Spicy beef noodle soup

Quick bite – the spicy hand-pulled noodle soup with beef at New Lan Zhou in the Chinatown food court. I think it was $6.99, cash only.

Really fantastic.

What a great in-town Chinese food court, I don’t make it there enough. Noodles, Sichuan, Hong Kong style BBQ, and dim sum all represented.


Chicken and burger cooking

Each month I Evernote-file dozens of recipes and ideas to try, I purchase a handful of cookbooks a year, yet half my cooking is incited by my love of comforting fatty foods, grilled things, and fried stuff, especially chicken parts.

If I see a fried chicken recipe with a minor twist, I must add it to my repertoire. I recently tried two chicken recipes from the Bon Appetit Best New Restaurant edition – the pickle brined fried chicken from Rose’s Luxury in DC and the crab fat caramel wings from Hot Joy in Houston.

The pickle brine adds a nice flavor, and the addition of so much vinegar provides a very short brine period, otherwise the chicken will get quite mushy. They go for a buttermilk dip, with a flour dredge using wet buttermilk fingers, so that the batter picks up craggly bits, a method I’ve read that Chik-Fil-A popularized, though they allegedly use pickle juice.

The fry is low and slow, creating a crackly crisp shell that will retain superb crunch through the next day in the fridge, if it makes it that long. It’s quite good. Not sure it will become go-to method or anything, but it’s a nice move to have in your pocket. Oh, and when I made the pickle brine I used some to make cucumber pickle spears, and they came out great. Bonus.

I added a hit of hot chicken spices to a few pieces, including this one below, and while yes, it was very vibrant looking, a bit of this neon effect is from Instagram and I deleted the original photo on accident.

Chicken and burger cooking

Below are the crab fat wings. A breaded wing, the sticky sweet sauce is made by first heavily reducing fish sauce, which I smartly did at someone else’s home, though I don’t think I endeared myself to my brother and sister in-law. They are tasty, but a bit too sweet for my taste, and the crab paste (easily found at BHFM) didn’t really come through. I’d prefer making the pok pok wings if you want to go for a similar profile.

Chicken and burger cooking

Next up – burgers. I ground a couple pounds of beef after I decided I had a hankering for green chile cheese burgers. This one is two smashed 4oz patties with cumin and homemade chile powder mixed into the patty, topped with green chiles, jack cheese, and a chile powder mayo on a potato bun. The seasoning was an idea from Saveur and I would not repeat it. Salt and pepper is all the beef needs and there is plenty of spice in the mayo.

Chicken and burger cooking

The next day I grilled a monster burger, lots of salt and pepper, sriracha mayo from Sir Kensington, green habanero sauce, green chiles, and cheddar.

Chicken and burger cooking

Seared both sides for a few minutes then dropped the temp very low and let it come to mid-rare. It was fabulous.

Later that night I did a smash style but with a thicker patty, maybe six ounces, so it was cooked to a medium on the pink side, but had a great crunch on the one pressed side. It may have been my favorite of the three – smash with substance. Man, I love a good burger, even three meals in a row. If you don’t grind your own, you really need to get on board that train.

Chicken and burger cooking


Craft Izakaya

September 14, 2014 · 0 comments

in atlanta, dining out

Craft Izakaya

Craft Izakaya has opened in the new-new Krog St Market. It’s been rocking for a few weeks now, with some people making a dozen visits to my lowly one. I’ve been out of town and/or sick for nearly the last three weeks, so I’m eager to hit up some restaurants, and lately there are plenty of new options to try.

As always, I will preface that the owner of Craft Izakaya is a friend, one I’ve made through a few years of visits to Sushi Huku, his other restaurant, a more traditional sushi-ya.

For maybe two years Jey has told me about the restaurant he wanted to open, with a full bar, yakitori, and “elevated” offerings where he wanted to up his game.

Based on what I saw going on in the restaurant, and based on the huge grin on Jey’s face, from a guy who just worked an eighty hour week and loved every minute of it, I think he’s on his way to great success.

The menu is relevant and great for sharing and snacking and drinking and having a good time – the soul of an izakaya. Service is getting their bearings a bit, but that could be easily improved. Cocktails were very good. The boozy bubble tea put me on my ass.

The Krog Street Market is shaping up nicely; I recently had some nice desserts at The Luminary, which is right next door.

I can’t wait to return.

Craft Izakaya

Yakitori (meatball, heart)

Craft Izakaya

Whole baby flounder (“I ate the bones!!!”)

Craft Izakaya


Craft Izakaya

Chef/Owner Jey Oh at end – there were many Huku regulars there.

Craft Izakaya

Boozy “bubble” tea

Craft Izakaya

Nate Shuman on the bar side on the interior of the market.

Craft Izakaya


Home Grown Comfy Chicken Biscuit

August 25, 2014

Maybe this is old hat to all you east side playerz, but I’ve only visited Home Grown three times now, and this past weekend was the first time I’ve heard of, seen, or tasted the comfy chicken biscuit. Let me set the scene – In bed, slightly hung over, aching for that perfect breakfast item […]

2 comments Read the full post →

The Atlanta Burger and Fry Index

August 12, 2014

For lunch today I had the Canoe burger, which on a value/taste matrix, may be the best burger and fry in town. It’s what I call a hotel burger. It’s an over-sized hockey puck of in-house ground beef, properly cooked to temp, served with all the fixings – charred onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and little […]

2 comments Read the full post →

Tomato Dishes

August 11, 2014

We are in the primetime for tomatoes, and every summer I get all anxious that I’m not taking advantage. I mean, I probably only have forty good tomato seasons in my lifetime. When I was a kid I didn’t appreciate it. Then later in life in our Matrix Reloaded sub-terrain world I will be old […]

1 comment Read the full post →

Uni / Sushi Huku / Craft Izakaya

August 7, 2014

The other evening, after a long day, I wanted to go out by myself for a quick bite. I thought about the brand new Pig & The Pearl (no alcohol) and the new-new Luminary (would have had to fight traffic), but I ended up at a happy place – Sushi Huku for some raw fish treats. My friend/Chef Jey […]

5 comments Read the full post →


July 29, 2014

LOVE IT. Cooked and ate and drank with good Friends this weekend, taking full advantage of the seasonal bounty. Field peas, corn, tomatoes, peaches, king salmon – it was basically like the cover of a July issue of Bon App up in this bitch. I brought the peaches (from SC, better than GA) and summer […]

2 comments Read the full post →