100 things in Atlanta + West Egg Cafe

A few weeks ago, I read about this list published in the local paper, Creative Loafing, about the 100 dishes to eat in Atlanta before you die.  Obviously intrigued, I immediately perused the list and was shocked to realize I had only eaten about 5 of the items.  I am a self proclaimed foodie for goodness sakes.  And as much as I like cooking at home, I equally love going out to eat.

So I have made my most recent mission to tackle that list. A journey that I will document and share with you. I have persuaded two of my friends from college to join me (OGDC).  They like food also so it wasn't that hard to get them on board. Plus it's a way for us to get together on a consistent basis despite our busy schedules.  We initially thought we would be able to get through the list during the summer but seeing as to how it took us a few weeks to get to our first stop, I think this will be a slower, ongoing challenge.

Our first stop was West Egg Cafe in Westside Atlanta for brunch.  The restaurant has been around for a few years but recently expanded and remodeled to stay in line with the growing neighborhood.  The item on the list was their Fried Egg Sandwich which sounded Yummy! But once we read the menu, there were so many other dishes that caught our eye.

So new rule (in your best Bill Maher voice) to our challenge.  We decided that we don't necessarily have to eat the item on the list but just go to the restaurant. If the item does fancy us, then we will get it. If not, no biggie.  We're doing this for us anyway so we can make up our own rules.

There was a definite battle in deciding between a savory or a sweet brunch.  Savory won for me and I ordered the black bean cakes with eggs, grits and a side of turkey sausage (I'll do better with the pictures next time but I was super hungry). Very tasty and the grits were the perfection of creamy. Carlita ordered the huevos tejanos, a nice take on huevos rancheros. But Yokes went for the sweet and we were happy she did.  Very Happy. Banana Bread French Toast!!!

courtesy of photoyoke iphone because I was too busy digging in
Oh.My.Goodness!!! I'm going to try but it was really beyond words. Original, decadent, delicious, melt in your mouth, not too sweet and a generous serving.  Perfect to share with your friends and still have some leftover to take home.

Even though their fried egg sandwich might be good, this should have been on the list. Everyone should experience this before they die.

As Yokes proclaimed, I will most likely try to recreate this at home since I do make a mean banana bread which I will share here in the future.  But for now, if Sunday's brunch was any indication of what's to come, I have high hopes and happy feelings about our challenge.  Stay tuned!


Easy Summer Stir-Fry

I bookmarked this recipe from Ree a while back because it sounded simple and perfect for the season.  I've been a long time fan of her & her recipes but if you guys could see my google reader list of starred recipes I plan to test in my kitchen you would be baffled.  It is soooo lonngg!!

I know I'm not alone out there.

Well at least I hope I'm not alone out there.

All the blogs I follow or subscribe to and all those mouth watering pictures with the "you can do it too" commentary, get me every time.  I add at least four new items to my list daily.  I dread the day google reader will inform me that I have reached my capacity.  I mean a girl can only go through them so fast because of course I like to go out to eat and will also crave a repeat or two. Sometimes sooner than later.  But until then, I will carry on per my usual. 

I had the best intentions of making this weeks ago and was quickly getting to it since I had shrimp in my freezer.  But when my girlfriend told me she tried this (because really, who doesn't follow her?) and shared how simple and yummy it was, I moved it to the top of my list.  Thanks Court!
Since I had half of the ingredients at home, all that was required was a quick trip to my favorite place (the grocery store) for some fresh corn and zucchini, defrosting of the shrimp and dinner was made in no time.

It really doesn't get more simple than this.  A light and healthy meal, that is incredibly easy to make. Not a lot of prep involved and it's always a bonus when you only have to use one pan.

I highly suggest you don't put off making this like I did and make it soon.
Like tonight.
You can thank me tomorrow.
I'll be here.


The Cali Donut

My name is Dyan.
And I LOOVVVE donuts.
If you know me, this is not new news.
But if you know me, you also know I am a donut snob. And a very proud one at that.

What does that mean?  I grew up in LA where there is a donut shop on EVREY corner. And not your popular Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme chains, like there are here in Atlanta. But the little bakeries with people's names like Miss Donuts, Maggee's Donuts, Kay's Donuts and the ever so popular Randy's Donuts.  Don't get me wrong, we had a few chains, Winchells and Yum Yum, to be exact.  But they had absolutely nothing on places like Randy's or Maggee's. Aaahh, before I moved to Atlanta I worked right around the corner from Miss Donuts.  I am not ashamed to say I had a chocolate raised donut...every morning!

Since I have been in Atlanta for 10 years, I've grown to like Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Krispy Kreme was not hard to like but you can only have so many hot & now's before your teeth hurt, and I don't want to have to go to the dentist more than twice a year. Then there is a new place I learned of last year which has garnered a lot of buzz, Sublime Donuts.  They actually have the right idea and fulfilled my cravings but their focus is on unique flavors like strawberries & creme, red velvet & oreo cookie.  I'm a fan of the simpler variety, a good old fashioned glazed donut, chocolate raised, maple raised, cake with sprinkles, etc.  So every time I visit home, I still get a donut upon my arrival and before my departure.

It has been hard to explain my love of the Cali donut and why it is just so different and so much better until I read this over on the Blissful Glutton's blog.  She hit the nail on the head. So when she named this donut shop for its comparison, I knew it was critical that I make my way over there.

Jumping on the Instagram craze but since I have an Android it's actually RetroCamera. Not a bad substitute
I almost passed this place while I was driving.  Very nondescript on a somewhat desolate but main street.  Even though the place looks like a hole in the wall, once I was inside and saw the donuts, I had a feeling this was going to be the start of a good day.

These donuts were Fantastic!!!  Light, airy, not too sweet and oh so very reminiscent of the California donut. I am VERY excited.  I took a dozen to my co-workers and they all said the same thing.  I had to hide them in my office to make sure my boss got one before they were all gone.  

Now I will still get my donuts when I go to LA and since I am now in my 30's, I don't think I can afford to eat a donut everyday, but I am happy that I don't have to travel 3000 miles to get my hand on a good, quality donut.

If you live in Atlanta, you have to try Dough in a Box.  You'll see what I mean.  You will not be disappointed.


Shaved Asparagus Pizza

I realized that my promise of seasonal goodies from the last post may have had you in the mind frame of something sweet.  If that's what you were looking forward to, I am sorry. The seasonal ingredient (asparagus) is not in the form of dessert.  But it has cheese. Which is something I often crave more than desserts. 

I never really turn down pizza and I get extra brownie bites because this is somewhat of a healthy pizza.  Well as far as pizza goes, this one is healthy since I used trader joes whole wheat pizza dough and the topping is shaved asparagus.  

That's right. Shaved asparagus.  It's new to me too.  But apparently very popular these days.  I have seen so many recent posts on my blog roll with the ingredient of shaved asparagus.  Here (inspiration for this recipe), here, here and finally here (with a pictorial how-to).  All of which led me to jump on the bandwagon and want to explore this unique way of preparing this veggie.

I've always liked asparagus.  Usually steaming it, sauteing it and most recently grilling it.  Always trimming the tough ends to make the stalks more edible and enjoyable.  But with the discovery of shaving it, I don't even have to break out a pot or a pan to cook it because it is absolutely delicious RAW!  I never thought about eating asparagus raw because...well...it just never appealed to me.  Didn't really think it was possible.  But using my handy dandy veggie peeler to create beautiful thin ribbons of asparagus, tossing it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper...Yummy.
Now the husband and I have something new to nosh on the next time we do a raw foods diet.
Then add it on top of dough with  fresh mozzarella cheese and a bit of cream sauce. It was pure delight.

Oh and what's the yellow looking sauce in the bottom of the photo you ask.

An egg! Because sometimes an egg just makes it better.

The husband was doubtful of the egg at first, so I only added eggs to half of the pizza. Honestly, he was doubtful of the entire shaved asparagus pizza idea.  So being the good new wife that I am learning to be, I gently *wink wink* reminded him who runs this kitchen.

Needless to say it was music to my ears when he said, You're Right! Win, Win!!!


Avocado Toast with Egg

In case you have some leftover avocado from that salad you made recently

Toast + Avocado + Egg = quick, easy and healthy breakfast

Drizzle a little olive oil on your bread of choice (I've used whole wheat bread & English muffins), toast bread to desired doneness, mash half an avocado onto toast, top with fried egg, eat, savor, go forth and concur the work week.

Fyi, it's just as scrumptious without the egg.  I don't know why you would do such a thing but you could forgo the egg if eggs just aren't your thing.

With only a 5 minute prep time, it just doesn't get much simpler than that.

I'll be back this week with some seasonal goodies!!