georgia aquarium

atlaqua1

On my recent trip back home, my family and I stopped by the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. As someone who complains about the summer heat a lot, I find aquariums ideal. Pretty, colorful animals that don’t smell in a contained cool space… perfect!

Apparently everyone else thought so too because this place was packed on a Tuesday afternoon. Nonetheless, I managed to snap a few gems that captured some of the beauty of these creatures.

There’s no Momofuku Milk Bar Exam today, but don’t worry, I have something lined up very soon! And remember: FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD.

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The Spence

{pork belly}

For most of this week I will be in Georgia visiting my family: catching up on So You Think You Can Dance, eating my mom’s cooking, and soaking up the last few days of summer. September is also a nice time to celebrate birthdays as both mine and my sister Christine’s fall within the month.

As an early birthday celebration, our whole family had dinner at The Spence last night. I’ve previously talked about what a HUGE fan my whole family is of Richard Blais and he certainly does not disappoint with his new restaurant! He was actually at the restaurant last night and was super nice and welcoming. I genuinely loved every dish we ordered (and we ordered A LOT) but my favorites were the lobster knuckle sandwich, the bone marrow and tuna tartare, and the pork belly entree (my first time having bone marrow or pork belly… I’m SOLD!).

{oysters and pearls}

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{bone marrow and tuna tartare with fried quail eggs}

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FLIP (burger) out!

i never craved hamburgers, until i became a vegetarian.

now i crave them voraciously. and while my appetite is often subdued with burgers of the black bean or Boca variety, sometimes you just have to go all FLIPpin’ out! now if you’re a fan of Top Chef, you’ll know that atlanta resident and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais has several burger joints in the area named Flip burger boutique. my family are all huge fans of the show and of Richard so we were dying to try out the place, which we did. twice.

we even met Mr. Top Chef himself!! he was super cool and sweet. and his hair is just as spiky in real life as i had imagined.

having visited both the midtown and buckhead locations, i have to say that both atlanta locations have similar modern decor but the buckhead restaurant seemed cozier to me with plenty of plush booths. and the food? well, the fauxlaffal, a chickpea based burger, i ordered was decent but i have to say the real winner was the pimento cheeseburger (pictured above). as my first bite of a hamburger in 5 years, it was cheesy, messy, fatty… and completely worth my vegetarian guilt.

the fries were incredibly crispy and delicious with the smoked mayo but then again, i never met a potato i didn’t like. and the tempura onion rings were so good accompanied by a beer honey mustard. but i think the coolest part of the meal were the liquid Nmilkshakes which arrived at the table with wisps of subzero smoke coming from the glass. we ordered both the nutella-burnt marshmallow and the strawberry shortcake. i have to say the nutella marshmallow was my favorite.

so did we enjoy our meal at flip?

maybe a little.

(sorry for the poor quality of the food pics. i only had my blackberry with me, but better than nothing.)

Flip Burger Boutique
locations in Atlanta and Birmingham, AL
(404) 352.FLIP (West Midtown)
(404) 549. 3298 (Buckhead)

royal what?

the royal wedding is this friday, which unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about (and even then, i’m sure you caught wind of it via tlc).

but i remember when the latest royal trend was this:

the princess di beanie baby.

which i still have somewhere, tag still intact of course to maintain its market value.

now, i admit i’ve watched my share of royal wedding specials (only because my sister forced me) and this has influenced me to bring a bit of poshness to my own life.

and what better way to be a brit than with afternoon tea?  to celebrate my upcoming graduation, i was accompanied by my sister and mom as we sampled tea and crumpets (and more!) at the ritz-carlton buckhead in atlanta. our visit there was first-rate, as i would expect from the ritz.

i loved that everyone at the table got their own personal teapot and tea leaf strainer. seeing our pots all lined up as trays of finger sandwiches…

   and lovely desserts…   

came our way was really fantastic!  i could definitely get used to doing this everyday. i have to say i enjoyed the entire experience altogether but my standouts were the tea (my orange jasmine was the best tea i’ve ever had) and the french macarons. in my next life, i want to come back as this guy

or maybe i’ll just bring him home as a companion for princess di…

Ritz-Carlton Buckhead
3434 Peachtree Rd, NE, Atlanta GA
(404) 237.2700