Coffee • PS I love you

Well obviously. I love coffee! I like it black. It’s the best way to judge a coffee shop honestly. Order their coffee black and sip. Do this at every coffee shop you go to. The reality is, if you cover up your coffee/espresso with a ton of sugar and creme/milk (regular, almond or oat) then that is what it will taste like (with a bit of meh if the base isn’t good). So, try it black, you may come to love it as much as me. The point, bad coffee is noticeable, so try it from the base before covering up the flavor.

So, how do you pose with your coffee for that perfect Instagramable shot? See below and then I’ll explain more.

So what do we have here? The almost sipping my coffee to sipping my coffee. The smoldering look off, the laugh at yourself for the last photo (LOL), the classic blogger look down (it’s cute but I’m not a huge fan), the real smile, another “Imma sip dis” and then the I’m putting it down, stop taking photos but I’m happy shot!

If you have read my other posts about taking photos, then you know my thoughts. Take a lot of photos continuously as you move about with your ‘prop’, which in this case is the coffee.Then you have so many images to choose from (and laugh at!!). But also, check the cute workout gear I’m in! Highish waisted heather blue yoga pants and a long sleeve black criss-cross crop top!

smoked meatballs

Smoked Meatballs

You really can smoke anything these days. I’m showing you two versions of smoked meatballs. Meatballs for carnivores and for vegans. 

What you see below: ingredients for each type of meatball (vegan and then carnivore), what it looks like when they’re mixed up, individual meatballs, on the rack and in the smoker and the last shot is the smoked meatballs in pans with sauce ready to be put back on the smoker again.

Ingredients:
Vegan:
Impossible meat
Beyond meat spicy sausage
Egg substitute: 1:3 ground flax seed & water
Nutritional yeast
Almond flour
Dried basil & Italian herbs
Pepper
Red pepper flakes
Garlic

Carnivore:
1 pound ground chuck
0.5 pound Hot Italian sausage 
0.5 pound Veal
2 Eggs
Italian bread crumbs
Parmesan 
Ricotta
Dried basil & Italian herbs
Pepper
Red pepper flakes
Garlic

For both:
Mix all ingredients in bowl.
Form balls with about 1.5 tablespoons of meat.
Space them out on a greased wire rack.
Heat your smoker up to 275*

Smoke the meatballs for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 160 (for both meatball versions)

Pull the meatballs off and place them into a small pan and cover them with marinara sauce. Place them uncovered back onto the smoker for about 15 minutes.

Then cover the meatballs with foil and smoke for an additional 30-40 minutes.

Final product, plus the smoke ring on the carnivore meatballs. I was so tired and hungry by the time we plated these that I accidentally grated parmesan on my vegan meal – lol! I served my vegan meatballs over quinoa and my hubby’s meatballs over handmade, local angel hair pasta.

We make double the batch so we can freeze the extras for quick meals. We just leave them in the bags and put them in a pot of water on the stove at medium to medium high temperature.

Serving Suggestions:

Dinner:
Top the meatballs on top of angel hair pasta and more marinara. Sprinkle Parmesan (or nutritional yeast) on top with some fresh basil.

Lunch:
Toast a French baguette 🥖 about half way. Slice it down the middle & lay in your meatballs. Top with marinara and provolone cheese. Broil at 400* for 10-15 minutes.

Pull it when the cheese is nice and melted and slightly brown.

Original recipe that we tweaked to our likening above:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TFvEWBxjsQo Malcom Reed is a great source for smoked meats! We love his YouTube channel for smoked recipe inspiration. 

Tag me in your posts on Instagram when you make these (@salutin@salutinthecity)

Omakase at District M

The Japanese word Omakase literally translates to “I will leave you to it” i.e. giving the chef the choice to choose your entire meal. It’s a great way to try dishes you wouldn’t normally order. It’s also great because you don’t have to make any decisions about what you eat and that’s always the hardest part. LOL!

For this meal experience you need to sit at the sushi bar as the chef makes everything in front of you. They’ll make a piece of nigiri sushi and place it right in front of you to eat. This goes on for at least an hour. Along with the sushi the chef will serve other otsumami (small bites).

Oyster Cheers!

We started the meal off with oysters
on the half shell, topped with uni and caviar.
Naturally we had to cheers with them.

We followed the oysters with tuna tartar topped with uni on toast with caviar, a sashimi platter and A5 Wagyu beef (the best beef in the world). The Wagyu was seared on a hot stone and literally melted in our mouths.

Hot Stone Prep

They prepped the hot stone
by greasing it with Wagyu fat

Next up we enjoyed a few rounds of sashimi.

Every piece of nigiri was fresh and melted in my mouth! This isn’t all of the nigiri we ate but a good portion of it.
We couldn’t finish the night off without a little dessert too. We enjoyed the matcha creme brulee and chocolate mousse (I’m a sucker for anything chocolate).

This omakase meal is hands down in the top five best meals I’ve ever had. I encourage you to try this in your city. It’s pricey but well worth the money.

Not pictured: Japanese cocktails and Japanese whiskey

Pasta making class with Chef Pat

Chef Pat is amazing. Funny as hell, tattooed up, hails from Italy via New York. His food is AMAZING. Literally his pasta, meatballs and pizza (which I order once a week). He can do no wrong in the kitchen, in my humble opinion. If you’re in Atlanta you can try his tasty food at The White Bull in Decatur, and Grana in Morningside-Lenox Park area. They host several types of fun dinner nights like polenta parties and pasta making classes! See below for my experience. Next time I’m in Italy I plan on visiting Chef Pat’s grandma and making pasta with her too!!

This is the process. I was surprisingly a natural at making the ferricelli (the thicker rolled pasta) and the scialatielli (thicker linguine style pasta).

Literally I made at least half of that tray of ferricelli, so naturally I had to pose with it!

It’s like playdough

So, apparently I’m a natural at rolling out the dough and creating the small ferricelli pasta!

the pasta man himself

Flattening out the scialatielli!

The final product! It’s definitely more fun eating pasta after you make it from scratch yourself! We topped the ferricelli with homemade tomato sauce and beef, and the scialatielli with shrimp, jalapeños and a creamy white sauce.

I really want to do this again soon! Have you ever made pasta from scratch at home or at event like this? Let me know! I want to try it at home but I haven’t quite mustard up the confidence. Encourage me!

Atlanta Sandwiches

For lunch, I always want a sandwich, so here are some of my fav spots to grab one in the city of Atlanta!
[on your phone? turn your phone sideways for optimal viewing – you’re welcome]

Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks

Classic Cheesesteak, done Dave’s way (extra toppings)

Suzy Siu’s

Boa buns are sandwiches in my world, and these lobster boas… holy fuck

Alon’s Bakery

This is one of my absolute favorite places to grab lunch, sweet treats or a quick dinner to take home. These are the Tuscany sandwich (my all time fav) and the Tunisian tuna sandwich (little spice).

Tavern at Phipps

Stackssss of a pastrami on rye – Looks amazing right? Sad side story, they stopped throwing cocktail napkins at patrons. (super fun tradition that the bartenders would throw cocktail napkins at attractive women, but a few Karen’s got offended for not having them thrown at them, so they stopped all together, thanks Karen).

Ticonderoga Club

Clam roll – this is amazing! The clam is lightly fried and as you can see it’s stacked high! The bread is light and basically serves as a vessel to hold your clam up!

Fred’s Meat & Bread

Cheesesteak, the best in Atlanta, better than what Philly has to offer per Alton Brown 😉

Ladybird

Oyster Po’boy on deck.. on the deck, overlooking the Beltline and enjoying the home of the three day weekend.

Victory Sandwich Bar

Don’t call them sliders, they’re tiny sandwiches, and they’re delicious. Pictured are my fav, the victory at sea. & yes, those are anchovies!

Hattie B’s

Nashville Hot Chicken, enough said.

Gu’s Dumplings

Yep, the dumpling spot has some fire sandwiches, a tofu and a chicken (pictured) po’boy with Schezuan flavors!

Petit Chou

Salut..Veggie sandwich with portobello mushrooms, tomato and arugula!

Atlanta Healthy Eats

I live by the 80/20 rule (err 60/40 lol). I believe in eating and I believe in eating what you enjoy. Everything in moderation, and sometimes a little more than you probably should, but that’s life. I’ve done the restrictive diet thing and will never again. Personally I’d much rather run my ass off (literally) and be able to eat what I want. With that… I do enjoy healthy eats, here are some of my favorite spots to grab a clean eat!

Upbeet

The Aloha bowl is my absolute favorite healthy eat in Atlanta. The bamboo rice is so tasty, it’s topped with arugula, mango, raw tuna, jalapeños and macadamia nuts.

pro tip: I get mine with half bamboo rice & half arugula because I can’t eat the whole thing if it’s all rice lol, (I mean I want to, but..)

O’ku

Poke bowl & a cocktail (because, balance) from my favorite sushi bar!

Poke Burri

Sushi burrito, you get your burrito fix but in the healthiest way possible. Hello omega-3’s! Look at how amazing this is!

Serpas

Smoked salmon chips with capers and red onion. OK, the chip might not seem healthy but it’s a mute point of the meal, it’s more like the plate holding the smoked salmon and veggies but you also get to eat it! lol

Sukoshi

Ahi Tuna bowl over brown rice with edamame, sesame seeds and mango! You can’t go wrong & they’re the sister restaurant of O’ku!

Clean Juice

The green 14 bowl, it has (as you probably already guessed) 14 types of greens, plus goji berries, avocado and walnuts!

AIX TinTin

Fall inspired shrimp salad with cauliflower, olives and butternut squash.

Like I said, healthy eats are good and it’s all about balance. Do you have some you’d recommend?

Atlanta Unique Eats – Savory

Looking for some unique savory eats in Atlanta? Check these out when you’re in town, in no particular order:
[on your phone? turn your phone sideways for optimal viewing – you’re welcome]

Bakey Bakes

Thunderbiscuits – a soft boiled egg inside of the most buttery chive biscuit. You’ll die and go to heaven and then cry after the last bite because it’s over.

Gunshow

It doesn’t even matter what this dish is (it’s goat carnitas) because it’s most likely not on the menu now. This spot is known for its experience. 6-8 chefs, each make two dishes. They bring the dish around to each table, show it off & tell you about it. If you want it, they leave it with you and you eat, if not they move on to the next table. The menu changes every 6 weeks and features what’s in season.

Poke Burri

Sushi donuts and sushi burritos?? They have a secret menu, and if you order my secret sushi burrito the “salut” you’re in for a real treat! (hint, it’s spicy!)

Superica’s Golden Tacos

Tacos Dorados de Camaron AKA “golden shrimp tacos” arbol chile salsa, cabbage & avocado. The golden taco means a fried taco… holy hell! drooling!

District M

A5 Wagyu beef.. the best quality meat on the market, barely seared and melts in your f*cking mouth.

Banshee

Scallop crudo topped with fish roe – OMG, this is one of my favorite dishes. Raw scallops are so buttery, taste amazing and the fish roe adds the perfect amount of saltiness.

Poke Burri

They’re so unique that they deserve two posts. This is their sushi pizza!! It’s a secret menu item that you need to order 24 hours in advance. The crust, is it’s own sushi roll! Amazing!

White Bull

Sea bass Crudo – ugh yes please. Raw sea bass under a bed of red cabbage and covered with sesame seeds!! Simple ingredients yet amazing.

Wrecking Bar Brew Pup

Smoked trout pate topped with salmon roe inside of a blood sausage pastry! Just try it and thank me later.

Momonoki

Fishballs covered in fish flakes (they literally move on their own).

What do you think? Was there a dish that stood out that you really want to try? Or do you have a unique savory dish I need to try ASAP? Let me know in the comments!

Atlanta Rooftop Bars

Did you know they call Atlanta the empire state of the south? Our skyline continues to expand and while it’ll most likely never get to the level of NYC, it’s still beautiful and fun to admire while sipping cocktails at some of my favorite rooftop bars.
[on your phone? turn your phone sideways for optimal viewing – you’re welcome]

The Roof at Ponce City

Located in Old Fourth Ward
Atop the restored Sears & Roebuck building. Inside you’ll find a food hall + shopping, businesses & apartments. On the rood you’ll find the amusement park, Skyline Park so aptly named, 9 Mile Station (the restaurant), and 12 cocktail bar. All are great for grabbing a cocktail or two.
side note: this is how you stand in your stilettos so you’re heels don’t fall through the grates – lol

Gypsy Kitchen

Located in Buckhead
It’s the perfect spot to meet your friends after work to avoid ATL’s traffic and enjoy some drinks.

Hotel Clermont

Located in Old Fourth Ward
Atop the renovated Hotel Clermont is this astro turf covered roof with views of downtown. If you pop into the lobby bar you’re bound to see Playboy’s from the 50’s. It’s all apart of the hotel’s seedy past. Don’t you just love a seedy past.

New Realm Brewing

Located in Old Fourth Ward
This brewery is located right on the Beltline and has a large patio with Beltline and city views. Grab some of their beers and watch the beautiful sunsets.
Beer suggestion: Hazy like a fox (one of my fav IPA’s).

O’ku

Located in West Midtown
This is my favorite sushi restaurant. The fish is always top quality, the atmosphere is fun and vibrant and the rooftop is perfect for happy hour + late night vibes.

JCT Kitchen & Bar

Located in West Midtown
Delicious southern style food and fun cocktails, sitting above the railroad tracks with industrial buildings surrounding it. They play live music on some nights, so be on the lookout for that!

5Church

Located in Midtown
This large rooftop patio space is perfect for weekend brunching or late night weekend fun.

There are more rooftop bars in the city that are on my list to try. Do you have any you would recommend? Let me know in the comments. Salut!

Atlanta Coffee Shops

Some of my favorite coffee shops you must check out for your caffeine fix. In no particular order:
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Spiller Park
all about the toasts and coffee too, multiple locations to fit your mood

Cold Brew Bar
coffee on tap
and matcha too

Gilly Brew Bar
oldest house in stone mountain (originally for the mayor in the 1800’s) and house made syrups

Hodgepodge Coffee
oat milk on deck,
delish coffee and pastries

Brash
3 locations, brash box is my fav

Brother Moto
motorcycles, coffee & hipsters
(currently closed)

Daily Dose Coffee
masculine decor, books
and all the windows

Victory Coffee & Calamity
(formally DAC)
open space, big patio
& good coffee

Muchacho
think huge patio, warm vibes
& tacos

Docent Coffee
roast beans in house & all the good smells
(currently closed but still roasting)

Chrome Yellow Trading Co.
lions, tigers and coffee

Little Tart Bakeshop
2 locations, grab in go from KSM
or stay awhile in summer hill,
get a pastry, you’re welcome.

Moonbird
brick walls, natural light
& Saturday morning cartoons

Cultivate
traditional coffee, good space
to work and beet lattes

Also a fan of Academy Coffee Company, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, The Deer & The Dove, The James Room, East Pole and Chattahoochee Coffee Company to name a few. Would you add any coffee shops?

Atlanta Pizza

Atlanta has a pretty fantastic pizza scene. You’ll never find a true New York Slice, but we’ve got the other styles down pat.

Grana | Piedmont Heights – Chef Pat’s home of Naples Italy comes to life in these pies! He had two stone ovens shipped over from Naples and even named one after his daughter Sophia.

Nina & Rafi | Old Fourth Ward – Easily one of the best spots to grab pizza in the city. It’s right on the Beltline so the people watching is superb. Pro tip, you can order it next store at Pour Taproom via their limited menu and N&R window!

Antico | West Midtown – If you know you know. This is the OG, best pie in Atlanta. Worth waiting in line for and it never disappoints!

Varasano’s | Chef Jeff also Neapolitan style pizzas but with a twist. You’ll get your classic pizza toppings but he also experiments with different flavors that you normally wouldn’t see on the menu!

Other notable spots: Varuni Napoli and Vinny’s & a few late night spots: Cameli’s and Jack’s pizza. Did I leave anything out? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you’ve tried!

Atlanta Burgers

You can’t beat the burger scene in Atlanta. Read below for my top 5 spots to grab a burger!

Little’s Food Store | Cabbagetown – They grind their meat in house and sling burgers all day in the back of their little grocery store. Be sure to snap a pic of the cat if he’s on his stoop!

Billy’s Burgers (a.k.a. NFA Burger) | Sandy Springs – Billy kills the smash burger game. He was doing weekly popups around Atlanta and finally settled on a spot in Sandy Springs inside of a Shell gas station. He just released plans to open a stand alone restaurant soon.

Fred’s Meat & Bread | Inman Park (inside Krog Street Market) – This burger is hard to beat. You literally can’t go wrong with anything on their menu but for your first trip you must try the burger!

LLoyd’s | Inman Park – I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this burger. I opted for the Beyond meat burger for my first time. This is one of my favorite spots in town and they have one of the best happy hours too.

Marcel | West Midtown (Inside West Side Provision District) – Only available on the late night menu and pop up lunches. They use the trimmings from their steaks from the evening to grind up and make these delicious burgers.

Other notable burgers spots: Bacado, Grindhouse Burger, The Albert, H&F Burger, Mixed up Burger, One Eared Stag, Hampton & Hudson. Do you agree with my choices or think I left any off? Leave a comment below!