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.

Let’s Jam: D’Nell

If you haven’t heard of this group, you’re missing out on something special. I was introduced to their music a few years back while writing for an online music website. D’Nell is comprised of producer Dan Jones and singer Ellie Hajee. D’Nell’s music is a mixture of techno, smoothness (yes, it’s a category), and honestly, I can’t really describe it. Just give it a listen and allow it to swirl around in your ear.

Top 5 Tunica Local Eats

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If you’ve been hangin’ with a belle for a minute then you know that the sis & I love to visit new places all while enjoying some of their yummy eats. Recently we explored Tunica Mississippi & had a ball. As usual, we got out & played where the locals play.

Click here to see us discuss Tunica on the news! 

Today I’ll focus on the delish food, but the next post will feature the must-see spots to experience. Don’t fret. This post won’t be too long, but I do want you to know why these 5 Tunica hot spots for tasty eats stood out. Let’s get started? ‘kay! First up…

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Blue & White Restaurant

First. Look at Shermika lookin’ like some game show host displaying a prize. I love this pic! 🙂 This cute lil diner spot was roughly a 20 minute drive from our hotel. It’s on Route 61 & has been in existence since the ’20’s, YES, you read right, honey. The food is freshly prepared by cooks who actually love to plate up 70+years of southern style cooking traditions.

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We stopped at the Blue & White Restaurant for breakfast and weren’t disappointed. For our appetizer (yep we’re rebels & had an app for breakfast!), we had their homemade doughnuts. One word: Siiiiiinful!!! They will have you sayin’ “Krispy Kreme who?!?” We loved them so much that we picked up a dozen to take home to our older sis & nephew. Needless to say they wished we had brought them more. Let’s head on over to breakfast!

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I had a fluffy Belgium waffle with cheese grits & crispy bacon. The sis had their 61 Hobo breakfast which is basically ooey gooey cheesylicious (I just made that up, but almost positive it’s been heard before) goodness of mouthwatering onions, eggs, fresh hash browns, sausage, & biscuits. It’s enough to share unless you’ve worked up a massive appetite. Trust me. It’s delish!

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Told ya we picked up a dozen! 🙂

 

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Cafe Marie

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We stopped here at Cafe Marie for lunch one day for a quick bite. The restaurant  is quaint, homey, & the service was excellent. I had a cheeseburger & Shermika had a patty melt. We both had their hand cut fries with our meals. Their tea was quite tasty too! Be sure to call to see what’s on their menu before going because a lot of what they serve is based on what’s in season in this farm town. We were told that the menu changes.

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Chicago Steakhouse

On our 1st night we had a late reservation for dinner at this fab steakhouse located inside the beautiful Gold Strike Hotel. The sis & I tried everything from scallops to truffle fries to a table-made dessert. Check out our Instagram for the video! Shermika had an enormous crab cake that she adored & I had a med-well filet mignon with broccoli. Love wine? The Chicago Steakhouse’s wine selection is huge! All the goodness we tasted & witnessed is below.

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The Hollywood

This little spot is a cutie. Our server was the sweetest & the decor was even sweeter. We loved the tree limbs with white lights. Even “A Time to Kill” author, John Grisham, loved them enough to include this cafe in his book.

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Though the restaurant is casual, it has a sort of cozy/intimate feel. If you love pickles as much as I, then you can surely raise a glass to this fine establishment. The Hollywood Cafe is the birthplace of the fried pickle. That’s right. Mississippi is a foodie trailblazer! Their crispy lightly battered pickles are talked about all over town so you know we didn’t hesitate to try them out! Score, y’all!!!

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My sister had filet mignon & I had grilled catfish. Catfish is the premiere fish of this town so don’t go there lookin’ for anything other than this. Got me? Good!

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SouthBound Pizza

Everything at this eatery was prepared with fresh local ingredients. The homemade pita chips were slightly salty & crunchy. We had enough pizza to feed an army. This pizza is DIVINE. Take your leftovers back to your hotel & have them warm it for you for breakfast. LOVED. EVERY. CHEESEY. BITE!!!! Don’t forget to sign their wall.

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Check back soon for our list of places to visit & a casino is our last choice. There’s so much more to this town than casinos. Follow us to see what a belle’s getting into. Until next time, friends.

**Click here for more 411 on Tunica**

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

Let’s Jam: 5th and York’s All In

I remember the first time I heard about 5th and York. We’d just started ArtBLT and a belle was looking for some fresh talent to feature. Ever a fan of jazz music, the sis approached me one day and our convo went like this:

Tamika: You gotta check out this jazz group I found on Twitter.

Me: Really? Are they solid?

Tamika: These cats are tight!

Me: Lemme check out their website.

This was my introduction to 5th and York. The musicians latest album, All In, definitely goes all in. It has a smooth jazz feel that will take you back to drinking lemonade under the shade of a tree. This is not your typical jazz album. The group breaks up the monotony by having dialogue interwoven within the cd, adding a fresh touch to its signature contemporary style. I did regret that the dialogue could be too long at times though, as in “The Casino.” However, 5th and York does a splendid job of merging jazz, rock, and traditional r&b to create a style that’s distinctly their own.

One of my favorite tunes is “Key of G (Ea).” I want you to listen to it and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

If you’re ready to open your ears and explore the world in a smooth sultry musical ride, then check out 5th and York’s All In. You can buy the album on iTunes.

Disclosure: The cd was sent to us for review. It does not affect a belle’s opinion. 

Image via 5th & York