Friday, May 23, 2008

White Oak Pastures' Beef Wins 2008 Flavor of Georgia Contest

You can chew the fat on what makes flavorful beef until the cows come home, but in the end, it's all about what's inside that counts. In the case of Harris Family Heritage Beef, raised by Georgian Will Harris of White Oak Pastures, the prize-winning flavor comes from a herd that chomps on grass. Unadulterated green grass. No grains, hormones or feed I can't pronounce or spell. The 2008 Flavor of Georgia Grand Prize Winner Will Harris will be at Harry's Farmers Market in Alpharetta this Saturday May 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. giving shoppers a taste of the award winning beef. If you can't make it Saturday stop by Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whole Foods Market on Ponce. Be sure to pick up some beef to take home for the Memorial Day grilling on Monday.

Harry's Farmers Market in Alpharetta is located at 1180 Upper Hembree Road; 770-664-6300. Whole Foods Market located at 650 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE; 404-853-1681.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Restaurants and Stores Stay Open On Memorial Day So You Can Honor More, Cook and Clean Less

Memorial Day marches in each year on the last Monday in May, giving us a chance to pause and honor our servicemen and women, hang out our flags, and unofficially dive into summer with a bevy of outdoor activities. Take in one of Atlanta’s many Memorial Day activities -- reflect on the hundreds of mini-flags posted on soldiers’ graves at the Marietta Cemetery, cheer at Stone Mountain’s Salute to the Troops laser show or chill out to the sounds of the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Woodruff Park. Keep things simple on the food front by choosing to dine out or pick up something deliciously portable at these fun restaurants and stores strategically located around town and definitely open on Memorial Day.

Bonefish Grill –Johns Creek: 11705 C. Jones Bridge Road; 770-475-6668.Buford: 3420 Buford Drive; 678-546-8240.Gwinnett, The Avenue Webb Gin: 1350 Scenic Highway 124; 678-344-8945.

Chipotle -- 12 Atlanta-area locations.

Ecco -- 40 7th Street; 404-347-9555.

Fogo de Chão -- 3101 Piedmont Road; 404-266-9988.

La Tavola Trattoria -- 992 Virginia Avenue, NE in Virginia-Highland; 404-873-5430.

Marlow’s Tavern – Kennesaw: 745 Chastain Road, NW; 770-425-8777. Alpharetta: 3719 Old Alabama Road; 770- 475-1800. Vinings: 2355 Cumberland Parkway; 770-432-2526. Midtown: 950 West Peachtree Street; 404-815-0323.

Whole Foods Market – Buckhead: 77 West Paces Ferry Road, NW; 404-324-4100.Briarcliff: 2111 Briarcliff Road; 404-634-7800.Duluth-Johns Creek: 5945 State Bridge Road; 678-514-2400.Sandy Springs: 5930 Roswell Road; 404-236-0810.Ponce: 650 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE; 404-853-1681.Harry’s Farmers Market in Alpharetta: 1180 Upper Hembree Road; 770-664-6300.Harry’s Farmers Market in Marietta: 70 Powers Ferry Road, SE; 770-578-4400.

It's Grilling Season...Grab Some Grate Chef and Pass the Bacon Salt!

The season known as “fire up the grill for the summer” starts sometime between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There are no greeting cards to celebrate the season; however, Bacon Salt™ and Grate Chef® have the seasonings and supplies you’ll need to set the thrill of the grill off to a “grate” start.

Get Ready With Grate Chef
First, be sure your grill is prepared to do its job by cleaning the grate with non-flammable, Grill Wipes® disposable towelettes (MSRP $2.99/package of 6) that are loaded with restaurant-grade grilling oil that simultaneously cleans and oils your grate. Use the patented Chrome Steaming Grill Brush® (MSRP $19.99) to give your grill grates a good-as-new look with the power of lemon juice. Lemon acid and steam remove residue and recondition the grate – and the brush lasts through four seasons! Polish up the outside of your “baby” in one easy step with Stainless Steel Wipes® (MSRP $2.99/package of 6). Now you’re ready to light the grill! The Fire Starter® (MSRP $2.99/package of 6), an environmentally safe, non-toxic charcoal-lighting option uses packets that heat up to an odorless, tasteless 1,500 degrees in approximately 10 minutes. Purchase Grate Chef products nationwide in grocery and hardware stores, and specialty stores such as Barbeques Galore, Inc., Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linens ‘n Things. For more information or to order products, call 877-900-8415.

Pig Out in Good Health!
Everything tastes better with J & D’s Bacon Salt! It’s not an oxymoron to include the words “health” and “bacon” in the same sentence when we’re talking about J & D’s Bacon Salt. The zero-calorie, zero-fat, vegetarian and kosher seasoning adds the delectable taste of bacon to whatever you’re grilling or putting on the side. Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow (the J&D) have packaged their perky peak of the pig seasonings in four flavors – Original, Hickory, Peppered and Natural – that will put new oink in your salads, sides, meats, sandwiches…and even popcorn. Bacon Salt is taking the nation by storm, having launched successfully in more than 2,000 retail and grocery stores and by receiving a hog’s share of media coverage. Justin and Dave have even created a charitable giving initiative called Operation Bacon Salt, which provides free Bacon Salt to troops serving in countries where bacon and other pork products are not permitted due to cultural reasons.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

YouTube Video Captures Growing Gains! Watch Dogwood Come to Life on Peachtree

From the day I was born, my entire life was captured on film. Whether it was my dad with the video camera documenting my every step or my mom with the camera contstantly snapping those awkard candid shots; my parents felt the need track it all. See? Here I am on the morning of my third birthday, looking a little less then thrilled to have my picture taken.

Dogwood owners Scott Black and Shane Touhy are taking a similar parental approach as they watch, and film, their restaurant come to life, literally from the ground floor up. By ground floor, we are referring to the street level of the Reynolds condominium building at 565 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. As you view these home movies, you’ll feel the parental pride blooming along with the restaurant. Dogwood, a sophisticated setting for southeastern regional cooking, will open in June 2008. For more information, call 404-835-1410.

Hello Cute Shoes!

Those shoe-crazed girls have planned another Hello Stiletto Shoe Party - this time at South City Kitchen Vinings. Get on the phone and book that pedicure now because the event is tonight! Show off your strappiest sandals or newest open-toed wedges from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21 at South City Kitchen Vinings . Shoe designer Ann Roth will be on hand, err, foot, to judge the evening’s “Best Shoe” competition. Hands will not be neglected either…they’re perfect for holding a wine or martini glass! 1675 Cumberland Parkway; 770-435-0700.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vajra Stratigos Pairs Wines With BBQ Meals

I don't know about you but I've been planning my Memorial Day weekend since March. This is my favorite time of the year (and not just because my birthday is around the corner). I love the warm weather, summer dresses, outdoor dinner parties and barbeque is a must. Which brings me to the most recent segment of Vajra Straight Up where Vajra Stratigos, Beverage Director of Fifth Group Restaurants, gives suggestions on which wines to serve at your next BBQ get-together.

First things first - the wines need to be "B.B.Q." - Big, Bold and Quaffable. Second, choose your wine's color (red or white) and Vajra will tell you which one goes best with the meal. Now you're all set for a weekend of wine and barbeque.