Showing posts with label The Dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Dish. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Dish: The Optimist's Whole Haddock

I ordered the whole haddock at the Optimist this past weekend. Now I knew a whole fish would be big, but this bad boy was crazy big. Big enough that I was a little embarrassed to be dining with two men and have a dish at least twice the size of either of theirs. If you can get past his ugly mug, this dish is pretty darn tasty.

With perfectly crisped skin and a bold sweet and spicy sauce, this dish was full of flavor. After an app and one of their delectable pullman rolls, I was pretty full, so my two dining companions were able to have a substantial portion of my dish, too. Since my dish turned out to be the best of our three, that was a nice bonus. So go hungry or bring friends!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Dish: Ria's Pancakes

It's been a great week for marriage equality! So with marriage on my mind, I have something to share. I want to marry the pancakes at Ria's Bluebird. Yes, they are so good that I would like to be permanently joined to them in a lawful union of my hunger and their immense deliciousness. 

I am of course already married, and pancakes can't actually consent or reciprocate, so mine is a forbidden love. I will have to settle for living in sin with my beloved pancakes.

Sure, I like plain pancakes, but I love pancakes with chocolate chips and caramelized bananas. That's a breakfast item I can commit to. The cakes themselves are fluffy with a nice crackle of sugar. The chocolate chips naturally make everything even more decadent. And the sweet, sweet bananas are the food equivalent of a cozy Sunday morning spent in bed, only they're the perfect excuse to drag your butt out of bed early to beat the worst of the crowds at Ria's. 

Will this dish send you into a diabetic coma? Perhaps...but what a way to go.

Ria's Bluebird
421 Memorial Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Dish: Cardamom Hill's Fried Chicken

Even my friend at work, who was born in India, seemed dubious that fried chicken at an Indian restaurant made sense. But it turns out that fried chicken is beloved in Kerala cuisine just as it is here in the South.

By this point, many a food-lover has shared breathless accounts of just how good Cardamom Hill chef's Asha Gomez's fried chicken is. Even Bon Appetit recommended the dish in their Top Fifty Best New Restaurants article.

Now Cardamom Hill is offering two more fusiony takes on the dish with lunch specials that include fried chicken and waffles (Kerala fried chicken with low country waffles and a spiced maple syrup) and a fried chicken salad (Kerala fried chicken, romaine lettuce, roasted pineapple, diced apple, spiced pecans, carrots, and grapes tossed in a buttermilk dressing topped with puffed rice and fried lentils).

The skin is delightfully crispy with more interesting spicing than traditional American fried chicken, and the meat is juicy. The salad is made light and sweet with the addition of roasted pineapple, apple and grapes, a perfect foil for the salty and hearty chicken.
I've been inexplicably craving chicken and waffles for ages now and until now hadn't managed to get my hands on any. The fluffy waffles and spiced maple syrup were oh so good paired with the chicken. I ate every last bit of my share of both dishes. I thought for sure the chicken and waffles would be my clear fave since it had been on my mind for so long, but it was a draw. Both dishes are well worth getting, and I thought splitting the two made an ideal lunch.

Cardamom Hill
1700 Northside Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318

Cardamom Hill on Urbanspoon

 *Full disclosure: Although my meal was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Dish: Katsu-Ya's Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna

I love sushi. Having lived in LA and NY, I also know what truly melt in your mouth fresh and flavorful sushi tastes like. Surprise surprise, here in landlocked Atlanta, we are not getting fish on par with my former coastal homes. Don't get me wrong, I love Sushi House Hayakawa and frequently enjoy local faves like Zuma (minus the gobs of mayo they normally put on everything), but for truly epic sushi, LA is where it's at.

So while the Mr. and I were kickin' it west coast style this weekend, we made a bee-line for an old favorite, Katsu-Ya. Not only did we get our first celeb siting of the weekend (Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie - yes Ms. Duff is still eating sushi while prego), but we also go to enjoy my favorite Katsu-Ya dish, crispy rice with spicy tuna.

A symphony of textures and temperatures, this dish is quite simply a party in your mouth. I love the combination of perfectly crispy hot rice, the spicy kick of the jalapeno and oh so fresh tuna. Bliss! Alas, at $14 for just four pieces, it's gone all too fast. Now I'm left to fantasize about it until my next annual westward journey. Oh my, is anyone making this dish in Atlanta? I'm jonesing again already!

We went to the Brentwood outpost, but in my mind, for the classic Katsu-Ya experience, you have to head to the valley to their Studio City location.

Katsu-Ya Brentwood
11777 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Katsu-Ya Studio City
11680 Ventura Blvd. 
Studio City, CA 91604

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Dish (Seattle Edition): Kalbi Burger at Revel

When I researched dining options in Seattle, Revel's name came up time and time again. But alas it was too far from my hotel to be feasible without a car or a hefty taxi fare, so we didn't plan to go there.

On our last morning in Seattle we picked up a car to drive to Portland. Since it was still early, we figured we'd head over to Fremont for its Sunday market and grab some breakfast there. Well lucky us, Revel is open for brunch, so we got to check it out after all, and man I'm glad we did.

Revel is known for its Korean influenced food, so I wasn't quite sure how that would translate into brunch. Turns out it Korean tinged brunch is quite a bit more exciting than pancakes and omelets will ever be.

The Kalbi burger served with an egg on top, bacon, and a pickled pepper was quite simply divine. Kalbi is a Korean-style marinated short rib. I'm not exactly sure how that translated into a burger (were short ribs ground with regular beef?) Whatever it was, it was flippin' awesome.

The sweet Asian glaze balanced the savory and fatty burger, bacon and egg, and runny yoke makes everything better. Even better, there was no wait for brunch and the open kitchen had seating reminiscent of eating at the counter in someone's home kitchen, which was pretty darn cool. Revel is exactly as hip as you'd hope something in the funky Fremont 'hood would be.

I would like to have a burger like this all the time - is anyone in Atlanta making burgers like this? Considering the burger overload here, you'd think, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.      Upon some research, there is an entire chain of burger restos in LA called Kalbi Burger.  Color me jealous. I can't find a recipe online but here's a marinade for Kalbi that you could use on a burger if you can't get to the west coast!                                                                                                       

403 N 36th St., Seattle, WA 98103
(North 36th St. & Phinney Ave.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Dish: No. 246 Porchetta Sandwich

On Saturday, I died and went to heaven. Since now I'm all-seeing, you can trust me when I say that the No. 246 Porchetta Sandwich that sent me to the hereafter just may be the best sandwich in Atlanta.

Crusty bread? Check. Succulent, crispy porchetta? Oh hell yes. Roasting jus to dip it in? Oh lordy! This sandwich is the bee's knees. It's full of rich flavors and a balance of textures. And did I mention perfect little garlicky fries? It's a make a mess down to your elbows kind of meal, and with the paroxysms of delight you're certain to experience while eating it, it may just kill you. But you'll die happy, and that's all we can ask for in life, right?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Dish: Beer Cheese Soup @ Diesel Filling Station

Though we’ve driven and walked by it dozens of times, Lindsey and I had never stopped by Diesel Filling Station, one of the few restaurants in our ‘hood we’d yet to try.  Relaxing on the patio and enjoying pints of Decatur’s own Wild Heaven Beer, we were blown away by the beer cheese soup.  Simple and probably not too different from simply eating a bowl of liquid cheese, it’s the ultimate comfort food and a great match for Wild Heaven’s hoppy Invocation, a Belgian-style golden ale. 

After the soup, we gave our best effort on Diesel’s Oh Dear God! Burger, a venison patty topped with just about everything.  Finishing up with their over-the-top fried chocolate cake, we enjoyed a surprisingly good dinner at a place that had been hiding in plain sight.

The Oh Dear God! Burger with pickled okra fries
Diesel Filling Station
870 N. Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306

Diesel on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Dish (NY Edition): Casa Mono Sweetbreads

Great googly moogly, if Casa Mono sweetbreads don't convince you to that offal can be, well awfully delicious, then nothing will. Mr. AT and I, now two years past our NY days, still discuss these crispy little glands with something approaching worship. Salty, crispy perfection on the outside, rich and creamy inside. It's like fois gras fried chicken. Yes, Virginia, there is a santa claus, and he's dishing up the best damn sweetbreads EVER.

I try sweetbreads every time I see them on a menu in hopes of once again achieving such foodie nirvana, but alas, nary a one has compared. Some serve them too chewy, some under-seasoned, but I've had Casa Mono's enough time to say without a doubt that they are perfection every single time.

And as if that's not enough, the licorice flavor of fennel cuts through the richness and offers a wonderful contrast. Bliss!

Casa Mono on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Dish: Minted Peas

Minted peas are my latest obsession. Up until this year, I could probably count the number of times I ate peas in my entire adult life on one hand. They were simply not a veggie that occured to me. But then back in December I tackled an old menu from Domino Mag for a British inspired holiday feast, and I realized that peas are pretty darn tasty. Turns out the much maligned British cuisine does indeed have much to offer. 

But out of sheer habit I went right back to ignoring them. Flash forward to a month ago, and I figured I'd try them again. Whoa, how could I forget how fresh and sweet and all around delectable they are? And these aren't even fresh peas, these are the frozen out of a bag variety. I think fresh ones might blow my mind!                                                  

So try this next time you're looking for an easy side. 

Minted Peas
  • Throw frozen peas in a pot on high. 
  • Cook for around 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Take them off the heat and throw in some butter and chopped up mint. Salt and pepper to taste.
Couldn't be any easier and if you're like me you won't be able to stop eating them!

Want proof of my deep and abiding love of minted peas? Last time we had some leftover minted peas, my darling hubs caught me in what he called a "nom, nom, nom" situation - I was literally shoveling the peas out of the storage container into my mouth as I stood in the kitchen after work. It wasn't pretty, but I had to get to the peas before he did!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Dish: BLT Steak's Popovers

Great googly moogly, why did I not know sooner that BLT Steak's popovers were sent straight from heaven? Seriously, I could eat these for the rest of my life.

I checked out BLT Steak for lunch recently and didn't even realize popovers were part of the deal, but then suddenly there they were - fluffy, warm, gigantic. The golden brown outside tears away to reveal a delicate yet gooey cheesy center. Truly heaven in carb form.

They are in fact so enormous that I couldn't justify eating the whole thing before a 3-course lunch. But still, I savored every bite. The center is laced with Gruyere, which combines with the yeasty goodness to yield something both light and decadent. I will most definitely be back at the W in search of a popover fix one of these days. Until then I'll just fantasize about that first shocking bite, when I didn't realize what bliss awaited me!

Wow, just found the recipe courtesy of Daily Candy Dallas. Might have to try these for my next shindig...

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Dish: Ecco's fried cauliflower with saffron

I always enjoy Fifth Group's Ecco because it has the perfect mix and match menu for cobbling together whatever kind of food you're in the mood for. Recent visits found me enjoying everything from the grilled trout with mustard and capers to mushroom fettuccine. But the dish that I must wax poetic about is the fried cauliflower with saffron. Such light batter that surrounds the crunchy cauliflower...such perfect balance of salty crunch and pungent saffron sauce. Heaven in a side dish!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Dish: Yucca fries at David's Cafe

No trip to Miami is complete without Cuban food. That said, our trips to Puerto Sagua and David's Cafe were both so so. Enjoyable for sure, but in my opinion a Cuban Sandwich and Ropa Vieja can only be so good. That said, there was one stand-out aspect of our two Cuban meals - the yuca fries at David's.

Good sweet lord, how is it possible for something so starchy and fried to literally melt in your mouth? Seriously, these things were somehow simultaneously crispy and creamy. These little gems were so good that even their center-of-the-earth heat level couldn't stop us. Burnt mouths be damned, I was addicted!

Puerto Sagua
700 Collins Ave.
Miami, FL

David's Cafe
1058 Collins Ave.
Miami, FL

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Dish: El Taco Fried Chicken Tacos

One of my favorite side dishes is Mexican corn. There's just something about the combination of cheese and mayo and corn that I just can't get enough of. Alas, it is normally a very messy treat resulting in corn kernels stuck in your teeth and cheese and mayo all over your face. Worth it, yes, but still not very aesthetically pleasing. That's why I am so thrilled that El Taco serves their version off the cob. Same over-the-top deliciousness, no mess!

So what could be better than El Taco's Mexican corn? I'll tell you - that same decadent corn rolled in a taco with fried chicken. Oh hell yeah, it's bad for you, but good lord it is tasty. The chicken is appropriately crunchy and salty, and the corn is bursting with sweet and savory flavors. Their other tacos are good, but dispense with them and stuff yourself with these. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Dish: Fried Oysters and the Piedmont Apple at Holeman & Finch

After battling it out for a table at Holeman & Finch tonight, I was rewarded with the succulent pleasure of their fried oysters. Salty and crispy and oh so addictive, they're served with a creole remoulade and friend pickles. I could eat these things all day long!

I was also pleased to see they have an all new cocktail list. Their new drink, the Piedmont Apple, is a delicious combination of sparkling sauvignon blanc, apple juice, cinnamon and bitters. It is rather small, so it goes down quickly, but this might well be one of my favorite cocktails out there. Given it's sparkling wine, it's very refreshing and not apt to make you as drunk as their other, stronger cocktails. So no guilt about ordering my second!

If you haven't been to H&F yet, you are missing out. Alas, everyone in Atlanta seems to be there, so even on a Wednesday night, there was a substantial wait. Oh well, it's worth it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Dish: Tres Leches Cake

There are some dishes that are worth highlighting above and beyond everything else at a restaurant. So I'm going to start occasionally publishing a segment called "The Dish" to discuss specific dishes that are must-haves at local restaurants. Enjoy!

Tierra is a wonderful restaurant in many ways, but one signature dish really elevates this establishment above other highly regarded restaurants. Tierra's tres leches cake is the kind of thing men would die for. Wars have been fought over stuff this good, I kid you not.
Tres Leches cake is usually good anywhere you get it, but there's just something different about this version. The cake is so unbelievably moist and dense with milky goodness that each bite offers an explosion of sweetness. I can honestly say that it might be the front runner for my death row dessert of choice. The ice cream served on the side is excellent, too, but the cake's the real star.

No meal at Tierra is complete without a slice of tres leches cake. Don't miss out!



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