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Zen and the art of Korean temple food

Seung Hee Lee, author of Everyday Korean, teaches how to cook and eat with intention

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Photo credit: Seung Hee Lee
Cookbook author Seung Hee Lee makes traditional monastic Korean dishes like these to reset her body and calm her mind.

“I feel a sense of calm come over me just being here,” says Seung Hee Lee as we arrive at the Jun Dung Sa Buddhist temple in Lilburn. It reminds her of foraging with her Buddhist grandmother in mountainous Korea, something she’s been doing all her life. “Every neighborhood had a mountain or hill, always with a temple on top,” she recalls. “After service, you are fed. Monks really value the sharing experience. You get a piece of Buddhist calm.” 

Today, Lee is a prolific home chef and co-author, with Kim Sunée, of the cookbook Everyday Korean, a collection of both traditional and modern takes on Korean recipes, released last November. She’s become widely known for her Instagram account @KoreanFusion, which more than 33,000 people follow for beautiful dishes cooked at Lee’s home and around Atlanta (and at a heck of a lot of wine tastings). 

Born and raised in Korea, Lee studied Korean royal court cuisine at the Taste of Korea Research Institute and received her PhD in Human Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University. She’s currently an epidemiologist at the CDC. 

With a pedigree like this, Lee understands cooking as a way of sustaining one’s body and soul. To her, food is a form of illumination. And that’s our goal today. The chef has agreed to be my guide on a journey through Korean monastic cuisine here in Atlanta. First stop: Jun Dung Sa.

The temple has been here more than 25 years but its grounds remain impeccably groomed. Fruit trees are budding. A pair of bronze gate guardians at the front doors protects the holy space. On the side of the temple is a sanshin-gak, a shrine of the mountain spirit. The mountains are where heaven and earth connect, according to Buddhist thought, and thus are usually where the temples stand.

A monk tends to a woodpile near an outdoor cooking area. Head nun Venerable Soo-in greets us outside a prep kitchen, wrapped in somber gray robes that belie her welcoming cheer. She helps host weekly English meditations and dharma talks for the public here every Saturday at five. 

In the backyard, clay crocks sit fermenting on the soy jar terrace, or jangdokdae. “Wow,” Lee and I say together as we take in the dozens of vessels lined up in precise rows. The porous earthenware pots, called onggi, allow air to flow in and out for better fermentation. Shapes of the vessels vary by region due to environmental conditions. A wider mouth catches more sun.

At the Jun Dung Sa Buddhist temple, clay crocks called onggi sit fermenting on the soy jar terrace. Photo by Angela Hansberger.
At the Jun Dung Sa Buddhist temple, clay crocks called onggi sit fermenting on the soy jar terrace. Photo by Angela Hansberger.

Traditional sauces, says Lee, are the backbone of Korean cuisine, both in homes and at temples. In soybean paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, and chili paste, fermentation matures and improves taste and nutrition, while also allowing the sauces to be stored for long periods. Like wine, soy sauce has a richer flavor and taste when brewed longer. Time puts good energy into food.

At Korean temples, food is medicine. Living with Buddhism is eating with it; all things become a part of the study. Korea’s monastic cuisine has been around for 1,700 years, since the Chinese introduced Buddhism to their neighbors. Its Zen practice encourages reliving the wisdom of the ancestors, which sets the mind free. Nourishment is important too — one needs a lot of energy to meditate and repetitively bow, as Buddhist monks do. Monastic cookery is a careful and laborious process with mindfulness at its core, Lee explains. Food is prepared as an expression of gratitude, with deliberation and care to keep the mind calm and static. 

Back at Lee’s home kitchen, we chat about temple food as she prepares 11 traditional monastic dishes for dinner. She cooks this way when she wants to reset her body and calm her mind — a spiritual process. “It’s very communal,” she says. “The person who goes to pray may cook with the monks too. The food is more a symbol of togetherness, and harmony is very important to growth and happiness.”

Temple food, while embodying Buddhist tenets of mindfulness and gratitude, is inherently local and seasonal — in some ways, the essence of every food movement. It’s modern food with a foot in the past, similar to veganism but with an extra measure of sagacity. Lightness in all its definitions. 

The first precept of Buddhism forbids the harming of animals.  For this reason, no animal products are allowed in temple food, except dairy. There are no instant ingredients, either. Dishes are flavored with nature — roots, stems, leaves, fruits, and flowers. But the “five pungent spices,” or o-shin-chae, are taboo: onions, garlic, chives, leeks, and green onions. These strong flavors are said to hinder spiritual practice and disrupt meditation. Practicing self-control by not including them in food prevents attachment to their intensity. And beyond that, they’re a distraction. “They say it is going to interfere with your spirit,” says Lee with a laugh. “Basically, it’s going to make you horny. No sex drive is good for monks.” 

An intentional cooking process takes the place of these forbidden ingredients, and I don’t notice their absence in Lee’s cooking. Instead, she flavors her dishes with powders made from mushroom, kelp, perilla seed, jae-pi, and bean. The results are surprisingly pungent, funky, tart, and layered. 

In Lee’s kitchen, shelves are stacked with clay and stoneware dishes and cooking vessels. She uses only utensils made of wood. “It’s kind of like the Amish,” she says, “trying to do the most with what they have. It’s more nature contacting the food.” She uses her hands whenever possible, touching the food directly instead of with tools — a very Korean way to cook, she tells me. There is more philosophy than technique going on here. Lee is deeply present, deeply respectful of each ingredient.

She makes a quick dandelion kimchi, hand-tearing the leaves, adding rice syrup and Korean soy sauce. As she sprinkles in chili flakes from her family’s farm in Korea, a soft smile spreads across her face. She talks about the difference between Korean and Japanese soy sauces, noting that the flavor is saltier because of the way the sauce is extracted. I suddenly remember that I’m talking to a certified nutritional scientist.

Kimchi is very important to Korean cuisine. Chapter five in Lee’s book calls it “The Heart of the Matter” and includes the dandelion recipe. But since we’re cooking monastically today, we’ll have to make it without the garlic the recipe calls for. “How are we going to make kimchi without garlic?” asks Lee. “You just make it without. You can have ginger. It still has a very clean flavor.” Her winter radish kimchi incorporates Asian pears with salt, ginger, and radish greens in its two-week fermentation. “The broth is where it is at. You can just slurp, slurp it.”

She scoops tiny glazed potatoes into an earthenware platter. “The way the dish is cooked — it’s all boiled down from the get-go,” Lee explains. “In the beginning it looks like a soup. You think it will never get there. But slowly but surely it gets there. This really signifies the level of patience you need for this dish, the level of trust. You can’t hurry it. So I make this when I feel like my life is in a hurry and I feel exhausted. It helps me to focus.” 

The potatoes simmer for more than an hour in soy kelp broth, rice syrup, and sesame oil until tender, yet candied. The rice syrup is earthy and savory-sweet. “It’s cleansing satisfaction,” she says. “Root vegetable has that component. If your body needs to connect with the earth, you eat vegetables.”

Lotus root is one of Lee’s personal favorites. “It’s crunchy goodness,” she says. Banchan, or Korean side dishes, begin to fill the table — slices of fresh lotus root made gorgeously sticky with a coating of ginger, gochujang, dried persimmon, and maple syrup; slices of Persian cucumbers, salted, rinsed, and tossed with sesame oil and sesame seeds. 

“This you should try,” she says, handing me something gooey and sweet. “Dried Korean jujubes, also known as dates, are from a place very close to my hometown.” She points out that much of the sweetness in Korean cooking comes from dried fruits, picked at a time of bountiful resources and preserved. While dried leaves, fruits, and herbs add intense flavor to dishes, they also reflect a cooking process meant to steady the mind. Dehydrating, rehydrating, blanching, sautéing, and seasoning represent steps on the path of enlightenment. 

A dish of bellflower root (doraji) is next. It has the texture and flavor of ginger, is valued for its medicinal properties, and grows wild in Korea, covering mountains with purple blooms in spring. Lee slices it into strips, soaks, and sautées it before tossing with cilantro and sesame seeds, explaining how the dried root can be stored for long periods of times, then soaked and cooked, boiled and cooked again. “It’s going to give a really interesting texture,” Lee says. “That’s the thing about temple cuisine — that you incorporate all the resources when you have them. Then you dry it and preserve it for long-term consumption, but you still capture it when it is in its prime.”

Lee does much of her dried ingredient shopping at Buford Highway Farmers Market (“Aisle 27!”). H Mart is a resource for fresh vegetables. “Springtime is coming and I’m super excited,” she says. “Shepherd’s purse is the first thing Koreans will go for. Koreans love that shit — super aromatic.”

Lilburn's Jun Dung Sa Buddhist temple has been around more than 25 years. Photo by Angela Hansberger.
Lilburn's Jun Dung Sa Buddhist temple has been around more than 25 years. Photo by Angela Hansberger.

After winter in Korea, the first wild edible greens are seen as harbingers of spring, just the thing to awaken one’s ki, or energy lost during winter. Lee sautés chwi-namul, heart-shaped and slightly fuzzy mountain greens with soy paste, gochujang, sesame oil, and pine nuts, making them sublimely herbaceous, mildly bitter, and nutty in flavor.

“You need a lot of energy to meditate,” Lee says as she sets down two wooden bowls, each holding a small scoop of white rice. “There’s this thing called 1,000 bows. In order to become a monk … all the bad things you’ve done, you cleanse for. You’ll do 1,000 bows. 1,000 bows! You would get dizzy. It’s physically very laborious and demanding so you want to have nourishment.” 

She creates delicate balance with the addition of steamed gondre, the leaves of young thistle that grow in mountainous areas near temples. It’s aromatic, tealike, and as earthy as the wooden spoon and chopsticks nestled inside. Tofu is pan-seared and braised with leftover sauces from the namul. Her kelp-based soup includes water left over from making rice. “The whole idea of temple cuisine is not to waste anything, right?” she says. “What Mother Nature has given you, you are using every single thing of it.” 

We dig in, taking what we need and talking of gratitude. Eating temple food can be as meaningful and memorable as reading sacred texts, meditating, performing rituals, viewing artifacts, or practicing mindfulness. “In Buddhism, you pray for others or for yourself,” says Lee. Preparing, offering, sharing, and eating food are all a part of finding your dharma. And indeed, my mind and body feel connected as I eat each dish Lee so carefully prepared.

My craving for Korean temple food is almost lustful after these visits, the very inclination its methods tried to prevent. But upon further reflection, I find my hunger is more for the tranquility I experienced when eating with Lee rather than for the meals themselves. Sharing temple food was a study in subtlety, en route to my own personal enlightenment. It nourished the inner me.



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Wednesday October 16, 2019 04:50 pm EDT
Where to go when you want to drink the good stuff | more...
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  string(3133) "We are rapt with anticipation for Chef Zeb Stevenson and restaurateur Ross Jones’ Redbird, which is scheduled to open summer of 2019 in the former Bacchanalia space at Westside Provisions District. You can expect that Redbird will be fun, lively, and comfortable, with a “come as you are” sensibility that is only heightened through Stevenson’s “free-spirited cuisine.”

Aix, chef Nick Leahy’s much-hyped French restaurant and adjoining wine bar, Tin Tin, opened Mon., Dec. 17. Leahy’s menu is chock-full of the Provençal food of his childhood, outstanding desserts, craft cocktails, and a thoughtful wine list curated by beverage director Pat Peterson.

He’s our pop-up king and we follow him wherever he cooks. Jarrett Stieber, whose pop-up Eat Me Speak Me is currently operating out of S.O.S. Tiki Bar, is opening Little Bear, a brick and mortar restaurant in Summerhill’s Georgia Avenue project. The area near the Atlanta Braves’ old ballpark will also be home to Halfway Crooks Brewing, Little Tart Bakeshop, and Wood’s Chapel BBQ. We can’t wait until next summer to finish a meal with blondie bars and whiskey milk in the new location.

There’s a new place in town for kitfo and tibs. Desta Ethiopian Kitchen opened a second location at Emory Point (1520 Avenue Place N.E.). Chow down Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Cheers to 10 years! One Flew South, the first fine dining restaurant in the world’s busiest airport, is celebrating a decade of good eats and drinks at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

From the team behind Argosy, Sceptre Brewing Arts is scheduled to open in early 2019 in the former Oak Brewpub space in Oakhurst (630 East Lake Drive).

A new location of Tin Drum Asian Kitchen will open this January at the new North Decatur Square shopping center next to Whole Foods 365. The menu includes Tin Drum favorites as well as items exclusive to this location such as sidewalk sliders, Vietnamese banh mi, and lettuce wraps.

O4W Pizza has returned to Old Fourth Ward. Anthony Spina and Billy Streck’s (Hampton + Hudson, Cypress St. Pint & Plate) Nina & Rafi serves Spina’s Detroit-style pizzas from 5 p.m. to midnight across from Bell Street Burritos (661 Auburn Ave. N.E.).

New hotspot Root Baking Co. in Ponce City Market has launched a new dinner menu. Chef Matt Palmerlee will serve supper beginning at 4 p.m., Mon.-Sat. The mussels and clams in green tomato and clam broth topped with with sunchoke chips sounds pretty stellar.

The first certified gluten-free, fast-casual restaurant is now open in Buckhead (54 Pharr Road). KarmaFarm, an organic and sustainable meat and three, also donates a meal to a local child in need for every meal sold. That’s pretty cool.

Xhibit, helmed by chef Christian Messier, opens next week in a new hotel — Canopy by Hilton Atlanta Midtown (1414 West Peachtree St. N.W.). We don’t have a copy of the all-day menu yet, but it will have a commitment to local purveyors, local seafood, roasted vegetables on the stone hearth oven, coffee from Smyrna’s Rev Coffee, and baked goods from H+F Bread Co."
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  string(3687) " Food Quickbites 1 18  2019-01-11T14:38:13+00:00 food_quickbites-1_18.jpg     Food news roundup 12481  2019-01-11T14:36:00+00:00 QUICK BITES: Pop-up king gets a brick and mortar, pizza returns to Old Fourth Ward, and more jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Angela Hansberger  2019-01-11T14:36:00+00:00  We are rapt with anticipation for Chef Zeb Stevenson and restaurateur Ross Jones’ Redbird, which is scheduled to open summer of 2019 in the former Bacchanalia space at Westside Provisions District. You can expect that Redbird will be fun, lively, and comfortable, with a “come as you are” sensibility that is only heightened through Stevenson’s “free-spirited cuisine.”

Aix, chef Nick Leahy’s much-hyped French restaurant and adjoining wine bar, Tin Tin, opened Mon., Dec. 17. Leahy’s menu is chock-full of the Provençal food of his childhood, outstanding desserts, craft cocktails, and a thoughtful wine list curated by beverage director Pat Peterson.

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There’s a new place in town for kitfo and tibs. Desta Ethiopian Kitchen opened a second location at Emory Point (1520 Avenue Place N.E.). Chow down Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Cheers to 10 years! One Flew South, the first fine dining restaurant in the world’s busiest airport, is celebrating a decade of good eats and drinks at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

From the team behind Argosy, Sceptre Brewing Arts is scheduled to open in early 2019 in the former Oak Brewpub space in Oakhurst (630 East Lake Drive).

A new location of Tin Drum Asian Kitchen will open this January at the new North Decatur Square shopping center next to Whole Foods 365. The menu includes Tin Drum favorites as well as items exclusive to this location such as sidewalk sliders, Vietnamese banh mi, and lettuce wraps.

O4W Pizza has returned to Old Fourth Ward. Anthony Spina and Billy Streck’s (Hampton + Hudson, Cypress St. Pint & Plate) Nina & Rafi serves Spina’s Detroit-style pizzas from 5 p.m. to midnight across from Bell Street Burritos (661 Auburn Ave. N.E.).

New hotspot Root Baking Co. in Ponce City Market has launched a new dinner menu. Chef Matt Palmerlee will serve supper beginning at 4 p.m., Mon.-Sat. The mussels and clams in green tomato and clam broth topped with with sunchoke chips sounds pretty stellar.

The first certified gluten-free, fast-casual restaurant is now open in Buckhead (54 Pharr Road). KarmaFarm, an organic and sustainable meat and three, also donates a meal to a local child in need for every meal sold. That’s pretty cool.

Xhibit, helmed by chef Christian Messier, opens next week in a new hotel — Canopy by Hilton Atlanta Midtown (1414 West Peachtree St. N.W.). We don’t have a copy of the all-day menu yet, but it will have a commitment to local purveyors, local seafood, roasted vegetables on the stone hearth oven, coffee from Smyrna’s Rev Coffee, and baked goods from H+F Bread Co.    Courtesy of Zeb Stevenson BIRD IS THE WORD: Redbird is slated to open this year at Westside Provisions District.                                   QUICK BITES: Pop-up king gets a brick and mortar, pizza returns to Old Fourth Ward, and more "
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Friday January 11, 2019 09:36 am EST
Food news roundup | more...
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  string(2354) "Dang, it was fun to say “Taco Cowboy.” Tom Catherall’s 2 year old Virginia Highland joint, which was initially called Tom Tom, then Taco Cowboy, is undergoing another rebranding to Bar Bacoa. A Facebook post notes it will be, “same place, same staff, same tacos with a Spanish themed menu,” in spite of Catherall’s seaside sabbatical to write a cookbook.

Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere’s (Bantam + Biddy) King BBQ in Avalon closed on Dece. 24. Rumors have swirled of a new location in 2019, and it was recently confirmed that pitmaster Carey Wise’s barbecue will operate out of Savi Provisions in Buckhead at 308 Pharr Rd.

We feel a bit Keatsian about those golden sticks filled with pommes macaire fluffy mashed potatoes at Kimball House. They are ode-worthy and now but a dream. A cryptic Instagram post pointed us in the direction of their new menu, which sadly omits pommes macaire. RIP.

Other breaking news from Instagram, Guy Wong (Le Fat, Ton Ton) noted that in 2019, “I am going to introduce you to Ruby Chow’s.” We said a sad goodbye to his Edgewood restaurant Miso Izakaya this year after 10 years and are rapt with excitement for the new culinary venture.

On New Year’s Eve, after 19 years in the business 5 Seasons Brewing closed its doors for good at the Prado in Sandy Springs, stating “It has been our pleasure to provide millions of handcrafted beers, meals and good times to so many for so long.” The Westside location at 1000 Marietta St. is still operating.

There’s been another closure at The Battery. Marc Taft closed Feed Fried Chicken and Such on Dec. 30. Feed opened mid August of 2018.

Bantam pub owners Tim Lance and Richard Baum hinted about  “one happy sandwich” shop coming soon near Ponce City Market. Motorboat will replace Marco’s Pita space at 752 Ponce de Leon Ave. Hopeful the theme is nautical.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes are incoming at Phipps. Public Kitchen took over the former Twist space in early 2018. Agency Socialtheqúe promises to be “the premier lounge of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood,” and opens Jan. 4.

DaVinci’s Pizzeria in the former Mellow Mushroom space in Decatur’s CVS shopping center closed last week. The space opened early 2015. You can still get a Davinci Deluxe of The Bianco at DaVinci’s Midtown, Smyrna, and Kennesaw locations."
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  string(2531) "Dang, it was fun to say “__Taco Cowboy__.” Tom Catherall’s 2 year old Virginia Highland joint, which was initially called Tom Tom, then Taco Cowboy, is undergoing another rebranding to __Bar Bacoa__. A Facebook post notes it will be, “same place, same staff, same tacos with a Spanish themed menu,” in spite of Catherall’s seaside sabbatical to write a cookbook.

Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere’s (Bantam + Biddy) __King BBQ__ in Avalon closed on Dece. 24. Rumors have swirled of a new location in 2019, and it was recently confirmed that pitmaster Carey Wise’s barbecue will operate out of Savi Provisions in Buckhead at 308 Pharr Rd.

We feel a bit Keatsian about those golden sticks filled with pommes macaire fluffy mashed potatoes at __Kimball House__. They are ode-worthy and now but a dream. A cryptic Instagram post pointed us in the direction of their new menu, which sadly omits pommes macaire. RIP.

Other breaking news from Instagram, __Guy Wong__ (Le Fat, Ton Ton) noted that in 2019, “I am going to introduce you to Ruby Chow’s.” We said a sad goodbye to his Edgewood restaurant Miso Izakaya this year after 10 years and are rapt with excitement for the new culinary venture.

On New Year’s Eve, after 19 years in the business __5 Seasons Brewing__ closed its doors for good at the Prado in Sandy Springs, stating “It has been our pleasure to provide millions of handcrafted beers, meals and good times to so many for so long.” The Westside location at 1000 Marietta St. is still operating.

There’s been another closure at The Battery. Marc Taft closed __Feed Fried Chicken and Such__ on Dec. 30. Feed opened mid August of 2018.

Bantam pub owners [https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/search/results?q=Tim Lance|Tim Lance] and [https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/search/results?q=Richard Baum|Richard Baum] hinted about  “one happy sandwich” shop coming soon near Ponce City Market. __Motorboat__ will replace Marco’s Pita space at 752 Ponce de Leon Ave. Hopeful the theme is nautical.

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  string(2999) " Pommes  2019-01-04T00:13:35+00:00 pommes.JPG   DaVinci's in Decatur closed months ago, not last week. The space is being renovated for an Asian crab restaurant. And not to pick too many nits, but Miso Izakaya was an Edgewood Avenue restaurant, not an Edgewood restaurant.  Restaurant closures, Instagram news, and more 12298  2019-01-04T00:08:26+00:00 QUICK BITES: Food news roundup 1/3 will.cardwell@gmail.com Will Cardwell Angela Hansberger  2019-01-04T00:08:26+00:00  Dang, it was fun to say “Taco Cowboy.” Tom Catherall’s 2 year old Virginia Highland joint, which was initially called Tom Tom, then Taco Cowboy, is undergoing another rebranding to Bar Bacoa. A Facebook post notes it will be, “same place, same staff, same tacos with a Spanish themed menu,” in spite of Catherall’s seaside sabbatical to write a cookbook.

Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere’s (Bantam + Biddy) King BBQ in Avalon closed on Dece. 24. Rumors have swirled of a new location in 2019, and it was recently confirmed that pitmaster Carey Wise’s barbecue will operate out of Savi Provisions in Buckhead at 308 Pharr Rd.

We feel a bit Keatsian about those golden sticks filled with pommes macaire fluffy mashed potatoes at Kimball House. They are ode-worthy and now but a dream. A cryptic Instagram post pointed us in the direction of their new menu, which sadly omits pommes macaire. RIP.

Other breaking news from Instagram, Guy Wong (Le Fat, Ton Ton) noted that in 2019, “I am going to introduce you to Ruby Chow’s.” We said a sad goodbye to his Edgewood restaurant Miso Izakaya this year after 10 years and are rapt with excitement for the new culinary venture.

On New Year’s Eve, after 19 years in the business 5 Seasons Brewing closed its doors for good at the Prado in Sandy Springs, stating “It has been our pleasure to provide millions of handcrafted beers, meals and good times to so many for so long.” The Westside location at 1000 Marietta St. is still operating.

There’s been another closure at The Battery. Marc Taft closed Feed Fried Chicken and Such on Dec. 30. Feed opened mid August of 2018.

Bantam pub owners Tim Lance and Richard Baum hinted about  “one happy sandwich” shop coming soon near Ponce City Market. Motorboat will replace Marco’s Pita space at 752 Ponce de Leon Ave. Hopeful the theme is nautical.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes are incoming at Phipps. Public Kitchen took over the former Twist space in early 2018. Agency Socialtheqúe promises to be “the premier lounge of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood,” and opens Jan. 4.

DaVinci’s Pizzeria in the former Mellow Mushroom space in Decatur’s CVS shopping center closed last week. The space opened early 2015. You can still get a Davinci Deluxe of The Bianco at DaVinci’s Midtown, Smyrna, and Kennesaw locations.    Angela Hansberger REST IN POTATOES: Good beye pommes macaire from Kimball House, how we loved thee.                                   QUICK BITES: Food news roundup 1/3 "
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  string(2164) "Hasta la vista Little 5 tacos. Tijuana Garage, 351 Moreland Ave., abruptly closed up shop Fri., Dec. 21. If you want a last visit; you’re in luck. A final event—New Beers Eve—will be held Dec. 31.

Check out Alpharetta’s new street art, yes we said Alpharetta. Restaurateur Ryan Pernice and Teasley Place’s George Jackson IV commissioned artist Greg Mike in the creation of a 2-tiered seating platform and 12 foot tall “A” for Alpharetta. The structure can be seen near Coalition Food and Beverage at the corner of Milton and Canton St.

Illegal Food pop-up is back at Dish Dive, 2233 College Ave., for two nights: Fri. Jan. 4 and Sat. Jan. 5, from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, which are limited, contact info at illegalfoodatlanta.com.

Grass fed burgers and local produce are coming to a brand new Whole Foods. Farm Burger will find a home inside the market at 22 14th St. come Spring 2019.

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If you pulled up to a Pollo Tropical to get chicken and fried plantains this week, you were probably greeted with a closed sign. The Miami-based chain, now a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, closed all nine Atlanta locations on Dec. 20.

Brewmaster Chase Medlin (Twain’s, Slow Pour Brewing) opened his brewpub Contrast Artisan Ales in Chamblee at 5504 Peachtree Rd.

We wondered what would happen to the kooky space that has held Better Half for five years. Adjacent restaurant Wagaya will take over 349 14th St., which has been vacant since October, and open Chirori. Wagaya also has an Emory location.

Mangos Caribbean is opening a second location in West End at 806 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. The flagship restaurant is located at 180 Auburn Ave., and serves tasty bites of jerk chicken, oxtails, and curried goat.

Neato statistic of the week: City Winery at Ponce City Market processed 52.2 tons of grapes during winemaking in 2018. Cheers!"
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Check out Alpharetta’s new street art, yes we said Alpharetta. Restaurateur Ryan Pernice and Teasley Place’s George Jackson IV commissioned artist Greg Mike in the creation of a 2-tiered seating platform and 12 foot tall “A” for Alpharetta. The structure can be seen near __Coalition Food and Beverage__ at the corner of Milton and Canton St.

__Illegal Food__ pop-up is back at Dish Dive, 2233 College Ave., for two nights: Fri. Jan. 4 and Sat. Jan. 5, from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, which are limited, contact info@illegalfoodatlanta.com.

Grass fed burgers and local produce are coming to a brand new Whole Foods. __Farm Burger__ will find a home inside the market at 22 14th St. come Spring 2019.

Kids, take your parents to brunch. __The Pinewood __in Decatur has a new kids menu for Sundays in January, replete with kid cocktails and entertainment each week. On Jan. 6 brunch begins with a magician from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trigger warning: Jan 20 will feature a carnival clown.

If you pulled up to a __Pollo Tropical__ to get chicken and fried plantains this week, you were probably greeted with a closed sign. The Miami-based chain, now a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, closed all nine Atlanta locations on Dec. 20.

Brewmaster Chase Medlin (Twain’s, Slow Pour Brewing) opened his brewpub __Contrast Artisan Ales__ in Chamblee at 5504 Peachtree Rd.

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  string(2645) " Greg Mike Near Coaltion  2019-01-03T03:57:52+00:00 Greg_Mike_near_Coaltion.jpg     Taco closures, 52.2 tons of grapes, and more 12252  2018-12-27T22:51:00+00:00 QUICK BITES: Food news roundup 12/27 will.cardwell@gmail.com Will Cardwell Angela Hansberger  2018-12-27T22:51:00+00:00  Hasta la vista Little 5 tacos. Tijuana Garage, 351 Moreland Ave., abruptly closed up shop Fri., Dec. 21. If you want a last visit; you’re in luck. A final event—New Beers Eve—will be held Dec. 31.

Check out Alpharetta’s new street art, yes we said Alpharetta. Restaurateur Ryan Pernice and Teasley Place’s George Jackson IV commissioned artist Greg Mike in the creation of a 2-tiered seating platform and 12 foot tall “A” for Alpharetta. The structure can be seen near Coalition Food and Beverage at the corner of Milton and Canton St.

Illegal Food pop-up is back at Dish Dive, 2233 College Ave., for two nights: Fri. Jan. 4 and Sat. Jan. 5, from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, which are limited, contact info at illegalfoodatlanta.com.

Grass fed burgers and local produce are coming to a brand new Whole Foods. Farm Burger will find a home inside the market at 22 14th St. come Spring 2019.

Kids, take your parents to brunch. The Pinewood in Decatur has a new kids menu for Sundays in January, replete with kid cocktails and entertainment each week. On Jan. 6 brunch begins with a magician from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trigger warning: Jan 20 will feature a carnival clown.

If you pulled up to a Pollo Tropical to get chicken and fried plantains this week, you were probably greeted with a closed sign. The Miami-based chain, now a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, closed all nine Atlanta locations on Dec. 20.

Brewmaster Chase Medlin (Twain’s, Slow Pour Brewing) opened his brewpub Contrast Artisan Ales in Chamblee at 5504 Peachtree Rd.

We wondered what would happen to the kooky space that has held Better Half for five years. Adjacent restaurant Wagaya will take over 349 14th St., which has been vacant since October, and open Chirori. Wagaya also has an Emory location.

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  string(3132) "The Plaza Theatre, an Atlanta landmark as well as its longest continuously operating movie theatre, is making some new friends. In addition to Chef Joey Ward’s (Gunshow) upcoming concepts in the plaza, Queen of Cream is opening a second location next to Insomnia Cookies in 2019. LA based Jinya Ramen, which currently has two stellar locations in Atlanta, will open an outpost on the backside of the plaza.

Chef Spencer Gomez (Gunshow, Holeman and & Finch) will be Chef de Cuisine over both Joey Ward’s upcoming restaurants: Southern Belle and Georgia Boy.

City Tap, described as “an elevated American gastropub,” is opening early 2019 in Midtown in Gordon Biersch’s former space, 848 Peachtree St. NE. The is the 7th location nationwide and it will display over 60 brews on tap with plenty of local varieties.

Cowtippers, the 25-year institution at 1600 Piedmont will close for good on Thurs., Dec. 27. Loyal patrons believed they could still visit the eatery for a few more weeks, but were shocked to find this somber announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page, “The sun is finally setting on the ol’ cow… We would like to thank you for the years of great memories. We love you, The Cowtippers Family.”

More Summerhill news, New York style pizza delivery pop-up sensations Alex and Jennifer Aton are finally settling down. Junior’s Pizza will join Little Bear, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, Halfway Crooks Brewing, and Little Tart Bakeshop in the 80 acre mixed use development.

Wednesdays are for wine over at Babalu Tapas & Tacos (33 Peachtree Pl. NE). Bottle are half off all day long as well. House wine is just $5 a glass. Cheers.

It’s happy hour all night long, and technically for the rest of the year, Dec. 31 at Krog Street Market’s Watchman’s. They will be slinging $1 oysters all night with a complimentary Chartreuse shot midnight toast. This will also herald the beginning of Monday dinner service for 2019.

During a very special dinner hosted by Georgia Organics’ Cast Iron and Collards Society, chef Kevin Gillespie will introduce Gunshow’s new executive chef, and cook a special meal with them following the announcement. Passing the Torch will be a 5 course meal with cocktails paired by Gunshow’s Mercedes O’Brien and wines by 3 Parks Wine’s Sarah Pierre. There will be two seatings (6 and 8:30 p.m.), so no spoilers early eaters. Tickets

Cocktail enthusiasts, your Saturday afternoons are sorted. Decatur’s The Pinewood has two months of cocktail classes focused on whiskey. From 4-6 p.m. learn how to shake and stir with ease while sipping on the fruits of your labor and enjoying Southern style treats. $32 per class. American Whiskey classes: Jan. 5, Jan. 9, Feb.2, Feb. 16. International whisky classes: Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23.

The South has done it again, this time by influencing Trader Joe’s. VP of marketing Matt Sloan questioned on a recent Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, “Why isn’t pimento cheese a thing everywhere?” followed by the announcement that the fan favorite cheese will be hitting the shelves at all locations"
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Chef __Spencer Gomez__ (Gunshow, Holeman and & Finch) will be Chef de Cuisine over both Joey Ward’s upcoming restaurants: Southern Belle and Georgia Boy.

__City Tap, __described as “an elevated American gastropub,” is opening early 2019 in Midtown in Gordon Biersch’s former space, 848 Peachtree St. NE. The is the 7th location nationwide and it will display over 60 brews on tap with plenty of local varieties.

__Cowtippers, __the 25-year institution at 1600 Piedmont will close for good on Thurs., Dec. 27. Loyal patrons believed they could still visit the eatery for a few more weeks, but were shocked to find this somber announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page, “The sun is finally setting on the ol’ cow… We would like to thank you for the years of great memories. We love you, The Cowtippers Family.”

More Summerhill news, New York style pizza delivery pop-up sensations Alex and Jennifer Aton are finally settling down. __Junior’s Pizza__ will join __Little Bear, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, Halfway Crooks Brewing__, and __Little Tart Bakeshop__ in the 80 acre mixed use development.

Wednesdays are for wine over at __Babalu Tapas & Tacos__ (33 Peachtree Pl. NE). Bottle are half off all day long as well. House wine is just $5 a glass. Cheers.

It’s happy hour all night long, and technically for the rest of the year, Dec. 31 at Krog Street Market’s __Watchman’s__. They will be slinging $1 oysters all night with a complimentary Chartreuse shot midnight toast. This will also herald the beginning of Monday dinner service for 2019.

During a very special dinner hosted by Georgia Organics’ Cast Iron and Collards Society, chef __Kevin Gillespie__ will introduce __Gunshow__’s new executive chef, and cook a special meal with them following the announcement. Passing the Torch will be a 5 course meal with cocktails paired by Gunshow’s Mercedes O’Brien and wines by 3 Parks Wine’s Sarah Pierre. There will be two seatings (6 and 8:30 p.m.), so no spoilers early eaters. __[https://georgiaorganics.org/passing-the-torch/|Tickets]__

Cocktail enthusiasts, your Saturday afternoons are sorted. Decatur’s__ The Pinewood__ has two months of cocktail classes focused on whiskey. From 4-6 p.m. learn how to shake and stir with ease while sipping on the fruits of your labor and enjoying Southern style treats. $32 per class. American Whiskey classes: Jan. 5, Jan. 9, Feb.2, Feb. 16. International whisky classes: Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23.

The South has done it again, this time by influencing __Trader Joe’s__. VP of marketing Matt Sloan questioned on a recent Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, “Why isn’t pimento cheese a thing everywhere?” followed by the announcement that the fan favorite cheese will be hitting the shelves at all locations"
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  string(3591) " City Tap  2018-12-20T21:01:15+00:00 city_tap.png     Summerhill gets pizza, Trader Joe's stocks the shelves with cheese, and more 12073  2018-12-20T20:50:18+00:00 QUICK BITES: Food news roundup 12/20 will.cardwell@gmail.com Will Cardwell Angela Hansberger  2018-12-20T20:50:18+00:00  The Plaza Theatre, an Atlanta landmark as well as its longest continuously operating movie theatre, is making some new friends. In addition to Chef Joey Ward’s (Gunshow) upcoming concepts in the plaza, Queen of Cream is opening a second location next to Insomnia Cookies in 2019. LA based Jinya Ramen, which currently has two stellar locations in Atlanta, will open an outpost on the backside of the plaza.

Chef Spencer Gomez (Gunshow, Holeman and & Finch) will be Chef de Cuisine over both Joey Ward’s upcoming restaurants: Southern Belle and Georgia Boy.

City Tap, described as “an elevated American gastropub,” is opening early 2019 in Midtown in Gordon Biersch’s former space, 848 Peachtree St. NE. The is the 7th location nationwide and it will display over 60 brews on tap with plenty of local varieties.

Cowtippers, the 25-year institution at 1600 Piedmont will close for good on Thurs., Dec. 27. Loyal patrons believed they could still visit the eatery for a few more weeks, but were shocked to find this somber announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page, “The sun is finally setting on the ol’ cow… We would like to thank you for the years of great memories. We love you, The Cowtippers Family.”

More Summerhill news, New York style pizza delivery pop-up sensations Alex and Jennifer Aton are finally settling down. Junior’s Pizza will join Little Bear, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, Halfway Crooks Brewing, and Little Tart Bakeshop in the 80 acre mixed use development.

Wednesdays are for wine over at Babalu Tapas & Tacos (33 Peachtree Pl. NE). Bottle are half off all day long as well. House wine is just $5 a glass. Cheers.

It’s happy hour all night long, and technically for the rest of the year, Dec. 31 at Krog Street Market’s Watchman’s. They will be slinging $1 oysters all night with a complimentary Chartreuse shot midnight toast. This will also herald the beginning of Monday dinner service for 2019.

During a very special dinner hosted by Georgia Organics’ Cast Iron and Collards Society, chef Kevin Gillespie will introduce Gunshow’s new executive chef, and cook a special meal with them following the announcement. Passing the Torch will be a 5 course meal with cocktails paired by Gunshow’s Mercedes O’Brien and wines by 3 Parks Wine’s Sarah Pierre. There will be two seatings (6 and 8:30 p.m.), so no spoilers early eaters. Tickets

Cocktail enthusiasts, your Saturday afternoons are sorted. Decatur’s The Pinewood has two months of cocktail classes focused on whiskey. From 4-6 p.m. learn how to shake and stir with ease while sipping on the fruits of your labor and enjoying Southern style treats. $32 per class. American Whiskey classes: Jan. 5, Jan. 9, Feb.2, Feb. 16. International whisky classes: Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23.

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Thursday December 20, 2018 03:50 pm EST
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