It’s rare that I write about anything but food, health and occasionally travel here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet. But I had to share seeing the wonderful JD McPherson last week at the world famous 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. Not only that, but the band stayed at my home for a couple of nights, while they played Atlanta.
You see, Paul and I are good friends with JD’s bass player and producer, Jimmy Sutton, from when lived in Chicago a thousand years ago. (Or so it seems.) Having the guys staying with us, getting caught up with Jimmy, and seeing the band reminded me of the days before we had kids – and weren’t too old to stay up all night dancing, chatting, eating, and drinking. Sigh.
After taking the kids to the Athens Human Rights Festival, we took them over to Shokitini’s for sushi. I was proud that my kids were up for trying some new foods, like the rainbow roll. After an afternoon of punk rock and drag queens, I guess they were up for anything!
What’s a kind of jelly and a kind of fish you really can’t eat – a jellyfish! Well, that’s what we saw along with lots of other aquatic animals in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Chattanooga Aquarium. It’s considered the best aquarium in the U.S.A. and a must see even if you have a fabulous aquarium in your hometown.
Admission is $24.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for those 3 and under. You can add an IMAX showing for $6 per person. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and give yourself at least three to four hours to see both the River Journey and Ocean Journey, both of which are included in your ticket. Afterwards, explore the Chattanooga riverfront area and stroll along the Tennessee Riverwalk.
For more information, connect with the Tennessee Aquarium on Twitter @TNAquarium or on Facebook.
Do you take your kids to your local aquarium?
At George’s Lowcountry Table in Athens, Georgia, you can get two dozen oysters for $12 on Tuesday. I like my oysters raw, but they also chargrill them.
During the Windows Champions event in Seattle, we were treated to a wonderful dinner at the Palace Ballroom and entertained with a cooking demo (that was more of a cooking philosophy session) by restaurateur extraordinaire, Tom Douglas. Tom is a wonderful storyteller and inspirational as a man who passionate about good quality food and loves what he does for a living.
The evening’s menu included:
- Caramelized Rapini & Fontina Grilled Cheese
- Dahlia Bakery Breads
- Carrot Handpie with Shaved Washington Asparagus Salad
- Apple Wood Grilled Pork Loin with Shrimp Fried Barley and Green Onion Confit Sauce
- Maple Éclair with Rhubarb Green Apple Sorbet
While Tom talked with us, patiently answered our questions, and got us a round of tequila(!) he casually mentioned that his famous coconut cream pies cost $40 because they’re amazing. To prove this, he had his staff go to his bakery to pick up a pie. It was as delicious as he claimed! So if you’re in Seattle, make sure to check out any of his establishments. I guarantee that you’ll love them as much as I did!
During the Windows Champions event in Seattle, we were taken to the home office of Allrecipes.com to try out the Allrecipes Windows 8 app and do a little cooking. We had a great time making (and drinking/eating) mojitos, Vietnamese spring rolls, crab cakes and an apple fold-it-up dessert while we tried out the Allrecipes app on our Samsung ATIV Odyssey™ (Verizon) Windows® Phones, Surface tablets, and Windows 8 laptops.
Last week, the folks from Microsoft took us Windows Champion bloggers to Pikes Place Market in Seattle to take pictures with the Samsung ATIV Odyssey™ (Verizon) Windows® Phone. The Pikes Place Market is just as wonderful as everyone says it is. I could have spent the whole day there eating, touring the food stalls, shopping, and taking pictures. My husband, Paul, would have been all over the seafood, cheese and mushrooms! I nearly fell over to find that several produce vendors were selling ramps that I had been looking for in Athens, Georgia. If only I could have figured out a way to take them home!
For you camera phone nerds, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey™ (Verizon) Windows® Phone has a rear-facing camera, and a 5.0 megapixel AF with LED flash. I was impressed with the camera phone’s picture quality and how easy it was to take pictures with once I got used to the Windows 8 touchscreen interface.
The National and Ciné's Dinner & A Movie happens three nights a week, Sunday through Tuesday. It’s a great way to try out celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s The National restaurant for a reasonable price. Plus it makes a great date night since the Ciné movie theater is just next door. You can check out the latest Dinner & a Movie menu here and the Ciné movie schedule here. Make sure to make reservations by calling 706-549-3450. The National is at 232 W Hancock Ave. in Athens, Georgia.
We adore the Local Republic and anytime we’re near Lawrenceville, we try to stop there for a meal. The restaurant fills up quickly, so try to get their early – like before 6 pm – even during the week. They have an amazing craft beer selection, and their specials are terrific no matter if it’s fish, wild boar, or beef. However, my favorite is a small plate of chicken liver – so delicious, so good.
Local Republic - 225 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046, 678-205-4782. Open Mon-Thu 11am–10pm, Fri-Sat 11am–11pm, and closed Sundays.
At the Food Blog South 2013 conference, the food was provided by Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Juban’s (alligator and frog leg gumbo!) along with awesome beer at the Good People Brewing Company.
While I was there, I also had a a mixture of Greek and Southern food at lunch at Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, AL and breakfast at Over Easy in Birmingham, AL (purple grits with Gouda, eggs over easy and gluten free toast – wow!)
I wanted to point out the picture of the Southern mansion on the left and the three pictures above it. Those pictures are taken at the Boone Hall Plantation, which was the setting of Halle Berry’s first movie, Alex Haley’s Queen. It’s a must to visit if you’re ever in Charleston, South Carolina.
Last December, my husband and I had an amazing dinner at Tristan in Charleston, South Carolina. (We left the kids back at the condo we were renting.) Paul had the wine accompaniment. I had a glass of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka on the rocks. The menu is below. We ordered variation on the five course menu and shared when we had different dishes. Our favorites were the scallops and the risotto, followed by the starter course and the desserts. The presentation, taste and service were all superb.
You can connect with Tristan on Twitter @tristandining or on Facebook. Call for reservations at 843-534-2155 or book online through Open Table. Tristan is also able to work around food allergies and food sensitivities – just mention it when you make your reservation so your server and the chef can be prepared for your visit.
Hyman’s Seafood is THE restaurant to go to when you visit Charleston, SC according to everyone we talked to from neighbors to coworkers. It’s very family friendly. The service is terrific. The amount of food you get is enormous and delicious. And Hyman’s even has a gluten free menu (just ask)!
From upper left going clockwise: Hushpuppies, Grouper with the Gluten Free Prep, their signature appetizer – the Wadamalaw Delight (fried green tomatoes served on grits with a Carolina cream sauce), and a glass of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka on the rocks with a slice of lemon.
Quail on Sweet Potato Mash, Noodle Stir Fry, Meatball Sub, and Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder from lunch at the Motor Supply Co. Bistro in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.