Wednesday, November 2, 2011


A group of four pissed-off, hillbilly senior citizens (between the ages of 65 and 73) in North Georgia were allegedly planning terrorist attacks in the U.S. with chemical weapons and explosives. Perhaps not having the brightest light bulbs in their heads, they quickly hooked up with FBI informants and were arrested yesterday. Here is the story:

Monday, October 17, 2011


Though the combination is inviting and odd, I think I will go in the other direction.

I do not want this weird looking rasta cat doing any plumbing in my house.

As your fantabulous mayor, my first priority is to sexy up this dowdy city hall.

Reads "If the North is so great, why don't you go back!"

What could it have been?

The poor Jews of Cartersville pray here.

We will update other specifics later.

My cat has gotten so fat, I done need a cat scale, and a shower, and some home cooking, and maybe some gas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


An odd Atlanta institution, the Colonnade (1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, 30324), in business since 1927, is a restaurant of unparalleled Southern hospitality, where genteel ladies and eccentric queer sofa salesmen eat grilled calf's liver and wash it down with a Sea Breeze. Opening at 5 pm on weekdays, the restaurant quickly gets packed with the 70 and up crowd, who order dishes that no longer exist in present day reality. Later, the Colonnade's clientele gets gayer and louder, tending toward groups of middle aged men talking smack about some guy named Leonard. The two spacious rooms and bar clear out by the early 9 pm closing time, 10 on weekends.

Not far from the door is the Colonnade's affable host, an elderly Don Knotts looking fellow, who announces through an amplifier, "Constance, party of three, Engelbert, party of five, Sodom, party of two." All the wait staff are as sweet as butterscotch pie and the food is endearing and heartfelt, ranging from traditional Southern classics to uppity, somewhat schmantzy specials to dishes that began to go out of favor during Reconstruction.

At the table next to you, you might overhear someone ordering...

"Now let's see, I will have the grilled polecat with apricot remoulade and zipper beans on the side and oh, I guess for my second side, how about fluffy whipped parakeets. And I'll start with the dill osprey salad with... goat beard vinaigrette."

"And what would you like to drink? Perhaps some flannel tea with a little lemon zest or a Heifer Gingerale," asks the waitress enthusiastically.

"Uh, no, I think I will live a little and have a cocktail. How about a Hotel California with two cherries and a mint?"

"Coming right up. And you sir?"

"(Spoken slowly with beard in mouth) I will have the Rutherford B. Hayes smoked pork loin with the tomato aspic and the Prussian mayonnaise salad, easy on the giblets, and to drink... a Nipper with a twist of green fruit."

Such is the daffy world of the Colonnade, where bow ties are still in style and gooseberries are always in season

The bar at the Colonnade (those are not real books.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


In decrepit little Southern towns, where one is lucky to find a Piggly Wiggly, independent markets and somewhat obscure or small chains have taken up the slack, selling food where no one else will set up business. This is a photographic tribute to these markets and their canned spaghetti.

Triangle Foods (Rockmart, GA)

No doubt, you want triangle shaped eggs and triangular cuts of Boston pork butt. If so, this would be the market for you, Mr. Trigonometrist.

Winn Dixie (Mobile, AL)

For the love of Dixie, please buy your pork rinds here.

Webb's (Locust Grove, GA)

Meats, produce, old toothpaste

Wayfield (Lithonia, GA)

Wayfield makes me wanna cry.

Food Lion (Cartersville, GA)

When the food lion roars, a whole universe of food shakes in its boots.

Lucky's (Menlo, GA)

Absolutely no loitering on this parking lot, ya dirty English swine.

Lord's Galaxy Food Center (Union Point, GA)

The Lord does smileth down upon the Galaxy Food Center for it doth accept EBT.

Go Grocery Outlet (Marion, NC)

Go and shop somewhere else, if you don't want vegetables that smell like 7-up.

Foodworld (Mobile, AL)

A world of frozen peas.

Food Tiger (Mobile, AL)

Is its roar as loud as that of the Food Lion?

Food Giant (Scottsboro, AL)

Dinosaur-sized carrots and 8-foot-tall bags of chips

Quality Foods (Monroe, GA)

One of the few markets pictured here making any sort of case for quality, at least in their name, over savings.

Food Lion (Jefferson N.C.)

The Food Lion sign is almost always red. I found this aqua blue version of the Food Lion sign to be irrepressibly sexy.

S&H Super Market (Adairsville, GA)

Even the frozen foods are crying out for help at S&H Super Market.

Bottom Dollar Food (Mt. Airy, GA)

A lot of markets sell themselves solely on their cheapness.

J&J Foods (Gainesville, GA)

The best choice for canned vegietables anywhere!

Shop Rite (Jasper, TN)

Shop wrong.

Supreme Foods Market (Haysville, NC)

Perhaps the foods weren't supreme.

Monday, March 28, 2011




This ad rambles on..., but in a less funny manner. Seems sellers of KKK memorabilia are not great spellers.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The pimento cheese sandwich and fried green tomatoes at Home Grown

Breakfast is held in high regard in Atlanta, drawing large groups of ravenous church ladies and bearded, tattooed, pork-chop-sideburned dudes who gather on weekends chomping on biscuits, country ham and all matter of animal fat. It may be an afterthought in other cities and countries, but Atlantans eat massive breakfasts and there are a bunch of places that serve exceptional breakfast/lunch fare, generally until about 3 pm. (Most of these places are closed in the evening.)

In this article, I will be taking a look at Atlanta's breakfast/lunch scene from the perspective of a vegetarian Jew from the Westside of L.A., where, by the way, people don't give a crap about breakfast and many consider coffee and a bran muffin to be a sufficient meal. Surprisingly, all of the restaurants in Atlanta that I mention here have plenty of vegetarian options and their menus veer off from your usual diner fare.

Living in Grant Park, I am fortunate to have two excellent breakfast/lunch spots within walking distance of my house. Both are a good stroll, though. More so than any of the other places, Ria's Bluebird (421 Memorial Dr. 30312) has a menu that caters to both vegetarians and vegans. I'd like to tell you all about that menu, but I almost always order the Tempeh Reuben, which comes on marbled rye bread and is one of the grooviest vegetarian reubens I have ever consumed. I have often pondered the BBQ Veggie Riblet sandwich, but have never ordered it. I have sampled several breakfast items, which are fine, especially the Huevos, fried eggs on top of blue corn tortillas with tomatillo salsa, cheese and black beans and that was excellent, as is Ria's coffee. The vegetarian sausages are the same in almost every breakfast spot in Atlanta (Trader Joes? Not sure.) This little place is super hipster right down to the waiter's nerdy-cool eyeglasses.

The tempeh reuben at Ria's

Not any less hipster is The Stone Soup Kitchen (584 Woodward Ave. 30312), also in my hood, which has a menu that is in no way traditionally Southern. I have not tried the soup, but the breakfasty Mexican gringo dishes are recommendable. On my first visit, I adventurously ordered the SSK Burrito, a breakfast burrito with two scrambled eggs, black beans and pepper jack cheese topped with pineapple, mango salsa and spicy red sauce. This could have been a real miss, but it was a hit. The pimento cheese sandwich is very good, not grilled, and the cheese grits are super creamy and taste not the slightest bit healthy. The Stone Soup Kitchen also has a fine selection of soda and coffee.

For a while, my favorite breakfast/lunch place in town was The West Egg Cafe (110 Howell Mill Rd. 30318), whose roasted garlic grits are the best I have ever had. They still are the best grits around, but the place is not quite the same. The original space had a funky, laid-back, old school San Francisco coffeehouse type ambience, but they have since moved down the block to a less cozy space, which has the same generic look as every other restaurant in town. The upside is that they are now open until 10 pm and serve breakfast all day. Their basic breakfast, the blue plate special, is less than thrilling, highlighted only by the grits. I can cook better eggs. Much better is their fantastic Fried Egg sandwich, which is two eggs over hard, cheddar cheese, field greens, onion and tomato jam on toasted challah. (This isn't the Jew challah bread they used to serve at my Jew temple in the '80s, but something far more groovy.) It's particularly the sweetness of the tomato jam that makes this sandwich into some sort of gourmet, postmodern, nouveau Southern cuisine butt-kicker. The West Egg is also known for its fabulous cupcakes.

The place we used to go to all the time before we discovered all the better places in town is the Silver Skillet (200 14th St. 30318), which has the vintage look of a classic diner that you find more commonly on the East Coast. Opened in 1956, the Silver Skillet is by far the most attractive diner in Atlanta with its sexy wood booths and olive green upholstery. The breakfast here is fine. I haven't cared for any of the lunch items. This is definitely a breakfast spot to be more appreciated by meat eaters, though it's probably one of the better places in town for a slice of pie. They serve Lemon Icebox Pie, which my wife is crazy for, Chocolate Meringue Pie and Blackberry Cobbler.

One place that is no secret is the Highland Bakery (655 Highland Ave. #10 30312), which is always crowded, though I have never waited more than five minutes for a table. Almost everything I've had at the Highland Bakery has been top-notch, from the sweet potato pancakes with pecans to the cowboy benedict with seasoned black beans, tortillas, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and corn salsa, to the small assortment of mini muffins (blueberry, chocolate chip, etc.) to the French toast, fluffy fat chunks of bread with myriad toppings, to the pimento cheese sandwich on sourdough, which is grilled and one of the best in town. Even the scrambled eggs are just fantastic, though I'm not really sure what makes them so special. The high-ceilinged space is always noisy, but comforting at the same time. This might be the most popular breakfast/lunch spot in Atlanta.

Kid's French toast at the Highland Bakery

The pimento cheese sandwich at the Highland Bakery

However, the city's whole breakfast/lunch scene was knocked on its tail by the recent arrival of the incredibly fabulous, ridiculously cheap and even more hipster Home Grown (968 Memorial Dr. 30316). The main room is old, wood-paneled and has some character. There is some fine hipster art on the walls and a gallery in the back. The waiters are the usual hipsterini. I don't know why hipsters have been drawn to the breakfast/lunch scene in Atlanta like it was a free record store appearance by the Kings of Leon, but they have. The guy serving you your eggs likely has some dumb tattoos, a lip piercing and an ironic take on '90s gangsta rap. Home Grown is similar to Ria's, but the food is just a tad more scrumptious than all the other spots I've mentioned. The pimento cheese sandwich here comes grilled on Texas Toast and is a big drippy mess, but a glorious one that transcends the original basic pimento cheese concept, which is something a Southern mom would fix for a kid's lunch. The fried green tomatoes, which come with horseradish sauce, are plump slices of tomatoes, delicately breaded and just perfect, the best I've ever had. There is a vegan sloppy joe, which I have wondered about, but never tried. The cheese grits are excellent, as is the jalapeno cole slaw, which is a bit of a different take on cole slaw with large chunks of cabbage and just the occasional bite of jalapeno. The menu is small and to the point. I keep expecting it to expand like the crowds at Home Grown, but it hasn't yet.

Breakfast biscuit at Home Grown

Home Grown hipster art

breakfast at Home Grown

So, no real reason to go to the Waffle House, which has decent food, is open later than other places, but has way too much yellow in its design, or IHOP, which is cheap and basically edible, but hardly inspired, when there are numerous fantabulous places to gorge yourself on carbohydrates and hipster-cooked tofu scrambles.