Tag Archives: local restaurants

My Friend the Pastry Chef

A few years back I had the most adorable co-worker. She was kind, smart, and just about the cutest person you’d ever want to work with (or meet for that matter). But one day she out-smarted us all and left our little 9-5 rat race.  And once she left, we lost touch with each other.

Fast forward about 3 years.

I’m meeting a friend at a local restaurant called Parish to pick her brain on all things photography catch up.  We’re making some last minute food purchases when lo and behold I see the most amazing treats on the counter. And next to them, this sign:

treats by snacks

It takes a second for everything to click. Then it hits me, my sweet friend (see comment above) is working at Parish.  So I text her… and frantically call her to find out if this Chris Marconi is in fact my Chris Marconi.

It was.

It is.

marconi

And so now, instead of fighting the daily corporate grind, Marconi, aka Snacks (her nickname back in the day…who knew we were so prophetic) is the pastry chef at Parish here in Atlanta. And instead of filing paperwork, she’s making beautiful treats and desserts like these:

parish marconi collage

And something tells me that she was meant for this job.122

And I, for one, couldn’t be happier…or prouder.
So if you’re ever in Atlanta, stop by and try one of Snacks’ treats.

And then maybe take a few more for the road. (Hint: Get the s’mores poptart.)

{thanks to chris for letting me invade her work place to take 4 zillion photos of her AND her beautiful food.}

Stumble It!

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Top 5 Local Restaurants – #2

Okay, so shoot me.  I can be a bit scatterbrained at times.  Thus the reason it’s been since May 20th that I last mentioned one of my top 5 Atlanta restaurants.

So now I’m back with #2 on my list.

And that restaurant is Taqueria Del Sol.

taqueria del sol

I am in love with that place love that place.
If I could get an IV drip of their queso, I would.
If I could eat every meal there, I would.
If I could decorate my kitchen like the restaurant, I would.

And now that I live in the burbs, my visits to Taqueria have become few and far between.  It’s quite sad.  But because I’m resourceful, I’ve already learned (and perfected I might add) how to make this sinful cheese dip.

Next stop, fried chicken tacos with jalepeno lime mayo.

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Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes {marietta, ga}

miss mamie's
This past weekend I ventured out to the Marietta’s Farmer’s Market , but didn’t buy anything but dog treats. However, my friend Lindsey and I made it a point of hitting up the local cupcakery. And kids, Miss Mamie’s did not disappoint.

Sadly, I wasted no time jumping at the S’mores cupcake.
053
I’m sorry, but speaking of desserts, this is where it’s at.

Lindsey opted for the Guinness cupcake.
056
And although neither of us had a clue (Guinness?) what was involved in the making of this cupcake, we both agreed that it was one of the tastiest cupcakes we’d ever tried. Oh yeah, I totally stole a bite of it. I’m nice like that. {Thanks Lindsey!}

And because I’m a nutjob for photographing pretty dessert treats, Miss Mamie herself was kind enough to let me stick my camera in her cupcakes’ faces. And I’m so glad she did.

miss mamie's cupcakes

Because not only are these some of the most incredible cupcakes I’ve ever eaten, they are some of the most beautiful. There is no denying that Miss Mamie has a way with sweets.

So if you’re ever hanging out in the quaint little Marietta Square, make it a point of stopping here. You’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to cupcake heaven. After all, you can’t go wrong with a place where the slogan is “Happiness Baked Daily”.

{Reason #392 why I love the burbs.}

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Top 5 Local Restaurants – #3

Let me just say, I get easily distracted.  It just dawned on me that it’s been at least 5 days since I posted my last favorite local restaurant.  I’m sorry.  I kinda suck sometimes.

To make it up to you, I might, just might be having a giveaway sometime soon. {hint hint}

(See, I can be nice.)

So today, I have to share with you my #3 most favorite Atlanta restaurant.  This time we’re not talking about diners or burger joints. Nope, not today kids. Today it’s all about Bacchanalia.

photo courtesy of zagat courtesy of the restaurant itself

According to Zagat, Bacchanalia is considered the Top Food in Atlanta as well as the Most Popular restaurant. 

But don’t just take their word for it.  You can take mine too. (…or my huband’s word, or my in-laws’…)

Bacchanalia is hands down one of the most amazing dining experiences you’ll ever have in Atlanta.  As the restaurant offers a four course prix fixe menu comprised of an appetizer, a main entree, a cheese course, and a dessert, the restaurant always stands apart from the crowd.  The food is consistently delicious and the service is impeccable.  And it’s one of those places where you only get the rare opportunity to visit when it’s on someone else’s dime.

And if I were so lucky, this is exactly what I would select for my dining experience:

Appetizer:  Blue Crab Fritter, Citrus Thai Pepper Essence

Main: Local Berkshire Pork Loin, White Grits, Andouille Sausage, Pot Likker Jus

Cheese: Pecorino Romano, Fava Beans, Artichokes, Young Fennel, Marcona Almonds

Dessert: Lime Parfait, Gingersnap Crumble, Toasted Meringue

Now if you don’t mind, I need to conjure up an excuse for my husband to take me there.

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Top 5 Local Restaurants (Atlanta edition)

Okay, of course it’s the Atlanta edition. I mean I do live here. That makes it local. I’m what Homer Simpson calls “S-M-R-T”….smrt.

There are a ton of food blogs in Atlanta….all of which are far superior to this little blog I have here.  I mean these people are true foodies.  I, on the other hand, am not. Nor do I pretend to be.  I’m simple at best.  If it tastes good, I’ll eat it.  That means it can be a burger joint or a 6 course meal type restaurant.  I have no shame when it comes to admitting some of my favorite restaurants. So in typical yawyeor tradition, I’m going to post my top 5 favorite local restaurants.  (Although I use the word “restaurant” very loosely.)

So today, coming in at #5 on my list is:

*Five Guys!

(photo courtesy of dcist.com)

That’s right kids.  I love it.  I would ingest this greasy goodness daily if my heart and thighs would allow it. 

It’s that good. My husband, the Virginian that he is, introduced this fast food goodness to me a while back. Thanks to the burger gods for bringing Five Guys to Atlanta. 

And just looking at that image has me craving a little cheeseburger and a side of cajun fries.  (Oh yeah, like I’m going to admit that I would totally order a (double) cheeseburger with onions, pickles, mayo, mustard, and ketchup.)

I promise that the remaining 4 “restaurants” won’t all be this low brow.  Okay, maybe they will be.  Who knows?  Guess you’ll just have to check back and find out.

*I realize that Five Guys is a chain along the East Coast, but it’s still in Atlanta and that in and of itself makes it local. So there.

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BBQ Pork Tacos

Although it’s officially nueve de mayo, I’m still clinging on to my cinco de mayo dinner.  I may have mentioned recreating my favorite cheese dip on earth just the other day, but what I didn’t mention is that I also (with the help of my lovely sister) made bbq pork tacos.  With a jalapeno coleslaw and homemade bbq sauce.

Let’s just say that I knocked this one out of the park.  But because I’m not clever or creative enough to make any of these from my own noggin, I used a variation of Taqueria Del Sol’s Memphis Pork Taco recipe and my sister’s friend’s pork bbq recipe and adapted them to make what you’re about to read below.
bbq pork tacos
*Disclaimer: this was a day and a half event.  Be prepared with a slow cooker in tow.

Ingredients:
1 (4-5 lb) boston butt

for the rub:
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp salt

1st bbq sauce:
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2nd bbq sauce:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup catsup/ketchup/that red thing in your fridge door
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt

soft taco shells

Directions:
(stick with me kids. I promise that a) this really is easy and b) the pay off is worth it in the end)
The night before, combine garlic salt, onion salt, pepper and salt in a bowl. Rub pork with spice mixture. Set in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, go ahead and place the pork in a slow cooker. Combine 1st bbq sauce ingredients: cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Pour over meat.
Cook on low 10-12 hours.

About 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to hunker down and eat, start working on bbq sauce #2.
Combine butter, sugar, worcestershire sauce, paprika, ground mustard, white vinegar, ketchup, pepper and salt in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Start pulling pork apart. Add as much or as little as you’d like to the bbq sauce #2 and heat over low for 10-15 minutes making sure pork is thoroughly coated.

When ready to serve, warm tortillas and add pork and more bbq sauce to make taco.

And the conveniently located printable version is here.

ps. happy mother’s day to all the amazing mothers that pass along their incredible cooking and baking skills to kids like me.

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Taqueria Del Sol’s Queso Dip

Or what I like to call, “the nectar of the gods”.

My friend Mary Ellen has always had an intense love with salsa. I mean it borders on the level of obsession really. I never understood that deep seeded love until I tasted Taqueria Del Sol‘s queso.  Maybe you’ve heard me talk about TDS before…because yes my sweet friends, I too am obsessed.

As yesterday was Cinco de Mayo (or what my sister refers to as Cinco de Drinko), I felt that it was only appropriate I should attempt to recreate TDS’s addictive as crack queso dip.  Let’s just say I won some kind of lottery because the recipe was already on line.  As it turns out, Executive Chef Eddie Hernandez does not shy away from sharing his recipes. (If I ever see him, I may in fact throw myself at his feet as a gesture of thanks.)

tds queso

Because not only is this recipe insanely easy to make, it tastes spot on.

Up for a quick and easy and the best cheese dip you’ll ever taste challenge?
Make this.
Immediately.

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
4 cups shredded American Cheese (get it at the deli counter. and just ask for a hunk of it.)
diced pickled jalapenos (this I will leave up to you. if you like it spicy, add about 1/4 cup, if not, toss in a few)
fresh jalapenos to taste

Directions:
In a large saucepan, bring milk to a boil and then immediately remove from heat. Stir in the shredded cheese and pickled jalapenos. Whisk until smooth (working your arm muscles all the while). This could take about 5 minutes to get thoroughly smooth.

Garnish with a couple of diced jalapenos.
And serve.

(makes about 2 1/2 cups)

You’re welcome.

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