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Why I never want to shake a bartender’s hand

There are many reasons to go to Athens—one of the main ones is its amazing food and bar scene. Plus: in the course of navigating the notoriously touchy-feely people of the restaurant industry, there is only one move that makes me uncomfortable: the bartender handshake.

Dear chefs: Stop it with the useless garnishes

There is little new or particularly cool about the practice of depositing doodads I can barely see, let alone taste, on my plate. Plus: Long live quiche! (Especially Sarah O’Brien's at Little Tart Bakeshop.)

A quick primer on Chinese hot pot restaurants in Atlanta

Chinese hot pot restaurants aren’t new to Atlanta, but we’ve never had as many as we do now. And these days, you can experience the hot pot ritual—in which you simmer a variety of ingredients in bubbling broth—in more finely appointed settings, with menus devoted to authentic regional styles.
Christiane Chronices: Ethiopian food in Atlanta

Atlanta doesn’t have a Chinatown or a Little Ethiopia. That’s (mostly) a good thing.

Atlanta is a melting pot of different cultures' cuisines—and that's a good thing. The problem is the restaurants where I most want to eat are getting farther and farther away. Also: Feedel Bistro—and Ethiopian food—is for everyone.

The Christiane Chronicles: I am a spoon freak. Don’t give me the wrong size.

I’ve always had a thing for spoons—their shape, their size, their depth, the roundness of their bowls. But far too often, I am given the wrong kind of spoon—if I get one at all. Plus, praise for Mary Ingersoll-Weeks and Alon’s Bakery's cheese counter.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: For the love of wine varietals

Less aggressive than a Muscadet, livelier and more aromatic than a Pinot Grigio, falanghina is a little-known white varietal that has, of late, become more visible among wine geeks—and it deserves to be all the rage. Also: the fall of the meat-and-three in Atlanta.
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The Christiane Chronicles: For the love of casseroles

Betsy McKay has kept the art of the casserole alive for almost eight years at a refined little spot in Morningside called...Casseroles. I can’t drive past the small easel she sets out on Lanier Boulevard without craving her tamale pie, chicken and biscuits, and eggplant Parmesan. Also: Why restaurant terraces and patios are almost always a bust.
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: America, home of the unfinished plate

Christiane Lauterbach is embarrassed by the amount of food she sees sent back to the kitchen. "In some respects, I’m still not a wasteful American. I eat the tails of my shrimp. I chew on chicken bones until they are perfectly clean of cartilage. And still, the amount of food I leave behind in restaurants makes me feel like a criminal. I secretly hope that some rodent will enjoy whatever ends up in the dumpster."
Christiane Chronicles

The Christiane Chronicles: The delightful wonder that is Decatur’s First Oriental Market

First Oriental Market was established in 1984 by Diane Bounngaseng and her family in a ramshackle building plopped in Decatur. It is more than a place to grab some Chinese eggplants. It is always an adventure.
Christiane Chronicles pasta

The Christiane Chronicles: Why spaghetti is the superior pasta

In Atlanta, I worship the housemade versions of spaghetti from the kitchens of Michael Patrick (Storico Fresco), Bruce Logue (BoccaLupo), and Drew Belline (No. 246), whom I call the three kings of pasta. But if there's something that Atlanta can't get right, however, it's baguettes.

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