Tag Archives: atlanta

Cheat Day 101: Chicken

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!


Home Grown (Memorial Drive): Comfy Chicken Biscuit



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.


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.


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.


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

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 #6, #7 and #8

Life is messy and mine has been messy. And this is prime time for me to start eating crap. And I resisted, except two times. Once when I ate a bowl of the organic granola dark chocolate cereal I love with almond milk (which really wasn’t breaking the rules) and the other thing. I’ll explain once I get there. Nonetheless, between weight lifting and vegan eating, I have lost 12 lbs. since I started. Yes, crazy business.

This salad is probably the best thing I’ve eaten on the diet. And I had it on the worst day of my weekend. I got it from the chicken place, Bantam and Biddy that celebrity chef Shaun Doty opened last year…or maybe earlier this year. Anyway, it was delicious. Spinach with lemon quinoa and apples with some sort of really “liquidy” kind of mustard dressing (maybe). I could have eaten a pound of it and I aim to figure out the recipe so I can make it at home regularly.


The next day after the worst day ever, I hosted a small wine tasting/gathering at my house with a few fellow blossoming wine lovers. When I get my hands on some editing equipment, I fully intend to make a video…but right now, I don’t have any. :-/ Anyway…I dipped a carrot in some spinach artichoke cheese dip. And then I dipped a cracker. And then I stopped myself. I’m so proud. It was soooooo amazing. I needed to be stopped so I could rejoice the next day on losing 12 lbs.

Monday, I was made to rise and shine in the afternoon (it is my off day after all) and head to the gym. I hadn’t eaten anything. Sour stomach from the weekends. Worst, most unenthusiastic workout ever. I’m sure I could have fainted about 4 different times. So we stopped at Arden’s Garden and I bought an “Un-fried” fried rice raw vegan concoction.

Concoction: cauliflower, peppers, carrots, sunflower seeds, peas and seasonings and the heaviest dose of chopped onions ever. ¬†I love onions so it had to be heavy if I am referring to it that way. It did taste like fried rice, except it wasn’t fried and there was no rice or oil. It gave me terrible breath. Jokes were made. ūüė¶

Fast forward to Monday evening for date night and Yard House in Atlantic Station sounded like the best idea before checking out Fruitvale Station. Unfortunately it seems like all their healthy options are not healthy. I liked the hummus because it had pitted kalamata olives but the bread was tough.

My date actually ate this asian inspired ahi tuna and cabbage with wonton salad in my face. I drooled; quietly.

And well you see it. It would have been good had it not been oiled up in balsamic vinaigrette. It was unbelievably oversauced but the candied walnuts made me entire day. Breakfast today was lame. A chopped apple and lentils with garden veggie crackers for lunch and again for dinner. After today’s grocery shopping expedition I’ll be back to formulaic meals. (It was so awesome. We set a budget for $50/person and our bill was $100 even). Go us!

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Food: Bucket List-Bacon Caramel Donut


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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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

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
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
Rich concentrated fruit with citrus and honey and pin point bubbles.

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

Las Dos Ces
 Traditional white Spanish blend in a fun, modern style.

El Cabernet Franc de Chozas Carrascal
D.O. Pago 2009
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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Life: ATL

i haven’t blogged in a while. my life is different now. it seems as though i’ve chosen. ¬†Atlanta.















Foodie: Veggie Frittata


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. ¬†ūüėÄ

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.


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:


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!

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

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:
Prosecco Superiore
DOCG Extra Dry
Pinot Gris
Domaine Roblet-Monnot
Bourgogne Rouge
Vieilles Vignes
Poggio Antico
Rosso di Montalcino
Brand Vendage Tardive
Domaine Roblet-Monnot
Volnay Santenots
1er Cru

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

Please RSVP at: wineguru@ansleywine.com or 404.876.6790
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Event: Black Tie Gala

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of dressing up in your finest digs. ¬†On my wedding day, I will be a princess, no doubt! ¬† But in the mean time, the next best thing is a gala; wonderful, festive opportunities to wear gowns and tons of makeup and elaborate hairdos and be fantastical!


This one is Friday (I need to find a gown like yesterday) and it’s to honor remarkable members of the LGBT community who have promoted fellowship and relationship building amongst members of the family.

Between a super honorable cause and a brilliant location, I’m there. ¬†You should too. ¬†Live performances from beautiful voices, beautiful girls and bois in their best black tie attire, I’m certain delicious food and a stunning location…why not!

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Flash Tasting

If any of my Atlanta buddies are interested in tasting some high-end, liquid gold Sauvignon Blanc, they should meet me at Bantam & Biddy tomorrow for a Fiddlehead Cellars tasting.¬† It’s only $10, and for these wines, that’s dust in the wind.

Ansley Wine Merchants and 
Specialty Distributors Presents:
Fiddlehead Cellars Tasting

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM

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

Cost: ONLY $10* (for 4 wines and tapas!)

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

The Wines:

2010 Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc
$24.99 (In-stock)


2008 Hunnysuckle Sauvignon Blanc

2012 Gooseberry Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Seven-Twenty-Eight Pinot Noir
$42.99 (In-stock)


No need to RSVP, just show up with your palates ready!  We look forward to seeing you.
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Foodie: Empire State South

It would be a grave understatement to say I was in over my head the other day while dining with coworkers at Empire State South for lunch.  They have all been major oenophiles and foodies for decades and it showed.

We ordered a spread. ¬†And¬†I was reminded that I have quite far to go in my food journey. ¬†There were things on the plates, methods and creations that I had either never heard of or simply just didn’t get.

One such creation was called Duck Terrine. ¬†I still don’t know what that is. ¬†I know it’s fatty and has meat wrapped around it, maybe bacon.


This was my absolute favorite dish.


It’s referred to as the Farm Egg¬† and comes with crispy carolina gold rice, onion puree, cheddarwurst, shiitake mushrooms and the tops of vidalia onions. ¬†They boil the rice until all the starch is removed, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it at a low temperature until it is completely dry. Next they coat the rice in tapioca flour and fry it, making it the perfect complement to the runny egg on top. ¬†I could eat buckets of this. ¬†It was THAT good.


There was the Super-Food,¬†which consists of medium rare hanger steak, lettuce, radish, sesame seed coated carrots, a beet dyed farm egg and beets, turnips and pimentos, english peas and mint, vidalia onions, strawberries, blueberries and sorghum sweet potatoes. ¬†Hangar steak can be so chewy but this was not the case. ¬†It was perfectly cooked, tender and moist. ¬†And I’m a huge fan of english peas. ¬†They serve similar peas at Taqueria del Sol with steak but the steak is usually overcooked. ¬†I eat it anyway. ¬†I’m not sure what the white sauce is but I assume it involves mayo.


There was Smoked Trout Mousse mixed with dill.  It was a simple topping.  The best part is the bread.  Empire State South has the best bread!  Looks like they char it on the grill.


It was my first time tasting octopus. ¬†This dish is the Charred Octopus,¬†it’s served with frisee, my favorite lettuce of all time, fennel, greens, and peanuts. ¬†It was all coated in this tangy hot chili sauce that my boss suggested might be to cover up the taste of the octopus. ¬†She does not like octopus. ¬†To me it has the texture of tofu and frankly I like charred tofu. ¬†But in all fairness, it’s not something to be consumed regularly or made by someone who doesn’t treat it with care because I could see how they could easily become chewy and flavorless.

We also ate an Oyster Po-Boy, I knew what that was…I’m from New Orleans. ¬†Rice Grits with Kimchee and¬†Wheatberries. ¬†The butter sauce for the wheatberries was a great “dipping sauce” for the bread.


After a flavorful but somewhat confusing lunch, we went inside for the Montrachet in May tasting of the 2011 Burgundies. ¬†I read a vintage report and it doesn’t sound like these wines are going to be age worthy. ¬†A few notable producers, like Domaine Paul Pernot, were able to extract fruit and acid from the grapes and offer up some fairly well integrated white Burgundies. ¬†Other wines were overly extracted and so fruit bomby you had to wonder what were they trying to cover up. ¬†There was a Premier Cru Volnay “Brouillards” from Domaine Montille that had aromas of white pepper, so much so it almost smelled like incense. ¬†It was brilliant.


After Empire State South we headed to the downtown Ritz¬†Carlton, where the Henri Giraud Champagne tasting was held. ¬†I’d never been but it’s so much cooler than the Buckhead location. ¬†Better design, or so it appears with all the gold gilded furniture and antique pieces lining the halls.


We currently sell the Fut de Chene, which at that point I thought was one of the finest Champagnes I’d ever tasted. ¬†It retails for $179. ¬†We also sell the Hommage, for $69. ¬†They are not my favorite but absolutely in my Top 3. ¬†I bought my favorite ¬†(Duval Leroy Femme 1996) and will be drinking it for my 30th birthday. ¬†It’s yeasty magic!

This tasting was to showcase the wine above, a vintage Champagne from Giraud called Argonne, vintage 2002.

Vintage simply refers to the year the grapes were harvested.  Most Champagnes blend vintages (years), meaning a bottle of Veuve may be composed of grapes harvested in 2007, 2009 and 2010 etc.  When a Champagne house makes a vintage Champagne, that means the grapes were particularly wonderful that year.

Argonne retails for $459/btl. ¬†Yes, I know. ¬†We jokingly said they should bolster its presence in strip clubs. ¬†It’s much better than Dom and pricier and sealed with a 14kt? gold staple. ¬†The wine is highly concentrated and rich, very very rich but not yeasty. ¬†The nose is bigger and brighter than the Fut de Chene and it leaves the most wonderful caramel scent in the glass after you’ve finished, almost like bourbon.

While I won’t be buying any, I felt so honored to sip it. ¬†It’s a pretty rarity.

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