BLVD — Tortoni Ice Cream

Classic Tortoni
BLVD Tasty Ice Cream

We must start by saying there weren’t all that many cherries, cookie crumbs or almonds in our pint of ice cream.  As a matter of fact, the pieces of cherry that we could find were quite small.  And, the almond pieces were the tiniest of specks.

But…

And, this is a GIGANTICALLY HUGE but…

We couldn’t stop eating this ice cream!

We just kept passing the pint back and forth between the two of us.  We couldn’t be bothered to get bowls and a spoon for each of us.  Oh no!  That would be one less spoonful for the bowl fetcher.  We devoured over half of the pint with one spoon before reason took over.

Love… love… LOVE it!!

Calories don’t count when you eat standing in the kitchen, right?

And, hey, look!  There are 4 WHOLE grams of protein per serving, too.  That’s a good thing.  We almost made a meal out of this glorious pint of ice cream.  We did feel guilty enough to have salad for dinner to make up for our wicked ways.  (Totally worth it, too.  We don’t regret ice cream filling in for most of our dinner that night one little bit.)

Pasture-Grazed Hormone Free Milk & Cream

BLVD Tasty Ice Cream

Whole Foods

Rabbit On The Run — Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co.

Rabbit On The Run
(Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co. Cold Brew Concentrated Coffee)

We wouldn’t say this coffee will be a favorite of ours.  But, we do love the bottle.  If you’re in a pinch (maybe you’re at the office with no time to brew a fresh pot of coffee), this will give you an instant coffee fix that requires zero prep.  Is it better than a pot brewed for the office?  It’s possible.  Then again, maybe not, it really depends on your office.  For a powerful iced coffee, add ice and the milk of your choice.  For those that like a weaker coffee, add a big splash of water or two first.

Still, this coffee concentrate could make a versatile fridge staple.  Conveniently chilled, bottled and ready to use, just add a splash to your favorite coffee cocktail.  Or, even better, you could use this as a cooking or baking additive.  But, then again, it’s summer.  Why bake when you can make ice cream!

Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co.

Pure Taqueria

Crab Fritters

For a to-go order, the chili sauce should really be used much more sparingly.  Or, better yet, package it separately.  This sauce made a horrible mess. The inside of the bag and the to-go box was covered in sauce.  Luckily, we opened the bag on a kitchen counter and minimized the mess.   And, the fritters were quite soggy from all that sauce by the time our meal made it home.  If not for that chili sauce, we think these would have been quite tasty.  They were just absolutely drenched in sweet sauce.

The Lamburguesa

It’s a lamb burger topped generously with goat cheese, roasted pepper relish, chile de arbor aioli, and lettuce.  Served with a small-ish side of pepper spiced fries, the burger made the journey home nicely.  The fries weren’t as lucky.  They were tasty, but, soft and soggy.

The lamb was closer to medium than medium rare.  But, it was tender and full of flavor.  Every ingredient on this burger added another noteworthy layer of flavor.

We tried to choose food that would travel well.  And, it should go without saying, we’d much rather eat at the restaurant.  Sometimes, life gets in the way of a good meal.  The moral of this story?  Just stick to the burger and torta options when you have to take food to-go.  Considering our alternatives for the night, this beat fast food by a mile… a very long and generous mile.

We’d easily choose to eat this meal over fast food… any day.

Pure Taqueria
3589 Durden Drive
Atlanta, GA  30319
770 452 7873

The Brickery

The Brickery Chips

Since we like to be brief.  Let’s be.  It’s all about these chips.  We’ll be back for these super brittle, dark golden brown chips.  And, that return visit will be soon.

Period.

The Caesar Burger

We would have liked a bit less sauce and much more lettuce.  And, if we’re being picky, we’d prefer romaine.  Since they’re calling this a Caesar (Salad) burger, romaine makes sense…  right?  This was a saucy hot mess.  Admittedly, it was a tasty mess.

With these chips to devour, the burger was playing second fiddle, anyway.

Crabcakes

These might not be the prettiest crab cakes that we’ve ever eaten.  But, they’re seriously loaded with fresh, sweet crab.

Broccoli & Sweet Kugel

On the right, that’s incredibly rich, buttery dessert kugel.  Yeah, we’ll be back for some more of that home-style comfort kugel.  We know this wasn’t our first visit to the Brickery.  We have vague memories of a visit from a few years ago.  But, make no mistake, we won’t forget about The Brickery this time around.

The Brickery Grill & Bar
6125 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs, GA  30328
404 843 8002

Alon’s

Grainy Mustard Fingerling Potato Salad

Someone made a meal out of it.

Lamb On Rosemary Focaccia

As always, the flavor of rosemary works beautifully with lamb.  But, these olive oil rich loaves make for a nap-inducing lunch… not great for a weekday.  Unless you’re starving, this’ll be a sandwich for sharing at lunch time.  Or, it’ll make a very hearty dinner.  Still, it’s a tasty sandwich.

Alon’s Bakery & Market
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA  30346
678 397 1781

Las Costas Nayaritas

Coctel De Camaron Y Pulpo

Plump, tender shrimp hide beneath the sweet sauce.

Huachinango Frito

Even with such a deep golden brown, it’s still moist and tender inside.

Sometimes, this arrives with the meal.

Fruit Punch-y Sweet Sangria With Oranges Slices & Cherries

After a pitcher of super sweet boozy sangria, these fish are incredibly interesting.

We left happy… again.

Las Costas Nayaritas Mexican Seafood Bar & Grill
1555 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA  30096
678 788 8888

Primizie Gouda & Late July Habanero Bacon Chips

Primizie Smoked Dutch Gouda & Garlic CrispBread Chips

The flavors were “fine”.  But, these crispbreads/chips have a hard, crisp crunch with an unpleasant denseness to that “thick-cut” chip.  What do they mean by crisp breads?  These are not pita chips as we were expecting.  Instead, they’re quite like a thick wheat flour tortilla-like triangle.  They’re a bit too greasy for our taste, too.

We don’t see another bag of crispbreads in our future.

Serving Size = 1 Ounce = 9 Chips

Late July Bacon Habaanro Corn Tortilla Chips

These are equally “fine” bordering on “eh”.  Smoky “bacon” … Yeah, ok, if you say so.  There is a smoky flavor.  But, it’s not a flavor that either one of us enjoyed.  And, for something with habanero in the name, they’re more than a little bit tame.

Not a fan.  Period.

Late July Jalapeño Lime

These were BY FAR the best of the bunch.  Next to the other two, it wasn’t much of a challenge to be the best.  They do have a nice light, crispy bite with delicate (in a very good way) use of lime.  But, they’re a bit forgettable.  We might buy these again… eventually.

In the end, these were still too greasy for our taste.

Why comment on two very mediocre chips and one “ok” chip?  Sometimes mediocrity needs to be noted.  We don’t want to forget that we’ve been there and done that… with these three chips.  (These chips were found at Whole Foods & Sprouts.)

Bubba Jax Crab Shack

Shrimp & Sausage Boil

With corn and boiled red potatoes, we were absolutely starving and we devoured every bite.

Shrimp & Bacon Grits

This beats any fast food chain on the highway by a mile.

It’s a cozy little shack hiding behind a great big tree.

The restaurant formerly known as Stumblers?  We’re guessing.

Bubba Jax Crab Shack
(AKA Stumblers)
1407 West Hill Avenue
Suite K
Valdosta, GA 31601
229 253 0181
229 469 4368

East 48th Street Market

Little Gina’s Pizzelle

Grano Cotta For Pastiera

Roasted Ceci With Salt

Giardiniera…

Or, Giardiniera Spread

Trapani Sea Salt, Sicily

Lupini Beans

Capers In Coarse Salt

An Assortment of Flour
(00, Duram, Semolina, & More)

And, there’s a really great assortment of rice, fregula, and other assorted pastas.  This is a great little market to stock up on deli and Italian pantry items.

But, don’t forget, they’re closed on Sundays.

East 48th Street Market Hours:

Monday – Friday:  10:00am – 7:00pm
Saturdays:  10;00am – 6:00pm

E. 48th Street Market
2462 Jett Ferry Road
Dunwoody, GA  30338
770 392 1499

Boylan’s Heritage Tonic

Boylan Heritage Tonic

Notes:  All Natural Citrus, Botanicals, Cane Sugar  — Lemon, Lemongrass, & Lime — A blend of sweet, bitter and sour offer a well-rounded adult soda.

Other Tonics Tested:

Fever Tree — Notes:  Citrus, Bitter Orange, Lime, 8 Botanicals (including marigold extract)

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. — Notes:  Sugary Sweet, Orange, Lime, Botanicals

Untested:
(Listed In Order Of Interest)

Homemade (see below)

John’s Premium Tonic Syrup  (Agave, Fresh Citrus, Lemongrass, Secret Herbs and Spices)

Q Tonic  (Agave and Lemon Juice)

El Guapo Tonic Syrup  (Cane sugar, Lime, Lemon, Graapefruit, Orange, Lemongrass, Ginger, Grains Of Paradise, and Secret Herbs and Spices)

Fentimens (Pithy Citrus, Lemongrass, Juniper and Lime Leaf)
(Other Fentimens sodas have a medicinal quality, will this one?)

Hansen’s Natural (Orange, California Citrus, Sugar)

Homemade Version Of Tonic Syrup
(Kevin Ludwig – Imbibe Magazine April 2007
Adapted By PDX Food Dude)

 Ingredients:

• 4 cups of water
• 3 cups pure cane sugar
• 2 ½ -3 Tbsp quinine (powdered cinchona bark)
(original recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons)
• 6 Tbsp. powdered citric acid
• 3 limes – zested and juiced
• 3 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Experiment with a combination of flavors that work for you, but don’t go overboard. Let the gin do the talking. Some recipes call for allspice, and sometimes I will throw in orange zest or whatever else catches my eye.

Make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and water to a boil, and stirring until the sugar dissolves. Turn heat to low. Add quinine, citric acid, lemongrass, lime zest and juice. Stir and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Only let the mixture cool enough so that you can work with it, as it is much more difficult to filter once it reaches room temperature and the sugar thickens.  Do a quick filter through a mesh strainer to remove the large solids.  Then, drape a double thick layer of fine cheesecloth over your strainer – keep it long, and let it trail across the counter.  Place the strainer over a bowl and start filtering by pouring the mixture through the cheesecloth.  Be patient; each pass takes a good 30 minutes.  I keep the bowl over very low heat to make sure the tonic stays warm.

As the fines plug the cheesecloth, carefully move it across your strainer and up the other side. You may need to adjust it several times during the filtration process. Repeat the process two more times, or until most of the solids are removed.

You can try your tonic now – use the recipe below, but it will be best if you let the mix settle out for a couple of days in the refrigerator, and carefully pour the clear liquid off of the top. In my experience, letting the mix ‘mellow’ for a few days smooths out the rough edges, and greatly improves the final product.
Pour your tonic into clean glass bottles, cover and store in refrigerator. It will keep at least two weeks.

To make your gin & tonic, use the following proportions:

½ oz. tonic syrup
1-½ oz. gin
Splash (little or big) of soda water from soda siphon
Ice cubes
Glass:  double rocks
Garnish:  lime twist, or drop the lime wedge in the drink

 Cheers!