CouchSurfing and more Thai food

My apologies for the lack of posts recently. In addition to winding down our daily blogging we've also been distracted by fun, summertime guests (but I'll get to that in a minute). Last weeks' meals were marked by the DELICIOUS Thai Chicken Satay and the TERRIBLY VERY BAD beans. I mention the beans so our readers know that when made incorrectly, our beloved and reliable beans can be downright GROSS. In this instance we were out of chicken stock and Oliver substituted water. The beans were also strangely gritty for some unknown reason. Ok, but how bad can these beans have been? Let me tell you:

1. Monday, lunch at work, eating at my desk and fairly hungry. I had three bites before deciding I would rather stay hungry then eat more.
2. Tuesday, lunch at work, I've come prepared to dress up the beans with sour cream (the real stuff, not Greek yogurt) and an entire bottle of hot sauce. I was able to mask the bland flavor but not the odd texture. I ate almost all of it but vowed to throw away the rest of the pot as soon as I got home.
3. On Wednesday I ate something else.

For your recipe reference - DO NOT SKIP THE CHICKEN STOCK!!! This is a photo of the box we usually buy (it's one of the few items we always buy at Kroger):

On the brightside, dinner tonight was PERFECTION! Green curry with: homegrown eggplants, peppers and basil; shrimp and bok choy from YDFM. This will also be lunch tomorrow (I've already packed it). We ate on the front porch where we also enjoyed the beautiful sunset and unusually mild summer weather.

The title of this post may have given away the nature of our fun, summertime guests: CouchSurfers! CouchSurfing is online network of international travelers in which you can register to be a host, traveler, local guide or all of the above. Oliver and I are currently listed as hosts. Over the weekend we had our first guests: two 24 year old architecture students from Paris. They were wonderful! Full of friendly and intellectual conversation, laid-back and go-with-flow, even helpful around the house. 

Weekend Highlights:
• Visiting Atlanta's most noteworthy, modern architectural buildings: Portman's Marriot Marquis, Meier's High Museum and Piano's addition to the Woodruff Arts Center.
• A trip to Decatur square with drinks and dinner at Leon's
• A visit to the Grant Park Farmer's market where we picked up a variety of tarts from the Little Tart Bake Shop and fresh bread from H&F.
• Oliver's southern meals: Breakfast - biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs with goat cheese and herbs. Lunch - BLT's. 

Celine and Sam - our thanks to you! We hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did. Good luck on the rest of your journey!

Dinner at Bone Garden

We interupt the regularly scheduled Fancy Beer Friday to bring you one of our favorite Atlanta restaurants: BONE GARDEN!

We have a weakness for well done Mexican food. (A big bowl of liquid cheese can brighten even our darkest days.) Heart healthy? Ehhhh...not so much. But one of the rules we live by is 'everything in moderation - even moderation'.  So rather then deny ourselves our favorite food we make sure that when we do splurge we do so on something worth it. If I'm going to be happily rolled out of a restaurant then I want every bite to have been ecstasy. Bone Garden is that kind of restaurant.
Hidden away in an industrial  park in West Midtown, Bone Garden, has cheerful day of the dead decor. (Described not-so-cheerfully on their website: We replaced the pinatas and sombreros with artwork that scares small children...). If the skull looks vaguely familiar it might be that you've seen a similar rendition on Moreland Avenue in Little Five Points (same artist/restaurateur). But forget the fun atmosphere - it's the wide selection of unique foods that keeps us coming back!
Just a few of our favorite menu items:
• Chorizo enchilada (Oliver's favorite)
• Pasilla Patron tamale (cactus and queso)
• Chicharron taco (fried pork rind)
• Barbacoa de chivo taco (slow-braised goat)
• Lengua taco (cubed beef tongue)
Elote (grilled corn topped with mayo, chili powder and lime)
Vegetable empanadas

Portions are small so you're good to order two or three things before you're totally too full to take another bite. Love it!

Fancy Beer Friday: Porter Beer Bar

It's happy hour, do you know where your beer is?

The Atlanta Beer Twitterverse wasn't blowing up with "must haves" this week so Oliver and I headed to the Porter in L5P for a bit of fancy beer after dinner on Tuesday. The Porter is a sure thing for "fancy beer" in Atlanta. Since their inception in September 2008 they've been recognized as one of the best beer bars in the world and the best beer bar in the country. We love it not just for the exceptional beer list but also for the food, atmosphere and service. If you're in Atlanta and you like beer then make time to go to the Porter. 

The sour beer Oliver and I enjoyed at home last week is child's play compared to the one he ordered at the Porter. The Featherleggy Bulrusher Sour Stout by Anderson Valley is as  funkified and pungent a sour beer as I've ever had. 

I on the other hand was looking for something to satifsy a dessert craving so I went directly to the Stout/Porter section of the menu. I wanted something thick and chocolately and I was happy to find Left Hand's Jack Black Porter. It's light on carbonation and rich on chocolate. I recommend this one for any chocoholic new to craft beer. 
*Note! Neither of us tried the "Clown Shoes Clementine" (we're not big on weitbiers)  but I love the name so I wanted to share it with you. Photos of our beers picks from the menu are below.

Brick Store's Yard Sale Breakfast

*This post is only moderately heart healthy! Everything in moderation, including moderation!

This morning Brick Store hosted their second Yard Sale Breakfast. What is a yard sale breakfast? Well, for this internationally recognized beer bar it is a chance to sell off their extra glassware while also serving an exceptional selection of breakfast-centric beers. (Think: beers made with coffee or maple). Oh, there are also pancakes.

Oliver and I set our alarm for 6:30am and by 7:00 we were on our bikes with a thermos of coffee in the pannier. Knowing a late arrival would jeopardize our place in line we took the seven mile ride at a fast pace. Even so, when we arrived there was already a queue around the block and our Twitter beer friends were on their second tastes of shared bottles. When the doors opened at 8:00 we high tailed it to the Belgian bar upstairs. Breakfast was the typical American fare (pancakes, sausage or bacon, grits or fruit) but the beer and comardiere were fantastic. I started with a Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout then moved to the Terrapin Wake n Bake and finished up with a Great Divide Espresso Yeti. In addition to seeing some (but not all) of our favorite Twitter beer geek friends we also met some awesome, like-minded new friends. By 11:30 most of the beer list had been 86ed and we knew it was time to head home. Thanks to the Brickstore for providing an awesome alternative/pregame for the East Atlanta Beer Fest!

Next up: finding something green and fiber-rich to eat...

Happy Saturday everyone!

Dinner at Antico Pizza

Last night I realized how completely spoiled Oliver and I are when it comes to great, locally owned and operated restaurants. Atlanta is full of delicious and affordable places to eat that are not part of national chains. It's only when I see a television commercial for Olive Garden or Chili's that I even remember those types of places still exist. A few weeks ago I mentioned our first visit to Farm Burger; today I thought I'd highlight one the most fun places to eat Atlanta - Antico.


Antico is on the westside of the city, near Georgia Tech, but the feel of the place 100% Naples. The music, the crowds, the authentic Italian ingredients, the dough throwing*, the soccer on TV, the cannolis, the BYOB bottles of wine. We've probably eaten there ten times and every experience has been a good one. Even when we don't snag a table and end up eating while standing at a prep counter it is still a fun and delicious experience. Thumbs up to Antico - we're very glad to have you in our city.


*I tried to catch a video of the dough throwing. The posted video is the best I could do. You're just going to have to visit for yourself if you want to see it. It's great!

Eating bad never felt so good - Farm Burger

I admit it! Yesterday and today's lunches were neither heart healthy nor conducive to weight loss - but they were so delicious and definitely worth it. Yesterday Oliver and I met at Taqueria del Sol where we indulged in a big bowl of cheese. Queso, my friends, queso is my kryptonite. In addition to the cheese we also had some tasty tacos (but I was really there for the cheese).

Today we paid our first visit to Farm Burger. WOW. It's a dream come true: delicious and ethical. From their "beef to [their] tomatoes to [their] compostable containers... Farm Burger is sustainable, local, humane". I'm so happy restaurants with this ideology are starting to pop up in Atlanta. If anymore open they will have my business. Especially if their food is even half as fantastic as Farm Burger's. If you haven't been yet  - GO! 

And what the hell, since we're already eating burgers and bowls of cheese I threw all caution to the wind and also ordered a basket of garlic herb french fries and a couple of beers. Tomorrow I'll be back to  healthy eating and the gym (planning to keep my snacking in check at tomorrow's Super Bowl party) but for today I chose to indulge!

What's for lunch? Mixed greens with cucumber & roasted red pepper

For lunch today I ran over to Alon's in Morningside to pick up a salad from their "create your own" bar.  While I've always enjoyed their prepared foods,  fresh baked breads, cheeses, desserts and salads - I was just recently turned on to having their salads "chopped". I LOVE IT! The truth is, long stems on spinach and other mixed greens often make me gag while chewing. Having everything "chopped" completely solves the problem! I wish I'd discovered this sooner.

My go-to salad at Alon's is currently mixed greens, cucumber, roasted red pepper, goat cheese and a side of balsamic vinaigrette. I ate half at lunch time and the rest before I left the office at 6:15pm (as fuel for the gym).



Weight Loss Check-In
Day 3: 144.6lbs (.4lbs lost)