Pretty Southern

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

Archive of ‘Food’ category

Horseradish Grill Wine Tasting

Wine Horseradish Grill Atlanta

Pretty Southern was privileged to attend a brown bag wine tasting on the patio at Horseradish Grill. This event featured three different varieties ranging in price from $20 to $150 a bottle. The catch is, we didn’t know which wine we were drinking! All the wine was served in brown paper bags. Check out our Tastemade video to see our wine tasting…

Horseradish Grill

Horseradish Grill wine tasting

The “Test your Palate” challenge featured three different kinds of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all in brown bags labeled “1, 2, 3″. After tasting each wine, we ranked which ones we thought were the least to most expensive.

I’m definitely my mama’s daughter because I correctly guessed all three Chardonnays! We’re ready to go back to Horseradish Grill anytime. Every tasting we’ve had there has been amazing (check out our post from the garden party last spring!). For more information about Horseradish Grill, check out their website, Twitter, and Facebook.


Tex’s Tacos Food Truck – Home Block Party

Tex's Tacos Food Truck Atlanta

The Atlanta Food Bloggers Society with Tex’s Tacos!

Earlier this year, Pretty Southern received an email from Katherine Kimbrell – one of the masterminds behind Atlanta’s tasty food truck, Tex’s Tacos. She asked if we would be willing to do a story about her business on Pretty Southern. The Tex’s Tacos team happily agreed to set up a tasting for The Atlanta Food Bloggers Society. We talked about locations to host this tasting, perhaps a brewery or other convenient spot; well, there was no more convenient a location than my own front yard!

Check out our Tastemade video showcasing our Tex’s Tacos Food Truck Home Block Party

Tex’s Tacos

From Tex’s Tacos website “Our food truck concept is quick-serve. All of our food is made fresh to order and fully customizable.”

Tex's Tacos Food Truck Menu

The Tex’s Tacos Food Truck Menu

“Tex’s Tacos proudly boasts fine-dining quality food at affordable, fast-casual prices. Combining the simplicity of “Nueva Texicana” with a passion for Southern hospitality and grace, we guarantee three things at Tex’s Tacos: delicious food, fun times, & awesome service.”

Tex's Tacos Food Truck Texicana Loaded Fries

Tex’s Tacos Food Truck Loaded Texicana Lime Fries

“We’re on a mission to infuse joy and happiness into the community around us. Therefore, we treat each and every interaction as an opportunity to share a smile or laugh.”

Katherine Kimbrell Tex's Tacos

The lovely Katherine Kimbrell of Tex’s Tacos. Isn’t she Pretty Southern?!

For more information about Tex’s Tacos, check out their website and upcoming calendar, plus be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


Chama Gaucha Atlanta Opens in the Heart of Buckhead

Chama Gaucha Atlanta

Chama Gaucha is now open in Atlanta

Buckhead has a new hotspot bringing the heat, meat, and sweet treats. Chama Gaucha is a much needed addition to Atlanta’s fine dining scene. No offense to other Brazilian steakhouses, but the whole experience at Chama Gaucha is 5 stars from start to finish.

“We are delighted to join Atlanta’s vibrant culinary market” said general manager Nelcir Muller. “The Chama Gaucha team is excited to introduce Atlantans to our unique offerings and an authentic Brazilian way of dining.”

Pretty Southern was privileged to attend a VIP tasting experience at Chama Gaucha. Check out our Tastemade video to see more!

Chama Gaucha

The ambiance at Chama Gaucha is simply stunning. Drawing inspiration from the menu’s Brazilian flavor and style, local design, construction and consulting agency Restaurants Consulting Group transformed the restaurant into a chic, open atmosphere providing a posh environment for sipping caipirinhas, cocktails, or a glass of wine from a stellar list of options. The bar extends to a covered patio with a fire pit, perfect for the summer nights quickly approaching. There’s also a private dining room which I’m seriously considering for my birthday celebration.

Now let’s talk about the food. The “salad” bar is so much more than that. A superb selection of salads, fresh vegetables, charcuterie, cheeses, gazpacho, smoked fish, chicken salad, southern Brazilian-style potato salad, and fresh breads are prettily presented appetizers. As my husband said, the salad bar is impressive but at Chama Gaucha it’s really all about the meats.

Beef is the star of the show, with the house special showcasing a prime cut of sirloin. There’s not just one but two types of filet mignon plus rib eye, bottom sirloin, and beef rib…just to name a few. There’s also sausage, pork rib, bacon-wrapped chicken, lamb chops, and delicious grilled shrimp which I just couldn’t get enough of. Are you drooling yet? Dessert is also a must at Chama Gaucha. Since our dining experience was all about indulgence, we opted for the molten chocolate lava cake as well as the layered chocolate mousse cake.

All in, if you do cocktails, wine, dinner, and dessert, plus tax & tip you can expect to pay around $75 per person. I promise y’all, it’s worth every penny and I can’t wait to go back again soon.

Chama Gaucha is located at 3365 Piedmont Road, NE, Suite 1350, Atlanta, GA 30305. For more information, check out their website and like Chama Gaucha Atlanta on Facebook.

Christophe’s To Go Tasting with Second Self Brewery & Piece of Cake

Pretty Southern Food Blogger Tasting

Pretty Southern was recently invited to attend a tasting at Christophe’s To Go. The food was paired with craft beer from Second Self Brewery, and ended with sweet treats from Piece of Cake. Our blogger, Mandy Morgan, shares her thoughts on the tasting:

This was my first event with Pretty Southern and it’s going to be hard to beat. The trifecta of fine food, local craft beer, and delicious dessert was pretty perfect.

The Food
French-born Chef Christophe Le Metayer has been pursuing his passion for good food and elegant cuisine for nearly thirty years. As the owner and founder of Christophe’s To Go, his goal was to create an option for folks who worked all day then wanted a tasty meal. He decided that if his patrons needed help at home in the kitchen, it should be him. Christophe’s To Go has three convenient locations in Brookhaven, John’s Creek and Sandy Springs, plus provides catering for their bevy of options.

The Beer
Second Self Brewery is less than a year old and already making a name for themselves in the craft brewery scene. Co-founders Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle Name were inspired to name their brand as a “second life” of going all nights of the week and weekends. During our tasting at Christophe’s, Second Self served four of the five beers they currently had developed with the various courses.

The Sweets
Saving the best for last, Helen Cleveland from Piece of Cake was there to give us a taste of the sweet life. Piece of Cake is celebrating their 30th anniversary in business and has several locations in the Atlanta area. In addition to sampling the desserts, I got to participate in a cake decorating contest. Y’all can see my finished product below.

Here’s what was on the menu:

Cheese-Dip Christophe's To Go

Our first course was Twisted Cheese Dip paired with Red Hop Rye. It was like a sophisticated kid’s cheese and cracker snack! This cheese stew was packed with tasty flavor from chorizo, saffron, chocolate, lime zest, chipotle, cilantro and tortilla crudite. It was good to warm the soul, and I wanted to steal the container to have more later.

Thai-Chicken Soup Christophe's To Go

Next up was a Clear Thai Chicken Soup. The chicken stock and coconut water of the soup is a soothing balm to settle the heat from the Thai chili. This was a dish to clear the sinuses in the best way, plus it came with a stuffed chicken wing that glistened with a caramelized glaze. Finishing the dish with the sharp but pleasant bitterness was Second Self’s Thai Wheat which helped to settle the burn and make way for the main course.


Salmon Amuse Bouche with Red Hop Beer ice cream and rye bread. Served with Second Self’s Saison. This was a creamy, delicious combination paired with “a most straight-forward beer” almost like a Sauvignon Blanc, dry and bubbly with hints of spice.

Braised-Pork with Kale

Cabbage wrapped braised pork cheeks with kale, apple and endive. This hearty yet slightly sweet combinations made me to want all my future appple pie fillings to be stewed with pork cheeks. The kale leaf absorbs the flavor of the hue perfectly.

Ice Cream Christophe's To Go Tasting

For dessert, we sampled four flavors of ice cream including chocolate fetish, Georgia pecan, sea salt Carmel, and cinnamon spice. Paired with Second Self’s Bleeding Heart beer which was inspired by red velvet cake.

Piece of Cake Pretty Southern

To end our amazing meal, Piece of Cake had a cake decorating competition! When Piece of Cake is busy, they can produce up to 8,000 cupcakes a day! During the holidays, they’re baking 24 hours a day. My cake turned out nice for “PS” but I’ll leave it up to the professionals in the future.

I had a blast covering this event. Thanks to The Atlanta Food Blogger Society, Christophe’s To Go, Second Self, and Piece of Cake for the terrific tasting!

Mandy Morgan

Mandy Morgan is a contributing writer for Pretty, a UGA “Double Dawg” (BA- ’10, M.Ed. ’12), higher education administrator, and lover of all things sweet, sassy, and southern. If it’s 75 and sunny, you can spot her running in Piedmont Park or reading on the outdoor porch at Octane Coffee.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time – Georgia Grinders Tasting at Southbound

Georgia Grinders Tasting

Just like fragrances, specific foods can invoke strong memories; for me, this is especially true for peanuts. Peanut butter reminds me of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after school. Peanut butter is a comfort food for me, and will always have a place in my pantry! So, when I learned that there is an entire month devoted to it (National Peanut Month is March) and that there was a Georgia company holding a tasting for their newest line of peanut butters, I was more than happy to attend this event.

Atlanta-based Georgia Grinders is best known by Oprah and friends for their NaturAlmond hand crafted line of almond butters. After two years of great success, a natural next step was to branch into creating other nut butter varieties. Jaime Foster, founder of Georgia Grinders, was surprised to learn that there weren’t any other nationally-distributed, hand crafted, small batch peanut butter companies based in Georgia,” the “peanut capital of the world.”

Recently Ryan Smith, Executive Chef of Southbound restaurant, presented a variety of dishes and desserts using Georgia Grinders small batch, premium peanut butter.

As soon as I arrived at Southbound and walked through the door, I was entranced by the scent of bacon.

I just knew that I would enjoy this tasting. The menu included Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Steamed Spinach Goma-ae with Sesame Sauce, Grilled Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwiches, Peanut Butter Brined Pork Belly with an Apple Peanut Compote, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Truffles and a signature drink, the Georgia Grinder Peanut Butter Cup. Everything was delicious! Other than Pad Thai, I was not aware of the many ways that peanut butter could be used in cooking.

Georgia Grinders Tasting

Georgia Grinders Tasting

Each dish was full of flavor and several had a slight spice to them. My three favorites were the Chicken Satay, Steamed Spinach Goma-ae and the Peanut Butter Brined Pork Belly with Apple Peanut Compote. These three dishes were little parties in my mouth and I had to restrain myself from going back for thirds and fourths! The heat of the ginger and red pepper paired with the smoothness of the peanut butter dip and sesame oil on the chicken satay was divine. The spinach goma-ae was so light and refreshing, I felt like I could just keep eating it and never get tired of the silky texture and smooth flavor.


Georgia Grinders teamed Spinach Goma-ae with Sesame Sauce

Finally, the dish I kept calling Peanut Bruschetta, the peanut butter brined pork belly and apple compote, was sweet, smokey and a meal in itself. Served atop a slice of french bread, this dish was a complete meal in itself and I really enjoyed it.

Peanut Butter Bruschetta

Peanut Butter Bruschetta

Georgia Grinders Peanut Butters are available in both Creamy and Crunchy varieties and are made with two simple ingredients – Non-GMO Georgia grown peanuts and sea salt. This makes for a peanut butter that is far less sweet and more pure in peanut flavor than I was used to as a child. Paired with my favorite strawberry jam or grape jelly, I am sure that this peanut butter will not dissapoint – the only choice to make is crunchy or creamy?

Georgia Grinders Peanut Butters are available now in regional Whole Foods, Sprouts farmers markets, Central Market Stores abd hundreds of gourmet specialty shops, as well as online at The peanut butters retail from $5.99 to $6.99.

Ebone Smiley

Eboné Smiley is a California Girl with a Southern twist, UGA graduate, personal stylist, business coach, social media enthusiast and fashion loving foodie. When she isn’t hosting pop-up shop style sessions, she can be found listening to a self-help audiobook while she flips through a travel magazine. She lives and works in Atlanta, but her motto is “Have Style, Will Travel! ” Her closet is fuller than her refrigerator and she will soon launch her eponymous blog Empty Fridge, Full Closet. Keep up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.