Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

October 2012 archive

Where We Belong

Pretty Southern was privileged to attend a cocktail party for Emily Giffin at the W Hotel in Buckhead honoring this beautiful lady’s latest novel Where We Belong. The party took place in Atlanta’s most posh neighborhood hotel, where pretty Southern ladies toasted champagne and vodka cocktails while noshing on cupcakes. Together they watched the sun go down while Giffin attended a Google Play hangout in her suite inside the hotel. Later on she graced party-goers with her presence to sign autographs and pose for photos. Where We Belong is the sixth book from the critically acclaimed offer yet it deviates from her popular Something Borrowed Series.

Emily Giffin poses with Southern Color's Elizabeth Hoskins and Pretty Southern's Lauren Patrick

“Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.”

To purchase “Where We Belong” click here or download it now from Google Play. For more information, check out Emily Giffin’s website, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter. While y’all are at it, check out our pals at Southern Color and Follow Southern Color on Twitter, plus like Pretty Southern and Follow us on Twitter too.

Amazing Ammazza

Eclectic, funky, and oh-so-tasty, Ammazza is a welcome addition to Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward. And this joint truly caters to its neighborhood. Just a stone’s throw from Sister Louisa’s Church, Noni’s, and other late night hot spots, Ammazza is open until 2 a.m. on the weekends catering to hungry pizza lovers.

The definition of “Ammazza” can take on several different meanings in colloquial Italian. It’s an exclamation which can be taken both in positive and negative connotations. It’s not-so-pretty translation means “to kill” or “slay”; although it’s positive exclamation means a pleasant surprise such as “oh my!” or “gooddness”. Ammazza’s proprietor Hugh Connerty recounted a story of walking through Italy while formulating his game plan for the restaurant, he would hear local guys shouting at a woman if they liked the way she looked.

A local Atlanta lady with Italian roots sent a nasty-gram to Ammazza before its opening denouncing the restaurant because of its negative connotation. She is certainly missing out.

Ammazza graphic designed by Matt Ketchum

Ammazza sources their meats from Spotted Trotter and goodness we’re glad they did. If y’all order the Magherita pizza, then add bacon. Each slice has about an inch of crisp bacon topped on the fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil. Oh, and Ammazza makes all their own cheese in-house daily, in addition to their dough. They’ve got a good thing using the finest fare available in Atlanta.

A fully stocked bar in the dining room offers a wonderful cocktail list, as well as an additional ordering point so y’all don’t have to get back in line out front. After ordering, pickup your own plates, napkins, utensils, etc. before finding your table. Servers circle about to provide assistance where needed. The dining room with it’s copper lights glowing against deep green walls provides a cool yet romantic ambiance.

A cannoli is a great way to end a meal at Ammazza

DJs are spinning nightly, but before the party goers head out for the night, Ammazza is very kid friendly. There’s even a concoction on the menu called “Glitter Pizza”. And the desserts offering is oh so sweet, including cannoli and a flour-less chocolate cake.

For more information, check out Ammazza’s website. Also, Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter. While y’all are at it, Like Pretty Southern and Follow us on Twitter too.

The Big Grill

On Friday, Oct. 5, Atlanta foodies gathered in Tech Square to worship at the altar of The Big Grill. Dozens of Atlanta’s best grill-masters catered in slabs of beef, brisket, pork, chicken for a VIP kickoff event to start the 11th Annual Taste of Atlanta: Grills Gone Wild. Crisp fall weather and a starry sky surrounded the luminous white tent decked out with twinkling lights. Tables laden with some of the most creative concoctions to come off a grill satiated palettes. Libations provided by American Spirit Whiskey and Stella Artois got the crowd just as fired up as the numerous grills.

Shrimp & Grit Cake from Leon's Full Service

The proceeds from the Big Grill went to benefiting Georgia Organics. Many of the chefs chose to focus on using fresh flavors paying homage to their Southern roots. Spring Mountain Farms and Buckhead Beef were both proud sponsors for the event, along with Gas South. Throughout the night, chefs scurried back and forth from the grill pit with more than a dozen big grills to the tasting tables inside the tent. They sure worked their tails off for a good cause!

Succulent ribs from Community Q BBQ

Decatur’s barbecue hotspot Community Q BBQ supplied some of the best ribs of the whole weekend. Jay Swift of 4th & Swift wowed the crowd with his chocolate-pork concoction. Drew Belline and Ford Fry of No. 246 served up a grilled date wrapped in prosciutto and barbecue sauce. And Ron Eyester of Rosebud presented a “pickled chicken”
Hangar Steak with scented rice (one of the best steaks ever!) was a very clever combo on behalf of STK.

STK Atlanta's sampling

Diners lined up waiting for their steak, hot off the grill then topped with a spicy pepper sauce. Another popular selection was the shrimp tacos served by famous Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun. After dining, patrons danced the night away to the tunes of Yacht Rock Schooner and played games courtesy of sponsor Harrah’s Casino. Even the chefs got in on the fun!

Zeb Stevenson with Kevin Patrick

Chef Zeb Stevenson of Livingston, fresh from Yelp’s Ginger Fest the night before at Proof & Provision, took a moment to pose with Pretty Southern’s resident photo guru Kevin Patrick. Big Grill was a hot start to a weekend filled with fabulous food.

Margaret Mitchell’s Great Love

“Gone With The Wind” was 1,037 pages which took its author, Margaret Mitchell a decade to write. Then it took 517 pages to correctly document the life and times of this great Southern writer and the romance between Mitchell and her husband, John Marsh.

In “Margaret Mitchell & John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind,” biographer Marianne Walker researched thousands of papers containing correspondence from the Marsh husband & wife team. Letter to family, friends, business associates, and even fans were unearthed to properly tell the tale of this power couple from their start to an untimely finish. Miss Walker’s effort to research the true history behind the Marshes life together comes to fruition in this biography.

For every writer is only brilliant once someone believes in her talent. Heaven cast Mr. John Robert Marsh of Maysville, Ky., to play the editor, lover, business manager and most devoted husband to Margaret Mitchell. the South has ever known. The reader becomes enamored with the fascinating tale which began in Atlanta during Prohibition times. It’s thought the first time John Marsh lay eyes on Margaret “Peggy” Mitchell in a speakeasy he instantly became enamored with her.

Then she strung him along while dating many other men and eventually ended up marrying his roommate, Red Upshaw. But it was an ill-fated marriage, as Peggy was truly meant to be with John. He was by her side throughout her tumultuous early 20s and gave Peggy her typewriter which would berth her famous work. On that day, he said to her “Madam…I greet you on the beginning of a great new career.”

“Gone With The Wind” sold more than 30 million copies, which makes Margaret Mitchell not only the greatest writer the South has ever known, but also one of the most popular authors in the world. And with such great popularity comes equal responsibility. After giving birth to their labor of love, the Marshes took on the burden of maintaining the copyrights in more than 20 countries because at the time the publisher refused to do so. The Marshes were pioneers in the foreign copyright industry right out of their own apartment in Atlanta. And Walker does a fantastic job of touting all their trials and tribulations. Because above all, John and Peggy’s love for one another never faltered. Publisher’s Weekly calls Margaret Mitchell & John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind “… a moving love story of symbiotic union that lasted 24 years.  A remarkable piece of detective work.”

The last lines of the book have the most profound impact and will bring tears to the end of this biography. “He was there, with calm judgement, quiet admiration, whole souled devotion.” The love John Marsh had for his wife could not be summed up any better.

More information about the biography can be found here. Have any of y’all read this powerful work? If so, please let us know your thoughts in a comment below.

Taste of Atlanta 2012

More than 90 of Atlanta’s best restaurants and thousands of the South’s loveliest foodies gathered in Midtown for the 11th annual Taste of Atlanta. On Oct. 5-7, taste buds were rocked in the ultimate food lover’s experience. The block between Spring Street and 5th Street was taken over by folks wanting to sample the best cuisine their city had to offer. Plus the historic Biltmore building at the corner of 5th Street and West Peachtree provided a perfect backdrop for foodies to linger among the tents trying sushi, grits, chili, pizza and everything in between. Cooking demonstrations such as Clean Eating (food prepared by chefs Linda Harrell and Terry Walters of Les Dames d’Escoffier), Chopped Challenge: Facebook Face Off, Creative Loafing’s $20 Dinner, were just some of the dozens of events hosted by the city’s renowned restauranteurs this year.

Seed's savory yet sweet crostini

Seed Kitchen & Bar won first place for Best Taste on Saturday serving up an delicious crispy crostini with all the right flavors. The pimento cheese, smoky ham and fresh crisp apple served on a grilled toast point was the perfect dish for this fall afternoon. Seed is a newcomer to the Atlanta dining scene located slightly OTP in the Merchant’s Walk of Marietta. But chef/owner Doug Turbush certainly rocked palettes ITP this year at Taste of ATL. On Sunday, Best Taste went to Mi Cocina’s Ceviche – a delicious seafood cocktail swimming in lime juice and seasonings.

Chocolate Fondue from The Melting Pot

Those with a sweet tooth weren’t tooth weren’t left hankering for more. The Melting Pot was on-hand providing chocolate fondue drizzled atop fresh strawberries, pound cake and brownies (oh my!). Sublime Donuts was also on 5th Street right down the road from their shop serving up fresh pastries. And foodie’s were delighted to sample some of the first treats from The General Muir – a deli and bakery concept opening in 2013 down in Decatur from the same folks who brought y’all West Egg. Check back at for more news on their progress.

Big thanks to the ladies at Bravo PR and to Taste of Atlanta for letting Pretty Southern join them for this year’s event! Until 2013, we’ll leave y’all salivating. We sure are!

Here's a napkin from Woody's Cheesesteaks to wipe your mouth!