Tag Archives: Bob Townsend


First Look: Brine Seafood Shack is open at Avalon in Alpharetta

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Brine Seafood Shack’s small lobster roll, served hot. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

“Cape Cod-meets-Santa Monica” is one of the ways chef-owner Marc Taft of Marietta’s Chicken and the Egg explains Brine Seafood Shack, his new chic but laid-back restaurant at the Avalon retail complex in Alpharetta.

The multilevel, choose-your-own-experience dining destination clearly has a lot going on, including indoor, outdoor and rooftop seating under a retractable roof, with two bars, a takeout window and lunch, dinner and rooftop menus.

The menus, created by Taft and Brine chef de cuisine David Connolly, previously of Two Urban Licks and Tap, feature sustainable ...

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Beer Town: Why ‘craft beer’ vs. ‘big beer’ is such a bitter battle

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Brewers Association “Independent Craft” Seal. CONTRIBUTED BY: Brewers Association

“Who really owns the beer you’re buying?”

That’s the big question the Brewers Association (BA) asked in late June, when it launched its seal for independent brewers.

Part of a branding program aimed at giving consumers an easier way to distinguish between “craft beer”and “big beer,” it was the latest volley in an ongoing cold war that heated up to the boiling point in 2017, following news of the sale of Asheville’s Wicked Weed to AB-InBev.

In case you missed it, the once-beloved small producer of sour and barrel-aged beers ...

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Cumming’s Cherry Street wins 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Sample a variety of beers at the Cherry Street Taproom in Cumming.

Cumming’s Cherry Street Brewing Co-op was named Grand National Champion by winning three gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

Its three gold-medal-winning beers were O.A.S.I.S Imperial Stout, Ta Ta Pilsner and Damebier Maple Strong Ale.

Carving out a craft beer niche in Cumming’s Vickery Village, Cherry Street Brewing is the creation of brewer Nick Tanner, in partnership with his restaurateur dad, Rick Tanner. The small brewhouse produces a stunning array of styles for the cozy Cherry Street Taproom, which keeps ...

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First Look: The Canteen brings ‘micro food hall’ to Midtown

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Salatim bowl from Yalla at the Canteen, with chef’s daily selection of seasonal vegetables. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Presented as a “micro food hall,” the Canteen in Midtown is the latest project from chef Todd Ginsberg and the team behind the General Muir at Emory Point, and Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla at Krog Street Market.

Situated in the former Spence space on Fifth Street at Tech Square, the tidy layout features three food stalls, including the latest versions of Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla, and the new TGM Bagel.

Plus, there’s the new Square Bar, which looks ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Second Self Red Hop Rye

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

As part the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, a local restaurant and brewery recently teamed up to spread the word on culinary sustainability.

Executive chef Deborah VanTrece of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours reached out to Second Self Brewing Co. owner Jason Santamaria, who’s also a chef, to collaborate on an Atlanta-based pairing.

The result is VanTrece’s the Burger Wellington, which features beef brisket blended with locally sourced oyster mushrooms, mushroom duxelle and a puff pastry wrap, served with Second Self Red Hop Rye.

The Burger Wellington and Red Hop Rye special is available at Twisted Soul for $23 through ...

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First Look: The Roast debuts fast-casual dining at Whole Foods

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chimichurri Beef bowl, Crispy Cauliflower bowl, and Peachy Duck Buck Mule cocktail at The Roast./ Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

While the news nationally is the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods, here in Atlanta it’s the opening of The Roast, a new fast-casual restaurant located adjacent to the recently remodeled Whole Foods Market on Ponce De Leon Avenue, near Ponce City Market.

Positioned as a first-of-its-kind dining concept for Whole Foods, the Brazilian-style churrasco offers a variety of build your own bowls, with fire-roasted proteins and vegetables, greens, grains and signature sauces, as well as vegetarian and vegan options.

There are ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Reformation Oren India Pale Ale

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Photo courtesy of Reformation Brewery.

Founded some four years ago by an evangelical pastor, and named for the 16th-century religious upheaval that brought about Protestantism, Woodstock’s Reformation Brewery is known for being a bit different.

Notably, the company’s year-round portfolio has featured Belgian-style beers, including a dubbel, triple and white ale. But experiments with IPAs and other British and American styles have been ongoing.

The newest is Oren India Pale Ale, which will be released on July 1 in the brewery’s Keeping Room, and available on draft and in cans year-round.

July 1 also happens to be Reformation’s second ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Arches Bohemian Riot

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Arches Brewing Bohemian Riot./Photo courtesy of Arches Brewing.

Last week, I visited Arches Brewing in Hapeville, where I met up with brewmaster Jamey Adams, and we sipped through the current draft lineup, which is focused on lagers.

Among the offerings, I enjoyed the year-round flagship, Unseasonal Lager, an American pale lager brewed with Noble hops, and the spring-to-summer seasonal, Mexican Empire, which is a Vienna-style lager commonly brewed in Mexico.

But I was really taken with Bohemian Riot, a crisp tribute to the beers of Pilsen that is this week’s Beer Pick.

Beer Pick

Bohemian Riot
Arches Brewing, Hapeville, ...

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Hapeville’s small-scale Arches Brewing is about to go big

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Arches Brewing opened a little over a year ago, and since then, it’s been flying a bit under the radar. But it looks like that’s about to change very soon.

Located in Hapeville, in the new downtown arts district, near the Porsche Experience Center and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the craft brewery is unusual in a number of ways.

First and foremost, Arches focuses on lager beers, a style that takes longer and is more labor-intensive to make, and is arguably more expensive because of that.

Second, the three-barrel electric nano brewing system Arches’ five founders have been using isn’t exactly ...

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First Look: Todd English Tavern brings casual fine dining to The Battery

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Todd English Tavern Southern Burger with beef brisket and short rib patty, bacon, fried egg, wild berry jam, cheddar, butter lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and spicy mayo. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

The opening of Todd English Tavern in Live at The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park seems to be another sign that the entertainment district aims to be a year-round dining destination.

Of course, English has been a star chef since coming on the scene in the early ’90s, and opening iconic fine dining restaurants such as Olives in Boston.

More recently, the English brand has been associated with airports, ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Hi-Wire Gose

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Asheville’s NC, Hi-Wire Brewing beers only recently became available in the Atlanta market.

Known for approachable and balanced lagers and ales, such as Hi-Wire Lager, Bed of Nails Brown, and Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA, the company also produces a good number wild and sour ales, including Hi-Wire Gose.

Gose is a style that that’s been enjoying an unlikely surge in popularity over the past few years, with an appealing tart, fruity and refreshing profile that’s perfect for summer sipping.

So in honor of the Hi-Wire Atlanta launch, Hi-Wire Gose is this week’s Beer Pick.

Beer Pick

Hi-Wire Gose
Hi-Wire Brewing, Asheville, ...

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Beer Town: Try a refreshing saison this summer

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Boulevard Saison Brett. CONTRIBUTED BY: Boulevard Brewing Co.

Forced to choose, I’ve often said saison is my favorite beer style.

And recently I was reminded of that, again, when I sampled Georgia Farmhouse Ale from Steady Hand Beer Co., a new brewery that’s slated to open on Atlanta’s Westside in the fall.

Once the product of Belgian and French farmers, who made use of grains from the fall harvest to brew refreshing summer beers, saison displays a range of tart, hoppy, earthy, funky and somewhat sweet flavors.

But like so many other classic beer styles, American brewers have made ...

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A roundup of this week’s food news

Standing in line at Leopold’s Ice Cream in Savannah is as much a part of the tradition as eating the nearly century-old company’s frozen treats. / Photo by Ligaya Figueras

Food and dining news of the week

Babalu Tapas and Tacos will open its first Atlanta location at 33 Peachtree Place later this summer. The executive team for the restaurant was announced this week, and Jeffery McGar has been named as executive chef. McGar has been cooking in Atlanta kitchens since 1997, spending time at Cellar 56 and City Winery, among other venues.

Beginning on June 12, City Winery will open for lunch. Guests can grab midday bites and even a glass of wine from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Coalition Food and Beverage has its chef de cuisine in place. Ryan Jensen, previously sous chef at sister restaurants Table & Main and Osteria Mattone, will work alongside executive chef Woolery Back at Coalition Food and Beverage. The restaurant is slated to open in Alpharetta this fall.


Celebrate this cookie company’s first birthday on June 10 with a sweet treat

Local Korean restaurant to supply in flight meals for Delta

Four-time Olympian headed to Atlanta to discuss diet for runners

Winner of Atlanta’s favorite doughnut shop

Numerous Atlanta chefs join better burger quest

A roundup of this week’s food news

The Curry Laksa at new Asian restaurant CO features shrimp, shredded chicken, bun rice noodles, cucumber, basil and baby bok choy in a spicy coconut broth./Photo credit: CO Restaurant

Restaurant Openings and Closings

New Italian concept coming to West Midtown

Sandy Springs steakhouse closes after 2 years in business

New restaurant CO brings noodles, sushi to Poncey-Highland

East Atlanta gets spicier with new Jamaican restaurant

New pizzeria opens today in Kennesaw

New Cuban restaurant to open in East Cobb

Alpharetta sports bar to relocate

New restaurant opens at new Doubletree in Dunwoody

New Italian restaurant coming to Atlantic Station

Popular ramen hotspot in Old Fourth Ward closes for the summer

A roundup of this week’s food news

Congress Street Up, the speakeasy inside the newly opened American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, serves classic cocktails like the Aviation, Sidecar and Mary Pickford. The bar is open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Photo by Ligaya Figueras

Food Destination: Savannah

A food lover’s short list for fueling up in Savannah

When your vacation is no respite from your food routine

When’s the last time you dined in Savannah?

American Prohibition Museum opens in Savannah

New Georgia cat cafe lets you sip wine while cuddling adoptable kitties

A roundup of this week’s food news

Watermelon slushy made with lavender honey. Styled by Dianna Tribble. Photo by Dianna Tribble

Where and what to eat, what to cook, what to buy

Have you tried this jerk chicken?

Healthy Cooking: Use scallops to make friends with your cast-iron skillet

26 reasons to eat in Dunwoody this Saturday

Stock Up: This Father’s Day treat Dad to breakfast in bed

Ice cream recipes easy to lick

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these OTP ice cream spots

The best barbecue cookbooks of the summer

Summer cookbooks praise vegetables 

First Look: French meets Southern at Petit Chou in Cabbagetown

Snapchat Taste Test: Healthy snacks

Create this summer slushy with lavender honey and watermelon

A roundup of this week’s food news

9 Mile Station’s Trolley Car Spritz cocktails./ Photo credit: Adrienne Harris.

Atlanta Bar Scene

Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall has introduced adult slushies, available at its camper on the grove throughout the summer. Right now you can grab the alcoholic slushies in a few different flavors including blood orange Moscow mule and sangria. More flavors are on the way.

Frozen pops and alcohol combine for a cooling cocktail now available at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. The booze-infused ice pops can be paired with either prosecco or rosé wine. The pops come in a variety of flavors, including Limoncello, Blueberry with prosecco and Peach and Raspberry with Rosé.

Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Red Brick Whale Shark Wheat

9 Mile Station’s refreshing cocktail is perfect for summer brunch

Restaurant reviews

Review: Sasser brings her wit to Hampton + Hudson 

Review: Good times with a global touch at Bon Ton

Review: Beers and Japanese bites at Hopstix Brewery

Review: At Double Zero, shared plates can delight; pasta and pizza miss the mark


Explore where to eat in Atlanta with the AJC’s Spring Dining Guide

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

A roundup of this week’s food news


Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Red Brick Whale Shark Wheat

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Whale Shark Wheat by Red Brick Brewing Co.

Dubbed an American-style wheat ale, Whale Shark Wheat is the latest beer from Atlanta’s Red Brick Brewing Co.

Red Brick partnered with the Georgia Aquarium to create the limed edition offering with the goal of bringing attention to the Aquarium’s marquee species, the endangered whale shark, and a portion of sales will go towards the Aquarium’s whale shark research and preservation efforts.

Whale Shark will be available on draft at Red Brick and the Cafe Aquaria at Georgia Aquarium, and on shelves beginning the week of June 5 at Kroger, Whole ...

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Beer Town: Brewed Food presents a new kind of beer dinner at Wrecking Bar

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Jensen Cummings, chef/ founder of Brewed Food. CONTRIBUTED BY: Fortune Cookie Concepts

Founded by chef Jensen Cummings, Denver-based Brewed Food makes its way to cities around the U.S. to collaborate with chefs and brewers, putting together a multicourse, paired dinner at each stop.

But the approach is far from the usual restaurant or brewery beer dinner, as guests will discover on June 4 at the Wrecking Bar Brewpub.

That’s when Cummings joins Wrecking Bar chef Terry Koval and Staplehouse chef Ryan Smith to create a menu highlighting brewing ingredients in dishes that range from the ancient to the molecular realm.


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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Steady Hand Georgia Farmhouse Ale

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credit: Steady Hand Beer Co.

Like so many other beer styles, American brewers have made Belgian and French-style farmhouse ales their own.

Once, literally, the product of farmers, who made use of grains from the fall harvest to brew refreshing summer beers, the broad, often amorphous category includes the likes of traditional saison and biere de garde, with a range of tart, hoppy, earthy, funky, and somewhat sweet flavors.

Georgia Farmhouse Ale from Steady Hand Beer Co., which is slated to open a new brewery on Atlanta’s Westside in the fall, is a good example of a regional take on ...

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Pinewood employees attacked in Decatur last night

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Below is a statement from the owners, Mike Blydenstein, Brooks Cloud and Julian Goglia, about an attack on several employees at the Pinewood in Decatur last night.

Last night, after service, several employees of The Pinewood were attacked by two men wearing masks. Luckily, no one was physically hurt. The team was tied up with zip ties and threatened with weapons. It deeply saddens us that two individuals would attack our community with such a senseless, harmful act. We are very grateful to the  first responders of Decatur for handling the threat immediately. Thank you to everyone for their outpouring of ...

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Monday Night Brewing’s Tears of My Enemies is a big winner

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Last week at the Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co’s. Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest at the Lexington Convention Center in Kentucky, Atlanta’s Monday Night Brewing took on some 65 breweries from across the country to win the Commonwealth Cup.

The ‘Best in Show’ prize was awarded to the somewhat appropriately named Tears of My Enemies, a scotch barrel-aged milk stout that’s one of the newer offering from Monday Night’s limited edition Black Tie series.

Flavored with locally-roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffee, it’s described as “roasty, chocolately, and, like the tears of your enemies, the most delicious thing you’ve ...

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First Look: Modern meets old school at Kaiser’s Chophouse in Sandy Springs

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Kaiser’s Chophouse Prime Cowboy Ribeye is 20-ounces of dry-aged, bone-in steak. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Though it’s only been open for a few weeks, Kaiser’s Chophouse on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs already has the look and feel of a classic dining destination.

The modern steakhouse from Atlanta chef Peter Kaiser is billed as offering “an elevated dining experience with quality cuts of meats, superior ingredients and a boutique wine and cocktail program.”

Beloved Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak and KR Steakbar is a longtime colleague and friend of Kaiser, and an investor and consultant in ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Wild Heaven Seventh Heaven

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Seventh heaven from Wild Heaven Beer. Photo from Wild Heaven Beer.

For the 12th year in a row, the Brewers Association is sponsoring American Craft Beer Week, its nationwide promotion for small and independent craft brewer members.

From May 15 – 21, all 50 states have planned events, including brewery tours, special beer releases, beer and food pairings, tap takeovers and on and on. And you can find the remaining Georgia craft beer events for this weekend here: craftbeer.com/events.

Serendipitously, Wild Heaven Beer in Avondale will be winding up the weekend from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday with Wild Heaven ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: Orpheus Atalanta

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credit: Orpheus Brewing

When Atlanta’s Orpheus Brewing debuted its first beers on Memorial Day 2014, enthusiastic crowds packed the tasting room located near the Atlanta Beltline and Piedmont Park.

Three years later, Orpheus is set to celebrate its third anniversary. And in that time the brewery and its founder and brewmaster Jason Pellett have become known for Belgian-style saisons, sour, wild and barrel-aged beers.

One of the earliest examples of Pellett’s palate is Atalanta, a tart, sour mash saison flavored with fresh plum juice. The beer is named after the Greek heroine and Argonaut. But the inspiration is more ...

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Beer Town: Meet Brian Watts, ‘International Man of Beer’

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Brian Watts, International Man of Beer for New Zealand’s 8 Wired Brewing Co., lives in Decatur. CONTRIBUTED BY: 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Though he grew up in Roswell, and lives in Decatur, Brian Watts is known as the “International Man of Beer” for 8 Wired Brewing Co. in Warkworth, New Zealand.

Sitting at the bar at My Parents’ Basement in Avondale one recent afternoon, sipping an 8 Wired Hippy Cucumber Berliner Weiss, Watts said the 16-hour time difference between Atlanta and Auckland can be a bit disorienting at times.

But the back-and-forth has been part of a much longer, more ...

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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick: SweetWater Mexican Style Lager

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credit: SweetWater Brewing Co.

If you’ve been keeping track, Beer Pick has probably featured too many SweetWater products, lately.

I apologize for that. But the Southeast’s biggest craft brewery has been on a roll, with barrel-aged beers from The Woodlands and experimental offerings from its new Hatchery Series, not to mention a big anniversary and the 420 Fest.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, today’s pick, SweetWater Mexican Style Lager, is the second beer from the Hatchery Series. SweetWater is debuting it on draft in the tasting room at the brewery today, and in six-packs to purchase to-go.

Otherwise, you ...

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Beer Town: Max Lager’s resurrects Georgia’s first craft beer

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Max Lager’s brewmaster John Roberts recently resurrected the recipe for Helenboch, Georgia’s first craft beer. CONTRIBUTED BY: Max Lager’s.

If you’ve never heard of Friends Brewing or Helenboch Brewery, you’ve missed an important, if obscure bit of Georgia craft beer history.

Opened in Helen in 1990, Helenboch was Georgia’s first craft brewery and craft beer. And from the beginning, it was successful, at least in terms of the fledgling microbrewery and brewpub scene of the day.

The Friends Brewing team won a silver medal for its Helenboch helles at the 1989 Great American Beer Festival, and a gold medal two ...

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Chef Kevin Gillespie’s KUDU grill event at Yebo Beach Haus

Credit: KUDU Grills.

Justin Anthony of True Story Brands (10 Degrees South, Yebo Beach Haus, Cape Dutch, Biltong Bar) and chef and restaurateur Kevin Gillespie (Gunshow, Revival) are joining together for KUDU Braai Cookout on the Yebo Beach Haus patio on May 21.

Both Gillespie and Anthony are KUDU “grill masters” and devotees of the multi-level, live fire South African-style grill, which has been taking off with both chefs and home cooks.

During the event, guests will enjoy passed plates hot off four custom KUDU grills, and have a chance to chat with Anthony and Gillespie about South African cooking.

The menu will feature a variety of traditional South African bites, including shrimp kabobs, boerewors rolls, sosaties, peri-peri chicken and vegetable kabobs.

Tickets: $30 available online here.


Kevin Gillespie is opening Communion Cantina

Women at the grill: Cooking with fire and finesse

Kevin Gillespie gives up his boiled dressing recipe

Revival excels in family-style dinner of old


Explore where to eat in Atlanta with the AJC’s Spring Dining Guide

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

Chef Kevin Gillespie’s KUDU grill event at Yebo Beach Haus