March 22, 2011

Black's BBQ - Lockhart, TX

Just around the corner from Smitty's (see post below) is Black's, another Texas brisket shrine. This was our first visit to Black's, and while I'm not quite ready to declare it better than Smitty's, it was certainly just as good. Another visit with food of this quality may move them into our #1 spot...

Smitty's BBQ - Lockhart, TX

If we're in a two-hour or so radius of Lockhart, we have no choice but to make a detour to Smitty's. Always a favorite, but see the post above for a newly-discovered (for us) competitor for best brisket in Texas.

Uchiko - Austin, TX

Go ahead and mark Uchiko down as one of our favorite meals of 2011. Some of the best fish I've ever had, and see the cocktail below that featured grilled thyme as the star. Did I mention beef tongue nigiri?

Gene & Georgetti - Chicago, IL

We decided on the oldest steakhouse in Chicago while looking for a nice piece of beef. Definitely the right call:

Gino's East - Chicago, IL

I think it weighed about six pounds.

Longman & Eagle - Chicago, IL

Longman & Eagle is one of our new favorites, for a variety of reasons - great food (see the croque madame below), nice design, creative cocktails, and they have six killer rooms above the restaurant where you can stay for the night.

Seed Store - Maxwell, TX

Spotted in central Texas on a recent barbecue excursion:

Web Design: H&F Bottle Shop - Atlanta, GA

We've launched the website for H&F Bottle Shop, the new spirits shop from the people that brought you Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch in Atlanta.

Spring Break in Airports

I will be posting a bit on airport dining in preparation for our upcoming Spring Break trip. One of the greatest things about having a child with your husband / business partner is that your entire family gets to skip out of work together without guilt and write two-third of the trip off!

We are working on a few airport projects currently (on the heals of one we completed a couple of years ago in Atlanta) and I will go into the details on them in a bit but for today...

I want to point out the brilliant design behind Café Alvar A. at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. The restaurant was inspired by the work of Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto and was designed is conjunction with Finnish design company Artek and housewares company Iittala.

Source: SSP Press Release


“Café Alvar A. is Finland’s first real design café which brings together the top names of Finnish design. The concept was designed in cooperation with Artek, Iittala, and the Alvar Aalto Foundation. The sales counter imitates the contours of the famous Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto, the furniture comprises classic chairs designed by Artek, and the walls are adorned with a pixel arrangement of Iittala products, such as Kivi candle holders and Savoy vases.

The café is a real calling card for Finland and Finnish quality. In addition to Finnish design, the products sold in the café conform to the ’Best of Finland’ philosophy. The principle of local produce is upheld by serving products from small, high-quality producers, including cheeses and reindeer meat. The café also sells these products as souvenirs.”

Badass Element:

The ’gift-away’ bag made from birch bark and designed by Finland’s most notable modern designer, Harri Koskinen. This modern version of a splint basket cannot be bought anywhere else in the world. Source: Remodelista

Techy Punch:

Guests at Café Alvar A. can charge their mobile phones by simply placing them on top of specially equipped tables. The innovative Powerkiss technology gives travelers the freedom to charge their phones without the use of cables.

"Powerkiss technology consists of a charging sender called ‘Heart´, which is integrated into the tables to turn it into a smart energy platform, and a small charging receiver called ‘Kiss’. Charging is effortless: Kiss is plugged into the device, which is then placed on the surface. Charging is regulated automatically and stops when the battery is full. The charging receivers are the size of USB-memory sticks and are available at the café."

Powerkiss at Café Alvar A. is a joint project of PowerKiss, Artek and SSP Finland.

For more information:

March 17, 2011

Congrats To The Chocolaterie

Our web design client The Chocolaterie was recognized this month in Atlanta Magazine's 'Best of Atlanta' issue...the AJC also named them in their 'Best of the Big A.'

March 8, 2011

5-Piece Chicken Dinner by The Beastie Boys is Inspiring Me

Last month Jeff posted about the Fat Boys from his ever-expanding vinyl "investment" collection. As chance would have it, we are working on restaurant design that is inspired by music + food.
Just finished debating what is "Old Skool Rap" versus "Southern Rap" versus "West Coast" (what can I say - we live in Atlanta). I don't know a lot about rap. Had a cat once named Whodini (note the spelling) - but that was in the 7th grade and "Five Minutes of Funk" was popular.

The Brain Trust: Kempten (doesn't surprise me about her knowledge) & Katherine (out of freaking left field - she is a bonafide preppy Harpeth Hall girl from Nashville) - and then there is the master -- Meggan Talley (also my spellchecker).

"So rap is all about where you are from -- kind of like food," Katherine pulls out of nowhere.
"Outcast, Ludacris, T.I., Goodie Mob (Atlanta), Lil' Wayne and Juvenile (NOLA), Three Six Mafia (Memphis), Nelly (St. Louis) -- and then there's Brooklyn (Jay Z, Beastie Boys)...Staten Island's Wu Tang Clan..."
This was certainly not covered in their interviews and is a knowledge base that I had no idea would ever come into my world...