1 Comment Karen HamiltonApril 12, 2008
My one weekend in Atlanta, GA started with a jaunt to the Morningside Farmers Market, nestled in a picturesque community called Virginia Highlands.
My experience with open markets had been limited to the sprawling Granville Island Public Market and the warehouse-sized Calgary Farmers Market. It was a bit jarring to arrive at this one and realize that there were only about a dozen stalls, all fitting into a lot that was smaller than your average gas station.
Many of the stalls sold much of the same: a handful of produce, fresh cut flowers, potted plants. The ones that held my attention were those that had an obvious specialty. First stop was Crystal Organic Farm, where I bought sweet-smelling white turnips and brussel sprouts on the stalk.
Next door stood Margaret of Hazelbrand Farms, displaying her array of wonderful smelling organic soaps. It was clear that Hazelbrand had a loyal following. One regular took the time to point out her favourites to me. I picked up a scoop of lavender bath salts and 4 different bars as souvenirs for home.
Last was the stall for Ziu Mico’s Garden, a purveyor of artisan pasta, sauces, antipasti, and Italian flatbreads. I showed Domenico the produce I had just purchased, and he suggested his salsa dipomadori, spicy crostate di pane, and what I think is tagliatelle, in order to make a nice pasta primavera back at the hotel.
The pasta was a simple affair. I had no access to butter or olive oil, so I simmered the brussels and its stalk leaves, along with the greens from the white turnips, in with the salsa dipomadori. The tagliatelle was so recently made that it was under 3 minutes to al dente. Topped it all with slices of raw turnip, a side of spicy crostini, and washed it down with the St. Francis merlot that I still had on hand. Not bad at all for a hotel dinner using a bare-bones kitchenette!
If you’re looking for a farmer’s market the next time you’re in Atlanta, visit Morningside or try these others scattered about the metro Atlanta area.
Morningside Farmers Market
1393 N. Highland Avenue | Atlanta, GA
Every Saturday from 8:00-11:30am
Leave a Comment Karen HamiltonApril 8, 2008
Looks like we’re one step closer to Harry Potteresque imagery =) It’s great timing for yours truly, as I took a handful of short video clips while in Atlanta and was thinking about how nice it would be if I could store these clips in context with their photos.
Here’s one of the bar ambiance at previously reviewed Seasons 52:
And another of the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Atlanta:
I think I’m gonna like this new feature…
1 Comment Karen HamiltonMarch 31, 2008
Hello again from the deep south! I had every intention of describing the Atlanta food scene as I was eating it up, but the lack of photo-editing software on my travel laptop is making it difficult to provide you with mouthwatering visuals. So until I return to Vancouver on Friday, here’s a rundown of the first of many meals enjoyed in this culinary hotspot.
Seasons 52 is located just outside of Perimeter Mall, but don’t label it as mall fare. The Mall’s proximity to the Concourse, one of the larger and more upscale industrial parks in the city, seems to have created a market for nearby dining establishments where one can impress visiting VIPs.
This restaurant caught my eye during my first visit to Atlanta last year. At the time, I opted to try next-door neighbour Wildfire instead, which drew me in with promises of prime rib (it satisfied my carnivorous cravings splendidly). Wanting to try Seasons 52 this time around, I polled colleagues and looked for reviews online. Concerned to find that there was not much buzz. I looked up their website for more information. There, I discovered that the restaurant focuses on seasonal, healthy dining, where each item on the menu is under 475 calories. The diet gimmick didn’t get to me but the seasonal gimmick did. One scan of the appetizing PDF menu and I was sold.
First up: a glass of Trevor Jones’ “Boots” Grenache, from a little Aussie place called Barossa Valley. It was served up in a wine glass etched with “52″ that fascinated me to no end. Not much to sniff at, austere at the sip, but oh, the mouthfeel! It felt like velvet that had been stripped of its fuzz. I enjoyed rolling its rich viscosity around with my tongue until it was time to take a reluctant swallow. This slow savour of my glass meant that it lasted through my entire 3-course meal.
Next was a small offering of spring vegetables for $4.75. A pleasing medley of snow peas, sugar snap peas and its tendrils (which I had for the first time – fantastic), and pearl onions. Each ingredient leant the dish its own brand of sweetness. The highlights were the novelty of the tendrils (quite like a more structured spinach) and the burst of the sugar snap peas as you crunch through its shell.
Chose the caramelized sea scallops for my main, which came highly recommended by my server, Janessa. The scallops were rare (just how I like them) with gorgeous criss-crossings seared into the flesh. Asparagus was sliver thin and deliciously fresh. The pearl pasta was another new experience. It calls to mind the starch of the peas in the previous dish, blended with a tapioca-like resistance to the bite. Couldn’t really taste the caramelization that was advertised. And I’m not typically a fan of sundried tomato. All the interesting textures in this dish made up for the blandness of the scallop of the presence of sundried tomato.
Dessert was presented in a most irresistible fashion. Janessa walked out with a tray full of rectangular shot glasses, each filled with $2.25 morsels of sweetness such as tiramisu, german chocolate cake, and key lime pie. I couldn’t help but order two: the mango-strawberry cheesecake and the red velvet cake. Both were rich, indulgent, magnificent, and for the first time, Karen-sized! It took 4 or 5 of my bites to finish off each one. That probably translates to a couple spoonfuls for you =)
With my meal complete, I thanked my server for graciously attending to my questions and photography, especially when she let me have a few minutes of alone time with the dessert tray while I set up this shot. My ride called to say he was going to be a half hour extra. So I mosied over to the bar from where strains of jazzy piano seemed to emanate.
I settled into a seat at the bar that was directly across from the evening’s piano player. Sipped at a lovely Pacific Rim Gewurtzraminer from Japan while listening to the live music and taking in the elegant ambiance. The bar was patronized by a seeming regular Wednesday night crowd. One of the couples stood up to slow-dance dreamily to Rocket Man. At another point, the pianist sang a custom ditty about the people around him; from his lyrics, I guess his name is Dave and that it was 10:45pm. Soon after, my ride came to whisk me back to the hotel.
Sigh…what a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday night after a long day at work. I understand now why I couldn’t find any reviews of this place—its fans want to keep it a secret! Perhaps I shouldn’t have written this review. Perhaps I should hide this page from Google. But this was too good a place to hide from you, dear reader. Hope you get the chance to try Seasons 52 one day, whether it’s this one by Perimeter Mall or one of the handful of locations scattered throughout in Georgia and Florida.
90 Perimeter Center West
Dunwoody, GA 30346