Thursday, February 22, 2007

A couple of reasons Atlanta's not so bad

Inspired by MB's food week I decided to write a short description of every restaurant I've visited since I moved here.

Grant Park/My neighborhood/Westside
Daddy Dz
Kinda like the lush version of Harold's, my favorite BBQ joint (between the federal pen and Turner field). Whereas Harold's serves one amazing item (besides the amazing cracklin' cornbread) Daddy's branches out a bit and features an array of vegetables, all of which I've found worth ordering. It borders a shitty part of town but basically always has at least one cop in attendance. Fuck Fat Matt's.

Village Pizza
My favorite pizza...ever. They understand and practice that formula for the subtle proportion of sauce and bread that can easily fuck up a pizza if misappropriated. But they never really misappropriate. And they deliver pizza to my neighbors on bikes with little baskets!

Carrol St. Cafe
2 minutes from my house. Pudge and I spent many a Saturday morning sitting on the sidewalk with the newspaper and the dish I basically order every time, Crab Cake Benedict (under $10). The dinner menu is nice as well.

Zocalo Tacqueria
As close to what I think of as "real Mexican" as I've had here. Not that I know "real Mexican." But all my friend's who've been to those little roadside tacquerias in Mexico swear by it.

Six Feet Under
6FU aspires to be that cozy wood paneled restaurant your parents took you to as a kid, and succeeds while adding things that those restaurants would have never thought of. The wasabi dressing is such I might actually break in to find the recipe. The grouper wrapped in overcooked cheese is something certain to end the fasts of those fleeing cholesterol. Try the fish tacos as well while sitting on the roof overlooking the graves of Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones.

In the warehouse/art gallery district (Castleberry Hill) that may be my new favorite neighborhood in Atlanta and which may have influenced my feelings on what W deemed "not any better than Harry and Sons." The $25 raw sampler I ordered, though, as I watched Auburn beat Florida on the plasma, was as good as anything I've had outside of Japan.

MF Sushi
Perennial readers' and critics' choice for best sushi. I enjoyed it, but found it a bit disappointing when mixed with the hype. I also found it strange that they didn't have any green tea. Good stuff, but worth the inflated prices? Hmmm.

Las Palmeras
7 years ago this place was great. A little spot, hidden away amongst pricey houses, with an adjoining store in which you bought your liquor. Last Thursday it was the start to a shitty post-Valentine's meal, featuring an overpriced appetizer, a salad my high school cafeteria could have made and a chicken breast that I'm still mystified they served as any kind of item on the menu.

Righteous Room
Get the Mediterranean Platter and watch the parade of heroin heads head to the back booth.

Pura Vida
Tapas! I fucking hate tapas. In Atlanta at least.

Cheshire Smidge
This is the kinda place that still thinks it's classy, or charming, to put pictures of celebrities who have visited on the opening wall--Joe Torre, Tommy Lasorda, those kinda guys. It's one of those pricey, family run Italian places you may have visited as a child, where everyone that works there is a daughter or a cousin or something of that sort and the father/head chef makes regular visits to the dining room. I felt like someone was gonna get offed while I was there. And the food was great.

Buford Triad
Hae Woon Dae
I always heard how great it was but on the Saturday I visited I found it to be atmospherically lacking and also just kind of uninspiring in the food department. There's a huge adult theater next to it where couples get in free.

Tofu 88
24 hour Korean in a little freestanding building that probably used to be a chicken or bbq restaurant. The pre-entree dishes (ponchon?) were as good as any I've had and my tofu hash with grilled fish was something I'll definitely come back for.

El Rey Del Taco
I've been here twice in the past week, on Sunday with JF, W and MB for a whole fish El Rey style while watching Mexican soap opera, and on Monday with JC for three Mexican tacos (1 pollo, 1 mushroom) and a side of rice. It's open 24 hrs so I'm sure I'll go back in the next three days or so.

Little Szechuan
Just go there.

Maybe better than the actual Malaysian food I had in Malaysia but maybe I just wasn't eating real Malaysian food.

El Norteno
I get the idea this is kinda the lunch destination for Mexican construction gents. They have a huge buffet with lots of goodies like limes, and salsas and chips and chives and onions and other assorted stuff to put on your meal. One of my Latino students says it sucks so maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about.

Hong Kong BBQ
In the Chinatown Mall foodcourt. On a recent visit with MB and W, W ordered something that seemed safe but looked like vomit on arrival. MB ordered a soup that led us to suck the meat off an assortment of duck claws until I noticed a line of Asian dudes staring at us in disbelief. I got the BBQ sampler, which was kind of the pussy thing to order, but also some of the best BBQ I've ever had. Duck, chicken and pork.

Bangladeshi food on Buford Hwy. Go on a Friday for your birthday, or someone else's, or just bring a lot of people and you'll feel like some snooty British diplomat during the Great Game in South Asia with the royal way in which they treat you. Tastes like Indian food, which makes sense.

Marisqueria 7 Mares
W, E and JF in attendance, we dined on ceviche, burritos and huge fucking fish with eyeballs while being entertained by a mariachi band.

That Vietnamese Sandwich Place in Asian Square
$2.95 for one of the best combinations of French bread, pork, and green onion I've ever had. Wash it down with an avocado shake.

Little India/Decatur
Madras Savarana Bhavan
Probably my favorite Indian, in what probably used to be a Po Folks, or something equally racist. Everything I've had here has been awesome. The Dosais (rice and lentil crepes) stuffed with pretty much whatever you want, within reason, are like Indian burritos, and are deceptively filling. All of the appetizers are good though I'd probably stay away from the Bombay jalapeno poppers which, of course, are listed under a different name that I can't seem to remember.

Great lunch buffet though you might want to go with someone rather than by yourself (as I did) as the sheer space can make you feel kind of alone.

Bollywood Masala
Probably not as good as MSB, but you get to watch uncut Bollywood movies that make those old lush and lavish Hollywood pics look like a Jim Jarmusch movie, while you stuff yourself with nan and chutney.

Cafe Alsace
Cozy little Alsatian place in Decatur. I had the rabbit and JC had the pork loin. Hers' was better. I took great joy in ordering the Tour of France by name, in English, more to my amusement than that of the waitress, I'm sure. To get to the bathroom you have to go through the kitchen, which I found really cool.

Tacqueria Del Sol
Kind of like my new standby, my new La Parilla, that I opt for whenever I invite a lot of people out. The tacos are always reliable, from the brisket to the veggie to the fish. The salsa sampler, with a green sauce and two red sauces, is something I usually order in quantities of 2. And the turnip greens are amazing. Weird.

Monday, February 19, 2007


so what's with all these tv shows having interrupted seasons? entourage takes like a six month hiatus during the middle of the season? lost does the same, as does veronica mars (the latter which is doing so has lost me as a viewer; the "first half" of season 3 was weak anyway). what's the deal? if you want to take months off between episodes, just admit that it's a new season (and that you're now putting out a weak 8 episodes per). i feel like this trend is bullshit, but i have a feeling it's not going anywhere.

this article does a good job of explaining my beef with sauce's favorite program, 24. i watched a few episodes, and i admit that it's engaging. my beef is that they always torture people on there in a variety of "ticking time bomb" scenarios. in reality, these scenarios never occur. coupled with the fact that the show's creator is a self-proclaimed "right wing nut-job", this leads me to conclude that the show is really propaganda designed to make america think torture is ok. totally plays on middle america's bogus fears. plus the creator of the show is buddies with this pill-popping fat fuck.

just started reading this, which the ladyfriend got me for christmas. i'm happy that he at least has the intellectual prowess/drive to write a book (could you imagine bushy sitting down at a type-writer? for that matter, kerry?). anyway, i'm on board.

overheard at la parilla: "i mean, i speak pretty decent spanish. you know, like 'gracias' ". said by one middle age country gal to another as they exited.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

tell them what they need to know

Last Wednesday Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, announced that the U.S. had done better at reducing carbon dioxide emissions than Europe. In an effort to answer sharp criticism on President Bush’s stance on Global Warming he said that the latest steps taken by the Bush administration “demonstrate real seriousness, not simply giving the speeches, but walking the walk ... We are doing a better job of reducing emissions“ than Europe. Snow was referring to a study from the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to the figures in this 2006 study U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion grew by 1.7 percent from 2000 – 2004. In Europe emissions in the same period grew by 5 percent. The result of the study should alarm countries in Europe. The trend of reducing emissions in the 90s could be reversed if countries like Turkey, Spain, and Portugal, for example, don’t apply the same standards as more industrialized nations like the U.K. or Germany.

Looking at the statistics for 2006, the White House could have also announced that the U.S. share of carbon dioxide emissions world wide decreased from 22.9 to 21.8 percent compared to 2005. These numbers, however, are relative ones and due to the non-existing environmental policy in China. In fact the total carbon dioxide emission in the U.S. increased not only in the 2005-2006 period. What Tony Snow didn’t mention: greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. increased by 15.8 percent from 1990 to 2004 (in comparison: in the same period Germany decreased its emissions by 17.2 percent).

Not everything that happens in Europe when it comes to environmental protection is done as consequently as it should be done. Lot’s of European countries and also Germany have a long way to go. However, to sell the U.S. as the new environmental hero to the American people is not just unbelievable but dangerous. Tony and especially George W. should have learned by now that misinforming the public leads to tremendous headaches later.

As far as Bush acknowledges, at least according to Tony Snow, a link between climate change and human activity, I have to applaud him. Unfortunately he didn’t tell the rest of the GOP members on Capitol Hill about his changed perspective: The “National Magazine” asked 113 members of the Senate and the House and 84 percent of the Republicans didn’t acknowledge the link between humans and climate change. According to those 84 percent humans have no responsibility whatsoever for the changes in our environment in the last decades (3 percent acknowledged a partly responsibility). When I read in this context about Rep. Rohrabacher’s “dinosaur flatulence”-remarks during the Congress hearing on the recently issued U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. If you’re responsible for one-quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and use one-quarter of the world’s crude oil you should be at least responsible enough to allow a debate that doesn’t result in polemic denial.

What the U.S. needs is not the “most aggressive program of research and technology ever“ as President Bush announced. It needs an information policy that allows the public to understand what happens with the environment, what is in stake, and who is responsible. Not more and not less. The industrialized nations in Europe might not be role models when it comes to climate protection. The debate about the responsibility for climate change, however, takes place in Europe every day in the different governments, in the media, in schools, and at home. It is not about another new research project. It’s about making the guy on Milledge Avenue understand why he shouldn’t drive his truck to the main library to drop off a book and why he shouldn’t have a truck in the first place...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Carnal Knowledge

Now you know why Art Garfunkle's head is the size of a watermelon - it's all that book learnin'.

Check out the list of every book he's ever read here.