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food porn: atlanta food trucks

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Food trucks evoke memories of the state fair for me. Comfortably chilly weather, the loud hum of generator-powered everything, the smell of something savory in the air. On a lovely cool day this past fall, I took leave from my little office and went to sample some Atlanta food truck eats at 12th and Peachtree.

 


wow food truck menu

wow food truck menu

pulled pork arepa - wow food truck

pulled pork arepa - wow food truck

 

WOW food truck atlanta

WOW food truck atlanta

 

wonderlicious on wheels

wonderlicious on wheels

 

tamale queen food truck

tamale queen food truck

 

jus' loaf'n food truck

jus' loaf'n food truck

 

sweet auburn bbq food truck

sweet auburn bbq food truck

 

the mobile marlay

the mobile marlay

 

mobile marlay menu

mobile marlay menu

 

fish and chips from the mobile marlay

fish and chips from the mobile marlay

 

fish and chips - the mobile marlay

fish and chips - the mobile marlay

 

slider u  food truck

slider u food truck

 

buen provecho food truck

buen provecho food truck

 

just good food now

just good food now

 

ibiza bites

ibiza bites

 

Life is Food. Taste Life. Ibiza Bites

Life is Food. Taste Life. Ibiza Bites

 

ibiza bites menu

ibiza bites menu

 

signature bite - ibiza bites

signature bite - ibiza bites

 

cake pops - ibiza bites

cake pops - ibiza bites

 

honeysuckle food truck

honeysuckle food truck

 

yumbii truck

yumbii truck

 

cheers,

k

food porn: buford highway bingefest

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You know, you really have to be careful about the kind of people you hang with. The wrong crowd can get you caught up in all kinds of foolishness, and truly cause you to lose all sense of yourself.

Such was the case this past spring when a food-loving friend invited me to join some other food-loving friends for a little dim sum at Gu’s Bistro. What started as a simple weekend lunch gathering turned into a multi-hour, multi-stop foodie bender along Buford Highway.

The limits of decency (and my waistline) were definitely stretched.


gu's bistro

 

chengdu cold noodles - gu's

chengdu cold noodles @ gu's bistro

zhong dumplings

zhong dumplings @ gu's bistro

sticky rice w/pork filling

glutinous rice and ground peanuts

glutinous rice w/ ground peanuts @ gu's bistro

As we were departing Gu’s, I overhead some talk of going to a nearby ethnic market to check out the food court. I was game. Those with prior engagements and / or a semblance of sanity peeled off from the group. The rest of us pressed on to Assi Plaza, just up the road a piece on Buford Highway.

 

russian easter cake

russian easter cakes - lana's express

russian easter cake @ lana's express

 

Beautiful Russian Easter cakes from Lana’s Express. We placed an order for a smattering of items from the menu, and wandered around the market for a bit while waiting for the food. That’s right. Just before Easter, and instead of fasting, we’re gorging ourselves. Wanton heathens, the lot of us.

mexican desserts - panaderia @ assi plaza

mexican desserts - panaderia @ assi plaza

 

panaderia - assi plaza

 

ron's pair

My friend Ron shows me his bowls. Not sure if he notices that one is bigger than the other. He looks so happy, I can’t bring myself to tell him.

 

russian delights

Tastings from Lana’s Express include: pelmeni (meat-stuffed dumplings), roast chicken with rice and a ketchup-based sauce, and two pickled salads – one with cabbage and carrot, the other with cucumber, tomato, and dill.

 

pickled salads - lana's express

 

 

hot dog toppings

hot dog toppings @ america's top dog

 

Oh, what? You thought it was over? After we finish our second lunch, someone in this group of people I am now beginning to realize is a bunch of crazies, starts talking about a hot dog place nearby that has a ridiculous amount of toppings on tap, and at least 5 different types of hot dogs to choose from. When I hear my own voice answering yes to the question, “Wanna go?” I know I am one of them.

 

hot dog menu - america's top dog

 

Turns out there’s actually 7 different varieties of dog on the menu at America’s Top Dog in Chamblee.

 

ode to the hot dog

 

regional hot dog dress

regional hot dog dress

 

hot dog - naked

hot dog (naked) @ america's top dog

 

hot dog - dressed

hot dog (dressed) @ america's top dog

 

After all of this, we head to a Lebanese bakery in  the same plaza as America’s Top Dog. We don’t eat again, but a few of us take home some Middle Eastern treats for later. Ya know, just in case. No pics of the Lebanese bakery, ’cause I’m too full to lift a camera. All I can do is sit and giggle like a giddy schoolgirl.

 

We finally leave Buford Highway and retire to one of the crazies’ backyard deck, where we lounge about like stuffed ticks and listen to our host read excerpts aloud from his favorite Szechuan cookbook. Later on, he shows us this hilarious video he recently saw on YouTube. A little video about an animal known as… the honey badger.

 

 

After the day’s gluttony, I totally identify with this creature.

cheers,

k

a bon vivant is as a bon vivant does

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I don’t know where I first heard the term bon vivant, but I do remember thinking to myself, “Now that sounds like something I could get used to being called.”

Or something to that effect.

I do, however, clearly recall a pass-the-time bar game I played a few years back which involved me and a friend sharing our intergalactic spy credentials (don’t ask). During the round where we revealed our alter-ego occupations, I boldly proclaimed that mine was: ‘bon vivant’. To which my friend replied (actually, scoffed) “That’s not an occupation.”

I was and still am indignant about the matter. Being a bon vivant is an occupation. In truth, a bon vivant is only ever occupied by one thing. Everything else is a diversion, or an experiment that helps the bon vivant excel in her chosen profession, which is a simple one: that of living life to the fullest. The bon vivant’s trade is one that should not be taken lightly, but often is. A rare few truly commit to and excel at the task, yet the masses generally treat the pursuit of a well-lived life as much more trivial than the pursuit of money or fame, vice or romance, power or success.

And so the bon vivant that we see in literature and film is often portrayed as the wayward dilettante, or the lascivious boozer, or even the hopelessly conniving dandy. Many of those who assume the moniker in real life also assume that it affords them the right to lift their noses a bit higher in the air. In my opinion, both are miscontrued notions of the term and the persona.

In searching the interwebs for a more accurate description of the bon vivant, I came across one delightfully simple but perfectly illustrative definition.

 

“If you love good food, good company, good times and something really, really good to drink, then you’re probably a bon vivant. In fact, if you love two out of the four, then you are most likely a bon vivant.”

The above quote is from “Are You a Bon Vivant?”  on the blog, Miss Lola Says…. Miss Lola goes on to explain what bon vivants bring to the… er, table:

 

“We all know at least one bon vivant. And this is how they make our worlds better:

  • They bring the lightness of life with joy, laughter and gaiety.
  • They introduce us to experiences and foods that we would not otherwise have an interest in.
  • They help us keep the goodness of life in perspective. And we all need goodness, right?”

Miss Lola Says… features well-written articles on etiquette and common sense manners that are suitable for intergalactic spies and bon vivants alike. As bon vivants are known for their refinement, the blog should serve as a handy resource should you need to remind yourself or a less-refined associate of the appropriate behavior in any situation.

I invite you to peruse some of my favorite posts from Miss Lola:

An Excerpt from “The Correct Thing to Do, to Say, to Wear” [1941]

 

Putting on Airs

 

HINTS TO KITCHEN MAIDS by Rufus Estes

 

Tips for Riding the Elevator with Me.

 

In the meantime, I’m working on a series of posts that will delve deeper into what it means to pursue the profession of a bon vivant – including some life examples of famous bon vivants, both real and fictional. Stay tuned.

 

cheers,

 

k

photo:A Chair-i-table Event 2011 by rwentechaney, on Flickr

food porn: lunch in atlanta

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I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been holding out on you. I assure you however, there was no malicious intent. I’m just… lazy. You see, I’ve been having some pretty fabulous (and some just alright) dining experiences around Atlanta lately, and I’ve just been too lazy to write about them.

But the good news is, I haven’t slacked off on taking some pretty fabulous (and some just alright) pictures of these dining experiences. So here’s what I figured. Instead of stockpiling all these tasty little visual tidbits and pretending like I’m actually going to do each one justice with a proper review, I’ll just show you the goods.

Since when has porn been about dialogue, anwyay?

 


This week’s food porn features pics from some of  my favorite atlanta lunch spots.

 

stir fry @ urban pl8

stir fry @ urban pl8

Look at the separation on that brown rice. Yeah, you like that, dontcha?

beet salad @ urban pl8

beet salad @ urban pl8

lunch @ the orginal el taco

red chili steak & fried chicken tacos @ the orginal el taco

el burger @ the orginal el taco

el burger @ the orginal el taco

Only thing sad about this lunch is that El Taco only serves lunch on the weekends. Que lastima.

alligator egg rolls @ 5 seasons brewery, westside

alligator egg rolls @ 5 seasons brewery, westside

salt and pepper fish @ new paradise (buford highway)

salt and pepper fish @ new paradise (buford highway)

garlic green beans @ new paradise (buford highway)

garlic green beans @ new paradise (buford highway)

chicken koobideh wrap and salad @ sufi's

chicken koobideh wrap and salad @ sufi's

sabzi @ sufi's

sabzi @ sufi's

The sabzi is an assortment of greens, herbs, and other accompaniments to be enjoyed with flatbread. Sufi’s sabzi: mint leaves, basil leaves, cucumber slices, butter, feta, olives, and walnuts.

yogurt and beets @ sufi's

yogurt and beets @ sufi's

fried chicken sandwich @ bocado

fried chicken sandwich & fries @ bocado

burger stack @ bocado

burger stack & garlic herbed fries @ bocado

Bocado’s burger stack is what the Big Mac dreams about being when it grows up.

fish tacos & fried okra @ marlow's tavern

fish tacos & fried okra @ marlow's tavern, midtown

Seriously, is there ever a bad time for fried okra? Methinks not.

cheers,

k

7 things to do the day after getting fired

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Canned. Sacked. Let go. Forcibly retired. Getting fired, no matter what sweet-sounding name you try to pin on it, is still a pretty bitter experience. Even if you’re expecting it to happen (or you’ve been secretly praying for it to happen), nothing ever quite prepares you for the day you get fired.

Yet, in our continually uncertain economy, getting fired is an experience that more and more people are having to deal with. Naturally, most people react to a firing in an emotional way – with tears, anger, idle threats, feelings of isolation or low self-worth. But the 24 hours after you’ve been fired is not the time to be paralyzed by emotion, it’s the time for some very simple actions that can pay off big in the long run. You can always come back to the 5 stages of grief later.

 

the 5 Stages of Grief, by Jack Donaghy

 

Here are 7 suggestions for what to do the day after your last day on the job.

Tell Everyone

Though shame and embarrassment at losing your job might make you want to keep the whole mess a secret, don’t. Think of it this way: if nobody knows you’ve been fired, nobody will know you’re available for new opportunities. A quick email message (or tweet or Facebook post) to your network of friends and associates saying something like, “Guess what guys, I’m looking for employment again,” followed by a very brief, very clear description of what kind of employment you’d prefer, could work wonders. Many of those people that you tell will likely reach out to ask for more details. Resist the temptation to go into a long diatribe about what an evil cad your now ex-boss was, or how you never liked that filth-flarn company anyway. There will be much time for ranting in the days to come. When pressed for more deets, simply say, “I’m not in a space where I can talk about it right now, we’ll have to get together soon so I can tell you all the gory details. But if you can keep an eye out for (fabulous next job I’m looking for), I’d really appreciate it.”

 

Ask for Recommendations

Even if you were fired for less than stellar performance, there’s probably at least one person you worked with who actually liked you and the work you did. Instead of avoiding them like the plague, reach out and ask for a quick letter of recommendation. Or better yet, send them a LinkedIn request, so they can put their glowing recommendation of you on the interwebs for the whole world to see. Wait. You do have a LinkedIn account, right?

 

Get LinkedIn

If you don’t already have a profile on LinkedIn, shame on you. I’m sure it’s because you were so busy with work before that you didn’t have time to get it done. Well, now that that’s no longer a problem, it’s the perfect time for you to create or update your LinkedIn profile. Search for and make connections with your now-former coworkers. Consider this the part of the job loss chapter that you get to write yourself. You decide which characters you want to continue in the story, and how you express what your experience was like.

 

Update your resume

Even if you don’t intend to start looking for a new job right away, it’s best to update your resume while the details of your last position and accomplishments are still fresh in your mind. You may even consider putting up a free or inexpensive website to post your skills, your resume and examples of your work.

 

File for unemployment

Labor and employment laws differ for every state. And if you were fired for misconduct or negligence, you may not qualify to receive unemployment benefits. But it never hurts to try. Even if you and your former employer disagree about the reason for your termination, you may be able to appeal an initial denial of unemployment benefits.

 

Schedule some coffee dates

The unexpected change of routine that comes with a job loss can be a bit jarring. You’re probably used to getting up, getting dressed and going somewhere at the same time every day. The day after you get canned, reach out to a few friends and schedule at least 2-3 coffee or lunch dates for the following week. That way, your daily routine won’t be totally obliterated, and you won’t be tempted to hide in your house like it’s a dark cave of emotion. Plus, when you meet with your friend, you’ll get to vent, rant, ask for advice and suggestions, or receive a much needed dose of cheer.

 

Write your own training plan

Take some time to envision what sort of job or position you want next. Spend an hour or so searching on Careerbuilder, Monster and other job hunting sites for job descriptions that are similar the position you want. This will allow you to see what sort of skills or certifications are preferred for those roles, and which ones you may need to brush up on. Make a list of 2-3 classes you want to take, certifications you want to pursue, or professional skills that you want to improve upon. In the coming days (or weeks or months), your new job will be to find and complete training classes, self-directed projects, or pro-bono gigs that will prepare you for your next job.

 

Let’s be honest, it is statistically probable that you’re going to get fired at some point in your life. Your reason for being terminated may not even be your fault. And even if it is your fault, it isn’t the end of the world. Life goes on. You learn from the experience, pick yourself up, and move on to the next chapter. You aren’t the only one this has happened to, and you certainly won’t be the last. By taking small, immediate actions you’ll go a long way in dispelling the feelings of powerlessness that may come with a job loss. And by taking those actions you’ll remind yourself that, in the end, you are the only one responsible for your career destiny.

 

cheers,

k
photo 1: You’re Fired! by bjornmeansbear, on Flickr

photo 2: via jericapng, on Tumblr

photo 3: Unemployed Dad 488 by Bearman2007, on Flickr

Eat St. Filming Atlanta Food Trucks Nov. 11-15

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Hey Atlanta –

Want to come out and sample some of Atlanta’s best food truck fare AND get a chance to be on TV? 

Eat St. – the Food Network Canada show that profiles food trucks in North America – will be filming in Atlanta from Friday, November 11 through Tuesday, November 15. Five of Atlanta’s most loved food trucks will be profiled on the show, with a different food truck being filmed at a different Atlanta location each day.

Here’s the skinny:

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11th

Ibiza Bites – @Ibizabites

Where? 733 Lambert Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

12pm – 2pm

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH

Tex’s Tacos – @Texstacos

Where? Howell Mill Food Park, 1927 Emery Street, Atlanta, GA 30318

12-2pm

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH

Mobile Marlay – @Themobilemarlay

Where? Virginia Highlands

12 – 2pm

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14th

Wow! Food Truck – @wowfoodtruck

Where? Tower Place in Buckhead 3365 Piedmont Rd NE Atlanta, GA

12 – 2pm

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15th

Buen Provecho – @Buenprovechotrk

Where? King Plow: 887 West Marietta St. Atlanta GA 30318

12:30 – 2pm

 

For full details on the food trucks and filming dates, visit the Eat St. blog.

pre-holiday detox: 5-day cleanse before you binge

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If this holiday season is anything like last year’s, it will be indulgent. Very, very indulgent. Already, my weekend calendar for the next month is jam-packed with events where hearty food and heavy drink will be the central focus. And that doesn’t even include Thanksgiving.

The chances of me abstaining from this once-a-year feeding frenzy are about as slim as the chances that some portly, older gentleman will slide down my chimney and deliver gifts in late December. Translation: It ain’t happening. But if I’m going to make it to the end of the year looking less like Santa Claus and more like Jesus, I’ve got to do something to counteract the bingeing.

I decided to reach out to my good friend Maria Bee for her advice. Maria and I know each other from our road warrior consulting days when frequent travel, frequent stress and frequent dining out was a part of our daily lives. Since then, Maria has “taken back her life” by teaching everyday slackers like me how to eat and exercise better. And believe me, this lady knows her stuff. As a former fitness competitor (Ms. Figure America Winner, 2009), a personal trainer, and a naturopathic practitioner, Maria is an expert on maintaining overall body health through proper nutrition and exercise. She dishes out tough-love-style diet and exercise advice on her Facebook page and through her blog.

Last week, I mentioned to Maria that I wanted to do a 5-day cleanse each month of the holiday season, and was looking for alternatives to the all-too-strict Master Cleanse that I’ve done a few times before. As luck would have it, Maria was just starting a 5-day pre-holiday cleanse herself and was kind enough to share her daily regimen with me, so I thought I’d pass it along to you, Dear Reader.

 

Maria Bee’s Pre-Holiday 5-Day Cleanse

Upon Waking: First thing in the morning, drink  1 cup of water

 

For Breakfast – Fruit smoothie with vegetable-based protein

Ingredients: 5 strawberries, 10 blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 slice pineapple, 2 tablespoons flax seed oil, 1 teaspoon spurilina, 1 teaspoon macca powder, 25-40 grams Protein powder, Ice (optional), 1 tablespoon local honey (optional)
To Make: Pour all ingredients into a blender, blend well and serve.

 

For Lunch – Large Salad

Ingredients: Kale, purple onions, cucumber, mushroom, spinach, raisins (optional), broccoli, 1 slice of avocado, Any type of vinaigrette dressing

Drink 16 ounces of water with lunch

 

For Mid-day Snack (after lunch and before dinner)

Mix 16 ounces of water with a pinch of cayenne pepper and 3 teaspoons of lemon.

Drink water mixture along with a handful of almonds

 

For Dinner, Option #1 – Vegetable Juice (requires a juicer)
If you don’t have a juicer, use the veggie wrap recipe below.

Drink 16 ounces of water at dinner

Ingredients: 1 broccoli bunch (with stem), 1 handful of spinach, 2 celery sticks, 1/2 Chayote squash, 1 Chard, 2 stems of mustard greens, 2 pinches of cayenne pepper, 1 stalk of ginger, 2 lemons

 

For Dinner, Option #2 – Veggie Wrap (no juicer required)
Drink 16 ounces of water at dinner

Ingredients: 1 Collard Green leaf, 1 tablespoon hummus, 1 chopped yellow onion, 5 mushrooms cut, 1 green pepper sliced, 1 red pepper sliced, 1/3 cucumber sliced, 3 green olives, 1 broccoli flower cut, 2 slices avocado, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing, *any additional vegetables can be added

To Make: Take the collard green wrap and rinse thoroughly, lat flat and spread hummus. Add green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, cucumber, olives, mushroom, and onion. Pour olive oil over vegetables, add avocado and vinaigrette dressing. Roll collard green into a wrap, use additional hummus or vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.

 

As you can see, the focus of the cleanse is raw foods, and it’s a great way to boost nutrition and energy before the holidays or any time that your eating habits have gotten out of wack. The supplements and special ingredients listed in Maria’s recipes can be found at most health food stores.

For additional foods that will help you with your pre-holiday clearance, check out Maria’s post: Top 10 Cleansing Foods.

to your health,

k

 

photo:Diet Police fridge magnet by lydiashiningbrightly, on Flickr