Eating Around: Chomp & Stomp, Afternoon in the Country, and more

Every week, we give you an in-depth calendar of upcoming dining events to help you navigate the weekend’s culinary festivities.Friday, November 6 NATIONAL NACHO DAY Today is National Nacho Day! (I’m not sure what organization could possibly be important enough to decide the best date for cheese and chips, but I do know that contemplating this holiday makes me want to make jokes about cheese that ain’t yours.) Uncle Julio’s offers up a myriad selection, including one platter with refried beans or another with mesquite-grilled chicken.

Local Food Finds: Tink’s Grass-Fed Beef

For the Wade family of Lucky7W farm in Wilkes County, local food is not a trend, but a birthright. Matriarch Etwenda “Tink” Wade is a fourth-generation farmer, and her three children, ages sixteen to twenty-three, do their share of chores on the 230-acre spread.

Eating Around: Chili Pepper Festival, Ray’s on the River turns 25, and more!

Every week, we give you an in-depth calendar of upcoming dining events to help you navigate the weekend’s culinary festivities.Saturday, October 24 CHILI PEPPER FESTIVAL Virginia-Highland inaugurates the area’s first annual Chili Pepper Festival this Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. at the intersection of North Highland and Amsterdam. The Original El Taco, DBA Barbecue, and Mali will serve up specials overflowing with chili peppers. Delta Moon, My Friend Ian’s Band, El Scorcho, and Shark Fighter will provide live music. Plus, adventurous festival-goers can test the mettle of their taste buds by partaking in a chili eating contest.

Ciao, Elisa

I stopped by Via Elisa after lunch today to start stocking up on pastas to freeze, and I felt angry with myself afterward for not giving this store business since I’ve been back in Atlanta. Via Elisa's last day is tomorrow. I talked briefly with owner Elisa Gambino, who says she’s been flabbergasted by the amount of business she’s had in the last week. I’m not. Isn’t this how we often roll in Atlanta? We know good businesses like Via Elisa exist, but times are tight and we let them fall off the radar. We believe these kinds of shops will always be around, and we’re shocked when one of them announces that it’s closing—and then we bum rush the place in its final days.

Recent Obsessions: Highland Bakery’s Peanut Butter French Toast

It may have been my most decadent lunch ever, my ultimate plate of guilty pleasure. Yesterday we stopped by Inman Park’s Old Fourth Ward's sunny Highland Bakery Cafe around 3 o’clock for a late lunch. I browsed the menu of sandwiches and salads, all ready to order the sensible roasted turkey on honey-wheat. Then I turned it over and found the brunch menu.

Opening Soon: The Yogurt Tap

Walking around in downtown Decatur on a recent blazing hot July afternoon, I made a beeline when I spotted signage for The Yogurt Tap, a new frozen yogurt shop that Micropundit put on my radar a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, there was still butcher paper up on the windows in the former Houseworks space on Church street, and I peeked inside to find a contractor hard at work on the unfinished space.

Cheese of the Week: Torta La Serena

“Hmm, this tastes like medical supplies.”You never quite know with food writers, but a fellow journalist made this comment the other night when we tasted Torta La Serena at a restaurant, and I think she meant the remark to convey something between admiration and skepticism. La Serena is distinctive, no doubt—but I’m partial to its distinctiveness.

Cheese of the Week: Forsterkase

Forsterkase may be the most undeserving underdog of the cheese world: I’ve no idea why it’s not better known. An aged raw milk’s cow made in Switzerland’s Toggenburg valley, northeast of Zurich, it oozes when ripe and room temperature and it gives good funk without over-assaulting the senses. A spruce bark band encircles the cheese (an ancient technique used before plastic became the standard aging container), which is washed with brine as it matures. Of course the bark gives the cheese a bit of a woodsy character, but it also can taste beefy and pleasantly salty, and even a bit smoky and fruity. The cheese at the edge of the rind even takes on a piny sweetness.

Dining with Dad

Last month, I put together a short list of foodie gift ideas for Mother’s Day. All of them should also work for the foodie Dad—I’ve never bought into the theory that women love chocolate more than men! But if your Dad is anything like mine, the special events of the day should revolve around eating (and golf, but that’s not exactly my area of expertise). Here are a few food-centric Father’s Day events happening around town this Sunday if you’re looking for something a bit more unique than a prix-fixe brunch menu.

Local food event at Ponce Whole Foods tomorrow

Food, Inc., a documentary about some seriously disturbing practices in U.S. agriculture, opens a week from today at Landmark Midtown cinemas. (I saw a screening a couple months ago, and I left riled up. Go see it.) In anticipation of the opening, Whole Foods is holding an “organic living fare” tomorrow from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. There’ll be a panel discussion on supporting sustainable and organic practices close to home, with some of the state’s most committed farmers, including the inimitable Will Harris of White Oak Pastures in South Georgia. You definitely want to hear him—and others—speak on this subject. Organic food samples will be available, too. 650 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-853-1681.

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