foundATL

foundATL is a journey about the next great meal, eating well, and eating local.
email: found.atlanta@gmail.com
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Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been eating out but haven’t had the time or energy to write my adventures up. Posts will begin again in October! 

HD1 continues to impress! I went back and tried “The Dublin” and “Eastbound and Down” and both were solid choices. I thought the sausage in “The Dublin” was on the dry side, and I prefer the “Bangers & Mash” over it. 

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One of the real hidden gems of Atlanta is the BATON Supper Series. Once a month, a talented chef provides a special dinner menu for those in-the-know. Out of town chefs like Ivan Orkin (June) and Christina Tonsi (August) have been featured in recent months. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner and each edition is a limited run!  

THE MEAL:
Back in June, I tried BATON for the first time. After waiting outside Gato Bizco for over an hour, we got seated in the tiny cafe. Ivan Orkin is famous for creating some serious ramen in a serious ramen town, Tokyo. Even though he’s not a Japanese native, he’s got some serious street cred there. Now bringing his ramen back to the States, Ivan Orkin gave the people of Atlanta a sneak peak. 

With the first slurp, I knew Ivan Ramen was the real deal. The noodles had a nice bite to them, the broth was delicious, and the soft boiled eggs (hanjuku tamago) were cooked perfectly. The pork belly was fatty and rich, but I wish it had been cut into a slightly smaller piece. I swear it wasn’t just good because I was starving. 

You won’t be able to get Ivan Ramen in Atlanta again, but if you’re in Tokyo (or New York next year) be sure to check them out. 

& MORE:
Two weeks ago, I hit up the BATON Supper Series again. Christina Tonsi of Momofuku in NYC was serving up dinner family style. I didn’t have time in my schedule for a full meal, so I just grabbed some of Momofuku Milk Bar's signature cookies that were for sale. You can also purchase their baked goods at their store in NYC and online, for those who missed their limited run in Atlanta. Damn, that compost cookie was good.

Be on the lookout for the next BATON event!

THE RUNDOWN:
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Address: Gato Bizco, 1660 McLendon Ave NE
Dates & Hours: TBA
Reservations: info@baton-limited.com
Website: Here

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Ivan Ramen prix fixe menu (BATON Supper Series, June)

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Momofuku Milk Bar cookies (BATON Supper Series, August)

I celebrated National Peach Pie Day with some peach cobbler at Mary Mac’s last night! Review coming soon. 

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While this is not part of my SE Asia trip, I felt the need to share my love of Old Wang’s Beef Noodle Soup in Taipei, Taiwan. I’ve had a lot of beef noodle soup in my time — growing up as a Chinese American and being one of my favorite dishes, and Old Wang’s is undoubtably the best I’ve ever had. (Disclaimer: I didn’t go to Yong Kang, so I can’t say if that’s actually better or not.)

Lots of Taipei locals claim this is the best, and it certainly gets crazy packed. When my aunt and I went, we had to share a table with 2 other parties. They squeeze everyone together to make sure there are enough seats. There’s an upstairs and a downstairs to this place, and pretty much everyone orders beef noodle soup. You have a choice of light or heavy broth — I went with heavy because it’s what I’m used to. (Dark broth pictured above, light broth pictured below.) The beef they give you is probably the most delicious beef I’ve ever had in this dish. They use a different cut of beef than most restaurants, so it’s extra tender. Also, they have a huge bowl of the pickled veggies that is traditionally put into the beef noodle soup. You can put however much you want into your bowl and it’s free. I put one large ladle full and my aunt put 2. The broth itself was also the most flavorful I’ve ever had. It wasn’t too salty and it had a heartiness to it. There are other side dishes available, but I thought 1 bowl of beef noodle soup was plenty! The price of a bowl of beef noodle soup is 150 Taiwanese Dollars (about $5 USD). I think the price point on the beef noodle soup is around double of most places, but this place has definitely got some local prestige. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in Taipei!

THE RUNDOWN: 
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Neighborhood: Jhongjheng District
Address: No. 15, TáoYuán Street
Closest Subway: Ximen (Blue Line)
Name in Chinese: 老王記牛肉麵大王

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It’s been one year since foundATL’s first post! I hope you continue to explore Atlanta with me in these posts and thank you for reading. Here’s to another year of good eats. Stay hungry!

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Proof & Provision (or P&P) is my new go-to hang out spot. P&P had a quiet grand opening in the early summer. There was no fanfare, no huge sign, no Scoutmob deal. One day, there was just a new old fashioned street lamp put up on the side of The Georgian Terrace Hotel. I walked by this inconspicuous lamp numerous times before realizing that a new restaurant had opened up inside The Georgian Terrace Hotel. Access to the restaurant is available through the hotel or by Ponce De Leon Avenue, but it’s easy to miss so look for the P&P lamp. 

THE MEAL:
At first glance, the menu might seem like standard bar fare (snacks and booze), but it’s so much more than that. The menu is actually quite creative and interesting. I tried the English Breakfast sandwich with an English crumpet as the bun, black pudding, and a fried egg. The crumpet was toasted, providing a nice textural contrast to the gooey egg and soft black pudding. There was also a slice of tomato to add sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the black pudding. Overall, it was an extremely well thought out sandwich. I also tried the Such Sweet Breath cocktail, which I enjoyed. I don’t know much about booze except that I hate the taste of it — this cocktail was refreshing and light. 

So why has P&P become my new go-to place? Beyond their interesting menu, their portions are reasonably sized and at good price points (almost everything is less than $10). My previous go-to place, Publick Draft House recently revamped their menu and increased their prices. P&P’s menu also has more than a few good dishes; almost everything on their menu has piqued my interest and I’ll be back to try them all. Finally, the ambience is fantastic. While The Georgian Terrace Hotel might usually have an upscale vibe, P&P is casual, understated, hip, and has great music: all the makings of a great local watering hole.

THE RUNDOWN:
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Address: 659 Peachtree St
Closest MARTA: North Ave
Hours: Tues-Thurs 5-12am, Fri-Sat 5-2am
Telephone: 404-897-5045
Website: Here

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There’s still time to grab a free slice of pizza from Vinny’s New York Pizza through Scoutmob! Vinny’s is relatively new (a few months old) to the Midtown area and has a outdoor seating in front of the restaurant. The pizza is cooked to order, slices are big, and the crust is crispy. There is some question as to what slice is allowed for the Scoutmob. Some have been told only cheese or pepperoni, I was able to get a slice of their Meat O Mania. I was skeptical at first, thinking “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” But, I assure you the pizza is actually pretty good! No, it’s not fancy artisanal pizza, but it’s worlds better than Domino’s.

Vinny’s also offers calzones and strombolis and, for those in the Midtown area, takeout and delivery is also available. 

THE RUNDOWN:
Recommendation: Recommended
Address: 860 Peachtree Street
Closest MARTA: Midtown
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11-10pm, Fri-Sat 11-12am
Telephone: 404-872-0484
Website: Link

I’ve finally returned to Atlanta after traveling around SE Asia. My first stop was Bali, Indonesia for 10 days. Instead of reviewing every restaurant or food stall individually, I’ll post photos of some of my meals here, so you can have a visual feast of Bali. In the caption for each photo, it lists the restaurant name. If you have any questions, use the “ASK!” feature on the top toolbar or send me an email.

My favorites in Bali were Bebek Tepi Sawah (not pictured) in Ubud for Balinese fried or grilled duck and PadangBai Cafe in Padang Bai for delicious and fresh fish on a budget. Another must-try is Warung Ibu Oka's suckling pig, which was featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. I think Ibu Oka falls a little short of the hype, but it's still a delicious plate of food. If you're near Kuta in the south, try one of the seafood restaurants in Jimbaran right on the beach. Walk along the road to find the restaurant willing to give you the biggest discount and enjoy dinner directly on the sand. You get to pick your own seafood directly from the tank! Finally, some of the best food I had in Bali was through my cooking class with Lobong Cooking. I’ll save the details for another post, but definitely it’s definitely worth doing!

When in Bali, make sure you try the fried duck, babi guling (suckling pig), soto ayam (Balinese chicken noodle soup), sambal (spicy chili sauce), nasi goreng (Balinese fried rice).

Other places worth trying: Tutmak in Ubud for coffee, Kagemusha in Ubud for Japanese.

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I’m a really indecisive person and it can take me several hours to figure out where to eat dinner. The night I ended up at STEEL, I really couldn’t figure out where to grab a bite. I was wandering the streets of Midtown, decided Cypress was too busy, and when hunger was gnawing at me, I grabbed a table at STEEL. The service was kinda slow, but I was enjoying the warm night on their patio. It’s really just a few tables outside of the restaurant on the sidewalk, and not a patio, but it was nice nonetheless. 

THE MEAL:
The place has a distinct Asian fusion vibe, which I’m generally not the biggest fan of. It had some classic Japanese staples though, especially on the sushi menu, so I was in luck. I had the shrimp tempura, eel roll, and a watermelon lemonade. My friend had the miso soup and a few beers to keep me company. The eel roll was good, the shrimp tempura not so much. It had the strangest batter! Normally, tempura has a light, crispy, almost flaky quality. This one had a dense, thick texture. Not only that, but they were served with a spicy mayo instead of the traditional tempura sauce. The miso soup was actually delicious — they had added a few shitake mushrooms and it was incredibly flavorful and fragrant. I think the best part of this meal was that I got free refills on the watermelon lemonade. This was a special for the day with freshly squeezed watermelon juice mixed with lemonade and some mint. Most restaurants would not give free refills on even orange juice, let alone a specialty drink! There might still be hope for them yet…

The meal was both a hit and a miss, and at STEEL’s high price point, they really have some things to work out before I return.

THE RUNDOWN:
Recommendation: Maybe again
Address: 950 West Peachtree St
Closest MARTA: Midtown
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11-2:30pm, 5-10pm, Fri-Sat 11-2:30pm, 5-11pm
Telephone: 404-477-6111
Website: Link

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