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Westin Peachtree neighborhood


Krog St Market
Sweet Auburn Market
Miso Izakaya
Wrecking Bar and/or Porter Pub
Sotto Sotto (still really good after all these years)

or take the train to Decatur:
Leon's Full Service
The Brick Store
No. 246
Pinewood Tippling Room


about 23 hours ago
ted in Atlanta

Recommendations for Jewish, Polish, Greek and Lebanese

Pita Palace for Jewish/Meditteranean (shawarma, falafel, e.g.). Closed on Saturday.
Olive Bistro for similar, minus the Jewish
Samad Grill for the Lebanese take on same; it's on Roswell Rd not too far S of the Hooch. Love the garlic sauce/dip.

I keep meaning to try out the pastrami at Kosher Gourmet, which is right next to Pita Palace. But if you're coming that far, General Muir probably would be my first pick.

We also have a bunch of really good Persian restaurants, too.

To be brutally honest, much as I love all these places, when we're in a bind for a meal, Zoey's Kitchen fits the bill reasonably well.

Feb 16, 2015
ted in Atlanta

Lost Prophet?

Understood. I think the Antique Collection is worth it, if only I could get a bottle each year (not hoping for more due to scarcity). I'm generally not worried about acquiring Pappy- I didn't catch how it went this year, but last year one of the two closest liquor stores had folks line up ~12 hours before it sold (~6 hours before they gave out line tickets). Saw something similar via the news in Birmingham.

Much as I'd like to someday eat Friday lunch at Galatoire's in NOLA, it's a pretty low likelihood I'll be there and wait in line from Tuesday (or pay someone to do it for me). Similar situation.

I still rely on Evan Single Barrel as a great gift for a value whiskey. I'll buy a Wild Turkey Rare Breed or maybe a Blanton's once in a while. Mostly, I drink Buffalo Trace or another value whiskey and occasionally sip at the pricier stuff.

Feb 03, 2015
ted in Spirits

Lost Prophet?

Cool. Thanks for the thoughts. I've mostly succumbed to "too busy to even look" on this subject.

Jan 29, 2015
ted in Spirits

Atlanta - Rehearsal Dinner

We have done a few company banquets at 103 West in Buckhead. They have a separate event space- I forget how big it is.

Lately, we've done them at the Aquarium. The Wolfgang Puck catering does a pretty good job for banquet food (FYI, it's been better in more of a buffet setting for ~100 than the sitdown events for 700-1000 I've been to a couple times). And the ballroom with the background of the belugas on one side is very cool.

Jan 29, 2015
ted in Atlanta

Lost Prophet?

Sheesh- I was expecting more from the whisky experts. Saw that John Hansell said he thought it was better than Pappy. But I didn't manage to make time in time to go drop $120 on the bottle I saw. Probably good to show restraint on that one.

I didn't manage to score any of the limited releases this year (exc a bottle of Elmer T Lee). Have been working 24/7 so I keep thinking of treating myself to something. The only other thing I've seen that peaked my interest was a Willett rye at $70. I didn't look close enough to see if it was Rare Release or just overpriced. The bottle of their single barrel Rare Release I picked up in KY a couple years ago was much cheaper.

I dream sweet dreams of Sazerac 18, but alas that dream is not to be (this year or unless I travel to Unobtainistan, where they don't have the Internet, haven't figure out that particular rye is like magic, and actually were allocated a bottle or two).

Jan 25, 2015
ted in Spirits

Where to eat? 48 hours in Atlanta

For lunch, I'd go check out the Krog Street Market. Think hipster food court. Good stuff. I'm digging the porchetta sandwich at Fred's, but the veggie banh mi (from Bocado), burger (closer to Gen Muir than Ginsburg's original at Bocado). Even the grinder was good, if not my thing. Eventually will try a falafel from Yarra's.

Near Symphony Hall- haven't been to Lure, but Ecco and Empire State South are not too far past that.

If you want to do Va Hi (broadly), Going Coastal would be a good choice right in the middle of it. Murphy's is good too, I think of the food as really well prepared but the menu is very accessible (not super adventurous). We've even been to La Tavola a couple times in the not-too-distant past and enjoyed it (if not the overly precious/pretentious server descriptions of the menu). Venturing a bit further south of Va Hi proper, Sotto Sotto is still great (we went between Xmas and New Years) and there's also Fritti.

Decatur would be my other choice, and there are lots of options there.

As to Taqueria, it's good stuff and not too expensive. They have their rules. Though I watched a couple of twentysomethings, much exhausted from holding up their margaritas during the long wait in line, sit down before even ordering last night. To my surprise, the staff didn't even punt them. Either they've gone soft (as also evidenced by actually printing and laminating a single "kids menu" by the register), or they were evincing pity since at least one was wearing Auburn gear.

If you want really awesome Mexican, head a couple doors north of the QT at NE Plaza on Buford Hwy, and have a meal where everyone else is speaking Spanish.

Jan 25, 2015
ted in Atlanta

Grass fed lamb, beef at Tripoli Meats, Marietta

I don't think of Patak as having a lot of beef or any lamb anyway. Think I may have an excuse to visit next week. My recollection is pork, fresh sausages, and a little chicken (guy with me in line last time bought wings).

You can't beat their prices or sausages and smoked/cured meats otherwise. The only problems are distance to get there and line length.

Jan 19, 2015
ted in Atlanta

Recommend Kitchen Scale & Timer?

I have a Salter kitchen scale (like a 3003, but have had it for several years) that works well for the little I use it. I also added an American Weigh scale (my "crack scale") that I use for precise measurements of curing salt.

We have had a Cole Parmer lab timer forever and the buttons are kinda worn out. I picked up an Oxo as a stocking stuffer for the wife for Xmas. It's been good so far and will time 3 different things.

Jan 05, 2015
ted in Cookware

Lost Prophet?

I saw a writeup on the Whisky Advocate site about this- old Stitzel-Weller bourbon in a one-off bottling. Was wondering if anyone had tried it and what they thought. It lists for $120 so kind of stratospheric for bourbon.

Dec 27, 2014
ted in Spirits

Tamale makers of Atlanta, I need answers!

I'm far from expert. I'd say whatever works for you is key. Then recognize that some of that extra effort toward authenticity may pay off.

The main thing with the meat is that it needs to cook long enough to be shreddable. You won't end up with tons of filling per tamale, so you don't want it to be a big, chewy chunk.

I'm trying to remember the specific method I've used for the dough. Check Fine Cooking's recipe on their site. IIRC, I used the dry Maseca, moistened with hot water to make a pliable dough. If you can get the preparada, that would cut out that step. I've used shortening b/c my understanding was that the real leaf lard was hard to come by (definitely not the pre-packaged lard on the shelf at Chicago Mkt et al).

You're trying to get to a final consistency that's relatively light, like cookie batter. That, to me, takes whipping it up in a similar fashion.

Any kind of steamer can work for cooking (or a pot with an insert). The tamale steamers in various sizes are relatively inexpensive at Buford Hwy Farmer's Mkt, e.g.

Dec 23, 2014
ted in Atlanta

holding, reheating, and serving barbecue

I've noted at both OK Joe's in KC and Franklin in Austin (reasonably well-regarded restaurants to use as a reference) that they are pulling whole cuts out of the holding cabinet that are essentially encased in plastic wrap. OK Joe's had pulled pork in bags, too. Then the meat is cut to order- this also is part of why getting through the line at Franklin took at least an hour, despite being ~35th in line. But the guys are chatting everyone up and giving them bites to try, so it's all part of the experience (as long as you aren't in a hurry).

When I cook something and then hold for up to several hours, I always wrap it in foil with rolled seams. It goes either into a cooler or a very-low oven (~140F) until serving time. FYI, I've overloaded a cooler with hot meat that then overcooked from the residual heat. Pork butt mush not so good.

If I cook and know I'm not going to use the meat right away, I usually go straight to vacuum pack and the freezer. Tough to do with juicy meat. Then I either steam or boil in the bag to reheat. I only use the microwave if I'm really desperate.

Dec 12, 2014
ted in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

2 nights in Atlant

We went to the Krog Street Market for the first time last night, and I'd say that's the thing to do, hands down. Very casual, lots of food options, Hop City bar with 40-ish craft beer taps. We got the veggie banh mi (the one from Bocado) and a porchetta sandwich from Fred's Meat and Bread. Other options looked really good, too.

It's basically a hipster food court. Good stuff. Lots of hipsters (my wife says we've been spending too much time in Buckhead lately and that's why I notice these things).

Dec 12, 2014
ted in Atlanta

Ethnic Atlanta Mid-Town? Or BBQ? Or?

Lately, we've been to Varuni a couple of times and to the Don Antonio by Starita (or is it the other way around- what an awful name). Varuni is really good and a much-nicer setting than Antico. There are lots of families, which was good for us with the Chowpup but may not be for everyone.

I thought the Don Antonio was good, too, but it was very expensive. We also sat next to the most preppy/WASPy folks I've ever seen. It was just very much a classic Buckhead crowd.

Dec 06, 2014
ted in Atlanta

Where to buy Porcini Mushroom Powder?

My biggest issue with dried porcini is they always have grit in them. Even if you were willing to grind your own, you'd almost need to dunk in water to get the grit separated after grinding. I have a great big thing of dried ones from Restaurant Depot in the pantry (and a spice grinder). Not sure where to look for powder.

Nov 18, 2014
ted in Atlanta

My Bacon

That's a lotta bacon. Could you tell us more about your cure process?

Oct 27, 2014
ted in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Sazerac - Absinthe rinse substitute?

I think I can still find a few brands in small bottles. I know that one of our high-end bottle shops has the small St George bottles (like you see in their gin samplers- I forget the volume). Maybe you'll get lucky looking a little more.

Sep 30, 2014
ted in Spirits

Pimento Cheese - who knew?

When we don't make it ourselves, we usually buy Palmetto at either Publix grocery or at Costco (big tubs!). Haven't tried the bacon flavor yet.


Sep 16, 2014
ted in Food Media & News

Pimento Cheese - who knew?

Yep. Gotta be sharp cheddar.

Sep 12, 2014
ted in Food Media & News

best quality tequila for mixing

My only requirement would be that it's 100% agave. I mostly use reposados, but I probably ought to look into blancos more for mixing.

Sep 10, 2014
ted in Spirits

Watanabe nakiri vegetable knife

I have a Watanabe nakiri too, and it's a fabulous knife. Unfortunately, I've been doing more working than cooking lately, so I haven't used it in a long while.

Mine has the upgraded handle (forget what it is instead of ho wood). It also is the stainless-clad version. So, kind of like a Hiromoto AS, it has a layer of (blue, IIRC) carbon steel sandwiched between stainless steel outer layers. The outer layer isn't polished, though, so more of a black, forge finish.

It's like a laser beam.

Sep 09, 2014
ted in Cookware

Dinner near Emory?

You could just eat veggies at Community Q for the latter.

Sep 02, 2014
ted in Atlanta

Foodsaver questions

I had the FS containers for years without using them. Finally broke them out recently. I used it to seal a mason jar with a two-piece lid by putting it inside the larger canister.

I'm making fermented hot sauce from peppers from the yard, and I made my mash (with salt and wine for a sugar source) then sealed it in the jar. This is taking the place of my usual airlock method- a bag of brine in the jar opening. I figure the CO2 will relieve the vacuum, then I won't have any air in the headspace (and I won't open them up until I'm ready to process further). Oh, and the ring isn't tightened at all, so no explosion fears.

Aug 29, 2014
ted in Cookware

What's the differences between BBQ sauces...

This is just ridiculously wrong.

South Carolina has its distinction in having mustard-based sauce for pork. The sauce in eastern North Carolina is primarily vinegar and red pepper flakes. White sauce in AL is used for chicken- they put another sauce on pork.

One place in Savannah has a sauce that's almost halfway between a mustard and a tomato sauce. I feel like I've had something like that elsewhere, but I forget where.

thoughts on bread knives

We have a Mac (SB-105, I think) that has been fabulous for slicing most everything, including bread.

Aug 23, 2014
ted in Cookware

Birthday dinner in Savannah, GA (Catch: Vegetarian diners)

The AJC has a blog entry about Hugh Acheson's new place in Savannah, The Florence. I still need to read the whole thing, but it seems very positive.

Aug 19, 2014
ted in Southeast

Edge-Pro Apex pointers

I'm way overdue to work on my knives with the Edge Pro. I find that straight edge knives are the easiest to work on (like the CCK or a nakiri-style knife). I have more problems with tips and knives with significant belly/curvature.

I also have an easier time touching up my Japanese knives than I do re-sharpening the German ones. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the harder steel keeping its edge better and think I shouldn't have to work so hard on the softer German knives.

Aug 14, 2014
ted in Cookware

Birthday dinner in Savannah, GA (Catch: Vegetarian diners)

It's been a while since we ate there, but my wife and I really enjoyed Cha Bella. I'd bet they could do a vegetarian menu for you.

More recently, I ate solo and got ignored at the bar at The Distillery. Great beer selection, but the answer to "what's the shrimp-to-bread ratio in your po boy" shouldn't be "there's really a lot of shrimp in it" when you only put 5 shrimp in and it costs $14. I haven't been so incensed about lousy service in a restaurant (or tipped so poorly) in many years.

I also keep going back to the Butterhead Greens cafe for lunch. Love that place.

Aug 10, 2014
ted in Southeast

Buffalo Trace White Dog (New Make Whiskey)

Just thinking about it still makes me cringe. Instant hangover.

Aug 08, 2014
ted in Spirits

Oyster Craze

Maybe it's a good thing you apparently live somewhere else. More Apalachicola oysters and Scott's hams for me. Yeehaw!

Aug 05, 2014
ted in General Topics