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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.
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Sun In My Belly – Lunch With Donna & Dee
Posted: February 21, 2009
What cool little spot in your neighborhood awaits discovery? Sun In My Belly is only a couple of miles from my home in Inman Park (Atlanta) – towards the Decatur side of the world on College Avenue. I decided to meet my long time friend Dee Simon for lunch and here’s what we discovered.
The atmosphere is comfortable, casual, and like the staff, very inviting. Hang out for a while before your meal, sip tea on the red velvet couch or wait outside if weather permits. The menu is lunch oriented and diverse with a large selection of breakfast and bakery items, appetizers, sandwiches and specialty desserts. Here comes the first test. Our waitress approaches and proudly recites the specials for the day. All sound delicious but are made with meat, cheese and more meat and cheese. I announced to her that I was vegan and nothing on the menu was vegan. Instead of melting with embarrassment, she quickly announced that the kitchen would modify any selection and make it vegan. Wonderful, I thought…a gal that understands customer service. Merit point #1.
My friend Dee ordered quiche and Venus salad. Dee is a fine cook and when she said “I cannot make quiche like this at home” there goes merit point #2. (The quiche looked good to me but more inviting was Venus salad with arugula, lemon scented artichokes & parmesan cheese. Take away the parmesan cheese and guess what you have? Vegan!)
My vegan delight was a specialty sandwich made on fresh Focaccia bread with roasted red peppers, Portobello mushrooms, zucchini squash and a delightful cold black bean salad on the side. It was delicious! Merit point #3.
On the way out, don't miss the sweet display. Guess what's for dessert? I just forget about being vegan :)
CAN YOU SAY TARISIMU?
Sun In My Belly
2161 College Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30317
It has been said that when Picasso was asked what it was that compelled him to create, his response was the “Sun in my Belly”.
Zippity DOO DAH Parade
Posted: February 15, 2009
Once a year the country goes crazy with Super bowl Sunday in January…and the Rose Bowl Parade kicks the year off. But did you know…that pre Super bowl…post Rose Parade there is another equally fascinating parade which takes place in Pasadena? The Doo Dah parade is a bohemian approach to the refined nature of the Rose bowl floats. This parade has all the pageantry of well….whatever the locals can dream up. Aging hippies…activists…groups out for fun and a good time...the goals for the Doo Dah parade participants are simple, have a great time in the wonderful Pasadena sunshine.
I had the good fortune and timing to be in LA on business and dropped in on my friends Monica and Doug in Pasadena for a visit. Doug and Monica, in addition to their home, maintain a condo above the parade route…part of Doug’s redevelopment projects in old town Pasadena. So there we were a congenial group…Copeland Huberman family and friends from back east…local Pasadena neighbors…photographers …brunching our way through a festive parade on a sunny Pasadena January late morning. Life couldn’t be better.
In keeping with the theme of irreverence, Monica started the day off with a local Salsa instructor…now I can dance, but when pressured to perform under the tutelage of experts, well two left feet seemed to evolve. Fortunately for poor Monica’s feet (and I think her mother’s too) the session came to an end. The experience was fun and really set the stage for what was to come.
Our viewing location, the terrace balcony overlooking the Pasadena parade route gave us an unobstructed view of all of the themed groups to pass by. My favorite was the Synchronized Napoleon- Baguette Brigade…not to be outdone by the Guerilla with the Bagpipe brigade.
The whole concept of the Doo Dah parade, which originated back in the mid 70’s, was to provide that bohemian alternative to the rose Parade. They achieved it! Whether throwing tennis balls at the parade viewers, biodegradable tortillas or cabbage patch dolls, ( I won’t even begin to tell you what they did with aging cabbage patch dolls”) the focus seemed to be who could be most outrageous.
I do recall Monica at one point throwing her hands over her daughter’s eyes when some “naughty girls” passed by…all in good fun of course! And the Betty Bodacious Banjo Bucket Brigade were certainly a sight.
And I guess as a nod to the disco era when this whole thing began, a rousing group of disco partiers concluded the parade down the avenue to the sounds of “Burn Baby Burn...Disco Inferno” by the Trammps from Saturday Night Fever. www.backtodisco.com
A number of the parade participants were there to raise money for charity, others for self expression and mostly the rest just to have a great time.
So if you have not been to Pasadena……as you sit at home during this very cold winter of 2009 , buried under snow and ice …or no power….let your thoughts turn to vacation planning - perhaps pleasant Pasadena?? ( aren’t alliterations fun)…. for some sun and a Zippity Doo Dah Day!