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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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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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. 

Knives night out: Taste of Atlanta 2nd Annual Tweetup

L-R: Shermika, Wendy, Kathleen, Sarah, TOA’s President/Founder Dale Gordon DeSena, Tamika

Hey, friends!

A belle was in foodie heaven yesterday evening. Did you see all of the pics we tweeted/instagramed? Made you hungry, right? It makes us shimmy just thinking about it! We were invited to a media preview for 4 restaurants participating in Taste of Atlanta. If you read about the fun we had last year, then you know that we are counting down the months to 2012’s fest. It’s coming soon and we are so happy to be promotional partners!!

Groups were divided into teams and you know we were a part of the best team! Woot woot!! As a part of Team Knives (there was also a Team Spoons, Napkins, Forks–CUTE, huh?!), we sampled food from Atlanta’s hottest restaurants. Check out our sweet ride for the evening and our doll of a driver! *screams* Team Knives is in the building!

Derick was awesome!!

Our sweet ride was courtesy of Uber Atl, which drove us around our roaming area of Downtown/Westside. The other teams tried 4 different restaurants each. We tried everything from octopus to bratwurst. Here’s where we grubbed on:

Five Seasons Brewing

The sis and I tried their Venus beer which has a semi-fruity undertone. Y’all know we aren’t beer drinkers, but we did give into beer pressure, and tried the brews which weren’t bad.

The highlight was bratwurst wrapped in a pretzel and it was heaven. Oh MY! There was a mustard dipping sauce that gave this tasty bit an uumph!

 

 The Optimist

Here we had a smorgasbord of food. This restaurant really rolled out the seafood red carpet! There were mussels, oysters, octopus, chowder, gumbo, and the list goes on! This place really knows how to treat a guest. The ambience is super chic and cool. The restaurant has an industrial feel with its exposed beams.

And the food? A belle was in seafood paradise! The sis and I dined on sweet buttery rolls, octopus (which was quite good and spicy), and halibut amongst other delicacies. This resturant treated us like queens and showed out! Check out all that we had!!!

Seared tuna
Pink Himalayan sea salt adorns this drink
Lobster rolls is how a belle rolls!

We told y’all this place is off the chain! Our tummies thanked us with a big ole smile.

Octopus. It was actually quite good and spicy.
Mussels with tasty bread!

White Oak Kitchen

Good food, killer ambiance, and did we mention good food? Okay, the evening started with toast, butter and homemade jam. If I had to guess, the butter was made in house too. We then had bourbon and y’all know us Southern girls can’t do the hard stuff. BUT, the bourbon was so sweet and citrusy flavored. The manager knew what he was talking about when he said the bourbon was the best we’d ever have!

Can we have these in our place?! It’s made out of wood!

No worries, it didn’t put hair on our chests. Now on to the food. Quail came along and it was SO GOOD! Neither of us have had quail before, but believe me when I say you have to try this treat at White Oak Kitchen. The quail was on a piece of thick toast with cheese, bacon and jam. Talk about unbelievably good! It was the highlight of our little lives.

The BarrelHouse

The night ended here where the entire group met up over a “Last Summer Fling” and cheesecake bites. Y’all, the drink was on point! It had moscato, some rum, and other goodies, but it’s a real smooth drink. If you go, tell ’em a belle sent you. Besides the stellar food, we got to meet some AWESOME ATL peeps and cannot wait until the fest!

If you’re sleeping under a rock, Taste of Atlanta is on October 5-7th in Tech Square. Just because we like you…use the code “SOCIAL” to save $5 on your tix before September 30th. Also, check out TOA’s Friday party, The Big Grill… a little birdie told us ScoutMob has an excellent deal.

Are you going to any fab food fests this year? If you haven’t been to one, we’ll share some tips with you very soon.

Disclosure: Each restaurant provided us with food/drinks. Our opinions are a belle’s own, but you already know this!

Eats & Treats: Homemade Easy Pan Seared Chicken Fried Steak

How was your weekend sweet friend? I hope you enjoyed yours because it was so hot here that a belle could hardly think. If you’ve visited the South, then you know how humid it gets. Though it was scorching outside, Shermika and I were nice and cool in the house when we weren’t out shopping.

We did a little thrifting and worked up an appetite (wait until we show you our items). What does every belle need after a long day of shopping and hunting deals? A hot fab dinner. The sis and I cooked pan seared chicken fried steak with potatoes and calliflower.

Dinner was on the table in less than 30 mintues and I can’t complain about that. Here’s how we made it:

Clean, cut and place these in the oven first because they will take the longest to cook. Cook until fork tender.

 

Chopped steak is an inexpensive cut that is very tender. Season to your liking and flour them with about 1 TBSP on each side.

 

Add 2 TBSP of Canola or Olive Oil to your pan and make sure it’s screaming hot before adding your meat.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side and don’t flip them over until at least this amount of time. They will be crispy, but since they aren’t deep fried be careful because the breading may be a little fragile around the edges.
ff This is my easy go-to pan gravy. Add about 1TBSP of corn starch to 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Next, pour into the same pan you cooked your meat in. Crank the heat and whisk until thick. Add a pinch of salt and your fave seasonings!

Easy, huh? What did you cook this weekend? Anything yummy?