tortilla

My father had surgery on both feet last week, so he’s laid up and generous friends have been dropping off food to make life a bit easier. Our friends Alba and Javi, who relocated from Barcelona to Greenville a few years ago, dropped off this beautiful tortilla, a Spanish omelet of potato and onion and egg.

It’s the most ubiquitous of tapas, and as varied and argued over as a Southern biscuit – everyone has their own style or touch. Most can agree, the potatoes and onions are cooked in a ton of oil until they are soft and nearly caramelized, the egg should not be overcooked and fluffy (maybe even runny inside) but a touch crisp on the top, and the requisite flip during the cooking process will surely cause you grief at least once during your endeavors.

With bravas sauce, aioli, or alone with salt and pepper, I love it for breakfast or an any-time snack. After I tricked my mom into giving me a big hunk of it to take back to Atlanta (hey, I sprained my ankle pretty bad last week too, that counts) I reminded myself that I really need to put in the time in the kitchen until I can make a killer version of this. Fortuitously, the New York Times (via Francis Lam) posted a very respectable looking recipe online today, with some backstory.

As an aside, she would never ask me to do this, but Alba teaches cooking classes part-time in Greenville, SC and caters as well, and I highly recommend her food if you are in the Upstate. I’ve been eager for her to teach me her methods for cooking paella, because she does it right. I’m sure you can reach out to her via the Facebook link I posted above.

I also found this website for a Spaniard in Atlanta who seems to offer similar services, including paella cookouts for very large groups. I have no knowledge of their quality, but it seems an intriguing party option.

tortilla

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BoccaLupo

This risotto at BoccaLupo was on special about ten days ago, and a similar version remained earlier this week when I returned just a few days later, once I remembered that it is one of the best restaurants in town and my ass needed to embrace that fact.

This $31 behemoth of slick rice and sea treats is packed with shrimp, lobster, and crispy calamari.

Another dish on the pasta tasting menu ($45 – four courses) was this flat pasta below (maybe tag? not sure) with sea beans, salmon roe, lobster, and vegetarian XO sauce. Fantastic.

Is there a more satisfying, creative neighborhood restaurant in town? Pura Vida may have been a good contender a few years ago, and speaking of which, the cocktails have improved at BL since Paul Calvert and Greg Best consulted on the menu.

BoccaLupo

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Maybe it’s time to end the old blog. I can’t really keep up with it with a family these days, and I start grad school in August, and it’s much easier to simply post photos on Instagram. Though, that’s not a great venue to offer opinion. Not that I offer much criticism anymore, it’s mostly “highlight style” posts – pointing out things I like and at this point I tend to know the people involved, at least casually.

There was the whole “discovery” approach towards blogging where one would try to hit a new restaurant first or sample some weird dish or ethnic dive with the hopes of striking gold. This has been abated a bit by Creative Loafing and AJC “first look” style posts now, covering the new restaurants while starred reviews are on hold. And the FIRST!/dive discovery practice is a zero sum game with too many players at this point. You will never “win” when everyone with a Tumblr, WordPress, or Yelp account has any combination of more time, a greater budget, or a lonelier existence than you.

Not that you win anything, but it’s fun to put the spotlight on greatness that people may not know of or may not try otherwise. And it’s enjoyable for me to go back and read old posts from my honeymoon or Japan or Dynamic Dish pizza nights with copious amounts of wine. But whether or not I post today, the fun was still had, the experience remains, and I just want to enjoy some meals with friends and family.

Maybe I just leave the site up and post some photos now and then again of some favorites. It’s better than spamming Facebook or Instagram. Really you could just look at my Flickr account because that’s where everything on this site is posted, meaning, I only post to Flickr if it’s gonna be on here, or potentially of that caliber. So the site basically becomes a photo album, maybe with some context added on a photo or too. Perhaps if something is especially atrocious, such as the buffalo chicken soup at Taco Mac, it can make the site.

If you want criticism in Atlanta, it’s been a bit improved as of late. Jennifer Zyman at Creative Loafing has upped her game/writing since taking the official starred review job. She’s drawn some ire via a couple of critical reviews, but they were fair and pointed and in my experience talking to some industry people and others with trusted opinions, they felt it was completely accurate. Over at the AJC, Wyatt Williams appears to be reviewing (I saw no official announcement) now that Kessler has escaped the critical duties I think he loathed the last few years, and Wyatt’s an excellent writer with an understanding of decency and the zeitgeist of food today. Christiane Lauterbach offers criticism in her yes-still-actually-on-paper publication, Knife & Fork, and while I don’t always align with her point of view, she is prolific and keeps up with on-goings as well as anyone. It’s worth the subscription.

With that, which I really didn’t plan on writing, in true internet style – here are some photos of things I ate. If you end up trying them and liking them, awesome! If you disagree, from the bottom of my heart, I truly don’t care.

soft shell crabs were in season so Lusca was going a great spider roll last week

Lusca

The sushi bar is a great spot for a few small bites – orange wines (best selection in town?) pairs great with the ikura toast

Lusca  Lusca

Le Fat on the Westside – I’ve tried a handful of things and have been pleased so far. Really nice space. Good desserts. Pho and bun bo hue lack some punch, but they are quality. Great neighborhood spot. They offer takeout too. 

Bun Bo Hue

more Le Fat shots – take out done nicely!

Le Fat Le Fat

Tasty China – dumplings in chili oil. It looks nuts but you don’t really eat/drink the chili oil

Tasty China

Dry fried beef – so great, lots of Sichuan peppercorn and tons of cilantro and jalapenos

Tasty China

dry fried eggplant at Masterpiece

masterpiece

First Antico pizzas in a while. Almost pisses me off when I enjoy them

Antico

Bar pizza at Empire State Pizza, which is a dive with spotty service, decent wings, better than usual beer list, and a satisfying goes-with-beer pizza – stellar website address too http://www.pizzawingsbeer.com/

Empire State Pizza Empire State Pizza

White pie at Fellini’s. Don’t ever get a white slice, it’s not the same, but the whole white is quite bangable

Fellini's

Tacos La Villa – Smyrna

Tacos La Villa Tacos La Villa

Taqueria Real De La Villa – Marietta – excellent, great values

Taqueria Real De La Villa Taqueria Real De La Villa

Chicago supermarket – Buford Highway

Chicago Supermarket

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Nuevo Laredo – Tortas and Stuff

May 29, 2015

Nuevo Laredo is right by my house, but I don’t go often as it gets crowded and parking can be difficult, and waiting around the parking lot with a one year old isn’t much fun. There are plenty of Nuevo detractors (they still rock the No Meredith Ford sign in the window) but it scratches an itch. And […]

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Krog St. Market – Gu’s and Fred’s Sampling

May 22, 2015

Find of the month! I was sitting at a red light near the intersection of Irwin and Boulevard, watching someone on a bike doing some sort of stand-still balancing act with their pant leg of their jeans curiously curled up, grease swiped on her tattooed calf, when four electric vehicles came buzzing down Irwin in succession, so I decided […]

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Superico Fundido

May 13, 2015

After a few visits, I can say I really enjoy Ford Fry’s Superica at Krog Street Market. I don’t like the puffy taco for which they keep saying they are so famous, but everything else has been very solid to delicioso. The chips and gratis salsas, the margaritas, the patio, service, enchiladas, crunchy tacos, and the […]

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Dave Sweeney Pop-up @ The Preserving Place

May 12, 2015

I don’t know if there are tickets left but Dave Sweeney is doing a pop-up lunch (two per day) at The Preserving Place and we went on Monday and it was so good so I decided to tell the internet because my friends are tired of me talking about food. Unless they are my food friends, and […]

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Cooks & Soldiers

May 7, 2015

Though posts are sparse these days, I do take a lot of photos (many can be found on Instagram) but while I can pop the contrast and brightness and make most anything appear #vividdelish, I generally offer little opinion on those short posts. At the same time I don’t have time to go on about each […]

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