TGIF, you guys. T G I F. This week was a long one for me and I am super excited to sliiiiide right into the weekend.
Here are a few of my new favorite spots in ATL if the you’re looking for a little weekend inspiration.
[ABOVE]Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are a taste of Heaven on earth – including flavors like Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and Sweet Corn with Black Raspberries – so if you haven’t tried it yet, add it to your to-do list posthaste!
[ABOVE - starting top left & moving clockwise] Jeff just took me to this amazing little hidden gem of hiking trail that feels miles away from the city. It’s part of the Morningside Nature Preserve and is a must-see. // The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers more than just beautiful plants and landscaping. Every summer there are concerts in the garden and this year’s Andrew McMahon, Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw concert was a blast. // If you’re looking for casual dining with good food and a great view, look no further than the Westside location of Six Feet Under.
[ABOVE] If you haven’t heard of Giovanni Di Palma and the Westside Italian empire he’s building, you must be living under a rock. Not only is Atlanta’s own Little Italy a beautiful place to relax and have a cold sip of limoncello (at Bar Amalfi, left), but the food offerings from his restaurants are to die for. The pizza from Antico (right) has made many national lists and should absolutely be part of your weekend plans.
I love fall – it’s my absolute favorite season for so many reasons. But y’all, it’s still SUMMER! Why are fall clothes being put on display? Pretty soon we’re going to look up and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING will be invading our lives and our Pinterest boards.
AHH! I’m so not ready yet. To make the transition a little easier, I wanted to share a great recipe for both summer and fall – great for backyard cookout and tailgates alike.
When we made this recipe, Hank was so excited he jumped up on the table to see if we left any behind for him:
We didn’t – A) because it would be way too flavorful for his sensitive little tummy and B) they were soooo good that we didn’t even leave one drip of sauce or piece of meat behind!
These wings are jam-packed full of sweet and savory flavor and can be made as spicy (or mild) as you’d like. They’re also a bit healthier than the fried version you’d pick up at most restaurants. Because you sear the meat on the grill, it locks in all of the juiciness, leaving crispy, tender wings that are anything but dry inside.
Instead of panicking about the speed at which time is passing, or feeling sad about another summer come and (almost) gone, make these wings to enjoy every last bit of summer and to ease into fall. They’re great as an appetizer for a small group or as a meal for two.
Grilled Korean BBQ Wings
2 lbs chicken wings, separated with tips removed
16 oz Korean BBQ sauce Sriracha (optional)
Fresh ginger, grated (optional)
Cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
Ranch dressing or other creamy sauce for dipping (optional)
2 quart- or 1 gallon-sized Ziploc bags
lots of napkins
The night before you want to make your wings, separate the wingettes from the drumsticks and discarding the tips. Place the wingettes and the drumsticks into your bag(s), then pour enough of the mardinade to cover all of the chicken. You should end up using about half of the marinade in the bottle. (This is when you’ll need patience.)
The next morning, be sure to move the chicken around in each bag and gently massage (gross, sorry) to make sure the marinade is getting all up in there.
When you’re ready to grill your wings, cover the grates of your grill with heavy duty foil to trap in all the delicious flavor. Next, heat your grill to 450-500 degrees. While it’s heating, remove the wings from the bag(s) and shake off the excess marinade. Discard the liquid.
Pour the remaining marinade from the bottle into a medium saucepan. Add whatever extra flavoring you’d like: we added fresh grated ginger, sriracha and minced garlic.
Once the grill is nice and hot, place the wings on the foil with a bit of space between each so they get nice and crispy. Grill on one side for at least 5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp, then flip to the other side. This is when you’ll want to start basting with the remaining reduced marinade – brush it on the chicken while the other side cooks, then flip and brush it on again. Cook until the internal temp of the chicken reached 165 degrees, the skin is crisp and the sauce is thick and coated on each wing.
Serve hot with extra sriracha, cilantro and some sort of creamy sauce for dipping. (A link to some great dressing recipes – including ranch – here!) You’ll also want to make sure and have all those napkins on hand!
I love, love, LOVE following the stories of new restaurants…how they were started, what inspired the name/theme/design/menu, the background of all the staff and their collective experience in the industry… It seriously blows me away what incredible talent we have here in Atlanta’s food scene.
Chamblee’s newest gem, Southbound, has a great story, delicious food and an amazing team of people. Its opening got a slow start, but I know I’m one of many who are so, so glad they’re up and running.
Located in a renovated mercantile factory across from the train tracks, the restaurant has a fantastic atmosphere and some really great design touches, including a vintage wooden bar upstairs from The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. The menu features updated Southern classics with local and farm-fresh ingredients. On our last visit for lunch, Jeff and I split the fried green tomatoes and a chicken salad sandwich with a side of fried okra.
Fried green tomatoes, a staple of many Southern restaurant menus, are served with tangy chevre and spicy-sweet pineapple habanero jam. The breading is incredibly light and crisp – perfect for having all to yourself sharing.
The chicken salad is made sans mayo – cue collective Southern gasp! – but I can assure you it isn’t missing a thing. Smoked chicken is combined with caramelized onion, balsamic, preserved lemon and avocado for a vibrant, fresh and irresistibly creamy taste.
Finally, the fried okra has the same great coating at the green tomatoes, but they’re served lightly salted with a smoky, creamy side of dipping sauce.
Despite the amazingness I just described, the best part about our lunch may have been the drinks. While Southbound is still working on their liquor license (send them some good vibes, y’all!), they currently offer a fantastic beer and wine selection and a blow-your-mind menu of homemade non-alcoholic (for now) drinks.
Jeff had the smoked pineapple soda, which was just what it sounds like. They smoke the pineapples whole, then turn them into a syrup for the drink. It’s sweet and smoky and just phenomenal. It would make a great cocktail with tequila or vodka…just sayin’.
I could not pass up the white peach sangria and man oh man, it did not disappoint. I called them back afterward to see what all was in it, and a guy named Charles (I think!) told me what they use: ripe white peaches, juicy blackberries, crisp vinho verde and some brown sugar. It wasn’t too sweet and the fresh fruit flavor really shined through.
To make this at home, on a much smaller scale, see below for a recipe based on the beautiful and perfectly-balanced sangria I had at Southbound. To get the real thing and to experience the restaurant’s crazy good atmosphere, I recommend heading there for lunch or dinner ASAP. Here’s the restaurant website, but don’t forget to visit their Facebook page for regular updates and drool-worthy photos.
Peach Sangria inspired by Southbound’s white peach sangria
2-3 ripe peaches, sliced
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peach liqueur
1 bottle vinho verde
club soda to top
Mix peaches, blackberries, brown sugar and peach liqueur in the bottom of a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).
Pour vinho verde over peach mixture and stir to combine. Fill large glasses with ice, then fill with wine mixture and top with club soda. Be sure each glass gets plenty of fruit slices and serve with a skewer or spoon/fork so people can eat the fruit when they’re done – it’s the best part!