Word of the Week
May 16, 2009, 11:57 am
Filed under: Learn Somethin'

Roux – (ROO) – A mixture of flour and fat.  It is slowly cooked over low heat and used to thicken liquids like soups and sauces. 

There are three classic roux: white, blond, and brown.  White and blond are made with butter and are lighter than their brown counterpart that can be made with butter, drippings, or pork or beef fat.


Recap: Taste of the Highlands
May 16, 2009, 11:46 am
Filed under: Events | Tags:

Last weekend I went out to the Taste of the Highlands with a couple of friends and got to enjoy food from dozens of restaurants that I haven’t gotten the chance to visit. It was a great event put on by Fifth Group (Bold American, Ecco, La Tavola, El Taco, South City Kitchen) and Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta.

I didn’t really try anything bad, but here are some of the highlights:
Atkins Park – Lamb Sparerib with Peach BBQ Sauce
Murphy’s – Minin Brisket Sandwich
Parish – “Pork and Beans” with Pork Belly
Serpas – Beef and Succotash
Food 101 – Strawberry and Crab Salad
Rathbun’s – Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream

Farm to Table Dinners at Parish
May 8, 2009, 7:48 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: ,

Parish Food and Goods, located at 240 N Highland Ave, will be hosting special farm-to-table dinners on the first Thursday of each month. I found out about it a little too late, as their first one was yesterday. It featured three courses paired with three wines:

1st Course: Crispy GA Quail Salad – Mary’s Garden local lettuce – cornbread croutons – grilled red onions – GA strawberries – Champagne buttermilk dressing

2nd Course: Surgham Lacquered Duck – Mary’s Garden warm spinach succotash – creole BBQ vinaigrette -green apple slaw

3rd Course: Rhubarb and strawberry shortcake – cracked pepper ice cream

Beer Dinner at The Porter
May 2, 2009, 11:15 am
Filed under: Drink, Events, Restaurant Reviews | Tags: ,

In a previous post I mentioned the Terrapin/Dogfish Head beer dinner at The Porter Beer Bar in Little 5 Points.  I had never been to a beer dinner, love both of those beer companies, and had heard great things about The Porter – of course I had to go.

In case you are wondering, a beer dinner is where courses of food are paired with beers that will match their flavors.  At this particular dinner, we enjoyed 6 beers and 4 courses as follows:

Apertif: Terrapin’s 90 Shelling Firkin
A special preview of their next “side project” – a delicious Scotch Ale aged in oak.

First Course: Chilled Corn Soup-lump crab-pickled ramps & Terrapin’s Sunray Wheat


The soup itself was good.  It proved to be the best thing we would eat all night, but still wasn’t anything I would go back for.  It was smoooth and creamy, and the crab and ramps (like an onion or leek) added great flavor and texture.  It was just a little too sweet for my taste, I didn’t really want to finish the whole bowl.  The flavor profiles of the beer and soup went very well together.

The main problem with this course was in its service.  They had a great idea to first give the crab and ramps with some parsley in the bowl.  Then, they brought out the soup in large beer glasses and poured it over the crab and ramps.  I great idea in theory… I’m down with the tableside presentations, but not when you’re trying to serve 30-40 people at the same time.  Many patrons were almost finished with their beer before their soup finally arrived.

Second Course: Roasted Berkshire Pork Loin-plum jam-braised swiss chard & Terrapin’s Monk’s Revenge. 


Naturally, this is the dish I was most looking forward to, and it was a huge disappointment.  It had great potential – the swiss chard and plum jam were good – but the pork was horrible.  This was something I would expect more from a national chain like Applebee’s or Friday’s on their 2 for $20 menu.  They tried to mask the poor quality of the pork by wrapping it in bacon and topping it with the plum jam.  Once again, I found myself leaving a significant portion on the plate.  It still went well with the beer though, a Belgian style IPA.

Third Course: Asparagus Salad-shaved gruyere-hazelnuts & Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch


Hmmm… cold asparagus with cheese and hazelnuts.  Unappealing, unexciting, unimaginative, BORING.  At this point I’ve given up hope.  I don’t know how it was supposed to pair with the beer either.  You should try this beer if you get the chance, its recipe is based on one found on ancient Egyptian tablets.

**I need to mention that at this point in my meal, someone was passing around a basket of Porter’s garlic fries.  This is something they’ve become known for, and they were AWESOME. 

Fourth Course: Local Rhubarb Tart-jasmine cream-ginger & Dogfish Head’s Black and Blue


…  Another boring dish that could have been easily improved.  The crust was thick and dry, and the cream was pretty boring.  Also, it’s hard to cut rhubarb with a fork – if you are going to put it in a tart you should chop it up a little more so you can get that flavor with each bite!  Once again a decent pairing with the beer.

Digestif: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
An American Brown Ale aged in Palo Santo wood.  Very nice!

The beer dinner experience itself was very nice, mostly thanks to Terrapin and Dogfish Head.  Throughout the dinner they had pre-arranged toasts where people would stand up and express their love of beer in a little poem.  The main theme was support of the craft beer movement, something I really enjoy.  I’ll go back to The Porter for a review of items from their regular menu, but they better impress after the food I had tonight.