantina in the Old Fourth Ward had considerable potential. Here was a chef from Zacatlan, Mexico, who had found success at his original location in Smyrna, raising the taco flag on Boulevard. And it was just down the street from my home in Grant Park, too. Que bueno. So I kept...
Review: Achie’s scores but doesn’t hit it out of the park

Review: Achie’s scores but doesn’t hit it out of the park

There are currently 16 restaurants at The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park. While the cuisine varies, each eatery is vying for dining dollars, especially when the entertainment district fills up on Braves game days. On a recent Saturday evening, despite the Braves being out of town, The Battery was hopping. Then again, just last week came news that Todd English Tavern had struck out...
The ghostly history of Key lime pie and how to make one perfectly

The ghostly history of Key lime pie and how to make one perfectly

My favorite fact about Key lime pie is that the man who claims to know the original version of the recipe found the recipe while researching a ghost. It may have been the ghost of the first baker of the pie, or else it was a ghost who lived somewhere else in a palatial mansion funded at least in part by the sale of one key Key lime pie ingredient. My other favorite fact is that this...
Cooking as marriage therapy

Cooking as marriage therapy

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry aren’t the only ones getting hitched of late. This month, especially Memorial Day weekend, marks the start of high wedding season. I’m a Memorial Day weekend bride myself. In fact, my husband and I have a hard time remembering the exact date of our anniversary. We just know we tied the knot that holiday weekend 23 years ago. I could tell you it has been 23...
Learn to make the squash casserole from Doug’s Place

Learn to make the squash casserole from Doug’s Place

From the menu … Doug’s Place Restaurant, 696 Highway 293, Emerson. 770-382-9063.  Doug’s Place is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Owner Melissa Ferguson was happy to share the recipe for their squash casserole, in fact she recited it to me over the telephone when I called to make the request. She told me they make huge batches, “Our mixer is the...
Take a look at royal wedding food through the years

Take a look at royal wedding food through the years

The royal wedding is almost here, and while few details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s menu for the big event have been released, taking a look back at the dishes served at previous royal weddings might give us some clues.  <<Here are some royally good ways to celebrate the wedding in Atlanta <<Do you have royal wedding fever? Find out how to watch the wedding on...
Learn to make an old-school Southern caramel cake

Learn to make an old-school Southern caramel cake

In the Southern Kitchen series Saving Southern Recipes, Associate Editor Kate Williams explores the deep heritage of Southern cooking through the lens of passed-down family recipes. Unless you grew up with it, you may be surprised the first time you eat a slice of caramel cake. At least I was. With a name like that, I expected a cake filled with surprise pockets of caramel inside the cake crumb, or...
Review: Miss Gogi does Korean barbecue without the gimmicks

Review: Miss Gogi does Korean barbecue without the gimmicks

Before driving to Miss Gogi in the Peachtree Pavilion strip mall in Doraville, I tried to do a little research. I knew, of course, to expect the salty sweet pleasures of tender bulgogi, the Korean barbecue dish referenced by the name, but I wanted to figure out what they were doing differently. You see, Korean barbecue restaurants are thriving in metro Atlanta these days. This Korean barbecue...
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2018 explores Southern culture and cuisine

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2018 explores Southern culture and cuisine

In its eighth year, the four-day Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, May 31-June 3, has become a major showcase for exploring Southern culture through its cuisine. It boasts a convivial atmosphere described as “one-part conference and one-part party.” And it gives festivalgoers the opportunity to rub elbows with many of the South’s best chefs, who come to cook, teach and talk, then hang...
Recipe: Carrot salad part of ‘power lunch’ at The National

Recipe: Carrot salad part of ‘power lunch’ at The National

From the menu… The National, 232 W. Hancock Ave., Athens; 706-549-3450. thenationalrestaurant.com This Happy Carrot Salad is one of several elements that find their way into The National’s “Power Lunch.” Peter Dale, The National’s executive chef and owner, shared the recipe and told us it is one he’s adapted for home cooks from what they make at the restaurant...
An evolving Buckhead battles for luxe bucks

An evolving Buckhead battles for luxe bucks

On a Wednesday evening in May, Aida and Allan Flamm drove away from their Buckhead home of 31 years heading for Palm Beach. The couple had been stalwarts of the community, but in recent years, it had just gotten to be too much. The relentless development was a prime factor in their decision to leave. “Buckhead has changed and I don’t think it is for the better,” said Aida Flamm....
Site explores mother-daughter relationships through recipes, stories of food

Site explores mother-daughter relationships through recipes, stories of food

Anisa Nyell Johnson has vivid memories of time spent in her grandmother’s kitchen in Philadelphia --  the Post-It notes in the pantry with reminders to buy more ingredients and the time spent shucking corn and snapping string beans while her mother worked long hours as a teacher.   “Nobody else was allowed in there except for me, and dinner revolved around what I wanted to eat...
Make this generations-old steak recipe that still holds up

Make this generations-old steak recipe that still holds up

In the Southern Kitchen series Saving Southern Recipes, Associate Editor Kate Williams explores the deep heritage of Southern cooking through the lens of passed-down family recipes. Perhaps second only to "green squares," country-style steak is one of the last things I ever expected to make. I mean, it's not really my thing — I prefer my steak grill-kissed and medium rare, with perhaps...
Review: Lao food in full focus at Snackboxe Bistro in Doraville

Review: Lao food in full focus at Snackboxe Bistro in Doraville

My dining companion and I had wandered in from a rainy weekend day to this modest strip mall joint in Doraville. It is a well-lit, very clean space full of long tables for sharing, but nothing to write home about in the interior decoration department. We’d each picked a few dishes off the flat-screen menu hanging above the register without paying much attention to what the other one ordered...
Savasana and sip: 6 metro Atlanta classes where yoga meets booze

Savasana and sip: 6 metro Atlanta classes where yoga meets booze

Those feel-good vibes you get post-yoga class combined with the happy buzz of sipping your favorite adult beverage is a recipe for the ultimate Zen. Part wellness and part foodie, the trend has finally hit Atlanta, served up now at plenty of yoga studios, breweries, wine bars and other spaces across the city where you can practice both your savasana and your swirl technique. Get ready to detox, then...
Learn to make the Neapolitan Storm from Local Pizzaiolo

Learn to make the Neapolitan Storm from Local Pizzaiolo

From the menu… The Local Pizzaiolo, 1000 West Marietta St., Atlanta. 678-705-2672. thelocalpizzaiolo.com The cocktails at Local Pizzaiolo are batched, which means they’re made up in large quantities and then stored in kegs awaiting your order. There are four — a Negroni, the Venetian spritz, a nitro espresso martini and this one, the Neapolitan storm. For the Neapolitan Storm...
Area chefs to Kevin Gillespie: ‘Here for you’

Area chefs to Kevin Gillespie: ‘Here for you’

The Atlanta dining community is reacting to news announced Monday that Kevin Gillespie, one of the city’s most prominent and popular chefs, has been diagnosed with renal cancer. Gillespie, 35, is a chef and partner with Red Beard Restaurants group, whose dining concepts include Gunshow in Atlanta’s Glenwood Park neighborhood and Revival in Decatur. A native of Atlanta, Gillespie was...
This Kentucky pie will make your Derby Day party a winner

This Kentucky pie will make your Derby Day party a winner

There's nothing like smacking a giant copyright icon on a box of pie to make people want to copy it. Much like McDonald's Big Mac sauce or the ingredients in Coca-Cola, the recipe for the "true" — or at least most strictly branded — Derby-Pie® is shrouded in secrecy. It is also guarded by what I'm assuming are the most litigious pie bakers in the country, if not the world...
Review: Mourning Dove a lovely concept that hasn’t quite taken flight

Review: Mourning Dove a lovely concept that hasn’t quite taken flight

How do you take your coffee shops? Do you like dark lairs with sputtering espresso machines and spiky baristas? Or do you prefer bright, sunny rooms with marble counters, smart wine lists and chefs who aim to create thoughtful, handmade food? If you belong to the latter camp, Mourning Dove Cafe might give you reason to coo. Perched in a secluded northern branch of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta,...
Barbecue beckons: Atlanta fine-dining chefs adding pitmaster to resume

Barbecue beckons: Atlanta fine-dining chefs adding pitmaster to resume

In the past decade, when Atlanta chef-restaurateurs wanted to expand into more casual concepts, the go-to move was to open a burger joint. In 2018, the new move seems to be barbecue, with a handful of prominent chefs tackling the challenging genre: Scott Serpas at Dixie Q in Brookhaven, Shaun Doty and the Federal team bringing King Barbecue to Avalon soon, and Todd Ginsberg of the General...
Tequila, citrus, ginger go into refreshing Pinewood cocktail

Tequila, citrus, ginger go into refreshing Pinewood cocktail

From the menu … The Pinewood, 254 West Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur; 404-373-5507; pinewoodtr.com The Pinewood is a wonderful place to go and have drinks and appetizers at the bar. One of my favorite drinks to order is their El Diablo, a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for welcoming summer. Do you think that they would share their recipe? — Danielle Carter, Atlanta Glad to...
‘Life is all about failures, but it’s what you do with it’: Atlanta women in hospitality industry discuss challenges

‘Life is all about failures, but it’s what you do with it’: Atlanta women in hospitality industry discuss challenges

FAB Workshop is an annual workshop and networking event for women in the hospitality industry. This year’s event, taking place June 10-12 in Charleston, S.C., will see 40 panelists speak on topics such as workplace law, public relations strategy, human resources practices and business diversification, as well as sexual harassment and workplace culture. All speakers are women and include chefs...
Review: Mexico City specialties at Tortas Factory del D.F.

Review: Mexico City specialties at Tortas Factory del D.F.

The first time I sat down to lunch at Tortas Factory del D.F., I wondered if there had been a mistake. My little lunch table was covered with orange cafeteria trays, disposable plates piled high with each dish, and little, bright cups of salsa. I hadn’t even spent $20. Did I really order all of this food? How was I going to eat it all? As it turned out, the answers to those questions were &ldquo...
Food Tour: Peachtree Pavilion Shopping Center

Food Tour: Peachtree Pavilion Shopping Center

A burgeoning Atlanta food mecca sits quietly in Doraville, nestled among car dealerships and barricaded from easy access by I-285. Peachtree Pavilion, better known as the home of Super H Mart and BrandsMart USA, is home to an exciting lineup of restaurants and food purveyors that belie the shopping center’s generic name. The first thing you’ll notice on arrival is that Peachtree Pavilion...
Atlanta chef service aims to help seniors

Atlanta chef service aims to help seniors

“I would have loved to have had this 20 years ago.” Dolores Lane says this as she and I are sitting in the living room of her Buckhead condo. We’re watching Leslie Chapman and Christopher Watts of Chefs for Seniors prepare the four dinners Lane has chosen: salmon with mustard-dill sauce to be served with rice pilaf and broccoli; mushroom and spinach quiche with sauteed Brussels...
Learn to make smoked trout dip from Marlow’s Tavern

Learn to make smoked trout dip from Marlow’s Tavern

From the menu … Marlow’s Tavern, 1950 Satellite Blvd. NW., Duluth. 770-622-2033; marlowstavern.com Once a month I have a couple of hours to kill at Marlow’s Tavern in Duluth. They have a smoked trout dip that I love. I would really like to be able to make it at home so that I can try some of their other menu items on my monthly visit. Thanks! — Bob Reid, Snellville...
This squash casserole recipe might just be the best ever

This squash casserole recipe might just be the best ever

In the Southern Kitchen series Saving Southern Recipes, Associate Editor Kate Williams explores the deep heritage of Southern cooking through the lens of passed-down family recipes. I used to hate, hate, squash casserole. I'm not really sure what the root of my adversion was — of all the cheese-filled, cracker-topped casseroles out there, this one wasn't too offensive (I mean, you...
Review: Pinch of Spice brings the bright flavors of India to Kennesaw

Review: Pinch of Spice brings the bright flavors of India to Kennesaw

Few things are more satisfying than going out to eat and loving every single dish. (Well, duh.) Unfortunately, delivering a meal that’s impeccable from start to finish is a rarity, and about as easy as performing Beethoven’s Ninth. Pinch of Spice — an Indian restaurant in Kennesaw owned by Vikram Balasubramani and his wife, Archana Vikram, both from southern India — is not...
Review: Korean inflections give fresh flavor to Noona’s steakhouse fare

Review: Korean inflections give fresh flavor to Noona’s steakhouse fare

“My taste buds are going crazy!” said one of my dining partners as we stepped outside Noona and onto the sidewalk in the burgeoning Parsons Alley development in downtown Duluth. Indeed, a succession of dishes — kimchi fried rice, grilled octopus with the sweet heat of ssamjang (a Korean dipping sauce), a sizzling bone-in rib-eye with melting shiso butter, a side of collard greens...
Cheers for Atlanta businesses’ efforts to combat food waste

Cheers for Atlanta businesses’ efforts to combat food waste

Hearing day in and day out about how we’re destroying our planet is enough to drive me to binge eat an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies — and then fret about yet another epidemic of our times: obesity. Yeah, you don’t want to stand next to me at a cocktail party. I’ll groan about air, water and soil pollution, or global warming and climate change. I’ll moan about...
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