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Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat

This one is so hard because I love so many places!

I am going to go with my favorite brunch/lunch weekend spot – West Egg Cafe.   If you live in Atlanta, you seriously need to check this place out.  The food is amazing – I’ve never had anything I didn’t love.

What makes it so great is that they offer quite the assortment of food.  From appetizers and breakfast all day to an assortment of sandwiches and entrees.  It’s all delicious!

One of my favorite items is the goat cheese with pepper jelly appetizer.  It’s seriously the best goat cheese I’ve ever had!  My other mouth-watering faves include the shortrib hash, turkey bacon gouda sandwich, fried green tomato wrap, and the pig and grits. The burgers and fries are also quite tasty!  They also make a number of amazing soups.  My favorite is spinach, but sadly it’s one of the ones they don’t make that often.

I wish I had some pictures of the food to share with you, but sadly I don’t.  But here are some shots of the restaurant itself!

 

Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.

2011 has been kicking my butt, health-wise.  In January I got a gnarly sinus infection that had me out of commission for a weekend and out of work for two days.  It was no fun, but a dose of antibiotics knocked it out.  Thankfully!

About two weeks later, I came down with the stomach flu from hell.  I woke up at 3:45 a.m. and spent the next two hours simultaneously puking and pooing.  I have never been so sick where it was coming out of both ends at the same time.  It. Was. Horrible.

Fast forward to this week, where I have been dealing with a super sore throat, headache, minor body aches, and a cough that rattles my poor chest.  I think I’m getting sick again, near the weekend, which really annoys me.

Since I’m feeling kind of crappy, I decided that lunch from my favorite little Chinese/Thai place would be great.  Nothing like hot and sour soup, basil rolls, and spring rolls to make you feel better on a crappy day!

Spring roll, basil roll, and hot and sour soup

Woo-hoo, I’m actually posting something.

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.

My giant cupcake and me

I took this picture of myself yesterday after I finished my lunch.  There is this cute little coffee place by my office that also sells lunch items, so we swung by to get some takeout.  At the register, I was lured in by a plate of delicious looking cupcakes.  Turns out they were Gigi’s Cupcakes, so I had to get one.

I chose Carmel Sugar Mama and was it ever tasty.  My only complaint is that there is so much icing on these little guys.  It looks so pretty, but I always feel bad wasting it. The cupcake did help brighten my afternoon, especially since I felt like I was coming down with something (scratchy throat and headache).

After work, I swung by Target to get some household items and stumbled across some cute shirts on sale, so I ended up buying them too! 🙂 When I was finished shopping, T and I decided to grab Korean BBQ tacos from our favorite little place by our house.  They are amazing!

Hankook Tacos - Crispy Shrimp Taco and Special Buffalo Chicken Taco

We ended the evening by watching Date Night.  If you haven’t seen it, I totally recommend it.  It’s hilarious.  We were laughing so hard.  At one point I was almost in tears!

Tonight T and I are heading back to Holeman & Finch to sample the famous burger.  The restaurant is having a special where they will be selling the burgers all night, starting at 5 p.m. in honor of being named the best hamburger in the US by the Food Network show America’s Best, hosted by Alton Brown.  Normally they are only available  starting at 10 p.m. (and they only make 24) or on Sundays from 12-3.  So this is the perfect opportunity to sample one of these bad boys.

Let me just tell you, we are super excited!  Everything is made from scratch – the patty, bun, pickles, even the mustard and ketchup.  Personally, we make some pretty mouth-watering burgers ourselves, so I can’t wait to try what is considered to be the best.  A lot of time, restaurant burgers don’t live up to my expectations, but I haven’t heard anything bad about these guys and they keep winning awards.

Plus, the rest of the menu is delicious and the cocktails are amazing, so you just can’t go wrong.  Seriously, it’s a great way to pass a Tuesday evening.

If you live in Atlanta, don’t forget to stop by!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?

Our little five-day trip to New York was a blast.  We managed to do some fun things with both family and friends and got to see everyone we wanted to at least a couple of times.  I always like going up when it’s not Christmas because everyone is so busy doing the family thing that it’s hard to spend time with all of our friends.  Plus the weather is so much nicer in May, especially this year.

We got to T’s parents’ house right at midnight on Wednesday/Thursday, which wasn’t too bad.  Of course right when we walked through the door, we were greeted with an array of wine, which we sat up drinking with the family until 4 a.m.  It was fun to chat up with his parents and little brothers and catch up.

Thursday morning we woke up and decided to go eat lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, which has such a beautiful campus.  If only I’d known how much I’d love cooking when I had lived up there, maybe I would have considered attending school there.  We went to Al Forno, the casual Italian restaurant for pizza.  Since there was an open kitchen, we could watch the chef preparing our gourmet pies.  I opted for the Parma-Tomato, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Arugula pizza, and it was delicious!  The crust was so light and airy and the toppings offered the perfect combination of savory and spicy.

After lunch, we decided to hit up the Walkway over the Hudson, which T’s dad has been trying to get us on since it opened.  We really didn’t want to go when we up there in the winter because we figured it would be cold and miserable.  It was a niceish day when we went, but of course when we were halfway across, a storm started blowing in so it got really dark and windy.  Since the weather was looking kind of sketchy, we decided to only go halfway across.  It was really cool to be up there and be able to see for miles in both directions.  I’d definitely go there to walk if I lived up there – the breeze is refreshing and the view is amazing.

Notice my hair from the wind?

On Friday, we went to the Yankees game.  We rented a van and gathered 13 of our friends and family and piled in for the two-hour trek to the city.  When we first got on the road, the van started sputtering and bucking, then the check engine light came on.  Everyone was worried we wouldn’t make it down to the city, so we ended up having to switch out the van.  An hour after our planned departure time, we were on the road.  Unfortunately, the AC didn’t really work too well, so we had to make the whole trip with the windows down.  Luckily we had some drinkies to make the ride a little smoother.

We tailgated for a little while before heading into the game.  Since there were so many of us, we’d gotten seats in the bleacher section.  We were all laughing and having a good time when one of T’s bros stepped on a ketchup packet and it sprayed about 30 people (one ketchup package did quite some damage).  People were pissed, there was almost a brawl, and the whole section was chanting “throw out the asshole.”  Yeah, it was awesome – of course I missed all of the drama because I was in the bathroom and only returned to see the aftermath.  Since people were pissy, and we weren’t 100% invested in the game, I took Ketchup Bro to the car where we had a couple of beers and bonded while we waited for everyone to get out of the game.

Happy at the game before the ketchup explosion

Saturday was T’s dad’s birthday, so we hung out on the patio with some cocktails.  At one point T’s dad brought out his guitar and played for a while.  This inspired T to bust out his old sax and try to play a little too.  Unfortunately neither one of us really remembered how to read music, so he wasn’t too successful, but we had a great time.

Later that night we tried a new place for dinner – Stephano’s Ristorante.  It was this teeny, tiny little restaurant and it was pretty crammed with people.  The food was good, but the portions were gigantic.  I almost had a heart attack when they brought out my single serving of zuppa de pesce that looked like it could feed a family of four!  They had to box my leftovers in a catering foil pan, that’s how much was left!

My leftovers seriously weighed like 10 pounds

Sunday was pretty chill.  We went to brunch at this place we’d never been to – Shadows on the Hudson – for T’s uncle’s birthday.  We sat on the patio and had a nice view of the Hudson while we stuffed our faces.  Then we spent the afternoon visiting with his mom’s parents and brother and sister.  Later that night, we had our friends over for a goodbye barbecue, where T and I prepared the food.  Not to toot my own horn, but people were raving about our food.

Sadly on Monday we had to fly back to head back to work.  We had a late afternoon flight, so we were hoping that we’d be able to get back to Atlanta at a decent time and hang out with friends.  That was wishful thinking…apparently there were crazy thunderstorms all up and down the east coast, so we were severely delayed.  We sat on the plane for about 2 hours before we were able to take off.  It was a really annoying way to end an otherwise amazing trip.

And in honor of such a New Yorkie post, I wanted to share a picture that I took this weekend during a party that JD hosted – I’m totally channeling my inner guidette!

Check out our big hair, fake nails, and smoky eyes!

Well, well.  Apparently I’m a blogging machine today! I’m about to have a 5-day weekend, which will be spent in New York, visiting friends, going to a Yankees game, and eating and drinking like champs.  I. Can’t. Wait!  Mentally I have checked out (sorry work), but I still have to get through today and tomorrow.  But I had the urge to write some posts on my lunch break, so by God I am doing it.

Friday night, T and I decided to go on a date night.  It’d been a minute since the two of us had gone out for dinner alone, so we thought it would be a nice way to start the weekend.  A few weekends ago, we’d been watching Chef’s vs. City All Star Atlanta.  One of the first stops on the show was Holeman & Finch Public House, which both T and I had been hearing great things about.  Catching a glimpse of the inside of the place during the show inspired us to get our butts there.  The show highlighted their famous house-made burger (they only make 24 a night and start serving them at 10 p.m.), but T and I were intrigued by the rest of the offal-centric (aka, the parts you don’t normally think to eat) menu.

Being German, means that I have been exposed to some more odd foods in my lifetime, so I guess you could say I’m slightly adventurous when it comes to certain foods, and the older I get, the more experimental I’ve become.

The place is very intimate and they don’t take reservations, so I’d recommend getting there early.  We arrived around 7:45 and were seated right away.  When you walk in, you are greeted by a glass-enclosed kitchen so you can see the chefs doing what they do best – making some damn tasty dishes!  We were seated by the window, which is great since we love to people watch!

As soon as we settled in, we dove right into the menu.  The dishes are served tapas-style, so they are great for sharing and it means you can sample a variety of items.  While we were perusing our options, we ordered some cocktails.  I opted for the Cloak and Swagger, a mixture of aviation gin, canton ginger liqueur, lemon juice + angostura bitters. It was a very refreshing and summery cocktail, perfect for a hot day.  T chose the the angora sweater, which is a mixture of myer’s platinum rum, campari, dolin blanc vermouth, fresh ginger, orange juice + peychauds bitters.  His had a bit of a bitter bite to it, which is not my style, but he really enjoyed it.

After careful consideration, we decided on four dishes – two from the Plates section and two from the Parts section.  We started the meal with the pot of chicken pate with honey/apple cider jelly and toast, and it was to die for.  It was so rich, creamy and flavorful.  We seriously could have eaten 10 of those little pots!  Following that, we were brought the hand chopped steak tartare with a farm egg, house-made creole mustard, and shoestring potatoes.  To be honest, I was a little skeptical about the tartare.  I’d never eaten it and was curious as to how tasty raw steak could really be.  Let me tell you something, I loved it.  It sort of reminded me of sushi texture-wise, and it had such an amazing flavor – it was creamy yet packed a little bit of a bite from the mustard, and the shoestring potatoes added a nice crunch.  I really enjoyed it.

For the second half of our meal, we ordered the griddled pork belly with anson mills grits and chow chow, and the gratin of marrow with parsley salad and country bread.  Both of these dishes were delicious, but I liked the first two items much better.  I am a huge fan of bone marrow and have been eating it for years before it was the hot new thing to try, and the marrow we had here was different from any other kind I’ve eaten before.  This seemed a little more gelatinous than I was used to, but it still had a great flavor.  The pork belly was tasty, but I have to say that I liked Kevin’s at Woodfire Grill a little bit more.  But the grits were amazing; so creamy and rich.  Yum!

If you are ever in Atlanta and feel adventurous, I’d definitely recommend Holeman & Finch.  T and I are planning to make a return visit with my parents one day to sample the whole pig’s head and of course try the famous burger!

I was going to mention our Saturday food adventures in honor of my mom’s birthday, but I just realized that I wrote quite the novel.  So, I guess I’ll save it for another day.

I may or may not post tomorrow before jetting up to Po-town for a weekend of fun with friends and T’s family.  If I don’t get a chance to write, I’ll see you on the flip side lovelies! 🙂

April has kicked off with quite a bang.  Of course I ended up getting sick last week and had to bail on the Third Eye Blind concert last Thursday.  Luckily I felt better by Friday, and T’s birthday weekend wasn’t ruined.

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Georgia has jumped straight from winter right into summer (except today we have more spring-like temperatures).  On Good Friday we got out of work early, so I went over to my co-worker Mel’s house and we laid out because it was 80 degrees.  It was nice to finally be able to be outside without freezing to death.

That night, T and I had planned to go out to dinner for his birthday, but since it was perfect patio weather, we opted to have friends over for a cookout instead.  It was a meat extravaganza chez moi that night – burgers, brats, Italian sausages, chicken drumsticks, and steaks.  We had some potato salad as a side to give us one meat-free item.

Saturday, we headed down to my parents house to celebrate T’s birthday and Easter.  Since he is a fan of fondue, we decided to prepare  cheese and oil fondues.  Let me tell you, the cheese fondue was amazing.  You should have seen as all scarfing it down – it was like we hadn’t eaten in a month!

Fondue on the porch

After dinner, ASP and her husband stopped by to hang out for a bit, as well as our German neighbors.  The rest of the night consisted of consuming copious amounts of beer and German liquor, Williams Birne (a pear-flavored brandy, aka Firewater to our American friends) and Apfelkorn (a sweet apple flavored liqueur).  My dad got a little tipsy and was regaling us with all of his tales from the days when he was a young military police officer in Germany.  He had some pretty crazy stories that had everyone cracking up!

On Easter morning, we all got up and looked for our Easter baskets.  Yes, we are all in our mid to late 20s and my parents hide baskets for us to find.  I love it, even though I always suck at finding mine.  After we ate breakfast, we spent hours hanging out on the patio, playing canasta (we are a total game playing-addicted family).  If you’ve never tried it, it really is a cool card game.  Our German neighbors came over again and had Easter dinner with us.  All in all, it was a fun and relaxing weekend.

Monday I took a half-day so we could go to the Braves’ opening day game.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, not a cloud in the sky kind of day, and it was 86 degrees out.  I opted to wear a strapless sundress so I wouldn’t end up with a funky farmer’s tan and ended up burning my upper back and shoulders.  I seriously looked like a lobster.  I guess not wearing sunscreen was a bad choice.  We had a great time despite the heat (even though we peaced out a little early) and the Braves won, so it was a great day!

Tuesday, JD and I went to a Thrashers game with CMc and her boyfriend.  We had seats 3 rows from the ice!  It was pretty damn awesome to be so close.  Unfortunately the Thrashers sucked it up that night and didn’t score once.  But we still managed to have a fun night.  And nothing beats seeing grown men slam each other up against the Plexiglas and seeing their faces all smooshed up on the glass.  I love watching hockey!  I really miss watching T play – I think he needs to get into a men’s league or something.

We were so close!

So far April has been a pretty fun month.  This Saturday we are going camping for T’s birthday round 2 with a big group of friends, and I know that will be as insane and fun as it was last year.  I can’t wait!

So, how has April been treating you so far?

On Thursday night, T and I decided to venture out to Buckhead to go to dinner.  Since it was Buckhead Restaurant Week, we opted to try out Tom Colicchio’s Craft.  We were both excited to dine at the Top Chef judge’s Atlanta hot-spot.  The restaurant is located in the heart of Buckhead, surrounded by high-rise office buildings and condos.  Upon entering in the glass front doors, you are immediately greeted by the smell of  a wood burning oven – I don’t know about you, but I just love that smell.

We were seated in the upstairs dining room, right by the staircase, which is always a fun spot because both T and I like to people watch.  The decor was classy and chic, featuring lots of warm wood accents, large windows, and unique lighting – individual filament light bulbs that gave off just the perfect amount of glow.   We were both starving, so we jumped right into perusing the menu to find the perfect meal for our date night.  Of course we both immediately found dishes that we were dying to try, so the discounted restaurant week menu went right out the window.  We started off our meal with cocktails – T with his standard dirty martini and me with a Sunshine Squeeze #1, a tasty blend of vodka, fresh ginger, cane syrup and fresh lemon and lime juice.  This is definitely the perfect springtime or summer cocktail, and I will totally try to recreate it at home on of these days!

We decided it would be best to share an appetizer and each order an entrée and a side since the food is served to share if you’d like.  T really wanted to sample the Veal Sweetbreads, so I agreed.  I was a little nervous about eating them, since I’ve only had them one other time, but I am so glad we did (you just can’t think about what you’re eating, and you’ll be A-Okay).  They were delicious!  T and I agreed that they were our favorite item of our dinner.  They were served in a sweet and tangy sauce with kumquats in it as well.  It was the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and I could seriously eat them once a week!

For our main meal, T opted to have the Colorado Lamb Loin & Shoulder and the Winter Squash & Pancetta Risotto, while I went with the Muscovy Duck Breast & Confit Leg and the Gnocchi.  If I could have a do-over, I would do it here.  The confit leg was delicious, but I wasn’t 100 percent in love with the duck breast.  It was cooked medium, which was a little weird for me since I’ve only ever eaten duck well-done.  If I could go back, I would ask for it to be cooked well.  The texture of the breast was a little rubbery since it was medium, which I had a hard time getting over.  I loved the flavor of the seasoning and sauce, but I just couldn’t get past the texture and the fact that it wasn’t well-done.  T’s lamb was really delicious and the medium cooking temperature was perfect for his dish.  I also think it would have been better if we’d have chosen one veggie and one starch, instead of two starches for our sides.  T’s risotto was really rich and delicious.  The gnocchi was so soft and pillowy, but I would have liked them to be a little saltier and saucier.

My duck with the risotto and gnocchi

T’s lamb, gnocchi and risotto

Overall, we both really enjoyed ourselves and the food (even though the price tag was a bit of a killer).  I think we’ll go back one of these days to try some of the other tasty morsels on the menu.  Maybe we’ll even venture to Craftbar, located downstairs, for some more casual and delicious dining.

Have you eaten anywhere amazing lately?

**Keep your eyes peeled – in the next few weeks, this little blog will be hosting its very first giveaway!  Details to come…**

Does anyone else feel like today should be Friday?  No? Just me?  Alrighty then.

I don’t know what’s up, but lately I feel like the work weeks are dragging by so slowly.  But of course this phenomenon can never happen on the weekends, which fly by in a flash!  Major suckage.

Speaking of weekends, this one is going to be quite the doozy.  We are going to be busy, busy bees.  Tomorrow night we are getting together with friends of a friend (along with some of our regulars – JD, CGN and her husband Dr. D) to grab some food and drinks.  We decided to try Ormsby’s, a new west Atlanta pub with an awesome game room.  Last night there was an alumni singles mixers there, so I accompanied JD to the event.  We opted not to actually attend, but just hang out and enjoy the scene.  We had a couple of cocktails and people watched, and had a grand ole time.  Before we left we decided to explore the downstairs area, which features another bar and assortment of games – backgammon, bocce (complete with its own bocce court and room!), darts, pool, and shuffleboard.  I think it will definitely be a lot of fun to hang out there tomorrow night – as long as the crowds aren’t insane!

Saturday will be the busiest of days.  T and I may have to pop by Little S’s place to help hang some new Sheetrock on her kitchen ceiling.  After we finish there, we will be heading to the Atlanta Snuggie Pub Crawl.  Laugh all you want, but I am super excited about this.  I am a sucker for all things themed.

Since wearing a Snuggie is just not enough, JD and I have decided to kick ours up to the next level by bedazzling them (T doesn’t want to wear one – what a bum!).  And making them all pretty is good and all, but they need something to make them scream “WOWW,” so we are doing them up Jersey Shore style.  We will rock the bumpits, big sunglasses and hoop earrings, and have Snuggies that scream guidette – mine will more than likely say the Princess of Poughkeepsie (sorry Snooks, but I used to live there too and I have seniority because I’m old and shit) in faux crystals and all the jazz.  Before we go out tomorrow, we will have to get our hot glue guns out.  Fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain on Saturday!

Later on Saturday night, T and I are meeting up with our friend SJ and some of his friends from out-of-town to go see Umphrey’s McGee.   I don’t know a ton of their songs, but we always jam out to them when we’re hanging around SJ’s fire pit and I liked them when we went to the concert last year.  Hopefully I won’t be too schmammered from the pub crawl to have fun! 🙂

Sunday, we will more than likely be hosting a Super Bowl party – our first one!  Little S was going to have one at her place this year, but she is remodeling her kitchen at the moment and her house is all torn apart, making it a less than ideal spot for a party.  Since no one else has mentioned doing anything, T and I invited friends over.  I figure since we have the kegerator and will be supplying the beer, other folks can bring the munchies.  FYI – I just ordered our 4th keg today!  Can you say Lushy McLushersons?

Now here’s where you come in lovely readers.  I do want to make a couple of yummy and inexpensive appetizers.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I would love to branch out and try something new.  I figure we’ll have somewhere between 10-20 people coming by.  Thanks for your input!

There is this really good Chinese and Thai restaurant (it’s called Mint for you Atlanta folks) by my office that we always get food from.  It’s in this little Hispanic and Asian shopping center and doesn’t really look like much (well, they’ve redone the entrance so it looks a little fancier now).  It’s this teeny tiny restaurant with about 12 tables, but it gets packed.  The food there is so amazing  and the staff is super sweet.

We order from them so much that they know who we are as soon as we walk in.  Take today for example, I decided I wanted hot and sour soup and basil rolls for lunch.  I decided to just order take out since Mel was to busy to eat out.  When I walked in to pick it up, one of the guys greeted me by name.  He had a huge smile on his face as hey said “Hey Bing.  How have you been?”  We chatted for a few minutes and got caught up – I always assumed he was the owner but I hadn’t seen him in months, but it was good to know he was back.  He is just so sweet.  He asked about all the ladies in my office and asked if we were busy since we hadn’t come in to eat in forever.

There is nothing more pleasing to me than to walk into a restaurant where the staff knows you and greets you with a big smile and seems genuinely happy to see you back there.  And then they kid you about being too busy to come by.  It really makes you feel appreciated and makes you want to continue to eat there again and again.

Just so you can know how great everyone at Mint is, I thought I’d share this little story with you.  Last year Mel (co-worker) and I decided to head there for lunch since it was her birthday.  We’d been pretty busy in the office, so we hadn’t been by in a while.  The same guy from today was asking us why we hadn’t been in.  We told him things were hectic, but we snuck out to celebrate Mel’s birthday.  When he heard that, he got a huge grin on his face then walked away.  A few minutes later he reappeared with a dessert that had a candle sticking out of it.  He wished Mel a happy birthday and let us know that it was a popular Thai dessert.  I’m pretty sure it was called Thai Mango Sticky Sweet Rice, and it was tasty!  I know it wasn’t much, but I thought it was a really sweet gesture. Nothing makes me smile more than when nice, good-hearted people share their happiness with you.  And it gives me the warm fuzzies to know that their restaurant is successful and that everyone who eats there loves it.

Another reason why I love this little place is that the food is delicious.  I have never eaten anything there that didn’t taste good.  And seriously, they have the best hot and sour soup I have ever had.  Anytime I get Chinese, I compare the soup to Mint’s, and it’s always 100 times better than other ones.  I don’t ever think I’ll find a soup that’s as tasty!

Well, that’s it for my randomness.  Off to watch the season finale of Jersey Shore – sadness!

Do you frequent a restaurant that is basically a diamond in the rough where the staff know you by name and tease you for not coming by often enough?

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