Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Oeno-Fourth of July Weekend Run-Down

Whereas the week leading up to the Fourth of July is a big week for grocery stores, out of state fireworks emporiums, and fire extinguisher providers (one can only hope), it's pretty quiet for my business. My weekend started unintentionally early on Thursday, when I only had one appointment scheduled at the office. I considered calling the person to reschedule, but Hubby bribed me out with the promise of Korean barbecue. Yeah, I'm a sucker for the stuff, so we went to Han Il Kwan (no website available) on Buford Highway just south of I-285 in Doraville.

We arrived just after 12:30 to find the place about 1/3 full, and we were seated right away and given thick menus in both English and Korean. We both opted for lunch specials, bulgogi for me and short ribs for Hubby. The waitress brought about eight little white ceramic square dishes with different things in them. We identified kimchi and bean sprouts, and while vegetables were a large part of the rest of them, I'm not sure what the names are. We weren't really sure what to do with them, so we looked around at the other diners and figured out that they were intended to be eaten with the meals. Later research revealed them to be panch'an, which are small dishes intended to be eaten with the main course, so score one for Hubby's powers of observation. The boxes were similar to those found in sushi restaurants and even had some California rolls in them along with tempura shrimp and vegetables, rice, salad, and soup on the side. Oh, and they had the meat we ordered in them as well. It was a lot of food for two people, and we ended up spending less than $20.00. I liked the bulgogi but found it to be a little oily. Hubby enjoyed the short ribs, and I thought the bite he gave me was very flavorful and tender.

For something completely different, we went to Watershed Restaurant with Hubby's parents on Friday evening. My mother-in-law is absolutely addicted to the appetizer of Prince Edward Island mussels steamed with white wine, garlic, and leeks. I can support that addiction because they are really good and fresh, and the broth left over is perfect for sopping up with the French bread served with it. Hubby had the special fish of the day, which was snapper with mixed vegetables and mint. I tried to be healthy with the okra pancakes with squash and cucumber salad, which was also served with fresh tomato slices. Both in-laws had the penne with arugula, garlic, and tomato.

While everyone had something a little different, we were able to agree on white wine over red. Hubby and I decided to be daring and ordered a bottle of the 2007 Tensley Blanc (Santa Barbara, CA), a blend of 57% Grenache Blanc, 28% Roussanne, and 15% Viognier. It's a gorgeous straw color with a honeysuckle nose, and a chewy honey palate with hints of orange. It went well with the food, and I could actually consider drinking it on its own during one of the transition seasons.

Saturday morning found us at the Morningside Farmers Market, where we stocked up on organic vegetables and pasta. Celia at Woodland Gardens had consented to hook me up with ten pounds of tomatoes, so we brought those directly home, pulled out the tomato press, and made a batch of sauce with turkey meatballs. We took a break during the cooking to have lunch, barbecue pulled pork with macaroni and cheese and apple-beet slaw. The pulled pork came from a guy who is going to open a new barbecue restaurant in the strip that houses Moya and Bhojanic near the corner of Clairmont and North Decatur Roads. After tasting that, I'm definitely game to try the restaurant, which should be open in August-September. The sides came from Sawicki's. I wasn't a big fan of the beet and apple slaw, but the mac and cheese got rave reviews all around.

Oh, and we had blueberry pie from Southern Sweets. The thing I love about their pies is that they're not too sweet, unlike most of the fruit pies you find in grocery stores. Normally I would make my own, but since the oven is still broken, we had to buy one. I'm glad we did.

I would write about Saturday evening, but I don't want to give our fireworks-watching spot away, so I'll just say that Decatur is full of great food in unexpected places. That's one of the reasons I love living here.

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