Posts Tagged ‘Decatur’

Family Fun in ATL & Leon’s Full Service

Posted in Atlanta, local food, meals, Restaurants, Uncategorized on October 10th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Last week, my brother and his family came to ATL for a visit.  We had the best time showing off our city to Rob, Alden, and my two nephews, Pete and Chip.  Of course we shared many of our favorite restaurants with them too!

Time in the backyard with Rob, Pete and Chip

Some of the highlights of the weekend included, homemade pancakes, Taqueria del Sol, Mellow Mushroom, Star Provisions, YEAH Burger, the Georgia Aquarium, and lots of playing outside.

Chip waiting for lunch at Taqueria

Chip with his new football


Sweet Pete!

On Saturday night, my sweet friend, Michelle, offered to baby sit for Pete and Chip so we adults decided to have a night on the town.  We took Rob and Alden to Decatur to see a different part of the Atlanta area.  After a drink at Iberian Pig, we headed over to one of our new favorite restaurants, Leon’s Full Service.

Night out in Decatur

In the last couple of months, David and I’ve been looking for any excuse to go to Leon’s.  We absolutely love their French Fries and dipping sauces that accompany them.  Fortunately you can order multiple sauces because David and I can’t agree on which one we like the best.  (I’m a sucker for the curry and David loves the smoked tomato mayo.)  Leon’s uses a dedicated fryer for their fries so you don’t have to worry about contamination.  Since we’ve discovered Leon’s, we’ve always gotten great service and delicious food.  Don’t be discouraged by the bustle and busy-ness of the restaurant when you walk in: you will be well taken care of from the moment you put your name on the wait list. (PS: Leon’s doesn’t take reservations.)

Best fries in ATL

...And the dipping sauces (yes, we ordered 6!)

Our waiters have always been well aware of the gluten-free options on the menu and I always feel like I have lots of choices.  Even though the restaurant is always full of people, I get great attention from servers and I don’t feel rushed to make my decision. On our most recent visit, however, we learned that the folks at Leon’s have now made a gluten-free menu for their customers.  Now I have even more reason to go to Leon’s!  It’s a good thing we don’t live closer to Leon’s because I would eat there all time!

Leon's GF Menu!

If you haven’t been yet, you must go to Leon’s.  The menu has both casual/light fare as well as fancier entrees.  And they highlight seasonal, fresh ingredients from local farms.  Gotta love that!

Gluten-Free Highlights on Leon’s Menu*:

  • French fries with masaman curry & smoked tomato mayo
  • Grilled pork chop, field peas & greens, carolina gold bbq, red cabbage chow chow
  • Pan roasted domestic snapper baby bok choi, masaman curry butternut squash, lime-mint butter, toasted cashew

Always so sad when the fries are gone

Oh, and make sure to hang out at the bar before you get seated.  The mixologists at the bar are fabulous and they create all kinds of seasonal beverages.

*The menu changes seasonally so expect to find new items when you go (except, of course, the fries).

Leon’s Full Service – 131 E Ponce de Leon Ave – Decatur, Georgia – 404.687.0500


Italian Dining in Decatur: No. 246

Posted in Atlanta, Restaurants on September 21st, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Last night David and I had a date night at No. 246 in Decatur.  This new, Italian-inspired restaurant is owned by the same folks that own the Westside’s JCT Kitchen.  I love the décor inside No. 246, but similar to its sister restaurant, No. 246 is quite loud inside.  (Translation: I won’t be taking my parents here the next time they’re in town.)  The service was great at No. 246, as we felt like we got really good attention from our server.  She was very communicative with us and answered all of our questions.

Normally I wouldn’t be eager to spend date night at an Italian restaurant but No. 246 is now offering gluten-free pasta.  This corn based spaghetti can be served with any of their pasta options that are naturally gluten free.  I enjoyed their Trofie pasta, which is a Bolognese style sauce with chicken liver, pork and beef.  And parmesan!  Yummy!  (Don’t be intimidated by the chicken liver.  There’s nothing to be scared of, I promise!)

Another reason why I love No. 246 is that you can order a “half portion” (which is still quite generous) for about half the price.  I also ordered their arugula salad with lemon-anchovy vinaigrette and shaved parmesan cheese.  The arugula had a nice bite to it but it wasn’t dominating, as arugula sometimes can be.  Other GF options at No. 246 are some of their “Plates” and other salads and soups.

No. 246 is named after the original plot of land where the restaurant sits. (Of course all I can think of is the line from Les Mis, "No, 2-4-6-0-1!"

I highly recommend No. 246 to gluten eaters and gluten freers.  It’s quite a hot spot right now for Atlantans and they don’t take reservations so plan on enjoying a drink at the bar if you go on a weekend night.  We dined at No. 246 on a Tuesday night and didn’t have any wait at all.

Enjoy!  Have any of you been yet?  Let’s support this local spot that’s making efforts to accommodate gluten-free diners!

PS: Their pizzas looked a-mazing!  Maybe someday they’ll be gluten free too…

No. 246

129 E Ponce de Leon Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

Farm Burger Opening Soon in Buckhead

Posted in GF product, local food, Restaurants, Uncategorized on August 19th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

I love Decatur, but it’s hard for me to get down to that neck of the woods.  I wish it didn’t take 30 minutes to get there, but it does.  When I do venture to Decatur, I tend to gravitate toward Iberian Pig.  Because of these two things, I haven’t yet tried Farm Burger, which offers gluten-free customers Pure Knead buns, some of my favorite GF buns/rolls I’ve ever tried.  And they’re local!  Yeah Burger used to have Pure Knead buns but sadly, they’ve switched to another, not nearly as good, bun.

Good news for those of us that live north of Decatur!  Farm Burger is now opening a location in Buckhead.  I’m still not sure when the opening date will be but it’s looking like it should be soon.

According to the Jennifer Harris, of the Gluten-Free Examiner, all of their toppings are GF, except the crispy onions, fried eggplant, and barbecue sauce (which contains soy sauce).  Last time I checked, Farm Burger’s fries were not yet made in a dedicated fryer but hopefully this will change eventually.

Farm Burger takes pride in being dedicated to its mission, its farms, its team and its community.  It’s sustainable, local, and looking to “re-route our food system to look more like an ecosystem than a corporation.”  This phrase is a mouthful, but I’m liking it.

For those of you familiar with Farm Burger, what are your favorite toppings?  Anyone tried the pimento cheese?

I’ll keep you posted on the actual opening dates in Buckhead!

Farm Burger Buckhead – 3365 Piedmont Ave – Atlanta, GA 30305

Valentine’s Dinner at bhojanic

Posted in Atlanta, Restaurants, Uncategorized on March 9th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

bhojanic logo

David and I love Indian food.  We really love Indian food.  Until recently, we had not yet found a good Indian restaurant in Atlanta that I confidently felt could ensure a safely gluten-free meal for me.  Much Indian food should be naturally GF, as it’s centered around rice and yummy (flour-free) sauces but sometimes there can be a language barrier, which can make it difficult to be completely clear on what’s gluten-free and what’s not.

Upon recommendations from friends, David and I decided to try out Bhojanic, a Decatur Indian restaurant, for our belated Valentine’s date.  I emailed with the manager earlier in the week and they assured me that many of their items are gluten-free.  Bhojanic is located in a strip mall on Claremont Road (just off of I-85), not downtown Decatur.  It’s very easy to get to and parking is hassle free, unlike downtown Decatur.

When we arrived at Bhojanic, we were immediately seated and of course started salivating at the menu.  There were so many items on the menu, which made me feel confident that there would be something I could enjoy.  It was actually a bit overwhelming to know where to start with the menu, but our waiter was very patient and took the time to explain many of the dishes to us.  (David and I both ask lots of questions!)

bhoj all

In talking to our waiter, he was a bit overly confident that certain things were gluten-free.  For example, he assured us the cornbread was gluten-free, but we had him double check and it turns out that they do dust the bread in flour.  This was a good reminder to me that it’s always worth it to really make sure your waiter verify ingredients with the kitchen.  Even though I didn’t want to be pushy, I also didn’t want to ruin our Valentine’s date.  David is my biggest advocate when it comes to dining out, so he’s always willing to ask, if I’m not feeling as assertive as I need to be.  (Thank you, Valentine.)

We ended up ordering a handful of different items on the menu, but our meal centered around Chicken Tikka Masala, which is hands down my favorite Indian dish.  At each restaurant, tikka masala is a little different, so you never know exactly what you’re going to get, but it’s a tomato based sauce that is delicious, and varying in spice levels.  At bhojanic, you can order different sizes of this dish but David and I wanted enough for two (and leftovers) so we got the bigger serving.  We also ordered a rice bowl to share with our tikka masala.  The tikka masala had a bit of a kick to it, and was one of the best we’ve ever eaten and the leftovers the next day were equally as delicious.

Chicken Tikka good.

Chicken Tikka good.

Everything we ordered at bhojanic was gluten-free so  we could share all of our dishes.  It’s so much more fun when you can happily stick your fork in your date’s food and take a bite, without worry.  At this point, I don’t fully remember what we ordered (apologies!) but it was all delicious.  We enjoyed a chickpea side dish, a tapas dish that involved shrimp, and a cheese appetizer.  Bhojanic has a long list of specials each night so the menu online is not comprehensive and most of the items we ordered aren’t even on it.  Hence, I can’t tell you exactly what we ate, but you can see the photos.

Shrimp tapas

Shrimp tapas

Yummy cheese dish: Beware, those are jalepenos, not okra, like I originally thought.

Yummy cheese dish: Beware, those are jalepenos, not okra, like I originally thought.

I would definitely recommend bhojanic, but you want to make sure to check with your server or the manager about each specific dish.  Also, they do not use a separate fryer so I would avoid anything fried.  A successful Valtentine’s date night and David’s already advocating that we go back!  Next time, I’ll remember what I ate.

bhojanic – 1363 Clairmont Road, Decatur,GA 30033

Pure Knead Bakery Opening for Retail

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event on February 21st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

If you love the hamburger buns at YEAH! Burger than you’ll want to keep reading the following press release from Pure Knead

We are *delighted* to announce that our retail shop will open on Saturday, February 26th!  A few of the many products you will see include our well-known buns (both original and multigrain), hoagie rolls, rosemary bread braids, olive boules, baguettes and croutons! Of course, you can’t have a great bakery without great dessert! You haven’t had bread pudding until you’ve had our Pure Knead bread pudding, and our brown sugar chocolate chip cookies are simply heavenly! Ok, now that your mouth is watering (mine is), here are some details…

pure knead_7Dai

We will be open from 9am to 1pm, with both fresh and frozen options for you. The bakery address and phone number are at the bottom of this message.

We will have monthly specials to take advantage of our amazing local agriculture system, so sign up on our facebook page to get the inside scoop on those offerings!

You can certainly call ahead and place an order for pick up, or simply come on Saturdays and see what strikes your fancy!

Many of you have asked us for products that are free of allergens other than gluten. Just a quick reminder that all Pure Knead products are certified gluten-free, and are also free of dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish- we don’t use them in our facility. Most of our current products do contain egg and corn. In the bakery, you can look at the ingredient list for every product we sell; we are proud of what we put into our products, and think you should know what you are eating. For the Opening, we will not be offering specialized products, but I promise that we are working on egg-free and other options for you! If you have a question, please don’t ever be shy about asking!

The Grand Opening is special to me for so many reasons, and we are going to celebrate! You will be able to sample many of our products on the 26th- try before you buy! And the first 20 people through our doors will go home with a special goodie!

We are so excited to welcome you to the bakery; so much time and care has gone into this effort, and I can’t thank the Pure Knead staff enough for helping me make this a reality! Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday- and bring a friend or two!

So here’s where to find Pure Knead:

186 Rio Circle, Suite C – Decatur, GA 30030 – 404-377-5567

If you are familiar with Dekalb Farm’ers Market, we are just down the street. Rio Circle is just off of Laredo Drive, which runs directly into the Farmer’s market. Look for the signs for Southern Sweets bakery; we are located in the same building (Suite C in the back half of the building). Mapquest will find us, so use it if you aren’t from around the Decatur area!

Blog of the Week: I’m High on Cooking

Posted in Atlanta, local food, Restaurants on October 1st, 2010 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

One of my favorite blogs is “I’m High on Cooking: The Life of a Farmer’s Apprentice.”  What can I say?  He had me at ‘Hello.’ From the first time I read this blog, I knew this would be high up in my Google Reader.  Our blogger, Jared Pickard, moved from New York to Athens, Georgia to apprentice on a farm, and he shares his experiences, photos and videos with his readers who live vicariously through him.

Jared writes about the daily issues on the farm, including the sad death of Oprah, the pig.  (I know, Jared, I wasn’t supposed to be sad, but I was heart broken.)  Check out Jared’s About Me page to learn more of his story.

I recently learned that Jared was featured on CNN’s Eatocracy, discussing his time on Full Moon Farms and the restaurant Farm Burger, that his farm is connected with.  You can check out the article (and photos) here: Building a Better Burger from the Ground Up

Side note: I have not eaten yet at Decatur’s Farm Burger, but I will be there soon since they just started offering Pure Knead’s gluten-free buns.  So many of my favorite things all wrapped up in one post!

Congrats, Jared!  Thanks for sharing your life with us.  As my husband would say, “Keep livin’ the dream.”

Decatur’s Iberian Pig

Posted in Atlanta, Restaurants on April 19th, 2010 by Betsy – 9 Comments

Recently, David and I wanted to enjoy the spring weather so we decided to head to Decatur, wander around, and get a drink.  We had no plans of dining out, thinking that we would just eat a later dinner when we got home.

iberian-pig-logo-w-outlineWe stopped at the Iberian Pig, a relatively new restaurant in Decatur, and grabbed a seat at the bar.  This modern, Spanish restaurant offers many options on its menu, including cured meats, cheeses, small plates as well as entrees.  We placed ourselves directly in front of a fancy meat slicer that managed to grab our attention.  The bartenders were very attentive, and the vibe at the bar was professional, yet quirky.  All bartenders wear white button downs, black vests and ties, yet I think it’s a requirement that you must also have multiple tattoos and piercings to work at the bar.  I ordered a glass of Pinot from their relatively large wine selection.  David decided to try an Old Fashioned, in honor of Don Draper from our new favorite show, ‘Mad Men.’  (Well, it’s tied for first with ‘The Wire.’)  After sitting at the bar for a few minutes, we knew we liked the Iberian Pig simply because of the atmosphere and the Old Fashioned made by the bartender.  Who knew an Old Fashioned comes with one huge ice cube?


Of course I took a look at the menu even though food wasn’t part of the plan.  I immediately saw the “BWDs,” bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and walnuts.  Wow.  Sounded potentially gluten-free, so figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.  The bartender said Iberian Pig actually was making a GF menu so he called over the owner, Frederico Castellucci.  He was very eager to serve us and went through some of our options with us while another waitress brought us the gluten-free menu.

Much to my happiness, the BWDs are naturally gluten-free so we placed an order.  These bites of tastiness were a perfect treat.  As you know, I love the dates and cheese combination, and bacon makes everything taste better, right?



We also ordered the Patatas al Valdeon, crunchy potatoes with an aioli sauce.  They blanch, bake and then fry the potatoes but they use a fryer that doesn’t fry breaded items.  (I would still double check with your waiter when you go because they could change fryers.)  These crunchy morsels of goodness were amazing and for once, I actually felt like I could eat ‘bar food.’  No salads or sauteed vegetables for this girl!  The sauce went perfectly with the potatoes but didn’t sog them up too much.  David generously let me enjoy way more than half my share.




While I didn’t end up ordering an entrée because the tapas plates were plenty for me, there were multiple items that caught my eye on the gluten-free menu.  That just means I’ll have to go back.  Here are some of the other things I like about Iberian Pig that have nothing to do with gluten:

  • The menu lists where they get all of their meat from so you know what you’re ordering.
  • It’s busy on a Friday night but you can still hear the person sitting next to you.
  • Good people watching
  • We got great attention for the servers, bartender, and even the owner.
  • The cool meat slicer is fascinating.

It was such a great surprise to stumble upon a restaurant that was eager to accommodate and even had a prepared gluten-free menu.  Celiac makes me have to be such a planner, so it’s always a relief when I can just happen upon a meal, and not have to think about what I’m doing or where I’m going far in advance.  The Iberian Pig is definitely worth the trip to Decatur, even just for cocktails and appetizers.  They have outside seating as well so enjoy a nice spring evening on their patio.  I think I prefer the bar though.

The Iberian Pig – 121 Sycamore St – Decatur, GA 30030 – (404) 371-8800
The Iberian Pig on Urbanspoon

Gluten Freedom’s Search for Thai Food

Posted in advice, Atlanta, Thai on August 26th, 2009 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Thai food should be gluten free. Rice noodles, rice, spices, it should all be gluten free, right? (Just hold the soy sauce.) David and I love to make GF Thai food at home, but it’s always great to find a Thai place accommodates the GF customer. After a week in Atlanta, I figured why not try searching for my go to Thai place in Atlanta?

Last night we went to Amaryn’s Thai Bowl and Sushi in Decatur. While there was definitely some confusion as to what gluten was, I will say that the management and waiters at Amaryn’s were very nice and willing to work with me. They also knew that soy sauce has wheat in it. When I inquired about the menu, they told me I should be able to get any of their Thai Bowl combos, without soy sauce. Of course you need to have rice noodles, not egg noodles (they contain wheat in addition to the egg).

I ordered the chicken panang which they assured me had no soy sauce in it and they even checked the ingredients on the fish sauce for me. They thought rice had wheat in it but I assured them rice is fine.

When the waiter brought me my meal, there were two balls of fried something in my meal. I was pretty sure those were not gluten free. I explained to the waitress that I couldn’t eat it and that I needed a new meal entirely (they couldn’t just take off the fried dough balls). She very nicely agreed and brought me an entirely new meal. It was definitely an entirely new entrée, which I very much appreciated.

So was I nervous about eating the meal? Definitely…But, I was totally fine afterwards. No contamination! Always a victory when eating out at a new restaurant in a new city. I don’t know if I would give Amaryn’s my highest recommendation to the gluten free diner, but there should be plenty of options at Amaryn’s and other Thai places.

A couple of tips for dining out:
- I find it’s always good to call places ahead and try to speak with a manager. It’s even better to call at a time when you know they won’t be busy.

- There’s an IPhone App called “GF Card” where you can get explanations of Celiac Disease in about 50 different languages, from Bulgarian to Thai to Urdu. This App is great for travel and dining. Just show it to your waiter and they can even take it back to the chef (Of course I left my ITouch at home last night!)

Amaryn’s Thai Bowl & Sushi
265 Ponce De Leon Pl
Decatur, GA 30030-3259
(404) 373-2788‎

Amaryn's Thai Bowl & Sushi on Urbanspoon