Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Buick Discovery Tour

So another year, another opportunity to attend the Buick Discovery Tour event at the Loews Atlanta Hotel.
It was a great turn out and I was hungry, lol! So let's start covering the line up;

Pastry chef of Moto restaurant (Chicago), Ben Roche had a wild sense on desserts!

Ben Roche making Bacon flavored ice cream with liquid nitrogen

Honestly I admire his take on fun, mad scientist take desserts. The bacon flavored ice cream (bacon, maple syrup, sage, and cream) was awesome to me... but I love bacon. There was a mixed review from others but hey, to each's own. I would have loved to have a "Gotta Have It" sized order with bacon crumbles sprinkled on top! And maybe I slice of bacon to use as a spoon... too much? 

left: s'mores bomb, right: bacon ice cream sample

Now a lot of people enjoyed the S'mores Bomb dessert. Me, not so much. The concept was awesome and inventive and you set the wick on fire (how cool is that?!) but when I bit into it and it exploded in my mouth... lets just say warm milk with soggy graham cracker was not "da bomb".

CeeCee and her bacon ice cream

Buick Enclave

Of course we got to test drive the new 2012 Buick models including the Lacrosse, Regal, and Enclave. Honestly Buick has steeped their game up once again and has shown that it is not for the 50+ crowd anymore!

 Hugh Archeson, chef/partner of Empire State South in Atlanta
Hugh Archeson

It was great to meet the former Top Chef Masters contestant that everyone loved to hate. He made a simple roasted carrot & beet salad with feta, pulled parsley and cumin vinaigrette.

On to my favorite part! I LOVE wine so when I heard not only was the hilarious, booze informative Michael Green was coming and discussing it I was beyond happy.

Now I know about pairing wine with food, but never thought of it along the basic level of just cheese and lemon. An awesome experience of learning not just how wine can compliment food, but how food can change the taste of wine.

CeeCee, Micheal Green, Me

Ming Tsai was the celebrity chef and shared his knowledge of East-West cuisine.
Ming Tsai

cooking demonstration

Chicken and Tri-Bell Pepper Chow Mein

Sweet and Sour Mango Pork

CeeCee, Ming Tsai, and Me

We had a GREAT time at the event and of course we didn't walk away empty handed! We got an autographed copy of Ming Tsai book "Simply Ming One-Pot Meals". Guess its time to dust off the wok and get to cooking! Love you guys and don't forget, question, comment, & subscribe!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Friend me on Yelp!

Ok So I haven't been on her in almost a year but I think its time I start doing something productive instead of just stuffing my face! A lot has gone on over the past year and the last thing I would want is to be seen as a quitter! I am embarking on this journey once again and add a new spice to it, my own recipes! I am just as excited if not more so than I was before! So friend me on Yelp and follow my path through the city. I'm sure there is something I can discover for you that you are dying to try! Oh yeah... and if you are not on Yelp... GET ON IT! Awesome way to explore your neighborhood. Love you all & your foodie is back!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Moroccan Experience

Now to anyone that knows me knows I have a passion for a food experience- when the culture, art, and food are fused together in one delicious and breathtaking moment in time. This was definitely one of them...

I have been wanting to go to Imperial Fez for the past 4 years now, but never had the opportunity to go. Well after a grueling day at work I kidnapped my younger half, Ana, and we headed to Casablanca, Morocco... via Peachtree Street.

Once we walked in we were welcomed by foreign music, smells, and decor. The ceilings were draped in billowing silk and the floors were covered in authentic Moroccan rugs (Ana would be the one to think of it as being a fire hazard. I told her to shut up and enjoy the moment).

With it being colder than cold outside, we opted to skip straight to the "dessert". The hot mint tea is WONDERFUL (so wonderful I had to youtube it to find out how to make it at home) and opened the nasal passages of my congested bestie. It is traditionally an after dinner drink or a nice treat during the day in Moroccan culture, but hey... it was cold, we couldn't wait.

You can choose your meals a variety of ways;
  • A la Carte- choose whatever you would like off the menu
  • 2 course- Lentil Soup and your choice of Entree
  • 3 course- Lentil Soup, Moroccan Salad, and your choice of Entree
  • 5 course- Lentil Soup, Moroccan Salad, Appetizer, your choice of Entree, dessert and hot mint tea
Also on Wednesday (the night we went) was "The Night of Fire" where the belly dancers incorporate flaming swords and other traditional fire dances for your viewing pleasure.

So let's get to it;

1st course- Lentil Soup
The spoon is absent because you drink it right out of the bowl. Lentils are a type of bean so don't freak out, lol, just think of it as an awesome chili soup. Great flavor and texture, wanted to know how I could get a "Western" portion, lol! And for all you bread lovers, oh yes, the bread it delicious! I think you can see the butter on it in the picture!

2nd Course- Salad
Now there are a lot of components to this salad. On the left you have an eggplant based... I don't know what you would call it, but it was really good and the eggplant was a great texture and seasoned well. At the top on the salad dish are sweet and sour carrots- or should we call them sweet & awesome! The fresh carrots were sliced, cooked, and coated in a sweet and sour heavenly sauce that had a slow simmer burn a spicy to follow up the sweetness. Have no idea how they did it, but it was awesome. To the right is a zucchini and tomato base... thing. Wasn't to my liking, tomato actually tasted like tomato paste... maybe its just me...
Of course the middle is just lettuce, onions, and olives with a simple oil and vinegar drizzle that went well when you combined the side... things (sorry, I have to find out the name of it!) with the salad. Now to the left of the  salad dish is a BAD sauce (In a good way). Don't try it unless you are the ultimate spicy lover because it will sear your tongue off. No, really... you won't taste anything for weeks. At the top was a pleasant surprise- the sweet and sour carrots were julienned and raisins and pineapples were added. That face you just made (O_0) yeah, we were looking like that too, but when you taste it, it is NOTHING like what you would have imagined. Its like a flavor explosion in your mouth and your brain gets all confused and you feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. The carrots are sweet and tangy and the little hint of heat is met with the pineapple and the raisins add this extra amazing level of flavor. Oh its good, believe me!

3rd Course- Entree
Roasted Lamb Shank
Isn't it glorious? You see the fork? Yeah, I was about to devour it before I even got a picture taken for you guys! As soon as the fork touch the meat, it slid off the bone. Mmmm... It was moist, well seasoned, and was actually not spicy for all you non-spice heads out there. Hands down the best lamb I have ever had.

Chicken Kabobs
The chicken melted in your mouth it was so moist, ridiculous! The Moroccan take on mash potatoes were light and creamy along with perfectly cooked couscous, and roasted corn on the cob. This plate was definitely a 10! It was also accompanied by a side of fire grilled squash and peppers that was pretty awesome on its own.

Imperial Fez is an experience that is hard to describe in words. You seem to lose a sense of time and place... until you walk outside and your greeted by Lady Gaga bumping from the club next door, lol! You just have to go there and experience it for yourself!
2285 Peachtree Rd
Atlanta GA, GA 30309

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Best BBQ in ATL?

SO I visited Daddy D's BBQ Joynt Saturday before the Auburn/ SC game (sorry SC fans, LOL!) because what goes better with Football than BBQ... maybe hot wings... but that's besides the point.
We were only there all of two minutes before we were told to "Just sit down wherever". Okay, I like choices so we sat right up on the kitchen and the big screen tv. The decor is definitely sports and blues based and was a quaint and pretty cool step back into time when shacks were the neighborhood juke joints. The server brought us ribs right off the grill for us to sample (LOVE FREE FOOD! Especially when I'm starving, so cudos for that).

Ribs with Collard Greens & Macaroni and Cheese

I know some of ya'll are going to have a heart attack, but I rate these ribs as a 7 out of 10. I know, I know, they have won numerous acknowledgements as "Best BBQ in Atlanta" from all the right people (aka Zagat, Creative Loafing, AJC) but they definitely weren't the best I have tasted in Atlanta. They seemed to be missing seasoning of the actual meat and seemed like most of the focus was on the sauce. Don't get me wrong, I am def a BBQ sauce lover, but true BBQ highlights that quality and seasoned/smokey flavor of the meat and the sauce is, well, an added bonus. Now the sauce was thick and tangy and was actually really good!
Now the collards had a funky after taste and I could not put my finger on it. Definitely was not cooked with bacon or hamhock for flavor. Wouldn't try those again.
The macaroni and cheese was subpar. Nothing special, definitely not cheesetastic (copywritten phrase, do not steal!)

Pulled Pork Sandwich with Candied Yams & Macaroni and Cheese

The pulled pork sandwich was moist and def couldn't be eaten by hand! I asked for Hot (spicy) BBQ sauce, but it wasn't hot at all. Maybe they forgot and put regular BBQ?
Now the candied yams were AWESOME! The best traditional made candied yams I have found in a restaurant. Definitely worth trying!

Overall, I thought that Daddy D's was a good rib joint but there are definitely better rib joints around the metro. Go exploring for yourselves! But first go to Daddy D's and experience an Atlanta staple.

Monday, October 25, 2010

By Popular Demand

Welcome to the beginning of my journey! I have been constantly asked by friends and family "where is a good restaurant in Atlanta?" or "what is there to do this weekend?" I can't blame them, if I were them I would ask me too! Three things that I love; my family, my city, and FOOD!Let me tell you a little about myself;

I love Atlanta and how there is a fusion of different foods from all around the world right here in our back yard. From delicious Asian cuisine to American BBQ and southern comfort food to Lebanese dishes, you can find a restaurant within 10 miles to eat whatever your heart desires!

On this past Thursday I met Alton Brown (one of my culinary teachers and heroes) at his book signing for Good Eats: The Middle Years. If you don't have a copy get it! If you don't have the first edition... well, get that first then get the new one! He had some words of encouragement for me and suggested I start this blog if food is what I am passionate about (people who know me know just as you are soon to find out, food is my obsession) and that if I failed... well I just wasn't cut out for it. Ha, ha Alton. Thanks for the push :)

Oh yeah, that's is my Mini-Me, Tyler. He as well as a couple of my other close friends and family will make an appearance every now and then. So here we go! Time to hit the streets of Atlanta to see what's cookin! Here is to you Alton and to everyone who has ever supported my obsession!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Buick Regal Discovery Tour

To follow up my Taste of Atlanta experience, my best foodie friend Cassena (CeeCee) invited me to the Buick Regal Discovery Tour. I admit I was on the fence about attending (when I think of Buick's I think of duece and a quarters, and "grandpa cars") but once she said food was involved, I was sold!
Lobby of the W Atlanta Perimeter
That's CeeCee!

The event was really well organized, we got to test drive the 2011 Buick Regal (definitely NOT grandpa's car!) but let's get to the food, right?! The event was broken down into sections; Mixology, Travel, Desserts, and a cooking demo.


Mixology was led by Michael Green, who has been on The Today Show, MSNBC, Food Network, and featured in Fine Living Magazine. His job consists of everything alcoholic, lol! He is super funny (but I guess it's had not to be when your full of "spirit" at 10am) and he gave us a great mocktail/cocktail recipe as well as taught us how to make our own simple syrup (not wasting my money on THAT anymore!). I will provide the recipes later on this week.


Planning a long driving trip? Well visit and Michael Stern will tell you the best places to stop to get that regions delicacy. Tips he gave on how he found the best places to eat;
  1. Roll down your windows and stop where the food smells so good your mouth waters!
  2. Eat where you see the local fire and police eat, they are locals, they know what's good!
  3. When you stop to eat in a town, ask what is good to eat between there and your destination.

She is saying she's gonna fatten me up... I'm game for all you can eat cake!

Hailing from Decatur, the cake lady brought a smile to ALL of our faces. Cake Cafe Atlanta, Inc. is the place to be! We learned how to make a quick but cute cupcake dessert in wine glasses (don't be surprised if I serve it at my next dinner party!) and she told us the secret behind all of her "Fat-free, Carb-free, Colestrol-free" cakes, gourmet popcorn, cobblers, and cupcakes. You'll have to stop by her shop to find out! BTW, she gives out free samples at her bakery! Forget Publix! Support the Cake Lady!

The cooking demo was done by none other than Season 2's winner of "Top Chef Masters", Marcus Samuelsson. One of the most recent highlighted events he cooked for was the State Dinner for President Obama (what can top that?!) and was named Best Chef in New York in 2003. He is also on a mission to change our public schools lunch menu. No more nasty frozen pizza??? I'm all for that! Visit his cause at
Yes we did snag a front row seat! CeeCee was drooling all over the table and it wasn't just for the food, lol!
He prepared Shrimp and Red Grits, which was delicious...

But during the Q&A potion he offered dishes from the batch he was actually preparing. We made it our goal to get that plate!

Mission Accomplished! Well actually the guy next to us got the plate, but he was kind enough to share it with us! Point is... best shrimp and grits... EVER. The flavors were layered, everything kind of "popped" in your mouth. Recipe coming soon. Make it and you won't be disappointed... unless you make it wrong, lol!
Add caption
Thanks for sharing with us!

Buick definitely did a great job with this event! I'll keep you guys posted on more events like this one so you can experience it for yourselves!

Nathan won the Buick cake from the Cake Lady! Congrats... can I have a piece???

Received a departing gift of Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook! Can you say "dinner party"?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Taste Of Atlanta

So this was my first year going to Taste of Atlanta and what an experience it was. I was definitely the kid in the candy shop running from vendor to vendor tickets in hand! Though I kind of expected runny frosting on cupcakes and cold soup, everything was good and at the perfect temperature. Sorry for doubting the professionals!

Here are a couple of the things that I tried that I can remember (I was there eating for 4 hours straight, can't expect me to remember them all can you?!) Click on the link and it will bring you to their website. Go try them this week!

Gladys Knights Chicken & Waffles- Okay, so no explanation there! The waffles were light and the chicken was hot! Oh so yummy!

Wildfire- Steaks, chops, and seafood, but surprisingly their Lobster Bisque is TO DIE FOR. When you visit definitely snack on a cup of that while waiting for your food.

Sambuca- I have actually visited Sambuca and you will enjoy the ambience and live jazz along with the BBQ ribs with pickled watermelon salsa. The ribs fell off the bone and the mix of smoky BBQ sauce and refreshing watermelon definitely set you in the mood for a nice glass of red wine and a sax player...

Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft- Oh Tuk Tuk, how I fell in love with your beef and pork skewers! Tender and moist and travel friendly (it is on a stick...) Plus its an awesome date night spot with a skyline view from their rooftop deck.

Legal Seafood- Freshest seafood on the block. Cam chowder was rich and creamy and the swordfish was light and in my husband Brian's words "Tasted like pure Salmon". You fish lovers can try the swordfish for yourselves and tell me what you think!

Mediterranean Grill- Delicious and authentic. The gyro (not the mall version wrapped in pita bread) I had was awesome. The lamb was juicy and flavorful and was paired with lemon zest yellow rice. The cucumber yogurt was a palate cleanser, especially if you had the spicy salsa! My cousin Robbie can vouch on that one!

Cafe 458- I had never heard of this restaurant before but when I heard they were serving shrimp (and not the little baby ones) I was waving my tickets for a taste. The shrimp was seasoned to perfection, but my grits were a little grainy, but I heard that that is how some people like it. Not necessarily my cup of tea.

Grind House Killer Burgers- You may or may not know, but Atlanta is going through a burger boom. Lots of new places have been popping up all over the city to claim the best burger in Atlanta title. Grind House is no exception, with its different "burger style" menu. They are def good so try them all!

The Pound Cake Company- You know that grandmother of aunt that was just known for making the best pound cake during the holidays? Yeah... it's better than that. Don't believe me, drop in for a sample and apologize for doubting them. It's that serious.

Highland Bakery- Have the cutest, moist little cupcakes in Atlanta. Plus they are not stingy on the frosting and had more than enough down to the last bite.

Crepe Revolution- No its not within the city limits but if you are even close to 75 North end of the perimeter it would behoove you to stop in and indulge in a crepe made any and every way you can imagine! You might find yourself going just because...

Other than stuffing my face, there were some great (and tasty) demonstrations. Matt Moore, author of Have Her Over For Dinner, demonstrated the awesomeness of the Big Green Egg Smoker & Grill by making Skirt Steak Fajitas. Ugh, I can't even talk about it without my mouth watering. By the book fellas... and then cook from it! Ladies love a man in the kitchen! I'll put the recipe up within the week hopefully :)

All in all it was a great experience! I stuffed my face, spent time with the family, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and won a frying pan (which i had to carry home on MARTA, and if you know MARTA you would know that no one looked twice at me). Please go and try these restaurants and come back and let me know what you thought of them. I know I will be visiting all of them in the near future and reporting back my opinion. Until then eat, drink, and be merry Atlanta! Can't wait for TOA 2011!!!!