home grown

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 to fix what ails. Browsing the internet for ideas (yes, I do use Yelp for ideas sometimes) and I come across a picture of the comfy chicken. It was instantaneous. THIS IS HAPPENING. Hopped on the empty interstate. Arrived to already packed restaurant at 8:45AM (opens at 8). Open seat at end of the bar. Yes, coffee. Water too please. No, I don’t need a menu and yes I know what I want.

Pure happiness.

It was everything I wanted it to be and I was sad today while I ate my yogurt and honey. Emptiness, I think you could call it.

Comfy chicken biscuit - I miss you.

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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 ramekins of mayo, mustard, and ketchup. It comes with a big pile of completely acceptable fries and gratis bread and butter for $11. That’s at lunch only, mind you. The dinner version is $16 and is made with a mixture of duck and beef.

I am confident that any man (or woman) will walk away from this burger more than satisfied. It may be the most pure beef flavored burger in town. And the way burger prices are creeping up, it got me thinking, I think it’s one of the best values in the city too. Many places no longer include fries either, so if you want to stuff your face with the most typical of burger sides in the solar system, it often runs you an additional $2-3. With tax and tip there are some places where I’m spending $20 for a burger and fries. That, in the business world, is what you would call a killer gross margin. Though, I think Antico will always be the margin leader of Atlanta food. A $22 pizza that uses about $4 in ingredients. Mangia!

I digress.

So what does the burger pricing landscape look like in the ATL? Check it out below. These are the restaurants I could think of with burgers I enjoy, which also offer fries either with the burger or as a side. I realize burger sizes are not always consistent, but I tried to select the basic burger with cheese for each. I also realize that some of the fry sides are 2-3 times as large as those that accompany most burgers automatically, but if that’s the only option, then it’s included on this chart.

burger

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tomato

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 and crotchety and not even a perfect tomato will stop me from bitching about “kids these days” and how they don’t even value a bitcoin anymore. So yeah, I have like 25 seasons left, and I freak out and for about two weeks every dish I make incorporates herbs and tomatoes and peaches and summer weight cheeses like feta, mozzarella, ricotta, or farmer’s cheese.

Things could be worse.

One of my favorite tomato dishes is this pasta sauce method I learned from Ruhlman a few years back. It’s super quick and fresh and has a wonderful flavor and silkiness from the tomato water emulsified with butter. I made it yesterday with some dried tagliatelle from Storico Fresco. I used a hodge podge of herbs from my new garden, which is freaking amazing, now that I don’t spend $2 each for those little packets at the grocery store.

I also love quickly pan cooked cherry tomatoes mixed with some eggs. They soften up and the textures mimic each other. Here I used some yellow heirlooms from Peacthree Rd Farmer’s market. I can’t remember which farm, but if you frequent PRFM he is the “have you tried our arugula?” bro. Served on sliced tomato and pain au levain. For quick and easy soft scrambled I used the Ideas in Food method of putting eggs and butter in a zip-loc and gently simmering for a few minutes. Near perfection, without twenty minutes of stirring.

tomato

Then late last night I made a tomato pie, this time using a variation from Garden & Gun, which is a bit lighter goat cheese iteration with no mayo or cheddar. It’s different in a good way. Or good in a different way. I salted the tomatoes for about thirty minutes in an effort to implore the excess liquid to stay out of my pie.

Tonight I’m making a cucumber, feta, tomato salad, and some bruschetta.

What dishes am I missing? OH GOD THE END IS NEAR

tomato

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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 […]

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SUMMER

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 […]

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June & July Gavage

July 22, 2014

Hey there. I took these photos. If you didn’t see them on my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Tinder page, well then, you are in luck. Ever eaten an entire platter of chicken hearts? You can do so at Yet Tuh on Buford Highway. That place is neat. We didn’t order exceptionally well, and they missed one of our […]

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Nose Dive, Bacon Bros., Mekong [Greenville, SC]

July 11, 2014

If you are ever visiting Greenville, SC (and many do, can you just believe how cute the downtown is!) here are three restaurants I feel confident in recommending to you, fellow eater. A year ago I likely wouldn’t have sent you there, but The Nose Dive is really putting out some excellent food and beverage. A gastropub from restauranteur Carl Sobocinski of […]

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Lusca

June 25, 2014

Lusca has been open roughly two months now, and though I had been eagerly anticipating this opening from Octopus Bar’s Angus Brown and Nhan Le, it was just this week I made my first visit. I’ve only made it into Octopus Bar a handful of times, as it’s across town and doesn’t open until 10PM, but I really […]

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