June Gavage [La Tavola, King & Duke, Heirloom BBQ, Miller Union, General Muir]

July 10, 2013 · 3 comments

in atlanta, cooking at Home, dining out, wine at home

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Not a lot of blog posts these days, I’m traveling a lot, but I’m still eating. Some of it in town too. I have travel posts to Durham, Raleigh, Vegas, and Japan in the works. I wonder if anyone likes those? I do. I go back and look at them when I want to see where all my money went.

So for now, another gavage post. A collection of things I’ve put into my body.

The pictures above are from La Tavola, a spot I always enjoy. Consistently well-executed, with a frequently changing menu, and an excellent neighborhood vibe. Pork cheeks and beef tagliata (like a carpaccio that has been spiced and seared on the edges) were rocking.

Two of the best wines I’ve had in a while were the same evening – the new ’12 Dirty & Rowdy Semillon and the ’78 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia. The D&R is so damn drinkable. More approachable than last year, it will sing at a cooler temperature, but will really show off some fun after a few hours in a decanter. I had to open another one a few days later at a family BBQ. Still available from their website for $28. Yes, they are friends of mine, and yes I pay for my bottles, and yes it’s really a great wine. The LDH, well, may be tougher to find, but the winery has been a favorite of friends for a while now, and the newer releases (which are still 10 years old) can be found around town, for very fair prices. Eric at Le Caveau in Chamblee usually has some. The white LDH wines are nuts too.

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While in Columbia last week I got adventurous with some soups. I ate at Chili’s (right by my office) for the first time in years, ordering a soup and sandwich combo. I thought it a safe order. Wrong. The chicken tortilla soup was a salty portion of chicken gravy…which could be a good deal depending on your desires. Later that night at Baan Sawan, Chef Alex flexed his creative muscles and offered up a variation on tom kha soup, with a thicker bisque texture and a heavy dose of helix snails. Both soups were creamy and dirty, though only one should be so.

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The first time I stopped in Mamie’s Kitchen in Lithonia I thought the biscuit was fantastic. My next two visits have really let me down. Doughy, undercooked, falling apart biscuits. They get one more shot.

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Man we had a good meal at Miller-Union recently. Damn, I can’t remember…was my fish strawberry grouper? I think so. It was perfectly cooked, with a smoked tomato ratatouille. Great stuff, the kind of food I love to eat, wish I could go more often.

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Saw a show at Terminal West afterwards. One of my favorite venues now. Great craft beer selection too, all in cans.

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Pastrami at General Muir. Excellent. Too much seasoning for me, but that’s nit picking. This is the larger size sandwich, by the way.

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Most deli aficionados prefer pastrami to corned beef, but I fall in the minority. I like the flavor of traditional corning spices. It does well on General Muir’s rueben. Man, this place seems to be doing a great job all around.

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How did I not know OK Cafe had a takeaway side? I had only been there three times but I’m not sure how I missed it. Now that my new office is down the street, I will be frequenting it often, as I did today. The buffet has a ton of stuff – fried chicken, bbq pork, meat loaf, roast chicken, chicken fried steak, sausage, beef stroganoff, salads, all the vegetables you could want – so far it’s all really well done.

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Heirloom BBQ, which is now take-out only. Kinda sucks, especially if you want to try something that doesn’t travel well, such as the cast iron burger, which recently I tried for the first time. Very solid. No fuss. BEEF.
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Also tried the BLT, which I liked, but not sure I’d order again with such other great options. Really, it’s rare that I get anything except brisket. The stew continues to be one of my favorites ever.

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Octopus at King & Duke. Big portion. Tender. Nice aioli. Recommended.

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And “The King” – their one kilo ribeye steak. They nailed it. One of the best steaks I’ve had out in a while, though I don’t go out for steak very often anymore. I order from Flannery and Montana Wagyu.

Anyways, the marrow is only good for a couple bites, it’s a bit much. It also comes with a small, lovely salad with shaved heirloom carrots and radish.

$75 for two – worth it.

Other thoughts – the popovers are fantastic. And both cocktails I tried were undrinkably sweet. And there’s no debating, the wood burning ovens in the middle of the room are badass.

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This past weekend’s helping of Flannery beef – the best “value cut” – the hanger. His actually aren’t very cheap, but have such a rich, liver-like flavor. May be funky to someone who prefers filets.

Until next time, internet friends…

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