Latest News

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...
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: 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...
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...
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...
The Optimist’s chowder features smoked fish

The Optimist’s chowder features smoked fish

From the menu … The Optimist, 914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta; 404-477-6260; theoptimistrestaurant.com My husband and I love everything on the menu at Ford Fry’s The Optimist but especially the smoked fish chowder. Any chance you can get the recipe? Thanks. — Phyllis Flowers, Canton The Optimist’s chowder recipe was indeed created by Ford Fry. He tells us, “Before...
10 Atlanta patios for unique spring experiences

10 Atlanta patios for unique spring experiences

The South has a love affair with outdoor dining. It takes many forms: the college football tailgate, the neighborhood or church picnic, hog roasts, oyster roasts and shrimp, crawfish or crab boils, just to name a few. Atlanta restaurants know this and take advantage of their location in a temperate, tree-filled city boasting a picturesque skyline and attractive neighborhoods. In a market where restaurants...
Collards go global in metro Atlanta

Collards go global in metro Atlanta

Collard greens are surely one of the quintessential foods of the South. If a restaurant wants to project Southern bona fides, chances are they serve some form of this hearty, leafy green. A slow simmer with ham hock or salt pork shows collard greens at their simple best, but collards can be quite versatile — and chefs around Atlanta show them off in dishes that draw inspiration from around the...
Nontraditional ramen worthy of its own tradition

Nontraditional ramen worthy of its own tradition

Anyone who has seen the classic Japanese film “Tampopo” knows that making ramen is no simple thing. The movie tells the story of two truck drivers who take pity on a widow, Tampopo, whose small, roadside restaurant is struggling simply because her ramen is not good enough. They bring her from one ramen-ya (traditional ramen shop) to another, where she learns the precise, time-honed traditions...
10 Atlanta mashup restaurants to try

10 Atlanta mashup restaurants to try

Whether you call them post-fusion or mashup, some the most exciting restaurants are crossing cultures and cuisines to create concepts and dishes that bridge the distance between people and places. And, in Atlanta, as elsewhere, younger chefs are behind some of the most lively examples. Here are 10 to check out right now: Chai Pani — The Decatur Indian street food spot from Meherwan Irani...
Creative condiments add zing to meals at Atlanta restaurants

Creative condiments add zing to meals at Atlanta restaurants

Around the world, people sprinkle, slather and squirt condiments on their food without a second thought. And while the idea is universal, the actual condiments themselves are anything but. It stands to reason, then, that global flavors have made their way into the jars and bottles already awaiting you at restaurant tables. The phenomenon of Sriracha is a case study. The bright red sauce seems to be...
Even fries and tots are getting the fusion treatment

Even fries and tots are getting the fusion treatment

Fast-food french fries and cafeteria tater tots — erase these notions from your mind. Restaurants are getting creative with recipes for these once-simple sides, blending techniques and flavors from around the world. While sweet potato fries have been popular for years, Bon Ton (674 Myrtle St. NE, Atlanta. 404-996-6177, bontonatl.com) offers a unique spin. The Vietnamese-Creole restaurant...
Pizza takes a spin around the world

Pizza takes a spin around the world

Pizza isn’t just Italian now. Some of the most interesting pies across the city blend global ingredients and methods for flavor profiles that blur the lines between cuisines. Pizza gets a Middle Eastern makeover at Allora, located in the Twelve Hotel Midtown (361 17th St. NW, Atlanta. 404-961-7370, alloraatl.com), where you can get a pie with tikka masala sauce, chicken shwarma...
8 cocktails that stir up global flavors

8 cocktails that stir up global flavors

Bartenders continually experiment to translate the taste of a restaurant’s cuisine to their beverage list. Sometimes, different culinary heritages converge in a libation. These drinks don’t just complement dishes coming out of the kitchen; they are gastronomic adventures in a glass. Take a taste trip bursting with flavor and history with these cocktails that incorporate traditions and...
Humble tacos in metro Atlanta a blank canvas for seemingly all the flavors of the world

Humble tacos in metro Atlanta a blank canvas for seemingly all the flavors of the world

The taco, I believe, is on the way to becoming as ubiquitous as the hamburger. In the near future (probably next week), this humble Mexican workhorse, so amenable to allowing proteins, salsas and condiments of all nations to ride in its little tortilla saddle, will be a fixture of the casual American menu. For better or ill, the taco has become a vehicle for delivering a global pantry of ingredients...
Global flavors rise and shine on breakfast menus around town

Global flavors rise and shine on breakfast menus around town

The morning is no time for experimentation. Breakfast is utilitarian, fuel necessary to face the day: eggs for protein, bread and grains for carbs and something fatty to jump-start the metabolism. Chefs are asked only to serve these elements hot and fast. Yet, the world is shrinking and expectations have changed. Once-exotic dishes like shakshuka and chilaquiles have entered the common brunchgoer&rsquo...
Wrap your hands around these global mashups

Wrap your hands around these global mashups

Eschew a knife and fork this season and put your hands to work. There are plenty of hand-held fusion options for those wanting to mix their cuisines. Korean Cheesesteak from Fred’s Meat and Breads. Arguably Philly’s most popular export (with apologies to Kevin Bacon and Tina Fey), the cheesesteak goes exotic with this treatment. Your choice of chicken or rib-eye gets a kick from gochujang...
Inside the mind of Gerry Klaskala

Inside the mind of Gerry Klaskala

The wheels in this guy’s head keep on turning. From the moment Gerry Klaskala and I sat down to lunch, it seemed his brain was constantly churning. Though soft-spoken, and bearing a gentle smile, he looked me squarely in the eye during our entire hourlong conversation, one that was supposed to be a get-to-know-you affair. No note-taking. We met up for a “real” interview a few weeks...
Learn to make Harry & Sons’ Spicy Chicken or Tofu Coconut Soup

Learn to make Harry & Sons’ Spicy Chicken or Tofu Coconut Soup

From the menu … Harry & Sons, 820 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-873-2009; surinofthailand.com/location/harry-sons/ There’s no other soup in this city as craveable as the Coconut Soup at Harry & Sons. The second the temperature dips below 60 they’re my first stop. Can you please track down this recipe for me? — Caroline Clements, Atlanta When we talked with A. J...
Food offerings abound at Great Wolf Lodge opening in May in LaGrange

Food offerings abound at Great Wolf Lodge opening in May in LaGrange

You’ll work up an appetite when you splash for hours in a water park, traverse a rope course or summit a climbing wall. Luckily, guests at the soon-to-open Great Wolf Lodge Georgia in LaGrange don’t have to walk away famished. When the family resort opens this May — grand opening is slated for May 24 — it will offer numerous ways to keep fed the bellies of young and old...
Sip and savor spring with these 7 cocktails

Sip and savor spring with these 7 cocktails

The transition from winter to spring is one of the most anticipated times of the year. It’s time to frolic in the sunshine as the earth comes back to life in shades of green and pastel blossoms. It’s also time for lazy, leisurely brunches replete with refreshing cocktails brimming with aromas similar to spring breeze. Just as spring food menus change from hearty dishes of earth-toned root...
Review: Mandolin Kitchen showcases earthy traditional Turkish cuisine

Review: Mandolin Kitchen showcases earthy traditional Turkish cuisine

We didn’t need the lamb shank. We had already eaten plenty. It would have been smarter to take a walk. Or spend the remainder of this sodden Sunday afternoon dozing off with a good book. But we had waited patiently for it — there had been a communication breakdown between server and kitchen — and there it was: a beautiful lollipop of a lamb shin, sitting in a delicate slick of tomato-and-olive-oil-kissed...
Learn to make Century House Tavern’s onion soup from this month’s Vidalia crop

Learn to make Century House Tavern’s onion soup from this month’s Vidalia crop

From the menu … Century House Tavern, 125 E. Main St., Woodstock; 770-693-4552. centuryhousetavern.com If possible, can you please find the recipe for the Vidalia Onion and Fennel Soup from Century House Tavern in Woodstock? My dear friend loves it, and I would love to be able to make it for her. Thanks for your efforts. — Judi Pollard, Woodstock Chef Daniel Porubiansky was...
Review: Rose and Rye brings luxe style to the Castle

Review: Rose and Rye brings luxe style to the Castle

According to a history published by the city of Atlanta, Ferdinand Dallas McMillan made his fortune in agricultural machinery before retiring in 1910 to focus on building his dream home. He had lived a long life since being born in 1844 and wanted a home in Atlanta built “as high into the air as I could.” He named this place Fort Peace and spent his final years there. The building continues...
Review: Natsu covers the Japanese basics, and a few Korean ones, too

Review: Natsu covers the Japanese basics, and a few Korean ones, too

The next time you visit a Japanese restaurant, notice how many of the sushi rolls contain cream cheese. Or have names like “Beauty & the Beast,” “La Bamba” or “The Godfather.” Note the presence of California rolls, spicy tuna, and the super-crunch factor — ingredients fried with panko crumbs. Sometimes delicious and frequently over the top, this is what happens...
Restaurant-bar work makes parenting even more challenging

Restaurant-bar work makes parenting even more challenging

In my decade of covering dining, there have been too many nights that I’ve made dinner for my family, left it for them, given them a goodbye hug, and gone out to work on a story. Even after nearly 23 years of marriage, nights away from family are oftentimes a tug of war between the duties and satisfactions of work and home. I want to be there to break down the day with family, hear how an exam...
From the menu: Learn to make Double Zero’s Zucchini Cake

From the menu: Learn to make Double Zero’s Zucchini Cake

From the menu … Double Zero, 1577 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta; 404-991-3666; doublezeroatl.com When Double Zero relocated from Sandy Springs to Emory Village, their popular zucchini cake disappeared from the menu. It was the best cake in town and I haven’t been able to forget how moist and delicious it was. Is there any way you could convince the Castelluccis to share? There are many...
Learn to make cake with ribbons of in-season rhubarb

Learn to make cake with ribbons of in-season rhubarb

Vicky Fry of Fry Farm in the north Walton County community of Bethlehem has been gardening since she was a kid growing up in Walton County. When her dad retired, she recruited him to help her accomplish her dream of farming. Eleven years ago they began selling their vegetables at the Suwanee Farmers Market. These days you can find Fry Farm at the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market when they open...
Saving Southern Recipes: Learn how to make summery peach cobbler

Saving Southern Recipes: Learn how to make summery peach cobbler

I grew up in a family of peach snobs. We'd track the season's progression through the summer, watching the peaches grow bigger, pinker, and cling less to their pits as time slipped by to August. All of the best peaches, we knew, came from Gaffney, South Carolina, home of the peach-shaped water tower, and producer of far better fruit than down here in the Peach State. I'd snack on them out of...
Review: Slick tables, bland food at CO on Highland Avenue

Review: Slick tables, bland food at CO on Highland Avenue

At my first meal at CO, a new red neon-lit restaurant on Highland Avenue, I ordered the beef pho. I could have ordered so many other things. The menu is quite long and varied, ranging from the oshizushi-style pressed sushi rolls favored in Osaka, Japan, to the greasy, rich noodles fried up in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, to beef and kimchi dumplings that might suggest Seoul, South Korea. But...
An Easter tradition with mysterious origins

An Easter tradition with mysterious origins

Like the monarchy, high tea and roundabouts, hot cross buns are a British obsession that registers only mildly this side of the pond. For Brits and others raised in Commonwealth nations like Australia and South Africa, hot cross buns instantly summon memories of the Easter season. The semisweet rolls have initiated an annual debate across these countries similar to the Christmas music argument in...
SunTrust Park starts second season with new food, beverage options

SunTrust Park starts second season with new food, beverage options

The food roster for the Atlanta Braves’ second season at SunTrust Park will feature several familiar favorites joined by some eager-to-please rookies. First up is Punch Bowl Social, opening Saturday in The Battery, the entertainment district adjacent to the ballfield. The Denver-based “eatertainment” concept will serve a menu overseen by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, the name...
Sweet treats for Easter feasts

Sweet treats for Easter feasts

Easter candy can be all about pastels. Or … maybe this is the year your Easter baskets and dessert trays will feature a more sophisticated palette. Jocelyn Gragg, the chef and owner of Chamblee-based Jardi Chocolates, shared three Easter sweets recipes with us. The first is for her Honey Vanilla Marshmallows. These delicious bites are in such demand that she’s created thousands for the...
Learn to make Parish’s Blueberry Crisp

Learn to make Parish’s Blueberry Crisp

From the menu … Parish, 240 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta; 404-681-4434. parishatl.com — Lynn Duke, East Point The recipe is the creation of Breanna Kinkead, pastry chef at Parish. And the secret to the topping just might be the extra, and delicious, step of making brown butter. The crisp recipe works for all kinds of fruit so when peaches are in season, or strawberries, or cherries...
Saving Southern Recipes: Use 3 pantry ingredients to make Angel Berry Pie

Saving Southern Recipes: Use 3 pantry ingredients to make Angel Berry Pie

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.If I was to tell you that you could make a towering, beautiful pie without pulling out sticks of butter and fiddling with dough, would you believe me? If I was to tell you that you could make said pie with little more than...
Review: Are you ready for Korean pig trotters and spicy sea snails?

Review: Are you ready for Korean pig trotters and spicy sea snails?

Some years ago, British novelist A.S. Byatt came to Atlanta to deliver the Richard Ellman Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory University. As an AJC arts writer, I was assigned to cover the event, which kicked off with an all-day pig roast at Lullwater House, the lovely 1926 residence of Emory’s president. The occasion, one would assume, was meant to introduce the Booker Prize-winning author...
Review: New Atlanta hotel restaurants look to Mediterranean for menus

Review: New Atlanta hotel restaurants look to Mediterranean for menus

Is there a better fish for a hotel restaurant than the branzino? This pale white fish is delicate without being too fussy for the cook and rich without having a reputation for being oily or fatty. It goes mostly by the Italian name, though the French call it loup de mer. You’re free, I suppose, to call it European sea bass if you wish to stick with English. In whatever language, it can be served...
Life before food service

Life before food service

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I recently met a few employees at Le Bilboquet in Buckhead who have remarkable life moments to share. You wouldn’t know of their talents if you saw them in the French restaurant or passed them on the street. But, their past accomplishments inform the way they go about their business today at the restaurant. Meet a trio who bring...
Capture essence of strawberries in a pop

Capture essence of strawberries in a pop

We know Steven and Nick Carse’s King of Pops from its bright white pop carts that blossom all over the Atlanta area at the first sign of spring. And some of us know King of Crops, the farm the Carse brothers put into production back in 2016, a 68-acre property in Winston at the southern tip of Douglas County. For the last few years, we’ve been able to buy King of Crops produce at the Brookhaven...
From the menu: Two readers request recipe for S & S Cafeteria’s mac n cheese

From the menu: Two readers request recipe for S & S Cafeteria’s mac n cheese

From the menu of … S & S Cafeteria, 2002 Campbellton Road SW., Atlanta; 404-755-2005; www.sscafeterias.com I grew up in Augusta in the early 1960s enjoying S&S Cafeteria. I would go almost every Sunday just to have their mac and cheese. There is no other to compare. I met and knew one of the managers of the Walton Way store, and he gave me copies out of the book. But I’m sorry to...
Oysters: The raw, the cooked, the debate

Oysters: The raw, the cooked, the debate

When it comes to eating oysters, the first decision typically boils down to a simple dichotomy — raw or cooked? While you’ll find advocates on both sides, with passions heating up like the flames on a charcoal grill, the raw evangelists make a simple argument: There’s nothing like the purity of a raw oyster served unadorned. Shuckers — such as Kimball House in Decatur and Oysters...
Recipe: Country Kitchen’s meatloaf with special tomato glaze

Recipe: Country Kitchen’s meatloaf with special tomato glaze

From the menu… The Country Kitchen, 17800 U.S. 27, Pine Mountain. 706-663-2281. www.callawaygardens.com [We] love the meatloaf at The Country Kitchen at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. It has this amazing tomato glaze on top and is a lovely moist piece of meatloaf. It’s a long way to drive from Marietta almost to Columbus – just to eat this meatloaf! Could you convince the...
Australian-born chef’s Atlanta empire caters to fraternities, sororities

Australian-born chef’s Atlanta empire caters to fraternities, sororities

Chef Dieter Quinn gently bumps his black Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle over the curb and onto the sidewalk, deftly wheeling it to an out-of-the-way parking spot. Removing his black helmet and leathers, the lanky Australian walks through the Atlanta parking lot to the back entrance of the kitchen that serves as his home base, though it’s only one in a network of 14 kitchens he controls. He...
Atlanta food festivals offer a chance to enjoy spring 2018 with a bite and a drink

Atlanta food festivals offer a chance to enjoy spring 2018 with a bite and a drink

It’s been a rough winter, but the weather is finally warming up. We can’t think of a better way to welcome spring than with a bevy of (mostly) outdoor spring events focused on food, wine and beer. Atlanta Spring Wine Fest. Try more than 50 wines and sip on beer and cider from your souvenir tasting glass while rocking out to live music and a DJ. Food will also be available for purchase...
Review: A hidden Buckhead destination for Jamaican fare

Review: A hidden Buckhead destination for Jamaican fare

Among the euphemisms that food writers throw around, “hidden gem” is one of the more common. We understand, of course, that the restaurant in question is not a polished and cut semiprecious stone. Nor do we really believe that it has been placed out of sight or concealed from view. We simply take it to mean that the joint is relatively unknown despite the quality of the fare. And, yet...
6 bright spots for dim sum in metro Atlanta

6 bright spots for dim sum in metro Atlanta

Dim sum ain’t for the demure. Not in this town, at least. For tea drinkers who like to nibble, Hong Kong, Vancouver and San Francisco have a venerated culture of the cart. Atlanta, not so much. Finding a dependable dumpling dispensary here can be akin to playing the slot machines. From Chamblee to Duluth, there’s sameness at every turn. Old favorites no longer pass muster. With that in...
Review: Italian gone awry at Bar Americano in Buckhead

Review: Italian gone awry at Bar Americano in Buckhead

When I tasted the eggplant Parmesan at Bar Americano, I could not help but wonder where things had gone wrong for this restaurant. Here was an impressive looking dish, a big white porcelain boat loaded with three deep-fried slabs of eggplant covered in discs of mozzarella cheese and surrounded by deep red tomato sauce. It should have been a good entree, much like how this red-painted Italian joint...
More Stories