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Jackson Reeves


My weeklong Arden’s Garden juice cleanse

I caught myself eating a quarter of a cake one Tuesday, and I began to question my life decisions. Is it really a good idea to eat a dozen doughnuts on National Doughnut Day? Might it be time to stop devouring a pint of Talenti gelato every night, no matter how crack-ably good their sea-salted caramel may taste?

I always rationalized my deplorable eating habits with the disclaimer that I had a high metabolism. But I’m not eighteen anymore, and it’s been slowing down at logarithmic speed with each passing year.

With a beach trip coming up, I desperately grabbed for the nearest diet fad that didn’t involve going to the gym. Yes, the juice cleanse is so 2009, but it’s also so simple: Don’t eat solid food, only drink fresh juice and water, and pretty much reallocate your normal grocery budget on juices. Acolytes swear by its detoxifying powers, while detractors call it nothing more than socially acceptable anorexia. Seemed no less evil than every other fitness craze out there, and I was not going to start doing P90X.

I went local and decided to try my hand at drinking nothing but Arden’s Garden every day for a week. (NOTE: I didn’t use their official cleanse; I just bought a ton of different juice bottles every day. Variety is the spice of life, and when your diet doesn’t allow spices, it becomes even more important.)

Day One
Juices: Beet It Better, Multimax, Paradise, Veg-Aholic
Best: Veg-Aholic. If you mix kale and spinach with enough apple, you pretty much only taste the apple.
Worst: Beet It Better. All the ginger in the world can’t change the fact that you’re drinking a beet.
Takeaway: Throughout the day, I need to repeatedly fight off the urge to scream upon seeing other people’s food. By night, I feel so dizzy and lightheaded that I nearly fall into bed.

Day Two
Juices: Yoga 1, Pineapple Apple Ginger, Beware… It’s Pear, Carrot Apple Ginger, Hotshot, Cocomotion
Best: Beware… It’s Pear. How did I not know about this delicious juice until this cleanse? I want to add vodka. Bonus: Pears are high in fiber.
Worst: Cocomotion. Not all the chocolate and banana in the world can drown out that persistent carrot flavor.
Takeaway: All the drowsiness from the first day is gone. I’m alert. And not hungry. Does it really only take a day for your body to adjust to such a dramatic shift in your diet? In bed, it takes me an hour to fall asleep. Dammit, too alert: All the fruit crack is keeping me up.

Day Three
Juices: pH Solution, Hotshot, Cocoa Carrot, Oops!, Pineapple Apple Ginger, Green Energy Machine
Best: Oops! Banana and pineapple go together surprisingly well.
Worst: Cocoa Carrot. It’s better than Cocomotion. But it’s still an ungodly alliance of carrot and chocolate.
Takeaway: I could not have been more focused today. All the natural sugars in these juices have made me sharp as a thistle. The store clerks at Arden’s Garden definitely judge me for buying eighteen bottles at a time. I’ve decided to be crafty and switched up the store locations I’m visiting for my juice supply (yay for seven area locations).

Day Four
Juices: Beet It Better, Beware… It’s Pear, Multimax, Pineapple Apple Ginger, pH Solution, Oops!
Best: Pineapple Apple Ginger. I’m learning that pineapple and ginger are two of my favorite ingredients. The former adds sweetness, while the latter provides a hearty kick.
Worst: pH Solution. The cucumber-celery concoction isn’t bad so much as overwhelmingly mild. It tastes like a flavor of SmartWater that wouldn’t make it to market.
Takeaway: Today was Saturday, my biggest cleanse hurdle yet: a day reserved almost exclusively for drinking alcohol and eating processed foods with friends. I stay in.

Day Five
Juices: Yoga 1, Salad in a Glass, Beware… It’s Pear, Green Energy Machine, Hotshot
Best: Hotshot. Another take on pineapple and ginger mixed together. Seriously, this is a win-win combo.
Worst: Salad in a Glass. It tastes exactly like it sounds. Only the salad you’re drinking is mostly carrots and beets, so it’s somehow worse than it sounds.
Takeaway: I’m looking great, if I do say so myself. My stomach is flat, and my thighs are less plump. I can now take my clothes off without being marked by them. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost because just as Cher doesn’t trust mirrors, I don’t trust scales. Besides, the most important variable is that I feel great.

Day Six
Juices: Veg-Aholic, Pineapple Apple Ginger, Oops!, pH Solution, Beware… It’s Pear
Best: Beware… It’s Pear. God, I love it. However, this nectar of the gods does have twenty-one grams of sugar in it. Otherwise, I would just drink this and only this. For the rest of my life.
Worst: pH Solution. I want to try to use it to test pH levels of various things in my apartment. Insanity may be setting in.
Takeaway: I attended an awards ceremony tonight for work. Against all my better judgment, I turned down the free food. The waitstaff presumed I was a vegetarian and kept bringing me plate after plate of vegetables. I’m not sure if this cleanse has put me in a bit of a Zen mindset or if I’m just deranged from the lack of solid food, but I find this entire procession deliriously funny instead of annoying.

Day Seven
Juices: Hotshot, Oops!, Paradise, Veg-Aholic, Carrot Apple Ginger
Best: Oops! I love banana.
Worst: Carrot Apple Ginger. It’s still just carrot with a bunch of other stuff thrown in.
Takeaway: I didn’t get to go home for lunch, leading to drinking way too much juice at night. Didn’t I start this cleanse to regain some balance in my diet? Now I have bowl-full-of-jelly gut.

Day Eight
Juices: Beware… It’s Pear, Chia Factor, Pineapple Apple Ginger, Paradise, Multimax, Green Energy Machine
Best: Green Energy Machine. It’s mostly a mixture of celery and cucumber, but it has enough apple and ginger thrown in that I don’t hate it.
Worst: Chia Factor. It actually isn’t as repulsive as one might think. It’s mainly orange juice mixed with chia seeds. It looks like sludge, but it tastes like OJ with a weird texture.
Takeaway: The weight loss of this cleanse seems to follow a parabola of sorts because I feel like I must be gaining again. Alright, time for something solid.

A few weeks after returning to a normal diet, I can report on the good: For starters, the cleanse forced me to change my lifestyle and my notion of my “normal” diet. I spent the first day of the cleanse obsessing about the what I couldn’t eat and what I would eat first. It didn’t take too many hours before I realized the steady regimen of pizza and burgers to which I looked forward to returning probably wasn’t doing my body any favors. The cleanse turned into a baptism by raw juice. I could begin anew. I now try to get some fresh juice in everyday. Arden’s Garden must appreciate my contribution to their bottom line. Maybe I’ll even try out Souper Jenny’s new venture. This feels like the beginning of a healthier (albeit poorer) new me.

Did Veronica Mars marry Piz?

Did Veronica Mars really end up with Piz? I don’t know about you, but this leaves me torn.

I already knew Chris Lowell would be in the Veronica Mars movie funded through a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. However, I merely assumed he’d get a brief cameo. Just a one-minute, in-case-you-care-where-he-is-now scene purely for fans of his character, Stosh “Piz” Piznarski. But no. According to the trailer (below), which debuted at Comic-Con in San Diego on Friday, his role may be quite substantive.

When last we left Piz in the finale of the cancelled-too-soon series, he was dating Veronica—and had just been beaten up by Logan, her ostensible soul mate. I make no secret of my love for LoVe (yes, that’s Logan and Veronica’s mashed-up couple’s nickname), but I also have a particular hatred for Piz. He always brought out some of Veronica’s more grating puritanical tendencies. Besides, he was little more than a foil to Logan; the cute college boyfriend to Logan’s smoldering heartthrob.

But Lowell grew up in Atlanta! He went to the prestigious AIS! (Where, fun fact, he founded the Film Program and Video Yearbook.) He’s been in The Help and Up in the Air, two great movies from the past half decade. That’s a bit of a stark contrast to the latest work from Jason Dohring, who portrays Logan and whose career more or less plateaued at UPN in 2005. Lowell also gets to deliver a Buffy reference in the trailer! (Be still, my fangeek heart.)

I may need to make my peace with Piz. Especially since it looks like he accompanies Veronica to her ten-year high school reunion. In case you forgot, he didn’t attend Neptune High, and only one reason springs to my mind to explain attending someone else’s reunion: VM and Piz are serious. Facebook-official, living-together, in-a-relationship-for-more-than-five-years serious. Perhaps, dare I say it, even married. Yuck.

Don’t get me wrong. I wish Lowell all the best in his career, and he’s clearly a talented actor who will make our city proud to call him a native son once he scores a break as a leading man. But I won’t sacrifice LoVe for the sake of my hometown pride. I just won’t.

At least he wore a “Team Logan” T-shirt at the movie’s Comic-Con panel.

What does Facebook Graph say about Atlanta stereotypes?

Facebook rolled out Graph Search to the public last Monday. For those unfamiliar with the search tool, this is kind of like Big Brother—if your brother really cared about how often you watch The Walking Dead or wanted to razz you about listening to Zac Brown. You’ve probably already noticed the new search bar at the top of Facebook.

How it works: If your profile is public or you’ve done anything on the platform publicly, then it will show up in these searches. So if you’ve liked CeeLo Green, and your profile isn’t on lockdown, then anyone can find out simply by typing “People who like CeeLo Green” into the search bar. They can then narrow those results down by gender, location, employment, relationship status, etc. Pro: You can easily find a lot of info about yourself, your friends, and everyone else. Con: So can everyone else. Here’s FB’s more positive spin. But however you wrap your mind around it, Graph Search can get somewhat creepy, so it might be time to adjust your privacy settings…

However, until everyone gets wise to the changes, I figured I’d do a little snooping about the denizens of our fair city, and possibly confirm or deny a few long-held stereotypes. It should go without saying, but this data is irrefutably scientific.

Atlantans who like Honey Boo Boo: more than 1,000
People who like Honey Boo Boo and Restaurant Eugene: 7
I’m surprised the second number isn’t higher; Boo Boo is the classiest realty-show character we have in the South right now.

Atlantans who like RHOA, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, and Rectify (all filmed in Georgia): 5
Atlantans who like TNT, TBS, TCM, CNN, and Adult Swim (Turner, woot woot!): 8

Atlantans who attended Emory, Tech, and UGA: 4

Atlantans who have worked at Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot: 2

Atlantans who like skinny jeans and PBR: 4
See, we aren’t a hipster city! Slash, no true hipster would ever publicly like either of those things. But still.

Atlantans who like guns and computers: 8
So much for the theory that we’re a great cross-section of rednecks and nerds?

Atlantans who like Rag-o-Rama and Swank: 2
Atlantans who like Fat Matt’s and the Optimist: 13
Atlantans who like Beep Beep Gallery and the High Museum: more than 100
What I’ve learned: Artsy people stick together, foodies appreciate variety, and the fashion scene is cliquish.

Republicans in Atlanta who like fried chicken: 1

Gays in Atlanta: more than 1,000
Lesbians in Decatur: more than 1,000
Single gays in Atlanta who like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Cher, and Ke$ha: 4
Single lesbian vegans in Decatur: 4
Single men in Atlanta who like the Symphony and the Ballet: 10
Single women in Atlanta who like the Braves and Heirloom Market BBQ: 1
Thanks to Graph Search, Facebook is the new dating site.

Just imagine the rich statistics we could glean from Facebook if only its data were more accurate and precise. Until then, I suppose the hipster question remains unanswered, and its utility as a dating site remains limited. Dare to dream.

Lifetime’s new reality series stars Swank’s owner (sorta)

Every show needs a queen bee. Evidently, Emily Dees Boulden wears that crown on Lifetime’s new mommy-centric reality series, Pretty Wicked Moms.

From the series’ Facebook page: “Ah, the cut-throat, crazy world of competitive mothering…and for six feisty Atlanta mothers in Lifetime’s all-new unscripted comedy Pretty Wicked Moms, it’s a raging, raucous mommy war.” It seems like a none-too-subtle if somewhat-more-focused take on RHOA. But can Emily be the next Kim?

I met Emily at a few social events back in my style editor days. I know her as an intimidatingly driven businesswoman with a fierce fashion sense that only someone with her austere figure could pull off. I can only imagine what persona she’ll take on in front of the cameras when she’s playing reality TV’s twisted game, but I imagine I’ll have nightmares about it.

Emily’s always been a force to be reckoned with. Just read my colleague Elizabeth Florio’s review of Emily’s Shops Around Lenox boutique from three years ago. As she wryly observed in her opening sentence, “Emily Dees Boulden doesn’t waste a lot of time.” Understatement.

Any bets as to how many times Swank appears on the show? I’m guessing four per episode. Hopefully with wine.

Speaking of alcohol, instead of drinking, how about you try this local-economy-supporting shopping alternative to the tried-and-true drinking game:

Bonus Spending!

You’ll be broke in no time!

If you want to partake in the carnage, the series premieres Tuesday, June 4, at 10 p.m.

Remembering Richard Jewell in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing

In the aftermath of national tragedy, it’s natural to seek a culprit. Rage needs an object, and it’s easier to blame a person than parse through the details of an event. However, the rush to judgment can lead the media to skirt its responsibility of due diligence. Facts aren’t vetted. Innocent bystanders and bit players can be falsely maligned—with repercussions that extend beyond the actual case.

The Boston Marathon bombing this past Monday was horrible. With three dead and hundreds injured, it made sense for newspapers and other outlets to do their best to find the perpetrators and inform the public. But the New York Post didn’t check its facts, and its front page yesterday put two innocent parties in the crossfire. In case you’ve yet to see the cover in question, just look up and to the left; it features two men holding bags and text identifying them as suspects of the bombing. We now know that the FBI actually was not seeking these two men for the crime, and that no official evidence supported this claim. Reuters and the Huffington Post lambasted NYP for its cover. Luckily for the two men, they’ve been cleared of all charges, and two new suspects (FBI-confirmed this time) have since come to the fore—resulting in one’s death and an exhaustive manhunt for the other. But history has been unkind to the falsely accused in the past.

In 1996, the AJC, CNN, and NBC all referred to security guard Richard Jewell as a person of interest in Atlanta’s Olympic Park bombing. Turns out, he was innocent, and a lone wolf (similar verbiage has been used to describe the perpetrators of the Boston bombing) named Eric Robert Rudolph committed the crime. Yet,in spite of numerous lawsuits,the accusation dogged Jewell until he died in 2007.

We revisited the Jewell’s saga over the years in our pages. In December 1996, Scott Freeman’s feature story on Jewell provided a profile of the eager security guard and his agony living under suspicion. Fifteen years after the bombing, Freeman penned another feature on the the drama surrounding the story and the difficulty in apprehending the real culprit—Rudolph. In the intervening years, Freeman revisited Jewell IN WHAT YEAR when he was working as a small town cop and IN WHAT year, WRITER profiled Lin Wood, the attorney suing the newspaper for its role in scapegoating Jewell.

Hopefully, Jewell’s fate will not befall the high school runner and track coach featured in the Post‘s cover.

46. Explore Edgewood Avenue on a Saturday


Fortify yourself with a basket of chicken at Harold’s Chicken & Ice Bar (404-577-0001)—and don’t forget the hot sauce. Challenge Grant Henry to a game at his dive Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium or play some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Joystick Gamebar. Then try the Blackfoot Confederacy (vodka, Aperol, and agave) at the Sound Table. Slip into the speakeasy behind a bookshelf in Pizzeria Vesuvius for a few boilermakers before dancing the rest of the night away at Noni’s.

This article originally appeared in our April 2013 issue.

41. Do the Time Warp at the Plaza Theatre

There’s a reason Lips Down on Dixie doesn’t hold its midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Fox. With topless guys running around, everyone doing the YMCA, and a raffle that includes a dollar-store Lady Gaga book, this type of Friday fun doesn’t mesh well with bejeweled ceilings. The troupe spices the RHPS experience with Georgia-specific callbacks. (Janet asks, “What’s in the middle of nowhere?” The response: “Clayton County.”) Watching the cult classic is the most fun way to support the city’s oldest independent cinema—admission’s just $10. plazaatlanta.com,

This article originally appeared in our April 2013 issue.

28. Get insulted by 
Charlie Brown


Former Atlantan RuPaul may 
be our national claim to drag queen fame, but locals give props to his 
compatriot, Charlie Brown—a performer in our gay scene for more than four decades. Renowned for cabaret shows at since-shuttered Backstreet, the “Bitch of the South” 
still serves up attitude in a gown—now at Blake’s on weekends. Grab a strong $5 
screwdriver, mosey over to the makeshift stage, and listen as Mr. Charlie Brown shakes his falsies and performs, peppering the 
breaks between musical numbers with audience insults. Don’t forget to tip.

This article originally appeared in our April 2013 issue.

Final Fork: Choose between the Iberian Pig and Holeman and Finch

It’s time for the sixth and final round of our Final Fork contest, which brings us one step closer to our readers determining Atlanta’s favorite restaurant. And the final two are:
Holeman and Finch Public House
The Iberian Pig

Hmm, I think I can pick up on at least one theme: pork. Both these restaurants built their menus (and cult appeal) around the pig. We get the appeal. Chefs do, too. In our Southern issue this past November, we showcased eight local culinary mainstays with pig tattoos. (We also had a nice essay on the appeal of pork’s cousin, country ham.)

At this point, it’s probably pointless for me to pontificate about the restaurants to try to steer you towards my picks, so here are some basic facts about each restaurant:

Holeman and Finch Public House
– Known for producing some of the best cocktails in the city
– Sells that famous burger after 10 p.m. on weekdays and at Sunday brunch
– Started for industry insiders looking for food after their shift, the restaurant still serves until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday
– Sister restaurant to the more high-end Restaurant Eugene across the porte-cochere
– Run by partner-bartenders Greg Best, Andy Minchow, and Reagan Smith—along with Eugene’s Linton and Gina Hopkins

The Iberian Pig
– An always-hopping restaurant with a prime location on Decatur Square
– Noteworthy items include jamĂłn IbĂ©rico (Spanish ham), cocas (crackly pizzalike constructs), and an excellent burger of their own
– Signature cocktails include their eponymous take on an Old-Fashioned, featuring bacon rye and maple syrup
– Run by the Castellucci family, the same team behind Sugo and Double Zero Napoletana
– Rumor has it that the Iberian Pig will in some way soon be teaming with the crew behind Steady Hand Pour House, which recently lost its Emory Village space

What do you think? Cast your vote for the Iberian Pig or Holeman and Finch before Thursday at 11, and be entered to win one of our sweet prizes, including a Big Green Egg, a bottle of Richland Rum, and a $100 gift certificate to the Final Fork restaurant of your choice. Remember: Each round you enter gives you yet another chance to win. Learn more about the prizes here.

The Final Fork: We’ve got a Cinderella story on our hands

It’s time for the fifth round of our Final Fork contest, which brings us one step closer to determining Atlanta’s favorite restaurant. And it’s finally our eponymous Final Fork round! Drum roll, please… The contestants are:
Holeman and Finch Public House
JCT Kitchen & Bar
The Iberian Pig

That last entry may make you scratch your head, if only because it toppled Antico Pizza, revered by many for its transcendent Neapolitan pies. For those of you unfamiliar with the lively Decatur Square spot owned by the Castellucci Hospitality Group, our restaurant critic once wrote that Iberian Pig offered “busy, feel-good, in-the-vicinity-but-not-really Spanish food” and awarded it one star, which in our magazine means “good.” (This was in 2009, when it first opened. He also said that it had a commendable wine list and a fun environment.) The Pig is currently up against Bacchanalia, the only restaurant in our dining guide to which our critic ever awarded four stars (“superlative”).

You may recall that what I love most about our contest is that it’s about our readers’, not our critics’, favorite restaurant in the metro area. Plus, I’ve been looking for someone to topple Bacch. Next week, I may end up reporting that the Castelluccis have devoured Anne Quatrano’s gem. And if it can trounce Bacchanalia, what’s stopping it from reaching Number One?

What do you think? Are you a fan of this Cinderella story? Or are you more of an Evil Stepmother type? (J/k, not voting for the Pig doesn’t make you evil.) Cast your vote before Thursday at 11, and be entered to win one of our sweet prizes, including a Big Green Egg, a bottle of Richland Rum, and a $100 gift certificate to the Final Fork restaurant of your choice. Learn more about the prizes here.

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