Monday, June 25, 2007

Angel Food

Jen has tagged me with a meme about food. Now, if you know me already, you probably know that I am not one of those fortunate few people in the world who eat to live. Although, it would be hard to describe me as someone who lives to eat either.

Food and I have a complicated relationship. I wish I could be one of those picky palates that hates most food, picks at my food barely eating any of it, but then can get away with eating fries and indulging in milkshakes. Sadly, that's not me. I love all kinds of fruits and vegetables and complicated dishes with fancy sauces and seafood and steaks and gooey desserts.

I enjoy good food and eschew food that doesn't live up to my standards when possible. Now that I have kids I find myself eating fast food way more often than I'd like, but sometimes you just have let the kids run wild in the Mickey D's Playland.

So, about this meme.... Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Include the state and country you live in.
3. List top five favorite local restaurants.
4. Tag five other people and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Okay. I'm in Atlanta, Georgia and I just have to say... Five? I only get to choose five? Not enough! But okay, I'll try. So, my top five local restaurants, in no particular order, are:

1. Prime – Yes, it's in a mall, but it's not anything like what you think a restaurant in a mall will be. It's excellent. Wonderful steaks and seafood. An attentive, if sometimes pretentious, waitstaff. The plank-grilled salmon served with spinach over cheese grits is to die for. If I had to choose a last meal, that might be it. They also have an extensive and impressive wine list.

2. CafĂ© Intermezzo – I never get to go here, but I adore this place. I've been going there since I was in college. My girlfriends and I used to go there for coffee and dessert to break the monotony of the dining hall. I think most people think of this as strictly a dessert bar, but their dinner menu is eclectic and very good. Lots of rich, delicious pastas and unusual sandwiches. They serve hand mixed Italian sodas, have a decent selection of wines, and a very impressive selection of expensive single malt Scotches. If you're into that sort of thing. Also, the most impressive and delectable selection of desserts in the city. And, oh yeah.... great coffee. I almost forgot. This place reeks of atmosphere. They play opera in the background and often show Italian movies on the wall in the main room by the bar. The patio is suspended in the air above a parking lot, but surrounded by trees. This would make a great place for a first date.

3. Frijoleros – Like so many of my favorite Atlanta hang-outs this place no longer exists. But I thought it deserved a spot on my list anyway. A tiny hole-in-the-wall burrito joint with an excellent green sauce, Frijoleros was on Peachtree next door to the now-also-non-existent Cotton Club. Really, truly, the best burritos in town. Hands down. All you fools who preferred Tortillas on Ponce were nuts. Nuts, I say. And I am constantly reminded of the time my sweet roommate told me about this great place her boyfriend took her called Free-joe-lah-ruhs. It took me an hour to figure out what she actually meant. It still makes me laugh out loud.

4. Dusty's – World class barbecue. I know there's no agreeing on styles among barbecue fanatics. I like mine shredded, smoky, with a good sweet, but slightly spicy sauce. On a bun. With a pickle. I also dig SC style mustard sauce, but there's none of that at Dusty's. Straight up pig with the standard sides. They also, oddly enough, make the BEST veggie burger in town. No joke. If you go there, look for the mural that Scott and his friend Mark have deemed Pig Heaven. Actually, if you follow the link, you can see it on their site.

5. Heaping Bowl and Brew – Just a soft spot in my heart for this place. It's the only place I've ever waited tables. My friend Todd Semrau started this place when he lived in East Atlanta. He believed in the potential of the neighborhood when everyone else thought he was a lunatic. When he opened the restaurant he couldn't afford to pay a waitstaff so his friends and family all pitched in to help. My friend Courtney and I waited tables together that night and I think combined we made $25 in tips which we split. Hands down the Bowl has the best sweet potato fries ever. Actually, this was the first place I ever heard of sweet potato fries.

Okay. Those are my five. I will tag Suzanne, Lindsay, Jeremy, A., and Rennratt.