Thursday, February 4, 2016

Switching Gears

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack! 

Obviously, my last adventure did not last very long (whoopsie) but, fear not, for I have a new mission in life.

My beloved, Jeremy, is a Grade A cinephile. You may scoff to yourself and think, "So what? Everyone likes movies!" Uhhhh, no. He eats, sleeps, and breathes movies. He's even done some directing work! So, take your worn out copy of Old School and have a seat, Young Grasshopper. 

As my resident movie aficionado, I tasked Jeremy with creating a list of the top 100 movies that, in his opinion, I HAVE to see in my lifetime. Why did I ask him to do this? So I can review them, of course! In case you are a complete stranger, you probably know that Jeremy and I are part of a movie podcast called Myopia: Defend Your Childhood ( and are no strangers to reviewing cinematic hits and misses. 

As a side note, Jeremy will be writing his own blog (that I will link to) so you can compare and contrast between a novice film buff and a professional critic. 

On to the good stuff; The List. *ahem*

Title Director Year
A Serbian Film Spasojevic 2010
All About My Mother Almodovar 1999
All That Jazz Fosse 1979
Apocalypse Now Coppola 1979
Being There Ashby 1979
Blood Simple. Coen/Coen 1984
Blow Out De Palma 1981
Cannibal! The Musical Parker 1993
Citizen Kane Welles 1941
Dancer in the Dark von Trier 2000
Das Boot Petersen 1981
Days of Heaven Malick 1978
Dead Ringers Cronenberg 1988
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father Kuenne 2008
Delicatessen Jeunet 1991
Detachment Kaye 2011
Dirty Filthy Love Shergold 2004
Duck Soup McCarey 1933
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Spielberg 1982
East of Eden Kazan 1955
Eraserhead Lynch 1977
Fat Girl Breillat 2001
Fear of a Black Hat Cundieff 1993
Flesh + Blood Verhoeven 1985
Freaks Browning 1932
Friday Night Lights Berg 2004
Gattaca Niccol 1997
George Washington Green 2000
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Jarmusch 1999
Girl Walk: All Day Krupnick 2011
Happiness Solondz 1998
Head-On Akin 2004
Hell in the Pacific Boorman 1968
Hellraiser Barker 1987
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer McNaughton 1986
Hoop Dreams James 1994
How to Make Money Selling Drugs Cooke 2012
I Saw the Devil Jee-woon 2010
In the Bedroom Field 2001
Intermission Crowley 2003
Into the Wild Penn 2007
Irreversible Noe 2002
Italian for Beginners Scherfig 2000
JCVD El Mechri 2008
Julian Po Wade 1997
Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) Scott 2005
Last Days Here Argott/Fenton 2011
Late Marriage Koshashvili 2011
Le Samourai Melville 1967
Liberty Heights Levinson 1999
Malcolm X Lee 1992
Man with a Movie Camera Vertov 1929
Mary and Max Elliot 2009
Metropolis Lang 1927
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Morris 1999
Mutiny on the Bounty Lloyd 1935
Mysterious Skin Araki 2004
Network Lumet 1976
Nosferatu Murnau 1922
October Sky Johnston 1999
Oldboy Chan-wook 2003
Once Carney 2007
PCU Bochner 1994
Peeping Tom Powell 1960
Radio Days Allen 1987
Ran Kurosawa 1985
Rear Window Hitchcock 1954
Roger & Me Moore 1989
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom Pasolini 1975
Salvador Stone 1986
Schizopolis Soderbergh 1996
Sexy Beast Glazer 2000
Shaolin Soccer Chow 2001
Sherlock Jr. Keaton 1924
Shortbus Mitchell 2006
Simple Men Hartley 1992
Sneakers Robinson 1992
Tetsuo, the Iron Man Tsukamoto 1989
The Act of Killing Oppenheimer 2012
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Dominik 2007
The Bridge Steel 2006
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II:
The Metal Years
Spheeris 1988
The Fall Tarsem 2006
The Grapes of Wrath Ford 1940
The Homesman Jones 2014
The Illusionist Chomet 2010
The Killing Kubrick 1956
The Killing Fields Joffe 1984
The Last Picture Show Bogdanovich 1971
The Lost Weekend Wilder 1945
The Piano Teacher Haneke 2001
The Princess and the Warrior Tykwer 2000
The Third Man Reed 1949
The Tribe Slaboshpitsky 2014
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Pollack 1969
Titicut Follies Wiseman 1967
Tully Birmingham 2000
When Trumpets Fade Irvin 1998
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Nichols 1966
Z Costa-Gavras 1969

So, Readers, will you join us? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#49 - Little Bangkok (Thai)

I must start this post by saying that it is INCREDIBLY difficult and, quite frankly, ridiculously infuriating to find parking at Little Bangkok. You may be thinking to yourself, "Madison, it's a restaurant; there is no way it is that complicated." but oh, how wrong you are! This is hair-tearing-out levels of frustration... particularly when you're hangry.

That was our first attempt at dining with Little Bangkok.

Our second time around, we cut out the BS and parked two blocks away in a CVS parking lot since there are approximately 2.5 parking spots at Little Bangkok (okay, technically, there are about 5 spots, but they are always full AND the restaurant allows double parking). So, plan accordingly, Readers.

The food, however, is 100% worth all the parking drama.

Little Bangkok is the quintessential hole-in-the-wall kind of restaurant complete with wall-to-wall decorations, a cramped dinning room, and very quick service.  That's not to say that you feel rushed at any point, but the waitstaff is on point and as a former server, I greatly appreciate that level of efficiency. Fortunately for us, we both knew what we wanted within a couple of minutes and I would say we chose wisely.

I started with the Tom Ka Soup, which is a hot, sour, coconut milk soup with chicken, mushrooms, and green onion. That may sound unappealing, but I promise that you will not regret ordering it. For me, the soup tastes like rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns... but, that's just my opinion. Try it for yourself and thank me later.

For the entree, I ordered my go-to: Pad Thai.  For those of you that live under a rock and are not familiar with this delicious dish... I'll explain.  Pad Thai is pan friend rice noodles with chicken or shrimp, egg, bean sprouts, green onion, topped with ground peanut and the tears of angels. It is delightful in every way and has since ruined all other Thai restaurants moving forward. Thanks, Little Bangkok.

For dessert, we ordered a wheel-barrow to roll me back to the car.

But seriously, since Little Bangkok is a Thai/Chinese restaurant, we ended the meal with fortune cookies.  Funny enough, my fortune read something to the affect of, "You deserve respect and will soon earn it."

You heard the cookie - start respecting me! Oh, and go eat at Little Bangkok. Now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

#18 - Holeman & Finch Public House (Gastropub)

In between our Cinema Club and the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, we decided to jump ahead and try #18 on our list; Holeman & Finch Public House, and experience The Burger.

Yes, it is called The Burger.

The description is as follows: The Burger cheese, onion, b&b pickles, fries. 

No frills. No fancy garlic aioli, truffle oil, or unpronounceable cheeses.  Just a basic, regular-ass, double-patty cheeseburger. AND PEOPLE LOSE THEIR MINDS OVER THIS BURGER.


As legend has it, Holeman & Finch Public House use to only make 24 burgers (and only after 10 PM) and once those sold out, that was it. Shortly before the riots ensued, they decided to start making The Burger widely available.  This was such a big freakin' deal that there is an article about this life-changing event. 

So, of course, we had to order The Burger... but, no pickles. Ew. 

The restaurant itself is shabby-chic/hipstery and offers private tables, bar seats, and a communal table.  The kitchen is smack-dab in the middle of the restaurant with one of the walls being made of glass, which I thought was pretty cool.  The bathrooms were rather difficult to find and were strange in that they were unmarked and behind heavy sliding doors... but I did appreciate the comical hook & hand washing sign for employees (think, Captain Hook washing his hands on a diagram).

As a gastropub, they also had an impressive selection of wine, beer, and spirits... including a LARGE selection of bitters, which I found to be quite odd.  But, enough about all that, let's get to the food!

Maybe it was the hype, but I assumed this was going to be the greatest cheeseburger I had ever shoved in my face hole... and I was, naturally, disappointed.  That being said, it's great for what it is... a regular-ass, double-patty cheeseburger... but I was left wanting something more. I wish they had used a different cheese or maybe some fresh onions as opposed to sauteed onions, or heck - maybe some of that fancy garlic aioli I mentioned earlier. SOMETHING. Maybe the b&b pickles would have kicked it up a notch, but I detest pickles on my food so that was definitely NOT happening.  

My meager palate still believes that The Vortex has the best burgers in Atlanta, but that's just my humble opinion. 

Aside from my meh experience with The Burger, the service was quick and efficient, the restaurant is beautiful, and I would recommend going there to try this big ol' greasy, hangover-killing, burger.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

#50 - New York Prime (Steakhouse)

Once your find the parking garage, there are arrows on the ground leading you to the entrance... arrows that we completely missed.  Thank goodness for patient security guards.

You are hit with the familiar scent of cigars AS SOON as you walk in, which can be a major turn-off for some, but I was able to ignore it.  We awkwardly waited near the bar for the maitre d and after a minute or two, we were taken to our table. Upon sitting down, I realized just how beautiful the restaurant is; the details, the lighting, the seemingly choreographed way the servers navigated through the dining room, and of course, the presentation at the surrounding tables.

When I say our server was incredible, it feels like it only scratches the surface of this man's dedication to his job.  He was genuinely friendly, attentive, and helpful - as were the other servers that checked up on us throughout our meal. 

I ordered the Pan Sauteed Redfish Amadine with Crabmeat and a side dish of asparagus with hollandaise sauce while my boyfriend ordered the New York Strip and a side of creamed spinach.  I will be the first to admit that I was ignorant to the fact that "amadine" meant COMPLETELY DRENCHED IN ALMONDS... because there is no way on God's green Earth that I would have ordered that dish had I been privy to that information. As a side note - when in doubt, ask your server.  Once I toppled over Mount Almond, I found that my palate was overpowered by butter rather than redfish; I guess that's what I get for ordering seafood at a steakhouse.  My boyfriend's New York Strip, on the other hand, was ahhhhhhhhmazing! I'll be sure to follow his lead from now on. Our side dishes were delicious as well and I HIGHLY recommend the creamed spinach! Mmmm! 

Final Thoughts
Obviously, I should have asked some questions about my dish prior to ordering, so I can only fault myself for that mishap. Other than my fishy fiasco, I had a wonderful experience at New York Prime and would recommend it for special occasions.  I say that because it was easily the most expensive 2-person meal either of us had ever had... but my boyfriend swears his steak was totally worth $52. 

Men and their meat... *rolls eyes* 

Hungry For An Idea

A few weeks ago, I came across a Zagat article entitled, "The 50 Best Restaurants in Atlanta" and shared it on my boyfriend's Facebook page in an attempt to be cute and somewhat decisive (work with me here, it takes A LONG TIME for me to pick a place to eat).  He mentioned that he had only been to a handful of the restaurants, so I suggested that we tackle the list together and then write reviews... and for some reason, he agreed.

So, here we are, Readers; another food blog. Hooray!

I now present you with The List:

50. New York Prime (Steakhouse)
49. Little Bangkok (Thai)
48. The Cafe' (Continental)
47. Kimball House (New American)
46. Dave Poe's BBQ (Barbecue)
45. BoccaLupo (Italian)
44. Cafe Alsace (French)
43. Murphy's (American)
42. Table & Main (Southern American)
41. St. Cecilia (Mediterranean)
40. Local Three Kitchen & Bar (American)
39. Hal's on Old Ivy (Steakhouse)
38. Valenza (Italian)
37. Ray's on the River (Seafood)
36. Wisteria Restaurant (Southern American)
35. The Optimist (Seafood)
34. Nino's Cucina Italiana (Italian)
33. Heirloom Market BBQ (Barbecue)
32. C&S Seafood & Oyster Bar (Seafood)
31. Pho Dai Loi (Vietnamese)
30. Floataway Cafe (French)
29. Canoe (New American)
28. La Grotta Ristorante (Italian)
27. The Capital Grille (Steakhouse)
26. La Tavola (Italian)
25. di Paolo (Italian)
24. Pricci (Italian)
23. Miller Union (American)
22. Kurt's Bistro (European)
21. Kyma (Greek)
20. Iberian Pig (Spanish)
19. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q (Barbecue)
18. Holeman & Finch Public House (Gastropub)
17. Sotto Sotto (Italian)
16. Gio's Chicken Amalfitano (Italian)
15. Restaurant Eugene (American)
14. Woodfire Grill (American)
13. Kevin Rathbun Steak (Steakhouse)
12. Gunshow (Eclectic...sounds iiiiinnnnteresting)

11. Osteria Mattone (Italian)
10. Bacchanalia (Italian)
9. Rathbun's (American)
8. Fogo de Chao Churrascaria (Brazilian)
7. Tomo Japanese Restaurant (Japanese)
6. Pampas Steakhouse (Steakhouse)
5. Chops Lobster Bar (Steakhouse)
4. Umi Buckhead (Japanese)
3. Antico Pizza Napoletana (Pizza)
2. Aria (American)
1. Bone's Restaurant (Steakhouse)

We will work our way up through the list, starting with #50, and write reviews about our experience... and you will, hopefully, read it. 

If not, then this is just an elaborate food journal.