Friday, December 30, 2016

Duluth: Crave Pie Studio

Today was a great day to try Crave Pie Studio.It's located in the beautifully restored old town Duluth. The shop is airy and open. The huge and spotless kitchen area is visible from the tables through a big window. They bake all sorts of sweet pies and a variety of savory pies as well.

This is my maple pecan pie. I consider pecan pie to be a good test of anyone's pie skills and a crucial skill for a Southern baker. This was an excellent example, one of the best I've had in awhile. The crust was rich, flaky, and moist. The filling was filled with pecans---none of this pecan flotsam floating on top business. The maple syrup came through very clearly. It was very enjoyable and didn't last long. I wasn't as happy with the coffee, but that did nothing to dent my enthusiasm for the pies.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Decatur: Kitchen Six

it's opening night at Kitchen Six and the place is buzzing. It's located on Lavista Road in the Oak Grove neighborhood. The décor is that of the dining room of a nice, comfortable house. The staff was firing on all cylinders and service was both very efficient and extremely gracious. The menu has a Southern slant---chicken, pork, vegetables---but is not didactic.

I started with some hush puppies. Not only were they excellent but they had little knobs that made perfect handles for the dipping sauce. I'm not sure if the handles were deliberate but they are a really great idea, particularly given the quality of the sauce. It was a remoulade with just enough tang.

For my main course, I ordered the bone-in pork chop. The meat was tender and juicy with just the right amount of toothiness. Pineapple pieces on top gave it some zing; several small carrots and some kale gave us the Southern vegetable touch. The slaw was superb; I think it had cardamom, but whatever spice it was made a great complement to the meat.

For dessert, I ordered the chocolate raspberry cake. It may have been flourless but I could be wrong about that. It was very rich, dense, and moist. The mercifully small piece was the perfect way to end an excellent meal.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Baking

I baked this German apple cake. The recipe is from Classic German Baking via Epicurious. It's delicious and a nice change of pace from apple pie. The crust contains egg for richness. The filling includes apples, cranberries, lemon juice, but no added sugar; it's a great balance between sweetness and tartness. The top crust is coated in baking powder + lemon juice; once again, sweet but not too sweet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lunch at Amelie's

Saibal, Asif, and I went to Ameilie's for a meeting, giving me an opportunity to refresh my memory of their lunch. This is my jambon et fromage---ham and cheese---which was excellent. The ham was thick and juicy. I chose Gruyere for my cheese, which I consider hearty and very French. The baguette was delicious with a crunch, nicely browned crust and a soft interior.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Breakfast at the Federal

I recently found out that The Federal, the steak restaurant located appropriately near the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, serves breakfast (thanks to Nancy for the tip). In need of a breakfast, I decided to give it a try.

Given their emphasis on beef, I ordered the brisket scramble. It was perfect. The eggs were soft and fluffy; the potatoes were moist with just a touch of crispness; the brisket was moist and very flavorful. Everything came out on a sizzling-hot skillet. This was a very enjoyable, very satisfying breakfast that will last me most of the day. I was a little disappointed by the coffee; I prefer a less forward, more restrained blend. But wow, what a breakfast.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tofu Scramble at West Egg

I had a chance recently to enjoy one of my favorite breakfasts, the tofu scramble at West Egg. It includes tofu, mushrooms, and a veggie mix; I ordered potatoes on the side. This dish has plenty of umami without being overpowering. It's savory and filling but won't turn you into a lead balloon. The West Egg staff is always prompt and courteous even under the heavy strain of their ever-present breakfast crowd.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Infused Cake

It is the time of year for cake and for special treats. This case started out with King Arthur Flour's yellow cake recipe, which was designed for soaking with syrups. I soaked this one with a combination of strawberry preserves and honey. It turned out to be a great combination. The notes of the honey florals and strawberry both came through very nicely. Covered with a chocolate ganache, it was moist and delicious.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Update: Breakfast at Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up is one of my favorite breakfast spots and I have a new favorite dish there. I think it's called Val's Omelet but I'm senile and I could be wrong. In any case, it is filled with veggie sausage, potatoes, tomatoes, and assorted other vegetables. It is very hearty and robust. It was particularly welcome on a cold, rainy morning. As always, the service was very polite and welcoming. Keep it up, guys!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Red Chili Cafe

I need to spend more time on Stone Mountain Highway. It's an interesting mix of African-American, African, and the Atlanta grab-bag. Red Chili Café is an example of the variety along this road. It serves good Chinese food, a bit of Japanese, burgers, and fried fish. They also serve an assortment of wine and beer. The atmosphere is very pleasant and well-kept. The service was very friendly and helpful. The owner stopped by to chat; he told me that they have been open for five months.

My dish was an example of the variety offered here. My tofu was the real deal and very good. The tofu itself was soft and silky. The sauce was a little salty and plenty hot---not enough to make me cry but enough to clear out my sinuses. The rice stuck together like good Chinese rice should. The string beans and red beans on the side were fine but the tofu was the star of the show.

I also got a whiff of this crispy fried tilapia.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Eating Around Georgia Tech: Nectar

Nectar is Georgia Tech's outpost of the Decatur healthy food emporium. It's located in the EBB building atrium. They serve a variety of sandwiches as well as smoothies and snacks.

I ordered a veggie chipotle sandwich. It was loaded with mozzarella and salad fixings. The chipotle gave it zest but it wasn't hot. The sauce did make the experience pleasantly messy. The combination of mozzarella and chipotle was hearty and tastebud-pleasing.