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The Bloody Beast @ The Nook

23 Jun

How I love to brunch.

A few weeks back, we finally had the chance to try a restaurant that has been on my list since the beginning of time! (Georgia time of course).  It is a small indoor/outdoor restaurant right across from Piedmont Park.  They usually have great specials, and interesting food concoctions.  If it is raining out $1.00 beers! If it’s Sunday morning or early afternoon, then it’s $2.00 mimosas! Things like that.

Now they have the Bloody Beast, and ever since my cousin in North Carolina introduced Luis and I to the best Bloody Mary’s we have ever had, we are consistently trying Bloody Mary’s wherever we go. Addiction? Maybe. Tomato juice problems? Possibly.

Okay… so, here it is.

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Yea, that is a beef straw, and a hard boiled egg, steak and tater tots skewer, olives, pepperoncini’s, jalapenos, lime slice, lemon slice, and a pice of toasted bread.

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Shrimp and grits burger with sweet potato fries.

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Open face egg salad with veggie sausage patties.

Happy brunching!

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Day 14 and 15 New Orleans, Louisiana – Food

26 Jan

We tired out a new sushi place yesterday.  The sushi was delicious, and then I got sick.  Is it bad that I actually want to go back and try it one more time?  Anywho, I didn’t post yesterday about the food we had in New Orleans because food was the last thing I wanted to see.

Today is a different day though, as I have already stuffed my face with a plate of red sauce pasta, sun dried tomatoes, and capers. Bring on the food! And some drinks too.

I had a list of restaurants that I wanted to try out.  Luis had no input, he was just along for the food ride. Even though we went during the slow season, many of the places were booked or overbooked, like Bayona. Still upset that we didn’t get to try as many places as I had hoped for.

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We tired our best to experience authentic cajun cuisine and stayed away from the burger, french fry, and nacho places.

Our first stop Royal House Oyster Bar on Royal Street.

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We had crab claws sautéed in a lemon garlic butter sauce, along with crab bisque and french onion soup (soups not pictured).  Luis still talks about this dish.  I guess I will have to learn to make it.   It was a good dish to kick off our first meal on our first visit to New Orleans.

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This place had all sorts of oyster plates, and for a good price, which made me really wish I liked oysters.  I have tired them many times, all different kinds of ways, and I can’t.  It’s one of the only things I do not like to eat, but I keep trying.

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 I really love how most of the restaurants had huge doorways throughout the building so you can sit outside, but your really inside, and either people watch or just enjoy the weather.

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Our plan was to have small plates and move onto the next place, but then the strangest thing happened. As we walked around the blocks to the next stop, we realized we were full.  Instead we found a spot to sit, have a drink, and listened to music from way before we were born.

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Of course, I had to pick up a box of pralines for dessert when we got back to our hotel.

The next day, we started off our French Quarter wanderlust with a spicy Bloody Mary, garnished with pickled green beans.  New Orleans had some of the best Bloody Mary’s I have ever had.

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Soon after we came across Café Du Monde for beignets and iced coffee as an afternoon snack.  I dare you to come out of there without having powered sugar on your shirt or pants!

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A lady behind us was complaining about the price, but for about $6.00 (what we spent) I thought it was great.

Later in the day we went over to the Garden District to try out a restaurant called Cochon (which means pig in French) that locals were raving about on a blog that I found.

The first thing I must say is… I would take another 5 hour drive just to eat at this place again.  Not only are the servers very enthusiastic to explain what  the Chefs have prepared, which is refreshing by the way, but everything is fresh and local, and you could tell that the Chefs and cooks take their time and put lots of love and care into their creations.

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I love hand crafted drinks with mixes that I have never thought would go together.  Luis had a drink called The Swinekiller, made with gin, rhubarb bitters, and limeade.  I had The Trotter Jennings, with vodka, Prosecco, St. Germain, lemon juice, mint, and plum bitters.

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Fried alligator with chili garlic aioli.

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The waiter sold us on this dish, and I am happy that he did.  It is braised pork cheeks (pork cheeks are my favorite by the way) with sauerkraut potato cakes, applesauce and goat feta. Amazing.

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Fried boudin with pickled peppers.  I really enjoyed Cochon’s version of boudin.  Not as spicy as other boudin, and really clean and full of flavor.

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As we were leaving New Orleans, we stopped into Don’s Specialty Meats in Lafayette for one last plate of boudin and cracklin.  We have a famous bar and grill up the street from where we live that was featured on that TV show; Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri that has awesome boudin and armadillo eggs.  I will have to post about it later.  This boudin had a kick and was really good.

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Good thing we bought some bourbon and praline coated pecans at Evan’s Creole Candy Factory before we left to help cool down our mouth from the boudin.

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This weekend Luis and I are taking it easy and staying in, or maybe we will go fishing.  Something relaxing, no driving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Georgia

25 Nov

Luis and I spent this Thanksgiving in Sandy Springs, Georgia (just 30 mins from midtown Atlanta) with my father’s side of the family.  This was my first Thanksgiving with them, and I believe my first “real” time meeting my aunt Kim and uncle Dave.

I hardly made anything. I just watched, took pictures and experienced new family traditions and listened to new stories.

What new traditions you may ask?  Soup night the night before Thanksgiving.  We had three soups.  My aunt Kim made gumbo, my uncle Eddy made chili, and I made my pumpkin and sweet potato chowder.  The soups were delicious, and I probably had three bowls of my uncle’s chili just because it reminded me of home.  Danny’s chili back home just makes you feel safe, warm, and cozy, and Eddy’s chili gave me that same feeling.

A few of the other items I made was a batch of cinnamon spiced applesauce and sweet cranberry butter.  I later found out my grandmother always makes applesauce for Thanksgiving too.  So, that’s where I get that from.

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On Thanksgiving Day is when all the cooking, baking, and roasting begins.

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Three generations cooking in the kitchen.

This family is very organized.  Everyone was assigned jobs and even the dishes were laid out and labeled with what item would be served in it.   I had two pretty serving dishes with my name on it since the only item I was asked to make were the green beans so, I made two different kinds.  One was made with raspberry glaze and almonds while the other was made with a Dijon sauce, bacon, pearl onions, rosemary, and thyme.    I wondered if my green beans would be kid friendly, but Adan ate three helpings of the green beans with Dijon sauce so, I guess they were.

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Grandpa and Luis watched football in the house while the other boys were outside making the duck, goose, and turkey.  Thankfully, they didn’t miss any of the games since they had a T.V. outside =)

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Around noon snacks are brought out to the sunroom.

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Back inside, I caught Grandma making my dad’s favorite dessert; a chocolate pudding pie.

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Then a photo shoot with Adan.

Warning! Lot’s of photos coming up.  I thought a post with photo overload was needed since I haven’t been posting as much as I use to.  Plus, it was too hard to pick the ones I liked the most.

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Just in case you are wondering, I took 120 photos of Adan during our little session.

Half time means a break to walk to the river.

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Isn’t he a cutie?

Then it was time to play with the kids outside and make some sidewalk art masterpieces.

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Then, back into the kitchen.

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Ducks!

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THEN!! It was gobble gobble time!

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After dinner, Sofia made us whipped cream for our desserts.

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Before Luis and I headed home, aunt Kim gave me some beautiful hot plate holders/place mats that were made by my grandmother’s sister, Ruth and a ceramic trivet.  You know how much I adore family items, especially when they have been made by hand.  In love, love, love.

I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey day as much as I did.

The end!

Happy Day of Birth Brunch

27 Aug

Today is my husband’s 28th birthday.  We celebrated with friends, over a brunch made with love by me.

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Overnight blueberry french toast.

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Strawberry and Rhubarb tarts made the night before.

Luis woke up to this…

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Around 11:00 a.m. his friends started to arrive.

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Happy Birthday doughnuts from Sublime Doughnuts, two types of french toast; peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast, and  baked blueberry french toast,
maple sausage, turkey bacon, tortilla, hash browns, and sunny side up eggs with mimosas.  Who says men can’t drink mimosas?

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His birthday present.  A Trek Wahoo, Gary Fisher Collection.

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Along side, is my freshly tuned up vintage Gary Fisher.  His new bike is so much taller than mine, and his wheels are gigantic! Kinda makes me want a new bike, but I love my booger green Gary.

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At this moment, we are going to the kick-off Georgia Tech Spirit Day at Atlantic Station.  Which is suppose to get us ready for the first football game this Thursday against Western Carolina.  Fall is going to awesome!

Mary Mac’s Tea Room @ Ponce De Leon

24 Aug

I’ve heard many people talk about Mary Mac’s Tea Room since we moved to Atlanta, being one of the best southern restaurants.  While Luis had his family here visiting us we decided to try the place out and put all these rumors to rest.

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I love the little room we sat in, which I guess I could call it the bar room, since from what I saw was the only room with a bar in it.  The place is divided between 3 sections or rooms. The section/room we were in felt very cozy and relaxing. Our waiter asked if it was our first time there, explained how to fill out the make-your-own menu form and then went to get our drinks. When he came back he served us collard greens and corn bread as a starter, which I loved, and is given to first time customers. I love the south!

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The place had a line out the door, but thankfully we didn’t have to wait long.  I was a little nervous since the last place we went to because everyone told us how great it was and also had a long lone which turned out to be a two hour wait for a table, was awful. Mary Mac’s however, was delicious and would probably wait two hours to eat here if I had to. The prices on the menu are awesome and our waiter was very helpful.

My little brother and I were in love with the bread selection; cornbread, mini cinnamon buns, and some other goodness that I didn’t try because the mini cinnamon buns kept calling my name.

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Old school cream soda, yum! And just look how adorable my little brother is!! Stop growing up!! I miss his face!

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My mouth is watering.  I had the chicken with stuffing and cornbread dressing, fried green tomatoes, and sweet potato soufflé. So good!

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And now for the desserts, which we went a little over board with ordering…

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Those last two photos were a little shaky because I was rushing to put my camera down and dig in, plus not everyone has my same excitement for taking pictures of food and would rather just eat instead of patiently waiting for me to take the perfect picture while their fork/spoon is waiting up in the air in position to dive right in once I give the okay to take a bite.  Sorry and I love you!

Thank-you mom, dad, and little brother for making our first visit to the infamous Mary Mac’s so wonderful.

Zen on 10 – Part Two

31 Jul

Earlier in the month, we had a birthday celebration, just him and I.

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We love this place and the people there so much that when our friend Hoki came to visit for a few days from his internship in Texas for the summer, we just had to introduce him to our newest love.  I am not sure what happened, but the sushi chef was having an off kind of day and the sushi was all really different from the other times we have gone.

We have had a lazy weekend, even though we should be getting the house ready for family. We did go see the movie Cowboys and Aliens and to Vortex to have one of their yummy burgers. Everything I had on my list to accomplish today hasn’t happened. Good thing we have lots of time this week to get things done.

Zen on Ten Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar

18 Jun

Luis and I can’t get enough of this place!  We have been to this restaurant at least three times in the past two weeks.

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I am not sure if it’s because it is so close to our place or because of the awesome “fishbowl” drinks they serve, which this girl is in need of on a Friday night after a long and hectic week at the office!  We heart Zen on Ten Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar.

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I am not super happy with the portion sizes, but it’s the best tasting sushi that we have had so far in Atlanta, not that we have ventured very far in exploring sushi restaurants.

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My favorite beginner dishes; cucumber salad or a seaweed salad with Tuna Tataki.

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And our favorite roll, the Yummy Roll.  I also really love the design of the restaurant, it gives off an organic, and cozy feel.

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I just wanna steal those lamps!

On a side note, I have been lacking in posts because it took me awhile to figure out how to upload more pictures onto the blog since I have recently reached max capacity of photograph uploads.  I thought it was the end of my blogging experience.  Thank goodness for Google and my very smart, but short fused husband to explain to me how to solve the problem and continue on with the blog.