August 26, 2015

Good Luck Gourmet

Here's a quick update on a couple of recent visits to Good Luck Gourmet on Buford Highway. A few months back, Sichuan star, Gu's Bistro departed their Buford Highway location to concentrate on their Krog Street Market outpost. Without much fanfare, Good Luck Gourmet moved in to the old Gu's space and is doing a good job carrying the Sichuan torch. Raves for Good Luck have rolled in recently from local publications. It's definitely worth a quick drive from Decatur, though get the on the early side for lunch as the place gets packed. Pictured above is a plate of Good Luck's red chile oil dumplings; perhaps the best in town right now.
Another Good Luck standout: Eggs and Black Fungus. Think scrambled eggs and black mushrooms covered in leeks. Not pretty, but delicious.
Chengdu style cold noodles. Pretty standard, good and spicy and quite tasty. Yum.
 Pork in spicy garlic sauce.
The spread on a second visit recently. Spicy chicken and dry-fry green beans.

August 9, 2015

Revival, Decatur

Some pics above from my first visit to Kevin Gillespie's Revival in Decatur. The restaurant is an homage to Gillespie's southern roots and Sunday suppers at his grandmother's house. Set in a historic old home at the southernmost end of Church Street in Decatur, everything about Revival makes you happy to be in the south. We tried a number of things off the including the bacon-wrapped meatloaf and fried chicken. Being as how I am a Yankee by birth, and am not a pedantic student of fried chicken, I'm not going to deconstruct Revival's chicken. It had an exceptionally crunchy exterior with juicy and flavorful meat throughout. As good as any fried chicken I can remember. Dinner comes includes a basket of cornbread for the table that will become your favorite-ever cornbread once you try it. The trimmings shine, too, including the fatback-cream corn and mac and cheese, both soul-comforting in their richness and layers of flavor. The Revival bar program features some old drink favorites from Gunshow like the Toasted Old Fashioned, as well as some classic southern punches and cocktails. Revival has come along at a perfect time in Decatur's evolution as a dining destination and it fills one of the few remaining voids in Decatur's food scene. I'm already planning my next visit.

August 2, 2015

Cooking Things and It's Still Hot

I guess I need a sexier excuse than, "I've been busy," as a reason for not really updating blog anymore. Seems I get my, "Hey, look at pictures of food I cooked and/or ate"-itch scratched in real-er time by Instagram these days. I've left this remnant of the oughts behind in some ways...Since it's August, and it's hot out, and I'm cowering inside with the AC cranked, I figured I'd check in here with some recent cooking exploits. Above is szechuan-style green beans that I've made a handful of times this summer. I use Kenji's method, of broiling the beans, then dousing them in a sauce of ginger, garlic, Szechuan peppercorns, and whole chile de arbol. Spicy? Yep.
Homemade pizza using the skillet-broiler method. I swear, I don't have a weird thing for Kenji, but I am considering burning all my cookbooks and just following Kenji. Pizza is good.
Smashed fried potatoes, Waxman-style. These are some yummy potatoes and a nice alternative to french fries. The master, Jonathan Waxman, crushes parboiled, whole Russets and then deep-fried them in large chunks. My chunks could have been bigger, but the potatoes do fall apart a bit when you crush them in your hand. Still awesomely delicious.
95 degrees and sunny calls for white wine, like this zippy Weszeli Gruner Veltliner I got for $25 from Le Caveau Fine Wines. This wine just works in the summer. Drink it with anything. Spicy, szechuan green beans, for example.
More white wine goodness from Lopez de Heredia. I've professed my affinity for LdH here before. Unique and singular wines that age remarkably well and aren't like most wines most people drink. So there, go find some.

July 10, 2015

David Sweeney at Cakes & Ale

Dynamic David Sweeney has been popping-up around town a good bit lately. Most recently, he did a popup as part of Cakes & Ale Sunday Supper series. Sweeney is a vegetable whisperer. Eat one of his meals and you'll start thinking you'd be happy as a vegetarian. The dish above featured peas and tomatoes with feta cheese smothered in a pickled tamarind cream. Brilliant, fresh, and stunning flavors. Still thinking about it.
Another of the nine dishes that came out...green Beans and grilled radicchio.
Crudite with green goddess dressing. Beautiful and refreshing.
Chanterelles over a delicate sweet corn puree. So freaking good.
Grouper en papillote with fennel, cumin, lemon. Delicious. As the paper opened, the table filled with the scents middle eastern spices. It was a great meal all around. If you have not had David Sweeney's food, be on the lookout for another popup and go get some.

July 5, 2015

Recent Kitchen Exploits

Seems a month has gone by since I updated this blog. Just don't have the time lately, and it seems that I get feedback more quickly dropping pictures on to Instagram where my legions of fans rush to double tap it. That being said, I've had some time for cooking. Here are a few highlights:
Black vinegar-glazed pork belly buns from Kevin Gillespie's, Pure Pork Awesomeness cookbook. Pork belly is brined for a couple days, compressed for a couple days, then deep fried, and topped with pickled carrots, cabbage, and cilantro. I bought the buns on Buford Highway; I'm not that crazy. Tasty as heck, but too much work to make these with any regularity at home. I'm looking forward to Kevin's Revival, opening this month in Decatur.
I had some buddies over last week for a night of cooking, eating, and mass wine consumption. Like we did in the good 'ol days, circa 2011. Above, my dish of pickled shrimp (can't get enough pickled shrimp these days, I blame Edmund's Oast) on pumpernickel toast with fennel, radish, and chive oil.
Beef tartare topped with fried oyster and broccoli sprouts and balsamic reduction. Too much acid in this dish...live and learn.
My buddy Jimmy made these tasty sopes with beef that was kept sous-vide for four days. The beef was fall apart tender with great flavor. Always wanted to make sopes and now I get it and will do them again soon.
We drank some decent wines. It was a good night. I was moving slow on Thursday. Until next time...