Category Archives: Food & Drink

Eating Ethnic: Embrace the Journey.

You know it’s good when you are the only one who doesn’t speak the language.

Growing up, I thought I knew what good Chinese was: always-reliable hot-and-sour soup, fried-then-sauced sesame chicken, thin pancakes stuffed with pork and rolled into burritos. It was Americanized MSG at it’s very best, and a staple in the Baker family dining rotation.

But one faithful night in college, a friend (whose Mother was Chinese) invited me to his favorite Cantonese restaurant. And it forever changed the way I viewed ethnic food. Continue reading

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Instant Classic: Beer Growlers.

Beer growlers - hipster facial hair and scarf not included.

Some things in life just make so much sense. In-N-Out Burger, The Beatles, Parks and Recreation.

And now there is this humdinger for the drinking crowd: beer growlers. The low-down: First, you purchase these refillable (and kick-ass looking) jugs from your local brewery or hops emporium. Second, have them top it off with whatever fresh (read: ironic and local) beer they have available that day. Third, enjoy your 64oz of obscure beverage with fellow suds connoisseurs. Finally, return to brewery to refill your growler with an adventurous new beer. Repeat process.

And not only is the name “beer growler” fun to say, going anywhere with a growler – to your home, or better – to a party – is guaranteed to make you feel cool. Atlantans can pick up their own growler here.

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Come Drink With Me!

SweetWater's Brew Your Cask Off!

Over the last few years I’ve had the good fortune to attend many events, parties and soirees in our fine city. But few have captured my heart quite like SweetWater’s Brew Your Cask Off festival. Why? The premise is pretty damn awesome. Here’s the gist…  

Atlanta’s finest suds factory recruits 80 special guests (which range from celebs to restaurants to home brewers) to create their own one-of-a-kind cask. With SweetWater brewers guiding contestants, everyone starts with the same boozy foundation, but from that point can add whatever they please. (Juniper berries? Jalapeños? Baby powder?) This then gets rolled (literally) for mixing and then sits until March 5 when it’s unveiled at Brew Your Cask Off.

I had a blast last year, so you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to judge (!) this year. It costs $40 the day of (or you can get your tickets in advance here), and lasts from 6pm-10pm.

So get a group and bring it…

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What We Can Learn From Glass Bottle Cokes

Coca-Cola, the way it should be enjoyed.

Somewhere along the way, our society went from occasionally enjoying 8 ounces of fizzy Coca-Cola, poured out of a glass bottle and savored as a once-in-a-while indulgence, to speed guzzling 64oz in go-cups during routine fill-ups at the pump. Not only have we made extremism and bad health a commonality, but more importantly, we’ve deluded one of the great and innocent pleasures in life.

Dating back to when I was a child, enjoying a Coke, (especially one “pulled” out of the machine after church) was a treat. It was a magic elixir that came in a frosty glass bottle. It was something I looked forward to because there wasn’t that much of it and I wasn’t allowed to drink it that often.

But as adults, it’s a what-we-want, when-we-want life. And whether you’re talking about boozing-to-excess, shopping on credit or gluttonous dining, it’s easy to over-do it. But life’s true pleasures so often happen when there isn’t an abundance. It’s when there is simply a little of something, and it’s something you cherish. Whether that means a celebratory glass of scotch, a weekend trip to the beach or a splurge-worthy new jacket for winter … it’s something memorable, something precious and something you sincerely look forward to.

So next time you’re in the grocery about to buy 2 liters in bulk, consider the little six pack of glass bottle Cokes. And let the anticipation begin.

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2010 Best Restaurants in Atlanta

Super Pan, Super Awesome

A contestant of "Top Chef" is running an underground sandwich shop? Holy ridiculous.

Atlanta’s dining scene took a turn for the awesome in 2010, as the new restaurants that opened were all amazingly strong, yet ranged from street-cart inspired vendor food, to the arrival of one of the South’s most decorated chefs. It was a year that found great ethnic food inside the perimeter, smashing new fine dining establishments and a full-blown obsession with a popsicle cart. Whether you were grabbing a burger for lunch in Decatur, or sitting down in with the power suits in Buckhead, Atlantans ate well in 2010 … every meal of the day.  Continue reading

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Gourmet to Go: Thanksgiving

Vintage Coke Ad

The ideal Thanksgiving seen in a 1940's Coke ad.

The classic way to spend Thanksgiving is with a big family meal, prepared all morning and devoured in the afternoon … with napping, football and a roaring fire to follow. However, not everyone has family close by, nor does everyone have kitchen ability (or fireplaces). Plus, some folks would rather just not spend their day off in a hot kitchen with the pressure of cooking for family and friends.

We understand, and sympathize.

With turkey day a week away, we have a last second answer to those wanting to enjoy blissful gluttony but without the time and energy being expended in the kitchen: Have someone else cook everything for you. There are plenty of traditional, gourmet-to-go options in Atlanta (as well as in other cities), but our choice for this year’s feast is Muss & TurnersContinue reading

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Classic Drinking: Miller High Life

High Life

What? I bet Draper drank it.

Sometimes we’re simply not in the mood for complicated beer choices. Thankfully, the “champagne of beers” has long set a cheap standard for American brews. Not one that will blow you away on taste or potency, it’s easily enjoyed thanks to a fizzy light flavor and a price tag intended for the frugal. This makes High Life (or High Life Light–if you can find it) a perfect beer to stock the fridge or bring to a party.  And unlike a high gravity or Belgium-style beer, you always know where you stand: no crazy floral taste or instant loopy buzz, here. With an instantly recognizable, iconic skinny-necked bottle, it’s tough to not look self-confident and cool drinking the High Life.  Enjoy.

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