Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bantam + Biddy



Protein Scramble - 3 local farm eggs, rotisserie chicken, cheddar or goat cheese (goat!), scallions (removed scallions), and fresh fruit


I had never heard of Bantam + Biddy before, so I was curious when a friend asked to meet there for brunch. A bantam is a small variety of poultry, especially chickens; a biddy is a young chicken. I suppose it's better than having a restaurant called "Chicken + Chicken" or worse, "Chicken^2." ;oP I have to say, the name adds a layer of depth to the restaurant. They have plenty of gluten-free menu options, which was a priority for my friend. Considering Sunday brunches in Atlanta are always crowded, we opted to meet earlier in the morning. I guess you could call it breakfast time.

Since it was so early, I opted for a cup of coffee which was all right. The waitress had to make it fresh, which you can't really complain about, you know? ;o) My friend had already split an order of Sublime Doughnuts with a third friend by the time I got there. They were nice enough to save me pieces of each doughnut, haha. I don't think the doughnuts were a good idea because those two had been on a doughnut kick recently. Besides, you're taking up valuable stomach space from breakfast! (They learned this lesson after they got their plates.) And yes, you can purchase Sublime Doughnuts here. I'm glad Sublime is branching out from its original location on 10th Street. :o) Of course, this could also be bad news for a person's waistline but... to each his/her own.

Because I had had the doughnuts, I opted for a protein-rich, carb-less dish: the Protein Scramble. I had a feeling that goat cheese would be an interesting choice for the chicken and eggs, and I was right! I was worried I would get little cheese in the chicken-egg-cheese ratio but, to my surprise, there was a decent amount of all three ingredients on the plate. Mwah ha ha!! Doughnuts notwithstanding, I like to think I ate healthy that morning.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cheeseburger Bobby's



Cheeseburger Bobby's is relatively new to our neighborhood. The name is somewhat er, cheesy, but the concept is similar to other high-end burger places that have popped up over the years (thanks to the wild success of FLIP Burger, in my opinion). Similar but not exactly the same. You order at the counter and get your own drink, then you pick up your "plain" or "cheese"burger and get your own toppings and condiments. On second thought, perhaps this is an upscale Fuddruckers or even a better McDonald's! But I digress.

My sister ordered a combination meal with a cheeseburger (same as me) and chili fries. If I recall correctly, the fries were all right. My personal preference is to add ketchup to chili fries.

For all that you pay, you'd think the kitchen would put it together for you. The burger tasted fine - mostly due to the bun, imo - but I have issues with the pricing. Surely it isn't that expensive to buy/make these patties. On the plus side, since this place is new, it's fairly clean. It also has free wi-fi. :o) No issues with the quality of the burger, just the price. For that reason alone, I doubt I'll make a return visit.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Australian Bakery Cafe


Ned Kelly Pie - Ironically named after the armor wearing bushranger, this ‘exposed’ sirloin 
steak and gravy pie is topped with a fresh cracked egg, bacon and cheddar


Ahh, Australian Bakery. I'd heard of the place for over a year before I actually made it to Marietta Square to try it out in person. The story goes: for Labor Day weekend 2011, my friends and I carpooled to Fripp Island, South Carolina, for a few days' time. One of them brought along several pounds of Australian Bakery sausages. I fell hard for these babies once I had a grilled version. O.. M.. G. It was phenomenal! Everyone concurred. I made a mental note from then on to try out this place. 

I met up with a couple of friends here for lunch on a blustery, windy day. Thank goodness there's indoor seating! The staff is accommodating, friendly, and helpful. They were the first ones to point out when a table was available for me and my friends. There's limited seating inside but I think that kind of adds to the charm. You order at the counter and get your own drink, and they bring the food to you.

I ordered the Ned Kelly Pie. To be honest, I wanted to try a lot of menu items but the picture of the Ned Kelly Pie sold me. I also tried to convince myself that because it wasn't an "enclosed" pie that it was technically better for me - fewer carbs! *shaking my head* Anyway, it was delicious! There were a few soups available that day including potato bacon and chili, and I chose the only truly tomato version available. My friends were not impressed with the potato bacon but gave a thumbs up on the chili. I definitely recommend the tomato soup! I really think the combination of a savory pie with tomato soup works well; it's reminiscent of the traditional grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup combination... but with meat. ;o) The portion sizes were perfect.

Anyway, I also bought one pound of sausages (there were two kinds available - I got the non-spicy version). I brought it home for my family to try; if they liked it, I would get more. If not, then it was just one pound. Sadly, we have not cooked those sausages as of yet. Sigh. Maybe I just need to hijack the kitchen one day soon... Australian Bakery - GO!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fanoos




Lamb Kabob - 1 charbroiled boneless lamb filet marinated in our special sauce

Boneless Chicken Kabob - 1 strip of thick charbroiled chunks of chicken breast marinated in our special sauce

I'd heard of Fanoos for a long time, so when I saw an online voucher for it, I didn't hesitate! I've always known that eating there would be expensive. O_o If you're going to try something new, you can at least comfort yourself with the thought that you got a good bargain, regardless of whether you liked it.

My sister and I met up there to chit-chat and we had no idea what to order, so we went with the waitress' recommendations. The kabobs came with a slightly hardened not-quite-naan, walnuts, cheese, radishes, and mint leaves. When you combine some or all of the above, it's quite tasty. I generally left the mint out of the equation though. Once our orders arrived, I can safely say the lamb is fantastic! The chicken? Not so much. The chicken kabob was too salty - thereby necessitating consumption of the basmati rice. The lamb kabob was pretty awesome - tender, moist, nicely seasoned. I don't understand the purpose of the charred tomato other than as a garnish but I ate that as well. I'm SO glad I ate there with a voucher! Fanoos, check.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Family CNY Dinner

In addition to festivities at the CCC, Chinese New Year always means we'll have a family/friend meal at home, with my parents pitching in the bulk of the dishes. Some of the guests typically bring a dish or two themselves, to boot. This year, my sister and I were tasked with contributing two dishes each. O_o My sister copped out and bought fruit and cheese/meat trays. I made a 6-layer dip (which was subsequently ignored by most people) and a broccoli/cauliflower casserole that turned out dry (which was also ignored). I can't find the recipe I used for the casserole which I suppose is just as well since it didn't turn out well! My main goal for the casserole was to use one can of evaporated milk. I guess one wasn't enough!

Fortunately, there was plenty of other food to eat! I'll have to try and recreate a better version of that cauliflower casserole, especially when the cauliflower is in season. The price was a little ridiculous this time around. :o\

Bowtie pasta

Half cauliflower, half broccoli - boiled

Sauteed onions with herbs

Mix the veggies together

Mix veggies with bowtie pasta.

Evaporated milk, shredded cheese, and other ingredients simmering on another stovetop eye

Pour veggies into the milk mixture; mix well. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and shredded cheese on top.


 
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes?

Homemade dumplings, color-coded by protein (pink = pork; green = beef)

Let there be fruit!... And almond snacks!


6-layer dip

  

Turnip cake



There's a salad under there somewhere.


Tofu





Spaghetti 



Deviled eggs



Salad that is awesomely unhealthy for you - with mayonnaise, bacon bits, and shredded cheese


Fried rice


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chinese New Year @ CCC







Fried chicken 


Dumplings 





Oh boy. Chinese New Year time again! As usual, the celebrations take place over two days (Saturday and Sunday) at the Chinese Culture Center (aka CCC) in Chinatown. I've been attending this event for at least 6 years now, and the crowd has become more diverse. It's getting so crowded, however, that this year will probably be the last year I attend. My sister and I were lucky because we came as the Dragon dance began, so most people were outside watching the performance. We spent about 45 minutes at the venue this time, hoping to get a quick bite to eat and get out. I noticed there were significantly more (and better) chairs available and the extra tent did help somewhat - food vendors stayed inside the building while other service/product vendors were in the white tent. Unfortunately, the people in charge of this annual event refuse to move it to a bigger venue. :o\ I'm sure costs are a major factor in that decision. As it stands, the festivities and food are pretty much the same every year. My stepmom's oyster omelette fix notwithstanding, I hope I can avoid this event from now on.