Monday, November 28, 2016

Chattanooga TN: Lupi's Pizza

Grant and Marie introduced me to Lupi's, their favorite pizza in Chattanooga. The space is large and inviting. The menu features local beers as well as the traditional pizza and calzone.

They even offer this tasty grape soda. It's made by White Rock in New York, so it has a reasonable claim to Brooklyn authenticity.

We ordered two pizzas: sun dried tomato and mushroom; sausage and peppers. The crust was soft and inviting. The cheese was of very high quality. And the ingredients were very fresh and gave a nice zing---sun dried tomato is a particular favorite of mine that isn't all that easy to find.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Spatchcocking a Turkey

I picked up a deal on a turkey and decided to use it to try spatchcocking. This technique flattens the bird to promote even cooking.

Here is the bird. Directions talk about cutting out bones but I didn't bother going that far. I just used my kitchen shears to cut the breast in half. After roughly laying out the bird, I used the palm of my hand to flatten it out. It couldn't have been simpler. This technique not only exposes the interior to more direct heat, it also nearly eliminates vertical variations in temperature, resulting in more even cooking.

I coated the bird in olive oil and a little salt. I cooked it at 450 for 30 minutes, then turned the oven down to 350. This bird weighed only 10 pounds but it took just under an hour and a half to cook. The result was tender and juicy with a nice, crunchy skin. I enjoyed some turkey for dinner; the rest went into the freezer for turkey pot pies.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving at Davio's

I usually cook Thanksgiving dinner. But this year I decided to go out for a change. I enjoyed a wonderful meal at Davio's with excellent food and gracious service.

The meal started with Davio's wonderful popovers. A popover is always a treat. This one was eggy rich and came out warm.

The dinner was even more plentiful than the description led me to think. The main plate included turkey (moist and tender), Yukon gold mashed potatoes (nice and creamy), dressing (moist and low-key), and cranberry/apple relish (excellent and a perfect balance of tart and sweet). The sides included corn with red pepper (a nice touch of heat), greens (truly outstanding, with a slightly sweet start), and macaroni and cheese (superbly creamy with a touch of parmesan reggiano to enliven the rich cream). I couldn't finish it all but I made a creditable showing.

It isn't Thanksgiving without dessert. My flourless chocolate cake was the perfect way to finish the meal. The raspberries accented the relatively mild chocolate.

I am grateful for this wonderful meal and for the care of the staff who served me and everyone on this day. I am grateful for many things in my life. A happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Decatur: Go Vegetarian

I just had a wonderful brunch at Go Vegetarian. Atlanta is the new melting pot and this restaurant is the perfect example. It's in a strip mall that combines Indian and middle Eastern stores with a huge Goodwill complex. Go Vegetarian itself is African American owned and boasts a typically American menu---burgers, fried chicken---made with faux meats and entirely vegetarian.

I went with the fried chicken and waffles. It was delicious. The chicken itself was savory with a good texture that gave your teeth something to sink into. The coating was very crispy and fluffy. The waffle was exemplary. I tried the savory sauce but stuck mostly to good ol' fashioned syrup. Vegetarian food with this range of flavors requires special skill and care; Go Vegetarian is a treat.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Chai Peking

Chai Peking is a mainstay of the Toco Hills neighborhood; tonight was my night to finally try it. It's located in the Toco Hills Kroger, between the deli and bakery. You can either eat it in Kroger's at one of their tables or take it home. Did I mention that it's kosher?

The proprietor told me that General Tso's chicken was "the number one favorite" so that's what I ordered. It comes with soup, egg roll, rice, and drink. This was a very enjoyable meal. I asked for the chicken broth for my soup, which was outstanding. The General Tso's chicken was excellent: crust still crispy, sauce an outstanding balance of sweet and savory. The egg roll was very comforting. It's no wonder that Chai Peking has been around for so long...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Proof Bakeshop

Proof Bakeshop is at the heart of Inman Park, nestled in next to the MARTA station. They serve a variety of breakfast and lunch items, both savory and sweet. The space is very open and light; the service was very helpful. I was able to try several different treats during my visit.

My grilled cheese sandwich was excellent. The gruyere and carmelized onions made it very savory and filling. The bread seemed to have a few raisins in it; its richness was what it took to go with the cheese and onions.

The granola is a small bowl of very high quality ingredients: Greek yogurt on the bottom, then granola made fresh, topped with thinly sliced apples.

The croissant was rich, buttery, very large, and bien cuit (well done).

I didn't get a shot at the donut but it sure looked good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Eating Around Georgia Tech: Cattywampus

Cattywampus is a newish addition to the Georgia Tech food truck parade. They serve a variety of hearty foods. I tried their grilled cheese sandwich, which made a very satisfying lunch. The two types of cheese make it. In addition to a nice cheddar, they add a good helping of goat cheese. It's the soft treat of the sandwich.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Breakfast at the Pisgah Inn

The Blue Ride Parkway is one of my favorite places. I got up in the morning, watched this sunset, then headed to the Pisgah Inn for breakfast. THeir veggie omelet is hearty and very well prepared. I ordered it with a biscuit that I enjoyed with strawberry preserves. A few cups of coffee and I was ready for a morning hike. The Pisgah Inn has both spectacular views and excellent food that is also surprisingly very reasonably priced. My breakfast was only $10. Trust me, you can pay that much for breakfast with a view of nothing more than the New Jersey Turnpike.