In the case of most trilogies, the third edition of a Hollywood picture series is often the weakest [See: Return of the Jedi]. Fortunately for foodies, festivals are not subject to that rule of thumb. As such, and to the delight of the masses, the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival returned yesterday in expanded form over at the Westside Provisions District. After a ragger of an event in 2010, I was all over this like a Cabbage Patch Kid in a tomato patch.
For those unaware, the festival is a slam dance mash up of booze, grub, and music that showcases both Atlanta chefs and that little round red ball of seedy goodness. Oh, hello belly … you are looking an awful lot like a tomato right now. Hosted by JCT Kitchen and sponsored by Georgia Organics, this year’s festival was the first to span both sides of the WPD bridge and went off in fine form. Despite young evil doers and their attempts to sway me with hints of pork festivals far far away, and obscene amounts of food, and a World Cup match to compete with, The Attack of The Killer Tomatoes was a whole lot of Deep South goodness.
For those unfamiliar with said event, here’s the lowdown. Basically, a bunch of chefs, farmers, and mixologists get together and put out their best tomato inspired food and drink. Think of it as the most kid appropriate orgy you will find.
It’s a get it while you can type of event, so I suggest you arrive early and buy your tickets even earlier. Tickets currently stand at $60 for non-members of GO and $55 for those that do subscribe. After July 1st, all tickets are $70.
Though prices have gone up since last year, this festival, in my humble and honest opinion, is the best festival in town, bar none. If that isn’t enough to wet your whistle, check out my recap of last year’s event and/or the Flickr set!
H&F Bottle Shop, that long awaited and much delayed upscale liquor store from the gang at Holeman & Finch, appears ready to say hello world. According to the facebook feed of one of the owners, part one is set to open next week. Though no such mention can be found on their facebook page, this seems like a reliable source to me.
The shop is located in the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center, just north of their eponymous restaurant, and they will run M-Sa 11a-11pm until we get rid of that stupid no liquor on Sunday law. Complete with an on premise sommelier, a bevy of boutique liquors, and even some recipe cards so you can do your best Greg Best at home. I don’t think there’s a person in this city who thinks this place will fail … and count me in as one of the anxious customers. I’ve also heard really cool things about the order fulfillment process … so be ready for that when you first buy!
Food fans of every inclination showed up, and it was absolutely a blast. While The Spazmatics freaked out on stage, we all beat the heat by sampling, amongst other things, some Tom Cat Collins’ (Courtesy of Andy Minchow/H+F) and some amazing grilled cheese “keasters” (from Gerry Klaskala of Aria).
One heck of a weekend if you ask me … lots of football, lots of food, and lots of food news. What else is there? Here are just a few of the rumblings and grumblings that got tossed around this weekend.
Top Chef: Las Vegas Reunites In The Dirty South
Several of the contestants on Top Chef: Atlanta Las Vegas were seen in town this weekend. The group, comprised of ATLiens Kevin Gillespie and Eli Kirshtein, included out of towners Jennifer Carroll, Bryan Voltaggio, and Mike Isabella. The gang was spotted at the Falcons game sucking down some buzztastic grub from the new “it” barbecue joint … known round these parts as Community Q. Speaking of which, I grabbed a meal there last week, and I’ll definitely share in the next day or so (if not sooner).
The fun didn’t stop watching our beloved birds get tarred and feathered. To get the full Atlanta experience, the kiddos spent a good amount of time sampling ATL’s food. They took a trip to Flip Burger Boutique to see TC alum Richard Blais, to Holeman & Finch for some libations, to Pricci, and to each of TC:LVC Atlanta restaurants. UPDATE:Atlanta’s best BBQ blogger was kind enough to recap the events on his blog, pictures and all! Enjoy!
Holeman & Finch To Open Liquor Store
Speaking of H&F, long-standing rumors seem to be getting a little more traction. Several “reliable foodies” have mentioned that the group behind ATLs most notable “gastro bar” are going to expand into the liquor store business. All signs point to Bottleneck as the name of the establishment. Andy Minchow, one of the proprietors of H&F, is scheduled to take the reigns. For all you mixologists-in-training, this will most certainly be your store of choice. The former Repast barista will be there to help you with recipes, ingredients, and drinking gadgets. Atlanta’s masked videographer Rowdy just posted a clip of Andy … check it:
Some Bar In Some Place Opened
Some people just don’t “get it.” They somehow take the idea of underground coolness and screw it up by going the snobby/elitist route. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Everyone wants to be “Milk & Honey” but no one has the balls (or apparently the brains) to actually pull it off the way M&H did. A bar hoping to copy take inspiration from the NYC underground destination is doing its best to do everything Milk and Honey did not. It starts with the press release.
In this waste of digital paper, the owners were kind enough to provide the name of the bar. Then, they told you what area of town to find it (no specific information – just a generic address – it’s a phone booth of sorts btw). Oh, last but not least, they were nice enough to give out the name of their master mixologist (which everyone in the foodie circle already knows). The cherry? There’s a password to get in. However, they won’t give it out.
One of the reasons why M&H succeeded is because they played the game. They weren’t pretentious about what they were, and they didn’t try to have their cake and eat it too. This establishment seems to want its feet on both sides of the line. Not gonna happen here … You want to put out something in a press release … than do it … but don’t half ass it. As such … not even a name mention from yours truly. If you’re reading this and don’t know the story behind Milk and Honey … feel free to email me and I’ll elaborate. And if you’re dying to know what I’m talking about … search some of the more notable food blogs here in town … you’ll find the 205.5 without too much difficulty. They have a website already and … of course … A FACEBOOK PAGE!!!!!! The website actually tells you where it is. Grrrr …