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Whole Foods Market is the MVP of Your Big Game Party 2020

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 1/31/20

Panic mode! Are you ready for the Big Game? Recently, we started to think about what would make the ultimate Super Bowl Party for our readers. Beyond watching the game on the biggest TV we could find, we found that Whole Foods Market is the one-stop shop for what we think are winning recipes, easy grab-and-go prepared foods for all diets, as well as simple drink ideas and beverages for all ages. We took some time to talk to the Whole Foods Market Culinary Coordinator, South Region, Jason Hovan, about his MVPs that can give you the best party possible.

But first, this doesn’t need to be one of those days you slave in the kitchen. Just so you know, we’re a bunch of rookies in the Attaway household, and will be going with classic guacamole and Sirachamole with 365 Everyday Value Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Rounds and an assortment of fresh veggies for vegans and dairy-free friends. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a mix of wings, a virtual who’s who of chicken flavors? And our most valuable player of the evening is definitely going to be the loaded baked potato pizza! Good for kids and adults, a like. Take a look at the below for some more options for anyone on your list.

Touchdown-Worthy Staples – All meeting the grocer’s champion-worthy Quality Standards

  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Dips – Salsa Con Queso, French Onion and Spinach
  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Rounds, Salted – Perfect for pairing with one of our organic dips!
  • 365 Everyday Value Sodas and Mixers, 6-packs – Ginger Ale, Cola, Root Beer, Cherry Vanilla Crème

For the Rookie, Fully-Prepared Foods – Let Whole Foods Market do the work!

  • In-House-Made Fresh Guacamole – Keep an eye out for delicious variations like Kaleamole or Sirachamole, available in select stores in the Produce department
  • Fully-Cooked Chicken Wings – Available in spicy-sweet Honey Black Pepper, Barbeque, Buffalo and Korean-inspired Gochujang sauces in our Prepared Food department
  • Pretzel Platter – Comes with sweet, Bavarian-style mustard and can be found in our Bakery department
  • Turkey, Beef or Vegan Meatballs – Available in our Prepared Food department
  • Loaded Baked Potato Pizza – You can pick up a slice on the Hot Bar or order a whole pie!

In talking to Jason Hovan, we found that there are deals and sales right now on many things you’ll need for game day. We asked a few specific questions about is ideas on beverages, prepared foods, and everything in between and here’s what he said below. The highlights include $3.99/lb chicken wing sale(!), they have an everything bagel pull-apart loaf that is good with any dip, while dips, salsa, guacamole and produce are 35% off! They have a ton of Vegan options like a 12-pack of vegan cookies, plant-based substitutes for a ton of items like meatballs, as well an array of desserts beyond the cookies. And what’s the big game without beer? They have a huge selection of local beer, seltzers, wine, and mixers. Here’s the entire conversation for more ideas.

What do you feel makes the best Super Bowl Party food and drink-wise for the person who wants everything done for them, and how can Whole Foods Market help?

    • You can’t go wrong with wings, seafood, and beer. The best part about Whole Foods Market is that we have already seasoned, precooked and oven ready items that you can buy. Additionally, we have a lot of great options for local and domestic beer in our specialty department.
      • If you want to buy premade items and cook them at home, our meat case has great deals on pre-seasoned wings and grilling items like pre-seasoned burgers, meatballs, steaks, and kabobs.
      • We also have a great deal on our hot bar in the prepared foods area where all of the food is already cooked. We have a $3.99/lb chicken wing sale 1/29 – 2/4 with a variety of flavors like Classic Buffalo, Roasted Garlic BBQ, and some possible choice flavors like Korean Pimento Scallion, Gochujang, Honey Black Pepper Garlic. There will be meatballs packed by the pound, which act as a great appetizer.
      • In the seafood department, we have tons of value added items like crab cakes, crab legs, shrimp, and smoked salmon. You can easily assemble some cooked seafood options at the seafood case. There are some take and bake items like puff pastry wrapped appetizers, a number of premade seafood salads and dips (my favorite is the smoked salmon dip). Shrimp cocktail platters can also be found premade in the prepared foods area.
      • My all-time favorite is the garlic everything bagel pull apart loaf, which is available for a limited time. It would go great with any of the seafood dips in the seafood department. Some other great options in bakery are pretzel bite platters with a mustard dipping sauce, football cookies or a 12 pack of vegan cookies if you have guests with a special diet.

What are you recommendations for Super Bowl food and drink from Whole Foods Market and what differentiates them from other sources?

      • From 1/29-2/4, our produce department has 35% off made-in-house dips, salsas and guacamole all of which are made fresh in house daily with the highest quality ingredients. We have a great variety of chips and snacks to dip with in the grocery aisle, as well.
      • In our specialty department, I recommend the below options to build a great snacking table at your party
        • My Three Sons Pimento Cheese
        • Pub Cheese-Pick one or all three: Horseradish, Cheddar Jalapeno and Cheddar
        • Cheese Cubes
          • Seaside Cheddar
          • Drunken Goat
          • Black Creek 3yr Cheddar
        • Creminelli Mini Salamis
        • Naturalissima Paninos (Salami Cheese roll-ups)
        • Olives and Antipasti Bar

Can you pick these up whenever or do any of these require advance order?

  • You can pick these up anytime, no pre-order required!

What do you recommend for people allergies and intolerances or those who are vegan or dairy free?

    • No matter what allergy or diet restriction you have, Whole Foods Market strives to delight, surprise and satisfy our customers with quality, variety and value. From gluten-free frozen items in grocery and vegan dessert options in bakery to plant-based items in the chef’s case, Whole Foods Market has offerings for everyone.

In terms of cocktails with mixes, or wine and beer, what would you recommend for Super Bowl parties?

    • In the specialty department, we have a great selection where you can find the below.
      • Artista Margarita and/or Strawberry Margarita 1.5L-ready to drink!
      • Bell’s Light Hearted Ale 6pks
      • Local Beer is always a great addition! We have a wide selection of local beers in the specialty department.
      • White Claw 12pk Variety Seltzer
      • Heineken 0.0 non-alcoholic 6pks
      • Underwood Pinot Noir, Rose or Pinot Gris

Now, grab your team jersey and enjoy. You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood.

CITY WINERY ATLANTA HOLIDAY EVENTS 2019

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/24/19

City Winery, the restaurant, urban winery, private event space and intimate music venue, has released its December lineup of culinary and beverage events at the popular Atlanta location in Ponce City Market. Atlantans and visitors alike can take advantage of an array of mouthwatering opportunities including plenty of wine sampling opportunities to enjoy on cold winter nights.

On December 10th, Atlanta can visit the Tasting Room at City Winery for Lift Your Spirits, An Elevated Tasting Featuring Compass Box Scotch. Guests will enjoy Limited Edition Blended Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Compass Box. Compass Box is based on the lost model of the Scotch whisky blending house.

Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 plus applicable fees. 

On December 17th, Atlanta can visit the Tasting Room at City Winery for Lift your Spirits, An Elevated Tasting Featuring ASW Distillery. With family roots in Ireland, France and England and more locally in Athens Georgia, Jim Chasteen, Charlie Thompson and Justin Manglitz, began ASW Distillery because of their passion for spirits “crafted with character”. The range of whiskies demonstrates individuality and true whiskey craftmanship.

Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 plus applicable fees.

On December 18th, Ponce City Market’s Posman Books and City Winery team up to host Books & Booze to host a spirited discussion among literature fanatics. December’s book discussion is centered around Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

Starts at 7 p.m. $10 RSVP goes towards food & beverage.

On December 19th, Atlanta can visit City Winery for City Winery Explorer Series Featuring Wines of Casa Rojo Winery. At Casa Rojo, wine is seen as the expression of a family, a land, a climate, and ultimately of an origin. Wines will be tasted from the varied regions throughout Spain.

Starts 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 plus applicable fees.

Atlanta can visit City Winery on December 21st for City Winery’s Holiday Cookie Decorating Party. Guests will receive a choice of hot chocolate or mulled wine, cookies and decorating materials. Wine tastings will also be offered, and City Winery wines will be available for purchase. Cheese and charcuterie will be provided.

Starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 plus applicable fees. 

Stanky Wine, a Dirty South Hip Hop Natural Wine Bar pop-up, will throw The Stanky Stomp, a Day-Time Dance Party on December 22nd at City Winery. This day-time dance party will feature tastings of 25 wines, small bites, and a live DJ.

Starts 1 p.m. Tickets are $50 plus applicable fees.

On December 23rd, City Winery will explore holiday wine pairings with classic foods of the season during City Winery Holiday Wine Pairing. City Winery chefs will prepare traditional holiday dishes while Sommeliers will explain how to enhance meals with ideal wine pairings. This will be a great opportunity for guests to make new friends and get an early start to the Holiday season.

Starts 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 plus applicable fees.

DRAGON CON ANNOUNCES TOP GUESTS FOR 2019 CON

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/12/19

Thursday, August 29th to Monday, September 2nd

GEORGE TAKEI, DAVID TENNANT, AND ONCE UPON A TIME’S LANA PARRILLA LEAD ALL-STAR LIST OF CAPED CRUSADERS, SPACE EXPLORERS, AND DENIZENS OF THE SUPERNATURAL 

Guests from Star Trek, Star Wars, Gotham, Shazam!, The Orville, Doctor Who, and other top television shows and movies will meet their fans at Dragon Con

George Takei, Lana Parrilla, and David Tennant lead a long list of celebrity guests headed to Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, science fiction, and gaming convention, for Labor Day weekend.

Scottish actor David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor of Doctor Who fame, makes a career of bringing fans’ favorite characters to life. Other noted roles of his include Jessica Jones’s Kilgrave, the voice of DuckTales’ Scrooge McDuck, and most recently the demonically charming Crowley of Good Omens.

Known for playing Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek television series and its first six feature films, George Takei has had a varied career as an actor, writer, and community activist. Fans of ABC’s Once Upon a Time will recognize Lana Parrilla for her award-winning role as the Evil Queen and Mayor of Storybrooke from the show’s nine-year run.

Other top guests from television and movies including Zachary Levi from this summer’s superhero hit Shazam!, Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca from the last four Star Wars movies), Doctor Who’s Catherine Tate and Freema Agyeman, and David Ramsey from CW’s Legends of Tomorrow and other Arrowverse programs will be among the fan favorites on hand to lead discussions, talk with fans, and sign autographs during the five-day convention.

An estimated 85,000 fans will travel to Atlanta from all 50 states and several foreign countries to take part in Dragon Con 2019 – filling downtown Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend, August 29 to September 2 – with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings #1 and #2 and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

“We are delighted to have so many guests from so many of today’s most popular or, in the case of classic science fiction, best-loved shows and movies to join us this year,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said. “Overall, we will have some 400 guests – not just celebrities, but also actors, authors, artists, and other creators and experts – from across science, science fiction and fantasy worlds, comic books, gaming, and digital media.”

Known for playing Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek television series and its first six feature films, George Takei has had a varied career as an actor, writer, and community activist. Fans of ABC’s Once Upon a Time will recognize Lana Parrilla for her award-winning role as the Evil Queen and Mayor of Storybrooke from the show’s nine-year run.

Other top guests from television and movies including Zachary Levi from this summer’s superhero hit Shazam!, Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca from the last four Star Wars movies), Doctor Who’s Catherine Tate and Freema Agyeman, and David Ramsey from CW’s Legends of Tomorrow and other Arrowverse programs will be among the fan favorites on hand to lead discussions, talk with fans, and sign autographs during the five-day convention.

An estimated 85,000 fans will travel to Atlanta from all 50 states and several foreign countries to take part in Dragon Con 2019 –  filling downtown Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend, August 29 to September 2 – with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings #1 and #2 and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

“We are delighted to have so many guests from so many of today’s most popular or, in the case of classic science fiction, best-loved shows and movies to join us this year,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said. “Overall, we will have some 400 guests – not just celebrities, but also actors, authors, artists, and other creators and experts – from across science, science fiction and fantasy worlds, comic books, gaming, and digital media.”

Fans of Star Wars’ plucky soccer-ball droid BB-8 will have a chance to meet his puppeteers, Dave Chapman and Brian Herring. They will be joined by other puppetry guests this year at Dragon Con, including guests from Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

Dragon Con is set to celebrate Batman’s 80th Anniversary with four actors from Fox’s hit series, Gotham, including Sean Pertwee (Alfred), Robin Lord Taylor (Penguin), Maggie Geha (Ivy) and David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne).

Star Trek fans can debate the various merits of CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery versus Fox’s The Orville.  Anson Mount, Discovery’s Captain Pike, Shazad Latif, Emily Coutts, and Ethan Peck, as well as a crew of Orville cast members – Mark Jackson, Peter Macon, Chad Coleman, and J. Lee will be on hand to meet with fans, sign autographs, and lead panels about these space exploration fan favorites.

With no reason to wait for a reunion, Dragon Con will host seven cast members from CW’s Supernatural, which will end its incredible 15-year run in 2020. Mark Sheppard, Samantha Smith, Mark Pellegrino, Osric Chau, Ruth Connell, DJ Qualls, and Ty Olsson will all join Dragon Con fans for this year’s convention.

Farscape will celebrate its 20th Anniversary at Dragon Con, with Lani John Tupo, Anthony Simcoe, Rebecca Riggs, and fan favorite Gigi Edgley.

For fans of the MTV generation, Robert Englund, Freddy Kreuger from The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise will be joined by V castmates Jane Badler and Marc Singer, who also starred in 1982’s The Beastmaster.

This year’s convention will also feature main cast members from some of the most popular sci-fi, fantasy, and alternative historical fiction television shows including Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, iZombie, Legends of Tomorrow, Lucifer, The Man in the High Castle, the Stargate franchise, Warehouse 13, and Wynonna Earp, plus the pop duo Aly & AJ.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend (August 29 -September 2, 2019) in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over five days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday Night Brewing Tie One On 2019

Date: Saturday, August 3rd and Sunday, August 4th

Time: 2 pm, varies

About: It’s time to Tie One On. We’re celebrating 8 years of Monday Night Brewing with our annual two-day, blow-out party at the Monday Night Garage. We’ve had so much fun brewing, drinking, having conversations and forming relationships with you on this wild ride, and we hope you’ll join us as we cheers to the future and celebrate the journey so far. Day 1 (Saturday) is for 21+. Event is from 2pm-10pm. VIP entry begins at 12pm. Day 2 (Sunday) is for everyone—kids, families, and dogs included. Kids under 18 get in free. Event is from 12pm-7pm. Tickets range in price from $25 for GA to $70 for VIP.

You can expect:

+ Tiki vibes and the juiciest IPAs, featuring a tropical oasis with our mobile Hop Hut at the helm.
+ Live music all day Saturday, culminating with a special Beach Boys-inspired set from Moontower.
+ A unique tap list of over 50 (read: more like 60) of our very best beers. Plus, specialty casks paired with each food station. Casks will be available both Saturday and Sunday.
+ BBQ stations from around the world, including Korean BBQ, barbacoa, and classic Texan presented by DAS BBQ. (There will also be vegan options!)
+ A game room featuring foosball, shuffleboard, cornhole and more from Venture Shuffleboard; as well as giant Jenga and Connect Four from Atlanta Sport and Social Club.
+ The release of our anniversary beer, Tie 8 On—A 13.4% strong ale with Ugandan vanilla. Blended from 8 barrel aged beers hand selected by Brewmaster Peter Kiley and Barrel Program Director Tim McDonnell.
+ Activities for the kiddos all day Sunday, including face painting, bubbles by the Georgia Bubbleman, chalk drawing, and sand castle building.
+ A pop up doggo zone on Sunday featuring treats from Taj Ma-Hound Gourmet Dog Treatsand leash making by Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe.
+ Brewery tours.
+ Atlanta United FC on the big screen on Saturday.

Don’t miss the Saturday VIP Experience!
This ticket will allow a limited number of guests access to the beers and event a full two hours early and includes:
+ First access to 50+ unique, limited beers
+ Two take-home Tie 8 On bottles
+ Limited edition anniversary glass
+ Reusable bottle share tote
+ 10 beer tickets
+ Limited edition 8 year screen printed poster
+ Brewmaster tour

1 drink ticket is valid for 8oz of core/seasonal beer, 4oz of specialty. Additional drink tickets available for purchase on-site for $3 each (8oz of core or 4oz of specialty per ticket).

More Information:

https://www.freshtix.com/events/tieoneon8