Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wisconsin Cow Carousal

This winter my family paid a visit to my Sister in Wisconsin, and found some surprisingly fantastic food while we were at it.

In Lacrosse we went to the Pearl ice-cream parlor. They make all their own stock and it was better than the usual specialty ice cream. Very good fat content and what I imagine was very good milk Lilly. We got some great malts.

Then in Madison we had dinner at Graze a delightful farm to table near the capital building. We got some excellent burgers on a english muffin bun that really worked well. It was on par with any burger in Atlanta.

But the real star was their cheese selection. Here is their menu...

We were so taken with the cheeses at dinner from Carr Valley we decided to go there ourselves. Right in central Wisconsin.


It was a modest operation but they turn out an impressive selection of cheeses. All the varieties are on the back board along with their fair ribbons for award winning cheeses. Their cases were also full of aged cheddars enrobed in black wax. They went from 1 to 10 years.

Our favorite was a blended goat, sheep, cows milk cheese called the Benedictine. But they were all good, and the folks at Carr Valley were very proud.

All and all a wonderful and delicious visit to Wisconsin. Hopefully I can convince Lilly it is not just a fly over state.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Lacrosse, Madison, Mauston

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Buford Highway podcast in the future

Chicago Supermarket
 Last weekend we laid the groundwork for a Buford Highway podcast. For all you non-Atlantans (and those that don't get out enough), Buford Highway is the epicenter of all tasty international things in the state of Georgia.

Represented are:
Chicago Supermarket
Chicago Supermarket
Lee's Bakery

Lee's Bakery: boba smoothies
Tijuana: tamale

La Churreria
Rusty Nail

I also wrote an article for Scoutmob about Chicago Supermarket which should be published next week so be on the lookout!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Antico Pizza///first bite

To differentiate themselves from the competition, they turn their boxes inside out. Effective disguise?
We spend a lot of time on the West Side eating.  Abattoir is our go-to for out-of-towners (the $10 tripe soup is the best deal in town and that chess pie is divine), West Egg's $10 Wednesday burger deal plus milkshake is a good go-to, and as time passes, more great restaurants keep popping up.  Not to mention, there's a decent coffee shop over there.

Because of this, it may come as some surprise that until yesterday, we had never had Antico Pizza (warning: if you click on the Atlanta section of the site it will play an insipid Dean Martin song, and loudly).

We've heard numerous times that Antico is the only pizza in town worth eating. So on the way home the other day I stopped and picked up a margherita to go.

The drive home was excruciating. My car smelled delicious. And there was road construction on 10th. The torture!

When I made it home, the pizza wasn't exactly fresh-from-the-oven hot.  But it was definitely still delicious.

Chewy, with a decent amount of char (though not as much as I like), a beautiful sauce and just the right thinness, we certainly enjoyed it for dinner, as well as breakfast the next day.

Next time I eat Antico, I'm going with a crowd to try that funghi pizza, and I'm dining in.  To be continued.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Atlanta Street Fashion

Finally made it onto Atlanta Street Fashion today!  it was great to meet Cameron Adams, the man behind the blog.  I'm looking forward to an Out There Atlanta collaboration with him in the future!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday night dinner

In the past, finals week for Alex and I has meant living off of cereal and not leaving the house for days.

Now that only one of us is suffering, the other is free to roam.  The one writing papers benefits.

 No meal is complete without dessert.
White chocolate pudding and raspberries.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dim Sum /// Royal China Restaurant

A few weeks ago friends took us out to a dim sum restaurant off Buford Highway, called Royal China.

This was our first dim sum experience in Atlanta and we were pleasantly surprised.  For those unfamiliar with the style of food, dim sum consists of small dishes prepared in a Cantonese style.  It originates from Southern China and is typically eaten during the day with lots of tea.  The small dishes are usually pretty heavy, but man are they good.

The dining hall with covered seats is, for me, as key to the dim sum experience as the ladies pushing carts of food.  These women push carts laden with different items through the aisles, stopping at each table to see if the diners are interested.  The items are then marked off on a receipt to be tallied at the end of the meal.

We started with duck with hoisin sauce and crispy skin.  I'm sorry to say I have no idea what this dish is called; I'd never had anything like it before.   The skin was as crisp and thick as a cracker, with a toasted-rice flavor (possibly a coating?).  Anyway, delicious.

Lo mai gai, or lotus leaf rice, consists of stick rice wrapped around a meat or egg (or both) filling, all packaged and steamed within a lotus leaf for color and flavor. 

Taro dumplings, lightly sweet and crisp-fried on the outside.

Another new dish for me; shrimp wrapped in bacon, coated and fried, with a mayonnaise dipping sauce.

Daikon radish cakes with dried shrimp and sausage! a personal favorite

chee cheong fun, or shrimp wrapped in a rice dumpling, and green vegetables.

the fried taro balls again.

Here's the cart containing the daikon cakes, which the woman fried to order.

She also fried these shrimp dumplings for us.  Chinese restaurants are the best for taking photos.  I'll admit sometimes I'm shy about busting out the camera, but at Royal China the woman frying daikon cakes was an enthusiastic camera assistant, pointing out dishes to photograph and smiling the whole time.

Congee, or rice porridge.

Barbecued pork bun.

There were no misses at this meal; everything was delicious.  There's not much for vegetarians at a dim sum restaurant.  As you can see, even the shrimp dishes had plenty of pork!  

I was disappointed that the meal didn't include phoenix feet, aka fried chicken feet.  We saw other tables eating it, but I guess they ran out by the time they got to us in the third row!  I left satisfied however, and content in the knowledge that we'll return and get those chicken feet next time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Home and Back Again

We're back in Atlanta after a great trip to North Carolina.  I loved catching up with family and friends and am really looking forward to returning for Christmas.  Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Miso Izakaya: the ramen is BACK

When we heard that Miso Izakaya was bringing back their ramen earlier this month, there was no hesitation. On November 8th, the first day Chef Guy Wong put it back on the late night menu we were there ready for it. Our previous visits hadn't been disappointments by any means, but missing out on the ramen had left us slightly downhearted. The ramen we had was a redemption. 

We arrived at 9:30pm, ready to order some starters as we waited for ramen. We kept our hunger at bay with the shoyu tomago (soy-marinated soft-boiled egg on grilled rice), a sampling of sushi, and assorted pickles. 5 minutes before 10 we placed our ramen order.

The ramen arrived, steaming, in deep beautiful brimming with flavorful broth, chewy noodles, and topped with fish cake, seaweed, pork belly, and a little bit of corn.

To give you an idea of our experience, I leave you with this clip from the 1985 Japanese classic Tampopo.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moules frites and more; a homemade feast

What a weekend of eating this has been! We had a fantastic meal of dim sum today and a huge dinner last night. Just some preparation for Turkey Day right?  I'll post on the dim sum later but for now... last night's dinner.

We cleaned out the Dekalb International Market, starting the night with Blue Point and Apellation oysters with lemon and a pickle plate (in the background), composed of our friend Adam's homemade whole cukes and beets.

After a fresh and flavorful start to the meal, we fried things.

Many things.

I completely forgot to take a picture of the fried plantains we made, which I take only partial blame for as we were all complicit in eating them quickly!  Dipped in a homemade red pepper aioli and dusted with plenty of sea salt, they were delicious.

So were the fries, but we saved those for...

the mussels.
 We used Julia Child's steamed mussels recipe but left out the parsley (because 2/3rds of us were not fans of wet parsley clinging to our mussels) and subbed in apple juice with a splash of apple cider vinegar for the white wine because 1/3 of us is a nondrinker.  Guess what?  The drinkers didn't miss it, and voted the apple juice a fine substitute!

 To temper the richness of the meal, we made a salad.  But not just any salad; Thomas Keller's wedge salad from Ad Hoc at Home, a cookbook I've mentioned once or twice on this blog. Thomas Keller tops his iceberg lettuce with brioche croutons, bacon lardons, and a buttermilk blue cheese dressing that was the most complex thing we made that night.

It's my new favorite salad.

Gratuitous shot of a perfect fry.

Of course, no good meal is complete without dessert.  Since we were going all out with from-scratch dishes, and Thanksgiving is coming up, I decided to attempt a from-scratch pumpkin pie.

Here it is, in all its finished glory.  Was it labor-intensive? Yes. Was it worth it?  Absolutely. The pumpkin flavor was deeper and richer than any pumpkin pie I've ever had before. I even forgot to add cream to the pie filling and the flavor and texture was still amazing.  Of course, the cream ended up whipped on the side.

The perfect end to a perfect meal?