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ATLANTA GRILLED CHEESE FESTIVAL 2021 – POSTPONED UNTIL 2022

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/15/21

Saturday, September 11

Pinnacle Lot, Atlantic Station

Tickets here.

A FOOD FESTIVAL OF DELICIOUS PROPORTIONS

The Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival is coming BACK in 2021 for our cheesiest fest yet on Saturday, September 11th! Join us to celebrate #NationalGrilledCheeseDay a little late this year with restaurants from all over Atlanta serving up bites of melty, cheesy goodness for your tasting pleasure.

Try a few, or try them all and cast your vote for Best Grilled Cheese in Atlanta!

General Admission Tickets include admission to the festival, your first (3) grilled cheese samples, event koozie plus live music, and access to our Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden (21+ if applicable). $35

SOLD OUT! Cheese Lover’s Tickets include admission to the festival, your first (6) grilled cheese samples, event koozie, souvenir sunglasses and (2) beer/wines, plus live music, and access to our Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden (21+ if applicable).

Vin 25 in Roswell

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/8/21

In a quaint cottage just off the hustle and bustle of Canton’s food district in Roswell, Vin 25’s heated patio glows with firepits and the chatter of diners can be heard down Plum Street. We visited for Roswell Restaurant Weeks, but beyond that, this little slice of heaven is the perfect spot for an intimate date night, a glass of wine with your bestie, or just for a relaxing meal on the patio. Their stellar menu boasts large plates like succulent salmon to amazing charcuterie and fromage boards, unique wines like the Albarino Reserva from Uruguay, craft cocktails, and a whole slew of small plates. Just thinking about Vin 25 is making us hungry, let’s dig in.

Just because Vin 25 sells as a wine bar, doesn’t mean you can’t sip on a tasty cocktail. We sampled the La Rosa and it was a real treat from the mix of lemon, tequila, and sparkling rose. But what really makes this cocktail is that bit of spice from the prevalent amount of black pepper. It gives it just that little edge to elevate it from good to great. Now, being that Vin 25 IS a wine bar, we had to try something different, so we paired our salmon with the wine pairing recommended, the Barbera. A mild red wine out of Italy that is lighter bodied and more reminiscent of a pinot noir. Not too fruity, but not too bold, this one went so well with the earthiness of the foraged mushrooms and Brussel sprouts on the main course. We also were treated to the Albarino Reserva out of Uruguay, which is a white varietal that reminds us of in between a Vinho Verde and a Pinot Grigio. It was tart with a slight acidity but mellows out on the back of the pallet for a smooth finish. What a wonderful wine!

As we mentioned, we went for Roswell Restaurants Weeks and got the 3-course meal that included Winter Squash Toast, 60 South Salmon, and Buttermilk Cake. On top of that we got gigantic charcuterie and fromage board! The board consists of 5 rotating meats and cheeses that can range from Tomme, which was John’s favorite, to Red Dragon from Whales, which was Liz’s favorite. What’s Red Dragon? It’s an aged cheddar that contains grain mustard seeds. Delicious. On the meats, we sampled two types of salami, prosciutto, and more. Who knows what will end up on the board next time! Hope it has the honeycomb and the bacon jam, those were very welcome accoutrement to the meats and cheeses presented! One of the better meat and cheese boards around, if you ask us.

The first course for the 3-course meal was the Winter Squash Toast. This seasonal vegetable toast had so much flavor! Just imagine the creamy and sweet winter squash purée melts into the crunchy toast and as you bite you go from creamy and sweet to savory of the bacon, tart of the currant vinaigrette, to tang of the pickled onions. Did we mention this one was bursting with flavor? It’s so complex and really tasty! The second course was the 60 South Salmon.  This one is a beautiful plate and just as beautiful tasting. The English pea purée is creamy and a little earthy that pairs perfectly with the tender salmon. Sitting in the middle of the salmon, the brussel sprouts are cooked just right and mixed with foraged mushrooms. This rounds out the flavors of earthy, crispy, and a richness. Such a good dish, and a great portion! Must try. The third course was the Buttermilk Cake.  Not too sweet, not too rich, this moist and delicate cake has a warm and buttery caramel on top of a boozy Rumchatta cream. Those dynamic flavors are well balanced with the addition of strawberries for tartness and almonds and pecans for a crunch.

What’s better than good food is always good company, we enjoyed talking to Mac, the GM, and our waiter about all things wine and beer. They have an amazing staff, stellar menu, and top-notch drinks. We can’t wait to sit on their amazing patio when the weather gets warmer. We’ll have to get the Albarino Reserva again and try a new bite or two. What would you like to try?

Kyma: An Ode to Greece

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

There’s a light breeze over the patio that’s randomly dotted with mosaic tile in blue and white patterns. The smell of candles and the ocean can be felt throughout the place, reminiscent of a warm night in Santorini or after a long walk through the Parthenon. With Kyma in Buckhead, you don’t need to get on a plane and head to Greece, because you can visit right here in Atlanta. The décor is pitch perfect with a lighted night sky inside to the beautifully crafted fireplace outside. Beautiful. But the best thing? The Food! Authentic Greek traditional fare elevated by carefully curated spices, flavors, and textures that work in harmony to create unforgettable dishes like lamb pie, Tsipoura fish, Octopus Mini, tartare trio, lamb chops, and everything else on this elegant menu. Let’s take a tour of Greece.

Starting with the array of meze that Chef Pano generously sent our way, we tried the Calamari, tartare trio (special of the night), lamb pie, Octopus Mini, spinach pie, and cheese. Starting with our two favorites, the Octopus Mini and the lamb pie, both bites were spot on! The Octopus Mini was the stand-out favorite meze of the tasting with the truly perfect cooked octopus, charred, and was almost like eating a very tender pork loin with a slight char and pop of the skin. Simply presented and seasoned well, it was the best octopus dish we’ve ever tasted. Just imagine this wonderful meat paired with capers and red onion to give it a little bite and earthiness. This is a must try. Second, the lamb pie, was everything you’d think and more with the crunch of the pastry, the spicy and flavorful lamb inside, and mixed with the yogurt to cool it down. It’s no wonder this beautiful dish is so tender, it’s cooked for 12-hours! Still thinking about this dish!

Everything else was just stellar, like the Calamari was cut into noodle-like strips and mixed with a creamy yogurt and bright zucchini to round out the fun dish that you can mix together yourself. We’ve never seen anything plated and done this way. We really thought it was spectacular! The special of the night was the tartare trio with tuna topped with caviar (fave), sea bass with spices and lemon, and salmon mixed with yogurt. All of them were savory, sweet, and a great little bite! Eat it with a spoon or on the crisp bread, either way you’ll really like these! One of John’s favorites was the cheese meze. It’s a Kasseri cheese that’s been sautéed and comes off rich and almost meaty, then finished off with ouzo for a boozy bite, lemon for brightness, and olive oil for earthiness. One of the best little cheeses you can ever get. Nothing screams Greece than a traditional spinach pie, AMIRIGHT? One of the staples we love in Greek food is always the spinach pie, but these little bites were just dynamite with a crispy shell and the spinach and feta came together exactly right.  You can’t go wrong with anything or any of these bites.

In between the meze and the entrée we got a break to cool it down with a trio of three salads. The watermelon, beet, and the Greek were all something you’d expect to be on a Greek menu, but they all have something that really make them stand-out. Take the watermelon and feta with the minty freshness and topped with a watermelon sorbet that cools and it melts and mixes well with the fresh watermelon and salty, creamy feta cubes. Yes, SORBET! As for the beet salad, it too is topped with a beet sorbet and boasts an array of beets, nuts, and an amazingly paired with warm sheep’s milk cheese. Creamy, earthy, and warm.  Finally, The Greek is just a perfectly seasoned and hearty cucumber, tomato, olive oil and basil. Simple and perfect.

As the night progressed, the sun started to set, and Chef Pano wowed us with the Tsipouri reveal from under a bed of grape leaves to show a whole fish, cooked with salt and seasoned with spices and simple lemon. They took it away to take the bones out and to butterfly it, but it was so fun to watch those grape leaves come off! Once the fish got back to the table, it was just as we thought, flaky and light with the right amount of seasoning, lemon, and slightly buttered olive oil that Chef Pano makes in house. It came with an assortment of sides and lamb chops. The lamb chops were perfectly cooked and had an amazing seasoning that gave the hearty lamb a little spice and a little earthiness. Roll them around in the tzatziki sauce, you won’t be sorry! As for the sides, the eggplant was amazing, like a hearty stew, with tender eggplant, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Then, add in the bright and tender kale wilted and seasoned with a generous amount of lemon. The both went well with the full-flavor and flakiness of the fish.

These amazing bites were perfectly paired with the Morpheus and Thirsty Philosopher cocktail, as well as a stellar Greek wine that drinks like a pinot grigio, called Boutari, a Moscofilero from Mantinia, Greece. The Morpheus was the favorite with a velvety and earthy gin mixed with St. elder, simple syrup, and hibiscus. Sweet and lively with a hint of booze on the back, just like we like it! The Thirsty Philosopher is a simple cucumber vodka drink with hints of cucumber, dill, and earthiness of gin on the back end. One of those drinks you could sip on with any entrée! Greeks love their wine and we know why. The Boutari is a fantastically drinkable, crisp, and light wine that pairs well with a light, flaky fish! Reminiscent of pinot grigio, it is one that we’d love to have again.

As the night sky turned to shades of deep purple and black, the lights from the restaurant spilled onto the patio and the candles were lit in the fireplace. The candles danced and leapt throwing shadows on the ground and creating a symphony of odd shapes. It felt like we were on a cozy street in Greece on a warm summer night.  Maybe we’ll stay for just one more moment.

ATLANTA GRILLED CHEESE FESTIVAL 2020 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/6/20

Saturday, September 12th at 11:30 am

Atlantic Station

Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival, produced by Atlanta Sport and Social Club, will take place on September 12, from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm. 2020 marks the fourth year of this incredibly, cheesy event at The Pinnacle Lot at Atlantic Station and it sells out every year.
The festival delivers deliciousness of epic proportions and this September it will offer more sandwich choices than ever before with over 30 food vendors. The festival will feature live music acts throughout the day, an expanded kids zone, and the the wildly popular Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar that made its debut last year — sponsored by Smirnoff Vodka. Attendees can add everything from beef jerky, to candied ginger to pickles to various hot sauces.
Approximately 5,000 attendees will join in on the fun and commit to some serious sandwich eating. In addition to using sample tickets, attendees can purchase full-sized, grilled cheese sandwiches and various other menu items from all participating food vendors. Participants to date include, Dos Bocas, Char Korean Bar & Grill, Dixie Q (2019 Judge’s Choice Winner), Cooks & Soldiers, Jen Chan’s (2019 People’s Choice Winner), Brooke Lynn’s Own Food Truck, Mercedes-Benz Stadium Food Truck, Pho Cue BBQ, Brainfood, Suga’s Pimento Cheese, Guest Driven BBQ, Simone’s Kitchen ATL, YOM, Island Chef Cafe, Different Twist Pretzel Food Truck, and more.
“Nothing brings people together like a shared interest in a childhood favorite! We love seeing Atlanta come out and celebrate the grilled cheese sandwich, one of the top food items in the United States. The festival will serve up some of the best sandwich creations in our city by truly talented chefs and food trucks. One of the most unique parts of the event, is our amateur competition where we invite anyone, even home cooks, to come in and show off their stuff!” shared Catie Schreiman, Event Director.
The festival welcomes guests of all ages and has expanded the Kids Zone for 2020 including; ever-popular slime making, face painting, bounce house, bungee trampoline, fun inflatables, bubble soccer, and more.
Feature sponsors include, Bulleit Bourbon, Lunazul Tequila, Hellofresh, various brands from Gourmet Foods International, and PNC Bank. For those that need to take a breather in between bites, they can visit vendors such as Jimella’s Bakery, Buckhead Thread Co, Cutco Cutlery, Gitts Bajan Pepper Sauce, Miss Bee Haven Honey Bones, Delights by Dawn, Brain Freeze, April’s Sweet Shoppe, WaWa Hot Sauce, Vintage Eyeware, and more.
Live music includes local Atlanta DJ OneNate, Rouge Tones, and Zale with additional acts to be announced soon.
Local nonprofit support is an important focus for festival owners Atlanta Sport and Social Club. Several nonprofits will benefit from ticket sales including, Releash Atlanta, Playworks Georgia, and Community Bucket.
General Admission Tickets include admission to the festival, your first (3) grilled cheese samples, event koozie plus live music, and access to our Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden (21+ if applicable).
$18
SOLD OUT! Cheese Lover’s Tickets include admission to the festival, your first (6) grilled cheese samples, event koozie, souvenir sunglasses and (2) beer/wines, plus live music, and access to our Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden (21+ if applicable).
Groups of 15 or more are eligible for a group discount catie@atlantasportandsocial.com for details.

More information and to purchase tickets here.

Bulla Gastrobar: Who Loves Sangria?

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 1/3/19

Cozy and warm in atmosphere, Bulla Gastropub has an expansive menu with a mix of fresh, light tapas to hearty large plates, as well as a hefty wine list and some of the best Sangria Blanca in Atlanta. We’d argue the best! When we went it was before Christmas, so they had decked out the tables with small poinsettias and bows, and a beautiful Christmas tree with tons of presents under it. Being in the festive spirit, let’s find out what there is to celebrate about the menu. Hint: it’s celebratory!

Being more of a white wine gal, I’ve been thinking about how much I really like Sangria. Leave it to Bulla to invite us to National Sangria Day to discover what is probably the best Sangria Blanca I’ve had in a very long time. John liked it too, but he’s more a beer drinker. From the bubble of the cava to the sweetness of the fresh fruit, this pretty lady drinks refreshing and cool. It’s a good, year-round sipper!

Starting with the tapas, the Lacon Al La Gallega is a smoked ham dish sliced very thin like a tartare topped with arugula, dressing, and potato dollops. It ate like a light salad, a very light bite with a ton of flavor and the meat adds salt and heft. Tip: Take the dollops and wrap them in the arugula and ham. It’s creamy, savory, and the right amount of salt. We also got a Charcuterie plate that consisted of Manchego and Murica Al Vino cheese, as well as Jamon Serrano (ham) and Lomo Iberico. They definitely have a great selection of meats and cheeses that come with olives, crisp bread, and candied nuts. Our favorite was the earthy, nutty, sweet, and sharp Manchego cheese that paired well with the cured pork loin (Lomo Iberico). A great little snack with the bread and nuts.

We thought we got the Salmon Carpaccio but in looking at what we got versus the menu, it looks like we got the 5 oz Salmon large plate. So, moving on to the Platos Fuertes the Salmon was paired with spinach, chickpeas, and a lemon cream. The meat itself was perfectly cooked at medium and topped with a cool lemon cream that added balance between the meat and the accompaniments. The spinach and chickpeas were crunchy and earthy and mixed well with the Salmon. Overall, a great bite.

The other large plate is what we always want to try every time we get to taste a menu: Lamb! Lamb is my (Liz’s) favorite meat and this one did not disappoint. The Lamb Chop itself was fall off the bone tender with a sweet and savory honey, thyme sauce. The sauce was delectable with what starts off as sweet to herbaceous of the thyme. So unique! Paired with charred kale, asparagus, and potato foam, a tasty bite with the meatiness of the lamb, creaminess of the potato foam, and earthiness of the charred kale, and brightness of the asparagus. So much flavor!

From the wonderful meal, to the coziness and warmness of the atmosphere, to the attentive staff, Bulla Gastropub is a great place to take friends and family for an intimate meal. You’ll enjoy it.

MELTY FEST ATLANTA 2019: A CELEBRATION OF PIMENTO CHEESE

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/22/19

Thursday, August 22nd @ 6 pm

Sweet Auburn BBQ

Sweet Auburn Barbecue, the Atlanta barbecue spot from dynamic brother-and-sister duo Howard and Anita Hsu, is teaming up with Tillamook, Oregon’s favorite dairy co-op, for Tillamook Presents: A Celebration of Pimento Cheese on Thursday, August 22! On a mission to share their award-winning products with food lovers from coast to coast, Tillamook embarked on the first-ever Melty Fest Tour featuring a series of curated regional events in cities across America earlier this year.

To celebrate Atlanta and the culinary greatness of the American Southeast, Tillamook and Sweet Auburn Barbecue have invited a roster of Atlanta’s most talented chefs to showcase and celebrate Southern staple pimento cheese in just about every way imaginable—from the Hsu family’s famed pimento cheese wonton that blends their Malaysian-Chinese roots with their southern upbringing, to the pimento cheese creations of Atlanta’s top chefs. Participants include:

Ford Fry (King & Duke)
Suzanne Vizethann (Buttermilk Kitchen)
Joey Ward & Spencer Gomez (Southern Belle)
Howard & Anita Hsu (Sweet Auburn Barbecue)
Ron Hsu (Lazy Betty)
Guest Bartender: Miles MacQuarrie (Kimball House and Watchman’s)

Tickets can be purchased here for $25 and include pimento cheese-inspired bites from all chefs; barbecue and sides from Sweet Auburn Barbecue; delicious Tillamook ice cream; three drink tickets for beer, wine and specialty cocktails from Miles; and a live performance by Ruby Velle & Trio. All proceeds will be donated to the Betty Hsu Cancer Fund and the Get Comfortable Fund from Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

2019 Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival

Date: Saturday, April 13th

Time: 11 am

About: A FOOD FESTIVAL OF DELICIOUS PROPORTIONS. We’re taking a whole day, dedicated to celebrate everyone’s favorite sandwich! Restaurants from all over Atlanta will be serving up bites of melty, cheesy, goodness over the course of the day for your tasting pleasure! Try a few, or try them all and cast your vote for Best Grilled Cheese in Atlanta! There are two sessions, early session at 11:30 am and afternoon session starting at 2:30 pm. In addition to delicious eats, we’ve got an awesome lineup of frosty brews, live local music, and all kinds of contests and activities to keep you entertained throughout the day. Tickets Include admission to the event, (3) complimentary Grilled Cheese Samples, plus live music, access to our Adult Game Zone and Beer Garden.
What do you get: General Admission tickets include admission to the event, (3) complimentary Grilled Cheese Samples, plus live music, access to our Adult Game Zone and Beer Garden. Ticket Ranges $18 – $35. Benefits Releash Atlanta.

More Information:

https://www.atlantagrilledcheese.com/