Today I ventured out of the Classic City and headed to Atlanta to do an informational interview with an account manager who works at a company I really admire. Doesn’t hurt that the agency is in the food and restaurant industry either.
She told me about a marketplace that was in the Midtown area, near Georgia Tech, called Star Provisions. The minute I stepped foot in the parking lot, it brought back memories of the Chelsea Marketplace I used to frequent while in New York. Star Provisions is owned by acclaimed Atlanta chef Anne Quatrano, who is also the owner of Bacchanalia; a restaurant widely known in the culinary industry. Here, I was in new territory; I knew I was not in Athens anymore. And thank goodness for that.
Star Provisions is a market set up in sections. While here, you can get meats,seafood, cheeses, wine, cookware, prepared foods and baked goods. Obviously, I headed towards the baked goods section, and found an extensive menu of goodies, including lemon bars, shortbread, brownies and fresh-baked breads. I decided to try their lime-cornmeal cookies and their Mexican wedding cookies. I love anything citrus, so the minute I saw lime, I was game. However, I have had Mexican wedding cookies, which taste somewhat like a shortbread cookie, and feature nuts, typically almonds or pecans. Since I don’t eat nuts that often, I can’t even begin to differentiate between an almond, walnut or pecan. Whatever nut was in it though, was very tasty. The cookie had a nice dusting of powered sugar, which complemented its buttery crumb. Did I just make up the word “buttery?” Anyways, it was muy delicioso.
But let’s get to the star of the afternoon. The lime-cornmeal cookies. I die. The combination may be strange, but the acidity from the lime, the sweetness from the frosting and the grainyness of the cornmeal, gives the cookie such a complex, yet refreshing flavor. The icing had an amazing lime taste, which was probably due to some lime zest within the frosting. Like the Mexican wedding cookie, the cookie itself had a great crumb to it, that almost melted in my mouth. Easily, the lime-cornmean cookies were some of the best overall cookies I have ever had. But the real test will be how good their lemon bars are. Next time.
Also, I would have loved to have shown everyone more pics of the market inside, but unfortunalty I was denied. I guess Chef Quatrano doesn’t want to give away any secrets. And why should she? She definelty has a “secret something” others would want.
Until next time.
1198 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA, 30318