Friday, November 21, 2008

Atlanta Goes Green And So Does MLA

All week we've been telling you about great Atlanta restaurants doing their part to go green. We here at MLA are also striving to go green. We’re picky when it comes to food, but not about recycling. Clean plate club members that we are, we recycle it all: paper, cardboard, plastic, grocery bags and glass. We’re fortunate that our building offers paper recycling, and our office manager takes everything else to the recycling center once a month. We take our own bags when we shop for home or office. More MLA must-do’s include telecommuting, using rechargeable batteries and eco-friendly light bulbs, and turning off the lights and unplugging electronic “suckers” when we’re not using them. Every little bit helps! Is your workplace making green changes too?

Marlow's Tavern Cooking Class

Can't decide what to get your friends for Christmas? Think about giving the gift of cooking to yourself and a friend at Marlow's Tavern Northlake's holiday cooking class. To fit the role, they'll give you a chef’s coat, and before you know it you'll be chopping and mixing in a hands-on demonstration of holiday dishes. Learn what wines will go best with each course. After you finish cooking be prepared to eat, because you get to try out some food! Start at 9 a.m. and you’re done by noon. $40 per person. Reserve your spot in the kitchen by email.

Marlow’s Tavern Northlake: 4156 Lavista Road, 678-987-1197.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Atlanta Goes Green: El Taco Serves Sustainability With Its Salsa

Fifth Group Restaurants opened The Original El Taco in October with a commitment to providing a fun, community cantina and a heaping helping of sustainability. One way El Taco has been green from the start is through its partnering with Renewable Choice Energy to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) that will offset 100 percent of the Tex-Mex cantina’s electric energy consumption.

RECs are produced by wind farms, biomass facilities and other clean, renewable energy sources. Those purchased for El Taco are equivalent to planting 1,038 mature trees, not driving 257,444 miles a year in an average car or taking 21 cars off the road for one year. The eatery is also offsetting the emissions that are produced by heating the building with natural gas. A commitment that helps save natural resources, supports farmers and ranchers who make money by leasing their land, reduces CO2 emissions for cleaner air, and increases the demand for new REC projects while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and generating awareness for clean technology projects. Now that is something I can eat to.

The Original El Taco: 1186 North Highland Avenue, NE; 404-873-4656.

Portofino Pushes Pasta on Pre-Atlanta Marathon Menu

One week from today I will line up with thousands of runners on Peachtree street to run the Thanksgiving Day Atlanta Half Marathon. Thankfully, Portofino will serve a pre-race carb filled meal for all the marathoners and half-marathoners on the 26th. The prix fixe menu includes pasta, along with soup or salad and dessert. Fortify your reserves from 5-10 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, for a mere $25 per person. Start strong with starters such as white bean or butternut squash soup; spinach salad with feta, pine nuts, tomato, cucumber and a balsamic vinaigrette; and Caesar salad with herb croutons and Parmesan cheese. A variety of pastas, such as garlic chicken penne; classic spaghetti with veal, beef and pork blended meatballs; pomodoro with fresh tomato and basil sauce over penne pasta; pasta primavera with fresh whole wheat fettuccine or mushroom risotto Milanese will put you in the carb-loading zone. Cruise to a finish with gelato, tiramisu or pumpkin bread pudding .
Portofino: 3199 Paces Ferry Place. For reservations, call 404-231-1136.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wine Down Weekdays at Morton's Buckhead

Morton's The Steakhouse Buckhead celebrates Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with Morton’s Wine Down Weekdays from 5-6:30 p.m. Even if you're trimming the bottom line, you can still enjoy and affordable work week-perk at Morton's. $5 will snag you a welcome glass of Canyon Road California Cabernet or Chardonnay. $3 nabs a glass of draft beer. Such a deal, it’s a date!

Morton’s The Steakhouse Buckhead: Peachtree Lenox Building, 3379 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-816-6535.

Each “FEED 100” Bag Purchased At Whole Foods Markets® Feeds 100 Hungry Rwandan School Children

I bet I can think of at least 100 times that I have wished I could do more to curb world hunger. Well, one bag at Whole Foods Market® can help grant each of those wishes at once. Purchasing a FEED 100 bag ($29.99), available exclusively at Whole Foods Market, will provide 100 nutritious meals to hungry school-age children in Rwanda through the United Nation World Food Program’s School Feeding Program (WFP).

The FEED Foundation will donate $10 for each bag purchased to the WFP’s Rwanda School Feeding operation. The remainder goes to production and program oversight as the organic cotton and burlap bags are made by workers receiving livable wages and overtime, and safe and clean working environments. The bags condense down into a small pouch so you’ll always have one handy.

During this season of gratitude, give others a reason to be thankful by purchasing one of these cute bags.

Sara in a Different City: Charleston

I LOVE Atlanta. I rock my 404 tee, I two step and walk it out. I actually enjoy eating at the Varsity and I've been known to cheer a time or two for the Braves. But this past weekend, I went OTP to Charleston, South Carolina to visit my lovely BFF Erin. While there, we did "touristy things" as Erin put it, but I also had the opportunity to taste the city like a true Charlestonian! My coastal culinary escapade was so fun, I had tell y'all about it and share Atlanta spots that offer lowcountry food on par (or better) with that of Charleston!
First stop on Friday night was the Charleston Charitable Society's Annual Oyster Roast at the Maritime Center where the society guys and gals exchanged fancy duds for jeans, oyster shucking gloves and shagging shoes! Described by Erin as the first oyster roast of the season, we got a chance to chow down on some freshly steamed oysters (and chili or hotdogs for the less adventurous) while listening to the classic Carolina beach music band, The Embers. For a good steamed oyster or two (or 25) in Atlanta, visit Fontaine's Oyster House in Virginia/Highlands.

Then, we decided to continue the fun across the bridge at the Mt. Pleasant location of King Street Grill for drinks and trivia. Hungry still, we split the shrimp croissant sandwich. For a delightful shrimp po'boy in the ATL, try Six Feet Under, on the Westside.

The next morning, we needed a breakfast that would help nurse our oyster hangover. We stopped by the Bookstore Cafe, a local favorite with all kinds of breakfast goodies including homemade potato casseroles. Erin helped herself to the delicious fried green tomato breakfast with bacon gravy and grits while I chowed down on the cobb omelette, full of chicken, aspargus and sundried tomatoes. For an omelette stuffed as full in Atlanta, go to R. Thomas Deluxe Grill on Peachtree. R.Thomas Bonus: The food is healthy and organic!

After browsing the great shopping in downtown Charleston's open market, I decided to take home some homemade gullah spice rubs. With names like "Hot as Hell," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Charleston Hospitality" you know these rubs are bound to add some flavor to your life! Fat Matt's here in Atlanta uses delicious secret spices in each BBQ rib batch - a must try!
Finally - our weekend ended with a genteel dinner at Poogan's Porch. Located in a converted home in the heart of downtown Charleston, Poogan's Porch has entertained famous southerners of all types for over 30 years. Three pimento cheese fritters, one bourbon mustard glazed pork loin with sweet potatoes and a few bites of bread pudding later and I was out for the count! For a similar southern hospitality experience in Atlanta, visit Mary Mac's Tea Room.
For more info about visiting (and dining in) Charleston, visit

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chocolate Adventure Contest

Just read about this at Food Gal. Scharffen Berger and TuttiFoodie's 2009 Chocolate Adventure Contest is now accepting entries - yumlicious. Each recipe must include Scharffen Berger chocolate and needs to be submitted by January 4, 2009. Categories of sweet, savory and beverage must also include an "adventure ingredient" like basil, mango or wattleseed.

The impressive list of judges are looking for the best creation incorporating creativity, taste, ease of preperation and whether the recipe reflects a spirit of adventure. I know some Atlanta food bloggers that should definitely think of entering, so check out the Official Contest Rules for details, kids.

Atlanta Restaurants Go Green: VITA's Natura Water Purification System

Tony LaRocco's VITA quenches your thirst and helps the environment at the same time! VITA is one of only four restaurants in Atlanta that use the Natura® water purification system to purify drinking water. The system removes impurities such as chlorine compounds, heavy metals and bacteria, while retaining thirst-quenching minerals like magnesium, zinc and calcium. VITA's Natura system is equally healthy for the environment as it alleviates trucking in water or disposing of plastic bottles and dispensers. Natura systems are installed in some of our nation's best restaurants.

VITA serves New York Italian-style dishes at lunch and dinner seven days a week, and weekend brunch. Tony LaRocco's VITA: 2110 Peachtree Road; 404-367-8482.

DailyCandy Definition

A powderpuff mechanic’s license is not needed to toss tart fuel boosters in your tank. This The DailyCandy Lexicon mainstay will rev your engine!

Tart Fuel: n. girlie drinks, e.g., cosmos, kirs or anything that tastes like Kool-Aid.

Bob wanted a tiger in his tank, but Jasmine depended on colorful tart fuel to motor into party mode.

Clean as a Whistle - The Original El Taco Scores 100, and CBS 46 Shows and Tells!

Comforting as it is to enter a restaurant and see a framed health certificate proclaiming “100,” it’s even more so to learn of a perfect score and to get a sneak peek at all the great stuff the restaurant has to offer before you get there. Such is the case for the clean (and green!) The Original El Taco, highlighted by CBS Channel 46 Consumer Investigator Adam Murphy during his “Restaurant Watch” segment this past week. Click on the web page’s video box and stay tuned. The El Taco visit is the last part of the video, and it’s well worth the wait! The Original El Taco: 1186 North Highland Avenue, NE; 404-873-4656.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Atlanta Restaurants Go Green!

Here at Atlanta Dish we like to let you know what is happening in the area so you can be sure to support local events and farmers! The good news is… more restaurants here in Atlanta are not only buying local produce, but many are also finding other ways to encourage sustainability and lighten the load on our nation’s energy consumption. Each day this week we will post another restaurant in Atlanta that is doing their part for a brighter future!

La Tavola Trattoria serves as a perfect example of a restaurant that has been doing their part for the environment. Did you know that when you dine at La Tavola Trattoria, near “The Corner” where Virginia and Highland avenues intersect, you are entering a Carbon Neutral Zone? La Tavola Trattoria and 17 other shops, restaurants and businesses at The Corner are purchasing carbon offsets to neutralize their carbon footprints – footprints that are shrinking as these businesses have gone green. This makes The Corner Atlanta’s first Carbon Neutral Zone. 100 percent of offset profits are donated to the Atlanta Humane Society and other charitable organizations. Learn more by visiting the Verus Carbon Neutral Web site.

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

Aqua blue Wine Dinner November 19

Aqua blue simplifies the mental work for you at their Wednesday, November 19 wine dinner. Sit back to food and wine without having to think about pairing and selecting. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; limited seating at $60 per person (not including tax or gratuity). For reservations, call 770-643-8886 or email Lauren De Alto.

First Course
Canadian salmon and mango salsa over blue tortillas
Mason Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course
Scallop Napoleon with red and yellow tomatoes, arugula and winter greens with sweet lemonette and chive oil served
LaCraie “Blue Label” Vouvray

Third Course
Roasted pork tenderloin over dirty rice with shrimp Creole sauce
Mas Donis

Fourth Course
Lamb lollipops with mascarpone-stuffed figs, wild mushroom barley and Zinfandel reduction EOS Zinfandel

Fifth Course
Sydney’s Trifle accompanied

Aqua blue: 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road; 770-643-8886.