Monday, July 18, 2005

perfect saturday

wake up at 9:30 am -- just late enough to feel like you're being decadent, but early enough to have the whole day ahead of you. head to alon's on north highland. nab a paking spot out front. enjoy one of the few sunny mornings in weeks -- a slice of southern sun in between tropical storms. buy a decaf latte and a loaf of 7 grain bread, sliced for weekday lunches. ogle the scones, the pastries, the cheeses. make a mental note to return for a sandwich someday.

head across the street to the small, charming farmers' market. select a gorgeous yellow heirloom tomato, several red plum tomatoes, and a bag of collards. enjoy the morning, live under the strange but pleasant illusion that you live here (yet hurry home to read the paper....the ny times!).

Sunday, July 10, 2005

up on the watershed

ever read the NYTimes food section and they mention something tasty that is not in NYC (so unfair), and you think to yourself--they don't call this the "decatur times," why are you telling me about great fried chicken on west ponce de leon in georgia? that would have happened to me this past wednesday had i been in nyc. HOWEVER, i was instead in decatur, georgia, just a few short blocks from "watershed," the restaurant featured in last weeks dining section. genius!

the story is an amazing one; it includes emily saliers of the indigo girls, and the long strong friendship between a young gay white male chef and his elderly female african-american mentor. amy, adam and i checked it out for lunch this past saturday and found some worthy treats.

my pork sandwich had all the right ingredients, but was badly constructed. sandwich making, as we know, is an art (one that, say, melampo in soho has perfected). this sandwich was made with delicious crusty bread, excellent roast pork pieces, some delicious dried figs, spicy arugula, a sharp dijon and an herbed spread cheese. somehow, though, it tasted better all pulled apart. adam's collards were excellent, amy says her sour cream bacon potato salad hit the spot, and we all agreed that the onion rings were the best we had ever tasted. they were thin, crispy and extremely salty; i didn't even use any ketchup. to finish up, we shared a piece of georgia peach pecan pie, which was excellent.

mom and i will head back with adam on a tuesday night for dinner so we can experience fried chicken night. i'll report back on that later. in the meantime, folks back in nyc can be jealous that i got to try a lauded place in georgia, instead of the other way around!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

music break

sometimes i do stuff for fun besides eat. i opened the local paper "creative loafing" and the face of an old high school classmate jumped out at me. i had walked by the living room, in nyc, and seen her poster up a few times, but had never made it to see one of her shows. here in atanta, i don't really have the jampacked schedule i have at home, so i can do things like finally see someone perform.

i gathered the troops and we headed out to eddie's attic, just a few blocks from our house in decatur. we were there to see sam shaber, but other were playing before her, and she was playing with her pal edie carey. i was feeling the pressure; it's hard to be the person who drags 5 people to to hear music that hasn't been pre-screened.

turns out, sam shaber rocks. literally. she has a sassy, electric stage presence, a true performer. her voice was obviously strained from 200 days on the road, but she still sounded great, and still gave 100%. her partner on the bill, edie carey, was also terrific. she sounds like a cross between jewel, sarah maclachlan, and dar wiliams. they complemented each other beautifully--edie laconic and witty, sam chatty and hilarious.

do me a favor: check out their respective websites: and

go see one of their shows, or take a risk and order a CD.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

home of the braves

an atlanta round-up:

1. july 4th at turner stadium was a total blast. amy caught a fly ball, the braves creamed the cubs, and i learned how to do "the tomahawk." topped off by navy seal paratroopers with sparklers on their feet, descending onto the field post-game, and a huge fireworks display.

2. dekalb international farmers market is not really a farmer's market. it's a huge supermarket, like fairway --minus any pretension. the produce alone can boggle the mind, with three types of bananas from three different countries, 4 kinds of basil, 14 kinds of squash, etc. my favorite was the aisle of molasses. only in the south could you make three shelves of molasses. we bought fish, sausage, fava beans, brussel sprouts, fresh bread, pickles, cheese, honey, coffee...but wear a jacket. they keep it DAMN cold in there.

3. caramel cake from "piece of cake" bakery in roswell. the koplans served this at their bbq for us on sunday night and presented it as a "southern specialty." whoooowhee. three layers of white cake, with sugary caramel between every layer and a thick top coat as well. insanely sweet, quintessentially southern.

a side note: i haven't been able to kick the diet coke habit. tried briefly to replace it with sweet tea and was up all night long from the caffeine.