The Need to Know for Taste of Atlanta 2018

Celebrating greater Atlanta’s culinary cuisine and southern flair, Taste of Atlanta 2018 is a can’t miss event this October. Over 40k attendees throughout the weekend will be tasting their way at the 17th annual event at Historic Fourth Ward Park on October 19th-21st. Patrons will be able to enjoy 90 plus restaurants, chef exhibitions, and cooking classes! Getting there, what to look for, and picking your tasting spoon strategy can be overwhelming, even for you vets. We here at ATLByDAY want to give you some tips and a little strategy in our Need to Know for Taste of Atlanta 2018.

Getting There / Parking

Public transportation and rideshare we feel is the best option. For rideshare, choose LYFT. During the event they are running a promotional discount code: TASTEATL for existing Lyft users and TASTEATLNEW for new users. For public transit use the Civic center station, as they will have a free complimentary shuttle outside on W. Peachtree Street. If you must bring your gas guzzler don’t expect to find much parking near the venue There is PCM, but parking there will be limited and pricey. The official spot for Taste of Atlanta is the Atlanta Medical Center parking deck B. Expect about a mile walk from the parking deck.

How Ticketing works

Setting itself apart from other festivals we have been to in the A, Taste of Atlanta fully integrates technology and convenience. You don’t have to fret about keeping up with multiple tickets or a punch card; you can conveniently scan your wristband at the event. General admission wrist bands hold  10 points while VIP carries 20. Restaurants charge 1-3 taste points, however if you are running low or need a second helping you can put more points on your wristband at the event. Additionally, with your wristband you can send recipes of some of those delicious dishes to yourself by scanning them at the Chef’s Table demonstrations!

Taste of ATL Hacks

Most people target going Saturday and Sunday which is fine, but our take is Friday is the best day to go. Unlike Saturday and Sunday, on Friday the tastes and drinks are unlimited! Not only will you be able to get your fill, but the kickoff party is loads of fun. Also bring your dancing shoes as there will be two live acts on stage. Bumpin’ the Mango and The Cordon Blues bands will kick off the weekend festivities. Taste of Atlanta is a great way to try out new restaurants before they open or get a taste of Atlanta’s culinary staples. These restaurants want to turn tasters into diners and some will be offering coupons to come have a full meal at their restaurant.

We can’t wait to see the winners for best taste, best selling taste, best presentation and most unique! In closing we look forward to seeing you all there. Taste of Atlanta also supports the non-profits of Open Hand, Second Helping Atlanta, and the Giving kitchen.

For Tickets click here

Location: Historic Fourth Ward Park | 680 Dallas Street (Corner of North Ave & Dallas St.) Atlanta, GA 30308

Dates and Times

Friday Oct. 9th Kick-Off Party: 6:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday Oct. 10th: 12pm – 6:00pm
Sunday October 11th: 12pm – 6:00pm
VIP, Saturday and Sunday: 12:30pm – 5:00pm

For more and current info visit Taste of Atlanta

 

The Cheese Festival Atlanta

Do you enjoy munching on various cheeses and meats from around the world? Do you take pleasure in tasting deliciously crafted beer and wines? Do you feel sophisticated when you hear the word “charcuterie”?

Well then, get ready because the Gnome Queen has the event for you!

It’s the 6th Annual: Cheese Festival Atlanta!

Started in 2012 by Gourmet Foods International, this amazing event brings an assortment of national and international artisan cheese makers’ right here to Atlanta. The event will take place from 5 P.M.-10 P.M. Friday, September 28th at the Historic Fourth Ward Park.

As of now, General Admission tickets include samplings of over 100 cheese and meat vendors, live music from Rachel Baiman, and access to the one and only: “Meltdown Competition”.  The Meltdown Competition features popular Atlanta chefs “grilling it out” for the highly honored People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Awards.

Patrons can also partake in an education class detailing the history and fermentation process of olives hosted by Divina; a “Pig and Pint” of charcuterie and beer pairings from Spotted Trotter; and finally, the Cheesemaker Unplugged/Uncensored: Meet the Maker. This session will feature cheese maker: Cellars at Jasper Hill who were awarded the 2018 “Best in Show” at the American Cheese Society Conference.

Now, for those of you who want a little bit more cheese-time with a specific drink pairing, then the VIP tickets are just for you. These tickets will include a seat in one of three select VIP-only pairing sessions and a VIP-only item upon festival entry.  The pairing sessions comprise of a Beer, Wine or Champagne option and will have a variety of times offered throughout the evening.

For the Gnome Queen, an amazing aspect of this delicious event includes a portion of all proceeds going to the local nonprofit: Giving Kitchen.  Giving Kitchen was started in May of 2013 by local community Chef Ryan Hidinger and his wife Jen Hidinger in response to Ryan’s stage-four cancer diagnosis.

Giving Kitchen’s mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to restaurant workers and their families while in need. Through the Giving Kitchen Crisis Grants, over 1100 workers have been served not only in Atlanta, but in 47 counties across the state of Georgia.

So, if none of that sparked your interest in attending the wondrous Cheese Festival, then you are not only cold and heartless, but clearly you don’t appreciate the value of cheese, meats, and alcohol.

To Purchase Tickets: https://www.bigtickets.com/e/gfi/cheese-fest-atlanta

To Make a Donation to Giving Kitchen: https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/d11bff52-0cd0-44d8-9403-465614e4f342

 

Electro Brunch At Loca Luna: Good Eats, Good Beats

Let’s suppose that you are hung over from the night before, or missed the night before, or you didn’t go out at all but you love a good day party–I have something for you all.

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Over off Monroe Drive in Midtown and in the Amsterdam Ave shopping area is Loca Luna. Each Sunday, from noon to 5pm, on the patio area upfront, you can find DJs Ultralight and Rob Session spinning some techno, house, moombahton, tribal and deep house together to raise up the masses in Atlanta. There are weekly guests, too, like DJ Blast, that will step in and add a little extra spice to the mix.

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DJ Ultralight

 

“We are not affiliated with any club, or production group. Electro Brunch is very organic,” Ultralight remarked. “Atlanta needs more day parties. Covers to clubs seem ridiculous and not everyone wants to dress up. People who are not into the night scene can come here and experience the same music in a different environment.”

DJ Rob Sessions
DJ Rob Session

And what a different environment it was: The sun was out, birds were chirping, groups of girlfriend besties were happily sipping mimosas and there was some deep house playing–giving me LIFE while I chowed down on some shrimp and grits.

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Reservations are accepted but not necessary for Sunday brunch at Loca Luna. Parking is free and plentiful. My server suggested getting in super early or waiting until after 1pm if you like to hang out. The brunch menu looks AMAZING and delicious. Yes, there are drink specials: $12 for bottomless mimosas or sangrias. You can RSVP here or call Loca Luna directly.

Keep dancing, Atlanta–you’re going to need to after this brunch!

Try 30 Different Wings at Once this Sunday

You’re going to need the whole roll of Bounty this Sunday! The 2018 Springer Mountain Farms’ Southern Wing Showdown is back for a 3rd year in a new space – The Fairmont in West Midtown. With the new expanded venue comes room for more wings! Up from 25 wings last year, this year approximately 30 restaurants from around the south with show off their best wings recipes. The cities will include: Atlanta, Chattanooga, Birmingham, Savannah, Charlotte and Nashville.

Last year the FEED Co Table and Tavern took the title of best wing with their Hoff wing, a fried wing with a pepper buffalo sauce and smoked blue cheese. Attendees will determine who will unseat the champ. Each attendee gets their own menu handout to select their favorite delectable wing. Insiders say the best strategy is to go through the menu before and makes sure to chomp on the ones that interest you the most. You might also want to bring a hungry friend you can share 30 different unlimited wings with. If you need to cool your palette High Road Creamery will be serving up sorbet and numerous local brews will be served .

The wing showdown is expected to draw around 1,500 attendees. Tickets are on sale now! Buy your ticket early, don’t expect many to be available at the door. This event benefits local charities, Angel Flight Soars and Second Helpings Atlanta. Learn more about Southern Wing Showdown and buy your tickets at southernwingshowdown.com.

When: Sunday August 5th: VIP: 1pm – 5pm | General 2pm – 5pm
Where: The Fairmont, 1429 Fairmont Ave NW, Atlanta

Craft Breweries Represented:

Creature Comforts Brewing Company | Athens, GA
Arches Brewing | Duluth, GA
Mercier Orchards | Blue Ridge, GA
Burnt Hickory Brewery | Kennesaw, GA
Topo Chico (Mixer) | Monterrey Mexico

Entertainment

Alex Guthrie: Music
Benjamin Getz: Host of The Atlanta Food Podcast

Rosé All Day at Urban Tree Cidery

For Brunch this past Sunday, my good friend Ke and I swung by Urban Tree Cidery for their special “Rosé All Day” drink event. Urban Tree is Atlanta’s first cidery, and is located in West Midtown on Howell Mill Road.

Urban Tree produces all of their ciders in-house from locally grown apples in Mountain City, Georgia. Along with a full-bar, Urban Tree has a unique ability in concocting tasty ciders with a variety of spirits. I do enjoy my spirits.

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Rosé All Day Menu
For Rosé All Day, Urban Tree mixed-up three creative cocktails with their newest Rosé cider; these included: the “F’Rosé” which was frozen and blended with vodka, a “Glowsé” which had gin from the Old Fourth Distillery, and a “Brosé” which came with Moonrise Rye Whiskey.

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The Party Bar
Co-founder and Event Coordinator Jackie Waice explained that the event was planned in honor of the Rosé cider’s release, and 10% of all bottle sales will go to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Non-profit.

Rosé All Day began promptly at 12:30 P.M., and you know the Gnome Queen always arrives on time.

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F’Rosé
For a warm day like Sunday, I sipped on the F’Rosé while Ke ordered Urban Tree’s Original Cider.

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Original Cider
Along with refreshing drinks, patrons could purchase tacos from Propósito food truck as well as sweet treats from Southern Peach Pastries.

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Southern Peach Pastries
“I loved mixing the flavors of my cider with my tacos. The blend of flavors was tasty and exquisite,” said Ke.

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Propósito
Ke ordered two Chicken Fajita Tacos while I got some plain tortillas to snack on.

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Sippin’ On Cider
After finishing my F’Rosé, I decided on the Brosé which was both crisp and strong. It immediately became my favorite.

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Brosé
The event as a whole was extremely enjoyable and created a relaxed Sunday atmosphere for all attendees. So if you’re like me and prefer liquor and cider, then I would definitely recommend swinging by Urban Tree Cidery. Their Tasting Room days are Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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Enjoying the Sunday Air
For more details, check them out at https://urbantreecidery.com/

A Memorial Day Weekend

What a Memorial Weekend! As you all know by now, this Queen of the Gnomes loves going out and having fun with friends. And what better way to kick-off the summer season than in Edgewood and Decatur?

My weekend began Friday night where I attended a humorous game of Pathfinder. The game began around 7 and concluded at the late hour of 2 A.M. Only 5 characters were taken hostage, and unfortunately we’ll only know of their dark fate at the next encounter. (I don’t understand a word I just said either).

The next day, I was up early at 8 A.M. (I know horrendous) to head over to Dad’s Garage in Edgewood. Here, I was allowed an exclusive look at their upcoming web-series: “The Garage”. The series follows a dramatization of the lives of a few of the Improvisers which includes my loving Giant King. As of now, filming is set to wrap around June summer and will premier later this year.

Dad's Garage Theatre Company
Dad’s Garage Theatre Company

My next activity was a 4-mile jog around the Atlanta BeltLine. If you haven’t adventured around the BeltLine, I definitely suggest the Eastside Trail which hits most of the Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward areas. The scenery and Graffiti highlight the uniqueness and beauty of the ATL, and showcases the creativity of many local aspiring artists.

Afterwards, I spent the rest of my day and evening at Joystick playing Guess Who and Mad Gab. Joystick is one of my favorite bars in due to the ever-changing cocktail menu and game options. While I may have lost each round of Mad Gab (I had never played before), the Memorial Weekend was going incredibly well.

Joystick Gamear
Joystick Gamebar

On Sunday, I again started my day over in the Edgewood area, this time at Krog Street Market. The Market was bustling with locals and out-of-towners, both of whom were in complete awe of the food stalls and shops. The Market features a variety of restaurants from Bar Mercado to Richard’s Southern Fried Chicken. I myself was on a business venture where unfortunately I had to remain strong in the face food of temptation. It was difficult, but I preserved.

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Victory Sandwich Luau

Later on, I attended the annual Victory Sandwich Luau in Decatur Square. The Luau had an unlimited BBQ buffet and offered a variety of new summer drinks.  My order: “Sucker In a Three Piece”; think a Manhattan, but stronger.

Food Menu and Sucker In A Three Piece
Food Menu and Sucker In a Three Piece

While I awaited for the Giant King, I made my way over to the SOS Tiki Bar. Here I met Christin, who explained that her friend John was from out of town and wanted to know where they should go next.

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This Queen of the Gnomes of course had the hook-up. For beer I suggested Twain’s, The Square Pub, and Brick Store; Raging Burrito & Taco for margaritas, and live music at Eddie’s Attic. Once the Giant King arrived, I parted ways with my new friends and wished them a happy bar-hop. For the rest of the evening, the Giant King and I partied around Victory and ended our night with a game of Bocce Ball at Leon’s Full Service. After the long, cold winter I finally regained my title as Queen of Bocce Ball which had been lost back in October.

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On Memorial Day, I began at the Stone Summit Climbing Gym for a hearty cardio and bouldering workout. For those of you interested in a new type of exercise, I thoroughly recommend climbing at Stone Summit. With three locations in Midtown, North Atlanta, and Kennesaw, Stone Summit provides a fun and unique way to get fit and meet new people.

I then ended my weekend at one of my friend’s houses for cookout where I grilled an assortment of chicken, hotdogs, and veggies.

It was definitely an exciting weekend for this Gnome Queen and hopefully you all had just as much fun.

 

 

Mother’s Day at Whiskey Bird

It was another exciting weekend for this Queen of the Gnomes: college graduation, bar-hopping in Brookhaven, and of course, celebrating Mother’s Day.

Now, like all the people I care about in this world, my dear loving mom has a nickname: Mother Ginger. (Think you can guess why?)

Mother Ginger is sweet, petite, and will probably steal your soul given the chance. My dad of course is the Old Dinosaur because he’s lovable and a relic from the Jurassic Era.

Since my parents had come all the way down from Nowhere, North Carolina, I decided to take them to one of the most subtle and unique spots in the Atlanta area: Whiskey Bird.

Tucked away just north of the Virginia Highlands in the Morningside Village, Whiskey Bird is a delicious blend of authentic Asian flavors with a variety of American favorites. Whiskey Bird is famous for their spin on the traditional Japanese “Yakitori” which skewers and grills various cuts of chicken meat. At Whiskey Bird customers can find an assortment of skewers from Pork Tenderloin and Chimichurri Shrimp to vegetarian options such as Shitake Mushroom and Stuffed Peppers.

During my family outing, I decided to play the chef’s selection of “Yakitori Roulette” which included: Pork Belly, Charred Octopus, Shitake Mushroom, and Sweet Potato. Mother Ginger preferred the Sweet Potato which came drizzled in the Whiskey Bird sauce and honey.

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Yakitori Roulette

My own personal favorite was the Shitake Mushroom which was glazed in a spicy soy marinade and cilantro lime crema. The Old Dinosaur sampled the Butter Burger Sliders while my boyfriend, the Giant King, ordered the Hong Kong Fried Chicken and Waffles.

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Butter Burger Sliders

Since it was a Sunday Brunch, we of course had to try the drink menu. While I do love a good mimosa, I decided to be extra basic and get the “Frosé”. The Frosé contained rum, rosé, sparkling cider, and guava blended together with ice. My parents chose the Pink Panther which contained vodka, cranberry liqueur, orange brandy, and lime. They enjoyed it so much that they ordered two more rounds. It was a very amusing time.

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Frosé

My family’s overall experience with Whiskey Bird was extremely positive. Each dish was delectable and tasty while the ambience was chic and modern. The service was attentive and quick with an extra added gesture for specifically Mother’s Day. For each mother served, the Whiskey Bird staff and management provided a thoughtful gift-bag of sparkling wines and various coupons to local Atlanta salons. The Mother Ginger was extremely touched and with that in mind, this Gnome Queen will definitely be back for dinner.

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Mother’s Day Gift-Bag