December 22, 2014
Mike Lata's rendition at The Ordinary in Charleston.
van Ramen cookbook, which is also one of my favorite things this year.
Ed Lee's chicken and country ham pho from his excellent book.
Domaine Olga Raffault makes great Cabernet Franc from Chinon that can age a good while. This 1990 was one of my favorite wines of the year. Great Cabernet Franc that won't break the bank.
December 9, 2014
Krog Street Market, I can't quit you. If I keep visiting Krog Street Market multiple times in a week it isn't going to end well for my wallet or my waistline. That being said, I was easily talked into another visit to KSM with a friend who had not yet been. This time, Grand Champion Bbq was open, having been the most recent addition to the growing food offerings. Having established themselves as a serious bbq contender in the OTP bbq scene, the outpost at KSM is Grand Champion's first foray ITP. Based on the compact size of the food stalls at KSM, we thought Grand Champion might be smoking there meats offsite and bringing it in, but sure enough, they managed to maximize their space with a decent size smoker behind the counter. The ribs and brisket were excellent, fully of peppery spice, smoke, and tender goodness. Huge sides of gooey mac-and-cheese and collards (that lacked a little oomph) would certainly feed more than a couple people.
For dessert, some more snacks from Yalla, including the pita special with sweet potato, maple labne, and cracklings. With, of course, banging fresh pita from Rob Alexander and crew. Until next time, Krog Street Market, and it won't be long...
December 1, 2014
I think Krog Street Market is going to be problematic for my wallet and waistline. After a visit to Fred's Meat and Bread for lunch earlier in the week, I returned for dinner at Yalla on Saturday night. From the same team behind General Muir, and Fred's,Yalla is a middle eastern food stall right adjacent to Fred's. They are only doing dinner at Yalla for now as they adjust to the huge crowds at both stalls.
Our first visit was great, though the staff was clearly struggling to work through the many variations one could make to the menu. Proteins and mains can be ordered as pitas or platters, each fully customizable with numerous roasted and grilled vegetables as well as things like labne and tahini. Each of the five dished we tried were strong, many flavors true to what I remember from my Syrian grandmother's kitchen as a kid. The falafel above offer a lighter rendition of a chickpea fritter packed with mint, cilantro, and parsley flavor.Sabich pita filled with roasted eggplants, eggs, and pickles. This was excellent with fresh pita made just prior to service.
November 26, 2014
Krog Street Market officially opened Monday. Sure to be a food and drink destination, it is a welcome addition to the Atlanta east dining scene. Before the official grand opening, both The Luminary and Craft Izakaya opened several weeks ago. We stopped in for some bites at Craft Izakaya last weekend. The spicy-crispy tuna and quail egg above is as tasty as it is purdy. I like Craft, it's great space with enough interesting offerings on the diverse menu to keep you intrigued and satisfied.
Fred's Meat and Bread was the first "stall" to open Monday and as of now it's the only option for lunch at the Market. Brought to you by the good folks behind The General Muir, it's hard to imagine that Fred's won't be excellent. We tried a few sandwiches. All were solid, with excellent bread from Rob Alexander. The cheesesteak is a standout.
November 17, 2014
Ed Lee's recipe for chicken and country ham pho. Lee's recipe calls for a super clean and delicate broth that is made simply from chicken, blackened onions and ginger, peppercorns, and a little star anise. This stuff will make your kitchen smell awesome on a cold Saturday afternoon with football on in the background.
Ivan Orkin's shio ramen. Orkin's broth is dashi-based-there's a good bit of dried fish used to make this stock. Yes, one does get well-acquainted with the frozen dried fish aisle at Buford Highway Farmer's Market when shopping for this dish. It is definitely different than the rich pork flavor of a traditional Tonkotsu ramen.There are seven separate components to this bowl of ramen, preparation is best spread out over a couple of days as you have to make an overnight dashi, a soffrito, pork belly that cures overnight, etc. I'm not sure it's always worth it, and I was certainly more enthusiastic about the effort it took when I first made this ramen last winter. That being said, for ramen at home on a Sunday night, it pretty much kicks ass.
Sean Brock's first book, Heritage. I'm a fan of Brock's Charleston eateries and he certainly has cemented his place as a force in new Southern cooking over the last decade. His cookbook is massive, and beautifully laid out, though I can't say I felt the urge to make many of the recipes at first glance. Anyway, I took a shot on a couple of dishes including the hearty farrotto with kale pictured above that uses farro in a risotto-like preparation. A nice vegetarian meal option for cooler weather and farro is quickly becoming one of my new favorite grains.
November 11, 2014
Ah Ma Taiwanese Kitchen, the fairly new Taiwanese restaurant on Monroe in midtown. Ah Ma means grandmother in Taiwanese, and there is a nod here to simple, family recipes and street food of the common people. We sampled seven or eight dishes, and each was solid, if slightly understated in flavor and wows. The Lu Rou Fan bowl above features slow-cooked pork, mushrooms, cilantro, and a soy-braised egg. A solid, seasonal fall dish to me, and a nice buy at $5.50.
November 6, 2014
I recently spent some time in Toronto. While I was there "working," I did find the time to eat some good food. Toronto is huge, like the third largest city in North America behind NYC and LA, and it feels distinctly like Manhattan in many parts of the city. As such, I was in decision-making-overload trying to decide where to eat with the countless options. By chance, the first night in town I happened to walk upon Momofuku Toronto, and since I have been meaning to eat at one of David Chang's restaurants, this sounded like a good option. Plus, it was freezing, and ramen sounded good. I was dining solo, and I ordered a lot of food at Momofuku, prompting my server to say, "That's a lot of food, is that ok with you?" The Momofuku ramen was as I had hoped it would be, a very good bowl of ramen. Not life-changing, but a rich, almost-too-salty (as Chang says it should be), with a pork broth with a background sweetness. The fatty pork belly melted as it should, and there was a few pieces of tasty bok choy that I think was pickled. A good bowl, and perfect on a cold night.
Bar Buca, tucked back on a side street just outside the Fashion District. Baby octopus at Bar Buca. I'm glad I did. Bar Buca is open 7am-2am every day and features everything from an espresso bar to lunch, dinner, and a comprehensive wine program. The food menu mostly features small tapas-like plates. The dish above was a skewer of baby octopus and soppressata over whipped potatoes that were creamy and thinned to point of being sauce-like. Just a killer little dish if you are an octopus fan.
October 31, 2014
2 oz Casa Noble tequila reposado
1 oz. fresh lime juice
.5 oz. Agave nectar
.5 oz Aperol
A slice of hot chili
A pinch of Lapsang Souchong infused salt
Added the ingredients to a shaker and poured over ice. The pinch of tea-infused salt is best on top of the ice in the glass. It was a fun drink, a little hit of spice, and a nice smokiness from the tea. I stole the idea for the tea-salt from (what I think) they use on the Unsung Hiro at Miso Izakaya. Anyway, it was a fun drink.
October 28, 2014
One Eared Stag with more frequency the past six months. It never disappoints. Above is the hot chicken nuggets and pickles on white bread. An ode to Nashville hot chicken and good spice here.
Makan's Korean Fried Chicken, available only on Wednesday night. This is a nice rendition of Korean fried chicken, crispy, spicy and guaranteed to get you messy.
Kimball House a crispy duck leg hit the spot.
Kimball House a crispy duck leg hit the spot.