“Hot Cheetos and Takis:” Junk food pop music perfection

Junk food and pop music are a perfect pair. I'm pretty sure that the nutritional value of that Carley Rae Jepson song is exactly equivalent to a bag of Cheetos. Thus, the music video of ten year olds rapping about junk food that Rolling Stone is calling "the summer's final truly great jam." About halfway through I had a panic attack about pop music enabling type-2 diabetes and then I got over it and just enjoyed the song. As LA Weekly notes, "If you were a kid, would you write a song about quinoa and carrots? Didn't think so."

Our contest winner recounts her Bacchanalia experience

Earlier this month, Jennifer Little and her husband, Steven (both pictured), joined me for dinner at Bacchanalia. The five-course meal (which the restaurant recently upped from a four-course format as a way to maintain its creative edge) was Little's reward for winning our 51st Restaurant Contest, in which she argued the case for Flip Burger Boutique with persuasive detail. She was kind enough to chronicle the dining experience at Bacchanalia for Covered Dish:Upon arriving home from dinner, I felt more than full; I felt complete. I have lived in Atlanta for five years and visited many of the city’s dining landmarks. But until now I hadn't completed the Atlanta foodie’s rite of passage: dinner at Bacchanalia.My meal began with foie gras torchon. This was my first time eating foie gras, but my mentality for the evening was, "When in Rome . . ." It was not at all as intimidating as I had thought, and was especially delightful when paired with Georgia pecans, ginger, and pear spread.Although we knew what our next course would be, the kitchen kept the excitement alive by treating us to a few morsels between courses. Throughout the evening we enjoyed celery soup, hot chocolate and a pumpkin churro (my favorite), and muscadine sorbet.For the main course, I debated between the quail and the venison. I chose the venison, and my selection allowed me to experience three different cuts of the meat, all of which were cooked to perfection.Our dinner would not have been as enjoyable without Mr. Addison’s guidance and insight throughout the meal. His passion for food and love for his job were apparent. It was akin to watching The Godfather alongside Francis Ford Coppola, getting his perspective on each scene.   I realize that any restaurant can use quality, seasonal ingredients, but the distinction I noted was that every accompaniment—from the quince marmalade alongside my Fortsonia cheese to the bone marrow foam served with my husband’s New York Strip—was paired perfectly; nothing was done without a great deal of thought. Throughout our evening, the service was not only seamless but also very informative. As each of our five courses was served, including the beloved cheese cart, we were given a brief tour of the art that lay in front of us.The evening was a wonderful blend of extraordinary food and extraordinary company. To the detriment of our bank account, our bar has been raised.Many thanks to Bill Addison and Atlanta magazine for the evening.—Jennifer Little

Tell us about your Restaurant Week experiences

Are you headed out for Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week? (Technically it’s two weeks, from July 26 to August 8.) I’m curious about people’s experiences. Did your experience with a $25 or $35 three-course meal make you long to return to the restaurant for its regular offerings? Would you only return again next year during Restaurant Week? Did the staff treat you like infidels for going the bargain route, or did you feel genuinely welcomed?

Who will go on to the next round: Bacchanalia or the Optimist?

It's time for Round Two of our Final Fork contest, which brings us one step closer to determining the best restaurant in Atlanta.

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