Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Urban Picnic

Written by Patti on March 29th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I had the good fortune to attend our city’s Urban Picnic this past Friday in support of Food Trucks in Atlanta. The event was held curbside at The Sweet Auburn Curb Market, one of Atlanta’s oldest operating markets.

It was a lovely event meant to raise awareness of what we could be enjoying on a regular basis like other cities.  Cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago. All the major metropolises seem to possess what seems to be a daunting task here in Atlanta. But the Atlanta Street Food Coalition has taken on this task on behalf of all food lovers in our fair town.

Souper Jenny's Super Soup Truck!

ASFC Founders Hayley Richardson and Greg Smith were recently quoted in the AJC as saying:

“As the Atlanta Street Food Coalition, we are advocating for three straightforward changes in the food permitting bureaucracy: 1) Liberalize the state health regulations so that food trucks can move freely throughout the city, 2) Modernize Fulton County food service regulations that prevent the preparation of food in mobile kitchens, and 3) Re-energize Atlanta by adjusting ordinances that prevent food trucks and carts from stopping for more than 30 minutes on any public street.

Street food can often serve as the magic bullet to invigorate drab urban spaces. In Los Angeles, a city quite similar to ours in its heavy reliance upon the automobile, food trucks are facilitating a lively street culture. According to Kogi’s head chef, Roy Choi, a food truck pioneer: “You have all these neighborhoods now where people come out, when in the past they got in their car and went to a mini-mall. Now they’re flocking to the streets, talking to their neighbors.”

And because it’s fun! Let me share some of the photos of the day with you.

The grandest surprise of the day came when I got a chance to meet Christiane Lauterbach, the grand dame of food critics here in Atlanta. She is an icon and could not have been more delightful. You can now find her writing at Knife and Fork, which can only be seen by subscribing (Cost is $26 annually and you can order gift subscriptions for $24 or $22, depending on the number you buy. Call 404-378-2775 for more information.)

Ok, after careful consideration and a thorough search for photos of Christiane on the internet and finding none, I feel that I can’t in good conscience post the picture of me with Miss Lauterbach. It would be like unmasking the Lone Ranger or Batman. So I will keep that precious memory to myself. But I ate some great food and met lots of other folks.

Like Kwanza Hall, our City Councilman.

Miss Lisa, Me, Councilman Hall

Speaking of Miss Lisa, she is re-opening her store after a brief hiatus. She re-opens officially on April 1, so go see her at Cabbagetown Market on Carroll Street in, well, duh…Cabbagetown! She makes the most amazing bahn mi you have ever eaten. It is so ridiculously delicious.

Sorry to get off track, but I was dreaming of bahn mi….

At the picnic, I had a really cool hotdog named the “poodle”. Instead of a bun, it was wrapped in french toast, topped with crunchy apples and then you could put mustard and syrup on it. Putting syrup on a hotdog made me feel a lot like Will Ferrell in Elf, but it was fun and it tasted great. Really. No, really, take a look.

Nom, nom, nom...I have syrup on my hotdog!

The poodle was a bit drippy, but buddy Patricia Tinsley saved the day by switching out my hotdog cone so the dry one was on top. She also introduced me to some new friends. Gina Park, Tiana McCray and Miss Dionne.

Patricia, Miss Dionne and Tiana

Just gorgeous folks everywhere! Remember Miss Dionne, because later this week you are going to get to know her much better. She is a true joy.

I also had a fun visit with the ebullient Lauren of Big Daddy Biscuits, baker of the things dogs dream of. She baked Easter baskets for dogs that contained little chickie and little bunny biscuits. Too cute, y’all!

Easter Baskets for Your Canine Baby!

Lauren Sharing With Me That Things Don't Always Turn Out Perfect in the Kitchen For Her, Either

Lauren is so terrific. You are going to want to catch her at various farmer’s markets around town. You can also friend her on Facebook to see what’s wagging! I took home a bag of her chicken bacon biscuits and my dogs went nuts. I bet your babies will love them, too!

How about we let the photos take over and tell the rest of the story?

Roving Accordion Player

These Folks Brought A Brick Oven For Pizza, How Cool Is That?

Chocolate Nachos, Brought To You By the Folks Who Brought Me The Poodle

Farm Cart!

Good Food Cart Menu - Note the Poodle!

Lots of Vendors, Selling All Sorts of Delectables

Like Fresh Honey and These Adorable Candles...

Luscious Imported Olive Oils

The Yummiest Salsas and Tamales From Zocalo

This lovely couple from Zocalo are owners Luis and Sonia, who met when she walked into the midtown restaurant.  They became friends and then fell in love. Don’t you just love a happy ending?  Me, too.

These Sausages Were Incredible. Why Didn't I Buy 700 of Them?

And, as always, Atlanta is filled with interesting people.  This woman asked me to take her photo and she was so darn happy, I just couldn’t refuse.

Street Food Makes Everyone Smile!

If you are in Atlanta, please support the Street Food Coalition. They are working hard to bring the best in portable eats to us all.

xoxo, Patti


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Wendy says:

    Looks like a great time! So bummed I missed it. Hopefully they will have the next one on a weekend! 🙂

  2. Patti says:

    Wendy, it was so much fun! Hopefully you can make the next one! xoxo, Patti

  3. Holly says:

    Ha – Love the Elf reference! Looks like it was a blast!

  4. Patti says:

    Hol, you have to go to the next one with me!

  5. crystal says:

    I bought a sausage too! haven’t eaten it yet becuase i want a really good cheese and a Cava to go with in.

  6. crystal says:

    Cristol no spel gud:)

  7. vegqueen says:

    Who won the raffle? My favorite was the Soup lady’s tomato basil cheese soup….and Haley’s creme brulee..yum! Can we do this again real soon????

  8. Patti says:

    Spencer – how ever did I miss you and Allison? Crazy! Would love seeing you both soon! xoxo, Patti

  9. Patti says:

    I heard that creme brulee was the best!

  10. Christy says:

    I had a conflict that day and went a little later but everyone was already pretty much cleared out. Can’t wait for the next one – we need street food I LOVE Miss Dionne. Trying to convince her to sell my Peas!