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My love affair with Old Main Catering food

It seems that I have a foodie love affair with Old Main Catering. I have at least one blog post each year extolling the great food experiences. I have not had a mediocre experience yet. There is always different gourmet food being offered when OMC caters an event.

Over the summer, I attended several events that Old Main catered and I had to share pictures of my favorites from these events.

In the collage, here are the standouts.

Top left – Teriyaki wings. The flavor was tangy and a little sweet. These were probably the best teriyaki wings I have tasted. Most the time teriyaki can be too sweet and overly salty. With OMC, the balance of savory and sweet left my taste buds wanting more. It was messy to eat, but no one was complaining because it was so delicious.

Bottom left – Fruit water. I liked the presentation and the bright colors of the fruit. Who needs soda when you can have something that is so much more refreshing! Plus, I felt healthy drinking it.

Middle – Banana cream tarts. I have to dissect the dessert for you to fully understand how awesomely good this was. The pie shell was thick, buttery, sweet, flakey, and crumbled in your mouth. It was the perfect pie crust. The banana cream was thick, not too sweet, and had bits of banana in it. The whipped cream on top tasted like REAL whipped heavy cream with a hint of vanilla. And the caramel drizzle was super sweet but there was just enough to compliment all the other flavors without overpowering them. This is what dreams are made of. Sigh….

Top right – Smoked salmon tart. The same pie shell crust for this is as what was used in the banana cream tarts. In this instance, the sweetness of the crust seemed to be intensified in comparison to the savory smoked salmon quiche filling. I was not sure if I would like this because I never had smoked salmon in this way before. Although hesitant, I still tried it because I believe you cannot say you don’t like something if you have not tried it. In this case, I loved it! I ended my dinner by eating two of these tarts. The herbs and smoked salmon came together well.

Bottom right – Tiny apple pie. It was cute and delicious. Wonderful combination! I like bite size confections with hints of spice and fruit and flaky crust.

Bottom right – Key lime pie in chocolate shell. I have mentioned the key lime in chocolate shell before.

The chefs consistently produce creative bite-sized dishes that excite and delight my taste buds. At every event, I was sad that I could not eat more. I know that makes me sound like a little piggy, but OMC food is so good that it is worth a little gluttony.

Excuse me while I look for OMC’s next catered event…

Jazz’d Tapas Bar – Savannah GA

I had to go Savannah for a work conference and was looking for something different to eat. I wanted to go downtown because I figured that was the best area for a lot of different options. At the time it was raining, so walking around was out of the question. I searched on my phone for area restaurants and that is how I found Jazz’d Tapas Bar.

Jazz’d Tapas Bar is in Savannah’s Historic District on Barnard St. The bar is below street level lending to the cool, jazzy vibe. Not the best choice since it was raining cats and dogs because there were giant puddles near their entrance. But once inside, the atmosphere put me in the mood to order food and a tasty drink. This was the ultimate jazz bar with jazz/blues music playing in the background.

The thing about tapas menus is that you are usually hungry and want to try everything. Most menu items were between $7 – 10 each. I splurged and ordered 3: pork empanadas with a tangy sour cream dip, crab cakes with a herbed remolade, and roasted chicken over corn relish. I could not eat all that I ordered, so I took what was left of my empanadas for a late night snack. Since I was living in the moment, I felt that I had to order a martini. It seemed like the sophisticated thing to do. I forgot to take of picture of it, but it was a delight for me taste buds as well.

Everything was really delicious. My favorite was the empanadas. The pork filling was flavored with BBQ spices. It was a fusion of Southern BBQ and Latin cooking style.

I read that Jazz’d has received awards for their food and swanky digs from Cosmopolitan Magazine, Southern Living, and Savannah Magazine. I have to agree the food and ambiance were on point. If you are ever in Savannah and want to visit an upscale restaurant for food and drinks, keep this Jazz’d Tapas Bar in mind. They change the menu every so often, so you might not be able to order the empanadas, but whatever you order, I can imagine that it will be delicious.

 

Dark Corner distillery

Looking for something to do if you are in downtown Greenville South Carolina? You need to make a stop by Dark Corner Distillery (241 N Main St Greenville, SC 29615).

I recommend doing a tasting but make sure you have had something to eat first. These liquors are potent. They will have your head swimming if you try to taste with an empty stomach.

Dark Corner is making legal moonshine. Some dress it up and call it “corn whiskey”. It is all the same.

Dark Corner have a cinnamon flavored liquor called Hot Mama. Since it is super spicy ( blend of 111 proof whiskey, cinnamon and chipotle peppers), to me, it is not good to drink by itself. However, it is awesome in mixed drinks. By itself the cinnamon intensifies the high alcohol content so much that it numbed my tongue and burned my throat. At this stage of my life, I like to savor the taste of my liquor. When using the same cinnamon flavored liquor in warm apple cider, it becomes a comfort drink that warms the insides. That is my kind of drink.

My favorite is Carolina Peach Shine. It is 70 proof and tastes really good on the rocks. Sip it if you want to enjoy the sweet peachy flavor. Since Carolina Peach Shine is very sweet on its own, the ice helps to mellow out and dilute it a little bit. Take it like a shot if you want to feel a pleasurable burn. I felt warmth as the liquid travelled down my throat, but it was not as overpowering as the cinnamon one. Nor did it have the numbing effect. Mix it in juice for a kicked up beverage.

What I most like about Dark Corner is the fact that they let you sample their flavors before you buy. When I went, it was not too crowded and so my friend and I were able to sample without waiting. If there is a crowd, you might need to be patient.

Don’t forget to TIP your server! You did just get a free liquor sample. Be appreciative.

Above all else, drink responsibly. Definitely do not drive if you are feeling tipsy.

 

Best breakfast in Atlanta goes to Ria’s Bluebird Diner

Google “best breakfast in Atlanta” and one of the top results will probably be Ria’s Bluebird. This diner in Atlanta was featured on a Travel network show about breakfast places. This restaurant opens 8am-3pm. They do not accept reservations. When you arrive, you sign in and wait outside until your name is called.

The smaller the group the better chance you have of a short wait. When we went, it was hubby and I, so our wait was about 20 minutes.

I ordered the special: almond crusted French toast stuffed with cream cheese sweetened with local honey served with warm maple syrup on the side. This was the best French toast I have ever eaten. Everything about this plate equaled perfection. To drink, I ordered fresh squeezed orange juice. You cannot beat fresh squeezed OJ.

Words that come to mind to describe this restaurant: eclectic, artsy, trendy

The décor has a retro vibe to it. The wait staff is friendly but no nonsense. They make some small talk, but keep it moving because they have a lot of tables to serve and a lot of orders to get to hungry people.

Hipsters were crowding the parking lot waiting for tables in the packed restaurant. Sometimes a restaurant becomes a trendy place to eat but the food is mediocre at best. In the case of Ria’s Bluebird, the food lives up to the hype. I can see why they were featured on TV and are known for have the best breakfast in ATL.

I recommend getting there early and ordering the special (especially if it is almond crusted stuffed French toast). Leave with a happy belly and satisfied smile.

Its summertime with fried green tomatoes!

This is more of a review of my own cooking than anything else. Plus I wanted to share with the blogosphere.

I made fried green tomatoes for the first time in my life. It was recently that I actually tried fried green tomatoes (FGT) and realized that I liked them. I think FGT is one of those Southern style foods that is probably a staple in many households during the summer months. Growing up with an British-bred mother, I was more likely to eat Shepherd’s pie. ***sighing fondly to myself***

Since we have a large garden this year with about 10 different varieties of tomatoes, I was excited for the possibility to be able to make FGT myself. I figured that it could not be too hard. I searched for perfect, plump tomatoes from our bountiful, producing garden. Hubby is a great cultivator of all things green. If I was more organized, I would know the variety of tomato used. But, the operative word in that sentence was "IF".

In any case, I searched the web for suitable recipes that looked easy enough. From those recipe websites, I realized that the common theme was seasoned flour, egg dip, and cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture.
Since I only measure when I am baking, there are no fixed measurements in my recipe of sorts for FGT.

I cut the tomatoes into thick slices and sprinkled with salt. I let that sit while I prepped the rest of the ingredients.
On a plate, I mixed a few spoons of all-purpose flour with a generous heaping of Old Bay (any season salt will do).

In a bowl, I beat one large egg (fresh from our chickens, of course) with a little water (maybe couple tablespoons).
On another plate, I mixed a few spoons of fine white cornmeal with finely crushed Ritz crackers.
In my cast iron skillet, I heated vegetable oil about half an inch deep. Stove temperature should be about mid-range. If 1 is the coldest and 10 is the hottest, set between 5 and 6.
I dredged my tomatoes in the flour, egg dip, and cornmeal mixture and then put into the skillet for a few minutes per side.
Once the FGT were fully cooked, I placed on a rack to drain excess oil and lightly salted.

I was so surprised how good they were! Even though there are several steps, the preparation is simple.
The trick is not to have the oil too hot. Otherwise the outside will burn and the inside will still be raw. The inside should be firm but tender. And I like for the outer crust to be crunchy and slightly salty.

If you have never had a fried green tomato, it is worth trying. I will be doing this again before all our tomatoes ripen and we have Insalata Caprese (salad made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil).