Artisian Paradise: Strippaggio’s VIP Party

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Happy, HAPPY Friday, sweet friends!! This has been a fun week, but I am elated to see it gone. *yawns*  If you are following a belle on Instagram then you already got a peek at this fab goodness I’m about to share.

The other evening I spent some time at Strippaggioa beautiful quaint shop filled with a wide variety of infused olive oils, vinegars, gourmet sea salts, plenty of wooden gadgets for your kitchen, plus much more.

This shop is filled with all types of goodies that would make any of you belles squeal. There’s so much to see, taste, & feel. Wanna know the best part? Strippaggio‘s walls are filled with lovely art that can be purchased as well.

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If you throw down in the kitchen like the sis & I, then you already know that a well stocked kitchen with the best tools is a must. If you are looking for unique food finds, then this is a must-shop spot. I slurped & sipped on so many infused oils & vinegars. I tried everything from Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar  (perfect on salads & desserts)!!

Have a quick gander at some of the items I tried & absolutely adored. If you’ve had this experience, do tell us about it.

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They have everything from Pink Himalayan sea salt to a pungent smokey one (sorry can’t remember the name).

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This 18 Year Balsamic Vinegar was one of my faves at Strippaggio. The bomb.com!!! What I like most about this dark liquid goodness? Well, it’s sweet, tart, & a little tangy–like me of course! 🙂

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These strawberries were bathing in their 18 Year Balsamic Vinegar. TOO divine, y’all! This was my first time tying something like this & I enjoyed it immensely.

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I love, love, LOVE the fact that their bottles are made from glass & can be reused. That’s always a plus in my book!! Yours, honey?

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Everyone seemed to be having a blast. I talked to several peeps & we oddly liked a lot of the same items that night. Pure foodie fun, y’all!!!

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A shot on my way back to my car…. What a beautiful night, right?! I had a ball.

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Each guest received a cute little gift bag filled with two mini bottles of EVOO. I haven’t tried them yet, but I did open my Basil EVOO below.

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I added a couple of teapoons to my BBQ wings & corn that I rescued from my freezer the other night. Strippaggio‘s Basil EVOO is soooooo lovely. It smells so good & made my meal THAT much tastier. Basil is one of my FAVE herbs. There’s just something about its sweetness & aroma.

For those of you wondering… the bottle of evoo was around $25 w/tax & would easily make a great gift for anyone who loves healthy foods. Don’t you think?

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Follow Strippaggio today to stay in the know! When the sis gets back home in a few months we’ll be making our way there together. After telling her about them she CANNOT wait.

Have a safe weekend… Until next time!!!

Local Eats & Treats: Paschal’s Restaurant

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We are just now getting back into the swing of things & have slowly been responding to emails (sorry for our delay peeps). Thanks so much for all of you that often reach out to a belle. The sis & I truly appreciate it! 🙂 With that being said, a recent email from sweet Tammie S. in Flordia asked:  “what local food do you two really love now that you’re in HotLanta?” Well Tammie, honey let me tell ya.

Shermika nor myself hesitated when Paschal’s Restaurant came to mind. Recently we ate at the restaurant for the first time after trying their food here last year. The service was stellar as was the food, presentation, & prices. Let a belle elaborate… ‘kay?

They are located in downtown Atlanta in the Castleberry Hill community. There’s plenty of free parking which is always on point in our book. Plenty of places here charge for parking or have valet which isn’t too shabby.

For starters (no pun intended) we had the Fried Green Tomatoes with Voodoo Ranch (gotta love that name) & their Crispy Fried Catfish Fingers with tarter sauce. Both apps were divine. They weren’t overly seasoned & had that sweet golden color we desire from fried foods. If you have never tried these tomatoes you really should! They are a little tart, but oh sooooo good.

That Voodoo Ranch was off the chain!
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Yumminess!!

What we also love is that this legendary eatery was frequented by many historic leaders including ATL’s own Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The walls are adorned with many fab black & white photos that gives this restaurant a warm feeling of love. Exposed bricks, booths, seating upstairs, dim lighting–Heck, what isn’t there to love about it?
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Two words to describe Paschal’s Restaurant: Fab/Quaint!

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Our entrees consisted of juicy chicken & tasty veggies/beans. I had Paschal’s Half Herb Roasted Chicken with perfectly steamed broccoli, black-eyed peas, & corn bread muffins. The sis had Paschal’s Famous 1947 Fried Chicken with mac ‘n cheese & candied yams. Y’all we ate very well & had plenty to take home for the next day to say the least.

We were so full that we didn’t even have dessert. Many of you know the sis lives for dessert & that is the honest truth–LOL!!  Next time we go you best believe that we’ll let you know. Have a gander at our meals below & be sure to check out their menu before you head there. We know you are going soon, right?!

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Paschal’s Punch is too good. It doesn’t have alcohol, but I am sure it would taste just as good with a nice top shelf shot!

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Before I forget…  Paschal’s has a FAB brunch menu that’s online too. We haven’t tried it yet, but have heard excellent things.

If you’ve eaten here we’d love to hear what you dined on.

Until next time!!!!

Be sure to follow a belle!!

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Touchdown: Tasty Bites for Superbowl 47!

As y’all know, a belle loves to watch the Superbowl. The 47th year brought one of the best entertainers to ever pick up a microphone, BEYONCE! We oohed and awed as we watched Baddie Bey’s performance. Wasn’t her look fierce? Didn’t seeing Destiny’s Child on stage make you squeal?!

Last year, the sis and I made some tasty bites to keep us company as we sat in front of the tube loving or loathing the commercials. Yes, it is all about the commercials and halftime performance, baby!

This year, we tried to outdo ourselves and came up with a super quick and easy (all homemade) menu for our Superbowl party.

We came up with a queso dip, baked wings (hot and wet lemon pepper), pizza, fruit kabobs and strawberry cheesecake bars. The meal was topped off with a oh so tasty fruit punch (our friend Joy’s FAMOUS punch) that canadian pharmacy mall we bedazzled in blue sugar.

The best part about the meal was that everything was light! We’re trying to whittle our middles and get back in tip top shape. The chicken was baked and everything was homemade with the freshest ingredients. The pizza was made using Foldit Artisan Flatbread–Have y’all tried? Skinny Taste served as our inspiration for the queso dip and cheesecake bars.

isn’t she lovely?
our motto is: TAKE A RECIPE AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

What did you make for your Superbowl party if you had one?

Local Eats & Treats: Hudson North

Hey y’all! A belle has been quite busy, but I had to get back to my sweet friends to tell you about one of the most tastiest local spots here in the A-T-L. It’s called Hudson North and you have to head there fast because this is a pop-up spot that’s about to sail away in 48 days! When you do, ask for Folks (we thought his name is cool too!). He was our waiter for the evening and will take excellent care of you.

Seriously, if you haven’t been to a pop-up restaurant, you have to go to this one. What’s a pop-up restaurant inquisitive minds want to know? It’s just like a pop-up store. It comes and goes as fast as it came! Read that twice and holla at a belle.

The sis and I were invited to Hudson North, an uber cool restaurant in Atlantic Station. The decor is fab, from the hanging jars with tea lights to the chic nautical theme. The food is affordable, fresh and locally sourced. The prices make a frugal belle squeal with excitement!

We started the evening off with a unique twist on fritters and fried okra. The fritters were unlike any cheese stick I’ve ever had. For starters, they were balls! They were filled with ricotta and parmesan cheese and were on top of a bed of asparagus puree. Pickled mushrooms were served on top. Talk about some good eating!

This food is as good as it is gorgeous! I could have devoured more of these, but I didn’t want to spoil my meal.

The okra was breaded like you wouldn’t believe. We’re Southern girls, so we know about our okra. This wasn’t your typical fried okra; it was cut lengthwise, breaded with buttermilk and a seasoned flour and came with a scrumptious chile-lime aioli. Can we say mmm, mmm, good?!

After our “bar snacks” we looked forward to choosing our entrees. I had hangar steak topped with parsley, mint, house steak sauce, pickled chiles and fingerling potatoes. To say my meal was FANTASTIC is an understatement. The steak was tender and juicy and the fingerling potatoes were cooked perfectly. The food was seasoned very well and we even chatted a bit with Chef Bart about the food and a little football (ROOOLLL TIDE!).

Tamika had braised short rib. She loved her meal immensely. It came with a root veggie slaw, and a bbq beet puree. Doesn’t it look good?!

If you like libations with your meal, you’ll love the drinks at Hudson North. They’re not those run of the mill watered down drinks some restaurants have. These drinks are strong, good, and are whimsical in a way. I had the Senor Jimenez which had a citrus flavor with hints of tequila.

Lastly, we had their “mason jar dessert” which was too cute for words. Take a look! I had the apple pie (on the right) and the sis had the banana pudding. It was the perfect little portion to end our meal. The service was exceptional, the food was beyond stellar and the atmosphere was inviting and beautiful.

Hudson North is the perfect place for a date night, or just when you want some good local food with friends.

Hudson North will be in Atlanta Station until December 31, 2012. We don’t know for sure if they’ll pop-up somewhere else or not, so make your way there TODAY. Also, be sure to like their page and keep up with all of their fab dishes. Have your name added to the wall when you visit. You know we did!!! Until our next foodie adventure, y’all!

 Disclosure: We were provided with these yummy eats. As always, a belle’s opinion is her own. 

Oh the Fun at Taste of Atlanta 2012

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Hey friends! I hope y’all had a great weekend because the sis and I sure did! A belle tasted her way around town during the 11th annual Taste of Atlanta. Talk about some good eating. Let’s start with my adventure on Friday shall we.

This band was AWESOME!

We were invited to Big Grills Gone Wild, which was the kick-off party to Taste of Atlanta. Guests were treated to sample tastes from participating restaurants. There was so much to taste and I enjoyed every second. Do you see these desserts below? Yeeesss! They were so good.

These banana pudding bites were the highlight of the night. You know I couldn’t have just one!

Y’all know I love my desserts, so when Davio’s had the banana split with High Road ice cream, I just had to try it. Trust, it didn’t disappoint. The peanut brittle just added to its goodness.

These beef tacos from Fox Bros. BBQ were on point. Good eating with fresh ingredients.

Could it get any better than this? Yes, friend it did. On Saturday, Tamika, the mom and I kicked off the fest by trying everything from shrimp to Korean bbq chicken to pub fries. We left TOA with our palates pleased and bellies full. Let’s get down to it because you have to try some of these places!

Foodie VIP:

VIP is the place to be at TOA. As a VIP, you get the cutest wine glass and get to taste cocktails, craft beers, various foods and more (the beer ice cream was really good!). The best part was watching guests play a little poker. Imagine us sipping on sangrias and laughing at all of the trash talking! Oh, this sangria company is on our must-have list.

The sis and I oooh and aaaahed over Savida Sangria, which was paradise in a bottle! There were a plethora of flavors; I had their Strawberry and Tamika had their Elderberry. We’re definitely fans now and will purchase a few bottles. Glad we moved to GA because it’s not available in Alabama stores! What’s up with that (our trash talk for today)?

Delia’s: Chicken Sausage Stand:

Oh my goodness! We repeat: OH MY GOODNESS. This was yumminess to the 10th power. We’ve already found the location for this stand and will be heading that way by the weekend. Fun staff and even better eats. We love chicken, but this is chicken in a whole new delish way!

Metrotainment Bakery:

The highlight of my TOA experience were the desserts at Metrotainment Bakery! They were all so pretty and were constantly calling my name! I had not one, but two sweet potato cupcakes! The first one was divine. The second one fell on the ground so I was very sad about that (seriously).

If you live in the city or are visiting Atlanta, I highly suggest making a visit to this bakery. Their desserts were yummy and their customer service was stellar! I smell a sweet potato cupcake in my future (and yours) very soon…

West Egg Cafe:

Our mom tried this cupcake and really enjoyed it. I took a bite and it was yummy. Nice peeps here!

Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ:

The sis and the mom couldn’t stop raving about Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ. Tamika fell in love with their grilled corn, while ma went back for more of their ribs.

HobNob:

These shrimp and grits with havarti cheese were okay. They didn’t make me jump over the moon since the grits didn’t have a rich taste to them.

JCT Kitchen & Bar:

The pub fries at JCT were on point. They were served up very pretty in a cone with a little garnish on them. Guests could select different sauces; we got a chicken gravy sauce with cheese curds. Tamika loved the sauce, but it didn’t suit my fancy too much. I’m a fry girl, so the plain fries were good and yummy.

BottleBar & Bistro:

This dessert wasn’t good at all. I had their chocolate cheesecake pop and ma had their strawberry. Neither one of us liked the first bite and we are dessert-heads, so, you know we weren’t happy.

Paschal’s:

Paschal’s Restaurant had the soul food section on lock. It was great to try a restaurant that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. frequently ate at. Ma got some fried chicken and mac-n-cheese, while the sis and I tried the peach cobbler.

The cobbler was tasty, but not as sweet as we like it. It wasn’t bad, so if you go try it. The mac ‘n cheese wasn’t bad either, but it definitely didn’t compare to our mom’s!

Buffalo’s Cafe:

These little Southwest spring rolls were slightly spicy, but oh so cheesy. We LOVED them!!! Don’t they look like you want to eat ’em?

Rí Rá Irish Pub:

Did you see our coverage from last year?! If you did then you know we weren’t going to miss them this year. We had their fish and chips with malt vinegar. Oooooh so good!

Salt Factory:

Not only does this resturant serve fab Goat Cheese Ravioli, but they make a mean Korean BBQ chicken wing dish. The presentation was gorgeous and the taste was out of this world. We will most def visit this restaurant VERY soon!

It tasted as good as it looks. The wing had a slightly sweet, yet savory taste at the same time. The noodles were sooo yummy. This plate was almost too pretty to eat. We said ALMOST! 🙂

If you didn’t make it to TOA this year you MUST go next year. For those of you wondering, taste tickets were $1 each and the average price for food was anywhere from 1-3 tickets. Also, there were plenty of free tastes, sips, and eats that you didn’t have to use your taste tickets for.

We love this event and are excited to see what they’ll have next year. It seems like it keeps getting better! TOA is a great event because it literally turns tasters into diners. I got a few cards of places that a belle will be frequenting from now on.

Head on over to their Facebook page and like it to stay up on all the yummy goodness! Until next year!!

Disclosure: We were promotional partners for TOA and received tickets to both events. As always, a belle’s opinion is her own.