food


Do you like street food? Have you even had street food? If you live in the South, chances are you haven’t.

Well, that is all changing, now. For the past several Thursdays, I have made the 8 block trek from my home in Midtown, Atlanta to the street food trucks that gather across from some of Atlanta’s high-rise businesses.  Finally, I feel like we’re living in the “real world”, and have more options in dining besides the myriad of over-priced sit-downs or crappy fast food restaurants that we have relied on for a meal out.

When HK and I travel, especially out of the country to parts of the world like Asia or Latin America, we love to immerse ourselves in the throngs of locals who order from a free-standing vendor, then take our meal and sit somewhere nearby to catch a glimpse of the community vibe.  OK, there have been the few occasions when the cuy perhaps wasn’t so fresh, or the kanom jeen a bit ripe, but for the most part, out experiences have been positive.

Roasted Cuy


Asian Food Stall

Atlanta’s local permitting process seems to have had some glitches, and some (most) food trucks were forced to close up shop at the Atlanta Food Truck Park, although none of the closures had anything to do with food safety. (It was a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit, according to at least one vendor.)

Anyway, I’m thrilled that we are catching up to the rest of the country (and world) in finally getting what I think is gonna be an Atlanta tradition.

food trucksAtlanta Food Truck Park

Shhhhhhhhh....

HK’s not happy with me. After I post this, I’m sure he won’t be speaking to me. But wait…he doesn’t even read my blog, so, he’ll never know, right? OK, Shhhhhh…..

Saturday night, we had our regular DAAM night at the home of our friends Jenny and Rick. DAAM is an acronym for Dinner And A Movie, and we’ve been doing it not for a couple of years.

Here’s how it works…  We agree on a date (Saturday night), come up w/ a movie well in advance (usually a choice of several, popular vote wins), then Jen assigns one course per party.  We have a dedicated group of 8 (4 couples) that participate, and we have all become really good friends.  We didn’t know one of the couples, and knew the other 2 pretty well through neighborhood stuff, but not on one-on-one interactions.

This week’s movie was Tootsie. That’s the movie from 1982 where Dustin Hoffman is a struggling actor unable to get hired due to his rep of being “difficult”. If you haven’t seen the movie, or haven’t seen it in a while, go rent it.  It also stars Jessica Lange, Dabney Coleman and Bill Murry, along w/ lots of other familiar faces.

So, I had the main course (NY style pizza), Jen served champagne, Al and Sue brought NY Cheesecake. We always prepare food based on the “theme” of the movie.

The day of the party, I explained to HK that the protocol was cross-dressing, (since that is what Dustin Hoffman had to do to get the gig).  I helped him pick out a suitable skirt and top of mine, along w/ my “Foxy Cleopatra” wig and some big glasses. He really wasn’t too enthused about the whole dressing up part, but the group had previously talked it up.  I looked cute wearing one of his shirts along w/ jeans and a cute hat. Off we drove to our DAAM night.

We walked in to greet everybody and…for fuck’s sake— NOBODY else dressed the part. Nope, HK is none too happy with me.

Me and Tootsie

Remember the  “doody” scene in the movie “Caddyshack” when some kid yells “doodie!!”  Ted Night makes Bill Murray drain the swimming pool?  Why am I asking this, you wonder?

Let me back up a bit.  About 2 years ago, a group of 8 friends started a “Dinner And A Movie” (DAAM) club. Every other month, we all converge at Rick and Jen’s house and bring a dish based on the theme of the movie.  After a couple of hours of good food and fun, we retreat downstairs to watch the movie in the “Mancave“.  We keep the movie light, usually a comedy. Movies we have watched in the past include “City Slickers”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “This is Spinal Tap”.

For this week’s flick, with Caddyshack as the selected film (this year is the 30th anniversary of the movie), my contribution was “Baby Ruth dessert”.  We are free to do whatever we like with the given theme.  So here, with no further ado, is  my dessert.

Doo Doo! YUM!

Is there something special that you do with a group of friends?  I would love to hear about it here.

Well, in a recent post, I told you that I was going to review some of the Thai restaurants in the Atlanta Area. I will admit that I have a few favorites and tend to return to them fairly often, so there are many restaurants, I am sure, that I have neglected.  You could be a big help in helping me complete my search for the best, and worst, Thai restaurant in Atlanta.

Little Bangkok on Cheshire Bridge Rd. has been my longtime favorite since moving to midtown 14 years ago. It is very casual, small, family run, and the owners are very gracious. Service is quick, food consistently very good and spiced right. The whole fried flounder special is a favorite of mine, served with a sweet sauce.  IMHO, best pad Thai around. Beer and (cheap) wine only. For the price, it’s your best bet.

Tamarind Seed is much more upscale, (and expensive) but I have never tried anything that that I didn’t like. Panang Curry, Masaman Curry and Green curry all perfectly seasoned and yummers!!  The whole red snapper fried-OMG! Wonderful seasonings and (more…)

Meing Kum

This weekend, HK and I took the advice of our local newspaper food critic and tried one of Atlanta’s newest in a string of Thai Restaurants.

Let me preface this post by saying that we are both huge fans of Thai food. Having been to Thailand on several occasions, we’ve learned to distinguish between “Americanized” and authentic Thai. OK, OK, we’re not total Thai food snobs, but can tell fake Thai when we taste it.

OK, so anyway, this weekend we tried Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft in Midtown, which opened early December.  I’ll say one word–Yummers!  The restaurant opened in the old Taurus space in the Brookwood shopping center. The restaurant’s stated goal is to serve up authentic Thai street food in a casual setting.  Well, the food was more authentic than many of Atlanta’s Thai restaurants, however, the atmosphere, in my humble opinion, is NOT casual. No, it’s not really fancy, but it is most definitely more the Buckhead-trendy crowd than what we usually prefer for ethnic eateries. (Buford Highway)

The full service bar was lively and definitely the place to be after work on Friday night.  There is outdoor seating, but it was a bit cool to sit outside, altho several people did.   I was happy to see several Asian families eating here, most multi-generational. (More proof of it’s authenticity).

Service was spot-on, but I have to admit that upon arrival, many more people were in the bar than were seated for dinner. Coctails came immediately upon ordering them, and our water was frequently replenished, altho never intrusively so.

We stuck to the recommended little plates so that we could try a wide variety of flavors. Both of us agreed that the Mieng Kum was our favorite. Baby spinach leaves wrap a sweet mixture of peanuts,coconut, lime and ginger. OMG it was sooo good!  The roti (small flat pancakes) with a green curry dipping sauce were very good, as was the Larb Kai salad. The Lad Na Talay street noodles were a bit of a disappointment for me, I didn’t care for the “gravy”, altho HK was more impressed. There are several “big plates” on the menu, but from inspecting a neighboring table’s order, was more of an average size that i could easily have handles solo, in addition to our small plates.

Roti ke-yow whan

All in all, I loved the entire vibe here. the food could have been a bit spicier, but next time we will know to order it that way. I think next time we’ll go with a larger party, in order to try more of the small plates and salads. As it was, we had a salad, 3 small plates and 4 cocktails total, and our bill was $70.00 before tip.

There is better Thai food in Atlanta, altho in my opinion, it is found either in VERY casual or upscale restaurants. But if you are looking for low-key trendy, moderate prices and medium casual, this is the place to be.

Tuk Tuk in Bangkok (I took photo from my tuk tuk)

Check back. Soon I will have a side-by-side review some of my favorite and least favorite Thai eateries in the Atlanta area.

I should probably apologize for this post, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just share it with you.  When I was in college, I had this exact idea for a restaurant, and I was going to name it “Splurge and Purge”, geareed toward the growing number of Bulemics out there. Guess Taiwan beat me to the punch!

cooks warehouse

Cooks Warehouse Midtown

Ok, so last night was a really fun girl’s night out at the brand-spanking new Cooks Warehouse in Ansley Mall. After seeing the movie Julie and Julia this summer, I organized a group of fellow foodies to partake in a cooking class featuring a few of Julia Child’s well-known recipes.  Mmmmmmm…it was good. And fun.  We all brought our own wine, donned our aprons and set to work in teams in the new, huge, 5-station kitchen. There were several assistants on hand to help out with technical details such as how to turn on the newfangled stovetops, where to find the correct pots and pans, how to remove the covers off the knives, and proper band-aid placement. (true to form, i was the first (only) one to cut myself–a PAPER CUT-how humiliating).

After an hour or so in the kitchen, we were seated and served the fruits of our labors, starting with a Frisee Salad w/ bacon and croutons. The main course was (more…)

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