Farm Fresh at Farm 255

“Excuse me waiter, there’s an animal in my salad.”

This was probably the best line I’ve heard in a while, and it was said by a friend to our server while eating a salad at Farm 255.

But more on that later.

Since last year, I’ve always wanted to try Farm 255. The Athens restaurant specializes in farm-to-table cuisine, with all of its produce, meats, and dairies coming straight from local farms. Sure it was out of my budget (fresh slaughtered cow ain’t cheap), and I know my palette isn’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference between local beef and Wal-Mart beef; but it was on my Athens bucket list.

And darn it, if I wasn’t going to finish it.

The inside decor of the restaurant looked like an updated farm-house interior. The scene was rustic, yet inviting and I was eager to try the Farm Burger with grass-fed beef, cheddar, shallot aioli, lettuce, pickled cucumbers and  chicken liver mousse.

The burger itself was good, not the best I’ve ever had (hello, Clocked!) but not the worst. In fact, something about it was almost too rich (blame it on the chicken liver mousse?) and too fresh to eat.

Yes, I realize how wrong all of this sounds. But seriously after years of dining on Steak and Shake, my taste buds just aren’t accustomed to day-old slaughtered cow.

Give me a frozen patty any day.

Meanwhile on the other end of the table my friend discovered a tiny meal worm  slithering away in her salad.

Calling our server over, she said the above quoted line…verbatim.

I almost choked on my chicken liver mousse.

The server was apologetic, and said that the lettuce was tilled this morning, and must have not been rinsed off  properly.

“This happens a lot,” she also added.

Oh boy, this wasn’t Fresh Express we were eating.

Surprisingly, we all had a good laugh about it at the table.

I don’t think I’ll be back at Farm 255 for a while. For one, I can barely afford it, and two, I’ll wait until my taste buds can mature properly – less Skippy peanut butter, more duck pate.

Yeah, like that will ever happen.

Farm 255

255 West Washington Street  Athens, GA 30601

(706) 549-4660

Easter at Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles

I really miss the Easter’s of my youth – dying eggs, Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets.

Wait, what am I saying?

I hid eggs for my brother for the fun of it and received a mini easter basket (okay, it was two packs of gummy bears and a year supply of gum) from my mom.

See, I’m still a kid at heart.

One thing that I really love about Easter though, is Easter brunch. This Easter I went to Gladys Knights Chicken and Waffles in Midtown Atlanta to feast on butter, lard, sugar and salt.

It was delicious!

Gladys Knights Chicken & Waffles is famous for their….wait for it…Chicken and Waffles. What I really love about the restaurant is their macaroni and cheese (yes, better than mine), cornbread that tastes like yellow cake (cornbread purists beware), yams doused in rum, brown sugar and butter, and their peach cobbler.

My oh my oh my.

Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles

Peachtree 529 Peachtree St

 Atlanta, GA 30308

Phone 404-874-9393

Smothered chicken, squash, and mac' and cheese

Rice and Beans in Miami: Puerto Sagua

What spring break trip to Miami is complete without trying authentic Cuban food?

Not mine.

In the midst of getting sunburned, rained on and walking around in ridiculously high stilettos to fit in with the Miami crowd, I was determined to have an authentic Cuban meal in Miami.

I deserved it, darn it.

I went to the Cuban restaurant Puerto Sagua last spring break, and tried their Cuban sandwich (shaved pork, ham, mustard and pickles on Cuban bread) which was delicious. But after trying Papi’s Cuban Grill in Atlanta, I wanted more!

As I saddled my weary friends from the beach and into the restaurant, I felt at peace.

I had only been BEGGING them to go with me since day one (this was day four).

Puerto Sagua is a popular dining destination for tourists who want a bit of authenticity to their Miami trip. It’s right on South Beach and the prices are relatively cheap.

I had the pollo asado (roast chicken) with black beans, yellow rice and maduros (sweet plantains). The restaurant gives out large portions, and each meal comes with Cuban bread. Everything tasted great (especially the beans and maduros) and I was well satisfied after.

The motto for Spring Break ’12 was ‘what happens in Miami, stays in Miami.’ But in this case, I can’t keep a secret.

 

Puerto Sagua

700 Collins Avenue  Miami Beach, FL 33139

(305) 673-1115

A Night on the Town at FLIP Burger in Atlanta

My mom decided to be adventurous two weekends ago and try something new.

She decided to take us out to eat in Atlanta.

This was a  big first for her.

Seriously.

Normally she restricts our eating-out establishments to O’Charleys, La Parilla and Olive Garden.

 I do love my chains, but there is only so much unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks I can eat.

Therefore, one weekend when the stars were aligned, I somehow convinced my mom to take us to FLIP burger in Atlanta.

FLIP burger is a self-proclaimed “burger boutique” that specializes in creative burger meats and toppings, and essentially redefines what one thinks of a hamburger. The menu offers shrimp, chorizo, falafel and lamb burgers among the usual turkey and beef patties. FLIP is also known for their unusual milkshake offerings, including their Krispy Kreme and  nutella and burnt marshmallow milkshakes.

I ordered the turkey burger with Monterey cheese, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and pomegranate ketchup. I also ordered  a side of vodka battered onion rings with a serving of beer mustard on the side. Obviously, I was looking for a way to let loose that night with my mom and little brother.

Not.

My mom and brother ordered the traditional cheeseburgers, and added a Krispy Kreme milkshake on the side, thick with glazed donut chunks.

The Do’s: Amazing onion rings. Did I get tipsy off of them? Hah, that would have been an interesting night.  The beef cheeseburgers were also good.

The Don’ts: My turkey burger was just so-so. I ordered it because of the toppings, however I realized that I am a beef girl through and through. Not FLIP burgers fault, I was just expecting a bigger flavor than what I got.

And with my visit to FLIP burger, came my demise as a vegetarian.

Where’s the beef?

***Pictures are really dark, due to me still not knowing how to work my iPhone, and the “sexy” mood lighting of the restaurant.***

Flip Burger

1587 Howell Mill Road

Atlanta, GA

404-352-3547

On a Cold Sunday at Five Star Day Cafe…

…four friends trampled through drizzling rain, frigid weather and sketchy bystanders lurking on the street corners of downtown Athens, all in the name of food.

It was Sunday after all, and for my three friends who are on the meal plan,( I don’t judge), Sunday night means no open dining halls and sometimes meals of dry cereal and ramen noodles.

The rough life of a college student…in a nutshell.

Alas, Five Star Day Cafe, a local restaurant serving “soul food,” was on the top of our list. The menu first and foremost appealed to me with its offerings of comfort foods, such as banana pudding, macaroni and cheese, fried green tomatoes and BBQ.  Plus the general kitsch (in a good way!) of the restaurant, including its decor inside and outside screams Athens.

At the restaurant I ordered the Carolina BBQ pulled pork sandwich topped with slaw. It was delicious, and honestly one of the best BBQ items I have had in a while. If you like sauce, and lots of it, this sandwich for you. The cole slaw was great too, as was the corn muffin served alongside. As  a side dish, I ordered macaroni and cheese.

And this is where things got complicated.

I will eat just about any type of macaroni and cheese, except for Easy Mac (blasphemy!).

Five Star’s mac and cheese was less than appealing to me. The mac was dry and lacked in flavor, cheese and otherwise.

Even though I like Velveeta, I still have decent taste buds otherwise.

So while Five Star Day Cafe certainly has the potential (seriously, go get that pulled pork sandwich), this poor girl trudged back to her car, in the rain, still searching for her holy grail macaroni and cheese.

Are you out there?

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Burger with a side of cheese grits

Fried Green Tomatoes with a black-eyed pea salsa

Five Star Day Cafe 

229 East Broad Street

Athens, GA

(706) 543-8552

The Ultimate Comfort Food: Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese at Melt Shop in NYC

This was a good one.

So good, that I walked 10 New York City blocks, took one subway train and endured countless and countless of stairs to get to this outdoor restuarant stand.

Did I mention I was rolling a suitcase weighing the size of a 12 year old kid with me?

If you were in Midtown East on February 14, and saw a girl lugging this atrocity up a flight of stairs, muttering obscenties to herself, than that my friend was me.

Please don’t judge.

The Three Cheese Melt at the Melt Shop was well worth it. Made with goat cheese, gruyere and fontina, with roasted tomatoes on sourdough bread, it was divine!

It didn’t matter that I could feel the butter from the bread building a wall of plaque in my arteries, or the cheese going directly to my thighs. After all, I had already done enough exercise for the whole week  just trying to get to the place.

I further upped the calorie count by ordering a side of tator tots with their special Melt sauce. I’d compare it to Raising Cane’s sauce, but that may be an insult to Melt Shop. More Melt sauce please.

But don’t take my word on this foodie adventure, take a look at THIS  (Click it!) video  from OMG Foodie.

Melt Shop

601 Lexington Ave
(between 52nd St & 53rd St)
New York, NY 10022

(212) 759-6358

Eating my Weight in Sugar & Spice in NYC: Part 2 – Wicked Hot Chocolate

In the same fifteen minutes I bought my chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain Bakery, I also bought a hot chocolate from Jacques Torres Chocolate shop in the same neighborhood.

I’m a bit of a masochist when it comes to food, haven’t you noticed?

Anything with the name Jacques Torres is bound to be good.

Google him.

Now, this wasn’t just any hot chocolate, this was the shop’s “Wicked Hot Chocolate” made with real chocolate (not cocoa powder) and spiced with ground ancho chili peppers, cinnamon, allspice and ground chipotle chili peppers.

This drink was rich, thick, and not overly sweet. The only thing I would have liked to have tasted more of was spice! To me, it tasted like regular hot chocolate, but if I’m asking for “Wicked” hot chocolate, I want to feel that burn!

Pardon me, my masochism is showing again.

Normally my refined taste buds are accustomed to the sickening sweet, but oh so good hot chocolate at Quick Trip (yes, the convenience store) and drinking the Wicked Hot Chocolate was a much-needed reminder that sometimes the best things in life are a little she she, a little bougie and cost more than $.99

I cannot appropriately describe the way this hot chocolate made me feel.

I almost forgot who I was when drinking this.

That’s what good hot chocolate and New York City will do to yah!

Google

Google

Jacques Torres Chocolate

285 Amsterdam Ave. between 73rd and 74th Streets

 New York City

212- 787-3256

Eating my Weight in Sugar & Spice in New York City: Part 1

I am not ashamed to admit I just spent $4.00 on a single chocolate chip cookie.

I am also not ashamed to admit that I nearly ate that one cookie by myself in nearly a single sitting.

Allow me to explain.

This cookie was about the size of my fist in diameter, and practically the same thickness as well.

I introduce to you the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie from Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Excuse me while I curl up in the fetal position and rock myself back and forth from the fullness I am currently experiencing.

But oh my goodness, was it worth every. single. bite.

Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

For all my Food Network fans ( I swear I watch that channel just as much as I watch Bravo), this cookie beat chef Bobby’s Flay chocolate chip cookie on his show Throwdown.

I will never look at another cookie the same way.

Levain Bakery

167 West 74th St.

New York, NY 10023

212-874-6080

Athens Review: The Local Jam in Five Points

Who doesn’t love biscuits?

And I don’t mean the canned kind that pop out.

They scare the bejesus out of me and give me mild heart palpitations every time I try to open one.

No, I’m not talking about big, fluffy, flaky, biscuits with a touch of salt that  make you leave a trail of buttery-fingerprints behind.

Those my friends, can be found at The Local Jam.

I often find biscuits to be too dry, or too pasty-looking (i.e. not enough butter) for me to eat.  The biscuits at The Local Jam  were big and buttery. While I’m still partial to the biscuits at Chick-fil-A , these biscuits came in at a close second. Their homemade cherry-strawberry jam was just the right topping for it too.

The Local Jam is a restaurant in the Five Points neighborhood that took over the spot where Five Points Deli used to reside. They offer breakfast, lunch and brunch, and their specialties (besides biscuits and homemade jam) include  The Jamrrito ( a burrito filled with black bean chili, scrambled eggs, cheese, grits and topped with  jalapeno jam) and The Nat Mac (mac and cheese made with mozzarella, pesto, feta, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes).

Well, obviously I had to try The Nat Mac.

It was good, but I would have loved for it to be cheesier, although I give it points for using pesto.

My friend’s french toast (do you see a pattern?) was amazing.  The french bread used, is made  by local business, Alfredo’s Bread and provided the french toast with a perfect texture and taste. It easily makes my top 5 best french toast list.

I’m afraid I will be 500 pounds when I graduate.

Somebody save me.

The Local Jam

706-850-7232
1650 South Lumpkin St Athens, GA 30605

 

Fit for the Southern Belle I am Not: Chicken & Waffles at South City Kitchen

Remember the first time your parents came to visit during  freshman year of college?

Remember seeing their smiling faces, and you praising God that they came on a Sunday so that they could take you out to  dinner because the dining halls were closed and you hadn’t eaten since noon?

They had it coming.

Although my freshman days have passed, I still get giddy whenever I go home or whenever my parent’s visit, because that means I am back on my parent’s meal plan, if only for one day.

AMEN.

Which brings me to this past Sunday when my dad came to Atlanta for the weekend.

He told me to pick any restaurant.

That’s a dangerous question to ask a person like me.

I would have been fine with Cracker Barrel, but I decided to try something new and check out  South City Kitchen in Midtown. I had recently read a review of it in a local  magazine and thought it would be the perfect place to take my dad (err…for him to take me). The cuisine is upscale Southern and the magazine raved about their chicken and waffles.

They had me at waffle.

The restaurant’s decor and layout reminded me of travels to Savannah, with a big screened-in porch on the outside and large dining areas inside.

After being seated, we were greeted with a big basket of cornbread muffins and biscuits with sides of whipped butter and apple butter. The apple butter was so good I caught myself eating it with a spoon. For my entrée, I had to try the chicken and waffles. I’m not a big fan of fried chicken, but I threw caution to the wind and decided to order it.

I like to live dangerously.

The chicken was amazing and went perfectly with the malted waffle on the side.

But you know what the best part was?

The pure maple syrup on the side!

Angels eat this syrup.

Straight face.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from my dad asking if I would call South City Kitchen and have them ship a bottle of  syrup to his house.

I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

South City Kitchen

1144 Crescent Ave, Atlanta, Ga 30309 telephone – 404.873.7358

 

Gumbo with Andouille Sausage and Chicken

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.