Taste of Atlanta

8 Oct

Crowd at Taste of Atlanta 2012
You know what’s nice about living in the ninth largest city in the U.S.? They have FOOD FESTIVALS!! I went to Taste of Atlanta last year and was in foodie heaven. The 2012 installment has been on my calendar since the date was announced. For $25 you get 10 coupons with which you can purchase tastes of food items from nearly 80 restaurants in Atlanta. Each food stand has one to three items ranging in cost from one coupon to three coupons. While you can buy more food tickets, it’s still important to make your choices wisely; don’t just get drawn in by the name, the smell or the glob of BBQ sauce on that dude’s beard, make sure you weigh whether the portion size is worth the coupon count as well. My best advice is to scope out the restaurants on the Taste of Atlanta website first, then do a lap when you arrive, before making your final decisions. Of course, you’ll have to put that under your cap until next year because Taste of Atlanta 2012 was Oct. 5 – 7.

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese with Short Rib Ragu | HungryRedhead.com
The lovely Leiza accompanied me for the second year in a row (we are veterans now!) and the first stop was on our radar before we even arrived: Pumpkin Mac n’ Cheese from Mac The Cheese, a local food truck. Online it showed that the Pumpkin Mac was served with local seasonal vegetables, when we arrived it was changed to Short Rib Ragu. That didn’t deter me in the least, although I was slightly tempted by the sound of Fontina Mac n’ Cheese with Squash Pear Au Gratin. I think I made the right choice though. Heaven!  And guess what – they cater. Give’em a call sometime and send them to my office would ya please.

Havarti Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Butter from Hob Nob | HungryRedhead.com
I must have been a Southern Bell in another life because shrimp n’ grits is one of my favorite foods of all time. Last year I had some really good shrimp n’ grits from Max Lager’s at Taste of Atlanta. This year, I sampled some from Hob Nob, which I’ve heard good things about. Sadly disappointing. Two coupons and I only get one shrimp and two tablespoons of grits? The grits were ok I guess, but needed a good Andouille sauce. Max Lager definitely wins the shrimp n’ grits battle here. Leiza was smart and got some from them.

Gnocchi Bolognese from Davio's | HungryRedhead.com
I’m also a sucker for gnocchi, so when I saw Davio’s had Gnocchi with Bolognese Sauce, a healthy portion, for only two coupons. I was down. The gnocchi didn’t disappoint; each pillow melted in your mouth like a warm, savory marshmallow. The sauce, unfortunately, was runny, salty and lacking in actual Bolognese, which I believe is Italian for “meat.” (It in fact, is not; it refers to the origin of the sauce, Bologna, Italy. Thank you interwebs. )

High Road Craft Bourbon Burnt Sugar Ice Cream with Chocolate Bread Pudding | HungryReadhead.com
The grand finale… and this is when it gets good… is of course dessert. Let me lay this on you: Bourbon Burnt Sugar Ice Cream over Chocolate Bread Pudding by High Road Craft Ice Cream. What?! Sir, you may have all of my coupons, my flip flips, my first born and my collection of Taco Mac pint glasses. The bread pudding was perfect; gooey, but with the pieces of bread still in tact. The ice cream tasted like cold brown sugar and vanilla beans. The temperatures and textures colliding in my mouth pretty much made the world stop. It reminded me that I need to make chocolate bread pudding again soon. I can get any man to marry me with my chocolate bread pudding recipe (provided he likes chocolate… and me).

Cake Racks at Taste of Atlanta | HungryRedhead.com
Leiza and I split a piece of Pumpkin Spice Cake from Davio’s too, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I did take a picture of the rack sitting behind the Davio’s tent with all the used and soon to be used pans of Pumpkin Spice Cake.  Why so many crumbs? You going to eat that?

I did take a picture of Leiza’s Warm Apple Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce that she got from Gordon Biersch.  She let me have a bite. It was scrumptious. Lezia did a good job. I did OK.

Warm Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding from Gordon Biersch | HungryReadhead.com

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