Ramen Fest at Makan Decatur


The food scene has exploded in Atlanta since I last lived here 10+ years ago, and my calendar is filled with one food festival after another – not that I’m complaining!  It’s such a great way to get acquainted with the city again and the many amazing restaurants.  Last week, my cousins and I couldn’t wait to attend the ramen fest hosted by Makan, a new modern Asian restaurant in Decatur.

Most of you know my love for ramen (evidence here, here, here, here, and here).  I’ve shied away from it since moving back to the US since.. who could do ramen better than Japan?  Well, I’m happy to say that although ramen in Atlanta isn’t as steeped in tradition or honed to perfection as in Japan, it’s definitely more innovative and imaginative with unconventional flavors.  It’s like coming up for fresh air after a month of eating nothing but your grandmother’s (very tasty) home cooking.



8 different restaurants served up their version of ramen in trial-sized bowls.  My favorite was the one from Makan (top photo), served in a flavorful overnight duck broth and served with a tender slice of duck breast.  I also loved the one from Victory (below), topped with perfect shiitake mushrooms.  Congrats to Makan on such a fun event.  I’m sure the next one will be even bigger.  Prepare your stomachs!


Bananas, Peaches, and Cream @ Buckhead Diner

Ok so now you know that my vacation was filled with food, onto dessert!  Our first pit stop for dessert was the Buckhead Diner.  My brother convinced me that I haven’t lived until I’ve tried their famous, James Beard-award winning white chocolate-covered banana cream pie.  But in true style, I couldn’t stop at just one.  This peach bread pudding was ah-MEH-zing:

Peach Bread Pudding

I love the atmosphere of this place – it’s like a retro glam throwback to a dining car.Buckhead Diner Atlanta Buckhead Diner AtlantaAnd finally – the banana cream pie!  It was COVERED in white chocolate flakes with a delicate white cream.Banana-Cream-Pie-1

Cream pies always remind me of the south.  I need to make a version of this soon!

Fat Matt’s Rib Shack

DSC_1035Happy belated new year, folks!  I’ve been away on holiday travel + more, and I can’t wait to update you all on my great finds and projects.  First, I went back home to revisit my roots down south in Atlanta, and boy – the city’s changed.  I’d actually love to live somewhere downtown now, and it’s caught up with so many of the fads that I couldn’t live without when I was in LA.  (I’m sure there’s new fads in LA that I’m just unaware of being in Japan now.)  Despite all of the newness, my brother made sure that Fat Matt’s Rib Shack was my first pit stop – a place that oozes the soul of the south.

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Does anything say the ‘south’ more than BBQ ribs, mac & cheese, baked beans, and super sweet iced tea?  I think not.  Add in a few extra sides of BBQ sauce with thick white bread to sop it all up.  Yup definitely a southerner.


And if all of that wasn’t enough, Fat Matt’s is famous for their lives blues bands.  They have a pretty impressive resume of bands, and that night was no exception.  My heart felt whole when I heard them sing, “Georgia… Georgia…”