Author Archives: Jennifer Zyman

This year’s James Beard semifinalists look a little different—and Atlanta gets multiple nods

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Atsushi “Art” HayakawaPhotograph by Caroline C. Kilgore The James Beard Foundation announced its 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists yesterday, and seven Atlanta-based chefs and three elsewhere in Georgia received nominations. Chefs Brian So of Spring Restaurant in Marietta and Parnass Savang of Talat Market are nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Atsushi Hayakawa of Sushi House Hayakawa, Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani (Decatur and Asheville, N.C.), Ryan Smith of Staplehouse, and Rui Liu of Masterpiece in Duluth are nominated for Best Chef: Southeast. Sarah O’Brien of Little Tart Bakeshop is nominated for Outstanding Baker. Outside of metro Atlanta, ...

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Former 8Arm baker Sarah Dodge has a breakfast pop-up at Queen of Cream

Source: Atlanta Magazine

An assortment of dishes at the pop-upPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman For over a year, Atlanta got to eat Sarah Dodge’s exceptional biscuits, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and bread at 8ARM, the celebrated morning-to-late-night restaurant on Ponce de Leon. Dodge left 8ARM in November for a variety of reasons—including the fact that the tragic death of her friend, ex-boyfriend, and mentor of sorts, Angus Brown, made working at his restaurant difficult. “It was time to go,” she says. “When I left I was like: There’s a little bit of sunshine outside and it’s time to see that and get some sleep and just maybe ...

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Gaja owner Tim Song takes over Simply Seoul Kimchi

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Radish kimchi in production.Photograph courtesy of Tim Song Last month, Korean bun and kimchi emporium Simply Seoul quietly closed the doors to its Ponce City Market storefront. “It’s been an honor to share my food with the community,” Chung posted on her Facebook page. “I am ready for a new adventure.” Chung, who opened Simply Seoul in 2013, is moving to Vancouver, but the kimchi business she built isn’t dying. Tim Song, owner of Korean restaurant Gaja in East Atlanta Village, has taken over. Song, who is of Korean descent, says he’s confident about the transition because he grew up making ...

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Tortas Factory del D.F. brings Mexico City-style tacos and sandwiches to Buford Highway

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The barbacoa taco at Tortas Factory del D.F.Photograph by Jennifer Zyman. When I saw Tortas Factory del D.F., I immediately turned into the parking lot even though I had lunch plans at a Korean restaurant just up the road. It was the initials that caught my attention: D.F. stands for Distrito Federal, Mexico City’s former name. My family is from Mexico City, and memories of al pastor tacos flooded my head. Sure enough, the restaurant is owned by a family from Mexico City, and though the place has “tortas” in its name, it offers everything from sopes (a round disc of masa topped ...

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This soup dumpling at Atlanta’s Chinatown food court is enormous

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The monster soup dumpling at China KitchenPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman. If you follow a lot of foodie Instagram and Facebook pages, you might have seen seen the snaps of extra large soup dumplings—ones so massive that you need a straw to sip the broth. Good news: I found one locally at China Kitchen in Atlanta’s Chinatown. The food stall has been around for ages, but they are banking on this new trend. They even have a stylishly produced video spotlighting the monster soup dumpling playing on a loop in the stall. The monster soup dumpling versus regular soup dumplings at ...

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Emerald City Bagels brings a taste of old New York to East Atlanta Village

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The counter at Emerald City BagelsPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman Deanna and Jackie Halcrow have already amassed a large fan base for their wholesale bagel company thanks to years of pop-ups and farmers market appearances. Finally, after what felt like an endless wait for those fans, Emerald City Bagels has opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in the former Gravity Pub space on Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta Village. The Halcrows chose EAV because, according to Deanna, the neighborhood is where many of their customers lived. The long lines every morning are all the proof you need that EAV was more than ...

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Marietta’s Tomato Japanese Grocery Store moves after 30 years…but just up the road

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Tomato Japanese Grocery Store in MariettaPhotograph courtesy of Tomato Japanese Grocery Store For as long as I can remember, I have been shopping at Tomato, a Japanese grocery store on Cobb Parkway in Marietta. When I was a kid, my mom would take us next door to Umezono for heaping bowls of udon noodles, followed by an after-dinner trip to Tomato to pick out a treat. I would grab a new variety of rice crackers, mochi ice cream, or funky packs of colorful gum with words written in Japanese I could not understand. As an adult, the store became a ...

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Chai Pani owner celebrates Indian chefs with Brown in the South dinner series

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The event flyer from the first volume of Brown in the South.Image by Brown in the South. On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Southern Foodways Alliance director John T. Edge kicked off the “Brown in the South” benefit dinner at Chai Pani, hosting in front of a sold-out crowd the first in a supper series created by Chai Pani owner Meherwan Irani and Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi. Beyond serving as a fundraiser for SFA, the dinner was a love letter to Indian chefs living and working in the South. After attending last year’s SFA ...

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Ruchi serves up solid Bangladeshi and Indian favorites in Chamblee

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The onion fritters at RuchiPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman The backstory behind Ruchi Bangladeshi Cuisine, which opened in September on Peachtree Road border of Chamblee and Brookhaven, is an interesting one. 22-year-old owner Amit Shapta not only runs the restaurant, but he’s also a full-time student studying biology at Kennesaw State, with plans to enroll in the physician assistant program at Emory in the fall of 2019. Shapta, who came to the U.S. as a young child from Bangladesh, seems well-suited to the restaurant business. He’s a natural who works the room while wearing many hats. But the real star of ...

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K-BBQ Factory brings more exceptional Korean barbecue to Duluth

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The grill in action at K-BBQ FactoryPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman. I am going to say something possibly scandalous, but I think Atlanta’s Korean barbecue scene rivals Los Angeles and New York. When I was growing up in Atlanta, it seemed like our only Korean options were Mirror of Korea on Ponce de Leon and Hae Woon Dae on Buford Highway. But now it feels as though a new Korean barbecue restaurant pops up every month, each with some newfangled kind of grill or just a different spin on the variety of side dishes offered. K-BBQ Factory is the latest offering from ...

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S.O.S Tiki Bar’s cocktails go “full-on tacky Christmas”

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The over-the-top “Christmas Morning” cocktail at S.O.S Tiki BarPhotograph by Caleb Wheelus. With the wild success of last year’s Miracle on Monroe pop-up holiday bar, which is back for a second year with a second location to boot, it’s no surprise other Atlanta cocktail bars are getting into the Christmas game. Not letting Midtown and Buckhead have all the fun, Decatur fan favorite S.O.S Tiki Bar has been hosting its “Tiki Holiday” all month long. “Tiki and Christmas kind of go hand in hand, so it’s a very like fun, Christmas-in-July kind of thing,” says owner Caleb Wheelus. “We decided ...

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Alisa Barry reopens Bella Cucina at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Owner Alisa Barry.Photograph courtesy of Bella Cucina. When Alisa Barry closed her popular Bella Cucina Virginia-Highland retail store in 2013, it wasn’t the end of her business, although it might have seemed that way if you only knew the Italian lifestyle brand through its brick-and-mortar location. Barry, who has been in business for 24 years, continued to operate her wholesale line of Bella Cucina products—which are sold at Whole Foods, Crate and Barrel, and boutique stores through the country and Canada—out of a space in East Point. Wholesale is 97 percent of her business. “If you’ve been around the block, ...

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You need to try the hot, fresh cake doughnuts at Duck Donuts

Source: Atlanta Magazine

An assortment of “classics” at Duck DonutsPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman. With what feels like a new shop opening every other month, Atlanta’s doughnut craze shows no sign of slowing down. One of the newest to open is national franchise Duck Donuts. The brand was founded in North Carolina’s Outer Banks (in the town of Duck, hence the name) by Russ DiGilio in 2006. In the past decade, the company has grown to include 100 stores along the East Coast, the most recent being in Buckhead’s Tuxedo Festival shopping center. (Another store is set to open soon in Toco Hills.) But ...

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Pizzeria Lucca brings Neapolitan pizza to Historic Roswell

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Owner and head pizza maker Vic Bernardini at work.Photograph by Jennifer Zyman. When Jeff Varasano opened his eponymous restaurant in Buckhead in 2009, the former engineer-turned-self-taught-pizza maker had already gone certified viral for his lengthy dough recipe. Nearly a decade later, another pizza hobbyist-turned-pro, Vic Bernardini, is making his mark on metro Atlanta’s Neapolitan pizza scene. Bernardini studied and made pizzas at home for 15 years before his wife and business partner Diana encouraged him to build a brick oven in his backyard. He began honing his craft with wood-burning ovens, which he cooks on exclusively at his first restaurant, Pizzeria Lucca. Lucca, ...

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Fan-favorite wing spot Clay’s Sports Cafe is back in business

Source: Atlanta Magazine

A platter of Buffalo and lemon pepper wings at Clay’sPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman. When beloved wing spot Clay’s Sports Cafe announced it was temporarily closing in July 2016 after more than 20 years of service, its die-hard fan base reacted accordingly on its Facebook page. There was a silver lining for those in the know—Chase D’Anella, who formerly worked at Clay’s, had opened Chase’s Grille and Wingery in historic downtown Norcross, and his wings are so good we decreed them best in the metro area back in June. But to fans’ delight, Clay’s finally reopened last month in the Hammond Springs ...

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O4W Pizza’s Anthony Spina is bringing the Grandma Pie back to Old Fourth Ward

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The Grandma Pie at O4W Pizza in DuluthPhotography by Jennifer Zyman Even though O4W Pizza closed its namesake Old Fourth Ward location more than a year ago, the sting from the pizzeria’s schlep to the suburbs never truly went away for ITP-ers. The Duluth location, which opened last September, is bigger and in many ways better than the original—owner Anthony Spina perfected his pizza-making and added pastas, appetizers, and salads to the menu. But the convenience of having the Grandma Pie in your backyard is hard to beat. Pine no longer—Spina is bringing his pizza back to Old Fourth Ward ...

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Eat This: Tacos at Muchacho

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The barbacoa and al pastor tacos at Muchacho.Photograph by Jennifer Zyman. Memorial Drive isn’t known to have an abundance of great taco offerings—Mi Barrio is a neighborhood favorite, and the breakfast tacos at Homegrown GA always satisfy. But with Muchacho, one of the two new restaurants from Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall owner Michael Lennox to open in the former H. Harper Station space, another solid taco option has finally arrived. Lennox tapped chef Jason Simpson, formerly of St. Cecilia and King and Duke, to be chef de cuisine at both Muchacho and adjoining Golden Eagle under culinary director Taria Camerino. ...

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It’s official: Kimball House team will open a casual seafood restaurant at Krog Street Market

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The former Luminary spacePhoto by Renee Brock. Kimball House owners Matt Christison, Miles Macquarrie, Bryan Rackley, and Jesse Smith have confirmed they signed a lease to take over the former Luminary space at Krog Street Market, where they will open a yet-to-be-named seafood restaurant and bar. “We are super excited to have one of Atlanta and the Southeast’s most talented restaurant and bar groups join the Krog Street Market lineup,” says Merritt Lancaster of Paces Properties, the current owner of Krog Street Market. “We are looking forward to an innovative new concept to round out our anchor tenants.” The food ...

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Eat this: Hot Milk Cake at Watershed on Peachtree

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Hot Milk Cake at WatershedPhotograph by Andrew Thomas Lee I am weird about desserts. I don’t really like ice cream and, while I can appreciate the artistry and discipline involved in super fancy desserts, my cravings are much more basic. My favorites are as simple as a slice of peach pie or chocolate layer cake—or anything with caramel, the creamier the better. Caramel is just one of the reasons the Hot Milk Cake at Watershed on Peachtree is my favorite dessert to order from an Atlanta restaurant. The Hot Milk Cake was initially just an occasional weekend special at the original ...

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Bored with salads? Try cold Asian noodles for lunch.

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The cold Sichuan noodles at Yummy SpicyPhotograph by Ted Golden I often find myself torn between eating big salads or Asian noodles for lunch. As fall and winter arrive, warm bowls of spicy noodles and broth will become more of a necessity than an option, but considering how long it actually takes for autumn to arrive in Atlanta (temperatures are predicted to be in the 80s for at least the next week), chilled noodles seem to be a more fitting option right now. The five Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese dishes below are on my permanent rotation—even when it’s 40 degrees ...

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You need to eat at the Jusgo Supermarket food court in Duluth

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The cold skin noodles from Xi’an Gourmet HousePhotograph by Jennifer Zyman I’ve never stopped and counted how many just Asian supermarkets there are in metro Atlanta, but I wager the number is larger than you think. And what’s so cool about them is that they don’t sell just groceries. Instead these mini-malls offer everything from a dramatic Korean visor that blocks out all the sun to slippers that sweep the floor as you walk to a toilet with an integrated bidet. But the best part, undoubtedly, is the food court. While I have my favorite Asian food courts around Atlanta (more ...

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What’s next for Hugh Acheson?

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Hugh AchesonPhotography by Andrew Thomas Lee. Chef Hugh Acheson has built an interesting mix of businesses since he landed on the culinary map with Five & Ten in Athens in 2000. Along with a stint as a Top Chef judge and authoring three cookbooks (one of which won him a James Beard award), Acheson also operates Empire State South in Midtown, the National in Athens, and Spiller Park, a Ponce City Market coffee shop that has a second location opening soon in Toco Hills. But after just two years, his Italian-inspired restaurant in Savannah, the Florence, closed in June. “Losing the ...

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Looking for brunch downtown? Atlanta Breakfast Club is a reliable choice

Source: Atlanta Magazine

The chicken and waffles at Atlanta Breakfast ClubPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman. The name of Chef Anthony Sanders and O. Osiris Ballard’s restaurant group, Good Food and Company, sums up their relationship perfectly. “I’m good food, he’s company,” said Sanders, who has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant world. Ballard, on the other hand, comes from corporate America and the private business sector. Together, they’ve created Atlanta Breakfast Club, a cozy pit-stop near downtown’s major tourist attractions (the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, among others) where other food options are somewhat limited. “We wanted to ...

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Jamal’s Buffalo Wings reopening in a new, larger location

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Jamal’s Buffalo WingsPhotograph by Jennifer Zyman. At the end of last February, Jamal’s Buffalo Wings quietly closed after a 23-year run in a gas station parking lot at the corner of Northside Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, across from what is now Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Atlanta mainstay was started by Marion Hargett in 1994. She named it after her son, Jamal Watkins, who at the time had recently graduated from college and was playing basketball abroad. Watkins, now 35 and an educator by day, took over the business from his mom in 2011 but says she is still ...

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Where to eat Thanksgiving turkey dinner…in August

Source: Atlanta Magazine

Thanksgiving just before the 4th of July! So much fun today with @colinprice @glennjenkins @nicole_beck_photography. A post shared by Emily Caneer (@emilycaneer) on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:33pm PDT My parents were Mexican immigrants by way of Brazil and Tokyo. With such wanderlust, they were quite eccentric eaters. They didn’t stock our kitchen with Doritos, but rather pickled fish from Russia and stinky, runny cheese my dad bought in Paris during business trips. Every dinner was accompanied with spicy salsas and tortillas whether it was a lamb tagine or seafood paella. If you ever wondered what makes one become a ...

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