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Omnivore - Hit the Real Chowbaby, then Grey Gardens

Here and there around the edible town

In case you think the restaurant business is about dead, go to the Real Chow Baby on a Saturday night, as we did this week. The inexpensive stir-fry restaurant was absolutely packed, making it basically impossible to get back in line to exploit the all-you-can-eat deal unless you've got unlimited time.

We didn't. We were on our way to see "Grey Gardens" at Actor's Express, which you should see before it closes at the end of this week.  Jill Hames, who plays the dual roles of Big Edie and and the grown-up Little Edie (right)  in the two-act production, is especially brilliant.

There are a bunch of full-service restaurants on Marietta Street and Howell Mill where you can dine on the way to the theater, but our meal at Real Chow Baby was very satisfying. I'm always amazed how I can randomly assemble a bowl of  ingredients, hand it to the chefs and end up with something that makes no sense but tastes very good....

I ran into Dan Krinksy (left), co-owner and chef of Tierra, at Starbucks Thursday. As I reported in the Spring, Dan was looking for a live kidney donor. At the time he was on dialysis three times a week.

He had transplant surgery Aug. 28 and went back to work a few days ago. All tests indicate the operation was a great success. He no longer needs dialysis.

He also told me that Tierra is shifting its menu to more "rustic" South American cooking and will be preparing more specials, too....

Speaking of Starbucks, the giant coffee chain is now selling its own brand of instant coffee. I tasted a sample of it at the insistence of one of the baristas Thursday and the most I can say is that it tastes just like instant coffee...

The Wednesday night menu of $3 sliders at the Shed at Glenwood continues to evolve. My fave newbie this week was a tart, thickly cut fried green tomato with goat cheese. The restaurant is, by the way, offering a "bottomless glass" of  sangria on  Tuesday nights for $8. Kinda scary.....

I want Spoon East to bring back its tofu steak...Still waiting for El Toro to open in the vacated Redfish space.

(Photo of Dan Krinsky by Cliff Bostock)