Chiringa: The Beach Awaits

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/15/20

Happiness is a day at the beach, and we all need a little beach right now. That’s what you’ll get at Chiringa in Alpharetta; it’s like walking into a surfside bar. From the sweetness of perfect plantains, to healthy blackened fish tacos, to meaty wings, flavorful bowls, and the perfect beach drink, Chiringa has serious eats, warm beach vibes, and breezy cocktails. Can you smell the salt in the air and a warm ocean breeze? We can too, let’s dive into a surfside food adventure.

Starting with the breezy cocktails, imagine a cool Shandy or the perfectly frozen Froze while you listen to the waves crash on the sand. That’s Chiringa. We loved both! The Shandy was fresh-squeeze lemonade paired with Grayton Beach’s 30A Blonde Ale. It was refreshing and lemony-sweet with the right amount of beer and lemonade. Drinkable and fresh, it’s an all-day sipper! If you go to Chiringa this spring or summer, the must-get drink is definitely their Froze. A mix of vodka, lemon, and strawberry, its sweet and tart, one unbelievable adult slushie. The perfect beach-day cocktail.

What impressed us most about Chiringa was the quality and flavor of the food. For a fast-casual type restaurant, this is on another level. Every single thing they have on the menu is delicious! Our first taste were the wings. We have wings A LOT and these are our favorite so far this year. They were very meaty and you can taste Springer Mountain Farms quality in every bite. On top, the glaze was the perfect blend of spicy, savory, and sweet. It grows spicier as you eat, so use the ranch dip to cool it down. These were paired with fries, which were also very good. Perfect companion with the wings. Tip: find the fries sitting in the wing glaze, dip in ranch! Enjoy.

Being a beach-centric place, they have a ton of healthy eating options and the blackened Mahi Tacos were just that, whether you get a tortilla or get it as a lettuce wrap, it’s fresh all the way around! The fish was perfectly seasoned, plump, and tender, topped with pickled onions, lettuce, jalapeno, and a rich chipotle creama. It was a balanced dish you could get without the creama to make it low calorie, diet friendly. We added some avocado for even more creaminess. You wouldn’t think this was healthy because it’s so good, but it is. Sounds like the perfect stop for your next Taco Tuesday.

Staying on the healthy kick, the Core 57 bowl has it all! Hearty black beans, rice, tender chicken, arugula, cilantro sauce, plantains, and avocado. What an amazing, delectable bowl that mixes a ton of flavors into a crescendo of everything from savory, sweet, to creamy. Most surprising the sweetness of the plantains to the savory of the beans and creaminess of the avocado all worked so well together on the palate. To make it even better, we mixed the cilantro sauce and the ranch from the wings and added some of it the bowl to taste. Insert heart-eye emoji here. Amazing! I’m (Liz) is still thinking about this dish. My favorite.

Now, if you get one thing at Chiringa, it’s the plantains. Just take a moment to think about warm apple pie filling, warm and sweet. That’s just about right, but then being plantains, its heavier and meatier than an apple, so it’s a perfect storm of sweet and savory. It eats like a dessert, but with a tropical vibe. Paired with the cilantro sauce, added some earthiness and savor. We’re in love.

Who knew a beach trip was so close? Grab your favorite beach gear, your favorite kite equipment, a towel and head up to Alpharetta. The beach awaits.

Ocean & Acre: Brunch A-Hoy!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/10/20

BRUNCH, a-hoy! Enjoyed a brunching voyage at the newly christened Ocean & Acre that set sail two weekends ago. Yes, this just in, Ocean & Acre in Halcyon Forsyth has brunch! It literally just launched two weekends ago!! Insert heart emoji here. Take a look through our booty of beautiful sippers and savory landlocked dishes like pancakes, steak and eggs, and polenta bowls. Who’s ready to pop the champagne and dive in for a Sunday Funday?

We found it! The prettiest, most photogenic drink in all of Atlanta, it’s on Ocean & Acres brunch menu, the Gin Sour. With an orange-pink hue, white whipped crown, and dried blood orange, she’s ready for her close-up. Beyond the beauty, with Old 4th Ward Gin, Aperol, orange bitters, lemon, and whipped egg, it starts out just as sweet as it looks, but ends smooth with the addition of the egg white. This one will be a crowd favorite. We also sipped on the Gin & Cucumber Spritz, as well as the Red Tide specialty cocktail of the week. The Gin & Cucumber Spritz is one of those drinks that reminds you of the ocean, earthy and salty. With the addition of lemon, cucumber, and prosecco, this spritz is refreshing and sunny. If you like hard seltzer or something light, this one is for you. Finally, The Red Tide was a good pair with the steak and eggs we had as it is bourbon, star anise, clove, with red wine on top. This one they use their inhouse infuser and added blood orange into the bourbon. This really reminded us of a traditional Gluhwein drink, just not hot, as it has a lot of the same ingredients. It was boozy, citrus, and then ends like a fine red wine. So, unique. They have a featured infused drink of the week, so maybe they’ll have something fun when you go brunching! They’re also thinking about having a Bloody Mary bar during brunch in the future. Wouldn’t you love that? What would you like to see on this bar?

Have you ever had a Dutch Pancake? A Polenta bowl on a brunch menu? We haven’t either and we’re in love with both. If you’re looking for a unique brunch, they have some different dishes beyond the staple eggs and bacon fare, but don’t worry, they also have steak and eggs, so you’re covered if not. We tasted three dishes, the Dutch Pancake, the Breakfast Polenta Bowl, and the Steak and Eggs. Starting with our favorite dish, the Polenta Bowl is like a grits bowl, only more like mashed potatoes texture filled with bacon, ragu (tomatoes and mushrooms), and two poached eggs. Think a mixed-up, eggs, bacon, and grits dish but ELEVATED with polenta and the tart of the ragu. And here’s our tip: play with your food! The bacon is on the top and you can use it as a scoop to get all the polenta, egg, and ragu into one bite. The bacon adds a salt element to the creamy and savory of the other ingredients. What something even more playful? Eat the polenta with the steak and eggs. Wowza!

That being said, the steak and eggs were delicious, as well, with tender steak nicely seasoned and topped with perfectly cooked sunny-side up eggs. The addition of the potatoes and oil brings an element of earthiness and richness. Get the potatoes and add to the egg and a small amount of steak = paradise. Beyond that, the dutch pancake was our sweet for the brunch. What’s so unique about this dutch pancake is that it was more fruit and tart forward, not super sweet like we thought. We loved it that way because once you get down to the lemon curd and mix in the whipped cream, you’ll get some of that sweetness mixed in with the savory of pancake and the fruit. Plus, the combo of the fruit like pears and pineapple rounded out the dish to give a great tang and tart. It was a good balance between all the flavors!

This brunch will reel you in as they have a ton of other things we’d love to try. Can you say avocado toast with fish dip, Eggs Benedict Florentine, or even that amazing looking brunch burger? We know where you’re brunching this weekend, save us a bite of the Avocado Toast, please.

HOBNOB Perimeter: Come for the Game, Stay for the food.

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/8/20

Hobnob is a verb meaning to drink sociably or to associate familiarly. From drinks that get you talking to dishes with southern flare, HOBNOB is a good mix of hearty food, fun cocktails, and everything in between. It’s a place you’ll grab a cocktail and eat some good food. Their claim of refined tavern fare with southern flare and that is spot on, with everything from Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders, chicken wings, comfort food like sweet potato mash paired with salmon, as well as desserts, their food will have you coming back for more. Who doesn’t love a go-to place for the game and grub or for an intimate date night? Tip: go on Thursday for their Thirsty Thursday: $3 champagne or $5 wine!

Starting with the sky-blue vodka cocktail, The Earhart, is a light and breezy drink that reminds you of a clear sky on a beautiful sunny day. This easy to drink sipper is a combo of hibiscus vodka, fresh squeezed lemon, and maraschino liquor that’s sweet on the nose, but finishes smooth and serene. You’ll definitely feel fancy with this pretty cocktail in front of you! Cheers!

Being a restaurant where you can catch the game, what’s better than some fun, sharable apps that please everyone at your table? Let’s start with the two types of wings and the Nashville Hot Chicken Slides we sampled. From the perfectly crisped chicken, to the coolness of the cole slaw, to the spiciness of the sauce, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders were one of those dishes you may not want to share. The cole slaw calmed some of the spiciness and the addition of the crunchy pickle really brought out the flavor of the entire dish. Make sure you get all elements in one bite and you’ll get spicy, salty, creamy, and crunchy. We were impressed with the unique wing flavors that Hobnob has to offer, like coke-yaki that was a sweeter take on teriyaki to honey sriracha that was spicy and sweet. Those are the two we got, and they were both delicious additions to favorites like lemon pepper or buffalo. The wings were meaty and cooked right with the right amount of sauce. Let me tell you that honey sriracha with blue cheese was a delicious overall combo. John loves teriyaki and really loved the coke-yaki combination of coca-cola and soy! Both are great choices for watching a United match or your favorite football team.

Beyond the bar food, they also have some delicious entrees for that special date night! They have a range of dishes, but we just had to sample the Tavern Salmon! What a delicious meal, the salmon was perfectly cooked, while the brussel sprouts were perfectly crisped under the salmon and paired with a sweet and salty sweet potato mash. Hobnob touts that its tavern fare with southern flare and this is case and point. Just imagine a wonderful salmon dish with the right amount of salt, sweet, and crispiness and then top it with a honey mustard and you’ve got a showstopper. The honey mustard really gives it a tartness and elevates all the flavors when you mix them all up together. We will be back for another one of these!

When you go for your special date night and try the Tavern Salmon, you should also spring for dessert. We tried the lava cake, which was everything you’d imagine from a rich, chocolate dessert with ice cream. Creamy, tons of chocolate flavor, a perfect pairing with the vanilla ice cream. Divine. They also have specialties that they make in house like cobbler. It’s the perfect ending.

Carson Kitchen: Food So Good, You’ll Swear By It.

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/3/20

Carson Kitchen, the newest edition to City Center in Alpharetta, feels homey with the open-air kitchen, delivers soulful and sinfully good food, as well as thoughtful, elevated cocktails. Every single thing we tried on their menu was top notch, from the scrumptious bacon jam, to the divine deviled eggs, to the best #$%@ black rice and oxtail risotto, the tender and perfect NY Strip, and let’s not forget the How ‘Bout Dem Apples delightful cocktail. Food so good, you’ll swear by it. Trust us, you’ll let one slip. Get ready to pay the swear jar (more on that later). Fantastic food adventures ahead, enjoy the ride.

Sips like the How ‘Bout Dem Apples cocktail reminds us of the holidays. With it’s apple and all-spice forward flavor to the sweetness and smoothness on the back, it’s an all-around delicious drink. You’d forget it had whiskey in it if we didn’t mention it. They had a ton of options from tequila, gin, vodka and so many other variations, plus they have a sangria that looks tasty too. We’ll have to try more.

Then, we started the sampling with a few of the appetizers like the bacon jam, deviled eggs, and crispy chicken skins, but the best appetizer by far was the bacon jam. Imagine savory, crunchy bacon ground up and mixed with jalapeno and brown sugar and topped with melted Havarti. It reminded us of candied bacon in a bowl. This is the appropriate place to insert the mind blown emoji. It was rich, decadent, savory, sweet, spicy, and creamy all in one dip. We can’t say enough about this dish, it is an absolute must try. We WILL be back for more. In addition to the bacon jam, we had the crispy chicken skins. It was spicy, crispy, and perfectly paired with sweet honey for dipping. We got a fun tip, to dip the skins IN the bacon jam. How’d they do that? Amazing way to mix and match dishes! Another delicious bite was the deviled eggs, which were topped with salty caviar and fried prosciutto. This little number was tangy and rich with savory yolk, sour cream, and mayonnaise mixed with the right amount of salt from the caviar and fried prosciutto. Eat the whole thing at once, stuff it all in there, it’s the best balance of flavors!

If you thought the bacon jam was amazing, you must try the black rice and oxtail risotto. This dish was the best bite of the night with al dente cooked black rice and risotto, pulled oxtail and a sauce that was both savory and rich. The oxtail itself is like a pulled pork but even deeper and slightly saltier, but that’s a good thing here. Plus, this dish is impeccably plated in a bowl that looks dainty but eats like a meal. It’s every flavor on earth and is breathtaking, but what’s even better is it’s unexpected. It sounds like it would be good, but who knew this would be one of the best dishes we would have all winter? Get. This. Dish. You’re welcome.

The flavor train continues with the cocoa-espresso NY Strip. This sassy dish is one of those steaks that’s thisclose to perfection. The rub is earthy and rich with a slight chocolate flavor that mixes with the savory of the meat. Even better was the demi glaze that was literally cooked with the oxtail bone in it, so it explains the depth of the glaze. It was tangy and slightly fruity to enhance the flavor of the meat and rub. Don’t get us started on the tenderness, either. All the elements have us wondering, “where have you been all our lives?” Pairing this with the brussel sprout salad for a little cream and little green, what a delicious meal.

Have you ever had a meal so good and so overall complete that you just couldn’t help but let a little swear word slip? This is it. And yes, they have a swear jar on the kitchen bar! They say their food is so good that you will swear when you eat it and if you do, you’ll have to throw in some money. We may have lost a $20. That money is the kitchen staff’s shared bonus at the end of the year. We dig it.

The Whiskey Project: Boozy Brunching

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/23/20

Not too far from the heart of downtown Roswell is The Whiskey Project, a cozy restaurant offering lunch, dinner, and traditional and unique brunch selections. From the dynamite décor, delicious and inviting cocktails, to the delightful brunch food, The Whiskey Project does Whiskey AND everything else right. The Sunday afternoon was relatively full so we sat at the bar and tried Maple-Bacon Old Fashioned (!), Brunch Bomb, as well as Kalettes, Tartine, French Toast, and Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit served with fries. When it comes to food adventures, you’re in for an egg-celent brunch. Let’s go.

When we think of Old Fashioned, it’s just a bourbon staple drink that some of our other guy friends or their father’s drink. This will make you rethink the assumption, the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned is a miracle cocktail marring bourbon, maple, lemon, and candied bacon on top. They take a drink torch and char the bacon in front of you. But you have to eat the bacon first and sip the cocktail at the same time, so the bacon grease doesn’t set into the drink itself. Insert fire emoji here. It was EN FUEGO with sweet and light char up front with a savory, maple, and boozy bourbon back end. Love, true love.

On the lighter side, the Brunch Bomb is a cool, easy sipper with Rekorerling Strawberry Lime cider, soda, and a choice of flavor: lavender, rosemary, and thyme. We chose rosemary to give it some earthiness and it mellowed out the sweet of the cider. Just imagine being on the beaches of Hawaii with a pretty flower in your hair, sipping on a light drink. That’s the feeling you get with the Brunch Bomb.

In thinking about brunch, what immediately comes to mind? Chicken and waffles? Eggs and bacon? French Toast? Yes, The Whiskey Project has some of these staple brunch dishes, but they also have some fun and unique brunch variations that makes this place one you can go back to and have a totally different experience. This is how we felt about the Tartine and the Kalettes. Both were something unexpected and rare that we’d never had at brunch before. The Kalettes were our absolute favorite with charred kale mixed with pomegranate balsamic glaze and pulled pork belly. It was almost like getting a brussel sprout appetizer but with a twist. The charred kale started out smoky and savory of the pulled pork belly, but the tart of the pomegranate and sweetness of the glaze balanced it out. It wasn’t over saturated with the glaze so you could get all the flavors together in the bite. Make sure to include the little peppers on the top for a slight spice on the back end. Divine. We also enjoyed the Tartine with the crunch of the toast, the sweet of the glaze, cream and tart of the goat cheese, and savory of the prosciutto. We liked putting the toast together and making a sandwich with all the elements in between. Plus, did you see how pretty these dishes comes out? PS: Sometime, we’re coming back to try those deviled eggs. Pumpkin Yolk? Yes, please.

From there we went with a traditional French Toast and Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Biscuit. We wanted something over-the-top breakfast-y and something sweet. To us, French Toast like traditional pancakes is just having dessert for breakfast. We’re all in. Nothing goes better with coffee, or who are we kidding, a cocktail, then something a little sweet? Surprise, this French toast wasn’t traditional. From the egg-drenched sweetness of the bread to the bourbon apple compote which made this dish unforgettable to the whipped cream and smokier maple syrup, we couldn’t get enough of this pretty dish. Get all the dish elements in one bite. You’ll thank us. Now, all we needed was a rich cup of hot coffee and a bigger stomach. On to the Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Biscuit, which had something for everyone. From the red pepper baked into the biscuit to the crisp bacon, savory egg, and cheese, it was a great all-around bite that even the pickiest eater would love. Our suggestion: pack the fries inside the biscuit. This gives the biscuit crunch and even deeper flavor. What fun!

With that a long, Sunday afternoon nap was in order. Can you blame us with all this good food and drink? Who wants to join us for some deviled eggs and a maple-bacon old fashioned at The Whiskey Project soon?

Urban Pie Atlanta: Brunch Spotlight: Amy Lane Has Impeccable Taste

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/18/20

Recently, Urban Pie Atlanta in Kirkwood announced that they are going to tackle Saturday brunch. With a nice array of brunch pizzas, vegan options, quiche cups, potatoes, jalapeno bacon and everything in between, we took a trip to the heart of Kirkwood to try their Saturday brunch. We sampled the unforgettable Amy Lane’s Favorite, the bacon and broccoli quiche cup, and some delicious jalapeno bacon. Who’s ready to find out more?

On the breakfast pizza menu are a ton of unique and wonderful options, everything from Avocado Flatbread for Vegans, Low Voltage with egg, chicken, and bacon, as well as other fun toppings like jalapeno bacon, goat cheese, prosciutto, and even sunny-side eggs. We opted for the Amy Lane’s Favorite, who has impeccable taste we must say. This dish boasts of salmon (lox), capers, red onion, cream cheese, olive oil base on a crisp crust, plus topped with arugula. How much can you love a pizza? This is one of the best ones we’ve ever had like a sweet, creamy, salty bagel with a crispy crunchy crust! Not too much cream cheese, the salty and savory of the salmon paired perfectly with the crunch, tart and earthiness of the capers, and finishes with the crunch of the crust. Just. Like. A. Bagel but on steroids!

From there we also tried the quiche cup that comes with potatoes mixed with onions and peppers. What we found fun about these were that they cook them in cake cups, so they come out looking like cupcakes. You really can mix and match any flavor you want. They have broccoli and bacon or spinach and tomato, but you can add any ingredient like onion or peppers or cheese. We tried the bacon and spinach and added a miracle topping: jalapeno bacon. It was perfectly cooked, crispy, with a slight spice on the end. The perfect mix of smoky, savory, and spice. A must get!

They also have a ton of vegan options including the Avocado Flatbread that has Avocado, tomatos, onions, and fresh jalapenos, as well as vegan pancakes with vegan butter! So, if you’re looking for a non-traditional Saturday brunch filled with bagel pizza and jalapeno bacon, we found the place for you: Urban Pie Atlanta in Kirkwood.

The Family Dog: A Very Good Dog!

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/16/20

The Family Dog in Morningside’s slogan is sit, stay, relax. That’s exactly what you experience when you walk through the doors: sit for a tasty cocktail, stay for the Brussel sprouts and chicken and waffles, relax to the live music. They have fun pub vibes mixed with unique cocktails and serious eats. Are you ready to find out why TFD is a very good dog?

Upon arrival we sat for a tasty cocktail. We tried two of them: The Gardner and Cool Heat. The prettiest of the two, the Cool Heat was everything you think it would be from the name: jalapeno tequila is both savory and spicy, combined with cool lime, agave, and grapefruit. It was spicy on the throat, but not overbearing and was citrusy, sweet, and the grapefruit pairs well with the spice of the jalapeno and gives it a depth. It’s the most unique drink we’ve tried in a while and we dig it. The other cocktail, the Gardner was a good, summer sipper, refreshing and light, with gin and cucumber then tart on the end. One of those cocktails you could drink a few of on your front porch and watch the fireflies dance in the night air.

We stayed for several of the shareable eats like the chicken caprese flat bread, Brussel sprouts, and buffalo cauliflower. From wings without the wings, bacon-loaded sprouts, to an Italian flatbread classic, everything was on point at The Family Dog. We really enjoyed each of these apps and almost can’t decide which was our favorite. Starting with the chicken caprese flatbread, it was an Italian classic dish in flatbread form with tender chicken, mozzarella dollops, and earthy tomatoes. Topped with balsamic glaze, it was a delicious bite, something you can share with a friend or horde all to yourself. We with the latter! Have you ever had something that ate like a chicken wing without the actual “wing?” That’s what the buffalo cauliflower was with tasty buffalo sauce, perfectly fried cauliflower and blue cheese dressing. It was surprisingly good and satisfied that wing craving. If you dig down to the bottom, you’ll find even saucier bites, we recommend you do that and dip it in blue cheese. All the feels. Finally, let’s not forget the Brussel sprouts. From crispy to savory to sweet, some of the best Brussel dish we’ve had in a while! They’ll smack you in the mouth with bacon, which is always welcome, and follow up with crispy, leafy greens, sweet balsamic, and slight salt. So good we call it Brussel love!

We don’t discriminate when it comes to breakfast for dinner and the chicken and waffles hit that spot! The flaky and sweet waffle topped with some seriously good chicken tenders, drizzled in syrup, topped with whipped cream and tart strawberries. Are you hungry yet? We took the waffle, chicken tender, some whipped cream, strawberries, and syrup and rolled it all up into one bite. Insert mind blown emoji here. One of the sides we had we want to talk about, truffle cauliflower mash. Wowza! If you wouldn’t have told us it was cauliflower you wouldn’t have known. Just. Like. Potatoes. It was blended well, creamy, the right amount of salt, and of course the truffle was so deep and rich that it’s delectable. Couldn’t stop eating it!

Plus, they have live music on Thursdays, so we relaxed to the sounds as we sipped and ate our way through The Family Dog menu. If you’re looking for some good food, cocktails, and music, you should visit TFD. It’s a seriously good dog.

Surin of Thailand: Thai Taco Tuesday

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/15/20

On a heavily traveled corner of the Virginia Highlands, Surin of Thailand has been a long-time staple of the community serving up Thai food favorites like volcano pot soup, curries, fried rice dishes, and even Thai-inspired cocktails. We arrived on a Tuesday evening, where the restaurant was relatively busy, and found that even a Thai restaurant can get you into the Taco Tuesday mood. Let’s take a food adventure into everything Surin of Thailand.

Starting with the Surin Sour it’s a whiskey-based cocktail that also includes lemon, bitters, banane, and orgeat. This cocktail is boozy up front that finishes sweet, plus it’s a good drinkable cocktail that is noticeably frothy and rather smooth. Not being a big whiskey drinker, it was nice to get a cocktail like this that I would drink again and enjoy. We really enjoyed it. Cheers.

For our starter, what doesn’t scream Thai restaurant than spicy Coconut Soup in a Volcano Pot? Amiright? This soup lived up to the hype with creamy coconut milk, tender chicken and mushrooms all served piping hot! It was creamy and rich with a slightly spicy finish all wrapped up into that Volcano Pot that keeps the soup hot. Reminds us of a cold winter night by the fire! We’ll be back for more.

We also got, Nuer Nom Tok, a Thai take on a taco. From the spicy beef to the delectable soy-based sauce to the crunch of the cabbage, you can pile it all into one bite wrapped in a piece of cabbage or eat it like a salad. The beef was very tender and paired well with the rich and deep sauce and the crunch of the vegetables. Plus, what made this dynamic was that the spice grew as you ate, which went so well with all the flavors that this dish had going on. What’s a taco that doesn’t have multiple flavors and spice? It was even better the next day for lunch! Love!

As the main, we went for the Salmon entrée that comes with a sweet and spicy creamy thai sauce paired with tender broccoli, crunchy peppers, and savory rice. The salmon was flaky and cooked perfectly with a slight char on the back of the bite. With the creamy, sweet, spicy sauce really went well with the entire plate: the crunch of the peppers, savory of the rice, tender of the broccoli. Mix it all together and you’ve got a great bite. So good.

We didn’t get to try a few other things but the Chicken Larb sounded good, as well as any of the fried rice dishes. We will be back for those on our next Taco Tuesday adventure. We think Chicken Larb wrapped in the cabbage can also be a Thai Taco adventure. Are you in?

New Realm Brewing Company: Beer and Bites Perfectly Paired

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/9/20

Walking down the Beltline, it’s hard to miss New Realm Brewery and that beautiful rooftop bar. It’s the perfect place to stop in for a beer, but make sure you go hungry, because they will also rapidly become a food destination. Mark our words, where world-class beer making meets elevated southern fare is New Realm Brewing Company, a patchwork of meatballs and creamy grits, beer can chicken, newly added distilled spirits, and beer aficionados discussing the newest bourbon barrel release. Tasty pairings ahead.

Our first stop on our food adventure is with the Asian-Style Loaded Fries. From the crispy and piping hot mound of French fries to the tender and deep pork, topped with a savory garlic aioli and spicy sriracha, it was a complete and balanced bite. The creaminess of the aioli mixed with the sriracha goes from creamy to spicy and then mellows out with the pork. It paired well with the Hazy Like A Fox or Hoptropolis IPA because of the bitterness of the beer and the spicy and creaminess of the fries balance each other out. What a great appetizer and pairing.

Tackling Liz’s favorite bite next, the Spanish-Style Tomato Braised Pork Meatballs, were a bite of heaven. These gems were light pork meatball, perfectly tender and earthy, topped with tasty marinara and placed on top of creamy, rich grits. The mix of grits and marinara and the richness of the meat was so good that we ate the entire thing. If you could get one thing at New Realm, this is it. As far as pairing, it’s so heavy, we liked the United Lager with it. Something light and easy drinking.

Of the larger plates, we went for the Beer Can Smoked Chicken (featured image). With tender bone-in, skin-on tender, lightly smoky on top of summer succotash (corn), and garlic mashed potatoes, it was a staple southern dish elevated to southern classic. The chicken was tender with slightly smoky flavor throughout and went well with the succotash of corn and the creaminess and depth of the mashed potatoes. You need to take the chicken and mix it with everything else. What a great bite! Since this chicken has the Hazy Like a Fox glaze, of course it pairs well with the IPA, BUT could we suggest the Oaxaca Choca or Doomsday Hound Wooded Reserve (or any stout on their menu)? The chicken is smoky, which to us pairs well with something a little heavier and cuts through the smokiness of the chicken and balances it out! The Oaxaca Choca stout reminds you of Christmas with cinnamon forward nose, mellowing out on the end. What’s better than that and a hearty Christmas-like meal?

John’s favorite was the pizza. We got the Meat Head Pizza and it was crispy, hearty, and filled with all types of meat, it was savory. He ate on that pizza for a couple of days it was so large. It’s a good deal for what you get and make sure you bring a friend to help you finish it! Pro tip: Liz decided she wanted to pile some of the fries with sriracha on her piece of pizza and it was amazing that way. Added spice and creaminess and tons of crunch. As far as beer pairing, you can have anything with it. That’s not a cop-out that’s a testament to the elevated beer brewing skills at New Realm. Pizza and beer just go together from a lager, an IPA, to the Perun Pale Ale to that delicious Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale that literally tasted like a King of Pop Popsicle.

Did you know that New Realm is going to start rolling out more Seltzers and even has started to distill their own liquor? You heard us, you can get a liquor drink or a seltzer right now at New Realm. They have vodka, gin, and bourbon and mixers like soda, cranberry, or even Bloody Mary and Red Bull. So, Next time we walk the beltline, we’re going to make sure to try something new on the New Realm provisions menu and find a new favorite beer. Maybe the Spicy Korean Pork Cheek Buns and another one of the Wooded Reserve Barrel Aged Series Beers? Maybe a Bloody Mary on the weekend? Yes, please. What are you doing next weekend?

Ocean Wave: Mind Blowing Sushi

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/3/20

Down in the middle of the Virginia Highlands, Ocean Wave has got to be one of THE sushi destinations in all of Atlanta. From the moment you enter the building, twinkle lights greet you and the sound of drinks being shaken behind the bar. They have top-shelf cocktails, delicious sushi, tons of fried rice and entrees, as well as a good selection of appetizers, so let’s dive into some of those Yummi dishes and cocktails. Full steam food adventure ahead!

We’re not monkeying around about the superior cocktails at Ocean Wave! We sipped and loved the Monkey Business Martini that combined vodka, coconut rum, pineapple and cranberry. We declared it’s a tiki party in your mouth, boozy up front, then smoothing out into a frothy, sweet tiki drink on the backend. It was a great balance of flavors that’s easy to drink any time of year, but we can imagine sitting on the beach under the shadow of an umbrella, drink in hand. A light breeze through our hair, can you feel it?

We will get to the sushi in a moment, but we sampled a few other good dishes that included the Satay Chicken, KA Proud Lamb, and something we’ve NEVER tried before, Spicy Spaghetti. First, the Satay Chicken was very tender, and the peanut sauce and cucumber salad were a great pairing, especially the salad. It was sweet and went well with the savory of the chicken. A good bite! From there we tried the Spicy Spaghetti, which mimics a traditional spaghetti with a Thai flare. We’ve never had anything like it! Spicy, savory, and deep from the spice of the Thai chili sauce, tender chicken, and super juicy tomatoes. Maybe more of spaghetti on steroids? Yeah, that sounds about right. Super good!

The best of the entrees was the Ka Proud Lamb. The sauce was DELECTIBLE with a slight spice up front and rich deep flavor on the back that went perfect with the mushrooms and vegetables in the sauce. The lamb was tender and smoky with a delicate char. The fried rice was perfect with the sauce and lamb. What a great bite when all combined! Plus, we had a little fun with our food. We put the sauce from the lamb on the Spicy Spaghetti. Pretty tasty, we must say.

We tried two different rolls, the Dancing Dragon and the Yummi Yummi. Dancing Dragon was a good balance of sweet and spicy with tempura on the inside and eel and avocado on the outside. The variation between the eel, which was sweet, and the creamy avocado, were a great one-two punch of flavor. Add wasabi and soy sauce, it brings out the flavor of both! Even though this roll was super good, nothing could compare to the Yummi Yummi. A Trio of fresh yellow tail, tuna, salmon stuffed with cream cheese and flash fried in a moat of delicious soy-based sauce. From the creaminess of the cream cheese mixed with the salty and freshness of the fish to the crunch of the fried rice, it was one dynamic bite. What made it even better? Wababi and soy sauce. Mouth dropped to the floor, was that really possible? WOW! Yummi is definitely one way to describe it. Mind blowing is another.

A special shout-out to our waitress who was a gracious hand-model, menu master, and willing food carrier to better light. She was top-notch! That’s the kind of service you’ll get at Ocean Wave. As you leave, the twinkling of the lights follows you down the street and you’ll dream about sushi for a few nights after.