Category Archives: food

Cheat Day 101: Chicken

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A few blogs back I mentioned a Creative Loafing bucket list that consisted of 100 food items in Atlanta every Atlantan should try. My girlfriend is heading to New York for 10 days tomorrow so we decided today should be a cheat day. To make it count, we decided to have 3 different items from the list. No health today, all delight and delectability!

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Home Grown (Memorial Drive): Comfy Chicken Biscuit

Rating:

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Plate scrapingly good. The server was nice and kept the coffee cups filled. It takes a while to get your food but the place is packed. When you finally get your food it’s totally worth it. A big fluffy biscuit spilling over with creamy, thick sausage gravy and hunks of sausage topped with two crispy chunks of chicken breast. It’s juicy, easy to tear into and hard to put down. The pancakes are sweet and the maple syrup is hot. The eggs are TI-RED. Sleep on those, don’t even bother. The grits are actually creamy, unlike most they don’t need butter, milk, salt, nada. It’s a damn shame what they did to those eggs after making everything else so wonderful.

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They separate checks too. The main dish was only $10. The cashier was a douche. He’s probably pissed off because it’s hot and noisy and hard to hear. Not my problem. Skip along to Atlantic Station for shopping and it’s time for lunch. Antico is closed on Sundays. Who knew? So is Bocado. How rude! So Gio’s Amalfitano it is.

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Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano (Hemphill Ave.): Sorento Lemon Roast Chicken

I’ve had it before, a few times at work, and it’s delicious but never at the location. It’s Giovani’s chicken joint (the same guy who owns Antico). Portions are insane in this place. For about $17 you can feed two people half a chicken rubbed in olive oil, garlic, oregano and Sorento lemons with thickly sliced potato wedges and grilled flatbread. We ended it with a scoop of chocolate gelato.

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But we couldn’t stop there. The gelato was not one of the three and we had to have three things. So, we went to Delia’s chicken sausage stand and we ordered the red velvet milkshake…and some sliders with comeback sauce. The sauce can stay where it is, but the sausage is spicy and sweet and tasty. A decent $5 treat.

Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand: Red Velvet Milkshake

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As for these. So simple and such a dream. All they do is blend a red velvet cupcake with vanilla ice cream. It’s super thick with red velvet cake pieces in every spoonful, which you will need. It is nearly impossible to get this stuff through a straw without irritating your cheeks and lips. Might I suggest a tapioca straw. Back on lettuce tomorrow. I think we’ve had enough. Because the funny thing is, all I want right now is a glass of water and a grapefruit. Thank God we’ve decided to only oblige our taste buds once a month.

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Vegan Eating: Days 10 &11

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I’ve been a really bad vegan. No meat or cheese but carbs, yes carbs. I’ve been rationalizing it in my mind by saying I’m working out so I’m burning it off. And that’s probably partially true but not as true as I’ve made it in my mind. Breakfast, Thursday was interesting. We did it by the book and soaked dried apricots in soy milk. We added blueberries. It was good and then it was not good. I thought it would make us sick. It had a weird smell. But it tasted like a sweet cereal. I’d probably eat it again.

Lunch I had falafel from Alon’s. Strike one. Yes it’s hummus and tahini and all kinds of diced up onions, cucumbers and pickles and chickpea but the chickpea is fried and the pita bread is amazing. For some reason on this diet, we can have pita bread. I don’t know if you use eggs in pita bread, but you probably do, or at least they probably do at Alon’s.

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Dinner was the best dinner we’ve had since we started the diet. It was tofu chow mein. Diced onion, cabbage, mushrooms mung bean sprouts, tofu and snow peas. I marinated the tofu in sriracha, hoisin sauce and citrus soy sauce for about an hour before sautéing it in the pan with the veggies. It was spicy and healthy and delicious and will absolutely find it’s way into my regular meal plans. We paired it with a super floral Gewurtztraminer from Banyan. The residual sugar helped cool off the spice a great deal but next time I think I’ll opt for a more citrusy Riesling. The finish reminded me of swallowing a bottle of perfume.

Then my girlfriend brought eggless cake home. We split a piece. I have some potentially exciting news brewing so I rationalized that I deserved it and since it was eggless, I assumed it was okay.

Breakfast sucked yesterday. I cut up fresh pineapple and oranges. The pineapple was underripe. It also made the outside of my mouth itch for 9 straight hours. Ugh!

Lunch sucked too. I ordered guac from Taqueria cause that’s the only thing they make without meat. I ordered a side salad too; the regular leftover iceberg lettuce and tomatoes with some kind of strange spicy vinaigrette. My co-worker gave me a bit of rice. I blended it all together with tortilla chips and ate. Probably should have left the chips out of it.

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Dinner was awesome. We made bean burgers from the book. It calls for red beans, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, chili powder and ketchup. Bake it for hella long hours and eat. My girlfriend made acorn squash stuffed with garlic and olive oil quinoa and pistachios. DELICIOUS!!! I was impressed. Lol.

She wouldn’t let me have dessert though because we missed our workout. It was for the best.

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Vegan Eating: Days 8&9

I attempted to step on the scale this morning, Day #10 of the vegan diet. The battery is dead. Serves me right, it’s not Monday.
Anyway, these are meals from Wednesday and Thursday.

I neglected Wednesday because I absolutely hated my dinner.
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Dinner: White grape gazpacho from MetroFresh. It’s not that MetroFresh is bad or anything, I just did not want cold soup with celery and cucumbers and grapes and withered pecans. Does that sound delicious? Does that even look delicious? Heck no!  Should have been the marinade for a ceviche.

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Yesterday’s breakfast was fun and super easy. I made some adjustments, as I must to insure that my girlfriend will eat on this diet. Her palate does not play well with bland flavors.

Breakfast: blended frozen banana and almond milk smoothie topped with flaxseeds. I didn’t want them ground, (they didn’t call for ground) because they add a fun texture to the smoothie…a kind of crunch.

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I loved lunch but she HATED it. She returned lunch to me bludgeoned with a spoon. I felt bad. I knew mine was more edible because I got majority of the black bean dip.
Lunch: Raw veggies: carrots, red, yellow and orange peppers, broccoli, basil and pita bread. The bean dip was just a can of beans with a bit of juice from the can with chili powder, garlic and cumin blended together.

Like I said, I liked it. She was plenty pissy.

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I tried to make up for it with dinner.

Dinner: Lentil stew (lentils, celery, tomatoes, onions, seasonings), iceberg lettuce with red onion and tomato (I had pomegranate vinaigrette dressing and she had parmesan peppercorn) with garden veggie crackers and broiled and salted with garlic string beans with apple juice.

The juice was wrong, I admit. But damn’t I wanted it! I also had a small bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips. It was 130 calories. I ate it with blueberries as a mid day snack. It made me forgo any eating of the dark chocolate granola cereal I love so much. I am still alive.

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Food: Vegan Eating Day #2

Yesterday it was my girlfriend who was “losing it” and today it was me. Although breakfast was actually quite yummy and lunch was not terrible, dinner was a sad, sad situation.

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Breakfast: organic rolled oats cooked in water and almond milk with walnuts and raisins and a grapefruit (not pictured).

I rather enjoyed breakfast. Even without the added sugar, honey or nectar or butter or milk that I typically use to “improve” the taste, the raisins added a nice sweetness and the walnuts some yummy nutty texture. The night before I prepped lunch, as it was extensive.
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Lunch: Chipotle sweet potato soup, raisin coleslaw and blackberries.

We got lucky at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market and scored on a couple of boxes of pre-made soups. Although they have tons of sodium, we’re splitting them between the two of us and cutting the sodium intake in half. It was delicious! The raisin coleslaw took some getting used to. I do not like coleslaw. I like my cabbage cooked down to the last drop of nutritional value and smothered in bacon fat…certainly not raw. The raisin coleslaw is a combination of shredded cabbage, carrots and apples with a pureed apple juice, raisin, potato and mustard sauce. After the 7th crunchy bite, I actually became fond of the slaw. My girlfriend never arrived. And the blackberries were terrible, tart demons puncturing our palettes with each acidic explosion of juice.

Then it hit me. I wanted something crunchy and salty. I wanted Stacy’s Pita Chips…very badly. I resisted and ate a banana. That pissed me off for about an hour until it was time for dinner. I took a picture but apparently my phone was not comfortable with my intentions to upload a struggle plate* to my blog so I don’t have it. It deleted itself.

Dinner wasn’t that bad. It was just a weird combination, which was partially my fault. Today’s meal plan called for “Dr. Furhman’s Anti-Cancer” soup and a baked potato with tomato sauce but nobody has time for that. It required like 8 zucchini stalks and 12 carrots and all these other ridiculous amounts of produce, so I swamped it out for fiber. Furhman says you should try and eat a cup of beans everyday so I made black beans and brown rice instead and a baked potato with tomato sauce. Yes, it was odd but not terrible tasting. After dousing it in ridiculous amounts of hot sauce, it was good. Three hours later I got hungry again and ate more coleslaw (on these meal plans you can have unlimited amounts of raw and cooked veggies).

Tomorrow’s menu sounds so much more appetizing and I definitely look forward to it. Thank Bacchus. I want some wine. 😦

*struggle plate- a plate that is struggling; plate that looks unappetizing; not plated correctly; on Styrofoam or still in a pot.

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Food: Vegan Eating Day #1

Several years ago a dear friend of mine passed on a book regarding the health benefits of her vegan lifestyle by Dr.  Joel Fuhrman called “Eat to Live.”  I read it, completely amazed at facts like romaine lettuce and broccoli have more protein than beef sirloin and on and on it goes about vegan/vegetarian diets and life span and overall quality of life and how much better it is when you’re vegan.

I went vegan for a month afterwards; not necessarily clean however; there were a few bags of kettle fried chips in the mix and some zucchini that got drizzled in olive oil before broiling, but overall it was fair. I lost a lot of weight and for the first time in nearly 7 years, I didn’t have any aches and pains in my lower back or ankles. It was wonderful.

Since then I’ve become some what of a major foodie, neglecting to incorporate the salads of the past with the fried pork belly of the present and the aches and pains have returned so my girlfriend and I have decided we’re going to do this for 14 days.

$125 later on half organic and half non-organic produce and beans, I want to determine how much weight can one lose in 14 days on Furhman’s diet plan and how long $125 worth of groceries can last.  With produce, we have to eat it all and fast, otherwise it will rot and no one wants to see their money thrown away, especially not when it’s all we can eat.

With that said, I’ve decided to document my experience on Dr. Furman’s Eat to Live diet plan.

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Breakfast: strawberries, oranges and grapefruit

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Lunch: Romaine lettuce with diced apples, walnuts, golden raisins and tomatoes with fresh squeezed orange juice.  Wheat pita pockets stuffed with kalamata olive hummus, tomatoes and more lettuce with a small sprinkling of coarse sea salt and sliced kiwi and banana.

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And Dinner, which was insanely filling: Steamed chard, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini and onions.  The worst salad ever, mixed greens and shredded pear with lemon juice and an acorn squash, baked and filled with pineapple juice soaked dried apricots, raisin, cashews and pineapple chunks sprinkled with cinnamon.

At the very least I intend to capitalize on this opportunity to taste and smell foods with aromas that I will frequently find in wine.  I will also take this opportunity to put more focus on my eating and health as this shit is hella time consuming and everything must be prepped in advance to avoid the unfortunate grab of the chips.  I must say, I’m not hungry but I will also say, I really really want a piece of multigrain toast with butter.

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Food: Bucket List-Bacon Caramel Donut

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A few weeks back Creative Loafing released a “100 Dishes to Eat Before You Die” list that features 100 breakfasts, salads, meat entrees, desserts etc. around the city that everyone should try while they’re alive.

I’ve had a few of them already like the salivating “Farm Egg” from Empire State South and the Super Food Salad, also from Empire. Or the roasted bone marrow with tuna tartare and quail egg from The Spence and of course Krispy Kreme donuts. But clearly we have a long way to go so yesterday we started.

My girlfriend surprised me with a dozen donuts from Revolution Donut Shop in Decatur. Its featured item is the caramel and bacon donut (from the Breakfast segment). She also got plain glazed, chocolate covered yeast and cake, an apple turnover, a cinnamon sugar donut, a peach stuffed donut, and a blueberry glazed donut.

Their strengths: Deliciously sweet glazes and fresh fruit for the fruit based donuts. My favorites were definitely the caramel bacon, all sweet and salty and yeasty, the textured cinnamon sugar donut and the blueberry glazed that reminded me of a fruity roll.

Their weakness: The donuts are MAD THICK yo; too thick actually. I would love it if they toned down the dough action and made them slightly more delicate. Maybe they make them so thick to add balance to the richness of the glazes…but still, skinnier donuts please. Nonetheless, one down and like 80+ to go.

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Food: Free

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Atlanta food lovers who are on budgets! Uncle Maddio’s Pizza, a Moe’s concept pizza place, will be giving away 9 inch pizzas until Friday with flyers they actually have posted outside the restaurant. Today they hosted a pizza party complete with free pizza, wine, beer and beverages and EVERYTHING on the menu was free (the pizzas, salads and paninis).

While nothing will ever compare to my beloved Neopolitan inspired pizza from Antico, no bs, it was actually good. And not because it was free but because it was good. I like the thin, crunchy crust and the abundance of topping options.

I got the Steak and Blue: angus steak, mozarella, blue cheese crumbles, olive oil, basil, tomatoes and balsamic glaze. Yes, I know. Go get you some of that!

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Wine: Vino de Pago Tasting

Ansley Wine Merchants & Bantam and Biddy Present:
Vino de Pago Status: 
A Tasting of Spain’s Finest Wines
Ansley Wine Merchants would like you to join us for our exclusive tasting of the wines of a Vino de Pago winery, Chozas Carrascal. Chozas Carrascal recently achieved Pago status in October 2012 and is now a part of an elite group of less than 14 designated Pago wineries. Vino de Pago is classification unique to Spain and has only existed since 2003. It is given to top wineries who have produced superior wines and demonstrated excellence vintage after vintage. They can only source their grapes from their own vineyards, ensuring quality. So think of it like this, instead of designating an entire region, as is done in France with AOC’s, individual wineries receive Pago status and function as “mini appellations”.
Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM

Location:
Bantam & Biddy
1544 Piedmont Rd.
Suite 301
Atlanta, Ga, 30324

Cost: ONLY $10* (for 5 wines and tapas)
Special discounts offered ONLY on the evening of the tasting.

*If you choose to stay for dinner, Bantam & Biddy will factor in the cost of the tasting into your final bill, making the tasting completely free.

The Wines:

Las Ochos 
Tinto D.O. Pago
2008
$19.99
This wine contains eight different varietals!  It has very dark and full-bodied aromas of balsamic and dark fruits and is exceptionally well balanced for such a big wine.

Chozas Carrascal
Cava Brut Nature
$19.98
Rich concentrated fruit with citrus and honey and pin point bubbles.

Las Dos Ces
Tinto Barrica
2010
$11.99
Bright red fruits and luscious texture in an everyday food-friendly wine.

Las Dos Ces
Blanco
2011
$11.99
 Traditional white Spanish blend in a fun, modern style.

El Cabernet Franc de Chozas Carrascal
D.O. Pago 2009
$36.99
A 100% Cabernet Franc made from grapes grown on the lowest yielding vines at the estate.  An expressive wine with a big personality.
You do not have to RSVP.  See you there; palate’s ready!
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Foodie: Veggie Frittata

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Every now and then I like to go far away from the city lights and smog to hear the sound of birds chirping and frogs making whatever sound frogs make and little bunnies hopping and burrowing to remind myself just how much I adore the city.  😀

Okay, I also take these trips as a kind of refresher, an opportunity for clarity and rearranging my track. With so little noise and so much fresh oxygen, I feel clairvoyant.  And Aunt Kay’s is by far my favorite place to travel.  She’s as big a foodie as I am and she reminds me of my grandmother; Overly comfortable home, sprite and youthful, funny and a refrigerator stocked up with your wildest dreams.

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This unattractive hodgepodge is toasted french bread with melted smoked gouda, goat cheese covered in blueberries, pork rillette from Spotted Trotter, olives and peppers, summer sausage and some kind of herb crackers.  We munched that down with Chateau Fortia Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc  2008 by the pool under the Super Moon.  It was drinking beautifully.  Honeyed and slightly oxidized, it helped my girlfriend see just how wine can be transformed and magnified by food and vice versa.  The wine put my mind at ease from all the nature sounds, you know, pine cones falling that sound more like a rabid raccoon rushing you for your bread.103936_1_1

Then we watched Somm, a documentary about the hardest exam that no one has ever head of, ever; the Master Sommelier exam.

Check out a trailer here:

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Breakfast the next day brought us here:

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I’ve never made a frittata before so I watched closely. 7 eggs and carnation milk for added fluffiness. Blanched veggies (asparagus and broccoli), sauteed veggies of onions and carrots, peppers, a thick rounded pan and a spatula. Takes no time at all really. Get it half cooked before topping it off with cheese and sticking it in the oven for 10 minutes then voila!
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Even the leftovers the next day were great. We topped it off both days with baked flounder and salmon and Segura Viudas Cava. And now, I miss the country.

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Super Summer Tasting

For all of my wine drinking buddies/newbies and readers in Atlanta, my store is hosting a pretty big tasting next Tuesday from 6:30-7:30.  The wines range in price from $20-$90 but you only pay $10 to taste them and that comes with food.  Check out the deets below.  This is a rare opportunity to taste some of the higher end wines that stock the shelves of your local wine retail store that you look at and say, “Why is that $85 and what does it taste like?”  Here’s your chance to find out.

Ansley Wine Merchants & The Sorting Table Importers Present:
The Sorting Table Portfolio Tasting

Sorting table: Used at harvest time to inspect grapes by hand and ensure only the finest quality fruit is used to produce the wine.

Ansley Wine Merchants wants you to join us as we taste through The Sorting Table’s wine portfolio.  This is an excellent opportunity to taste higher end wines, wines you’ve always wanted to try but weren’t sure about, wines you’ve never heard of from phenomenal producers or wines you already have a great deal of knowledge about and wish to revisit.

We chose a plethora of wines to allow tasters to experience this diversity in the hopes that we bolster your interests in unique and often misunderstood grape varieties.  Rarely will an opportunity come along where you get to taste wines ranging in price from $20 to $90 for only $10.  This is a very important tasting; not to be missed.  We certainly hope you can join us.

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM

Location:
Bantam & Biddy
1544 Piedmont Rd.
Suite 301
Atlanta, Ga 30324

Cost: ONLY $10* (for 6 wines and tapas!)
Special discounts offered ONLY on the evening of the tasting.

*If you choose to stay for dinner, Bantam & Biddy will factor in the cost of the tasting into your final bill, making the tasting absolutely free.

The Wines:
Borgoluce
Valdobbiadene
Prosecco Superiore
DOCG Extra Dry
$20.99
 
Zind-Humbrecht
Pinot Gris
$27.99
 
Domaine Roblet-Monnot
Bourgogne Rouge
Vieilles Vignes
$29.99
 
Poggio Antico
Rosso di Montalcino
$42.99
 
Zind-Humbrecht
Riesling
Brand Vendage Tardive
$75.99
 
Domaine Roblet-Monnot
Volnay Santenots
1er Cru
$91.99

Come join us at the table and sort it out for yourself.

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