Food Resources

Hate going to the grocery store? Me too? It’s not that I hate buying food — I love shopping for food and I get really excited when I see the possibilities of what I could cook and eat from gorgeous fresh foods. It is just that I hate the impersonal service and the vastness of grocery stores – they are boring. I have decided it is time to start shopping the European way – buying what I need for a few days, while visiting a few purveyors that specialize in certain types of foods. This type of pleasant shopping experience is possible in Decatur. Here are some examples of places that will allow you to enjoy the food shopping experience.

Oakhurst Market

This store is just the right model for urban food shopping. Whether you need items for dinner preparation, or want to find some ready-made food items, need a sandwich for lunch, or just need a snack – this is the place. They carry a well-rounded assortment of high quality, fresh, whole foods, as well as a nice assortment of house made prepared foods. You’ll find very pretty, fresh vegetables, cheeses, milk, bread, fish, meat, deli items, beer & wine, olive oil, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, chips – almost everything you might need to eat well.  The meat counter is large and the quality is exceptional. One of the things I love about the meat counter is that I can order special cuts of meat and they will have it ready for me when I need it. For Easter I ordered a large 3-4 lb. side of salmon that I poached for a very special dinner. This special order feature is especially convenient for special occasions or holidays when you need a crown rib roast, a ham, or other specialty cuts.Oakhurst market cropped photo

The other lovely feature of this store is that they will prepare lunch or dinner for you. There’s a variety of sandwiches and even pizzas that they prepare on sight. For dinner, I love picking up a ready-made, hot dinner that is available Monday thru Thursday nights. A weekly menu is posted, you call by 2:00 pm to order, then pickup your dinners after 5:00 pm.  The dinners are nicely packed in reheatable containers and the servings are ample. Most times when I have retrieved my order, the food was warm so not even reheating was necessary. Oops, if you forget to order, no problem — you can take your chances with the “grab and go” counter where you self-serve a prepared protein, starch, and/or vegetable into a to-go container and haul it home.

(Oakhurst Market is located in Oakhurst Village on East Lake Drive.)

La Calavera Bakery

Just walking into this tiny bakery is a heady experience. As soon as you open the door, you are bombarded with smells of deliciousness. Does anything smell better than baking bread, or chocolate babkas, with a background note of fresh brewed coffee? The bread and pastries vary from day to day – too bad, you may have to make regular trips to taste all their offering. Stacked in trays on shelves waiting for you to pick them up (with tongs) and place them on a metal tray are the day’s baked offerings. Once you have made the hard choice and placed the items on your tray, you can dive right in (there are a few tables and chairs available for eating in, along with a nice assortment of teas and coffee); or you can have one of the friendly staff members bag your goodies up for your trip home. There are always 3 or more types of breads – sourdough, sprouted wheat, olive and rosemary. The assortment of pastries is sinfully tempting – Danish, empanadas, croissants, pan dulce, ginger piggy cookies, oh my. This place is so good that my teenage grandsons will get out of bed at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to go with me to pick out breakfast pastries.   la calavera pastries photo

(The bakery is located at 747 E College Ave. near the Avondale Marta station.)

La Calavera photo

Decatur Organic Farmer’s Market

On Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings you can spot a yard full of little white tents on the lawn at the First Baptist Church on Clairemont Avenue. This is the scene of the Decatur Organic Market where local farmers and food purveyors offer their goods to the lucky customers that get there early enough to get the good stuff.  You will find plenty of super fresh veggies, gem-like fruit, rich orange-yolked eggs, and organic meats to take home for dinner preparation. Don’t want to cook? That’s okay because you can pick up plenty of prepared foods such as cheeses, breads, jellies, honey, pastries, salsas, tamales, soups, granola, Belgian waffles, and even some doggie treats. This wonderful food festival brings out plenty of friendly neighbors towing kids, dogs and smiles. It is a good way to really get a feel for what Decatur is about. Come hungry.  Decatur market photo

Other Food Shops

There’s even more ways to enjoy small shopping for food in Decatur. At Splash of Olive you can find a huge variety of olive oils, both plain and flavored, as well as vinegars. Not sure what you want – you can taste each and every one of them before buying.

Need wine? – Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, Wahoo Wine & Provisions, and Greene’s Fine Foods offer great selections and affordable prices, with personalized service from knowledgeable staff members. At all three shops you will also find other food temptations such as sausages, cheeses, pastas, and condiments at Wahoo; and candy, nuts, fudge and condiments at Greene’s. All three are great places to buy gifts.

 

 

 

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New Decatur Shop: Tres Jolie

Tres Jolie opened up last Friday on Church Street next to Java Monkey just in time for summer.

tres jolie exterior

I get so excited whenever a boutique opens up in Decatur and Tres Jolie does not disappoint. The shop’s owner also owns and runs Boutique Karma on the square (less than a block away) so you might recognize some of the accessories, but for the most part Tres Jolie is geared towards a younger crowd than its sister store. Think floral summer dresses, distressed denim shorts, Coachella-worthy tanks, and jersey maxi dresses.

tres jolie interior

tres jolie shorts

I’m a fan of all of the delicate gold jewelry available and was tempted to purchase a few of the necklaces. 
tres jolie long gold necklaces

tres jolie bracelets

tres jolie necklaces

The small room at the back of the store is chock full of tops, dresses, pants and skirts that are all $25. That’s the best deal in town!

tres jolie backroom

I ended up getting this blended, magenta top that will go perfectly with some slim cut black pants and pumps for work:

tres jolie purchase

I wish I could have spent a little more time in the shop for my first visit, but I had just popped in right before Saturday’s Concert on the Square. Next time I’m going to try on a couple of the rompers from the $25 room.

Leave a comment if you’ve already been to the shop and let me know what you think!

Tres Jolie Boutique
427 Church St., Decatur, GA 30030
404-330-8733

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Furry Tails Pet Shop Visit

Furry Tails Pet Shop for Dogs & Cats just opened up at 228 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Renaissance building last weekend.

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Anna Zaveryukha, the owner, is super friendly and used to work at a Petsmart so she knows her stuff. The shop is stocked full of local, healthy, and organic items for dogs and cats.

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FT_toywall

They even have dog and cat items made especially for Furry Tails by re:loom.

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The leash in the photo below might be one of the coolest items I’ve ever seen. It’s a reflective dog leash made from recycled Delta employee safety vests. Handcrafted by re:loom weavers.

FT_reloom_leash

If orange isn’t your (or your dog’s) color, there are plenty of other collars and leash styles you can choose from.

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Furry Tails has a number of organic, all-natural bath and treatment products. I’m thinking about getting some of the organic ear cleaner (second from the left in the photo below) for my Goldendoodle.

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The shop carries local Decatur favorites like treats from Taj Ma Hound and fresh dog food from Corrina’s Corner.

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The shop also has some fun pet-related items for humans like the cat soap pictured below, leash hooks and dog magnets.

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For their grand opening, Furry Tails had a silhouette artist come and create portraits of customers’ dogs. You can see photos of the finished works on the shop’s Facebook page here. If you missed the grand opening, Anna told me that she’s hoping to invite the artist back in the summer for some more silhouette sessions. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for details.

Furry Tails Pet Shop for Dogs & Cats
228 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030
770-687-6122
www.furrytailspetshop.com

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Decatur’s Newest Boutique: Bleu Hanger

bleu hanger postcard

 

One of my all time favorite past times? Exploring new shops in Decatur. Bleu Hanger just opened last week right next to Meldora Hair Salon. The space was formerly a photographer’s studio and it’s been totally transformed with wood paneling and gorgeous blue toile-ish wallpaper.

blue hanger chair

 

The shop is incredibly inviting – not at all stuffy – and has a good mix of weekend, date-night and work wear. See that black and white skirt below? That’s going on my wishlist. Same with the black/navy blue ombre sweater.

bleu hanger six items

 

The shop has some clutches, minaudieres and jewelry below the $50 price point.

bleu hanger clutches

 

Most of the clothing is in the $50-100 range and is machine washable – yay! I would wear this grid blouse (below) with high-waist black pants that hit at the ankle and black booties.

bleu hanger grid shirt

 

And these minaudieres look like something Kate Mid might wear, no?

bleu hanger minaudiere

 

My first visit was too short (went during my lunch break), but I’ll be back to do some serious post-holiday shopping.

Shop info:

305 E. College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030
404-254-1256
Bleuhanger.com

Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sun. noon-6 p.m.

Facebook Page
Instagram: @bleuhanger
Pinterest: bleuhanger

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Decatur’s Kitchen Garden Dinner Party: A Fundraiser

rabbit paella photo

Guests to a recent Decatur fundraiser came from as far as Indonesia as well as an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Other guests included Decatur residents who have a passion for good food and good community. The “Dinner Party” was a fundraiser organized by Global Grower’s Network to support “Decatur’s Kitchen Garden” which is a garden and gathering place for 35 families from various war-torn countries who cultivate and harvest a bounty of fresh produce while learning how they can contribute their wealth of good food expertise to Decatur’s vibrant community.

This was the second year for this culinary event that showcases Decatur’s food community. It brought together the growers, benevolent meat producers, extraordinary Decatur chefs, and people who love food, fun, and contributing to community life. Not only did the guests of this dinner get rewarded with an outstanding menu of fresh and deftly prepared food, but they had the satisfaction of knowing they were helping fund teaching programs and tools for the farmers. The setting for the party was the historic Decatur Cemetery, the oldest municipal cemetery in the Atlanta area.

Now on to the food. Gathering with cocktails and passed appetizers from Avondale’s Pin Street Market and Sweet N Sinful Bakery set the scene for the bounty of fine food to come. Eleven of Decatur’s restaurants each prepared platters of food for the tables. Restaurant No. 246 started off the feast with summer melon salad, while Twain’s chicken ballotine with pickled okra had just the right notes to spark the appetite. Course 2 revved up the taste buds with Chai Pani’s okra masala and Farm Burger’s pork cheeks with pepper jelly. The next course featured rabbit – with Iberian Pig’s rabbit liver and bacon mousse enhanced with picked shallots on rustic bread; and Sawicki’s paella with a confit of rabbit saddle. With your appetite now in high gear you were presented with Brick Store’s crispy pork belly, roasted butternut squash and warm sweet potato greens; and Steinbeck’s pork belly fried rice with smoked eggplant and poached eggs. As you were to the point of satiation, chicken presse by Kimball House and mushroom spaetzle by Leon’s Full Service were presented as the last course. Since there is always room for dessert, no one could pass up the profiteroles filled with muscadine jelly prepared by Cakes & Ale.

Be on the lookout Fall of 2015 for another one of these fabulous gourmet dinners that help give back to the community as well as promote awareness of the importance of fresh and wholesome food.

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Amplify Decatur at Eddies Attic June 20-22

The fourth annual Poverty is Real concert series takes place this weekend at Eddies Attic.

Amplify-Decatur

Billed as Amplify Decatur, the weekend will feature three nights of live music from some of the hottest singer/songwriters in the southeast including Jennifer Daniels, Steve Everett, Marshall Sease, Five Eight —a four-piece rock band from Athens, Those Darlins — an exciting indie rock sensation out of Nashville, and concluding Sunday with “My Hometown,” a Bruce Springsteen celebration, featuring ten amazing local and regional acts performing mini-sets of The Boss’s greatest hits.

Saturday afternoon features a program for children called the Learning Groove, featuring Eric Litwin, author of the first four “Pete the Cat” picture books, along with local musicians for an interactive kid’s show.

For the full schedule of shows and times, click here.

So what is Poverty is Real?

poverty is real

It’s a non-profit organization that stages music concerts to raise money for local charities that combat poverty. All the proceeds from this weekend’s concerts at Eddies Attic will go to the Decatur Cooperative Ministry, a proven, effective organization running multiple programs aimed at diminishing homelessness.  Visit Decatur wrote about PIR last year.   Since then, Poverty is Real has been growing and has hired a full time Executive Director. Growing means more concerts for more charities (Poverty is Real wants to do 12 shows in 2014), which means helping more people access organizations that find ways to get them out of poverty and live better lives.

So come out this weekend to hear some great music for a great cause.

 

 

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Decatur Restaurants Are Award Winners

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Kimball House bar area.

Eventhough the winners for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef  Awards won’t be announced until May 5, the Decatur restaurants and chefs nominated as SEMI-FINALISTS are already winners in Decatur. They have won over our taste buds for sure, and they have won over our hearts with their dedication to their craft and high standards of service. We award them our loyalty as appreciative and hungry customers.

 As Decaturites we are very proud that four of our restaurants/chefs have places at the table of semi-finalists among top-notch establishments from all over the United States. Another thing to boast about is the fact that Decatur had four semi-finalists — almost as many as the entire metro Atlanta area with five semi-finalists. Decatur has truly established itself among the top tier of best foodie cities. 

Congrats to the following Semi-Finalists – you are already winners:

  •  Outstanding Bar Program: Kimball House (In business for less than six-months, this restaurant has come out of the gate way in front.)
  •  Outstanding Restaurateur: Ford Fry from Restaurant No. 246 (and others); Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez from Taqueria del Sol
  • Best Chef/Southeast: Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale

 

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