Barbecue outtake: Staq’s “Mess”

Our big ol’ Barbecue Issue will be out in a couple weeks, but here’s a preview of the quirkiest dish I found on my hunt (mentioned in the issue but not pictured). It’s served at Staqs BBQ in Smyrna, a woman-run joint in humble digs on a rather lonely stretch of South Cobb Drive, not too far from Windy Hill Road. The staffers are sweet and doting, and as I scanned their menu, I saw a dish simply called “A Mess: Waffle, Pulled Pork, Slaw.”

MSG, umami, and the foods you love that contain them

You’ve seen the signs — “NO MSG” or “We don’t cook with MSG.” — and you’ve probably only seen them in Chinese restaurants. The irony, however, is that despite what's posted above the fish tank, the kitchen is probably still using the flavor-enhancing additive. Is this a bad thing?

In Season: 7 eggplant dishes to try now

Picking the purple vegetable marks the imminence of fall. Chefs start trading in red tomatoes for their meatier oblong-shaped cousins, and diners start toting light jackets to the table. While Atlanta is far from...

Volunteers swarm like locusts (only friendlier to crops)

Field Notes (To receive our local foods column and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter.) What do farmers love almost as much as a sunny day after a soaking rain? A crowd of eager volunteers showing up on a weekend morning, ready to work. Hard. For free.

Here’s the Scoop on Honey

Honey, like wine, is a hyper­local food. Each batch is different, deriving color and flavor from the blossoms found by bees. Beekeepers place hives in, say, a kudzu patch or strawberry field.

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: Why It’s Important

The inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is this weekend, kicking off in earnest on Friday morning and concluding on Sunday afternoon. If you’ve heard about this event and perused the lineup (which you can find in the “Schedule At A Glance” link on this page), you’re probably excited or at least curious. But, to echo other local writers like Kessler and Rodell, you might also have heard about this thing without it really registering. It is, granted, a fairly innocuous name. And the metro area power-loads its weekends with festivals and “Taste Of” events. What makes this one different from all the other foodie schmooze and booze gatherings?

10 peach dishes you need to try now

Given that our ubiquitous state fruit has made its way onto our license plates and street signs on practically every corner, it should come as no surprise that local chefs are also tinkering with the Georgia peach in a number of creative ways.

By the ounce, the cost of cupcakes

Abstract: Cupcakes: Can’t stop, won’t stop. But just when you think Atlanta might be sick of frosting, another Crayola-colored cupcake bakery opens it doors. A chain out of Beverly Hills, Sprinkles at Lenox Mall is the latest of the batch. On a recent visit I had hoped to grab a dozen for the office, but I burned those plans when the clerk said that a dozen costs $42. Between the ten or more employees shuffling behind the counter, the swirly mountain of icing on each cake, and the cupcake ATM machine that operates 24/7, running this place isn’t cheap. Somebody has to pay.

Great Miller Light Chili Cook-Off is on the move

It’s difficult to outgrow a venue as spacious as Stone Mountain Park but the 34th annual Great Miller Light Chili Cook-Off has apparently managed that particular feat. This year’s tomato sauce enrobed ground meat swill fest will take place at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Saturday, October 5. The annual extreme eating event has also undergone a name change, The Great Miller Lite Chili and BBQ Cook-Off, reflecting the new venue’s ability to host amateur pit masters, all vying for the coveted best barbecue chicken and ribs awards.

Storico Fresco to move to a larger space, expand offerings

Come February or March, Storico Fresco, the handmade pasta shop that opened in Buckhead last year, will move to a new location and expand its offerings to be more like an Italian grocery.

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