Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Brings the Fun Out!

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Give a girl booze and good food and she is bound to have a great time! Friends, y’all know that a belle loves some good food and wine. When you couple these things with southern delicacies and a festival, you most certainly have our attention! Unfortunately, Tamika couldn’t make it, but I brought along our new intern, Khalia. We had so much fun at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (AF&WF), which brings together happy people, great food and wine.

The AF&WF celebrates southern culture, food, and drink. It is an awesome event to attend to try new foods/spirits you haven’t had before. The festival welcomes other cultural influences such as Indian, Chilean, African, etc. with its various foods and wines. In addition to the tasting tents, there are also culinary experiences, where you can see star chefs and mixologists display their unique talents.

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Held in Midtown, the festival was replete with tasting tents, classes, dinners, AND more! If you’re really into food and wine, then this is the festival for you…right in the heart of Atlanta.

I had the opportunity to try spirits I do not normally drink; this included moonshine, whiskey, and rum. The kind of stuff that puts hair on your chest…haha. Some of a belle’s standout favorites at AF&WF were barbeque chicken with Big Green Egg barbeque sauce, grit frittatas (who knew?!), sea-salt caramel gelato, and an AWESOME salad by Lumiere French Kitchen. Chef Tom Condron knew what he was doing with that salad babyyy!

Have a gander at my Watermelon Lime Patron popsicle…yes Patron! It was a King of Pops popsicle at that! This festival is not froo froo at all because as you can see…cotton candy was there!

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Whisper Creek had this yummy strawberry rye whiskey. I don’t even drink whiskey, so if I say it’s good, please trust my tastebuds.

afwf142Look at us being silly! Coke had this photo machine where we took a variety of cute shots. We got our Top Model on! Coke had this uber cool lounging section where a local musician played some smooth music, and patrons were given Coke floats. Y’all, that Coke float gave me life! It took me back to my childhood when we ate root beer floats at home!

I’d definitely suggest saving for AF&WF because the tickets can get pricey if you want to enjoy the FULL experience like a true VIP! However, the price is definitely worth it. Until next festival friends!

Disclosure: We received tickets to AF&W, but it does not affect a belle’s opinion.

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Foodie Fun: Melting Pot

So a belle heard that the Melting Pot was one of the best spots to have a foodie experience in Atlanta, so we had to try it. The sis and I visited the Midtown location, which is in the heart of the city, not too far from one of our fave places–the Alliance.

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Melting Pot has an intimate atmosphere that is perfect for a girls night out. The sis and I felt so special as we were tucked away in a cozy booth trying to decide on our selections. We opted for the four course feature, and I decided to try some drinks.

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Although you see my smile, I didn’t know how this drink would be y’all! I was so scared to try this Fiery Pineapple Margarita, as I am a tried and true belle. If I try it AND it’s true, I don’t like to leave it. But y’all know, variety is the spice of life, and I shole enjoyed this tasty drink that was outfitted with cayenne….YES cayenne pepper! The sweetness of the pineapple and the hint of chipotle gave me life chile!

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Interestingly, fondue is the star of the show and started off the first course. We chose a new selection as our cheese fondue. It consisted of fontina, kase butterkase (a German cheese), and goat cheese. When I tell y’all this cheese had us over the moon I mean it honey. Artisan breads and fruit were served alongside the cheese; Tamika and I went in on this creamy delicacy!!

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We both had house salads,which were your basic salads, so no complaints here. Moving along to the GOOD stuff 😉

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Everyone should smile a little with a Sunshine Sangria between courses. I love sweet drinks and this drink was that and then some. It was almost too sweet that I forgot liquor was in it! One thing about The Melting Pot is their presentation. Can’t you see how pretty this drink is? The fruit was fresh as well which was a GREAT thing!

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Didn’t I tell ya about the presentation? Even raw food looks purty! The Melting Pot has various cooking styles that include broths, wines, and various seasonings. We chose the Coq au Vin, a burgundy wine that is infused with various herbs and spices. I had the Land and Sea and Tamika had the French Quarter meal (minus the spice of course). After placing the food in the pot, alongside veggies like potatoes and broccoli, we chatted and waited for the food to cook. Our taste buds did not steer us wrong!

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Tamika raved about the andouille sausage and I was in love with my food. I killed those mushrooms! We received various dipping sauces that complemented the meats quite well. We were both in awe at the curry like sauce that wasn’t spicy. Trust that our tastebuds went into overdrive!

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The fourth course was TRULY the star of the show….DESSERT! The sis and I argued over who would choose the chocolate. I won since Tamika chose the cheese. We settled on a rich chocolate with toffee in it. When I tell ya this chocolate was high quality and unbelievable, I mean it!! I love sweets so I was dancing as I ate my chocolate fondue. Rice Krispie treats, Oreo crusted marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, brownies, blondies, and pound cake were served with the fondue. I really enjoyed the brownies 774

The service was wonderful…absolutely wonderful! Tamika and I enjoy going to places where they KNOW the menu, treat you like family, and go over and beyond! Our night ended with 2 roses for 2 special belles! If you’re looking for a great place to dine that serves up good food and a killer ambiance, then The Melting Pot should definitely be on your radar!

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*Disclosure: Our meals were provided & this doesn’t affect a belle’s opinion in any way.

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Eats & Treats: The Meddlesome Moth

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Friends, some time ago we took a weekend trip to Dallas and oh did a belle have a ball. While touring museums and walking around Dallas’ eclectic art district we worked up quite an appetite.

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Texas 1101The sis and I visited The Meddlesome Moth, (in Dallas’ design district) which came highly recommended by locals! We were told that if you’re looking for good local food in Dallas then The Moth (as it’s fondly called) was the place to be! As it turns out, we kinda knew the Executive Chef David McMillan whose wife Denise is a close friend of ArtBLT.

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The ArtBelles with Plush Creations Founder, Denise McMillian!!! xo

The music-themed stain glass is absolutely beautiful! Can you believe that David rescued these from being destroyed? They add a layer or warmth and soul to this beautiful space.

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Fresh bread anyone?

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We decided to go for brunch and met our sweet friend Denise on a Sunday morning. Tamika and I shared the honey sampler (Flight of the Honey Bee), which is an assortment of various honeys and artisan breads. One of the breads tasted like pound cake and brought me back to days in Birmingham where I ate my grandma’s famous pound cake! We found out that the breads are made fresh in house.

Tamika had Homemade Cream Bisquits & Gravy, which was a sausage biscuit. Everything is freshly prepared. Y’all this was one of the fluffiest biscuits I’ve ever tasted! Y’all know I had to try her food and mine. What true foodie wouldn’t?

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I had Challah French Toast and bacon. The french toast was served alongside pure maple syrup (the GOOD stuff) and seasonal fresh berries. Talk about some good eating! I’ve never had Challah bread, but the french toast was thick in consistency, yet so soft and moist. Have a look at it below along with what Denise had!

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Oatmeal with fresh berries and nuts! Yummers!

A belle chowed down on this delicious brunch! We spoke to David who told us how the restaurant uses seasonal ingredients and makes most things in house. The food was fresh and wonderful! We’re going to share some recipes soon from David, and our list of top places to visit while in Dallas–So stay tuned. If you’re ever in the Dallas area stop by The Moth! You won’t be disappointed.

What do you like to eat for brunch?

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Book Love: Couture Chocolate Anyone?

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Friends, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and a belle wants to get you right for those of you who are booed up.

We had the opportunity to review this great book, Couture Chocolate, which will put you on your chocolate game in no time! Authored by William Curley, who is a four time winner of the Academy of Chocolate’s Award, this book covers how to change ordinary chocolate into extraordinary masterpieces.

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Y’all know we believe food is fashion, so prepare to be awed as you learn how to make patisseries, cakes, truffles and more. I’m squealing as I think about what we’ll be making and showing y’all in the coming weeks!

If the above chocolatey pleasures are not couture enough for you chic home cooks, this book covers how you can make dope chocolates with exotic ingredients like wasabi, Japanese black vinegar, and more. How’s that for foodie fashion?

Dinner and a movie is great, but how about doing something different? Couture Chocolate shows how you can take V-Day inside and create some couture sweets that are both tasty and fun. Also, if you are planning on cutting different fruits to dip into chocolate try this new gadget called the Any Sharp. Remember that you always need a sharp knife to make your cutting easy. Let us know how you like both of these items!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Disclaimer: This item was sent to a belle for review… This most certainly doesn’t affect our opinion in any way!

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Top 7 Local Eats in Houston

Hey sweet friends! I hope y’all are doing well. Thanks for your emails! I’m still with ArtBLT and will be back ‘home’ to Atlanta in a jiffy! As they say, there’s no place like your own bed! When Tamika came to Houston a several weeks ago, I took her around the city and a belle discovered some great phone tracker gps spy app (and not so great) places to eat at. Allow me to introduce our top 7 local eats in H-Town. The numbers aren’t in any particular order.

1.) Luby’s

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Luby’s is a local chain that’s all over Texas. They’re a meat and three cafeteria style restaurant. Their prices are lovely and the food is oh so divine! A belle was in healthy eating heaven (in prep for all the fried goodness we were to embark on!) as we dined on grilled chicken, broccoli, green beans and salad. Luby’s has that down home food that a southern girl just loves.

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The best part? phone spy app They serve SWEET TEA (and it’s good). Living in Houston has been hard for a southern belle. Every time I dine out and ask for sweet tea, I get the strangest looks and am politely told that iced tea is available. I’ve been to Luby’s quite a few times since I’ve been in H-town, so y’all know I had to take the sis there! Fortunately, she loved it just as much as I did.

2. Star Pizza

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The sis & I read great things about this eatery, but I wasn’t that impressed. However, the sis enjoyed her slice of “cheesy heaven” along with a salad. I shared the Chicago style pizza, but the toppings didn’t even come up to the top of the pizza!!! They don’t call it deep dish pizza for nothin’ and I wasn’t too happy. Tamika thinks it’s a must-try for fresh bread, huge tasty salads, and excellent toppings, thus, it’s on our list.

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Check out how this “Chicago style” pizza is supposed to look like. This ain’t that! Agree?

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3. Resie’s

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The eyes never lie, right? Well, our eyes are telling you we’re about to get into some good food. I discovered Resie’s when a pal of mine introduced me to this chicken and waffle joint. persuasive writing to give money to charity Talk about mmm mmmmmm good!

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These aren’t just any waffles!!

Resie’s Chicken and Waffle Restaurant is not your ordinary chicken and waffles place. On Saturdays, they have a waffle of the day, which is the pound cake waffle. I can’t begin to describe how good the waffle is. The chicken is perfectly seasoned, so you won’t need the hot sauce, honey. The portions are huge, so I suggest saving your appetite for lunchtime, and letting Resie’s be your only meal.

For $10.99 you get 4 large wings (not pigeon wings) and a huge Belgian style waffle. Their meals can easily be split if you’re watchin’ your dancer figure!

Tamika had the plate below and really enjoyed it, but said the yams weren’t that sweet (added some syrup from my waffles) and that some of the okra was undercooked. We think the culprit was pieces of okra being frozen/stuck together when frying that didn’t separate during cooking. Overall, we give 4 sticky thumbs up!!!

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On top of that the spot is uber cool. Old vinyl records adorn the wall/tables and ‘Soul Train’ is on repeat. Step back to the good ole days when you had to have talent to pick up a microphone, and enjoy this good ole cooking.

3. Eleven XI

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Eleven XI bills itself as a Southern Coastal restaurant, and does not disappoint. Expect creative drink offerings, artfully prepared food, and OUTSTANDING service! Named 11:11 after the wishing hour, the place makes you wish you could go there everyday. You know a place has it going on if Tamika is drinking–and she RARELY drinks. We had several between the two of us and they all were icy perfection.

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“Adult Cherry Limeades”

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This was a real crab cake. Not that imitation crab, but true lump crab meat. I thought it was a little pricey at $13, but when you see that you’re eating the real stuff (and it’s exquisite) you’ll gladly know the price is well worth it. I devoured this crab cake in about 5 minutes!

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Tamika had 1/2 of a house salad with a fruit vinaigrette and fresh cracked black pepper. It was so tasty. Also, she had their grilled pork chop with a broccoli slaw plus veggies. She couldn’t stop talking about how she enjoyed her plate.

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We both left nothing to scrape off our plates by the time we were done. She only had a bone left and I only had a few fries left! Ha!!!

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This filet mignon changed my life! Talk about juicy and cooked perfectly. The asparagus and grilled zucchini just took me overboard y’all!

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This Country Apple Crumble with sharp cheese was divine! Initially, Tamika & I were scared to try it. I mean, do apples and sharp cheese go hand in hand? Sure they do! Try it. You’ll love it.

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This peanut butter tower resurrected me. I don’t know how the chef came up with this ingenious creation, but I’m determined to try http://orderessayonlineon.com/ to make it someday. Take a sweet look inside.

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Sisterly love. I think it’s time I retire this shirt though.

We met Joe, the owner, who showed us the wine room at Eleven XI. If you’re an ArtBLT regular, you know I LOVE me some wine! I was oohing and ahhing all over the place. The room is spectacular and is a perfect place for weddings, rehearsals, corporate gatherings, and more. If you’re in Houston and in need of event space, don’t sleep on Eleven XI.

4. 59 Diner

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If you want grub that’s cheap and good then take a step back into time and head on over to this cute little diner. The walls are jazzy and the place is filled with lots of classic eats. They have everything from malts to patty melts. Check out what was shared!

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Philly cheese steak with fresh onion rings!
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Mild wings with crispy curly fries!

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This apple pie doesn’t look fancy, but it was fancied! Too good for words. Really. It was!!!!!! We have no more words.

6. The Breakfast Klub

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Though packed you won’t have to wait long for a table.
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Awards galore!
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You have to try this muffin grilled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tamika & the mom tried this place out and LOVED it. She told me how the service was on point and how they got there early, waited in line, and enjoyed some good eats. I recently tried The Breakfast Klub (TBK) last week and really enjoyed my food too. They are known for their chicken and waffles and koffee.

Mom said she liked the chicken at TBK better and the waffles at Resie’s better. There’s always a line at TBK! Overall, the food was very tasty. Compared to some other places we’ve tried, TBK is a tad bit too pricey in my opinion, but it’s easy to share a plate since the servings are so large.

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Chicken & Waffles
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Grilled Banana Bread Muffin
 

7. James Coney Island

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I’m not much of a hot dog person, but I enjoyed the dogs at this local chain. Tamika and I grabbed some late night grub after a show. James Coney Island’s are all over Houston and are a great stop for a quick bite. The staff was friendly and we enjoyed their house punch, too!! We both had their popular hot dog. Sorry! Can’t remember the name. Bad belle…. I know. 🙂

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Been to Houston and tried any of these joints? Any favorite places traveling you love to check out when in town? Comment and let us know!

* Disclosure: Though some of these good eats were provided, it doesn’t affect a belle’s opinion!

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