Monday, January 9, 2012

A short "miss me?" and The Buckhead Diner

Writing this blog has been a thrill and a joy. Deciding what to write about has been relatively easy. Often there are several blog ideas waiting in the wings. If I've had any challenge it has been finding enough time.

So realizing that I'd hit a wall and couldn't write a word was a cold hard shock. I'd heard people talk about writer's block. Now I had it too. And right before the Holidays when the food world would be juicy with goings on.

What's a blogger to do? How should a foodie cope? The answer came quickly and that's what I did. I recharged by going out to eat and doing a whole lot of cooking. Now I have restaurants to review and recipes to share.

First up?

The nice people from The Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which owns Buckhead Diner, invited several of us blogger folk for lunch. The purpose was to introduce their new menu and show off freshly scrubbed decor.

The most successful restaurants learn to sway with the wind and update to the times without loosing their original style and Buckhead Diner has found that magic in spades. They have managed to reinvent themselves, look shiny and new without loosing the deco flair that first made them popular.

The meal we enjoyed was gorgeous and the Buckhead Diner is as classy now as it was when it opened (in 1987).

Chef  Charles Schwab out did himself. The food was fresh, clean, beautiful to look at.... each plate a crafted testament to the Chef's talent and his carefully sourced ingredients. Some of the food shows off serious Top Chef talent, while other dishes are delightfully updated retro fun.

Pimento Cheese Fritters

These were my favorites. Crispy 2 bite pimento cheese fritters with  pimento jelly. Imagine deep fried oozy pimento cheese melting over your tongue with a little dash of sweet spicy goo. A royal performance for such a lowly cheese.

Mini Corn Muffins

Nothing says lovin like something warm from the oven and these tiny corny corn studded muffins melted my heart along with lots of sweet butter. Yum, yum, yum.

Ceviche Day Boat
One of the things Chef Charles does best is show case fresh ingredients. He demonstrates a mature restraint and knows when to let the integrity and taste of beautiful food speak for itself. There is no Chef ego here. Just a skilled director who can stand aside and smile while his ingredients take the stage. This is readily apparent in the Peruvian inspired Ceviche we tasted. The menu described the seafood as pristine and that is exactly what it is. A melange of the choicest seafood morsels delicately tossed with fresh corn, mango, shallot.

Does the idea of combining bananas, white chocolate, custard and whipped cream appeal to you? Especially when it's topped with more shaved chocolate and tucked into a light flaky crust? Welcome to Buckhead Diner's "famous" James Beard award winning pie. I will let the picture say the rest.
Award Winning White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Buckhead Diner on Urbanspoon