Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maru Sushi, long overdue

When I first moved out to God's Country, as B. lovingly calls the area where I live (It's within the city limits, though!), I had no clue what good restaurants were nearby. Coming from the Highlands, I regularly ate at places in my neighborhood or Little Five Points or in East Atlanta. The Westside was totally foreign to me.

One evening, C-Dub and I decided to drive around and look for a place to eat. We drove for (what seemed like, at the time) forever, not seeing much that interested us. Then, we saw it in bright neon: SUSHI. Oh yeah, we're sushi fiends. We love MF Sushi but we'll put up with Rusan's for a hit, even if we normally regret it. Trying out an unknown sushi restaurant can be hit or miss - and we were willing to take that risk.

Thankfully, we were rewarded with perfectly vinegared sushi rice (a pet peeve of C-Dub's), fresh fish, a great value, and - best of all - a dedicated husband and wife owner team with courteous and professional staff.

I say best of all because Sonhee and Joe quickly become friends with everyone who walks in through their door. If something is not to your liking, Sonhee will quickly rush it away and return with a new dish. I've seen Sonhee handle even the most obnoxious customer with ease, making it hard for that person to leave with a grudge. Having been to places where it seems like no one cares about their restaurant or return business, their devotion and enthusiasm for what they do is refreshing.

Writing about Maru has been long, long overdue. So, C-Dub and I went there last week to grab some food and take some pics.

We decided to get our usual: chirashi, futomaki, and wakame salad.

C-Dub pretending he doesn't have the menu memorized

I love their wakame salad. Maru puts a ponzu sauce (a citrus-based sauce) on top of their seaweed salad but I usually ask for it on the side. (Yeah, they put up with that crap from me. So, you can see why I keep going back.)

Looks good, right?


Their chirashi has got to be one of the best values around. For under $20, you get a huge mound of sushi rice with the chef's choice of fresh sashimi on top. Plus, your order comes with a salad topped with ginger dressing - it's not that mayo-y grossness that some restaurants give you! - and a warm bowl of miso soup.

See? Not a drop of mayo in this ginger dressing!

Doesn't this look fresh?

To mix things up, C-Dub ordered a salmon skin hand roll to round out the meal.

Salmon skin hand roll

This hand roll makes me think of their lunch buffet. Okay, stop right there. I know you're going, "Lunch buffet? Ugh, no thanks!" and I hear you. But, stop thinking of the awful buffet that Rusan's serves and start thinking of a delicious plethora of choices that include the expected (california rolls) but also has the unanticipated, like hand rolls and inari. And, of course, you get that yummy miso soup and ginger salad - all for under $15!

Sadly, I don't work close enough to Maru to eat lunch there on a regular basis. But, when I've got a weekday off, you can bet I am in Maru loading up a plate!

Maru Sushi
4454 South Cobb Dr
Smyrna, GA 30080
Maru's profile on Facebook

Monday, September 29, 2008

Souper Jenny's 10th Anniversary

Next week marks the 10th anniversary of a favorite Atlanta lunch spot, Souper Jenny. To celebrate, they have events planned for every day of the week:

"Monday, October 6
Elisa Gambino from Via Elisa, Linton Hopkins from Restaurant Eugene and Gerry Klaskala from Aria will join Jenny and her Dad (yes, the one of My Dad's Turkey Chili fame) in the kitchen as they each make their favorite soup for the lunch service.

Tuesday, October 7
Free cupcake decorating and balloon fun for the kids and the kid in you! Cupcakes provided by The Little Cake Bakery.

Wednesday, October 8
Live music with Rouzbeh on the patio during lunch and free slices of Breadwinner sweet breads!

Thursday, October 9
Free 30 minute readings with Jenny's favorite psychic. First 10 people to request an appointment by email at souperjennys@aol.com will receive a confirmation email with a specific time.

Grilled Cheese Night, October 9
100% of our sales will be donated to Bert's Big Adventure. Visit www.allthehitsq100.com/bertshow and click on the Bert's Big Adventure button on the right side of the screen to see what this amazing charity is all about!

Friday, October 10
Big Blowout Party... wine, beer and food. Begins at 7:00pm and everyone is invited!!

I'm most looking forward to Monday, October 6th. I can't wait to see what Linton Hopkins' favorite soup might be!

Souper Jenny's super sammies

Souper Jenny
56 East Andrews Drive
Atlanta, GA 30305

Friday, September 26, 2008

National Pancake Day?

According to Hungry Girl, today is National Pancake Day. Now while I can't find anything online to back this up (IHOP gives away free pancakes on February 12, the day they call National Pancake Day), I'm willing to dedicate two days out of the year to pancakes. I love pancakes a lot.

My favorite places for pancakes? I'm glad you asked! I love the pancakes at Ria's Bluebird and World Peace Cafe. And, while I am not a fan of IHOP's pancakes, I do really like the pancakes at The Original Pancake House. (I guess that is why they are the original.)

The pancakes at Ria's Bluebird...yum!

I normally go for the plain stuff but the cranberries and oranges in
World Peace Cafe's Vegan Cranberry-Orange Pancakes are sooo good!

What are your favorite places for pancakes?

Ria's Bluebird
421 Memorial Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

World Peace Cafe
220 Hammond Drive
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

The Original Pancake House
2321 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30324

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Urban Cottage Website Launch

One of DI's favorite stores has just launched its website. Although it is not set up for e-commerce, you can take a look at all the cool items they have for sale. I especially love the pinch pots and other unique handmade pottery by Carla Kaiser. She is a great local artist that does amazing claywork.

You should also check out the Invitations section to see the unique wedding and baby invites by Matt Berinato exclusively available at Urban Cottage. It almost makes me want to get married.


Finally, Urban Cottage is having a huge fall event this weekend.

Saturday September 27th 11-9 & Sunday September 28th 11-6 Snacks, Sangria, Music, Tarot card readings and coloring books by Carla Kaiser, new fall merchandise from Coleccion Luna, Dialog (activism you can wear), Handmade jewelry by Heather Curtis, invitations and stationary by Matt Berinato and Katie Kaiser: fun, fun, fun!

(image- Urban Cottage)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tobi.com- 25% off Everything!

Tobi.com is a website with tons of trendy, high-end brands, just like Singer22.com or ShopBop.com. If you are in need of fun, fall clothes I would take advantage of this offer- 25% off is pretty good. They have stylists you can instant message if you have a question about their products, which is a nice feature. I contacted a stylist once to ask a question about a top, but they never got back to me. Oh well.

Movin' Day!

I am excited to say that I am finally moving to my new place this weekend. While packing is a NIGHTMARE, it has been fun trying to figure out how to design my new space. I am on a "shopping diet" so I really want to work with what I currently own. With that being said, a girl has to live a little.

Here are some of my favorite new finds. I am going with the design aesthetic of "Things I Like". It is similar to when I was little and I dressed myself. I would really like a shirt, let's say stripes- and then I would pick out shorts that were let's say, polka dots. Since I really like the shirt and I really liked the shorts, then that must mean the outfit would be amazing! My poor mother did not want to stunt my creativity and therefore sent me to preschool in whatever crazy outfit I picked out. I think she must have prayed that people didn't think she was the one dressing me.

Anyway, I am going to just fill my apartment with pretty things I like and hope that in a quirky way, they work- think Shabby Chic/Anthropologie. No color scheme, no theme, just cool stuff.
Here is a not so great image of my new little rug I am planning on putting in my bedroom. It is small, only 2x3, but will be perfect in front of the bed. If you want to check out the detailing, go to anthropologie.com.

I am also very excited about my dish towels (hey, I'm excited!), also from Anthropologie. All of my kitchen accessories, like my Kitchen Aid stand mixer are pink, so I think these should be a nice addition. They should work with what I currently have, but not make the kitchen overly pink and girly.

Top Chef Tour in Atlanta

I got a tip (thanks Ryan!) that pre-registration for tickets to the Top Chef Tour in Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 27th opened yesterday. But, by 8:30am, all times were sold out. Now, the tickets are are on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the tour. (For those that don't know, the chefs will be Atlanta's own Richard Blais and Casey Thompson from Season 3.)

Did anyone manage to pre-register? If so, count me as jealous!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dia De Los Muertos en Las Provisiones de la Estrella

Yenta Girl and I were killing time at Star Provisions yesterday before we met some friends for happy hour drinks at the upstairs bar at JCT. I was just telling her how much I loved their Halloween decorations when we came upon a display that took our breath away:

Day of the Dead paraphernalia! How cool is this? It was (possibly, just slightly) better than the Halloween decorations! We were practically drooling all over the display, exploring each little knick and knack.

And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, we turned the corner into the bakery and, wow! Sugar skulls, chocolate skulls, and skeleton cakes, oh my!

I implore you to go check it out!

Star Provisions
1198 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30318

Monday, September 15, 2008

Movies and Rogue'n under the stars

Lady Rogue is full of ideas. Just ask her - she is busting at the seams keeping it in so she can surprise us at each rogueApron. All she'll really say is how excited she is about the impending event.

Well, her excitement is totally justified; each event is so much fun and creatively planned. (Curious about the previous events? Click here for my post on the fourth rogueApron event or here for my post on the third event. I've also got pictures from the second event here.)

So, when I got the invite to attend this past Sunday evening, I had to go even though I was only going to be back in town from Milwaukee just a few hours prior. Plus, it sounded awesome! Night at the movies - how was that going to work?

We later found out that it meant burgers on pretzel rolls grilled under the stars at the Starlight Six Drive-In!

A couple of rogue volunteers!

There were two homemade burgers - handmade beef patties seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper or southwestern veggie/vegan burgers. Each burger was served on a fresh, homemade pretzel bun with a side of yummy, homemade chips. And, to top off your burgers, there was homemade mustard and ketchup, both mixed with East Atlanta Brewery Mother Of All Porters for a kick! (Tired of me using the word, "homemade"? Too bad! Everything - and I do mean everything - is made from scratch at rogueApron events. duh.)

A burger out of the dark

mother of all!!

Spicy...but sweet!

rogue attendees putting together their burgers

Before (or after the burgers, if you're like me), there was delicious, spiced popcorn to nosh on.

popcorn by candle light

the popcorn lined up before the movie watchers

To wash it all down, we had three East Atlanta Brewery choices to pick from: Dave's Pale Ale, Nutmeg Whitbier, or Double Agent Orange.

the EAB menu

Oh, you thought that was it? You thought wrong! Lady Rogue doesn't skimp on dessert - not when there is chocolate-covered-lucky-charms-sprinkled Twinkies to be had! (If you're wrinkling your nose right now, it's only because you've never had one.)

...on a stick, no less!

movie watchers and rogue eaters

If you'd like to attend the next Rogue Apron event, go to their website and sign up for the mailing list. And don't sit on the email when you get it - sign up immediately. Lady Rogue's events are the talk of the town and fill up within hours of her pressing "send"!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

White After Labor Day? The Truth Revealed!

So lately I have had several people ask me about the old "You can't wear white after Labor Day" adage. And as the resident fashionista on this blog, I am here to clear a few things up.
I had this same conversation with my dear friend LD last year. And we came to the conclusion that it IS OK and actually very in vouge to wear white after Labor Day. BUT you must check the weight, length and type of fabric first.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

1) White pants- go ahead and wear them, but the fabric must be heavy- like a wool or cool weather fabric. Linen would not be OK, as that is a summer fabric. They also need to be trouser length- not capris, as capri pants are for summer or spring. I think a cream colored jean would be alright, but not a bright white.

2) White Skirts- same as pants. They need to be a heavier fabric, but I am saying no to white jean skirts. Again, no linen, light-weight silk or any kind of summery fabric. I also believe the skirt needs to be on the longer side, a length that could be worn with boots or booties.

3) White shoes- I personally think white shoes are the devil. I have not found a pair of white shoes I like. I don't even really like them for weddings (I think a pair of light baby blue heels would be fab!). I don't like them even on Easter (but as you have probably guessed, Yenta Girl doesn't celebrate Easter- but even if I did, I would not wear white shoes). I digress... Anyway, I would stay away from white shoes after Labor Day for sure. If you HAD to wear white shoes, they have to be winter appropriate. That means leather and closed toe, not a strappy sandal.

4) White purses- These are fine. Just make sure that it is a sturdy bag and leather. It would be great if it had some strong metal-work (think buckle, etc) to make it seem heavier. I want to clarify I mean heavier in silhouette, not in actual weight.

You can always increase the appropriateness of your white by wearing other cool-weather clothes to make the outfit work for the season.

Please feel free to ask any "White after Labor Day" questions... I will be sure to write back!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Napoleon Perdis for Target- Stay Away!

I am a major fan of Napoleon Perdis's make-up line. One of his best known products (and the one that I think put him on the map) is his pre-foundation primer- his tag line is "Not to Prime is a Crime". I never saw the purpose of primer until I tried his. It did make my skin wonderfully smooth and provided the perfect canvas for my foundation. It isn't something I would use everyday, but it is worth the extra time and effort to apply primer for special occasions/night out/hot date, etc. I also am a major fan of his lip glosses. They are VERY sticky and stay put. If you like the feeling of Mac's Lip Glass, you will love his glosses.

When Target announced that Napoleon Perdis was coming out with a line for their store I was ecstatic. The Target line is called NP Set. All the productions are named after destinations- like Sweden, Venezuela, Russia.... I spent about half an hour staring at the display contemplating what to get. I'm sure everyone that passed by thought I was crazy, but I didn't care. I finally settled on a white eyeliner called Montreal (if you line the inside of your lower eyelid with white, it is a great trick for making your eyes look bright and open) and the primer. Since the regular primer is so awesome, I assumed this one would be just as great. How can you go wrong with Target?

Well my cyber- friends, I was sadly mistaken. Both products were terrible. The eyeliner did not go on smoothly at all; it had a chalky consistency and the primer was a waste of time and money. I was so disappointed that I returned them the very same day. I would also like to point out that the line is NOT cheap. The primer was $29 and the eyeliner was $20! You can get almost any brand eyeliner at Sephora, the mall, etc. for $20. As for the primer- I would recommend spending the extra $10 and get the real Napoleon Perdis primer (it is sold at Sephora as well as my favorite make-up spot, Entebello) .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Starbucks' Perfect Oatmeal?

The other day, I hit up my local Starbucks for a frap-frap (yeah, I've got a nickname for Frappucinos) and saw that they are now selling oatmeal. Or, I should say, Perfect Oatmeal. I'm a sucker for new things - especially if they are supposed to be better for you. So, I decided to grab a bowl to go.

I had three choices of accompaniments for my oatmeal: dried fruit, brown sugar, or a nut medley. I chose the dried fruit, you know, to give the oatmeal some color.

oatmeal, unfettered

oatmeal, post dried fruit topping

Now, I'm not sure I would go so far as to say perfect. But, for a place that is essentially serving food fast (read: fast food), it is pretty damn good. I've had clumpy, congealy oatmeal from fast food places before and this is not that. Yeah, I'd eat it again.

Plus, it's nice to see a snack on the Starbucks menu that isn't crazy high in calories. The plain outmeal has 140 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Compare that to a Starbucks blueberry muffin that has 360 calories and 10 grams of fat or a cinnamon scone, which has 500 calories and 19 grams of fat.

Okay, that isn't totally fair to compare oatmeal to a delicious, delicious scone. I mean, if I had my druthers, I would totally scarf up a cinnamon scone and then burp heartily. But, you got to eat responsibly most days, right?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hanil Kwan, revisted

My friends Carol, Jim (who prefers to be called by his internet handle, Babs), and I have been talking about getting some Korean barbecue for a long time. But, since Babs has been so busy at work to spend time with his friends, we've had to reschedule many, many, many times.

After many reschedules, Carol and I finally decided to just go ahead and grab dinner at the place with "the grazing cows on the sign"with or without Jim. Little did I know that I had already been to the Korean restaurant Carol was thinking of, Hanil Kwan, once before.

grazing cows

The time C-Dub and I went there, we had bulgogi (marinated beef) and dahk galbi (marinated chicken). I wasn't crazy about the chicken because it was all dark meat. But, I was happy to give Hanil Kwan another try!

This time around, we got two dishes that we had never tried before at Hanil Kwan: short ribs and shrimp.

The waitress prepares the meat!

shrimp on top, short ribs near the bottom

It was really delicious! My only wish would have been to have a little bit more spice to the shrimp marinade. Other than that, the beef (which I rarely eat) was quite tasty and the banchan (all those side dishes to the Korean barbecue) were delectable. It was a very good deal for the amount of food we got.

After our dinner, we drove up the street to Mozart Bakery, a Korean and Japanese bakery, to grab some pastries.

bright & clean!

C-Dub ordered cream-filled crumb bread and Carol and I shared some daifuku (glutinous rice cake filled with sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans).

Creamy and cakey

before the eating

chewy chomp!

I enjoyed the daifuku and I am pretty sure C-Dub enjoyed his pastry, even though he described the cream as tasting like straight up whipped butter.

I thought this was a great little bakery. There were a lot of treats to choose including my favorite, anpan (a sweet bun filled with sweet adzuki beans)Mmm! Plus, it was big, bright, and very clean.

Ooh, and if you are a fan of bubble tea (or any other type of tea, for that matter), Mozart Bakery has plenty of flavors to choose from.

Hanil Kwan
5458 Buford Hwy NE
Doraville, GA 30340


Mozart Bakery
5301 Buford Hwy NE
Doraville, GA 30340

Domokun at Target!

Okay, I know this doesn't have to do with fashion or food (unless Halloween candy counts) but it does have to do with spending your money. So, I figured I would go ahead and post it.

Domokun at Target!!!!

That is all.