Jang Su Jang {Duluth, GA}

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Sis and I are taking a weekend road trip to Atlanta, GA, and we found a great stop on the way in Duluth, GA. We were up for a food adventure and decided to try Jang Su Jang, a Korean BBQ restaurant.

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Neither of us have had Korean food before, but we’ve heard such good things. We were both very excited to try it out. I wasn’t sure if it would be an Americanized or traditional type of restaurant. Happily, it turned out to be the latter.

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For drinks we were given the option of water or tea. Sis and I opted for the tea, which was delicious and served sans sugar. It reminded me a bit of how the tea is served straight up at dim sum restaurants, too.

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We lucked out and had a very friendly waiter named Calvin who helped us make our dinner selections. We decided to start with some steamed dumplings (Mul Mandoo) and to try a combo with the tofu soup and bulgogi.

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I let sis pick which soup to try, and she opted for the Beef Soon Tofu.

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Very shortly after ordering, our table was quickly filled with an assortment of Korean side dishes. We weren’t sure what to do with them. Did we start eating them or wait for the rest of the food came out? Do you eat the side dishes straight up or mixed with stuff. Anyone know?

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(Not sure what this one is – does anyone know?)

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We even got two kinds of kim chi. Calvin also mentioned there’s another kind of kim chi made with (I think it was) beets or radishes that comes with the bossam.

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The dumplings were a big hit with us. We’re big dumpling fans, in general, but these were really tasty, and we liked the dipping sauce, too.

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{bulgogi – shredded beef BBQ}

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The tofu soup was something the restaurant specializes in. It had pieces of soft tofu and beef. The funny part was the egg. I read online you’re supposed to crack the egg into the soup while it bubbles (it comes out boiling hot). So, once the soup came out, we cracked the egg into the soup, and I started stirring it around. This was before confirming this was correct with Calvin. He came out to check on us shortly after this, and I asked him, “So…I cracked the egg into the soup. Was that right?” He confirmed that was correct to our relief as Sis laughed at me.

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And here’s dessert – a small, chilled yogurt drink.

***

Overall, we had a great experience trying Korean food for the first time. I can see why everyone loves it so much. The soup and dumplings were our stand out favorites, but we enjoyed everything quite a bit.

If you’re ever in the Atlanta area or just passing through, Jang Su Jang would be a great stop. It’s even close to the highway if you’re just looking for delicious food on your next road trip.

Artisan Coffee at Due South Coffee in Taylors Mill {Greenville, SC}

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Since we have Not Just Coffee in town, I’m spoiled with delicious coffee. I now look for high quality coffees with latte foam art wherever I go. Imagine my surprise when just such a coffee popped up on the @visitgreenvillesc Instagram account. Could it be that I could find a coffee shop like NJC when I visit my family in Greenville, SC?

Yes, as it turns out, I can thanks to Due South Coffee opening up just one week before my last visit. I had to check it out before heading home, so I grabbed hubby and my sis for a quick stop.

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Due South Coffee is actually in Taylors, SC, which is not incorporated as a city, but you may need to know that if you’re looking it up on a map/GPS. (Use “Taylors” in the search instead of “Greenville”)

The coffee shop is in an up-and-coming new area of town – Taylors Mills. More on that at the end of this post, but they’re in the early restoration stages. As we pulled onto the mill property, sis and hubby were skeptical that we were in the right place, but you just go to the Dock 3 sign and take a right. The sign is small, but it’s just there on the left on the inside corner. It looks a little like you’ve entered an abandoned property, but the coffee shop is there, and there are more businesses coming soon!

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The scene is very mod-industrial. I loved the homage to the past visible throughout the space. For example, there was a glass-enclosed display on one wall asking if you “knew your parts.” Inside were little metal (what looked to be) machinery pieces that were labeled.

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Currently, there’s one main bar area where you can sit or order drinks. There’s a large couch section, and then a couple round tables throughout.

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{I had enough coffee that day, so I opted for the hot chocolate, especially after I found out they make their own chocolate!}

But, the main attraction is the drinks. They have a real artisan touch since Due South Coffee roasts their own coffee beans and makes their own chocolate. Each drink is artfully created. Due South Coffee serves up the usual suspects like lattes and pour-overs, but they also have unique offerings like a coffee flight (espresso served three ways) and a speciality drink called the Southern Hemisphere, which features chilled espresso with rosemary infused milk and grapefruit syrup.

Do I even need to tell you that our drinks were delicious? They were! Hubby tried the flight, and Sis and I got hot chocolates. I can’t wait to try an espresso drink next time!

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There’s a property company currently working to renovate the space, the old Taylors Southern Bleachery, as a new hot spot for luxury living, restaurants, and a huge art scene. There will be event space, artist studios, and more! You can check out the Taylors Mill Properties web site for more information and updates.

Welcome, Due South Coffee! And good luck to Taylors Mill Properties with the rest of the renovation. Love what you guys are doing!

Tupelo Honey Cafe Opens in Charlotte, NC

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Have you heard of the famous Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, NC? If you’re from the south, or even further away, chances are good you have. I’ve never actually been to this restaurant before. We’ve only recently started visiting Asheville for vacations, and each time, Tupelo Honey has been too busy to visit. It’s been on my short list of places to have a meal, but things have just gotten easier for me. I don’t have to wait for another Asheville road trip since Tupelo Honey Cafe opens in Charlotte, NC today!

The restaurant is rolling out meal services as they go, starting with dinner tonight. You can find their full schedule (breakfast is coming soon!) by clicking here to visit the Tupelo Honey Cafe Charlotte page.

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I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening party this past Friday where we were treated to an early look at the restaurant’s interior (they’ve remodeled what used to be Pewter Rose Bistro), some delicious eats, and even an autographed copy of their signature cookbook to take home for later. The event also had a special twist as they were raising money for the YWCA.

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The first thing that struck me as I walked in was how bright, open, and cheery it was.

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I loved the golden woods and how the overall decorations gave a feeling of warmth.

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There were several serving areas around the restaurant, but I started with the appetizer one, filling a plate with fried okra (“Southern popcorn”), egg salad, a black bean fritter, and pimento cheese. They were all good, but the pimento cheese and okra were the standouts for me, especially the okra. I really could eat that like popcorn.

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I hit up the carving station for plate 2: tenderloin with a rich sauce (au jus?), pork tenderloin with jalapeño sauce, cheesy cauliflower, mashed sweet potatoes, and (yes) more okra.

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Hubby and I even got a polaroid to take home for later. This will be great at my work desk.

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For my third and last plate, I visited the seafood and vegetable tables: crab cake, scallop, brussels sprouts, asparagus, beets, and greens. This plate was my favorite. I’m a picky crab cake eater. Sometimes they taste too…fishy? This one was perfectly seasoned and had a nice, slightly spicy bite to it. I’m also a big vegetable lover, and I appreciated that the restaurant had so many to offer. All of the veggies were great – uniquely prepared by wonderful in their own way. I would have gotten another plate of vegetables, but I was too full!

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The Epic Eaters were representing at the grand opening party! Love those girls!

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I’ll leave you with these wise words from some of the restaurant’s art: “Bee your self”.

Thank you for having me and welcome to Charlotte, Tupelo Honey!

Insta-Chic {11/9/2013} – Bailey, Vegetables, and Nan and Byron’s

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! Just wanted to pop in with some recent Instagram photos and updates from me…

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Bailey’s been a little sick, but he’s on new medicine and feeling much better. Woohoo!

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I made a new Green Monster flavor the other day – a fall-themed flavor! Hope to share it soon!

Sorry for the delay in posting my last recipe for the cinnamon spelt doughnuts. I had it drafted up and ready to publish early last week, and then we lost our internet connection for two days. Bah! Not that anyone is waiting with bated breath for my next post, but I’ve been hoping to post more frequently, and my schedule has working against me on this, much to my frustration. But, hey, a girl’s gotta pay the bills, right?

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I’ve been working on my vegetable consumption, and I’ve also tried to do better about supporting my local farmer’s market. Is it just me or does life seem to get in the way allowing convenience to take precedent? I’ve been doing pretty good about visiting the market at least once a week recently. I have a new vegetable addiction (if such a thing is even possible): vitamin greens! Have you heard of them? They are greens that are high in many vitamins and have a similar texture to bok choy. For my vegetable consumption, I’ve been focusing on eating more leafy greens, and these have been wonderful.

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I’ve been getting one bunch per week from a local vendor at Atherton Mills Market in Southend, and I even brought home the last beautiful bunch they had today. I’m thinking they’ll make a pretty fantastic side with dinner tonight.

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While I was at the market, I swung by Not Just Coffee. Their coffees are so delicious. I’ve really been enjoying their mocha. Yum!

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Also near Atherton Mills Market is the Savory Spice Shop. I swung by there the other day to stock up on baking ingredients. I’m so ready for some holiday baking – cookies, cakes, pies. Yesss!

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Anyone looking for a good way to re-heat roasted brussels sprouts? Put them in a sauté pan with a little oil. The taste and texture is so much better than what you’d get if you used a microwave.

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For eats lately, here’s a lovely lunch from this past week by Roots Farm Food. I had a pulled pork sandwich with kale apple slaw on a warmed pita with a side of ginger carrot salad. It was delicious, locally-sourced, and so enjoyable to eat.

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And I finally escaped my usual lunch-at-my-work-desk to have lunch with co-workers at Bentley’s. It was my first time eating there, and the view is so nice from that high. It was great getting away from the office, and the food did not disappoint. I had the grilled mahi mahi and nearly licked my plate clean I liked it so much.

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And I rounded out my week of fantastic eats with a trip to Nan and Byron’s on their grand opening night with my Epic Eater friends. As a fan of 5 Church and chef Jamie, I had no doubt the meal would be spectacular. We started with the Train Wreck fries and Peppedew Poppers. I’m not normally a fan of pepper poppers, but I would absolutely order those again here. The fries were rich and perfect for the cold day. For my entree, I had the beet slider with mojito fries. The combination of ingredients on the burger was unique and a great mix of flavors and textures. The fries were just-right crispy and seasoned perfectly. I’m not sure if I’d order this again next time only because I had my eye on several other things on the menu that I can’t wait to try! But, it was really good, so I guess I’ll just have to see what mood I’m in when I’m back.

Thanks for stopping by!

Grand Brunch at Jasmine Porch (With a Special Vegan Meal)

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On Sunday, we enjoyed the most expensive brunch I’ve ever had.

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We were originally going to hit up the Italian restaurant at Kiawah Island, but they were closed for a private event. So, back to The Sanctuary we went. The choices were the pool restaurant or Jasmine Porch. With my dad being vegan now, we decided to explore Jasmine Porch. There wasn’t much on the menu dad could eat, so he talked to one of the managers who said they’d take care of him. And they sure did! (see near the end of the post for his special vegan plates)

Just twist my arm to support the restaurant that works with local farmers!

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The brunch includes a mimosa bar complete with orange juice, champagne, and fresh fruit.

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I didn’t take photos of every single item on the brunch buffet, but here are some of the highlights…

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{smoked salmon and caper frittata}

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I started with a very small plate of breakfast items. I didn’t want to fill up!

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Brunch is always better with an ice sculpture.

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This was a playful version of shrimp and grits, which was my sister’s favorite.

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An incredibly moist pork tenderloin was available at a carving station, along with peach BBQ sauce.

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I enjoyed a plate full of the lunch-like dishes, the collards being one of my favorites, before hitting up the dessert table.

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I loved the earthy display of the dessert bar.

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{Mini coconut cakes}

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{Individual bread pudding}

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{Chocolate covered pretzels and a mini strawberry shortcake}

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{(I believe) lemon merengue tarts}

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Sis got a nice plate of sweets, including a slice of peach pie.

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{My dessert plate}

***

And now for the vegan plates!

Dad ended up speaking with the chef and mentioned loving lots of vegetables. The chef and staff took care of all of us at a level I’d relate to the Ritz – top-notch! Dad got to enjoy a few specially created vegan plates for his brunch.

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They served a play on their chick pea salad with extra vegetables.

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And this dish was super fun – quinoa with swiss chard, tomatoes, in a mushroom broth.

Dad also enjoyed a bowl of their refreshing gazpacho.

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And for dessert, they served up their vegan sorbets – watermelon, coconut, and a side of fresh fruit. Dad was incredibly happy with his delicious, vegan brunch.

Thank you to Jasmine Porch for making my birthday weekend delicious for our entire family!

Birthday Lunch at Jasmine Porch

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After our beautiful morning on the beach at Kiawah Island, we decided to enjoy a birthday celebration lunch. We opted for a lunch instead of dinner, which worked out well since many of the restaurants on the island were shut down due to weddings and private parties.

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We decided to visit the restaurant that most caught my eye – Jasmine Porch. I loved how the restaurant is big into supporting local farmers, so they had my vote.

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Lunch started off great with a basket of breads and two kinds of toppings…pimento cheese…

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…and (I believe) honey thyme butter.

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We decided to share an appetizer and entrée for extra variety.

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We started with the Summer Tomato Tasting – “Heirloom Tomatoes, Sol Haven Arugula, Garlic”. This is half! They went ahead and made things easier for us by splitting our dishes in half.

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For the main event, we shared Lunch on the Porch – “Crab Cake Slider, Roasted Beet Salad, She-Crab Soup.”

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Can you believe this is half?! Everything on the plate was so delicious and handmade save the ketchup. Hubby thought the crab cake slider was the best crab cake he’d ever had. I had to agree. We also enjoyed all the other components of the lunch as very happy eaters. I was impressed to learn the even the french fries are made from scratch at Jasmine Porch – sliced on site, breaded, frozen, and fried. They were also seasoned perfectly, as was everything else on the plate.

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Dad got vegan pasta that was made with cornmeal and flavored with lavender. He also got a side of watermelon jalapeño gazpacho.

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Sis got the burger with a side of fresh fruit. The burger was gigantic!

The table was pretty quiet when the food arrived – a sure sign of everyone enjoying their delicious lunch.

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Near the end of the meal, we were happily surprised with complimentary champagne…

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…and crème brûlée. Not only was the plate beautifully decorated, the dessert was delicious – creamy and speckled with vanilla bean.

The lunch couldn’t’ have been more perfect. From the wonderfully prepared food to the exceptional service (ask for OT!), I was one happy birthday girl.

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From inside, we could see butterflies floating all around. They’re all over Kiawah Island, but there were extra behind the restaurant where they have a butterfly garden.

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We walked around the grounds of The Sanctuary hotel to see more of the butterflies.

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Just behind the restaurant is a sign with distances to the farms used in the restaurant.

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It was beautiful there! We’d love to stay here sometime. Maybe one day?

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After dinner, we definitely had birthday cake! All in all, it was a great way to spend my birthday! I was very appreciate of the experience and the quality time with my family.

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