Atlanta Food Critic

FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q HOSTS FUNDRAISER IN ANTICIPATION OF HOGS FOR THE CAUSE

The Atlanta Pitmasters Prepare for Upcoming Fundraiser, Proceeds Donated to Pediatric Brain Cancer

 ATLANTA (March 17, 2014) – Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q ignites competitive spirit for upcoming event, Hogs for the Cause, a fundraising competition featuring 90 teams with varying levels of barbecue experience. On Saturday, March 22 Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q will be sharing a 14-hour-smoked, whole hog with diners; similar to what they will create for the competition.  Twenty percent of all proceeds from sales that day will go towards their fundraising “piggy bank” for Hogs for the Cause.

Hogs for the Cause is a New Orleans-based organization aiming to provide aid and relief to financially burdened families whose children are in treatment for pediatric brain cancer.  Founded in 2008, the event has continued growing among the barbecue community. This years competition will take place in City Park located in New Orleans and will feature several live bands and an extensive amount of barbecue while providing an environment of encouragement and support.  The event highlights professional barbecue teams, the region’s top chefs and also some die-hard barbecue enthusiasts.

The grand champion of the event is crowned only after having excelled in all four portions of the competition including Ribs, Whole Hog, Pork Butt & Shoulder and Porkpourri. All food sampling proceeds will reflect in the barbecue team’s fundraising totals.  Awards for Fundraising Champion, Fan Favorite and Best Sauce will also be announced.

Hogs for the Cause kicks off on Friday, March 28. For more information and tickets please visit hogsforthecause.org.

ABOUT FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is an award-winning barbecue restaurant located just south of Little Five Points in Atlanta. They are known for their unique Southern-style barbecue with a Texas flair.  The Fox brothers developed a sauce that mixes the flavors of Texas with the heat of the South. Their “Sweet with Heat” sauce is tomato-based with a hefty splash of vinegar and southern sweetness, with a subtle blast of Texas heat. Today Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has become an Atlanta staple, with favorites like the renowned Beef Brisket and the Smoked Wing Basket. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has earned top spots on bar-b-q rankings from top publications like Eater, USA Today Travel, Daily Candy and Maxim Magazine. With fresh renovations to their flagship restaurant, Fox Bros. continues to serve Atlanta’s favorite bar-b-q to their extensive fan base. For more information and reservations please call 404-577-4030 or visit foxbrosbbq.com. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is located at 1238 Dekalb Ave. Atlanta, Ga. 30307. Connect with us on Facebook at or on Twitter.

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REVIEW: Red Robot Hot Sauce

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 9.38.07 AMI get many email solicitations from marketers asking me to review a particular restaurant or food product and I seldom respond, but when I got an email from Mike Van Dorn at Red Robot Foods about a local company making their own hot sauce I just had to try it.

As  a preface, I want to be transparent to my readers and say the product was given to me complimentary. Normally we don’t accept items such as this but I was dying to try it. Okay, for those of you who don’t recall I am a HOT food nut. Yes, both temperature-warm and spicy-warm. I don’t like it so hot, like “atomic”, that it overpowers the flavor of the food but rather compliments it and gives it some kick. Well, reading the label, that’s what Red Robot hot sauce is all about.

Mike sent me both the classic and the “Thick and Spicy”. One reason I don’t normally use some of the popular hot sauces is because it ‘s thin and seems watery. Me and “Thick and Spicy” were soon to become fast friends.

Call me weird, but I like hot sauce on salad. For example, I like the Zaxby Zalad called the Black and Bleu. It’s blackened grilled chicken with bleu cheese crumbles. I normally use their Mediterranean dressing (which I similar to an oil-based Italian dressing) and then add a Zaxby Tongue Torcher.

This night though, I stopped at Wild Wing Café and picked up a couple of Chef Salads that come with grilled chicken and some spicy shrimp. I used some Balsamic Vinaigrette and the Red Robot “Thick and Spicy” sauce. Dang dude, that stuff is GOOD!

The next night, we went to one of our favorite local eateries, Joe’s All-American Grill in Grayson. We started out with a basket of celery and I ordered some Balsamic and added a dash of the Red Robot. I’m beginning to love this stuff, right?

For my entrée I ordered the grilled fish sandwich served on a hoagie roll. A generous portion of Red Robot was the ticket and it didn’t kill the fantastic taste of the grilled fish. Again, strong yet not overpowering. Just the perfect amount of kick to the meal!

The only thing that could make the Red Robot sauce any better was if they were local, and yes, they are. If you like your food with a kick, Red Robot is the way to go!

Guten appetit!

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FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q ANNOUNCES HERITAGE HOG DINNER SERIES, FEBRUARY 27

Paying Homage to Cochon de Lait & Mardi Gras, the Pitmasters Invite Good Friend and New Orleans native, chef Nick Melvin

ATLANTA – Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is kicking off 2014 with their new Heritage Hog Dinner series. On Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m. barbecue connoisseurs will feast on slow-southern cooking at its finest.  The start of the evening, the hog du jour, will be a hog from Riverview Farms, complemented by Louisiana brew, Abita. The celebrated team at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q looks to exemplify the mouth-watering Cajun approach to “Cochon de Lait” as it represents a New Orleans favorite.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q will also welcome guest chef and New Orleans native, Nick Melvin. Melvin has been cooking in the Atlanta dining scene for around 9 years.  Melvin began his Atlanta career as a sous chef for Concentric Restaurants. After opening Tap, Nick had the opportunity to take over the Farmhouse Restaurant at Serenbe Farms.  After his tenure at Serenbe Farms, Nick came back to the city where he would later take over Parish Restaurant, open Empire State South, and Rosebud Restaurant.  It was after these opportunities that Nick decided to focus on the two things that he really had dreamt of his whole life, opening a Pickle Company and his own restaurant.  See more information below.

The price of admission is $60 (excluding tax and gratuity), so make plans to arrive early and stay late.  Next month’s dinner, also featuring Riverview Farms (already in the works for March 20) will feature a Duroc hog; typically a reddish meat, more tender and juicier than lighter colored porks.

Seating is limited; to reserve a seat for this exclusive pit master event at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, visit gom.xorbia.com/heritagehogdinner.

ABOUT FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is an award-winning barbecue restaurant located just south of Little Five Points in Atlanta. They are known for their unique Southern-style barbecue with a Texas flair.  The Fox brothers developed a sauce that mixes the flavors of Texas with the heat of the South. Their “Sweet with Heat” sauce is tomato-based with a hefty splash of vinegar and southern sweetness, with a subtle blast of Texas heat. Today Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has become an Atlanta staple, with favorites like the renowned Beef Brisket and the Smoked Wing Basket. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has earned top spots on bar-b-q rankings from top publications like Eater, USA Today Travel, Daily Candy and Maxim Magazine. With fresh renovations to their flagship restaurant, Fox Bros. continues to serve Atlanta’s favorite bar-b-q to their extensive fan base. For more information and reservations please call 404-577-4030 or visit foxbrosbbq.com. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is located at 1238 Dekalb Ave. Atlanta, Ga. 30307. Connect with us on Facebook at or on Twitter.

ABOUT NICK MELVIN

Nick started Doux South Specialties in April 2013.  The goal with Doux South was and is to take the pickles and local veggies that he had always played with in the restaurant and bring them out to the retail customer.  Guests love to see and eat items such as honey pickled turnips in the restaurant but were never offered the ability to have these offerings at their own home.  That’s what Doux South strives to provide its guests. Nick is also in the works of opening up his first restaurant.  Located in historic Old 4th Ward, his restaurant will be called Venkmans. (Named after Bill Murray’s character in Ghost Busters)  Just like with the pickles, Venkmans is to be that “tongue in cheek” spot in the neighborhood that you don’t have to spend your whole paycheck at for a delicious meal, a great pint and stellar tunes.

 

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Amanda Staley / Lindsey Bowers

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La Tagliatella Hosts Arts & Crafts Happy Hour to Make Valentine Cards for Our Troops

Show Your Support this Valentine’s Day with Handmade Cards for Service Members 

WHAT: Valentine’s Day may be a few weeks away, but it’s never too early to show a service member you care. From Monday, January 20 through Sunday, January 26 from 4-8pm La Tagliatella restaurants nationwide* are hosting arts and crafts happy hour, inviting customers to create handmade cards for our service members. As part of the annual Warm A Troop’s Heart drive, your messages will be delivered to our troops overseas, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

As a special thanks to you, you’ll get a $5 coupon for participating, good for any purchase in February. And if you post a pic of your Valentine on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use our hashtag #TAGHEARTSU, you’ll and be registered to win a $50 gift card–one winner per day! So pick up your scissors and construction paper—and try not to get too much glue in your hair.

WHEN: Monday, January 20 through Sunday, January 26 from 4-8pm

WHERE: La Tagliatella restaurants nationwide (except Miami)

WHY:  Our troops can’t be home to celebrate with their loved ones—so let’s bring the love to them.

About La Tagliatella

Showcasing authentic northern Italian recipes, La Tagliatella offers guests a relaxed yet distinctive atmosphere. The menu features a variety of signature dishes including: Napoletano-style pizzas, customizable pasta creations, hearty pork, steak, chicken and salmon entrees. Meals can be complemented with a selection from La Tagliatella’s vast wine list that features fine Italian choices. Desserts include a variety of addicting artisanal sweets. Key ingredients are carefully sourced from a network of small growers and manufacturers throughout Italy. From the Parmigiano-Reggiano that is cured in caves for 24 months to the best-in-class tomatoes from the Puglia region, La Tagliatella selects the highest quality ingredients to deliver the most delicious meals possible.

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New Orleans’ Top 10 restaurants for 2013

Good news for Atlantans traveling to The Big Easy!

Every fall, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune restaurant critic Brett Anderson selects the Top 10 Restaurants in New Orleans. The list should not be mistaken for The 10 New Orleans Restaurants Brett Would Insist on Eating Just Prior to Meeting His Maker. That list would certainly contain at least one po-boy joint.

http://www.nola.com/dining-guide/index.ssf/2013/10/new_orleans_top_10_restaurants_2.html

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Boneheads, Perimeter Mall, Dunwoody, Georgia

Boneheads, Perimeter Mall, DunwoodyOn a hot Saturday afternoon, Melanie and I made our way into Boneheads near Perimeter Mall. This was an unplanned visit and we’d never heard of the restaurant before. Yes, the name is eerily similar to to Bonefish where it’s easy to have things get pricey quickly but Boneheads is almost the exact opposite.

Boneheads is styled for fast-food but in a hip, trendy, urban setting. We’re always excited to find something new and we were looking for something exactly like Boneheads offers – something not too heavy, healthy and fast.

I ordered the tilapia sandwich. Melanie selected the mixed green salad with salmon. The prices were reasonable, the restaurant was clean, the service was great.

Mixed Green Salad with Salmon

Mixed Green Salad with Salmon

Tilapia Sandwich with Grilled Asparagus

Tilapia Sandwich with Grilled Asparagus

Melanie enjoyed her salad. The tilapia sandwich was really super. I especially enjoy the grilled asapargus. Asparagus is really easy to cook wrong. Undercooked it’s too tough, overcooked it starts to get soggy. This was done perfectly and carried forth a nice flavor from the grill. I thought the remoulade sauce was really good. Not sure if this was homemade or not. I’m guessing no, but it was a good selection.

I think this restaurant is going to be a hit if they can keep the consistency of the quality of the food and service where it was at on our visit. It’s perfect for a reasonably priced light and healthy meal. Guten appetit!
Boneheads on Urbanspoon

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Back in Black, It’s Good to be Back!

black-tie-tuxedoThank you to all of our loyal readers for continuing to visit the website during our extended absence. No, we weren’t in prison, on a crack binge or injured in a car wreck. We just needed to take some time off from blogging. With the demands of work, school and family we simply needed to minimize life for a while, set some priorities and establish new goals.

The good news is we haven’t given up eating and, of course, are still seeking out fine dining. To us though, fine dining isn’t limited to establishments with white tablecloths but anywhere great food is found and guests are welcomed. Join us as we rediscover everything that Atlanta and the South has to offer as we travel on life’s journey. Guten appetit!

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GUEST POST: Vegetarians: Where to eat

Vegetarians: Where to eat

One of the problems with being a vegetarian, is the quality of the food prepared when you go out for a meal. If you can find a place with a vegetarian option at all. The trouble is, a lot of restaurants do not specialise in catering for those who don’t eat meat, so when they do attempt to vary the menu and include some options, the food is bland or unimaginative.

Don’t worry though. Spending your Saturday night doing your usual, playing FoxyBingo and catching up with the news, while your friends go out and have a nice meal, isn’t necessarily going to happen. There are places in Atlanta that cater to your tastes, you just have to know where they are hiding. Three places worth visiting are:

L’Thai Organic Cuisine & Wine Bar

Although tucked away inside a shopping centre off of Lawrenceville Highway, this restaurant has one of the widest selections of vegetarian dishes out there. It is a little on the expensive side, but it has the perfect balance between foods for the carnivorous, and foods for the vegetarian. Plus it is all organic. Every food option allows you to opt for tofu substitute, if you fancy it.

Green Sprout Vegetarian

Green Sprout is like every other Chinese take-out joint, if you were to replace everything on the menu with vegan and gourmet ingredients. There is nothing particularly fancy about the place. It is very much like any other Chinese place, but they cater for vegans without it feeling like an after thought. Great service, great price, fresh food that is well cooked. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it though.

Big Chow Grill

Formerly The Real Chow Baby, the restaurant changed into Big Chow Grill. Now they offer far more seafood and vegetarian options, with ingredients that are sourced locally. It is healthy too. Perfect for anyone who wants to dine out without feeling bloated later on.

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Einstein’s, Midtown Atlanta, GA

Nestled in the heart of Midtown is the Atlanta icon of Einstein’s. Part of the Metrotainment Group of restaurants, Einstein’s does NOT disappoint.

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From our arrival at the valet parking, Einstein’s was a smooth an easy time for our afternoon Sunday brunch. If the weather had been better we may have enjoyed our meal on the large patio, but as it was we settled into a cozy booth.

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We always try to do call ahead or make reservations if the restaurant will accept them. I urge diners to try this consistently as it can save you lots of time and certainly add enjoyment to the meal. By doing so, our hostess was able to seat us right away while other diners who arrived about the same time waited for 20-30 minutes.

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Something simple at the beginning of our meal was a true delight and a great start to our brunch! The bread, more accurately, the bakery items were very delicious and nutty with a sweetness that did not make one feel over indulgent.

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Melanie ordered a made-to-0rder omelet with breakfast potatoes and grits for her sides. I chose the Crab Meat omelet with Hollandaise sauce (oh so delisch! ) with a side of chicken sausage.

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The grits STOLE the show! OMG, that stuff is SO good! Not to be outdone, the chicken sausage was not far behind. A little spicy (which I really dig) but far too spicy for Miss Melanie.

The Crab Meat Omelet was so, so good I’m not sure whether I can even speak of it without melting. And the Hollandaise, my pairing not theirs, was awesome. I chose to bypass the jalapenos which normally comes with this dish since I was still nursing a cold and not quite feeling up to it.

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The only thing that can make a great meal like this better is live music. The Sadler Jazz Duo was playing jazz in the bar and they were quite wonderful. I really liked the iPad being used for his music! Winking smile And yes, they play there every Sunday for your entertainment.

I should also mention that we have not made postings for almost nine months. Yes, we’ve still been eating, but I just had a lot of stuff on my plate (pun intended). Hopefully, with my new years resolution of continuing to provide fine reviews for Atlanta diners, our readers will continue to enjoy our blog for many years to come.

Guten appetit!

Einstein's on Urbanspoon

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Culinary Fight Night® Prepares For a Transition

Culinary Fight Night® makes a few appearances before going on the road to New York City

CFNAtlanta, Georgia—May 16, 2011 Culinary Fight Night®, a local cooking competition, added 2 huge appearances to their resume this week before relocating to New York City; Better Mornings Atlanta and the 2nd annual SW Atlanta Celebrity Cook-Off.

Sunday afternoon, Culinary Fight Night®, supported by students from Atlanta Area Tech, showcased their culinary talent as featured platform artists at the 2nd annual SW Atlanta Celebrity Cook-Off, hosted by Food Network Star, Season 5 Finalist Jamika Pessoa, Celebrity Chef Dwayne Hairston, and crowd favorite and founder LaMont Bynum. The cook-off took place at the Adamsville Recreational Center in southwest Atlanta.  Along with producing a competition, the SW Atlanta Celebrity Cook-Off also featured as many as 50 local restaurants, caterers, and venders, all coming together in support of Mayor Kasim Reed’s Center of Hope Initiative which raises awareness and funds to help children and youth after school and sports programs.

There were a number of notable local celebrities in attendance; Celebrity Chefs Delroy Christian; who led the winning team, J. Scott, Marvin Woods, Jennifer Booker, Desmond Fannin, and Clarence Ridgley, NFL alumni Ed Hartwell and Bob Whitfield, Sheree Whitfield from BRAVO’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, celebrity stylist and entrepreneur Tameka Raymond, radio and media personalities Rashan Ali, Ramona Debreaux, and Darlene McCoy, recording artist Ray Lavender and Councilman Michael Julian Bond. 

To promote this event, CFN’s Executive Chef Clarence Ridgley and one of Sodexo’s Executive Chefs Desmond Fannin appeared on Better Mornings Atlanta 2 days prior in order to led their individual teams in a mini-cooking challenge. 

Culinary Fight Night® has grown quickly during their 1st year. Based on this, CFN® will be relocating to New York City this week in efforts of shopping their ideas for 2 reality shows, publishing a cookbook; CFN: The Recipes, and implementing satellite CFN® competitions not only in New York City on July 26th, but also in Chicago, Miami, and New Orleans.

For more information about Culinary Fight Night® and their efforts or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor or contender, visit www.culinaryfightnight.com or contact Walt Henderson via email: walt@culinaryfightnight.com or directly: 917.796.0669.

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BB’s Diner, Alpharetta GA

If you’ve never made it to New York, you can go to BB’s Diner and say you got pretty close. From the moment you walk in, you’d swear you were in an authentic New York diner – because YOU ARE! Two things you should be aware of: This is OTP in a BIG sort of way and 2) they close at 2pm EVERY DAY so plan accordingly.

BB’s Diner is known for it’s bagels, made fresh daily. The only thing more pronounced than the New York attitude seething from this place, is how GOOD these bagels are! BB’s Diner is the only hand-rolled kettle-boiled bagels in Atlanta.

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Onion bagel with vegetable cream cheese
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Wheat bagel with strawberry cream cheese
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Wheat bagel with white cream cheese

If you REALLY want a great deal for breakfast and you’re absolutely STARVING, get the 3 egg omelet platter. This comes with a bagel, a 3 egg omelet done your way and a choice of either hash browned potatoes or grits.

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1 egg scrambled, 1 egg sunny side up, sausage links and potatoes
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Omelet with cheddar and ham with grits
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Omelet with cheddar and sausage with potatoes

The omelets were good but not the best we’ve had. They were a little overdone and this took some of the flavor out of them. The potatoes win an A+ for uniqueness as they had a sauce they were cooked with which made them very moist and full of flavor.

It’s not really New York but the bagels are some of the best food just south of the Pine Barrens that you will ever put in your mouth. TIP: After you eat, order a bag of bagels to go! Guten appetit!

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BB's Bagels & Diner on Urbanspoon

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Transmetropolitan, Athens GA

If you’re in Athens and you want pizza on Friday night, you’d better get to Transmetropolitan early. If you don’t, you will experience mayhem like you never have. Fortunately, we started out VERY early for dinner (or maybe it was a late lunch) but we got there in time to grab one of the precious sidewalk tables and were able to enjoy a great meal together in this beautiful weather!

Melanie and I both started with side salads and WHAT A DEAL they are! For $3 you get a very nicely equipped mixed greens salad with the freshest ingredients! Really, really good stuff!

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Melanie and I split a medium, which is 12”, and that was plenty. She chose veggie for her side, I went with the Sasquatch Hungryman which is the Transmetropolitan equivalent of a meat lover’s pizza.

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This pizza was REALLY DYNAMITE! It reminded us a lot of Antico Pizza with it’s large, fresh, cut-large toppings yet it was served Americanized. We both still felt like Everybody’s Pizza edged it out on taste but it’s a totally different town and a totally different pizza! For Athens, Transmetropolitan rocked our world! Guten appetit!

Transmetropolitan on Urbanspoon

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West Egg Café, West Midtown, Atlanta GA

If you are looking for a great breakfast at a great price, you MUST check out West Egg Café. This place is hopping and very, very good! We arrived mid-afternoon Sunday with friends and we must have timed it just right because we were seated within 10-15 minutes.

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IMAG0029Melanie ordered a cappuccino right off the rip once we sat down (as Tigger would say “it was a blustery day”). Gee, do you thick this cappuccino is thick enough? Melanie LOVED the cappuccino!

The restaurant also has seating available on the patio but the patio was not open this day due to the cold weather.

I ordered an omelet with turkey sausage and skillet potatoes while Melanie ordered a veggie omelet  and roasted garlic grits with cheese.

Our meals arrived way before we ever expected them considering West Egg Café was at or near capacity.

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Omelet with turkey sausage with skillet potatoes
Veggie omelet and roasted garlic grits with cheese

Brunch, as you may have surmised, has become one of our favorite meals and West Egg Café does brunch right! These omelet were cooked to perfection, the ingredients were fresh and the presentation was very good. Melanie said the grits reminded her of the Creamy Dreamy Grits from Flying Biscuit Café. My skillet potatoes were like none other! It was a leap of faith considering the potatoes the week prior at Ria’s Bluebird, but these potatoes were rich with flavor and oh SO delicious!

One of the parts I HATE about eating out is when the check is presented. Yes, dear readers, all of this comes from the pocket of yours truly. Like most of us these days, I LOVE it when I see a really GOOD VALUE and West Egg Café is one of those places! We both think you’ll love SO TRY IT! Guten appetit!

West Egg Cafe on Urbanspoon 

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Lucky’s Burger & Brew, Roswell GA

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If you are a dog lover, you will definitely LOVE Lucky’s Burger & Brew. If not, you’ll probably still love it.

We waited a short while and were seated on the patio. It was a perfect, PERFECT evening (#supermoon and all) for patio dining and we had a splendid meal.

We started with an appetizer of the Fried Pickles. If you’ve been following us for a while we are absolute suckers for this menu item and if it’s on the menu, chance are we’re going to try them. The Fried Pickles at Lucky’s Burger & Brew are awesome and a great start to your meal. They were done perfectly – not greasy or underdone and not overcooked and dried out.

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For our entrées, our young guest ordered a Turkey Club Sandwich, Melanie chose the Turkey Burger and I (after doing my homework on Urbanspoon) chose The Undertaker. Both Melanie and I subbed the fries for salads and I also subbed the standard mayonnaise for chipotle mayonnaise.

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Our young guest said her Turkey Club was “OK” which translated from teenager language means that it was pretty good otherwise we would have never heard the end of it. The fries were nothing special, so Melanie did not feel deprived of the finer things in life.

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Melanie was a little taken aback by her Turkey Burger. She had asked and expected ground turkey made into a patty. Instead she received a pre-made turkey patty. Despite this however, she liked it and enjoyed the mixed green salad as well although she said the ranch dressing was a little watery.

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The Undertaker is one of the more unique burgers I have ever eaten! I MUST thank those on Urbanspoon who recommended it! Fried egg? On a burger? Yes, it was great. The menu also said onion straws but, as you can see, we ended up with onion rings. In any case, this burger was FANTASTIC and OH SO FILLING! So, let me be among my friends on Urbanspoon who HIGHLY recommend The Undertaker.

Lucky’s Burger & Brew, is both dog-friendly and kid-friendly and their burgers will knock your socks off. Lucky’s Burger & Brew had a relaxed, laid back atmosphere and we must recommend this as a MUST SEE on your list of Atlanta dining. Guten appetit!

Lucky's Burger & Brew on Urbanspoon

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Everybody’s Pizza, Emory Village, Decatur GA

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The cornerstone of Emory Village is Everybody’s Pizza and we found it to be welcoming, relaxing and a nice place to enjoy a great pizza. It was a cold, blustery March evening when we arrived early for dinner and were seated right away.

It took us a while to review the menu (it’s quite large with all of the variations) and we decided that it works out about the same to order the individual size pizza rather than compromise and get a large one. That being said, the salad decisions were much easier and I had read a note on Foursquare that said “Love the sun-dried tomato and basil dressing!” from Allison C. so my decision was made.

IMAG0009Can you even believe THIS is the SMALL salad? All of our salads were equally grandiose and we remarked to ourselves we could’ve easily shared this between three people! Even more incredible is that the salad is under $4 ($1/topping).

And  Allison C. was OH SO RIGHT! You will fall in love with the sun-dried tomato and basil dressing. It was really awesome. The lettuce is fresh and the ingredients taste like they just got them off the farm. One thing for sure – the salads DO NOT disappoint!

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Italian Sausage and Hamburger
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Spinach and Tomato
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Spinach and Shrimp

One of the many pleasures in life is ordering a pizza just for you and Everybody’s Pizza individual size let’s you do just that. There is also an overwhelming array of items to select from. As you can tell from the variety above, the only thing they had in common was that they were all great! I’m not sure what seasoning they use, whether it’s in the sauce or the dough but this is an awesome pizza!

Everybody will find something they like at Everybody’s Pizza and, more importantly, everybody will enjoy it. Guten appetit!

Everybody's Emory on Urbanspoon

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Ria’s Bluebird, Grant Park, Atlanta GA

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We were down this way not long ago on a visit to Oakland Cemetery and I promised myself we’d come back to try Ria’s Bluebird. Every time we’ve gone past Ria’s Bluebird it’s been packed and this day was no exception. We waited about 20 minutes and we were seated with coffee right away.

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The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the staff could not have been nicer. We both ordered omelettes and they arrived much more quickly than we had expected. One thing right off the bat, is that these are two egg omelettes rather than 3 egg which we’ve become accustomed to elsewhere yet they are the same price range.

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Melanie had her omelette with her usual assortment of veggie stuffings. For her side items, she ordered the creamy grits and soysage. I had wanted the sausage (standard pork sausage for me) inside of my omelette but the server must’ve misunderstood because I received the three cheese omelette (the Omelette of the Day) with the sausage on the side. I also had the skillet potatoes.

As I mentioned previously (2 egg versus 3 egg), the omelettes were noticeably smaller than the brunch spots we’ve been visiting. The oddest thing was the biscuits (can we really call them that?) because it was much more like bread baked in a pan although it was light and flavorful it didn’t score in the biscuit category.

Both of our omelettes were a little dry but tasted great. Hey, when you’ve had omlettes from Rise-n-Dine, Murphy’s, and Park’s Edge you’ve been spoiled rotten. The potatoes were even more dry, didn’t have any real flavor but did have some kind of weird after taste that I didn’t care for. Melanie did enjoy her soysage which tasted better than my overdone real sausage.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Ria’s Bluebird and would give it a B-. One thing that I have to say is that it’s an institution and I’m a sucker for tradtion. Are there better places for brunch? Sure, but Ria’s Bluebird is a good contender and certainly deserves a spot of our MUST SEE of Atlanta dining.

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Rise-n-Dine, Emory Village, Decatur GA

Front Rise-n-DineYou’d better rise early if you want to dine at Rise-n-Dine or expect to wait! That being said, even if you have to wait, it’s worth it!

Parking is at a premium as are tables inside but I found a parking place at the rear of the building and came in the back entrance.

Rear entrance Rise-n-Dine

It was a Sunday afternoon and understandably crowded but we only waiting perhaps 25-30 minutes before we were seated. While we waited, the hostess brought us coffee and we had a great time chatting with our friends. Before we knew it, our table was available and we were ready to proceed with our meal.

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From the very first time I entered Rise-n-Dine reminded me a whole lot of Early Girl Eatery in Asheville NC. I love the relaxed vibe that this place gives and it’s great atmosphere for a laid back relaxing meal.

One of the things I had heard about was the Polish Omelette. The description was potato-cheddar pierogies, kielbasa, onions, and cheddar cheese. topped with sour cream. (Yes, we went to Wikipedia to learn more about pierogies) I also asked for a side of house-made chicken sausage with hash browns and Melanie ordered a custom omelette with broccoli, tomato green peppers and extra cheddar cheese with a side of sage-quinoa grits and the biscuit w/ gravy.

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Polish Omelette with house-made chicken sausage and hash browns


Omelette with a side of sage-quinoa grits and the biscuit w/ gravy.

Melanie felt her omelette was a little dry and wasn’t thrilled about the grits either. She also thought the chunks of broccoli should have been cut into smaller pieces. The biscuit with gravy was good but not out of this world, especially when compared to Park’s Edge.

The Polish Omelette was OUT OF THIS WORLD! I can’t recall ever having sour cream with eggs before, but combined with the onions and the pierogies it made something really, really special. You simply MUST try this! I also particularly enjoyed the hash browns. As you can see, the pieces of potato were big and perfectly done. The chicken sausage was slightly underwhelming especially after the big meaty chicken sausage links at Murphy’s, but it was still quite tasty.

We loved our brunch Rise-n-Dine. I thought it was a great value and it’s very kid-friendly if you want to bring the lil critters along. I consider it a MUST SEE on your list of Atlanta dining. Guten appetit!

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Murphy’s, Virginia-Highlands, Atlanta GA

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Murphy’s wears Virginia-Highlands like a soldier wears medals. We absolutely LOVE this area of town for it’s charm and warmth and Murphy’s combines those attributes with a relaxing atmosphere and delicious food.

We had been hearing about the brunch, the weather was beautiful and it was a great day to be seated on the patio at Murphy’s. We’d been told to expect a 40 minute wait. TIP: You might be able to find a seat at the wine bar if you don’t want to stand for a long while. We found ourselves seated though in about 20 minutes.

IMAG1728The first thing brought to us was muffins and biscuits. The biscuits were some of the best we’ve had served for brunch, although still a notch shy of Mema’s goodness! What we did love was the strawberry preserves! I cannot remember the last time!

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There is nothing quite as spectacular as Sunday afternoon in Atlanta enjoying brunch on the patio – especially on a “Spring” day in February! We had such a wonderful time chatting while we enjoyed our afternoon together.

The only thing that could’ve made this afternoon better was what awaited us.

I ordered the Corned Beef Hash with scrambled eggs and mustard horseradish sauce. Melanie chose the Linda’s Omelet with sauteed spinach, mushrooms and cheddar. I also felt like we had to try the Hashbrown potatoes and Chicken Sausage Links.

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Friends, brunch doesn’t get much better than Murphy’s! Melanie loved her Linda’s Omelet . I thought the Corned Beef Hash was really spectacular and the mustard horseradish sauce was the perfect compliment to set off the flavor of the meat. The Chicken Sausage Links were a little greasy, could perhaps have been done just a bit more but were delicious none the less. The Hashbrown potatoes were done perfectly but the portion size left us feeling slighted. As you can probably surmise, this was QUITE a filling brunch and we were looking forward to visiting Oakland Cemetery and walk some of this off!

As is our custom when extraordinary service is provided, hats off to the staff of Murphy’s! We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived by everyone we encountered. Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to accommodate us in every way. This kind of attitude comes from the top down and is an excellent reflection upon the management team. Kudos!

Great food + excellent service + relaxing, comfortable place = bliss for brunch in the ATL making Murphy’s a MUST SEE on our list of Atlanta dining. Guten appetit!

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The Chocolaterie, Cumming GA

IMAG1709After a great meal, the final course offered is coffee and petit fours. Ever since our sweet tooth was tickled in Savannah at Mabel Francis Potter’s Cupcake Emporium, we’ve continued to look for the sweeter things in life here in Atlanta. Dear readers, we have found chocolate bliss at The Chocolaterie located at The Avenue Forsyth.

We were finishing up on meal at Salt Factory Pub and I hit Urbanspoon and found The Chocolaterie in the #2 position for dessert places in Atlanta. I noticed it was within ten miles and we were on our way!

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The Avenue Forsyth was easy enough to find but IT’s BIG! The Chocolaterie is located just next to Chico’s right near the center of the complex. Once inside you enter into a sweet smell of luxury! Now, run – do not walk – to the display cases and feast your eyes on the artwork that is the truffle. It’s really amazing (and I’m sure the pictures DO NOT do it justice)!

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IMAG1723If you think they look simply amazing, they taste even better! I made a few selections, as did Melanie, and we were soon packaged and ready to go. One thing I should point out is that this would make an excellent gift for either a lady or a gentleman and the packaging is the highest quality – no expense was spared in this area.

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Now, if you haven’t already begun drooling, check for a pulse and then make your way to The Chocolaterie to satiate that craving now. Guten appetit!

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Salt Factory Pub, Roswell GA

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Salt Factory Pub sits on Canton Street in historic Roswell in the center of what’s happening in North Fulton. Not only was Salt Factory Pub totally packed out, so was everything else around – including the parking. TIP: If you can’t get parking at the Antique market, go one block east toward Alpharetta St. (Hwy 9) and you should be able to find something within a short walking distance.

When we arrived at Salt Factory Pub we were told that the wait was 35-40 minutes, but we were seated within 20 and had a great table in the corner from where we could observe the entire restaurant.

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7 Onion Soup
Caesar Salad

For starters, Melanie’s chose the 7 Onion Soup and I went with the Caesar Salad. Melanie truly LOVED the 7 Onion Soup and wants the recipe. The Caesar Salad was quite good and I enjoyed it completely.

I should add that even though Salt Factory Pub was at 110% capacity (people eating at the outside seating and standing near the bar), the food continued to come out of the kitchen quite rapidly.

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Linguine and Clams
Double Chicken Pot Pie

Next came our entrées – I had chosen the Linguine and Clams and Melanie ordered the Double Chicken Pot Pie which comes with a roasted chicken breast along with the chicken pot pie. The breast meat was tender and juicy beyond compare. The Double Chicken Pot Pie had generous portions of both chicken and vegetables and Melanie she that she felt the chicken pot pie was second only to Local Three and a VERY close second at that.

My Linguine and Clams was seasoned to perfection although I’m not sure if those with softer palettes could’ve endured it. The other thing that I loved about it was that the clams were bountiful. You simply could not eat a forkful without getting a healthy bite of clam meat. This is one of my staple dishes that I love to order and Salt Factory Pub did a wonderful job!

Our apologies to the couple sitting next to us whom we blinded several times taking pictures. They put two and two together and called us out as food critic bloggers, discreetly of course. I handed them a card and VOILA! They became Twitter followers right there! One of our favorite parts of doing this is the people we meet – both in person and online!

We had a great meal at Salt Factory Pub and really enjoyed ourselves. When you are OTP and near North Fulton, don’t mind the wait, it’s worth it. Salt Factory Pub makes a MUST SEE on our list of Atlanta dining. Guten appetit!

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