Friday, June 24, 2016

Update from the Tucker Farmers' Market

I went to the Tucker Farmers' Market for the first time this year and, to make a long story short, went crazy. This is a small market but with a high proportion of vendors who sell very high quality food. I thought I would tell you about two of those vendors.

This gentleman---a condiment hybridizing engineer, no less---introduced me to Sinclair's Sauce. I can assure you that the sauce is very tasty despite that "G" on the label---must be a printing error or something. It isn't your standard Western-style ketchupy sauce. Instead, it mixes some East Coast flavors along with its tomatoes. It has a vinegary tang and I detected a bit of mustard, too. I think this will go superbly with pork, which I hope to try soon. Luckily, my bottle doesn't have that unsightly typo on it.

This very nice lady is the creator if Island Spiced Bakes and Bites. She offers take-home portions of her cakes. I took home a piece of the rum cake, which I greatly enjoyed. It was rich, sweet, and moist but in very good balance, with nothing overpowering. She was very modest---I had to twist her arm to let me take this photo---and very talented.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Doraville: Man Chung Hong

Grant and Marie introduced me to Man Chung Hong, another wonderful spot on Buford Highway. It's tucked into a corner of a not-very-flashy two-story strip mall. The only directions I can give you are look on the northbound side of the road and be ready to backtrack, just like I did. Inside, the décor shows the owners' care for their food and customers.

The restaurant is owned by a Korean family but serves a primarily Chinese menu. Grant explained that they have two menus, both Chinese, but that you usually have to ask for the Schezuan menu. We all ended up ordering from that secret menu.

The meal started with a nice Korean touch of kimchi.

I ordered this eggplant dish served sauceless but battered. I love the texture of the batter, which is just moist enough. Even without a wet sauce, the toppings carried plenty of heat. A very enjoyable dish.

And here are our other dishes...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

News: Maison Robert Will Close Soon

I just found out that Maison Robert, a mainstay of the Atlanta food scene for 39 years, will close on Thursday, July 14. That date is, not coincidentally, Bastille Day. The Reeb family has given Atlantans a great deal of joy for many years. They have been very nice to me as well. Au revoir et merci!

Tallulah Falls GA: Tallulah Falls Roadhouse & BBQ

I've passed the Tallulah Falls Roadhouse many times on trips up north. My trip with the Contes gave me the perfect excuse to stop for what was supposed to be a snack and turned out to be a very enjoyable dinner. We sat outside on a beautiful day. The service was extremely hospitable.

I ordered the black bean patty, minus the bun. The patty was quite good. I could taste the beans and other ingredients very clearly. The effect was very hearty. The Brunswick stew was excellent; Catherine, who ordered a bowl for herself, agreed. The potatoes gave it great body; the chicken and corn hadn't been overcooked and still retained their taste. Catherine also reported that the pulled pork sandwich was excellent.

We couldn't resist sharing the peach cobbler. It was excellent with great fruit flavor. The crust was light brown, not white, perhaps suggesting some brown sugar in the crust. The ice cream was simple but very enjoyable.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Flying Cloud Cafe

I was at Tallulah Gorge State Park on a sunny Saturday, desperate for a cup of coffee, when this oasis appeared before me in the shape of an Airstream trailer. It turned out to be The Flying Cloud Café. The owner explained that this is the first food truck in a Georgia State Park; they've been there on weekends since the beginning of summer. She also showed me the inside of their beautiful trailer, which sported a hardwood floor. Their menu features both breakfast items and lunch sandwiches, including both hot and cold varieties. They don't open until 11 AM, so don't expect to pick up breakfast at the crack of dawn. The trailer seemed to attract a steady stream of customers while I was there. Food trucks in state parks fill a real need and The Flying Cloud is a welcome addition.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bar Margot

I had a chance to try the Bar Margot at the Four Seasons in Midtown. As one might expect, the surroundings were very relaxing and luxurious, the service impeccable.

I started with a salad. The features were goat cheese and some rich, luscious beet. But many supporting players also contributed, from pecans all the way to the lettuce, which was very fresh and crisp.

I then enjoyed an outstanding onion soup. I've never tasted a soup so rich with onions. They were earthy and flavorful. The cheese (a gruyere?) was sharp and the perfect complement to the onions. The broth was very rich. An umami-rich bowl, indeed.

Banana Cream Pie

I've been thinking about banana cream pie for awhile. A few extra bananas allowed me to put that thought into action. I blind baked a crust, then lined the bottom with a thin layer of chocolate ganache. The organic bananas went in next, followed by the vanilla pudding. What a great breakfast.