Monday, May 23, 2011

Slow Food Atlanta 5th Annual Ice Cream Social

Amy on Food has been practicing her homemade ice cream making and will be at this event with a special flavor! You should plan to compete or buy tickets and taste.

Fifth Annual Ice Cream Social
Saturday, June 18, 12:30 – 2 pm
I Scream, You Scream…!

Slow Food Atlanta is seeking contestants for the
Fifth Annual Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social fundraiser! There Slow Food’s fans will get the opportunity to vote for the most delicious homemade, not-necessarily-traditional ice cream or sorbet flavor!

The Ice Cream Social, which is in conjunction with the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, will take place in the garden of St. Philip’s Cathedral at 2744 Peachtree Road on Saturday, June 18 from12:30 pm to 2:00 p.m.

The contestants will include renowned local chefs and ambitious amateurs.

The skinny:
Contestants provide homespun ice cream made from fresh ingredients. Slow Food Atlanta will provide cups and utensils (all compostable or recyclable), signage, and an eager ice cream-eating public. Last year’s event drew almost 200 hungry Atlantans of all ages. This year, we will cap the ticket sales at 300 people.

Tickets will be $15 each, and will earn Slow Food fans a taste of each flavor and a ballot. (Children ages 5 – 10 are $5 and children under 5 are free) Proceeds benefit the Atlanta Chapter of Slow Food International and the Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

To sign-up as a participant, email by June 1.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Truffles Birthday Lunch

The cutest creamer!

My law firm celebrate several birthdays at the new Truffles Cafe, formerly Ruby Tuesday, on Lenox Road across from Lenox Square. While I am usually hesitant about chain restaurants, Truffles made an overall good impression. While the restaurant is owned by the same parent company that owns Ruby Tuesday, there are only four locations - three of which are in the Hilton Head area.

The Atlanta location offers valet parking and includes a nice bar. The place was pretty crowded when we visited, a popular spot for business lunches. We had excellent service during our visit and the food was surprisingly good, although nothing too out of the ordinary. The coconut shrimp were quite tasty and I loved the frozen Oreo pie. Otherwise the food I tasted was OK but not great - the sweet potato fries were not piping hot and one person who ordered the chicken pot pie declared it bland.

We admired the cow creamers so much the manager let one member of our party buy one at a very reasonable price - very nice! Overall I recommend Truffles for those who are not very adventurous or for a group or business meal. I have not tried their dinner service so if I do I will update this post.

Coconut Shrimp.

Spinach salad with Chicken.

Crab cake with Sweet Potato Fries.

BBQ Chicken.

Chicken Pot Pie.

Key Lime Pie and Oreo Ice Cream Pie.

Truffles Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hand in Hand

Brit Burger with Rocket Salad.

On Saturday we wanted to relax on the patio at a neighborhood restaurant with our friends from the neighborhood. We decided to go to Hand in Hand, a Virginia Highlands staple with a great patio. The food was fine, although the fried mushrooms and fried fish were too greasy for my taste. The burger was good and the fries were decent as well. However, the service was definitely BAD.

Now because of the awesome patio and the location Hand in Hand probably isn't lacking for customers. They also have some great recurring daily specials such as the $1 fish taco and $1 PBR on Sundays. Upon arrival, we seated ourselves at an outdoor picnic table. Nobody came although we could see several waitresses in the vicinity. Finally after about 20 minutes one of us got up and went inside to find out if we could get menus. After that we ordered quickly and the food came out in a timely fashion. Still, it was impossible to find our waitress. We got malt vinegar and hot sauce on our own (we could see it on a stand near the door); we asked another waiter for a refill of iced tea and Coke. We asked twice for a side of blue cheese dressing that took at least 20 minutes to materialize. We ordered the fish & chips because our waitress told us it was $5 instead of the usual $12. When we got our check it was $12 and she said "Oops I forgot it is Saturday, that special is on Friday. Sorry." We made it clear we were not going to pay $12 for something she told us was $5 and she did take care of it although I thought it was terrible customer service for her to even suggest we would pay full price at that point.

In any event, this place is a great find for the patio but beware of the service. And you probably want to come when they are actually having one of their specials!

Fried Mushrooms.

Fish & Chips.

Hand in Hand on Urbanspoon

Blackfin Bistro and Better Than Sex Dessert Restaurant - Key West

Tomato ginger carrot - the soup du jour.

We actually spent an extra night in Key West quite unexpectedly. Although our flight from ATL to Key West arrived with no problem, on the return trip severe winds kept the jet from landing in Key West. Delta's solution - drive us to Miami in a bus OR stay another night and fly out in the morning. Although we both needed to return for work, we decided to remain in Key West another night instead of taking the long bus ride to Miami. We actually hooked up with new-found friends from Louisville who we'd met on our first day. They were supposed to be on the same flight.

Once we got settled in another lodging - I can't even remember the name and it was so disappointing after our great B&B, we met up with our new friends for dinner and dessert. For dinner we went to Blackfin Bistro, upon recommendation of the clerk at the hotel. Although the menu looked pretty good, it was quite pricey and the food was mixed. I enjoyed the soup of the day (above) although $9 is a bit much I think... The burger was also good and the pasta was decent. Our friend was not too crazy about his lobster salad, though, and the whole experience was somehow lackluster.

Lobster Salad with fruit.

Chef's seafood pasta, half portion (shared with new friends!)

Blackfin Burger - with Swiss cheese, bacon and a sunny side up egg.

Our new friends had been to Better Than Sex - A Dessert Restaurant already and they wanted to go back. Intrigued we went along to give it a try. Unfortunately they were out of the signature dessert (you guessed it - it's called "Better Than Sex") but we still enjoyed some delicious treats as well as chocolate-rimmed dessert wine - whoa a serious sugar kick! The restaurant is DARK and some of the menu items have racy names. They do provide flashlights so you can read the menu. Definitely a unique place and not quite like anything I've ever experienced before.

Luckily we made it out of KW early the next day. It was a wonderful trip overall and I would enjoy another vacation there. Nice to meet you Louisville friends!


Cobbler/bread pudding.

Chocolate chip pie.

Chocolate rimmed chocolate beverage.

Blackfin Bistro on Urbanspoon

Better-Than-Sex - A Dessert Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eaton Street Seafood Market - Key West

Best shrimp salad. Ever. Go there.

We passed the Eaton Street Seafood Market almost every time we returned to our B&B. We finally ventured in and tried the seafood delicacies that are available inside. This place functions mostly as a true market, selling seafood and accompanying items, but they also have a small menu of items that they will cook for you on the spot.

Looks like an old tiny gas station.

Grilled fish sandwich - so fresh and served on a delicious croissant.

Eaton Street Seafood Market on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Santiago's Bodega - Key West

Spring mix with duck confit, dried cranberries, walnuts, and red onions tossed with a citrus-ginger vinaigrette.

On what we thought was our last night in Key West, we took it up a notch and dined at Santiago's Bodega, recently renovated to include more seating . We snagged a highly coveted patio seat and enjoyed the breezy, warm evening. The food was definitely fancier than any other place we went on the island and we really enjoyed it.

Special soup - unfortunately can't remember exactly what kind - note to self* take better notes!

Yellowfin tuna ceviche - huge chunks of fish - almost too big, very briny and acidic.

Camembert wedge topped with sautéed garlic, onions, almonds, apricots, and red bell peppers with crostini - delicious!

Chicken skewers.

Bread pudding and ice cream.

Santiago's Bodega on Urbanspoon

El Siboney Cuban Restaurant - Key West

Roast Pork, yuca and tamale.

One of the most consistent recommendations we received was for El Siboney Cuban Restaurant. Lucky for us, this place lived up to the hype. A family run, basic place - this is right up my alley. The roast pork was moist and flavorful, made even better by hot sauce. The fish was fresh and spiced just right. I love maduros and these were no exception. If you are in Key West and want some authentic Cuban cuisine, go here!

The plain exterior holds delicious surprises!

Fish with maduros, rice and beans.

El Siboney Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 13, 2011

Key West Odds and Ends

We saw lots of these neat trees!

We went out on a boat to see dolphins and snorkel. The snorkeling wasn't too good but the dolphin sighting was awesome!

Sloppy Joe's - apparently a Key West institution. We had a drink at the bar and heard a family band play some bluegrass classics. The bar has been open since 1933.

They sell lots of these huge cookies all over Key West. My favorite are inside the little mall near the sunset pier.

The fudge was great too - and the fudge master took time to talk with us.

The famous Key West sunset.

Hot sauce store and tasting bar - a fun diversion!

Six toed cat from Ernest Hemingway's House. He had tons of cats!

Sloppy Joe's Bar on Urbanspoon