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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

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EDITORIAL

Editor: Berlin Sylvestre bsylvestre@thegavoice.com Editorial Contributors: Cliff Bostock, Melissa Carter, Joshua Davidson, Aidan Ivory Edwards, Jim Farmer, Morgan Nicole Fletcher, Cemberli Grant, Elizabeth Hazzard, Ryan Lee, Emerald Lingerfelt, Patrick Colson-Price, Jamie Roberts, Catharine Romero, Dionne Walker

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FINE PRINT

All material in Georgia Voice is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Georgia Voice. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. We also do not accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by Georgia Voice, but we do not take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject, or edit any submission. Guidelines for freelance contributors are available upon request. A single copy of Georgia Voice is available from authorized distribution points. Multiple copies are available from Georgia Voice office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to reach a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 26-issue mailed subscription for $60 per year. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Tim Boyd, tboyd@thegavoice.com Postmaster: Send address changes to Georgia Voice, PO Box 77401, Atlanta, GA 30357. Georgia Voice is published every other Friday by The Georgia Voice, LLC. Individual subscriptions are $60 per year for 26 issues. Postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. The editorial positions of Georgia Voice are expressed in editorials and in editor’s notes. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Georgia Voice and its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words and commentary, for web or print, should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address, and phone number for verification. Email submissions to editor@thegavoice.com or mail to the address above.

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All Hail the Hairnet Lady Berlin Sylvestre There is a woman who lives in my head and is, without question, the wisest person I’ve never met. She doesn’t have a name and her ethnicity shifts from Hispanic to white to black to “doesn’t matter” on the constant. I call her “Hairnet Lady,” and though her genetic makeup is enigmatic, her life is anything but. Hairnet Lady is an imaginary figure I follow around when I find myself getting way too stressed about the stupid things I stress about in my own life. It’s her that I turn to when I need to uncomplicate things by putting them into perspective. Hairnet Lady is a culmination, a fictional embodiment, perhaps, of all the regrets I’ve heard from people who are dying. (Sorry to get all dark on you, but there’s a point.) Hairnet Lady lives a life that unwinds those grievances by living a life that some dying people wished they’d lived. For example, one of the biggest deathbed regrets that come up is spending too much time at work, and not enough time with loved ones. (I should mention that my aunt works in hospice and shares lots of these stories with me. I also watch a ton of documentaries on dark subject matter and films chronicling those who are dying always show up as suggested viewing for me.) Another regret that’s far too common is stressing about what others think and not living a genuine life for one’s self. Losing touch with family over petty squabbles comes up a lot, as does taking things way too seriously. Hairnet Lady does none of these things. This is who she is and why I call her Hairnet Lady: Hairnet Lady gets up at a reasonable hour and she goes for a walk. She’s in her 50s and she sure does love fresh air to start her day. Then she comes home, has a simple breakfast, gets her shower out of the way, and dresses for work. She works at a fast-food restaurant (I always see KFC, for some reason) and she doesn’t give a damn that it’s not glamorous. In fact, she loves her job and it’s set schedule. She gets there at the same time each shift and puts a fresh hairnet on so she can get to battering the chicken. She laughs a lot with her coworkers and has a great

relationship with her boss. She could, in all reality, be the general manager of the chicken joint, but she doesn’t see the value in higher pay for more stress. She’s just fine in her small apartment with her simple joys and nothing’s going to mess that up for Hairnet Lady, no siree, Bob. When she clocks out, there’s no thinking about work, and that’s how she stays so sane. When she gets off work, she sometimes drives her simple little car with no bells and whistles to visit friends. (Where she goes after work depends on my own mood for that day, funny enough.) But she always makes time to get out of the house and socialize a bit, because she cares about the people she loves and doesn’t mind showing it. On the weekends, Hairnet Lady’s grandkids stay over and it’s pretty much the highlight of her life. She loves to cook for them and never forgets to sneak little candies into their overnight bags when they leave. It’s her version of being naughty and thrills her to no end. When the work-week rolls around, she doesn’t groan and carry on about it — she’s happy, remember? Grateful. It keeps her busy and provides a steady paycheck to keep her simple

life afloat. I love Hairnet Lady. I think she’s wise. I aspire to have her attitude toward life. It’s the reason I’ve chosen to step down from my position. The newspaper you’re holding in your hands will be the last one that I helm as editor. The next issue will be a collaboration of me and the new editor, a gentleman who’ll get his own introduction at next press. Journalism is a true passion of mine, but much like Hairnet Lady, I can’t be a manager and stay in love with writing at the same time. It may be ideal for some, but the deathbed repentance over stressing out too much is one that hits home. I simply worry too much about letting the community down when I feel I’m taking my eye off the storytelling ball and bite my nails over the composition of an entire issue. I just want to bread the chicken. So I suppose, in a strange way, I’m manifesting Hairnet Lady. I reckon we call her Berlin. That makes all the sense in the world. Warm Regards on a Chilly Afternoon, Berlin/Hairnet Lady. December 7, 2018 Editorial 3


NEWS FEATURE

STEVE HIGHTOWER PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

Allegations, Investigations,

and Zero Evidence

ANONYMOUS CLAIMS OF MISCONDUCT AGAINST A LOST-N-FOUND BOARD MEMBER ARE UNSUBSTANTIATED. Berlin Sylvestre If you walk into Steve Hightower’s salon and turn the right corner, you’ll notice bag upon bag of clothing and blankets. If you go further and actually take a walk with Steve on a blustery autumn night, you’ll find him passing out those clothes and blankets to young people camped out under bridges. Just a quick Google of his name yields years of charity work and a benefit he helms annually known as the Thriving Children Gala, which holds a massive and beloved party to raise money, awareness, and eventual dignity for kids living on the street. The hairstylist to the stars is blessed with the gift of business and charity, but also carries the heart of a philanthropist on him at all times. Helping young ones in need is Steve’s mission in life, and he’s nothing short of stellar at it. Perhaps, to some, too stellar. It appears the Good Samaritan has a virtual bounty placed on his head. The bounty has come in the form of sexual misconduct allegations, a particularly damaging Scarlet A — especially at a time when the world is hyper-vigilant to bring such offenses to justice. According to the results of an investigation into the matter, justice has cleared Steve’s name. The thing about allegations is that they’re just that — allegations. Anyone can accuse anyone of anything at any time, and it’s among the easiest of things to do to ruin someone’s life. The 6 News Feature December 7, 2018

There was “absolutely no

basis there, it was all debunked.”

beauty of the modern legal system is that hearsay doesn’t warrant the dropping of the guillotine. To be succinct and specific, Steve has been cleared by Taylor English Duma investigators of any wrongdoing after an exhaustive questioning of 11 people in connection with the allegations — an allegation that even the former client denies. Taylor English Duma, LLC is a top law firm in Atlanta. As it turns out, the man (in his mid-20s) was not the person who filed the complaint and says, per the investigation’s results, that nothing untoward happened during his time at Lost-n-Found. The allegations came from an unnamed individual and amounted to nothing more than gossip. Robert Ross, the board chair for Lost-n-Found Youth, spoke to Georgia Voice about the patently false information being distributed in certain circles of the community, and notably about the hidden nature of the accusers. “The anonymity is my biggest gripe, beyond the fact that the person spreading it knows that

it’s not true,” he tells us. He politely declined to name anyone behind the accusations to put a stop to mudslinging, but definitely has a clandestine list of offenders. Back to business, he says: “[The allegations] were brought to me on a Tuesday morning by another board member. I immediately called an emergency meeting of the executive committee. We had that meeting at 5 o’clock, and by 9 o’clock the next morning, we’d hired an independent third-party investigator.” He’s speaking of Taylor English Duma. “We reached out to get this handled as quickly as possible. The thirdparty investigator scheduled the interviews.” He divulges that 11 people were put across a table for questioning. When I ask who they were, he says that naturally he can’t name them, but they were people who had even a modicum of connection with the issue. The conclusion? “There was absolutely no basis there,” he says matter-of-factly. “It was all debunked.”

In another conversation, Steve tells us that the individual he supposedly had relations with was among the interviewed. This is a gentleman who has aged out of the 18–25 age range for Lost-n-Found clients. Steve and the unwitting accuser were so close that they’d go and deliver aid to those living in dangerous areas where Steve might need backup in case his attempts to assist went sideways. The reason he’s described as unwitting is simple: The individual who was allegedly involved in inappropriate relations with Steve personally attested that the allegations were untrue. He never made them; someone else did on his behalf, and seemingly without his permission. So why would the accusation come before the board? Without giving too much away, one thing can be certain: The complaints CONTINUES ON PAGE 7 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


NEWS FEATURE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 that landed on the desk had no first-hand complainant, meaning (most likely) that some unaffiliated party acted alone and filed in the name of another. How else can one explain that literally no victim of any alleged crime stepped forward? Further, the victim in question refuted any accusations against Steve. According to Robert, Steve, and the investigation’s conclusions from Tyler English Duma, this was a matter of hearsay filed from an individual who was not present at the time of the alleged incident. The allegations were made by a person who could provide no proof to back up their claims — including testimony from the “victim” — as evidence. The mind boggles now, for there’s a strange element at play, if I may say so as a journalist. It appears there’s a target on a gentleman who’s perhaps the largest contributor to the youth-homelessness nonprofit. So I have to ask if Robert thinks someone is rooting for Lost-n-Found to fail, someone who might aim to demolish Steve’s power as an influencer and funds-generator in order to pull the rug from under the organization. “It’s possible, but knowing Steve, it’s only made him stronger,” Robert laughs before getting pretty serious. “Steve gives himself heart and soul to the organization and has almost single-handedly arranged food into the drop-in center for the past year. He mobilizes his client base, he mobilies his friend base — he’s selfless about this!” Robert asserts that when Steve puts out a call for items such as blankets or specific kinds of food, those items show up. Literally everyone I spoke to about Steve, from his salon clientele to Atlanta denizens who know him and his work, dismiss this as a malevolent assassination of character. Clearly, the community has Steve’s back. Still, he’s worried that the decades of work he’s put in will be overshadowed by baseless allegations. “I don’t know what to do — it’s already [out there],” Steve tells Georgia Voice. “I don’t know if I’m going to hire attorneys … I just don’t know.” It’s at this point that Steve can’t speak. What comes out is choked-back sobs and attempts to begin a new sentence. What he can muster finally: “It’s not right,” followed www.thegeorgiavoice.com

ROBERT ROSS PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

by apologies for being so upset. “I’ve never had anything but best interests for anyone. This has stung me like a bullet. What is truly awful is that it could hurt Lost-n-Found.” The former employees allege they were fired for raising questions around the issue. Robert vehemently denies this happened with an emphatic: “No!” “I believe this is totally fabricated to harm the organization and to harm the person who does so much for it.” When asked if he has any clue who would do such a thing, he says, “What I can tell you is that the board is united in a way that it’s never been before.” But has this tarnished Steve’s reputation at Lost-n-Found? Robert is adamant that nothing has changed. As a matter of fact, solidarity abounds. “The board is 100 percent behind Steve. There’s no merit to the allegation, and Steve is hurt by this. I had to deliver the information to him, so I know he is!” I ask him about repercussions for misconduct inside the organization, should they have proven true. He wastes no time: “If anything were found, Steve would no longer be on the board,” he says. “If anything was actionable, we’d take action. We’re here for the kids, not for us. We’re here for homeless people, those without a voice, people who sit on the curb while everyone else just walks by.” If anyone looks into the history of Thriving Children Gala and Lost-n-Found Youth, there would be no question. As a journalist, I personally have spoken to many benefactors of their work and can vouch that these staples in a much-needed service have put young people on brighter paths. But let me veer for a moment, because I’d like to make one thing clear: Georgia Voice has known about these allegations for more than a month. We decided not to run a story before the facts became clear and a story was warranted. That out of the way, let’s set the record straight on the findings of the Tyler English Duma investigation with the final conclusion that the Georgia Voice was granted permission to view: “There is no evidence to support the

inappropriate conduct allegations against Steve Hightower. The allegations are hearsay rumors circulated among varying parties over different time frames. No evidence to support the allegations, to include first-hand knowledge, arose during the investigation. Further, the Client alleged to have reported the inappropriate behavior denied doing so.” There is no pending litigation into the matter on any front. This is a settled matter for now. Onto better news: I took another dive into what Lost-n-Found Youth provides on a daily basis, and this is information that far outweighs the debunked allegations. Lostn-Found Youth isn’t just a food pantry. This is a multiple-award-winning organization that gives its clients keys to a steady, healthy life, and they start with the basics. Lostn-Found provides those who need proper documentation a way to obtain identification such as a driver’s license or an official state ID. They provide training for GEDs and help them with their studies, which allows them to get into college or jobs that require high-

school diploma equivalents. The nonprofit feeds them and sees to it that they receive access to medical programs they qualify for. HIV testing is another asset their clients are afforded, as is a solid connection with mental-health services. Going deeper, they have a facility that houses the most needy. Not an organization that’s flush with riches, they still maintain a six-bed house, which means there are limitations on shelter, but that’s something they hope they can remedy with a little help from the community. Access to the house requires clients to hold down a job — a great way to give them a chance at stability and to (re)introduce them to the path of self-reliance. The facility is open 24/7 and is constantly full. There’s also a youth center open 12 hours a day, and 7 days a week providing food, showers, and services. “This is what we do,” Robert says. “This is about providing life-stabilization for the youth who need us.” Learn more about Lost-n-Found Youth at LNFY.org or give them a call at: 24/7 Youth Hotline: 678-856-7825 Administrative Offices: 678-856-7824 December 7, 2018 News Feature 7


ASK THE DOCTOR

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Missing your med dosage; food pyramid alternative Is there ANY medication that you should double-up on if you missed a dose? (I always see NOT to ever do that, but … is there an exception?) There are really no exceptions to this rule. You do not want to double your dose. Because of the way the drugs are metabolized (absorbed in the body), taking a larger dose will not make up for a missed dose. Doubling up on medication (especially certain types of medications) can lead to serious side effects and even be life threatening. If you miss a dose of your medication, you should just skip that dose and take your medication at the next scheduled time. Most medications will maintain a level in your blood beyond the time from the missed dose, therefore, there is no need to double up on your medication. Terry Hackworth, NP-C Certified by the AAHIVM AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy

What happened to the Food Guide Pyramid? I used to like following it. The Food Guide Pyramid was a popular

nutrition tool used for years that many people still recognize. What you may or may not know is that the Food Guide Pyramid is no longer used. The Food Guide Pyramid was replaced in 2005 with MyPyramid, and then eventually replaced in 2011 with MyPlate to visually demonstrate what your plate should look like at mealtime. The MyPlate tool is an excellent model to follow to improve your eating habits. Aim for ½ of your plate to be vegetables and fruit, ¼ of your plate as lean protein (such as chicken, turkey, fish, etc.), and the remaining ¼ of your plate to be a starch (it’s best to choose whole grains whenever possible such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.). Add a serving of low-fat dairy (skim milk, low-fat yogurt, etc.) on the side and you have a healthy and satisfying meal. For more information, ChooseMyPlate.gov. Julia Bleecker, MS, RD, LD Dietitian AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy

Ask The Doctor is a monthly health column where the experts at AbsoluteCARE answer your pressing medical questions. Have a question you want answered? Email it to askthedoctor@thegavoice.com!

8 Health December 7, 2018

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VOICES

The Armorettes

Taught Me What It Means to be a Man nexus of shame “andTheshamelessness is a Mark S. King

The musty gym bag stays in my closet, ironically enough. Inside, a crumpled black wig fights for space with a sequined dress, heels, a string of fake pearls, and a bag of makeup. After more than 20 years since performing with the Armorettes, this is all that remains of Ms. Anita Mann. That is, until January 19, 2019, when Anita will join decades of cast members for the Armorettes’ 40th Anniversary Show at the Buckhead Theater. The upcoming event reminds me of lessons the Armorettes once taught me about what it means to be a man. My time with the Armorettes was a fluke, really. I was on staff at AID Atlanta in 1996, and a drag-contest fundraiser for us needed more contestants. My boss twisted my arm, I entered, I won, and to my surprise and mortification, the prize included a threemonth stint with the Armorettes. Their Sunday night show at the former Armory nightclub was a sensation, with standing-room only crowds every week. It was raucous comedy of the highest order, and joining the show felt terrifying. As it turns out, it was also divine.

complicated one. Each week, I put on full display the very things about myself that I had worked so hard to reject — my feminine side, my theatrics, my need for acceptance through laughter and applause. It took time to gain confidence in what I was doing and why. credentials I had to offer.

I would hear other gay men make disparaging remarks about drag and I withered, unable to admit I was playing to a packed room every Sunday.

Anita Mann was embraced by the group and by their audience. I have never laughed as much in my life than during those Sunday nights. But I soon discovered I had some internal conflicts about the notions of drag and masculinity.

The nexus of shame and shamelessness is a complicated one. Each week, I put on full display the very things about myself that I had worked so hard to reject — my feminine side, my theatrics, my need for acceptance through laughter and applause. It took time to gain confidence in what I was doing and why.

I didn’t want to be known as a drag queen (“It’s comedy! I’m a performer!” I would insist to friends). I always got into drag backstage at the last minute, and usually changed back into a muscle shirt for the final curtain call, in my bid to claim whatever masculine

My fellow cast members had no such hesitations, much less shame, in their pursuits. From the moment I joined the cast, they demonstrated that courage and our shared commitment to fighting the HIV epidemic was as important as flawless lip-syncing or a great joke.

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The Armorettes taught me to get over myself. They have now raised more than $2,000,000 for Atlanta organizations — one dollar plucked from audience members at a time — by fretting about appearances. When our community is facing the devastation of HIV/AIDS, what anyone thinks of us in a dress is the very least of our worries. This education remains with me after all these years. I thought I was trying to be a man; the Armorettes taught me how to be a human. And so, come January 19, Anita Mann will spring from my gym bag in, well, most of her former glory. I might have to apply a lot more makeup to hide the years, while practice sessions in my living room suggest my moves are not (how do I put this graciously?) as athletic as they once were. It doesn’t matter. For one night at the Buckhead Theater, we will all be young and

outrageous again, cheering on a group of true comedy professionals who have tended to our community through its darkest days and beyond. I am forever proud to be Anita Mann, one of the infamous Armorettes. Meanwhile, I will admit that I still struggle with the need to project whatever masculinity I can muster. I swagger more than I sashay. I sport a beard when possible. And even as I move precariously close to 60, I maintain a gym regimen. It’s important for me to stay in shape if I expect to fit in that dress. Mark S. King is an HIV activist and writer. His blog, My Fabulous Disease, has received three consecutive GLAAD Media Award nominations. Get in on the show by going to the Armorettes’ Facebook Events page and keep the laughs and donations for HIV/AIDS alive. December 7, 2018 Voices 9


INDULGE

INDULGE!

HERE ARE 40 GEORGIA VOICE STAFF PICKS OF FARE AROUND OR FAIR CITY THAT QUALIFIES AS “MUST-TRY” DISHES. SENIOR DIGITAL CONTENT STAFFER KATIE BURKHOLDER’S PICKS White Tonkatsu Ramen Wagaya This Japanese delicacy is not just good, it’s “I would easily choose this as my last meal” good. And nowhere does it better than Wagaya. This winning combination of creamy pork broth, firm ramen noodles, tender pork belly, soft-boiled egg, and salty seaweed is sure to warm the hearts of picky eaters and foodies alike. Finish it off with a spoonful of garlic sauce and a shot of soy sauce to take this soup to the next level. Gli Amanti Della Carne Amalfi Pizza Don’t be intimidated by the Italian name; this is simply meat lover’s pizza. This thin crust pie is topped with sweet San Marzano sauce, creamy mozzarella cheese, Neapolitan salami, meatballs, spicy sausage, and Amalfi’s out-of-this-world house-made bacon jam. The pizzeria surrounds their two wood-burning brick ovens and overlooks a beautiful Italian-inspired entryway, making the meal as ambient as it is delicious. Pineapple Jerk Burrito Raging Burrito Jerk chicken (or tofu), roasted red pepper, rice, and beans are all wrapped up in this tasty burrito, but what really makes the dish is the pineapple salsa topping. The salsa combines sweetness, fruitiness, and spiciness to pair perfectly with the Jerk seasoning on the chicken. The perfect appetizer to accompany this meal is the to-die-for chips and guacamole. The cherry on top: The restaurant is located right outside the MARTA Decatur stop, making it easily accessible. Thai 5 Roll Thai 5 & Sushi Bar This intricate sushi roll is full of diverse textures

10 Indulge December 7, 2018

and tastes. Shrimp tempura, snow crab, avocado, cucumber, and tempura flakes make up this roll, and a smoke-salmon topping seals the deal. This specialty combination results in an explosion of flavor. The Japanese-Thai restaurant is located in Little Five Points and boasts a warm and intimate atmosphere while still upholding the hip eccentricity characteristic of the area. Thai 5 and its namesake roll are great for date night or Tuesday night. Grilled Lamb Pinxtos Barcelona Wine Bar This Mediterranean-inspired wine bar ditches meals for tapas – small appetizers and snacks to accompany your drink of choice. The grilled lamb pinxtos reign supreme as the best tapas Barcelona Wine Bar has to offer. Although they’re tapas, these flavorful and tender grilled lamb kabobs, topped with calabrian pepper romesco and yogurt, are satisfying enough as a meal. These pinxtos can be accompanied by one of the 40 wines from Spain and South America that Barcelona has to offer. Lemon Pepper Wet Wings J.R. Crickets J.R. Crickets is famous for having the best wings in Atlanta, but their Lemon Pepper Wet wings take that fame to a new level. J.R. Crickets’ “Lemon Pepper Wet” were featured in season 1 of Atlanta, the FX show created by Donald Glover, for good reason. These tender wings are covered in both lemon pepper seasoning and Buffalo sauce, resulting in a unique and unmatched flavor combination and, dare I say, the best wings in Atlanta. Pot Likker Mary Mac’s Tea Room This appetizer is an unexpected treat. This turnip green broth and cornbread combination – complimentary for Mary Mac first-timers – makes for a salty and delicious side item. The broth is not enough

WHITE TONKATSU RAMEN WAGAYA

for a meal, so add it to your Vegetable Plate (along with the Brunswick Stew and collard greens) or Fried Chicken meal. 21+ can top off the meal with the Georgia Peach Martini, made from real Georgia-grown peaches.

is sure to please. Eat outside on the patio under string lights and enjoy sounds of water trickling from the fountain, or opt for indoor eating and enjoy their installation of some eclectic local art.

Asian Rib-Eye Beef Taco Yumbii Food Truck This taco blends Asian and Mexican cuisines to create a deliciously sweet and savory flavor experience. This flavorful Asian beef taco is topped with Yumbii’s famous Korean chili sauce and a soy-sesame vinaigrette salad. This taco cannot be eaten alone; it must be paired with their sesame fries dipped in chipotle ketchup. Because this comes from a food truck, it may be trickier to track down. Luckily, Yumbii is one of the many rotating trucks featured at the Atlanta Food Truck Park.

Eggs Rancheros a la Majestic The Majestic Diner A personal favorite, this dish is sure to curb your appetite. Two tortillas are topped with scrambled eggs, cheddar, pepper jack, and Chorizo sausage and are served with black beans, salsa, and sour cream. This meal is perfect for any and every meal, and because the Majestic is open 24 hours, you can enjoy it at any time of the day. For the traditionalists, their classic breakfast items – like pancakes, eggs, and bacon – are just as delicious.

Sicilian Slice Fellini’s Pizza Fellini’s is a cheaper and more low-key pizza option, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on flavor or quality. No matter what toppings suit your fancy, their thick Sicilian crust

FREELANCER DIONNE WALKER’S PICKS Deviled Eggs JCT. Kitchen & Bar There are few foods as ubiquitous, and perennially popular as the classic deviled CONTINUES ON PAGE 11 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


INDULGE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 egg. But this simple southern treat can also be quite divisive, with fans split between those favoring the simplest recipes and those enjoying the more creative varieties. JCT. hits the mark with an egg that offers the best of both worlds. Perfectly boiled egg scoops hold a delicately seasoned, creamy mixture of egg yolk, mayo, mustard, and other traditional ingredients, harkening to the southern standard. A dainty, but powerfully palatepleasing wedge of Benton’s ham, meanwhile, adds texture and sophistication that appeals to the foodie in the bunch. A perfect mouthful. Shrimp and Grits JCT. Kitchen & Bar Shrimp and grits may seem like a straightforward dish, but the truth is it’s not! Rubbery shrimp, coarse or undercooked grits – there are countless dark turns shrimp and grits can take! JCT. manages to stay on course with this classic. Buttery, creamy grits provide the perfect accompaniment to succulent, fresh shrimp. Always one to add a little extra, JCT. turns to cherry tomatoes for color and acid. A long time tomatophobe, I finally broke down and tried one after many visits. I was amazed – the hot little fruits burst in your mouth, blending with the other ingredients to create the ideal bite. A must try. Salted Caramel Brownie Amelie’s French Bakery If you are, like me, a lover of the marriage of salty and sweet, Amelie’s has got an addiction in the making for you in the form of their salted caramel brownie. Imagine a thick layer of gooey caramel, reminiscent of the oldfashioned caramel cream candies in texture, spread out over a decadent, rich brownie base with just the tiniest hint of crackle. Traces of salt round out this perfect mix of bite and sweetness. It’s available in a vegan version too! Buttermilk Kitchen Breakfast On the short list of post-yoga eateries I look forward to haunting on a Sunday morning, Buckhead’s Buttermilk Kitchen is a clear leader. My favorite is their classic BK Platter – two eggs, two sides. I opt for fluffy eggs scrambled hard, paired with smoky sweet bacon (cooked limp – the only way to have bacon!), and a crunch-baked potato half, spangled with onion strings that add the perfect punch. The true star of the plate, however, is their biscuit – a mountain of www.thegeorgiavoice.com

DEVILED EGGS

JCT. KITCHEN & BAR

PO BOY

STAR PROVISIONS

dense perfection served with a berry compote that you’ll wish they sold by itself. Add a fresh-made lemonade and you’re golden. Frosted Croissant Sublime Doughnuts Known throughout the region for its ambiance and awesome backstory (it was founded by a Navy vet with a baking bug), Sublime Doughnuts also happen to have some damned good pastries. The toffee crunch, butterfinger, and s’mores donuts come to mind as immediate winners. But the frosted croissant holds a special place in my heart. Think light croissant layers enrobed in a delectable glaze that could give Krispy Kreme reason to pause. I grab a few, take them home, and nuke them for about 8 seconds (no lie) to unlock the full taste experience! Shrimp and Grits Atlanta Breakfast Club Shrimp and grits isn’t just shrimp and grits. Everybody’s is different not only in ingredients, but in presentation, as I learned on my first visit to Atlanta Breakfast Club. This relative newcomer to the Atlanta food scene sits just outside the aquarium and keeps busy slinging diner standbys with unique personality and more than little touch of homemade taste. Per usual, their version of this dish builds on creamy, moist grits. Sweet baby shrimp replace their larger cousins for a fun plot twist that makes this version of the dish spoon-ready. Very tasty and practical!

Hot Dog Doggy Dogg 404 When where to get a quick but gourmet bite is the question, downtown Decatur’s Doggy Dogg is one of my favorite answers. Dressing up one of America’s best-loved casual foods isn’t an easy job, but this fun spot does it well. I opt for the 404 – a snappy, all-beef weiner generously slathered in house-made pimento cheese, bacon bits, tangy honey mustard (or Dogg sauce), and a splash of hot sauce for good measure. It’s all tucked into a toasted yeast roll which, like all of their ingredients, is locally sourced and super fresh. I call them fancy dogs and I’ve been eating them for years! Hot Chocolate My Coffee Shop It’s a big name for a low-key location. But when you step into this minority-operated diner, it’s easy to see why it holds the personalized moniker. Besides a homey atmosphere and friendly staff, this Eastlake eatery boasts a menu of breakfast standards with a homemade flare sure to remind everyone of their grandmother. My favorite is the traditional hot chocolate. Served steaming hot in a jumbo mug, this silky blend comes topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Dial yours up by ordering an add-on like mocha or cinnamon. Sugar Cookie Sandwiches Jimella Making products 100 percent

from

SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIE AMELIE’S FRENCH BAKERY

scratch and in small batches, this Atlanta confectionary has more than earned a faithful customer in me, thanks to their outrageously tasty brown butter snickerdoodle. Think two old-fashioned cinnamon cookies sandwiching a light, airy dulce de leche filling. For a saltysweet lover, the filling has just enough of a buttery taste to get your fix. They operate a bakery where you can buy them by the dozen, but grab smaller batches at events and shops around the city. I’ve been known to pay for an event just to get to their cookies! Prosciutto and Butter Sandwiches Star Provisions I’m no huge fan of sandwiches, generally finding them dry at best and boring at worst. But Star Provisions has made me a believer in the power of a good sandwich, with every bite of their prosciutto baguette. Paper-thin sheets of the deliciously salty/sweet cured ham join sharp parmesan and creamy butter on a baguette that’s equal parts soft and crusty. The result is a little pricey, but the taste sensation is well worth it! Po Boy Star Provisions When it comes to shrimp, even some of the best restaurants fall short. And a good po’boy outside of New Orleans can be a hard thing to sniff out indeed. Star Provisions manages to shine on both fronts with a shrimp po’boy CONTINUES ON PAGE 12 December 7, 2018 Indulge 11


INDULGE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 that will change how you view sandwiches. A pillowy hoagie roll is the base, with spicy mayo and pickles assisting. But the real star is the mountain of shrimp – perfectly flash-fried to a golden, tender perfection reminiscent of great tempura. It’s one of their most popular sandwiches and it’s easy to see why. Pork Belly Tacos bartaco Bacony, porky goodness collides with fluffy soft tortillas to create a delectable experience in bartaco’s pork belly tacos. Officially, pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. I officially call it the best part of the pig, and bartaco (lower case, yes) makes it shine by tucking caramely, glazed bits and fresh veggies into a flour wrap. The meat is always just fatty enough and wellseasoned. Order two … or 20! Candied Bacon Bon Glaze I confess, I faithfully watched this temple

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CANDIED BACON BON GLAZE

to sugary indulgence under construction, waiting for the day it would finally open its doors, having looked at the menu to this doughnut shop online and settled my mind on sampling their candied bacon. And it didn’t disappoint: Smokey, chewy strips of bacon are dipped in your choice of chocolate sauce or brown sugar (plain or spicy), creating the sugary and salty sensation I live for. It’s sort of like bacon candy! It’s not exactly healthy eating, but for a once in a while indulgence, a few strips are in order. Taco Trio Sweet Auburn BBQ In a city dense with taco options, it can be hard to create something truly noteworthy. But for the past few years, Sweet Auburn BBQ in Virginia Highlands has done just that with its expertly crafted taco trio. Choose from one of three: their legendary pulled pork, pear slaw, BBQ sauce, and pickles; another with brisket, corn pico, and silky avocado crema; or my personal favorite, the Korean bulgogi, marinated slices of meat paired with green papaya, sriracha aioli, and an Asian-inspired slaw.

PORK BELLY TACOS BARTACO

COCONUT-LEMONGRASS WINGS SWEET AUBURN BBQ

Coconut-Lemongrass Wings Sweet Auburn BBQ There are two types of wing people: fried wingers and smoked wingers. If, like me, you’re a fan of the smoked variety, sampling Sweet Auburn’s wings should be a top

priority. Soft, smokey, and juicy, these wings offer all of the expert grill work that Sweet Auburn is known for, in a tasty, bitesized package. Get them with the coconutCONTINUES ON PAGE 13

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INDULGE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 lemongrass sauce for a citrusy sweet shot of Indian-inspired flavor that will send your mouth into orbit. FREELANCER CONSWELLA BENNETT’S PICKS Combo Basket (choose 3) Six Feet Under I absolutely love seafood, and being from Mississippi where catfish reigns supreme (in my opinion,) when I have a craving for Southernfried catfish my go-to restaurant is Six Feet Under. My favorite is a combo basket. I choose three items: catfish, calamari, and shrimp. All three are spiced perfectly and have that all-toofamiliar cornmeal deep- fried crunch when you bite into them. The basket also comes with a choice of french fries, my personal favorite side item, jalepeno tarter sauce and jalapeno hush puppies. The tarter sauce, and hush puppies provide just the right amount of spice. Shrimp and Scallops Six Feet Under During those times when I’m trying to avoid

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fried foods, but still craving good seafood, I will order shrimp and scallops. It’s baked in parchment with basil, black pepper, and lemon. This dish is packed with flavor. You can choose two sides. Despite my urge to order the perfectly golden fried onion rings, another one of my favorites, I choose the grilled asparagus and a small dinner salad when I’m eating healthy. Grilled Street Corn Agave Restaurant I can’t come here and not start with my favorite appetizer, the Grilled Street Corn. The plump and juicy kernals on the cob are chargrilled with a spicy garlic butter, citrus crema, and queso fresco. When you bite into the corn, the flavorful garlic butter, crema, and fresco juices spray inside your mouth, coating your tongue with yumminess. It’s a treat to be savored and pairs well with my main entrée of choice: Sante Fe Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas. Sante Fe Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas Agave Restaurant

SANTE FE BLUE CORN CHICKEN ENCHILADAS AGAVE RESTAURANT

GRILLED STREET CORN AGAVE RESTAURANT

SHRIMP AND SCALLOPS SIX FEET UNDER

Craving Southwestern with a variety of food choices? Then look no further. The Sante Fe Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas is certain to satisfy your cravings. The smoked chicken goes well with the spicy hatch green chile. Don’t let the blue corn tortilla deter you from giving this a try. This isn’t the typical enchiladas smothered in red sauce that you may be used to – this is a meaty and cheesy enchilada of pure goodness. Take a bite of flavor with each bite – it’s the thing food dreams are made of for sure.

Famous Cayenne Fried Chicken Agave Restaurant I’m typically leery of ordering chicken breast when I go out to eat because you know – it can be dry and sometimes tasteless. This Southern girl knows her fried chicken and this one is worth every penny. Agave has elevated chicken breast to a premier meat with their spicy buttermilk-marinated breading of flavor goodness. If that isn’t enough it’s topped with a problano drizzle. CONTINUES ON PAGE 14

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INDULGE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 This dish is lip smacking good. It comes with mashed potatoes and grilled corn. I like to get the grilled corn prepared like my favorite grilled street corn. Raging Queso Burrito Raging Burrito The restaurant is known for rolling “fatties,” a popular nickname for their monster burritos. One of my favorites is the Raging Queso Burrito. It may seem strange, but I took one of the server’s advice and got it with beef brisket, and it was the best food advice I’ve gotten. It was pure goodness with flavorful and tender brisket, and my stomach was beyond happy. The giant burrito also comes with sautéed bell peppers, onions, and corn with pico and cheese. Then, to top it all off, the burrito is served on a plate covered with queso dip and pico de gallo. Baja Fish Tacos Raging Burrito When I’m looking for something to eat

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that’s not quite so filling or heavy, I like to enjoy the Baja Fish Tacos. I like to request a corn taco shell. It’s something about a corn shell versus the typical bland flour taco that seems to bring out the Sweetwater 420 beer batter of the fish. The fish is flash-fried and topped with cabbage and a chipotle baja sauce that fills the tacos with flavor. Pico de gallo tops off the dish. The tacos are served with a garden salad or a side of beans and rice topped with salsa and sour cream. Sesame Fries Takorea Omigod! These aren’t your typical fries. These are the fries I dream about. They are the perfect appetizer and a great way to start my meal of Mexican and Korean fusion food. These fries are tossed in sesame oil and sweet & spicy seasoning. You can dip these delicacies in their house made chipotle ketchup. Tempura Shrimp Basket Park Tavern Everyone who knows me knows that I love

RAGING QUESO BURRITO RAGING BURRITO

shrimp. Some people may think fried shrimp is fried shrimp, so what’s the big deal? Well, this shrimp basket is one of my favorites and it’s a big deal. It’s big shrimp with a kick of spices fried in a light tempura batter. It’s a basket of crunchy, flavorful, Wild American shrimp and comes with a spicy remoulade sauce. You can choose a side to go along with this dish and nothing goes better with this basket than french fries.

SESAME FRIES TAKOREA

All You Can Eat Iron Age Korean Steakhouse This is an all-you-can-eat buffet like no other. You can choose from a menu of 17 different meat dishes. The twist – you’re sitting at your table with a grill in the center and you get to cook the meat of your choice. Better yet, instead of getting up to pick your food from CONTINUES ON PAGE 15

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INDULGE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 a buffet line, your food choices are brought to you. My favorite is the Top Blade Steak. It’s a tender cut marinated in a kalbi marinade of onions and jalapenos. It’s a sweet and savory piece of steak that melts in your mouth. My other meat choice is the Soy Chicken. Like the steak, it’s also marinated in the galbi marinade and sweet and spicy red pepper paste.

me – so good it needs no sides to accompany it or take its shine. However, when my love of onions take over, I order a side of onion rings. These delectable rings are hand-cut, panko-crusted and fried to a perfect golden brown. To get the full ring effect, I take a bite and dip the ring into the smoked paprika dip. Delicious!

No. 1 Farm Burger Farm Burger This is the premier burger to all hamburgers, and it’s the only hamburger I order cheese on. The grassfed-beef burger comes with aged Vermont white cheddar, caramelized onions, and Farm Burger sauce. I also like to add red onions, lettuce, and pickled jalepenos. Typical of a great burger, this one can be a little messy to eat. But, it tastes so good so who cares if a little Farm Burger juices ooze onto your shirt? No one if you enjoy a good burger.

Half Rack Rib Plate Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q This Mississippi girl loves some ribs. My favorite ribs are the St. Louis style ribs. A hint of hickory wood smoke gives these a full-body flavor complete with the Fox Bros. barbecue sauce. The rib meat falls off the bones with each bite. Yes, they can be a little messy to eat, but you won’t need napkins because you’ll be licking away some of the best barbecue sauce in Atlanta. Ribs aren’t complete unless I’ve got a side of their creamy and cheesy macaroni and wellseasoned collard greens.

Onion Rings Farm Burger The hamburger is often the main course for

Empanadas Argentinas (chicken) Las Margaritas Restaurant Whenever I need a little snack, one of my

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HALF RACK RIB PLATE

FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q

favorites are the empanadas. I prefer the chicken but these also come in beef. They are the perfect hand-held meat pie filled with familiar Latin spices. The flaky crust wraps the spicy chicken in a little pie crust of goodness. I like to break them in half and dip them into one the verde salsas. Sometimes I make these my dinner by eating three or four of these alone or ordering the Mexican Elote. Salmon Salad Joe’s on Juniper

ONION RINGS

FARM BURGER

Typically, I don’t order salad as my main course. But, I made an exception during one of my many healthy eating binges. The salmon was cooked perfectly, well-done for me, but not dry at all. It’s a simply seasoned piece of fish. It’s accompanied with red onions, avocado, tomoatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and bleu cheese crumbles. All this comes on top of a mixed green salad complete with a balsamic vinegar dressing to top it all off. I crave this salad and make a trip to Midtown specifically for this – yes, a salad!

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Chef Deborah VanTrece:

Breaking Bread and Barriers in the Kitchen Patrick Colson-Price Try advising Deborah VanTrece that she’s in the wrong line of work. She’ll disappear into her Twisted Soul kitchen in West Atlanta, whisk up a soulful, inspired meal, then make you eat your own words. A mixture of feisty and passionate, she’s a chef with a heaping amount of soul. It’s the secret to her success, she says. Each recipe shares a story from her childhood, twisted into her global travels. When combined, she offers culinary perfection. “I wanted to utilize the techniques that I learned and apply them to the food I grew up with. I felt my food was worthy of the same attention as other cuisines,” she says. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, VanTrece grew up eating food that narrated a unique story. Her family recipes were filled with the struggles of having nothing. To transform that nothing into a warm-cooked meal meant her determination was bigger than her setbacks. For years she flew around the country, serving peanuts and beverages to travelers as a flight attendant. It wasn’t her idea of the culinary perfection she imagined, but it was a career full of diversity and helped her fit the roll. In 1994, VanTrece entered the culinary world where the color of her skin, gender, and sexual orientation would be key ingredients for change in the kitchen. What could be considered a triple whammy to some, she saw being as a triple threat. She broke barriers on a daily basis in and out of the kitchen.

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“I was so focused on doing the best job I could learning. I kind of had blinders on: There’s nobody here that looks like you,” she says. “Fast forward to now, out in the real world, I’m like, ‘Girl, that should’ve been the least of your worries.’” Edible Art Cafe opened its doors in 1998 in a quiet, East Atlanta neighborhood that was predominantly African-American and lower income. It was expected that the VanTrece venture would succeed. After taking time out of the kitchen for several years, she decided to rekindle her passion. She thought, ‘Why not cook where I’ve never cooked before?’ Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pour was a similar concept but in a different part of town. She took her soul food deep into an affluent part of West Atlanta. “Things were said to me that made me feel as if someone thought I was stepping out of my place,” she explains on the opening her newest restaurant. “How dare you present soul food in a different way? How dare us be unable to come into a black neighborhood at a greasy spoon type place and you’re sloshing it out cafeteria style. If you’re not producing that, then my expectations of you are out the window and how dare you think you can come and compete with the white male chef in what they do?” For years, she felt like soul food was seen in a negative light. Designating it by what it undoubtedly was — food for the soul — seemed to be a strike against her talents regardless of how unique the food tasted. “It’s unfortunate, but I’m still here. No one is going to stop me. I’ve been doing it for years,”

CHEF DEBORAH VANTRECE

PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

she says. “But I also find myself feeling a little bit more apprehensive about just feeling like I can go anywhere to cook. I’m very careful as to what I sign up for.” VanTrece recalls an incident involving a friend and mixologist who helped her create Cast Iron Chronicles, traveling up north, experiencing racism first hand. “She got there and literally was sitting at a bar and someone called her a bald-head nigger bitch,” says VanTrece. “The people with her were white and were just as shocked as she was.” VanTrece and her colleagues began opening up a dialogue surrounding diversity in the kitchen, mainly for women of color and other minorities. Since its start last year, the series has gone viral and countless women have reached out to VanTrece expressing thanks for being an inspiration. “There’s just been a great amount of support from all over the country. These small voices way down south in Atlanta were able to start a movement,” she says. “We can stand up to anyone with our craft.” Her resume continues to grow, appearing on countless TV shows including, most recently, Food Network’s “Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge.” Although a win wasn’t in the cards, she’s taken the experiences back into her kitchen to reinvent classic tastes.

Among her most loyal patrons are celebrities and Atlanta socialites, and an extensive list of star basketball and football players. One person though, if they ever walked through her front doors, would leave VanTrece speechless. “Michelle Obama,” she says, grinning. “After I went into the kitchen and screamed, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’ I’d come back and be really cool because that’s my nature, and I’d make sure nobody else bothered her.” That’s the kind of pressure VanTrece thrives on. She incorporates her own philosophy into her craft for making every guest feel special. “I consider everyone who comes in here and spends money with me important,” she says. “They might not be a celebrity to the world, but the fact that you’re entrusting me with your dollars means I owe it to you to make it the best it can be.” So what’s next for the soul foodstress? She admits she doesn’t want to be tied to one restaurant or even an opportunity like being the White House Chef. “I’d like the opportunity to cook on great scales, maybe do the Oscars,” VanTrece tells us. But regardless the size of the occasion, she knows any success starts with a little bit of soul. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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Tales of Server Woe

… or How NOT to Behave When Dining Out Reddit Compilation I had a guy complain that his wife was cold while they were sitting on the patio. I suggested moving inside but, “No, we want to sit outside and she’s cold. What are you going to do about that?” I said, “Sir, I’m sorry I can’t do anything but offer to move you inside.” “Well, you’re wearing a sweater. Aren’t you even going to offer it to her?” “No, sir, I’m not going to give your wife my sweater.” So he asked to speak to my manager who had to spend 10 minutes explaining that he was not going to require me to hand over the literal clothes off my back and that we have no control over the weather. — Redditor Pommesdor A guest sat at one of my tables after getting over-served at the bar (a major no no), so I told my manager about it. He said to try 18 Indulge December 7, 2018

and get him to eat, and to be quick about it. I went to his table, handed the man and his unsuspecting date (who’d just arrived) a menu, and let them know the kitchen will be closing soon, which wasn’t a lie. The man wrapped his giant hand around what was left of his margarita and threatened to “break it on [my] face” if I didn’t leave the two alone. The woman looked horrified. I didn’t. I got even closer to his table, put my fingertips on it, and told him I wasn’t intending to be rude, but he should also know I won’t be serving him any more drinks. He turned in his seat and whistled to my manager, as though whistling to a dog. I backed away from the table and made room for them to engage. He told my boss that he wants another waiter before something “happens” to me. What’d my boss do? Apologize to him for my “substandard service” and let him know his meal would be on the house. The guy waits until my manager walks away, smirks at me, takes a one-dollar bill from his wallet, rips it up, and throws it at my feet. I grabbed a

nearby broom and swept it up promptly as nonchalantly as it gets, then walked away and warned all the other servers that one of them is going to have to deal with that. That was my last night working there. Screw him and my manager. — Redditor WaffleHouseNeedsWiFi I had a customer come in with a dog in her purse — one of those tiny little designer dogs. When we informed her of our noanimal policy, she told us it was a service dog and that she’s legally allowed to have the dog in any establishment she goes into. We all know it’s malarkey, but we let her know it should be fine, so long as she keeps the dog in her purse. Fast-forward about 15 minutes later and the dog is roaming around on a retractable leash that she’s somehow hooked onto a table leg. It did its business all over the area, meaning that not only did we have to comp all the meals for the area, but that I got stiffed by almost every table. My manager told her in no uncertain terms that

she wasn’t allowed back. — Redditor CapJackSprw I was waiting on a table of older men (I’m a female in my 20s; they must have been in their mid- to late-50s). Somehow, we got on the topic of vacations and I told them about how I just got back from NYC. One of the guys said he’s never been and asked if I took any pics. I pulled out my phone and showed him my NYC gallery. He stared intently at the pictures and slowly swiped through them. I figured it was harmless — there’s nothing scandalous on my phone — so I went to get their drinks. Everything was pretty normal until I got off work later that night to a text. It was the guy who looked at my pics. He informed me that he’s just up the road in a hotel and has a jacuzzi I can relax in after work. He kept insisting he arrange a ride for me and wouldn’t stop asking when I was leaving. (I’d already left.) Needless to say, I never texted back and won’t let people touch my phone without my being present. — Redditor DingoBaby565 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


EATING MY WORDS

Of Whining Queens, Mexican Flavors, and Halibut Nipples Cliff Bostock Last Friday, my regular dining pals and I headed to Nuevo Laredo Cantina (1495 Chattahoochee Avenue). It’s been several years since I dined there and I’ve always liked it. It’s not for purists in search of so-called authentic Mexican fare, although it was as close as we got in Atlanta 20-plus years ago. The food, like the city of Nuevo Laredo itself, occupies the border of Mexico and Texas, but it’s not what we think of as TexMex. It’s more nuanced, like the surprisingly complex chicken mole, which has always been my favorite there. Alas, when we arrived, we were told there was an hour wait. That’s actually half what it can be on a busy night, but whining queens don’t wait. So we headed to Collier Road to try out a New Orleans spot that turned out to be discouragingly empty. Then the boys forced me to eat at the neighboring Verde Taqueria (1193 Collier Road). This is a local chain of two taquerias — a third closed fairly recently — and the food is quite clearly directed at gringos. We started with the usual chips and (a very good) red salsa, plus (mediocre) guacamole. The tacos, made with flour tortillas (corn is available) were over-stuffed to the point they were hard to pick up. We ordered a broad variety: steak chimichurri, sweet chili shrimp, pulled pork,

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ground beef, Baja fish, and chicken fajitas. There was also a special taco impersonating the Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi. The table’s favorite was the shrimp, although I found its aioli way too heavy. Next fave was the chimichurri, despite the over-marinated, chewy meat. The rest were good enough to satisfy your inner teenage bro who is more into quantity than flavor. I should note that the banh mi taco was just plain terrible. It featured a heap of very dry meat and pickled onions and carrots, with a weird sauce. There are also the usual quesadillas and nachos. Those who avoid tortillas can order a bowl of taco ingredients over rice and beans. The overall vibe of the place was quite positive and the wait staff was sharp. If you just want to swill margaritas with your friends and graze on fajitas, go. But, really, man up and wait an hour at Nuevo Laredo instead. Our meal a week earlier was also devoted to Mexican flavors, this time at Casi Cielo (6125 Roswell Road). This new casual, finedining restaurant, located in a maddeningly over-developed stretch of Sandy Springs, features dishes inspired by the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which has an almost impossibly multicultural indigenous population. The diverse cooking styles are attracting chefs from all over the world. Casi Cielo’s chef, Luis Arellano, has an A-plus resume, but honestly, we found the food inconsistent

VERDE

PHOTOS BY CLIFF BOSTOCK

and somewhat overpriced. Four of us spent $200, tip-included, without any alcohol. My favorite dish was roasted “duck carnitas” with a complex but somewhat overly sweet mole negro. Second was grilled, sliced ribeye with a cilantro-chimichurri sauce. All other dishes fell behind. Carnitas made with suckling pig weren’t the least crispy. A starter of charcoal-grilled octopus was bizarre. Our $18 bought a small, lone tentacle with five bites and utterly no flavor. It was accompanied by three dots of pureed green olives, some mashed potatoes, and a dollop of red Veracruz salsa. The table’s most shocking dish was sliced halibut. This

amounted to maybe half a dozen thin slices curled up to look like nipples. No, señora, not for $27. If you go for nothing else, sample the restaurant’s Mezcal collection, the city’s largest, and order the ribeye. The décor is sleek and kitsch-less. The entire staff is friendly. If you’re feeling lonely and motherless, go and suck on a halibut nipple. Things will get better. After all, the restaurant’s name means “Almost Heaven.” Cliff Bostock is a former psychotherapist now specializing in life coaching. Contact him at 404-518-4415 or CliffBostock@gmail.com.

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Kitchen Classics For Christmas Berlin Sylvestre

COOK’S WAREHOUSE

PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

STRIPPAGGIO! It’s time to break bread with the fine folks down at Strippaggio! (Strippaggio is a term used for the actual slurping of olive oil as it’s being taste-tested by a potential buyer.) Inside this beautifully curated shop, you’ll find a host of flavored olive oils that, unlike other shops of this nature, come from a wide variety of high-quality olive oil producers — not just an outlet that distributes whatever new item crosses its path. Instead, the owners of Strippaggio! want to ensure a silky mouth-feel and gorgeous afterglow that only high-grade, authentic olive oil can produce. There are many oils to choose from, but my two recommendations are the Blood Orange Olive Oil ($23.95) and and the Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($23.95). Try the former on ice cream (it’s life-changing!) and the latter for a killer bruschetta (or just a dipping oil for the table). Peruse their shop or website for even more gift-worthy goodies including spices, vinegars, and other types of oils.

like the Georgia Peach jelly beans and the Peach Bites candy. Other items include grits of many flavors, chocolates, and our worldfamous peanuts.

855 Emory Point Dr C-135, 30329 Strippaggio.com ST. GERMAIN ARTISAN BREADS & PASTRIES The best Christmas gifter in my life is my wife’s Aunt Nancy. Each year, she buys a loaf of the finest bread and packs it neatly for us with small jars of fancy jellies, jams, and oils. Her stellar taste in gifts rubbed off on me recently when I found myself continuing the tradition and making a list of local bakeries that could wow the fuzzy Santa socks off my giftees. Alas, St. Germain in Ponce City Market has brought to life the stuff of your boulangerie dreams. Patrons will get their laissez-faire share of French pastries and baked goods such as eclairs, napoleons, croissants, macaroons, and (of course) baguettes. Further, there’s a variety of honeys and oils to choose from. Named after a posh section of Paris, Atlanta is now privy to carb-loading à la France. 22 Indulge December 7, 2018

GritsBits.com

STRIPPAGGIO!

PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

St. Germain 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE Suite N150, 30308 GRITS BITS I recently asked some Irish friends what they’d like me to bring once I head to Dublin in March. Without fail, each of them wanted something that showcased some goods from my neck of the woods. It

made complete sense, but piecing random Georgia staples seemed daunting. That is, until I stumbled upon a local gift-basket purveyor that specialized in All Things Georgia. Though they’ve got tons to choose from, I’m going with the Coca-Cola Gift Basket. It comes with six items you choose from their list of GA-centric goodies and is placed in an old-school Coca-Cola six-pack carton. Their items are plentiful, but I really

THE COOK’S WAREHOUSE Going to this website and looking at all their goodies is a practice of masochism for me. I want it all, but my budget says “calm down, woman.” Literally every section of your kitchen, from butter dishes to milk frothers, is here and comes in the most beautiful designs. There’s a three-tier salt/ spices container that’s made of bamboo and it’s screaming at me! Their silicone bakeware (hello, easy clean-up and storage!) has me salivating, and their bar tools and drinkware make me want to install a wetbar in the dining room. I have to stop. If anyone’s getting a gift from Cook’s Warehouse, it’s me giving one (or ten) to myself. CooksWarehouse.com www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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Dishes That I Think About Everyday Aidan ivory Edwards After 10 years of being in the service industry, I’ve become a snob. I admit it. I began from the bottom-barrel chain restaurants to somehow working with James Beard nominees (humble brag). At the end of the day though, my snooty ways are hushed by what my inner garbage disposal wants. Here are some of my favorites: In my opinion, Mali is the best Thai restaurant in Atlanta, arguably one of the best restaurants in the city for its food, service, and affordability. The Spicy Garlic Beef is savory, sweet, and spicy — hence the name. Their beef is thinly sliced, then grilled similar to the Korean Bulgogi. The sauce is nectar from the Thai Gods, most likely consisting of fish sauce so be warned those with a shellfish allergy: You can’t have any, and I’m sorry. All of this is tossed with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and cabbage to bring earthiness to the dish. I am getting chills thinking about it right now. Hajime is the second restaurant from the owner of Umaido in Suwanee. Ramen is a tough dish to make. It takes an immense amount of time and patience. If you make a goof, ruining the recipe, then you’re more than likely to lose both. My personal favorite at Hajime is the Ultra-Spicy level two. Their Spicy and Ultra-Spicy are the same broth. They just kick up the Ultra-Spicy a notch.

The broth is a pork-bone base. It’s thick, fatty, and delicious. It’s topped off with more love-handled, delicious pork. Oh yeah, and some healthy stuff like seaweed, ginger, sesame seeds, and yellow onions. This is the ultimate winter dish. On one cold day, the line for Umaido was out the door. I shrugged my shoulders and took a peek inside of Sodeulnyk, a Korean BBQ place. Their spicy pork bulgogi is something else. The combination of their sticky rice and straight meat is as if Walt Whitman was reciting a poem in my mouth. Not to mention the thousands of small plates that the server brings out before such as kimchi, potato salad, broccoli in a heavenly sauce that I never found out the name of, and miso soup. The dish is savory and meant for two. Not for this guy. I used to eat a ton of chicken tenders as a kid. I thought I grew up and that time had passed. That was until Henry’s Tavern Chicken Fingers brought back the kid in me. Raised in upstate New York, the food chain restaurant called Friendly’s was the jam after I strutted my stuff playing tee-ball. This hand-breaded deliciousness brings me back to celebrating a tied game because, in tee-ball, everyone’s a winner. Shoutout to Henry’s: to Henry’s. You make me feel like D’Angelo in the video for “Untitled (How Does It Feel).” When you’re in the mood for American food, you want something that won’t disappoint,

something that tastes like freedom. The Vortex’s bacon cheeseburgers do the job for me. Especially when the Mets lose, my cat’s mad at me about the lack of cuddling, and I made the mistake of going onto Facebook to see that stupid-ass Todd has brought in another Todd onto this planet. Simple, buttered bread, beef patty, American cheese, and pickles. I always ask them to leave the lettuce and tomato off. Just the bad stuff, please. I’m so lonely.

Ask for Ariele as a server — that’s my sister. Speaking of pizza: As a Georgia State student, I’m in love with the two-piece special at Rosa’s Pizza downtown. They’re speedy, hilarious, and genuinely seem like a family. I roll with the sliced sausage and hot pepper slices. They are killer. My favorite thing about Rosa’s is that they’re consistent with how their dough is cooked. It’s usually between crispy and soft. I’m about that life.

When my wife and I were first dating, she took me to Escorpion on Peachtree Street. She ordered fried shrimp tacos and shared one with me. I asked her to marry me right there. Nah, it was years later. But the shrimp tacos played a big part in the whole marriage. Did I mention they’re fried and dressed with chipotle mayo? I could eat Mexican food every night. We live down the street, it’s always a temptation, and I sometimes look to see if anyone is eating them from across the street.

I found myself complaining, per usual, about how I couldn’t find a sandwich joint that I was head over heels in love with. But then my wife introduced me to Reuben’s downtown. You cannot go wrong with their Philly Cheesesteak or Cuban. Hands down the best. They use Boar’s Head meat on everything, so you already know it’s that supreme quality. I wish I could nestle in a corner, wake up, and eat their breakfast too.

One thing I miss about New York is the food. It’s all comfort food. Joe Amitrano, the owner of Verra-Zanno’s Pizza in John’s Creek, brought his Brooklyn pizzeria vision down to the burbs of Atlanta. Any of their pizza is my favorite, but I usually find myself taking home a plain cheese pizza with garlic knots. And their pasta is off the charts. All of this is whipped up by their head chef, Julio. You can catch him spinning dough as you walk in. You’re probably wondering, “How does this guy know everyone’s name?” I go there that much.

Besides shrimp, I always thought I was good on the rest of what the sea had to offer. But I knew I was genetically predisposed to love seafood (I’m black). This proved true when I began working at the Castellucci family’s Cooks & Soldiers in West Midtown. Pulpo is octopus. One thing that strays most human beings away from octopus is the texture. Their Pulpo is flawless. It has a perfect texture after being sous vide. Then they char-grill it to give you a wooden smoke flavor. It’s too good, and it’s true.

24 Indulge December 7, 2018 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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Roast Like A Pro Berlin Sylvestre

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One of the most intimidating aspects of cooking is meat — especially poultry. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of cooking and/or eating dry turkey, duck, or chicken, you know there’s absolutely nothing that will fix it. You can slather on all the sauce you want, but dry bird is practically cardboard and no amount of fancy condiments will change the core of that poorly cooked squawker. Thing is, you can master a roast bird like nobody’s business and I’m here to show you how. I used to lead a team of cooks (consider it a past life) after growing up in restaurants. I always tell any beginner who thinks he/she can’t grab a whole bird from the local grocer and part/cook it that they’ll never look back once they nail the super-easy method known as spatchcocking. Don’t be intimidated! Here’s how it works. 1. Pick a bird. Let’s go with chicken, since

it’s easily available, cheap, and most people like it. If you’re feeding 4–6, a smaller bird (3.5lbs or 4lbs) ought to do it.

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2. Remove any and everything from the

cavity. Often, there are neckbones and giblet-packets inside. Those are for gravy and/or stock. For now, we’ll forgo that and just focus on the roast. 3. This is going to sound silly, but massage

the muscles of the chicken. This honestly works to loosen up the bird and make it easier to lay it on your rack. It’s a time-honored trick that works wonders. Give all those muscles a nice, gentle squeeze for a minute or so. 4. Remove the backbone with either a sharp

knife of kitchen shears. It may seem brutal, but this, my friend, is the method of the spatchcock. You do this because you want your bird to lay as flat as possible, cooking the white and dark meats at the same temperature and time without the white meat (most notably the breasts) drying out. It’s the secret to having super-juicy, flavorful chicken no matter what part you’re eating. 26 Indulge December 7, 2018

5. Cut a bit of the bone behind and between the underside of the breasts just enough so that the bird will splay out. 6. Use a paper towel to dry the skin, then

rub olive oil all over. This crisps the skin during cooking and adds moisture to the rest of the chicken as it cooks. 7. Season the chicken. Personally, I like a

good Cajun mix, like Tony Chachere’s. Make sure to get under the skin, too — especially on the breasts. 8. Place the chicken on a rack and place

the rack above a casserole dish. You need to

catch the juices. 9. Be sure you turn the legs outward so the

skin is facing up. You want all the meaty bits on the top. You can tuck the wings behind the breasts if you like, but it truly doesn’t matter. 10. For each pound, cook the chicken for

20 minutes at 350 degrees. When you remove the chicken, the meat will be so tender that you can grab a leg and practically pull it off with little to no resistance. I recommend pulling slightly and looking beneath the skin to make sure any and

all juices run clear. If you see any hint of pink or red in the juice, toss it back in for another 15–20 minutes. Just repeat the “juice check” to make sure the bird gets completely cooked. You can leave it whole for presentation or part and platter it for your guests’ ease when they’re making a plate. Either way, you just rocked a roast for about $10 (if you count the olive oil and cajun mix). That’s so much better than the rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store (with their soggy skin and lack of panache) and you totally get bragging rights to go along with it. Happy holidays! www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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Delicious Desserts CHOCOLATE CHIP MACADAMIA COOKIES

Ingredients n 1.75 cups unbleached all-purpose flour n .5 teaspoon baking soda n .5 teaspoon baking powder n 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1.75 sticks) n .5 cup granulated sugar n .75 cup packed dark brown sugar n 1 teaspoon table salt n 2 teaspoons vanilla extract n 1 large egg n 1 large egg yolk n 1.25 cups cut up dark chocolate slivers or semisweet chocolate chips n .75 cup chopped macadamia nuts Instructions 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper or use non-stick oven liner. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. 2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a skillet (avoid using non-stick to see butter turn brown) over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma (1 to 3 minutes). Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted. 3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate slivers/chips and macadamia nuts, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain. 4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. 5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

OATMEAL COOKIES WITH COCONUT & DRIED FIGS Ingredients n 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened n 1 cup brown sugar, packed n .5 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar n 2 large eggs, beaten n 1 Tbsp vanilla extract n 1.5 cups all-purpose flour n .75 teaspoon salt n 1 teaspoon baking soda n 1 teaspoon baking powder n 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon n 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice n .5 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg n 1.5 cups chopped dried figs n .5 cup coconut flakes n 3 cups rolled oats (Do not use instant.)

Instructions 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper or use non-stick oven liner. 2. In a large mixing bowl, or KitchenAid mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. 3. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg together in medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the chopped dried figs and coconut. Stir in the oats. 4. Spoon out the dough by large tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie. 5. Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown, about 10-13 minutes. Note that the cookies will seem a little underdone. They will firm up as they cool. 6. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Then carefully remove them, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack. Cool completely. They will be quite soft until completely cooled.

28 Indulge December 7, 2018 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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Killer Cocktails Berlin Sylvestre

Want to make it night to remember? (Or, for some, a night to forget?) Have company over and bust out some beverages they may have never tried.

THE PEACHY KEEN Ingredients � 1 ounce vodka � .5 ounce blueberry flavored vodka � .5 ounce peach schnapps � .25 cup peach nectar Instructions Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodkas, schnapps, and nectar. � Shake to combine well. � Serve over ice or straight up in a martini glass. �

THE LIMONCELLO

Ingredients � 1.75L bottle of your favorite vodka � 10 lemons � 1.5 cups sugar � 1 cup fresh lemon juice Instructions Pour vodka into a large airtight container. � With a vegetable peeler, remove yellow parts of lemons and put into vodka. � Cover and let sit for a minimum of 10 days or up to two weeks. � Juice all the lemons and store in the freezer until ready to finish the Limoncello. � In a saucepan on medium/low heat, add one cup of lemon juice and 1.5 cups of sugar. Cook until sugar is dissolved. � Remove from heat and let cool. � To finish the Limoncello, strain the vodka mixture into a large bowl, removing all the lemon peels. Add the cooled sugar mixture and stir until well combined. � Store your Limoncello in glass bottles and keep refrigerated. � Serve chilled. �

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THE ESPRESSO MARTINI

THE NEGRONI Ingredients � .5 ounce Tanqueray London Dry Gin � .5 ounce Campari � .5 ounce Sweet Vermouth � Slice of orange � Ice

Ingredients � 1.5oz Smirnoff Red Vodka � 3oz fresh espresso � 2 teaspoon raw sugar � Cubed ice (strained)

Instructions Combine Tanqueray London dry gin, Campari and sweet vermouth in a rocks glass. � Add ice and stir to chill and dilute. � Garnish with a slice of orange. �

Instructions Combine Smirnoff vodka, fresh espresso and raw sugar in a cocktail shaker. � Add cubed ice and shake for 10–15 seconds. � Strain into glass and top with fresh coffee beans to serve. �

THE PIMM’S SPRITZ

Ingredients � 1 ounce PIMM’s � 2 ounces chilled prosecco or sparkling wine � 2.5 ounces dry ginger ale � Strawberries, to serve � Cucumbers, to serve � Orange, to serve � Mint, to serve � Ice Instructions Fill a glass with ice. � Add an ounce of PIMM’s. � Add strawberries, cucumbers, orange, and mint. � Top with dry ginger ale and chilled prosecco or sparkling wine and gently stir. � Garnish with fresh mint. �

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ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN COURTESY PHOTO

Bright Lights, Big State Patrick Colson-Price Get ready for the ultimate holiday outing! This light-filled road trip across the state will fill you with an abundance of Christmas spirit. If you’ve got a weekend of down time, we’d recommend grabbing the kids, putting on some of your favorite Christmas tunes, and hitting the road for some true light-seeing, Georgia style! ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN Atlanta, GA Recently named one of the best holiday lights shows in the country by USA Today, this lights show is nothing short of spectacular. From tunnels of lights, a glittering galaxy, and musically synchronized Orchestral Orbs, this Atlanta classic will delight even the grouchiest grinches. The holiday magic goes until January 9. STONE MOUNTAIN PARK Stone Mountain, GA We guarantee the kid in all of us will be find holiday cheer after experiencing a true Stone 32 A&E December 7, 2018

Mountain Christmas. From the Summit Skyride to Scenic Railroad, there’s holiday magic in the air with shows and even a new Polar Express 4-D experience for all ages. You’ll also meet your favorite holiday characters including Rudolph and Santa Claus! The holiday celebrations lasts until January 6. LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH Grovetown, GA It’s one of the largest lights displays in the southeast stretching more than 100 acres, covered in millions of lights plus the world’s largest vertical American Flag made entirely of Christmas lights. The 15-year-old tradition goes until January 6. TMT FARMS CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DISPLAYS Old River Road North, Statesboro, GA Celebrate the spirit of Christmas while donating to a good cause. The farmer owners ask visitors to bring non-perishable food items to donate, to help give back to Georgia families in need. From nativity scenes to

Santa Claus, the experience is nothing short of magical and lasts through December 28. COASTAL GEORGIA BOTANICAL GARDENS Historic Bamboo Farm Savannah, GA Called ‘Savannah’s Jewel of Christmas,’ the December Nights and Holiday Lights display is a self-guided tour through various gardens. Visitors will see white reindeer, nativity scenes, trumpeting angels, glowing trees, and more than one million sparkling lights. The display goes through December 23. TRIPP FAMILY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Tom Sawyer Farms Cochran, GA It’s the largest residential Christmas lights display in the state with more than 500,000 lights for visitors to enjoy. Now at a new location, the Tripp Family brings back walkthrough displays filled with holiday favorites. It’s a 30-year family holiday tradition worth visiting, now until December 30.

LUDY CHRISTMAS LIGHT SPECTACULAR Ironstone Drive Columbus, GA A festive 200,000 Christmas lights are on display and they’re all handmade by homeowner, Jerry Ludy. He adds an average of 10,000 new bulbs every year to the display making it a must-see for the 2018 holiday season. Although the synchronized lights show is free, visitors donated more than $21,000 to the Georgia Make A Wish Foundation. Now that’s the true meaning of Christmas! The display goes through New Year’s Eve. LIFE UNIVERSITY ‘LIGHTS OF LIFE,’ Barclay Circle Marietta, GA Introduced in 1989 as a gift to the community, this lights show attracts nearly half a million visitors through the holiday season. The 1.5-mile drive takes spectators through the university with more than one million lights illuminating the campus. You’ll see Santa, too! Pony rides and a petting zoo top off the perfect holiday excursion. The display lasts through New Year’s Eve. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


ACTING OUT

“The Favourite” a masterful work from Weisz, Stone, and Colman Jim Farmer With a dazzling trio of actresses at its center and a juicy romantic/sexual triangle between them all, “The Favourite” should be eaten up alive at the box office this holiday season. Gay audiences, in particular, should love it. Opening this week in Atlanta-area theaters, “The Favourite” is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, known best for his offbeat, Oscarnominated “The Lobster” from 2016. This film isn’t nearly as dark and unsettling, however. Taking place in 18th-century England, “The Favourite” follows Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), who sits on the throne, despite the fact that her health is not great. While she is tending to her health, her friend Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), the duchess of Marlborough, is — in effect — running the country. The dynamics of their relationship start to change, however, when a new servant, Sarah’s cousin, comes to the castle. Abigail (Emma Stone) has once been part of a respected family but was sold by her gambling father. Overstepping her boundaries, Abigail helps the queen and soon she has won Anne over. Yet Abigail may not the simpleton for which she is dismissed — she clearly has an www.thegeorgiavoice.com

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“The Favourite” Metro Atlanta theaters

agenda and lots of ambition. Soon, Anne is enjoying the attention of both Abigail and Sarah, and enjoying seeing both women try and trump the other. “The Favourite” has been compared somewhat to “All About Eve,” with its scheming central characters and fleeting loyalties. The script by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara plays faithfully but takes some liberties. In their battleground, sex can be about affection but it can all too often be about power and position. This is definitely the director’s most mainstream film. It manages as well to be very funny with quotable lines. It’s also a bit naughty, with frank dialogue and sexual situations. Yet never do Davis and McNamara or Lanthimos neglect their character’s emotional backbone or treat them with scant dimensions. The film boasts a terrific ensemble, including Nicholas Hoult as Robert Harley, a Tory leader with political ideas of his own. The three women are center stage, though, and are all fascinating in their own right.

This is apparently Weisz’s year to play lesbians. Besides her work in this, she also appeared this spring in the drama “Disobedience.” As Sarah, she’s brittle but protective of Anne, and as Abigail swoops in and try to fill in for her, she becomes the film’s conscience. Stone’s performance is some of her finest work ever. It’s a subtle performance, one that doesn’t give away everything. Sweet little Abigail convincingly becomes someone dead set on getting her way. Finally, in a performance that might win her a Best Actress, Colman — who will be taking over for Claire Foy in “The Crown” — makes Anne is a fascinating creature. One moment she is in her bed, frail and unable to do much for herself. Moments later, she is barking orders at her staff and changing allegiances at the drop of a hat. It’s a gorgeous-looking film, too, with lush cinematography by Robbie Ryan and a terrific visual sense. The last moments seems superfluous, including a really odd final scene, but this is a period piece for those who don’t really like period pieces. One of the best films of 2018, “The Favourite” is stylish, well made, and extremely entertaining. December 7, 2018 Columnists 33


BEST BETS Our Guide to the Best LGBTQ Events in Atlanta for December 7–20 FRIDAY, DEC. 7

Movement created a network of writers, publishers, bookstores, and readers that fostered a remarkable array of literature. With the freedom that the Women in Print movement inspired, southern lesbian feminists remade southerness as a site of intersectional radicalism, trangressive sexuality, and liberatory space, including in her study well-known authors like Dorothy Allison and Alice Walker as well as overlooked writers, publishers, and editors, Harker reconfigures the southern literary canon and the feminist canon, challenging histories of feminism and queer studies to include the south in a formative roles. 7:30–9pm

The lesbian-themed “The Favourite,” an Oscar contender with Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz opens today in metro theatres to various showtimes. The first annual Dream Benefit Gala will raise money for homeless LGBT youth affected by HIV/STDs, poverty, and abuse. The event will feature a red carpet, music, food, and live entertainment from 7:30– 11:30pm. The Randey Daniels Foundation It’s a holiday tradition. The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus presents Holly, Jolly & Gay!: The 38th Annual Holiday Concert tonight at 8pm and Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1pm and 6pm. The Cathedral of St. Philip The Celtic Thunder X Tour features 27 new songs including traditional and contemporary Irish songs. 8pm Atlanta Symphony Pullman Soul and Onyx Southeast presents: “House Music 1st Fridays,” a night of deep, soulful, Afro, Latin, and classic House Music. DJ Ron Pullman will be taking you on a five-hour music journey. 10pm Atlanta Eagle

SATURDAY, DEC. 8

The 10th Annual Atlanta Santa Speedo Run is a one-mile, noncompetitive dash through the streets of Atlanta alongside hundreds of Speedo-clad men and women. Noon to 2pm Beginning at Hudson Grille Midtown It’s the most wonderful time of the year: storytime! Join Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker for a holiday-themed edition of Drag Queen Storytime. Whether it’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or Festivus, the event will help you celebrate the season with a book reading, some crafts, and maybe a few songs. 3–4 pm Ponce de Leon Branch Library Atlanta Ballet’s first new “The

34 Best Bets December 7, 2018

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12

Alliance Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” opens tonight and runs through Dec. 24 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 7:30pm Nutcracker” in 20 years marks a milestone in dance history opening tonight at 7:30pm at the Fox Theatre and runs through Dec. 24.

TUESDAY, DEC. 11

SUNDAY, DEC. 9

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12

Join Junkman’s Daughter for pictures with Krampus today. The store will have snacks, raffles, and some sweet holiday deals. It’s a first come first serve event. 1–3pm The Auburn Avenue Research Library in partnership with the Baton Foundation, Inc., The Atlanta Opera, and Challenge the Stats will host Professor Naomi André as she discusses her publication “Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement.” Viewing opera as a fertile site for critical inquiry, political activism, and social change, Dr. Naomi André reveals how Opera continues to function as a transformative sociopolitical force, provoking complex reconsiderations of oppressive ideologies based on race, gender and sexuality, often serving as an authentic representation of the Black Diasporic experience. 3pm

MONDAY, DEC. 10

T-Time Atlanta Trans Youth holds their weekly meeting tonight starting at 7pm at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church.

Enjoy salsa, bachata, and merengue music at Latino Tuesdays with DJ Melo spinning at Blake’s on the Park.

Now out, country singer Chely Wright performs tonight at 7pm at Eddie’s Attic and again tomorrow night at 7pm at The Crimson Moon in Dahlonega. Enjoy Scrooge, Tiny Tim, et al, as The Alliance Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” opens tonight and runs through Dec. 24 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 7:30pm Charis Books and More welcomes back long-time friend and fellow Southern Feminist bookstore owner Jamie Harker of Violet Valley Books to talk about her new book “The Lesbian South: Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement and the Queer Literary Canon.” In the book, Harker uncovers a largely forgotten literary renaissance in southern letters. Anchored by a constellation of southern women, the Women in Print movement grew from the queer union of women’s liberations, civil rights activism, gay liberation, and print culture. Broadly influential from the 1970s through the 1990s, the Women in Print

At long last, Seattle sisters BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are joining forces to bring you a spankin’ new two-queen holiday extravaganza. DeLa is all sugar and Jinkx is all spice, but how do these two very different gals deal with the stress of the holidays? A little song, a lot of eggnog, and theaters full of people looking at them. VIP tickets include early entry and post-show meet & greet with BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon. This is an all ages event, with a VIP event at 6:30pm and the show at 8pm. Center Stage

THURSDAY. DEC. 13

The Metro Atlanta Association of Professionals (MAAP) will celebrate the holidays with its ultimate networking event of 2018, and the organization will be giving back to one of their community partners, For the Kid in All of Us. Join the fun at Honeywell’s Midtown campus for this event and please bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at $20 or more to donate to the annual toy drive for kids in need from 6–8pm. All are invited to celebrate the holiday season in style as Democrats and Progressives from across metro-Atlanta gather for the last Dems After Dark Event of the year. Come mix and mingle with elected officials, candidates, grassroots leaders, campaign pros and a ton of voters, donors and volunteers, 7pm, Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center

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BEST BETS

FRIDAY, DEC. 14

Libby Whittemore kicks off her 10th season of Libby’s at the Express with her annual holiday show “Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and A Connie Sue Day Christmas.” Shows start at 7:30pm. Now through Dec. 23 at Actor’s Express.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34 Join the Atlanta Women’s Chorus for their first ever Holiday Show. What says “holidays” better than AWC’s beautiful music and looking at the world through the eyes of children? The chorus welcomes Ford Elementary Chorus (12/13) and Atlanta Music Project Chorus (12/16) as special guests. The evening will feature festive favorites, winter ballads, and some upbeat contemporary pieces. Tonight at 7:30 and Dec.16 at 3pm. Grace UMC Atlanta Out Front Theatre Company is ringing in the season with its first-ever holiday production, the world premiere of “The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular.” Decking the halls with holiday tunes, the production imagines what the legendary Ethel Merman’s 1979 disco Christmas television special might have been. The year is 1979 and the undisputed “Biggest Voice on Broadway” has released her now-infamous disco album. A cavalcade of celebrities who make Studio 54 their second home have been recruited to help bring a disco beat to the holiday season, and leading the charge is none other than Ethel Merman herself. Things avalanche into chaos, but “The Merm” can’t be deterred in her quest to hustle around the Christmas tree and into every living room in America. Combine a harried stage manager gripping onto his first big assignment, a love affair that

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would melt Jack Frost’s heart, and a miserly producer who doesn’t seem pleased with anything that is unfolding, and the outcome is a night of entertainment that is exactly what everyone has on their wish list. 8pm, now through Dec. 22

FRIDAY, DEC. 14

The legendary Libby Whittemore kicks off her 10th season of Libby’s at the Express with her annual holiday show “Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and A Connie Sue Day Christmas.” She is joined by the hilarious Connie Sue Day (the 31st lady of country music) for one of Atlanta’s favorite holiday traditions. 7:30pm Now through Dec. 23 Actor’s Express Rainbow Pub Crawl presents an Ugly Sweater Toy Drive tonight. My Sister’s Room Every Friday at midnight, it’s time to slip on those fishnets and makeup for the greatest live troupe in the city — Lips Down on Dixie, Inc., for a righteous party in front of the big screen for “The Rocky Horror Show.” Midnight The Plaza Theater

SATURDAY. DEC.15

Join Charis Books and More for an all-

CONTINUES ON PAGE 36 December 7, 2018 Best Bets 35


BEST BETS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 day party to help you get in the spirit and get your holiday shopping done early. Everything in the store will be 10% off. Free gift wrapping is available with any book purchase and homemade treats will also be available. 11am–7pm Don’t get them wet or feed them after

midnight! The Plaza Atlanta hosts a screening of the classic “Gremlins” with a special guest – the film’s star Zach Galligan! 7pm

SUNDAY, DEC. 16

The PFLAG support group for parents and families of LGBTQ children meets today at the Atlanta International School from 2:30 to 4pm.

For the Kid in All of Us has been collecting toys for Georgia’s children in need for the past 14 years. This isn’t your usual holiday cocktail party … it’s the 2018 Toy Party & Silent Auction. This year, the 15th annual Toy Party & Silent Auction is changing it up, keeping it fresh, and going back to its roots. Admission includes great entertainment, complimentary food, and a wide variety of drinks, including four free drinks with every

general admission ticket. Please bring an unwrapped toy greater than $20 for any ticket purchased … it’s for the kids. 6pm Atlanta Opera

MONDAY, DEC. 17

Trans and Friends is a youth-focused group for trans people, people questioning their own gender, and aspiring allies, providing a facilitated space to discuss gender, relevant resources, and activism around social issues. 7–8:30pm Charis Books and More

TUESDAY, DEC. 18

Join host Ken for Let’s Make a Deal tonight starting at 6pm at Friends Neighborhood Bar.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 19

Sing along to some showtunes as part of Twisted Broadway at Lips Atlanta. Join DJ Stan Jackson for Boys Night Out tonight with lots of great beats. 10pm Heretic Atlanta

THURSDAY, DEC. 20

Charis and Cliterati pair up to present an inviting and fierce open mic and reading series on the third Thursday of every month. All are welcome to come share their work. This month, everyone is invited to share works in progress, pieces from NaNoWriMo, or poems they want to get off their chest before 2018 is over. This is a Charis Circle From Margin to Center Literary event and the suggested donation is $5. 7:30–9:30pm Charis Books and More

UPCOMING SATURDAY, DEC. 22

Jane Lynch brings her comedic and performing chops to City Winery Atlanta for two shows tonight: 7pm and 10pm.

MONDAY, DEC. 31

Out Atlanta rocker Michelle Malone winds down 2018 at a New Year’s Eve bash featuring music from her new album “Slings and Arrows,” as well as audience favorites. 7:30 pm Eddie’s Attic

36 Best Bets December 7, 2018

www.thegeorgiavoice.com


THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

The Hypocrisy of it All! Melissa Carter There are times in this political climate when you tell yourself that you have to choose your battles, and simply let things go. Then there are moments when you have to say something in the hopes that others will at least take your opinion under consideration. After recent online comments from two male friends of mine, I have determined it is time to take a stand. The first revolved around Republican Senator Cindy Hyde, who recently became the first woman in Mississippi elected to Congress. Controversy surrounded her during the campaign, including the unearthed fact she attended a segregated school growing up and her apology for saying she’d gladly attend a public hanging. She was running against Democrat Mike Epsy, who too would have made history as the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the Senate since Reconstruction. A straight, African-American friend posted a picture of Senator Hyde to show how ugly she was. He even made the comment, “she ugly enough to Trick or Treat on the telephone.” I understand he was disappointed with her and how the election was going, but instead he decided to vocalize that by commenting on Hyde’s beauty, or lack thereof. This is something so called-liberals have criticized our president for, yet it’s okay for them to do the same? The second comment came from a gay white friend of mine, who posted a picture of the First Lady amid her crimson-colored Christmas trees newly erected at the White House. He changed the photo to include Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and stated that the White House had been transformed “into a Whore House for the holidays.” Let me point out how incredibly ignorant and sexist both men sound, as do the many others who mimic the same behavior. In this era of #MeToo and its evolvement into treating women with respect and equity, here is evidence that the message isn’t sticking and old bad habits take over. Even worse, both

these men consider themselves social activists and would crucify the same commentary if given about women they cared about. Do I agree with any of the women aforementioned? Many times, no. However, I am aware enough to criticize them on their actions and not their looks. I judge them on their behavior and decisions, and not associate either judgment with their gender. Do these men, and plenty of women alongside them, see how hypocritical they are? How these simple actions continue to perpetuate the idea that women’s physical attributes, whether it be beauty or purity, are the greatest assets she will ever have? That deep down, people continue to believe terms like “ugly” and “whore” are also the greatest weapons to use against a woman? For those who claim to be intellectually or socially advanced, I think it’s time to take a good, hard look at yourself and make sure you really are. Or are you simply attuned to your own “cause,” and are willing to throw others out the window when you have reached your lowest level of patience? The point of any cause is to bring more people to the table, not take others away. That means you ultimately have to break bread with those you didn’t like before. One of the first out radio personalities in Atlanta, Melissa’s worked for B98.5 and Q100. Catch her daily on theProgressive Voices podcast “She Persisted.” Tweet her! @MelissaCarter

38 Columnists December 7, 2018 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


SOMETIMES ‘Y’

‘Flaccid Monday’ & Other Overreactions Ryan Lee

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December 3, 2018 may go down in history as “Flaccid Monday,” with Tumblr announcing its corporate suicide via an upcoming prohibition against all sexual-related content on its blogging platform. The bereavement and paranoia among the onanists in my world were so rampant that you might’ve forgotten there is an entire world wide web of creampies, gang bangs, and other “adult” delights outside of that lone site. Perhaps there is genuine mourning among those who prefer consuming porn in oneminute-and-fifty-nine-second increments, then having their heart rate and arousal settled as they scroll past semi-inspirational memes and time-lapse videos of flowers blooming. As hot as the clips and themes could be, Tumblr always seemed too bi-polar with its manic sexual stimulation and depressing reminders of global and domestic injustices. Steeled by memories of a VCR eating the only porno in my household, or the pages of a Hustler magazine I found as a pre-teen becoming so melded together I could no longer read the articles, it’s hard for me to empathize with the masturbatory grief and hopelessness brought on by the taming of Tumblr. Anyone unable to find porn on the internet after Tumblr dims its red-light district should be thankful for the newfound time to develop basic life skills. The Tumblr panic arrived shortly after one of our culture’s most recurring exaggerations had passed: the idea that every vote matters. The biennial campaign of peer-pressuring and guilt-tripping folks into voting is illogical and ineffective. I love voting and I wish everyone would vote. I voted in today’s runoff for Georgia’s secretary of state and public service commission, and my political ego would’ve been boosted had only the latter contest been on the ballot, its obscurity a sign of major voter cred. As much as I enjoy the act of voting and believe in it as tool for civic participation, I www.thegeorgiavoice.com

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have no illusions of impacting any electoral outcome more than someone who has never voted in his or her life. Statistically, I imagine the odds of winning the Powerball or Mega Millions are more favorable than a single person being the deciding vote in any election outside of an elementary school classroom. It’s popular to invoke the sacrifices of ancestors during get-out-the-vote campaigns, but that substitutes abstract history for the everyday effort of getting people invested in their communities and government. I called and knocked on the doors of strangers to encourage them to vote for progressive candidates, but have had conversations with few of my neighbors about their concerns or the priorities of the area we call home.

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There is an entire year outside of Election Day, and those who live in urban centers must remember the groundwork for political victories takes place long before we post our “I Voted” selfies and shame those who don’t. Without that groundwork, without more attention to and investment in our neighbors and communities, red state progressives will continue to be stimulated by candidates who tumble onto the ballot with tremendous national backing and fanfare, followed by the inevitable letdown and disillusionment. But that’s what tumblers (including those who run Tumblr) do: They find themselves in positions of power and become kneejerking letdowns for the masses. December 7, 2018 Columnists 39


12/07/18, Vol. 9 Issue 21  

Indulge! 40 Local Meals That Won’t Break The Bank!!! Profile: Chef Deborah VanTrece // Film Review: “The Favourite” // Arnorette’s 40-Year R...

12/07/18, Vol. 9 Issue 21  

Indulge! 40 Local Meals That Won’t Break The Bank!!! Profile: Chef Deborah VanTrece // Film Review: “The Favourite” // Arnorette’s 40-Year R...