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Brassica, in the Waldorf Astoria Buckhead

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/5/22

Marble and brass extend out from the warm wood bar, dotted with happy hour patrons enjoying fancy drinks and small bites. To the side the dining room is packed with warm leather booths juxtaposed to the orange and blue ornate plates and the slats in the wall that peer into the hall next to the restaurant. On the back end, the décor changes to a modern black with white tables and dark napkins. This beautiful spot is Brassica, the opulent French-Inspired Southern fare restaurant nestled in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Buckhead. They put just the right spin on traditional French and southern dishes, while offering upscale cocktails and an extensive wine list.

Brassica does everything well, including their cocktail and wine offerings. For the cocktails we tried the fancy James Bond inspired Vesper. Shaken not stirred, botanical gin, vodka, and the right amount of lemon make for a boozy, strong, floral, smooth cocktail where the flavor profile changes as you drink. If boozy isn’t want you’re looking for, go for the Roman Punch, it’s like drinking tea on the porch! Lemony, tangy, and sweet, it’s smooth as you can get. That might be dangerous. Plus, they have a great wine list that pairs with the great French-inspired southern menu. We tried the Licia Albarino from Spain and a Cabernet that were both delicious and went so well with the dishes we got, the Trout, and the Roasted Rack of Venison.

For starters, you can never go wrong with a solid Beef Carpaccio, tender and savory with tangy olives, earthy capers, and the sharpness of the cheese and tangy onion. A great bite when you roll it all up into one. We paired that with something we don’t see every day on menus, frog legs! The Sauteed Frog Legs are deconstructed and taken off the bone, and surround a crunchy, buttery toast with roasted garlic on top. Then underneath a fantastic creamy, earthy parsley cream adds the right amount of balance to the tender frog, buttery, crunchy toast, and sharpness of the garlic. This mix and match dish is a keeper.

Of the sides, we are in love with the Butternut Squash Jambalaya. This one is an experience all on its own, served in a smoked dome and the smoke released at the table. The smokiness is prevalent in the dish and pairs with the lightly spicy Cajun spices and creamy rice then contrasts the hearty and earthy butternut squash. Beyond that we had to opt for the Mac N Cheese that is served in a pot. It is creamy brie and tender macaroni all topped with a layer of sharp cheese.

The chef surprised us with a pair of Little Gem salads that is one part crunchy with pecans and apples and one part earthy of the greens. The best part is the buttery, tangy brown butter vinaigrette. It goes so well with the overall flavor profile of the salad. This is so good you may want to lick the plate. Another fun surprise we can talk about here is the cornbread that comes before the meal. It’s thick, dense, sweet, and savory bread that’s topped with a beautiful, warm brown butter sauce that give off hints of caramel. It’s some of the best cornbread you can get in Atlanta. It almost is like a dessert!

We can’t stop thinking about this stunning Roasted Rack of Venison shared plate. Have you seen venison presented so perfectly (see article cover)? It is tender and savory with a balanced amount of seasoning. On top boozy, sweet, and tart marinated cherries marry with the meat for an explosion of flavor, then underneath creamy and smooth mashed potatoes and savory, earthy Brussels pair with a savory, meaty sauce that just knocks the flavors out of the park. This is the best Venison we’ve EVER had! Go try it! The other main that we got is the Pecan Rainbow Trout. It is tender and flaky fish with a light crunch of the fish skin on the top. The pecans dotted on top roll into the creamy corn and sauce below for a warm, crunchy, overall great bite that is popping with flavor. This is a light dish that goes so well with the heftiness of the Venison.

To finish out our meal, we had to try the Oven Roasted Georgia Apple. It’s a whole cooked apple, skin on, that’s stuffed with sweet apricots, topped with a sweet, caramel sauce, spicy cinnamon, and paired with a cool dollop of ice cream. The uniqueness of the crunchy apple skin, sweetness of the apricots and creaminess of the sauce and ice cream make for the perfect pair.

This was epic.

Lapeer

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/9/22

The beautiful white building sits next to a sprawling green that makes its large “steeple” stand out amongst the downtown space. Is that a lighthouse? Inside, warm decorative lighting descends upon the large, ornate bar. The enclosed sunroom is stunning with earthy wood tables, mixed media ceiling, and beautiful lighting. Lapeer not only is stunning in ambiance but also in their wonderful food! Like this steak, a perfectly cooked filet that literally melts in your mouth and has the right amount of seasoning. No sauce required! It’s really the PERFECT piece of meat! But, the newly rebranded steakhouse doesn’t stop there, everything from the savory steak sauces to the elevated cocktails, the amazing apps, and even some of the best chocolate cake is all top notch! This is the perfect spot for a date night!

Why not start out with a cocktail? They have some good ones like the 5pm Somewhere! This great, balanced cocktail is tart and tangy with a good bit of creaminess from the foam. They also have an extensive wine list with several varieties of wine by the glass and even more bottles!

Starting with the amazing apps, the Beef Tartare and Seafood dip, the tartare starts out with a ton of savory meat, while the onion and mustard bring out the flavor with tang! The entire bite ends up tangy, creamy, savory, and then a crunch of the buttery bread. One the other hand, the Lapeer Smoked Fish Dish has a myriad of flavors from the creaminess of the dip to the saltiness of the fish and then a smokiness on top. Whatever you do make sure to mix it with the Kraken Blood hot sauce, it gives it a kick!

We opted to share a beautiful center-cut filet mignon and got almost every side you could imagine. Of all the sides, the crave-able Creamy Potatoes Gratin is hands down the best side. It is one part rich and creamy, then on the other side sweet and savory. Icing on the cake is the crunchy cheese on top! The Broccolini is earthy and tender inside with a nice char and crisp on the outside. This delicious side has a ton of flavor! On to the Charred Cabbage, which is tender and mild then on the top a healthy char. Underneath, the moat of savory sauce blends with a perfect amount of tang and sweetness. Last but not least are the creamy, dreamy whipped mashed potatoes that definitely pairs well with any of the steak sauces. They are buttery, creamy, and just right! We recommend pairing with the amazing steak jus sauce for ultimate bite.

The star of the show, though, had to be the Center-Cut Filet. It is perfection with the right amount of seasoning outside and juicy and savory inside. As we mentioned earlier it doesn’t really need any sauces, but they have some great ones that pair well with it. On the side they have roasted garlic, so we rolled that up with the Steak Jus and this was a great combo with the steak or even those crispy fries on the side! You really can’t go wrong with any of them!

To end the night, we opted for the amazing Chocolate Cake. It’s really the perfect amount of chocolate, not over-powering or over rich. The cake itself is darker chocolate with a little more flavor and then the icing gives it depth with a milkier flavor. It’s a great combination. On top, they added chocolate crunchies that add a fun texture to the bite. The perfect way to end an incredible meal.

26 Thai Kitchen and Bar Brookhaven

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 12/6/21

Immaculately decorated with an expansive patio, 26 Thai Kitchen and Bar’s newest location in Brookhaven is one-part delicious Thai and sushi and one-part beautiful ambiance. Yes, this location has sushi! Everything from the creative cocktails to start to the delectable Nigiri, creative ceviche, spicy tuna tartare, the stunning Ka Pow Kai roll, and sensational sushi, they have a great variety for all palates. Let’s dive in.

Sitting on the patio, there is a light breeze as the wait staff brought us a KOH Samui cocktail. This drink starts bright and citrusy up front and then ends tart on the back. As we sipped, we delighted in the Nigiri, which was absolutely amazing. The salt water and freshwater eel are both so tender and fall apart in your mouth. Of the two, the freshwater eel is divine with a slight char and full flavor. It’s some of the best eel we’ve had in a long time. Plus, don’t count out the salt water eel, which was a little bit fuller, thicker, and tons of flavor, as well. The octopus was just ok though, it needs more flavor and tenderness.

Next to pair with our Zen Sake, we opted to try some of the other raw dishes, like the Ceviche and the Tuna Tartare. First up, the ceviche is so fresh and packed with peppers and radish! It starts almost sweet up front and then as you eat, there is a myriad of spice on the back. The spiciness grows as you eat, so this ends up being a spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy with a good crunch. Another one of the great appetizers is the Tuna Tartare. It is spicy, creamy, spicy, and a great crunch from the wonton. The best bite is to add soy sauce for an extra saltiness and richness that revs up the flavor!

One of the things that 26 Thai in Brookhaven does that the other locations don’t is sushi! Starting with the stunning Ka pow kai roll, this one is the most unique fusion roll we’ve had with crepe on the outside and rice and asparagus inside. Surrounding this is some delicious minced and slightly spicy chicken with bright, crisp, peppers. Fun tip, go ahead and add soy sauce, it actually adds a little more richness to the meat and rice. Beyond this Thai and sushi mashup’s amazing flavor is the best sushi presentation we’ve seen in a long time on a circular wood board and piled high.

Along side this, we got two more sushi rolls, the Under the Sea and the Sahara Roll. The Under the sea is surprisingly light and refreshing with tender meat and creamy avocado that can be paired with the soy and wasabi for even more flavor. The best part is this one feels healthy for those watching their weight! We also thoroughly enjoyed the Sahara Roll, as well. This roll is sweet and rich and then you get the creaminess of the avocado and the tender fish on the back. Then, there is the slight crunch of the wispy tempura flakes and if you top with soy sauce and wasabi, you’re in for a treat.

What would you try first?

Atlas: Four Hands Collaboration

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/8/21

The moment you walk into the St. Regis, you’re greeted with a towering chandelier and sweeping staircase leading you to a dimly lit library with a sprawling illuminated bar and intimate tables filled with couples and friends smiling over delicious dishes. At Atlas, there are three words to describe it: impeccable, perfection, opulent. This does not only describe the ambiance, but some of the best food in all of Atlanta. The night we went was during the Four Hands collaboration 7-course tasting menu that married the genius of Chef Money and Chef Paul Liebrandt, the guest chef, in one miraculous meal. It’s a culinary masterpiece with the beautiful plating, scrumptious tastes, wonderful wine pairings, and the best white-glove service. This is definitely one to remember and we want to share the details with you.

 

When you arrive and sit down at your table, they immediately send over treats before you get your meal, like the Foie Gras Bon Bon, the “Cloud”, Puff Pastry, and Liquid Olive. Being about one bite each, the perfect little tastes are packed with flavors like the foie gras is rich and meaty, the cloud is earthy and literally melts in your mouth, while the puff pastry is dill forward and crispy, and the liquid olive was smooth with a little bit of olive on the end. We think the cloud was the best with the balance of cheese and beet flavor and were very impressed with the liquid olive, not too strong.

 

The first course is the Golden Caviar. Starting out, they place the caviar from their exclusive collection on the trout and accompany it with a tuna belly and a fantastic aioli. The caviar itself is a wonderful mix of saltiness and slight fish that accompanies that perfect pop. Underneath is the light, silky trout and juxtaposes the earthy micro greens. On the side, the crispy lightly fried tuna belly is perfection with a tasty creamy and earthy aioli for dipping. This course (and the next two) was paired with a delicate Rose champagne that is light and crisp to go with the lightness of the fish and caviar.

 

On to the second course, we got the Beets, which were paired with preserved plums and soft goat cheese. On top, the earthy and tangy beets are frozen in a ball then below is a moat of cheese, plums, and roasted beets that you can mix up together to get an amazing earthy, creamy, tangy bite. This one was so much fun to eat, a real treat.

 

Just behind this course, was the Scallops, but we opted for the Hamachi Crudo instead since we don’t eat shellfish. The presentation on this one was the absolute best of the entire meal. Served on a hand plate, it felt “hand delivered” to you! The fish is served raw but is so tender, it literally melts in your mouth and goes flawlessly with the creamy avocado, bright citrus vinaigrette, and amazing cold cilantro jalapeno sauce. In love with all the flavors creamy, earthy, spicy, bright, and add the crunchy beet flakes for one of the best bites of the night.

 

Moving on the fourth course where we got to pair a perfect poached cod and a bright Chablis. One of the best poached cods we’ve ever had, it was fall-apart tender. It’s light and mellow and pairs so well with the multiple forms of grapes that accompany this dish. The sweet and tart of the grape gives this little number an earthy and tart with a slightly salty end. The Chablis on the other hand was acidic that juxtaposed the sweet and salty of the dish. Just perfect.

 

When you didn’t think it couldn’t get any better, course five knocked it out of the park with the Westholme Wagyu. Buttery, slightly charred, and melt-in-your mouth wagyu that was too tender and delicious to even use the Italian knife they let us pick out. Topped with a candied fig that gives the meat a sweet, brown sugar, earthy, and tart bite on top of the already perfectly cooked wagyu. On the opposite end of the plate is a too beautiful to eat flower and gelatin concoction. It adds the right amount of creaminess. Overall, when you mix all the flavors together you get a creamy, rich, sweet, salty and a myriad of other flavors that let’s you know this IS the dish to remember. Paired with a heavy Cabernet is just right.

 

On to the dessert portion, they brought out course six, the Green Apple palate cleanser. They pour a citrus green apple sauce over this frozen, green apple treat for a boost of brightness. The entire dish is earthy and crisp with a complex mix of tartness and nuttiness from the pistachios, granola, diced apples, and mandarin. Then, for the finale, the Vol Au Vent is a decadent, crispy, bold bite. With layers of flaky pastry and bold caramel and apple flavor all around. Then, on the side, a rare dessert wine ice cream is boozy and sweet that goes well with the bold apple and caramel flavors. Paired with a Royal Hungarian dessert wine is rich and drinks like brown sugar, what a great sip with the dessert.

 

As a thanks, the Chefs brought out Petit fours after our meal. These candies are so fun, what looked like an Oreo, matcha gummies, and more. Just like these gifts, the entire meal is a total gift from beginning to end. From the delicious meal to the best service, it was one to remember.

 

Would you go to Atlas for a tasting menu?

Barcelona Wine Bar: The Date Night Spot

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 10/25/21

The metal, wood, and soft hues from the setting sun enveloped the Barcelona Wine Bar Westside wrap-around patio. At the bar a couple chat over a shared bottle of red wine with an assortment of small plates. Now this is date night done right with the ambiance, impeccable food, and endless wine bottle list, all meant for sharing. We imbibed on the fantastic Aperitivo Board, bubbly BarCava, spicy Grilled Pulpo, great Grilled Broccolini, divine Potato Tortilla, creamy Jamon & Manchego Croquetas, and finished it off with crispy calamari. Who’s ready to go on a Friday night date night?

Sipping on some bubbly, the BarCava is an exclusive sparkling wine made just for Barcelona. It’s bright, tart, and crisp with tons of bubbles. A must try. To go with our wine, we started with the Aperitivo Board, which was an assortment of tasty Serrano, Feut, Mahon, tangy and creamy Patatas Bravas, spicy peppers, buttery almost, and sharp and creamy Manchego. You can mix and match in any combination, which we both loved the Serrano with the Manchego and a dollop of the spicy mustard on top.

Something that we love about Barcelona is the small plates that’s perfect to sharing. You can try more of the extensive menu this way and explore a variety of flavors. You can get everything from light dishes like the pulpo to decadent like the Potato Tortilla to hearty, fried calamari. Speaking of the dishes, one of our favorites was the Potato Tortilla. This fun dish is served like a piece of pie and starts creamy and sharp and then melts in your mouth. We found this dish eye-roll good from the richness of the cream and potato to the earthiness and tang of the chive dip on the side.

After that hearty dish, we went a little lighter with the Grilled Pulpo and Grilled Broccolini. The octopus is simply grilled and tender and topped with a mix of olives, tomatoes, and a spicy bright vinaigrette. It’s a spicy, earthy, and tender dish! On the other hand, the broccolini is slightly crunchy with a fresh, fantastic lemon aioli that comes off as bright and creamy. Impeccably paired with crispy capers for an earthy bite on the end.

To end the night our tour around the Barcelona menu, we tried the Jamon & Manchego Croquetas and the Crisp Calamari. The Croquetas are crunchy, rich, creamy, and oh-so gooey. All of the complex flavors that all go so well together. Go bold or go home, right? We ended with the Crisp Calamari. This fried goodness is the right amount of light crunch and tender squid. Juxtaposed with a tart, tangy and bright dipping sauce for the perfect bite.

What would you want to try?

YAO Atlanta

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 10/6/21

The moment you step into Yao, you’re met with a long, ornate bar and lounge area that’s dressed to the nines. Beyond the beautiful entry, the dining room is stunning, dotted with blue, cool chairs and a vaulted, soaring ceiling that houses a large wood wall. What Yao does so well is marry the stunning ambiance with the delectable food and sippable cocktails seamlessly. They do everything with beauty and grace, like the stunning Yao’s Ice Cream, gorgeous Salt and Pepper Whole Fish, plump Pork Belly, divine Duck Salad, as well as the amazing cocktails! Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Sitting and gazing into the dining room, we started with two amazing cocktails, the Mr. Yao and the Cherish. The favorite of the two is the Mr. Yao cocktail that starts out sweet, then morphs into a tangy, earthy, sour sip. It’s complex from start to finish with a distinct wine flavor that gives it a defined earthiness! The gorgeous The Cherish is easy on the eyes and the tongue. The cocktail is one part tangy and the other foamy with an almost floral and earthy end. It’s dynamic and sippable.

Moving into the small plates and appetizers, we were thrilled with the little watermelon bite they brought us prior to our meal. It is the cutest little dish in a small spoon with a huge Yao flag sticking out the top. The bite itself is sweet, salty, and an earthy light crunch. It is such a good little bite! Of the appetizers and small plates, we have to state up front, we’re huge pork belly fiends. If it’s on the menu, we get it. If you get one appetizer or small plate at Yao, please get the Pork Belly. It’s a perfectly cooked, tender piece of meat with a rich and buttery first bite finished with a hearty soy back. Plus, the addition of the dried fish gives it extra saltiness to complete the flavor complexity! Some of the best pork belly we’ve ever had, and we’ve had a lot.  Another one of our favorites is the Duck Salad. Absolutely eye-catching and heaping, the skin-on duck itself is rich and crunchy, while the sauce is slightly sweet with tangy pomegranate and earthy pine nuts. The greens brighten this dish, and it’s stellar, never had anything like it.

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On to the entrée, we settled on the Salt and Pepper Fish and we’re so glad we did. Beyond the STUNNING presentation, the fish is flaky inside surrounded by a light crunch and brightened by the tangy scallions and garlic below the fish. Then, we paired it with the Sichuan Green Beans that were a good balance of spice, savory, and crunch. The best part is down in the bottom where the sauce pools. One of the best things you can do here is to mix and match the flavors of the fish and the green beans. It’s divine.

Whatever you do, stay for dessert and the Yao’s Ice Cream is an experience all it’s own. Surrounded by dry ice a served SMOKING, not only is it beautiful and the presentation flawless, but the flavor is creamy and smooth!  The addition of the salted egg yoke provides for a change in flavor profile and texture! Then, you have to eat to the back for a gelatinous surprise! The perfect way to end this fantastic meal.

Are you ready to go Yao? What would you try?

Good Word Brewing: Brunch Edition

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/30/21

Crossing over a pair of tracks into a quaint, charming downtown, is an area where local bars, retail, and restaurants dot the shady, tree-lined street. On the corner, Good Word Brewing is a downtown Duluth local gem that prides themselves on unforgettable frosty brews, delectable brunch, and a stellar all-day menu, all in a beautiful OTP downtown. It’s definite, the word is out that Good Word Brewing has a fantastic brunch that should go on your brunch list! With items like this spicy number, gooey cinnamon roll, sensational sausage platter, amazing avocado toast, stellar seasonal hash, beer, brunch cocktails, and even slushies, we were in brunch heaven. Let’s dig in.

Something Good Word is definitely known for is their brews, so we tried a flight with 4 great options. We got Hollow Moon Stout, Are You Living in a Computer Simulation Helles Lager, The Quantum Immortality English Porter, and Face for Radio Pale.  The Hollow Moon Stout that’s roasty and toasty yet mellows on the back was Liz’s favorite, while Are You Living In a Computer Simulation is a Helles Lager that’s smooth and drinkable, great for patio sips and the second favorite. The Quantum Immortality English Porter was malty but light and refreshing with a hint of bitterness. John’s favorite was the Face for Radio that he said was well balanced hops and refreshing. Beyond the brews, they have fun brunch cocktails and slushies! They were out of the slushie, but we tried the South 75. It is botanical gin mixed with bright lemon that starts out tart and almost has a grapefruit end, finished with a splash of bubbly. Who doesn’t love a little bubbly with brunch?

Of the sharable brunch dishes, we opted for the Cinnamon Roll, Sausage Board, and Avocado Toast. Up first is the Cinnamon Roll that’s warm, gooey, sticky sweet and rich! After the sweet hits you, the spiciness of the cinnamon comes in and balances this roll out. The best part is the sticky, sweet middle on the bottom, so start there and work your way up and out. You’ll thank us! Moving from sweet to savory, the sausage board is out of this world! We were most impressed by the presentation and flavors of this board!  Starting with the homemade sausage that’s on one hand spicy, the Marita, and then the other hand bright, Ginger Basil, both pop with flavor. Pair either with pickled vegetables, toast, or mustard, you can’t go wrong. Don’t sleep on the deli sliced sausage with pistachios either; it will melt in your mouth! Finally, we simply had to try the essential Avocado Toast.  It’s creamy and light with the richness of soft-boiled eggs, tangy onion and micro greens. The sesame seasoning and toast give it a crunch and a good dusting of flavor, but not too overpowering. It’s a great overall complete dish with creamy, rich, tangy, and earthy.

Spicy and hearty are two good words to describe our main entrees, Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit and the Seasonal Hash. Our favorite dish of the day, the Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit, has it all! This spicy bite starts crunchy, tender, and sweet then the kick on the back of the throat is JUST RIGHT. It’s the perfect flavor combination from the warm and sweet honey to the crispy and hearty biscuit, then the crunchy and spicy chicken. The best bite is as you let the biscuit sit in the honey, it becomes a little soft and sucks in all the flavors: spicy, sweet, sassy! Divine. On the other hand, the Seasonal Hash is a staple dish for a hearty appetite. Bright sauce topped with tender, crisp fingerling potatoes that pop in your mouth. Then, tangy onions, peppers round out the hash and topped with a rich, hearty, runny egg. Let the egg run out and mix with the mixture below, that’s the ticket!

After our brunch, we strolled through the rest of the downtown area, with green space, and shops that we thoroughly enjoyed as well. What do you want to try at Good Word Brewing?

Chido & Padre

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/31/21

The multi-colored, vibrant tile juxtaposes to the white, teal, warm wood, and greenery of the updated Chido & Padre double decker patio. This spot has been a staple in the Buckhead community for a while and with a new menu and top to bottom stunning renovation, this spot is simply gorgeous. Whether you want to lounge on the plush couches, swing in one of the swings, or sit at a shady booth, you’ll feel like you’re in Mexico City enjoying a vacation! While you are there, we would recommend sipping on the earthy El Bad Bunny or sparkly Lambrusco Sangria, and tasting the refreshing Seasonal Crudo, Smoked Octopus Tostada, street corn, rich Pollo Con Mole or Carnitas, and dynamite Duck Sope. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Every good tasting is paired with a good cocktail, wine or beer. We got several cocktail pairings and these were our favorite two! The Lambrusco Sangria was one of the most refreshing wine-forward drinks we’ve had in a while with a tangy, tart and sweet mixed together with a bold grapefruit on the back of the sip. Another great cocktail is the El Bad Bunny, which is a balance between smoky mezcal and smooth and sweet carrot. This one paired perfectly with the carrot dish! I’ll take another. Which sounds good to you?

We’re in love with Chido and Padres new menu! It’s authentic, unique and almost every dish we had top notch! Starting with some traditional items and sharable plates like the Street Corn and Queso Fundito. The Street Corn is some of the best in the city with a crunchy, warm, spicy, complex flavor. Plus, the seasoning and avocado really elevate the bite. In love.  Or if you’re in the mood for cheese or queso dip, look no further than the Queso Fundito, which is a great mix of creamy and sharp cheese with an array of toppings all paired with crunchy chips. Perfect for a cheese pull! 

As far as the sharable plates go, we had some great options that were unique takes on traditional dishes, like the Seasonal Crudo starts with a mild seasonal fish (Hamachi this time) paired with creamy avocado and tart pickled strawberry. The sauce makes this dish a combination of salty, fresh, crisp, and tart. Plus, when you order this ask for an off-menu cocktail. It mixes tequila with as much if the sauce you can get in the glass for an amazingly unique concoction! Our server came up with it and it’s so good. On the other hand, the Carnitas are a rich and tender pork shoulder that melts in your mouth! The sweet smoked meat is surrounded by a sweet avocado tomatillo and creamy and sharp sour cream. The entire dish is a good balance between meat and sauce. Roll it up into a tortilla. OMG.

Traditional not your thing and you want to spice it up? Don’t worry they have a laundry list of menu items just for that, the Smoked Octopus Tostada, is one of them. It is one of the favorite bites of the entire meal with its complexity. We were floored by the smoky, tender, and rich octopus dish with creamy avocado, crunchy tostada, while a good kick in the end. Add a little spicy arugula, mint and voila, you have one amazing bite, so get all the ingredients together! Plus, who doesn’t love a duck dish? The Duck Sope is a fun take on a classic meat with a generous amount of pulled duck that packs a punch, corn mesa cakes, and white peas. We recommend you eat all together for a spicy, rich, meaty bite. We cannot get over the mix of flavors and textures this dish puts on the plate.

If you’re looking for vegetarian, we’d recommend the Heirloom Carrots! They are perfectly cooked carrots that each had a different dynamic flavor profile paired with a cashew tahini that comes off like peanut butter! This is a wonderful mix between nutty, creamy, and earthy. One of the most unique dishes we’ve ever had!! Dynamite!  

Saving the best overall dish for last, we seriously cant’t get over the Pollo Con Mole which was our favorite bite! Succulent chicken that’s perfectly seasoned and slathered in a rich mole. Below the chicken is some of the best root vegetable hash ever filled with bacon and onions that’s earthy and tangy. The entire dish is sweet and smoky, tender and juicy, creamy, earthy, and slightly peanuty. Plus, the mole really ties all of it together, sauce, chicken, and hash.  We’re going back to get this one again!

Feeling stuffed, we couldn’t fathom trying desserts. But it was worth the pain to try this duo of desserts. GET THE CHESS PIE! It is warm caramel flavor followed by chocolate and the crunch of the crust. Then, the ice cream is icing in the cake. Divine. The donuts are also good and sweet potato based for more flavor. They are warm and salty balance! Elevate the flavor when you dip it in the chocolate sauce or take a sip of the Bailey’s Shot that accompanies it. Pro tip: we added the shot to the chocolate and that was a great way to enjoy both at the same time!

 

Are you ready to visit Chido & Padre? What sounds good to you?

 

Tucker Brewing Company

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/21/21

As you walk into the sprawling beer garden, the light wind blows through the boxes of flowers and greenery that dot the grounds. All around large umbrellas shade the large and long picnic tables where customers sip on flight of beer and a large pretzel hangs in the middle. One of Tucker Brewing’s biggest draws is its beautiful beer garden where you can watch live music on the large stage or just hang out with your friends. Beyond the beer garden, German-inspired eats like crunchy crispy sauerkraut bites, giant hot pretzel, gooey baked goat cheese and jam, fantastic dopple angus cheeseburger, and a classic, crunchy Pork Schnitzel, as well as perfectly paired lagers, pilsners, and more. Let’s check that out.

Starting out as a brewery, Tucker has a ton of tasty beer options, so we began with a flight to taste several of them! We got the TKR Pilsner, Georgia Red Lager, The Irishman, and the Roaring Twenties Radler. Always a favorite, the Radler was the favorite with its refreshing lemon forward and tart taste that mellows on the back. Of the others, the TKR Pilsner is a good balance of hops and crispness. The Georgia Red is heartily malted up front with a slightly hop on the back of the taste for balance. Finally, The Irishman is a good dry stout with a toasty, smokiness in the same breath. All of them are super drinkable and good! Beyond the flight, we also tried The Export, a stronger Pilsner with the same elements as the TKR Pilsner, but with a little deeper color and flavor, as well as Tucker Lager, which was John’s favorite that was light and drinkable.

Tucker’s German-inspired beer pairs so perfectly with their bites. We opted for the Crispy Sauerkraut Bites, Giant Hot Pretzel Pretzel, and the Baked Goat Cheese and Jam. Starting with John’s favorite, the Giant Hot Pretzel. Perfectly presented hanging with a cauldron of tart and creamy beer cheese on the side, this one is unbelievably soft with a buttery and salty crust. Dip away in the mentioned beer cheese that adds creaminess and sharpness to the soft bread. Salty, buttery, sharp makes a great pretzel that is one of the customer favorites.

Speaking of cheese, we cannot speak highly enough about the Baked Goat Cheese and Jam. It is warm and gooey stuffed with tart and tangy strawberry rhubarb jam that is paired with earthy, rich, and creamy goat cheese. Being tart, sweet, rich, tangy, and creamy, pile it up on the bread around it for best bite.  With how good that appetizer was, Liz’s favorite was still the Crispy Sauerkraut Bites. Noticeably crunchy outside gives way to a rich creaminess that explodes in your mouth with the tart and crunch of sauerkraut and saltiness and heartiness of the ham. It’s a smorgasbord of flavors that are made even better when you dip it in the tangy, horseradish-forward sauce! Get your own set, you won’t want to share.

Staying in the German-themed food vein, we had to try the Pork Schnitzel. This fun take on a classic is crunchy with a myriad of seasoning and flavor on the outside, while tender and juicy inside. It is atop an authentic German potato salad that’s full of tender red potatoes and tender cooked cabbage. This German treat is earthy, crunchy, and hearty just perfection! Then, came that cheeseburger. Floored. That’s the word I used to describe what I thought of the Dopple Angus Cheeseburger. Recommended by our wonderful server, she was spot on in recommending this thing of beauty. It’s smoky and meaty and a total hot mess, JUST like we like it. It’s one-part gooey egg and bright, tangy sauce that just may run down your arm with a smothering of cheese, perfectly seasoned and juicy burger, then on the other hand oh-so crunchy with pickles and bacon. How can you say no to that? The French fries that accompany it are hearty and salty. This burger is just perfect, it doesn’t need any condiments or anything else!

Stuffed and happy is how we left Tucker Brewing. The atmosphere was just so great, and it’s been rewarded a they’re #4 in USA Today’s Top Beer Gardens, so go for a beer, a bite, and to watch live music!

Apron and Ladle

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/3/21

Nestled in a spot in Sandy Springs near the hustle and bustle of Roswell Road, Apron and Ladle is a brunch gem! From the Spicy Fried Chicken Benedict to the flavorful Avocado, Bacon and Fried Green Tomato Biscuit to the sweet Biscuit French Toast and even the Thick Chicken and Waffles, they have a stout brunch line-up. Let’s brunch.

Starting with the biscuits, they’re made from scratch daily and it shows. Deliciously flaky, fluffy, buttery, and with a light crunch on the outside and soft on the inside, you could eat one plain! But Apron and Ladle take this basic biscuit and spice it up with several ways to enjoy it in tandem with unique and fun flavors! One of our favorites is the Avocado, Bacon, Fried Green Tomato Biscuit. It has that flaky, fluffy, crumbly and buttery biscuit to start! They nailed this combo as it’s THE flavor combo with creamy avocado, crunchy and tart tomato, and savory, salty bacon. The gamut of flavors will welcome you to Flavortown.

Moving on to the Fried Chicken Benedict, which is a large portion of spicy chicken that’s tender inside and crunchy outside. It is surrounded by a poached egg, bacon, hollandaise all atop a fluffy, crunchy biscuit. All the ingredients mix together for a savory, salty, creamy, spicy, crunch bite! On the flip side of spicy is sweet and if you get anything, the Biscuit French Toast is a must try. It was brought as a surprise by our server, and we cannot thank her enough! It starts out sweet with heavy cinnamon notes, then bright and tangy fruit on top of the ooey, gooey goodness. It is the hands down favorite by John and I both.

Switching gears, Apron and Ladle have much more than biscuit centric dishes like sandwiches, egg dishes, and salads, but they also have a stellar Chicken and Waffles. These are thick, sweet yet crunchy waffles with a warm and sweet syrup! It is paired with tender and crunchy dark meat chicken that goes so well with the sweetness of the waffle. Yum.

Now that we’ve shared our experience. We’d like to know what you would try at Apron and Ladle?