NWGA'S PREMIER FEATURE MAGAZINE / NOVEMBER 2014
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J. BRYANT STEELE turns Thanksgiving into his personal wish list, tells us why Savannah should smile and examines Wisconsin’s “death-by-brat epidemic”.
With the Holiday Season just around the corner, a drink-clanking toast lies in waiting for sure, and HOLLY LYNCH wants to make sure our version is perfect for the occasion.
28 39 49 6
BACK FORTY BEER CO. is currently plowing full steam ahead, harvesting craft brews fit for the front of the beverage industry line.
V3 MAGAZINE’S ANNUAL TASTE AND TOAST AWARDS WINNERS are served, and this year’s Best Overall restaurant is expanding its reach,bringing diners an experience that is out-of this-world. Get geared up, because Atlanta’s new COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME is breaking the huddle and going deep. If your plans include carving a turkey this holiday season, carve out a little time earlier in the month to THANK A SOLDIER ON VETERANS DAY.
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v3 magazine 7
t’s November and while Turkey Day still ranks as the highlight of the month for me, the Taste & Toast Awards are a close second. On the 11th of this month, we will gather at the City Club (above Old Havana Cigar Co.) to celebrate with the winners of 16 different categories revealed within the pages of this issue. This event provides the hard-working individuals in the F&B biz a chance to cut loose and earn the recognition they deserve, via the 11,000 plus votes cast by Northwest Georgians like you. On the flip side of the coin, it allows our staff to play with our food... which the kids in us all can’t deny we enjoy. We photograph, we eat, and we wash it down with some form of beverage, and then start that process all over again. It’s hard work, but somebody has to do it, right? It has been an honor and privilege to highlight these fine folks for what they do best over the last three years, and we look forward to the growth of this event in the years to come.
Owne r & Ceo Ian Griffin
Ian Griffin OWNER+CEO
Unfortunately, life sometimes delivers good news along with the bad and, on Oct. 15, Rome lost an unbelievably talented artist, friend, father, and husband in Robert Weed. While I only knew Robert for a short time and our paths crossed seldom, I considered him a friend and mentor. I first met Robert in 2006 when Anthony Barba, Neal Howard and I climbed the stairs to his office to consult with him on our little idea for a magazine. We were as green as could be and to say it showed would be an understatement. In some ways, I think he found our venture comical due to our lack of experience, but he appreciated our drive enough to take on the project and show us the ropes. He was one of the most direct people I have ever encountered. He was quick witted, confident, and straight to the point, and it was that tough love that gave us the confidence to make our idea a reality. After holding our hands through three issues, we ventured out on our own, but Robert was always our biggest supporter, critic and friend. We couldn’t have made it without you, Robert. Rest in peace.
Ian Griffin, Owner
Mag a rt & design Ellie Borromeo
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v3 magazine 9
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v3 magazine 11
urman Bisher, the revered, longtime sports writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, used to write a Thanksgiving column each November that I anticipated in a way other news readers of my generation anticipated Ann Landers’ occasional columns assuring bored housewives it was perfectly normal if they enjoyed doing housework in the nude. (OK, I was both of those readers. In my adolescent imagination, those bored housewives all looked like Raquel Welch.) Each Bisher column would be, in turn, serious and mirthful, as he gave thanks for things big and small, subtly reminding us of what we often take for granted. Over the years, I’ve seen a number of columnists, usually also on the sports beat, try to emulate those Bisher columns of yore. I suppose imitation, even pale imitation, really is the sincerest form of flattery, but the attempts I’ve seen are just bad forgeries. I’ve got better sense than to try to go there. Instead, why don’t we turn Thanksgiving on its head? Instead of giving thanks for what we have on the one day set aside for it, do it the other 364 days on the calendar. But on Thanksgiving Day, let us not give thanks for what we have but instead ask for what we want. I’ll go first (it was my idea): I want a job selling something – vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias, salvation, whatever – door to door, and I want bored housewives, who look like an ageless Raquel Welch, to answer the door in the nude (to prove Ann Landers wasn’t making those letters up). I want professional athletes,
rock stars and other pop culture icons to get together and say, “You know what? Our influence is outsized. Why don’t we fire our publicists and give half our shoes to people who are truly barefoot?” My daughter just got married. I want, of course, for her to be happy, but I also want my new sonin-law to feel comfortable talking to me, enough so to call me by my first name when trouble arises and say, “Your daughter is confounding me. What should I do?” Just so I can answer, “What are you asking me for? I just changed her diapers. I never could change her mind.” I want “Bow Down in Jericho” to be required reading in high schools. I want the divine to speak to those who hate, whether with weapons or words, whether at home or abroad, and soften their hearts and enlarge their brains. I want the Coen brothers to make movies forever. I want the Koch brothers to spend their fortune colonizing Mars, and leave Earth alone. I want a universal law that requires people to be well-informed or to lead interesting lives before sharing their views or their news on social media. I want a woman president, even if it is Hillary. I want more clowns in Congress and the General Assembly so I’ll have more material to write about. And I’m the first to acknowledge that it’s low-hanging fruit. (I don’t really want that; I’d be as grateful as anyone if we elected enlightened leaders with critical thinking skills and moral compassion who could lead this country back to the greatness it once showed.) I want certain people to stop fretting about this time every year over a “war on Christmas” that doesn’t exist. Just because some peddlers, recognizing a diverse, even uncertain, customer base, say “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” doesn’t mean Christmas is under siege. If you don’t believe me, look around after you finish reading this issue. Observe how quickly snowflakes and elves replace turkeys and Pilgrims in store displays. If you want to get angry about something, get angry that retailers are “celebrating” Christmas earlier each year. That’s the real sacrilege. One more thing: I want you faithful readers to know I’m thankful for each of you. Writing these
Damn the Man 12
WITH J. BRYANT STEELE
columns wouldn’t be as much fun without you coming up to me on the sidewalk or in a queue somewhere and sharing your opinions. Enjoy Thanksgiving. If you want second helpings, just ask.
Beware. There’s an old scam with new life out there. Subscribers to a variety of publications are receiving fraudulent renewal notices. The rates are generally higher than what you would really be charged. The notices may arrive in the mail or online, and a clue is that payment is to be directed to Associated Publishers Subscription Services, Magazine Billing Network, United Publishers Service, publisherpayment.com or any of a number of like-sounding names. While publishers often do outsource subscription services to a third party, they do not direct payment to any name other than the publication itself. Another clue is if the renewal notice directs payment to an address in Nevada. If you’re in doubt, check your latest copy of the publication for a customer service contact.
The 14th annual Lavender Mountain Anthology, featuring works by some of Northwest Georgia’s published authors, is in production and will be in local stores in time for Christmas stockings It being an election year, it was possibly tougher to put together the signing ceremony in October for the deepening of the Savannah River and its ocean channel serving the ports of Brunswick and Savannah than it was to put together the actual project. After all, there was no partisan bickering over the importance of the project to Georgia’s economy. Even Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, four years ago, called it his top economic development project (this man, remember, has a rather busy airport in his own yard). But it was a foregone deal for a little while despite years-long delays, not all of which were borne out of reason – environmental lawsuits (all settled); the Army Corps of Engineers twice asking for more methodical study; and South Carolina, home of the rival Charleston port, throwing its own litigious gum into the works. Now digging can begin – deepening the channel to 47 feet
for a length of 41 miles to accommodate new super-sized container ships coming through the Panama Canal. But the Georgia Ports Authority has been announcing new contracts and growth numbers for some time while the politicians coordinated the spotlight moment. That finally happened in October. There really is wind in these sails; the deepening will have an economic ripple effect throughout Georgia. Finally this: The Green Bay Packers are selling 22-ounce bratwurst grilled in beer and cheese at home games this season. You’d want a quick death, too, if you lived in Wisconsin in the winter.
J. Bryant Steele is an awardwinning journalist based in Rome.
v3 magazine 13
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tap room WHETHER IT’S A “FENCE-POST” CHAT OR A WHITE TABLECLOTH DINNER, JASON WILSON HAS CREATED BEERS THAT BRING FOLKS TOGETHER, AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE BREWS ‘EM TO DO. TEXT ERIN DEMESQUITA PHOTOS DEREK BELL v3 magazine 17
tep outside right now. There’s a crisp, entirely refreshing feel in the air as this fall season is in full swing. Cool breezes and golden hues beckon for outdoor activity by day; and by the night’s edge, bonfires begin! Anyone who fancies a fireside seat knows that most southern bonfires aren’t complete without a few guitar tunes and, of course, the perfect brew. This fall season, V3 knows of a few koozies that may have found their perfect bottle of suds. But this isn’t just any run-of-the-mill, 30-pack of light beer. This brew is a pioneer of the pint, a brother of brewers, and a crusader for its community – it is “liquid folk art.” In downtown Gadsden, Ala., just across a set of railroad tracks, the 1942 Sears and Roebuck Appliance Repair Center has been gutted and rebuilt. Parallel with the tracks on the building’s east side, in the style of a vintage painted ad, “Back Forty Beer Company” stretches across the face of the brick. Since 2012, these bones have been the home of Alabama’s own brewed art. Founder and President Jason Wilson invited
the V3Magazine crew onto Back Forty’s front porch at 200 North Sixth Street for a cold craft brew and a walk through his brew house’s backyard. Wilson, 34, is a fifth-generation Gadsden native, working with a 20-member family-oriented crew, all with an enormous passion for brewing. A behind-the-scenes look into that passion begins with the repurposed antique-plow harness
from members of the Gadsden community and beyond – for sale solely in profit for the artist; no commission is retained. Hanging high on the wall behind the bar is a sheet of steel with the words “liquid folk art” plasma cut into the center; the brewery name above and the city and state below. “These are our neon signs,” Wilson says as he explains that the
“This isn’t a trend, it’s a fundamental shift in the way people drink beer in america,” handles of the rustic wooden doors that open from the front porch into Back Forty’s taproom. Already, the community support is evident; in fact, it’s displayed across the walls. Back Forty welcomes junk art, folk art, illustration, and photography
local trade school practices their craft by creating these signs, which Back Forty then distributes (with beer) to various accounts throughout its region. The custom tap handles below the sign are made of wood, hand-carved, stained and
capped locally. One learns quickly that nothing inside these walls is impersonal. Back Forty not only welcomes the community, they give back any chance they get. The use of the taproom is offered to local charities (free of charge) for hosting events; and to those who rent the room for other events, all proceeds are given directly to the charity of the brewery’s choosing. Reflecting on Back Forty’s community involvement and use of local resources and artists, Wilson says, “Any one of those things [we do for the community] individually doesn’t really move the needle a lot, but the idea is that if you live a lifestyle in a culture that supports things like that, then you can move the needle in the end, and you can make a difference.” Between the taproom and the expanse of the brew house, even the stretch of hallway displays a personal touch. Copious amounts of beer coasters are collaged and enclosed by recycled wooden pallet frames. Each one is different and they have come from all over the world. One side of each coaster says, in the style of a handwritten note, “This coaster belongs to Back Forty Beer
Company, return for a handsome reward.” The side visible in the collage resembles a postcard with Back Forty’s address printed and ready for return. And return they did; some with words of praise for “liquid folk art” and some with art of their own. Wilson laughs as he points out a tiny drawing in the middle of a collage of a pudgy, freckle-bellied cartoon man, an ode to their favorite brew, Freckle Belly IPA. And just what is the reward, you may wonder? A picture of brewer Tim Blevins – complete with his nearly-foot-long beard – standing inside the brew kettle holding a sign that says, “Handsome Reward.” A brew with a sense of humor seems to make the liquid all the more refreshing. Back Forty’s origins are deeply rooted in southern soil, the forgotten soil waiting at the back of the barn to be exact. Wilson props an elbow on the wood surface of Back Forty’s taproom bar as he explains the meaning and the significance in the name. An old agricultural term, the “back 40” refers to the 40 acres of uncultivated land furthest from the
barn. These 40 acres are often dismissed and overlooked in the name of difficulty or distance from needed tools and supplies. Like the back 40, the craft beer industry in Alabama is largely overlooked and has been uncultivated for far too long. Wilson wasn’t just naming a company; he was accepting a challenge. Because the truth is, given the much deserved attention and a little TLC, the back 40 acres’ soil is actually quite fertile and has potential to produce a more-than-hearty yield. Wilson and his crew at Back Forty stand up to the challenge, and just in his six years of brewing, Wilson has pierced the soil and is sowing the seeds; the Alabama craft beer industry is growing. “It’s ongoing but it’s come a long way,” Wilson says, “When we started, we were the only packaging brewery in Alabama. That was late 2008/ early 2009, and today there are 33 licensed craft brewery operations. In six years, we’ve gone from two to 33. It’s pretty crazy, but every day we’ve worked on a piece of legislation that will move the ball a little more.”
v3 magazine 19
As president of the Alabama Brewers Guild, Wilson is able to put hand and heart into the progression of his industry, and the Alabama State Senate has been receiving (and passing) legislation in the name of the craft beer industry at a fairly constant rate since 2009. Persistence and support have paid off for the pioneers and pushers of change. Now, Alabama brewers raise their glasses to 2009, 2011 and 2012 – years in which the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) bill raised the legal limit to 13.9 from 6 percent, the Brewery Modernization Act allowed breweries to open taprooms and to sell beer off-premises through a licensed distributor, and the Gourmet Bottle bill allowed production of large format bottles, finally dropping bombers into the hands of Bama beer lovers. The trailblazing and back 40 planting continues for Wilson and pioneers alike as, this year, a bill is introduced that would allow craft brewers to sell beer directly out of their breweries. This would mean that retailers wouldn’t be the only way to purchase an after-work six-pack or a pony keg for a party; patrons and beer enthusiasts could actually shake hands with their brewers over their liquid artistry. Consider the seeds scattered and the soil soaked. While there is business to attend and an agenda to move forward, the gals and beards of Back Forty keep their environment light hearted and humble, and their southern appreciation flowing. The brew house’s recipes were created with the help of world-renowned brewmaster Jamie Ray, and the names are a nod to Wilson’s appreciation for double entendres. The first brew in the tank was a crisp, classic American pale ale. Named after the palest animal on the farm, the Naked Pig Pale Ale was released in June of 2009. “We try to focus on great interpretations of classic beer styles,” Wilson says, “All I want is when someone buys a Naked Pig Pale Ale and pops the top on it, they drink it and say to themselves, that’s a pale ale.” The response was exactly (if not more than) what Wilson had hoped for, and Back Forty kept on truckin’. Local Alabama Wildflower Honey was added into the next brew, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale, an English brown with an earthy hop aroma named for the little honey bear bottles commonly found in truck stops. Back Forty certainly gives new meaning to picking up a “truck-stop honey.” Ray’s recipe wizardry brought in a boat-load of fresh hops with notes of citrus, pine and fruit aromas for Back Forty’s Freckle Belly India Pale Ale (IPA). With their fourth year-round offering, Back Forty removes all divisive perceptions about the “fence post” and reminds the Deep South that
this is the place where neighbors and friends come together for a chat – to have a “session,” if you will. Similar to a German Kolsch, Fence Post Session Ale is a light summer brew that pairs well with a slice of pizza and encourages folks to relax into the sweet seat of good ole’ southern socialization. Back Forty offers up some local Alabama peach produce with a light spring and summer seasonal, Paw Paw’s Peach Wheat. And for those of us who prefer something with a bit more body, the Kudzu Porter weaves a little smoke with hints of chocolate and coffee into the flavor, and just enough citrus aroma to remain refreshing; Back Forty cleverly warns, “Careful, it’ll grow on you!” In many ways, Wilson introduced Back Forty beer to the plate before the pint. In his beginning business quest to introduce and sell Back Forty to restaurants and bars, Wilson realized that his complementary personalities were to be found in the restaurant kitchens. He began by going straight to chefs who were open to incorporating his beer in their food, at which point the bar would, of course, be forced to carry the beer that battered the fish. This initial culinary connection sparked the fuse of a foodie culture within Back Forty’s craft beer operation that has rendered the company well traveled. “It defines our company, it’s what we do,”
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Wilson says, “We put food pairing suggestions on all our labels. We have amazing relationships with worldclass chefs; we travel to New York and L.A. and all these great places doing beer, wine and food events.” Back Forty and their brews even accompanied 2012 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef in the South Chris Hastings of Birmingham to New York for a southern-inspired dinner presentation. Any foodie knows that the Beard Awards are of the highest honorary recognition for food and beverage professionals, and that year, New York got a little taste of the Deep South. Back Forty offers some guidelines on food/beer pairings as well as a few beer-infused recipes on their website, backfortybeer.com, using videos
presented ever-so humorously called, “Beer Before Breakfast,” hosted by Back Forty’s business development manager, David Carn. Wilson compares the growing craft beer industry to culinary travel, saying that just as travelers will order deep-dish pizza in Chicago and gumbo in New Orleans, they are beginning to request local beer selections upon their destinations. “This isn’t a trend; it’s a fundamental shift in the way people drink beer in America,” Wilson says. “It’s not good enough in America anymore to have the cheapest price. That’s not what it’s about. People are less price-conscious and more quality conscious. They want to hear a story. They want to know where their money is going.” The story of Back Forty began with inspiration drawn from countless brewery tours and a few late-night heart-to-hearts between Wilson and other brewers. With plenty of inspiration and a definite love for the craft, it was a talk with SweetWater Brewing Co. CEO Freddy Bensch that provided the last push over the rim of the glass. But Back Forty wasn’t ready for a place of its own; in 2009, Wilson reached out to a microbrewery in Mississippi for use of their space until Back Forty could secure its own home. The crew spent long nights taking over the brew house at Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. – breathing life into the dream.
v3 magazine 21
When Back Forty did establish its home in 2012, Wilson made sure that he and his crew lent their brewing brothers the same helping hand that they had received. At one point, Wilson says Back Forty was brewing beer to help six other start-up companies who are now established and filling orders. He has also passed on the goodwill by helping dozens of breweries get their paperwork filed and licenses applied for, employing the phrase “the rising tide floats all boats.” “Right now in Alabama, all craft beer, no matter where it’s made, represents about 8 percent of the market share. Of that market, maybe 1 percent is Alabama craft beer,” Wilson explains. “My measly marketing budget isn’t going to do anything to change the hearts and minds of Alabamians about beer, but if we’ve got a small brewery or brewpub in every town in Alabama who are
all preaching the same message of supporting a local brewery, then we can make a difference.” Seeing the struggle Gadsden was having with current employment and new jobs, Wilson knew that establishing Back Forty Beer Co. in the heart of the Alabama city would add fuel to the fires of change. He also knew the power of proud employees. “I could go out and buy a piece of automated equipment to do [a job], or I can go out and hire two employees. And when I hire those two employees, I’m not just hiring them. I’m hiring their family, their extended family and their friends,” says Wilson. “All of a sudden, there are more faces in my taproom because people are coming up to see their buddies. Their parents are walking the streets, proud because their son or daughter works here, and they’re preaching the message. There’s a value to having that kind people power.” Written on a dry erase board on the command center’s inside door is a quote by John Quincy Adams, reminding the brew crew that, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” It seems that Back Forty rides the rails of that philosophy in every way. VVV
Back Forty is located at 200 North 6th Street Gadsden, AL 35901 256.467.4912 Sample Back Forty's beers at Old Havana Cigar Co. Jason Wilson Founder/CEO 22 v3 magazine
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“For my hEArt, I choosE rEdmond.” Scott
Heart Attack Survivor
“When the ambulance arrived, they put me in the back to take me to the hospital and they said where do you want to go? And I said take me to Redmond.” Scott was running up the bleachers at the high school stadium when he began to have severe chest pain. He knew it was serious and he knew that Redmond was the place to go for heart care. Redmond’s heart team determined that Scott had experienced a massive heart attack and needed triple bypass surgery. Scott is one of more than 500 patients that have heart surgery at Redmond each year. In fact, Redmond is the only hospital in Northwest Georgia performing life-saving heart surgery.
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HERE'S TO YOU, KID.
n my business, toasts are fairly common. The best man might make a toast at a rehearsal dinner or the boss may say a few words to the retiring employee. As the party planner, we see (or rather, hear) the toasts and can watch the room. I always marvel at how some toasts come together perfectly and bring the house down, either in laughter or tears. The awkward toasts, however, are the ones where I want to rescue the audience by “accidentally” disconnecting the microphone. You’ve probably been there – watching the poor toast-giver stumbling awkwardly through an inside joke, making slightly off-color comments, and basically wandering off into the linguistic wilderness. But giving a toast should be easy and something all socially savvy people can do with some ease. We’re often asked for pointers about making toasts, so given this Taste & Toast issue, I thought
Traditions WITH HOLLY TRENDS&
it appropriate to offer some suggestions for a tasteful toast! If you’re in a position where giving a toast is customary (i.e., the host of an event), be sure to check with the guest of honor to make sure they’d be comfortable with you making a toast in his or her honor. The host should always make the first toast, before the meal. Other toasts would begin after the dessert is served. If you are the host of an event where toasting a guest would be appropriate (birthday celebration, wedding, retirement party), then plan your toast accordingly. If you are offering the first toast of the evening, make sure to invite others to toast at the end of the meal. Once you’ve figured out if you should make a toast, then start planning what you want to say. Planning ahead is always smarter than speaking off the cuff. Nothing kills a party faster than an unprepared guest rambling on at the microphone. Make sure your remarks are appropriate and sincere. Avoid stories that are too personal, embarrassing to the guest of honor or that reference an inside joke that other guests wouldn’t understand. Keep your comments relevant to the occasion – if the toast is at a wedding, making
reference to the groom’s past dating relationship is probably not appropriate but commenting on his finding the perfect mate would be correct. Make sure to keep your toast short and positive. A good toast is really just a few sentences. This is not a speech, but a toast. At most, the host of the event can speak for a few minutes, but not longer than three or four. Always make the toast a positive commentary on the guest of honor – this is not a “roast” but a toast. A great place to start is how you know the guest of honor and his or her personality or character attribute you most respect. For example, if I were toasting my editor, I would say, “Here’s to you, Ian, for always giving me latitude in my deadlines.” The hardest part of a toast is often finding a way “out” of the toast. If you keep your comments short, then simply ending the toast with “Cheers” is a great way to close. Then simply raise your glass and take a sip. If there are more toasts to follow yours, you’ll need some beverage remaining in your glass to continue drinking to the guest of honor, so a sip is the right way to go.
If you’re caught off guard and simply need a quick toast, saying, “Here’s to ______” will almost always do. No need to prolong the moment when you haven’t had a chance to plan something more to say. Looking for something to memorize so you always have a GREAT toast at the ready, then this Old Irish Blessing should do the trick:
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.” Until next month, my friends, here’s to you!
Holly Lynch is the owner of The Season Events, a full service catering, event planning, and design company located at 250 Broad Street in Rome.
v3 magazine 25
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v3 magazine 27
THE RESULTS OF V3 MAGAZINE'S
201 4 taste &toast restaurant awards v3 magazine 29
Fly Me to the
For the third straight year, the Harvest Moon Café is the star of our dining community, winning BEST OVERALL, and they plan to remain on top with plans of many “Moons” to come. TEXT ERIN DEMESQUITA PHOTOS DEREK BELL
S Pumpkin spice ettle into a booth; your server will be right with you. In that 45-second wait (because timing is everything), take a moment to think of all the efforts that have and are about to contribute to your dining experience. From the front-door greeting to the clean stack of plates on the kitchen shelf, the men and women of the food service Sponge cake layered with industry are on their feet from clock-in to pumpkin-mascarpone clock-out, making sure each dining cheese, experience surpasses last,whipped and guests (that’s and toppedthe with cream you) leave with full stomachs and candied pecans then drizzled wide smiles. with caramel. But this job isn’t for everyone. There is so much more to a food service employee than pleasant people skills and good balance; they are incessant salespeople, consistent customer service reps., team members, mediators, multi-taskers, order-takers, laborers and constant late-nighters. The work can be back breaking, the hours long and the tips small, but they keep going with a steady smile on their face, an ache in their feet and weeds up to their eyelids (if it’s not clear what weeds are, ask a server). While all may not be able to walk a mile in those slip-resistant shoes; V3 Magazine’s annual Taste and Toast Awards offer the chance to show some love and appreciation for the hard-working men and women behind the skillfully served plates and pints. So, bartenders, servers, chefs and hosts, take a bow. And then take a seat; you’ve earned it. This year, the voters have raised their voices in “Best Overall” praise for Rome’s own Harvest Moon Café (234 Broad St., Rome), which has taken the cake and run down the street with it for the third year in a row. Over the years, Broad St. has been known to provide a fairly tough crowd for businesses; they are either loved or they leave. The Moon has not only displayed a strong staying power in its current location, but since 2001 has taken a funky yet refined Southern-style and built a lunar empire. The month of October unveiled the debut of two new additions for this esteemed and eclectic eatery. At 236 Broad St., just next door, The Dark Side of the Moon combines urban and industrial elegance in an after-hours bar room, one that owner Ginny Kibler says she’s always wanted to create. “We haven’t really ever had a full-fledged bar that can have separate hours and live music; it’s hard to interrupt the restaurant hours,” she explains. The Moon’s new after-hours addition debuted on Oct. 31 with Holler-Ween, The Dark Side’s Halloween bash with live music by local band The Holler. Hours for The Dark Side extend through
the Moon’s dinner shift and then beyond for late-night entertainment; however, lovers of the Moon Roof Bar should fret not. While the Moon Roof maintains an intimate seasonal bar and venue, The Dark Side simply adds a new element to Harvest Moon’s live entertainment offerings. Inside The Dark Side’s walls, silver corrugated metal intersects the exposed 1895 brick with accents of industrial style aluminum and glass lighting. Custom-crafted, hinged barstools swing out to greet bar flies and the menu introduces light tapas delights. “We’ve wanted to do tapas for a long time,” Kibler says. “It was hard to make that big of a [menu] change, but now that we have that new space, we can.” Among the new tapas dishes is a charcuterie plate featuring homemade sausage and prosciutto as well as the fresh-baked breads crafted by the Moon since 1998. The Dark Side’s wooden bar top, which is as old as the building it now resides in, extends out to the large open-face entrance off the patio; even at the bar, you’re breathing the fresh outside air. Kibler says that the Moon is happy to finally have the capacity to expand their drink menu. Taking their list of craft products beyond the bread, The Dark Side carries 12 different craft beers on tap. And now that limited space has been eliminated, Dark Siders may even find a game of cornhole going on in the back. The depths of The Dark Side reveal the
Moon’s second venue addition, New Moon. This space serves as an event venue for catering, receptions, showers, beer/wine dinners and the Moon’s Sunday brunch. “New Moon can be rented out or we also book our own events here, so it’s great overflow for the restaurant,” Kibler says. Warm rustic woods, exposed brick, and large wood-framed lanterns line the walls of New Moon with white-clothed tables dotting the floor. Kibler kept the décor and design of the new space neutral for event versatility, adding just a bit of color splash with a few local art pieces from Studio Siri and Blacktop Folk Art. “In the last two or three years, our catering business has grown by about 50 percent,” Kibler says, and it’s because of that growth that the Moon decided to finally create their own event space. “This is our caterer’s dream,” she laughs. Kibler displays a humble smile when her lunar creation is referred to as an empire; she attributes any and all successes to amazing patrons, an incredible staff and the rock-solid support of her husband, Doc. “We’ve been fortunate; we really have,” she says. “We’ve got an unbelievable, loyal crowd and great employees.” So here’s a toast to another year of successful “Mooning,” and to the ladies and gents that keep the food service industry afloat. VVV
Harvest Moon Café is located at 234 Broad Street, Rome, Georgia.
HoneyMoon Bakery 228 Broad Street Rome, GA 706.232.0611 v3 magazine 31
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FAME ON! AFTER A LITTLE OVER A YEAR INTO THE HALL’S CONSTRUCTIO N PHASE, ATLANTA HAS FOUGHT THROUG H THE REDZONE AND PUNCHE D IN A
$12.7 MILLION TOUCHDOWN FOR THE HOME TEAM
TEXT OLIVER ROBBINS PHOTOS DEREK BELL
v3 magazine 39
his time of the year, most of us will be firmly planted on our couches (at least one day of the weekend) watching our gridiron heroes fight for yards between the lines in packed arenas, or maybe, in our hometown high schools’ backyards. America seems to have a love
affair with the game of football that will lure them into spending each weekend rooting for their favorite team. There is, however, a special love for the competition at the collegiate level, and the flag posts of Northwest Georgia’s front porches tell the God’s honest truth about the enormous college football fan base here. And like a 100-pound pit bull terrier and a T-bone steak, it is smart not to come between a football fanatic and his team playing ball. Today, there is a place where college football connoisseurs can really dig into the history of the game and explore a world-class facility dedicated wholly to the sport, and – to ice the cake – it’s only a short car ride away. Its 94,256 square feet of game day bliss trace the steps of every cleat, from the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors to the ’Canes of the University of Miami, and present the information to visitors using a totally interactive experience. Not only can you see the sport’s rich past but you are thrust into today’s game in the form of state-of-the-art technology, putting every facet of college football literally at your fingertips. Folks, the College Football Hall of Fame and the new Chick-fil-A Fan Experience (250 Marietta St., Atlanta) have found a new home, and boy is it nice to have such swanky digs in our very own State of Georgia. Now neighbors with the Georgia World Congress Center, who along with the National Football Foundation and Atlanta Hall Management are
owners of this impressive facility, the College Football Hall of Fame (CFHOF) has been refaced and updated to meet the standards of a 21st century fan. On Aug. 20, Hall officials offered an unofficial opening, allowing members of the media to get a peek inside the walls of the Hall before the public was allowed to enter the doors on Aug. 23. V3 took full advantage of a chance to see what will surely be a huge revenue generator for the state of Georgia, attracting visitors to Atlanta from all over the globe. Many major news outlets were in attendance, but the guest list included some notable attendees. Tony Barnhart, also known as “Mr. College Football,” from the SEC Network, was on hand to welcome media representatives to the Hall. Barnhart, who is well respected in the college football world, provided some scope to Atlanta being chosen to house the CFHOF saying, “For 30 years, I’ve lived and worked in the city of Atlanta, Ga., to cover college football. So, trust me when I tell you this is a very special day for college football and a very special day for Atlanta. Those of us who work in the media know that one of the fun things we get to do is tell a good story. And folks, this is a great, great story.” Barnhart went on to talk about how Atlanta stepped up to the plate when the CFHOF started looking to leave its South Bend, Ind., home in hopes of attracting more visitors. And after many long workdays, and many hours at the
negotiating table, Georgia State officials and key founding partners were able to pave the way for groundbreaking on Jan. 28, 2013. So naturally, the gentleman holding the highest office in Georgia State government also came to see his hard work realized firsthand. The 82nd Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, spoke extensively about how pleased he was that the CFHOF would be providing a much deserved spotlight on our great state.
“I remember on New Year’s Eve of  Archie Manning and the National Football Foundation [and I] were [planning] the ground breaking for this great facility. A year and a half later, here we are,” Deal recalls. “I thought at the time, what better place could there be for the College Football Hall of Fame than right here in Atlanta, Ga. We are in the heart of football country … and we have many people who have contributed to college football, from the coaches to the players.
It’s good to have all of this assembled here in our capital city.” Deal continues, “It will be a great contribution to the increased tourism attractions we have in this part of the city. It is estimated, I am told, that we will have about a half million visitors coming every year and the sales we are anticipating will be about $12 million. Now, as the governor of this state, I can tell you that those are very good numbers.”
v3 magazine 41
pulling everything from their bag of tricks to create a fan experience rivaled by few in the biz. Entering the CFHOF doors leads you down a tunnel with silhouettes of cheering fans ushering your arrival to The Quad. Inside The Quad, you are greeted by a wall of 818 helmets representing all of your favorite college teams. Be sure to ask a CFHOF team member to help you to find your squad’s logo among the backlit hats. They have a special surprise in store for you. Around the corner is a 45-yard indoor playing field, complete with drill stations and a field goal post. There, families can go through the motions of a college football athlete, giving fathers a chance to show their youngsters how they use to “tote the mail” for their respected alma mater. And don’t be shy about asking to kick a 33-yarder for the win; the Hall staff is happy to oblige. The Chick-fil-A “Why We Love Football” exhibit is a 52-foot interactive touch-screen wall that lets a fan pick through a plethora of football related facts, awards and heritage, all with the touch of a finger. There is also a 4K feature film titled “The Game of Your Life,” where HOF members talk
With an estimated 12.7 million greenbacks in economic impact for Georgia, the CFHOF is bringing much needed cash that will improve the overall quality of life for all Georgia residents. And what Hall of Fame inaugural opening would be complete without some Hall-ofFamers being on hand to christen the joint. Tracy Ham (Georgia Southern), Kevin Butler (UGA), Art Shell (Maryland Eastern Shore) and Atlanta resident philanthropist Danny Wuerffel (University of Florida) were in attendance to see the new housing for their stats and achievements on the football field. Possibly Rome’s No. 1 Florida fan, Ian Griffin was able to secure an interview with Wuerffel, one of his childhood heroes, solidifying the awesome experience of a day in the new CFHOF. “The whole thing is a surprise,” Wuerffel says. “It’s like history and tradition meeting technology. Your great-grandparents could come through here and have that sense of depth and authenticity, then my 5-year-old can come here and play with the video screens, and my 10-year-old can go play catch and kick field goals. I think people of every age are going to love this.” Now, let’s detail a handful of the wonderful things tourists can take part in when spending an afternoon in the Hall. Patrick Gallagher and his talented team of exhibit designers at Gallagher & Associates have come together with Chick-fil-A and other founding partners, Art Shell
v3 magazine 43
“It is estimated, I am told, that we will have about a half million visitors coming every year and the sales we are anticipating will be about $12 million. Now, as the governor of this state I can tell you that those are very good numbers.” about their sport over eye-popping highlights and behind-the-scenes footage of their careers. The Coca-Cola Fans’ Game Day exhibit allows fans to really get interactive with a seat at the
tour, but we will tell you there are body-length touch screens with handles hanging from the ceiling displaying the athletes and all of their accomplishments. That’s right, the screens have
weekly ESPN College GameDay Desk. After a quick broadcast, head on over to the AT&T Game Time gallery where you will be guided through football plays by famous college football coaches like Lou Holtz. With technology at the forefront of the design concepts, the CFHOF has much more in store for tech-savvy and purists fans alike. And, of course, there is the Hall of Fame. We would like to save a little something for your
handles, people. Everyone involved with the new CFHOF has done an extraordinary job of putting together a HOF to make Georgians and Americans can truly proud. What is mentioned here is only the tip of the college football iceberg. And the good news is that all of your day can be saved on an all-access-pass and downloaded to your PC to enjoy for years to come. Be sure to visit www.cfbhall.com for more info about the Hall,
a list of the many business partners responsible for bringing this attraction to our state, or to book your tour and become immersed in the college sport so many hold so dear. VVV
For ticket information, call 404-880-4800 or email email@example.com.
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THE MEN OF THE HONOR GUARD AT AMERICAN LEGION POST 5
STILL SERVE SELFLESSLY AFTER FIGHTING BATTLES ABROAD, BY HELPING OUR MILITARY FAMILIES SAY GOOD-BYE TO A SOLDIER, ONE LAST TIME.
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v3 magazine 49
or most of us, Veterans Day is celebrated with a day off, an opportunity to get in one last barbeque before winter closes in and, perhaps, a war film on the tube. But to 21 million Americans and their families, Veterans Day evokes much more. It is an important reminder of their years of service to our great country and the freedoms they sought to protect. The history of Veterans Day can be traced back to the end of the Great War. The armistice signed by the warring nations set the cessation of hostilities for the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. At that time, Nov. 11 was called Armistice Day. The United States made the holiday official in 1938 and amended it to include all veterans in 1954. Standing in contrast to Memorial Day, which serves to honor all those who gave their lives in service to our country, Veterans Day recognizes the service of all who have worn the uniform. V3 had the sincere pleasure of meeting an extraordinary group of local veterans from the American Legion Honor Guard, all of whom take great pride in continuing to serve their country many years after their terms of enlistment ended. Alvin Hardin spent over 15 years in the Marines and 17 years in the Army before retiring in 1985. For the last 12 years, he has served as
captain of the Honor Guard, leading a dedicated group of 20 veterans who conduct military funerals throughout Northwest Georgia. (They have traveled as far as Aniston, Ala., to ensure that deceased veterans are honored appropriately and receive the stirring rites of an official military burial.) Last year alone, they attended 97 funerals. “We are still serving our community, still serving our country,” says Kevin McGonigal, commander of the Legion and member of the Honor Guard. Members of the Guard are volunteers; they receive no compensation aside from the honor of knowing that they are taking care of their brothers in arms. For these men, the concept of “country first” is more than just words; it is a way of life. The group is diverse, representing all eras of American history. World War II veterans Bob Bennett, Bob Lattimer and Homer Watters, all in their late 80s, are proud members of the Guard as is DannyGROUPS Story, a second-generation member Book the Discussions. Sign up to now. who is continuing legacy passed down him Examples: “The Four Agreements” by his father, JD “Skinny” Story. Voice of Knowledge” We had“The the great honor of accompanying “The Power of Now” the Honor Guard to a ceremony that was both moving and solemn. The 14 members of the Guard stood at attention while the casket was gently laid by the graveside. Seven members fired three rounds each to honor the fallen veteran. Differing from a 21-gun salute, the three volleys
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are offered as a final compliment and thank you for serving in the Armed Forces. Two members served as flag bearers, folding the flag and presenting it to the veteran’s family. Another member collected three shells that were fired and gently inserted them into the folded flag. The three shells represent duty, honor and country. After the flag was presented, taps was played to signify the end of service. The Legion presented the family with two letters – one that details the significance of the ceremony, outlining what each part means, and expressing condolences. These 14 members of the Honor Guard took
time out of their lives to honor a man that none of them knew personally. They stood proudly in the sun for over an hour to pay homage to a fellow veteran and recognize his service. As taps played, it was a moving tribute to all veterans, even those who have never had to place themselves between the enemy and our flag. As Veterans Day approaches, many local businesses, including Ryan’s Steakhouse, Applebee’s and O’Charley’s, are offering discounts to veterans on Nov. 11. Henderson’s Funeral Home provides meals for the Honor Guard at Ryan’s after the services at which they are in
"Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause." – Abraham Lincoln v3 magazine 51
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charge of the body. In addition, the Legion will host a cookout for veterans on Nov. 11 at Post 5, located at 5 Shorter Ave., Rome. They also have a karaoke night on Fridays and live music on Saturdays. These events are open to the community and offer a support the Legion and our local veterans. We all owe our vets more than could ever be purchased, but there are simple ways to say thank you. Buy a soldier’s lunch, donate to those who still serve our common interests or simply verbalize your gratitude. After all, service to your fellow man, and recognition of said service, is one of the outstanding characteristics of an aware and caring society. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” We proudly salute all veterans and recognizes them for their selfless service to us all. VVV
Learn more about the American Legion in Rome by “liking” their Facebook page or contact them directly at Post 0005, P.O. Box 945, Rome, GA 30162.
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Whatever you are in the mood for, you’ll find a homemade meal at our Smokehouse that will bring you back again!
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La Scala offers both first-rate service and terrific Italian Cuisine in an upscale casual atmosphere. 50% off cafe menu from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
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Fri - Sat: 11:00am-11:00pm Dine in, Take out, or delivery... Authentic Italian is what we do! We have enjoyed great success by providing our guests with a casual, friendly atmosphere and excellent service. In addition to the healthy portions of our food, you will see our entrees range from homemade sandwiches, pizzas and calzones to pastas, chicken, veal and seafood dishes. www.romamiagrill.com
Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia. v3 magazine 55
Pink is Our Passion We see the faces of breast cancer, and no two are the same. We see the young, the old, the middle-aged, and sometimes the male. But what we hope you see in us is a friend, a neighbor, a cheerleader, a support person and most of all…a champion. We are your breast care team at Gordon Hospital. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We know that mammograms save lives. We see it every day. We get ours. Please get yours.
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