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What’s cooking? 13 black-owned restaurants to try in Atlanta

Atlanta is a melting pot of cultures when it comes to the food scene, and African-American influenced dishes are some of the top options served up to foodies across the city.

RELATED: Photos: Black chefs on the Atlanta dining scene

The black food scene is sizzling with a variety of offerings ranging from soul food to island eats, each worth biting into.

Here are the 13 black-owned restaurants in Atlanta you should put on your must-visit list.

Busy Bee Cafe

810 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. NW, Atlanta, 404-525-9512.

http://www.thebusybeecafe.com/home

Come to Busy Bee Cafe for soul food from Cajun fried turkey wings to sweet potato souffle. The restaurant, founded in 1947, is owned by Tracy Gates. Gates told Chef Emeril Lagasse that the love cooked into the restaurant's food sets it apart from other Southern food restaurants.

BQE Restaurant & Lounge

262 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta, 404-996-6159.

http://bqelounge.com/

Stepping into the BQE Restaurant & Lounge takes you back to a New Orleans speakeasy with modern day fixings. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Innovative dishes worth trying at the lounge are the red velvet chicken and waffles and The Edgewood turkey burger.

Jay's Kitchen Bar

3752 Cascade Road, Atlanta, 470-440-5090.

http://www.jayskitchenandbar.com/

Come to Jay's Kitchen Bar to taste the foods offered at the recently opened restaurant. The food spot founded by music executives Jomo Hankerson and Heather Wesley serves "gourmet soul food" from fried green tomatoes to peach pound cake.

RELATED: The most prominent black chef in the U.S. talks race in the restaurant industry

K & K Soul Food

881 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW, Atlanta, 404-685-1073.

http://www.kksoulfood.com/

Family business turned renowned restaurant K & K Soul Food has been up and running in Atlanta since 1968. Southern food staples, such as collard greens, fried chicken and sweet potato pie are on the menu.

Le Petit Marché

1984 Hosea L. Williams Drive NE, Atlanta, 404-371-9888.

https://lepetitmarche.net/

Le Petit Marché, The Little Market beat the odds when it started in 2008 during the Great Recession. The food shop offers a wide array of eats, such as sandwiches, paninis and breakfast options.

Mango's

180 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, 404-698-3992.

http://mangoscaribbeanrestaurant.com/

Jamaican and Caribbean eats are offered at this downtown Atlanta establishment. Jerk chicken, fried tilapia salad and Jamaican patties are foods you can plan to find on the menu. If you have a sweet tooth, try the mango cheesecake or bread pudding.

Milk & Honey

5495 Cascade Road, Suite 100, Atlanta, 404-968-9266.

http://www.milkandhoneyatl.com/

Milk & Honey was started by Food Network's "Chopped: Redemption" winner Chef Sammy Davis. The award-winning chef features all-day brunch and rotisserie chicken on his menu. Some of the top 10 brunch offerings include lobster gumbo & grits and BBQ pulled chicken biscuit.

Old Lady Gang Southern Cuisine

177 Peters St. SW, Atlanta, 404-692-4407.

http://oldladygang.com/

The restaurant started by singer-songwriter Kandi Burrus-Tucker and Todd Tucker has been featured on Bravo TV's "Real Housewives of Atlanta." The menu features items inspired by the "Old Lady Gang," which refers to Burrus-Tucker's family members. Expect to find Aunt Bertha's Fried Chicken and Aunt Nora's Fried Catfish Strips on the menu.

Rosie's Coffee Cafe

2330 Sylvan Road, Atlanta, 404-684-1111.

https://rosiescoffeecafe.com/

Come to Rosie's Coffee Cafe for breakfast, lunch and/or dessert. Fresh chicken salads, shrimp and grits and other eats are paired with coffee. A portion of the restaurant's profits goes to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America in memory of Rosie Gail, after whom the restaurant is named.

Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint

200 Peachtree St. NW L05, Atlanta, 404-230-5853.

http://www.sweetgeorgiasjukejoint.com/

Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint brings back the rich history of Southern music and food into a modern establishment. Known for its crispy crawfish tails, freshwater rock shrimp and lump crab cake, the restaurant brings a ton of flavors to its Sunday brunch and dinner. The Juke Joint also has a location at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The Spice House

2247 Cascade Road SW, Atlanta, 470-575-5999.

https://www.thespicehouse.com/

Sit down at The Spice House for foods with Caribbean notes, such as the jerk-stuffed burgers, turkey in Creole sauce and Caribbean spaghetti. Aside from the food, the restaurant also showcases live bands.

Tom, Dick & Hank

191 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta, 404-343-3774.

http://www.tomdickandhank.com/

Come hungry when visiting Tom, Dick & Hank to fill up on the restaurant's Southern barbeque cuisine. Seafood, sandwiches, salads and plates can all be found on the expansive menu.

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

Apex West Midtown, 1133 Huff Road NW, Atlanta, 404-350-5500.

https://www.twistedsoulcookhouseandpours.com/house

Soul food with a twist is offered at Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours. Chef Deborah VanTrece incorporates global influences from her travels into the dishes on her menu. Foods on her menu include Creole gumbo, Chef Robert's fried chicken po'boy and moonshine mussels.

Starbucks touts Christmas drink for a limited time

Starbucks is getting into the Christmas spirit with a festive drink just in time for the holidays.

>> Read more trending news

The chain is offering Christmas Tree Frappuccinos while supplies last, Travel+Leisure reported.

The sweet, minty drinks resemble a Christmas tree with all the trimmings, with green whipped cream and sugar-laden ornaments. The drink has a peppermint and mocha cream base, while the whipped cream is mixed with matcha powder, Travel+Leisure reported.

The drink also contains a caramel drizzle, candied cranberries that serve as ornaments and a strawberry to “top” the tree.

Melania Trump, Karen Pence stop at Whataburger, treat press to french fries

First lady Melania Trump, along with second lady Karen Pence, traveled to Texas on Wednesday to visit with first responders and check on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. And if there’s anything politicians (or in this case, politicians’ spouses) love to do when they’re on a visit, it’s make a stop at a purveyor of local cuisine. Trump and Pence flew through Corpus Christi, which means Whataburger.

>> Read more trending news

According to social media reports (including tweets from reporters along for the trip, as well as a White House official), the first and second lady stopped by the venerable Texas burger chain and walked out with at least some of those famous fries. The rest of their order is unknown (so far), but the tweets about the pit stop are quite a journey.

Reporters in the press pool said the first and second lady treated them to fries.

Officials in Texas approved. The orange and the white, as ever, proved to be a unifying force.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Trump and Pence stopped at the Whataburger at 602 Padre Island Drive. 

Stuffing vs dressing: Is there really a difference?

Almost everyone agrees that the traditional mix of spices, bread and other ingredients that's served at Thanksgiving is delicious.

>> Read more trending news

But when it comes to what to call this yummy dish, people are divided. Is it stuffing, dressing or something else entirely? And does the way it's prepared make a difference in what it's called?

Below, liftestyle experts from Martha Stewart to writers at Southern Living weigh in and take sides in the stuffing vs. dressing debate:

Lifestyle expert Martha Stewart says that although she can't remember anyone in her family actually stuffing the bird, she still calls it stuffing and argues there's no real difference between stuffing and dressing. Of course, she also describes its consistency as somewhere between a pudding and a custard, so Martha may not be the best source for this debate after all.

Southern Living says the difference between stuffing and dressing may come down to whether you say "y'all." Using Google Correlate, the site looked at the which states search for dressing recipes vs. stuffing and found that they don't overlap. If you're in the South, you're very likely to look for dressing recipes. Northern states are the biggest searchers for stuffing recipes. Needless to say, Southern Living declares itself as firmly on Team Dressing.

Reader's digest notes that the National Turkey Federation says the terms are used interchangeably.

Food Network mentions the traditional view of stuffing being cooked inside the bird and notes that both dressing and stuffing have the same ingredients. In a nod to regional differences, the author of the article, who's from Michigan, says that her family's table always had several selections of what they called stuffing, although none were stuffed inside the bird.

In a Food & Wine article, Michelle Darrisaw remembers having cornbread dressing at her family's table and says that boxed Stove Top stuffing is definitely dressing. When she went to college in Atlanta, she learned that some people -- her peers from northern, northeastern or West Coast states -- used the term stuffing. To further muddy the water, all her friends from Pennsylvania call it "filling."

Butterball even commissioned an infographic on the matter that shows the difference doesn’t necessarily come down to region.

RELATED: 6 easy side dishes anyone can make for Thanksgiving Day

The verdict

Ultimately, if you're a purist, you may insist that dressing is cooked outside the bird and stuffing is cooked inside of it. If you're a Southerner, you probably call it dressing, no matter how it's prepared. And if you're from outside the South, you'll probably enjoy a serving of stuffing this Thanksgiving.

The following recipes show how to make the dish, cooked inside and outside the bird:

Cornbread Dressing

From: Food Network

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large Vidalia or Spanish onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 cups cubed (1-inch pieces) store-bought or homemade cornbread (about 1 pound)
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage leaves (about 12) with stems removed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter; add the onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring often, until light golden-brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, and remove from the pan to a small plate. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the water, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and allowing the water to simmer just a couple of minutes to infuse the onion flavor. Remove from the heat.

3. Put the cornbread in a large mixing bowl.

4. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat and let it bubble until the milk solids to start to turn golden. Add the sage leaves and briefly fry until they begin to crisp, about 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove sage and put on top of cornbread to drain and crisp. Remove the butter from the heat.

5. Add the eggs and cooked onions to the cornbread and pour the browned butter over the mixture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the onion infused water, a tablespoon at a time, gently folding, until cornbread is evenly moistened but not soggy.

6. Pour the dressing into a 9- by 11-inch baking dish and bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the dressing is set in the middle -- about 30 minutes.

Roast Turkey with Wild Rice, Sausage and Apple Stuffing

From: Food Network

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cooking apple, such as a Golden Delicious, Gravenstein or Rome, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • Pinch ground mace or nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley  

Turkey

  • 1 (8 to 10 pound) turkey, fresh or thawed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Stuffing

1. Combine the wild rice, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and just bursting, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and remove other racks. Preheat to 325 degrees.

3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, celery, garlic, thyme, mace, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook about 5 minutes more. 4. Stir the cooked wild rice, pecans and parsley into the vegetable mixture. (This can be made the day before.)

Turkey

1. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavities and reserve for other uses, if desired. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Melt the butter together with the poultry seasoning. Salt and pepper inside the cavity. Loosely add the stuffing to the cavity, set the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, breast-side up, and brush generously with the seasoned butter, then season with salt and pepper. Tent the top of the bird with foil.

2. Roast the turkey for about 2 hours undisturbed. Remove and discard the foil. Baste with the remaining butter. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, about 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove turkey from oven and tent with foil for 15 minutes before carving.

Starbucks’ Zombie Frappuccino gets mixed reviews

Reviews have been mixed over Starbucks’ Zombie Frappuccino Halloween specialty drink. Starbucks lovers weighed in on social media Thursday to give their opinions about the drink, which will be available through Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

The drink is a mix of a tarty-tasting apple -- the bottom of the drink has a green apple appearance -- with a red swirl of  dark mocha dripping over the top of it. The top half of the drink takes on a purplish hue after being mixed.

It does not have the creamy taste of the regular Starbucks caramel frappuccino drink, and social media users were not shy about giving their opinions.

Some posters took a more serious tone: 

And others were just having some fun:

As with most novelty Starbucks drinks, the concoction’s success varies. Whether other consumers will be spooked about trying the drink remains to be seen.

Slow Jamz 10/11/17: Advice from Wine Experts

"I often suggest having a dinner party with a themed wine selections, e.g. if the topic is Pinot Noir, make sure all the guests come with a bottle of Pinot Noir from all different regions. That way, everyone gets to try multiple samples of the 'themed wine,' without having to bear the whole financial burden." Arthur Hon (Sepia Chicago)

"I think if you take a little time while you're drinking wine to grab a book and do a little research on the region or the grape, that's a great way to learn. It's also fun to drink a bunch of wines from one region and really get to know it." Jason Wagner (Henri, The Gage Chicago)

“Thankfully the best way to learn is to taste. For me understanding body and weight is the first building block. I recommend asking your local merchant of web resource for some full bodied and light bodied wines in both red and white categories. If you can pop two bottles at once I always suggest tasting wines side by side as it will magnify the differences between wines.” Brian Smith (Club W)

"Form a tasting group. It's much easier and cost effective to taste with others. In college we all threw in a couple bucks for beer money, now we throw in a couple bucks for great wines. Get a group of 4 or 5 likeminded people that are thirsty for knowledge. If everyone throws in $25 you've got $125 to spend. Then find a wine shop with a great selection of half bottles and you should be able to get 6 classic wines and everyone gets enough to taste. Do that once a week and over the course of the year you'll get to taste more than 250 classic wines."Sabato Sagaria MS (The Little Nell Hotel, Aspen)

"Find a wine bar, or a cool restaurant, and start to be a regular. The staff will more than probably start to have you try a lot of different things—then find a good wine shop, and build a relationship with the people there. These shops may organize a lot of wine tastings, where you will try wines you can't afford yourself!” Pascaline Lepeltier (Rouge Tomate, NYC)

"My advice for beginners is to taste frequently, and always with a notebook. Disciplined note-taking makes you more alert and alive to your own developing taste, far more than following someone else's guide." Jeremy Quinn (Telegraph,, Reno,Bluebird, Webster's Wine Bar Chicago)

"To learn about wine, you just have to experience as much as possible. Go to tastings whenever you can and ask questions. When dining out, order a glass that you aren't familiar with. People tend to get into a rut of "I like..." or "I don't like..."There are plenty of wines that have surprised me from regions I haven't cared for or grapes that aren't my favorites. There are always wines you can afford that are classic examples of their region.” "I recommend that all beginners start with the basics. To be honest, the best book is Wine For Dummies. It is so well written and reduces a massive amount of information down to the very basics. If you are beyond that then try Karen McNeil's Wine Bible. The best part about studying about wine is learning the unique stories associated with each place. Reading about the wines WHILE drinking them is sure to bring the concepts home." Emily Wines MS (Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants )

"The best way to learn about wine is to drink more! Tasting is the only way you are going to understand it better. The more you can taste the more you can relate to it. Also, visiting regions and wineries is a great way to not only taste wine but to familiarize yourself with geography." Savanna Ray (Wildwood Restaurant, Portland OR)

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‘McVegan’ burger makes debut in Finland

McDonald’s introduced its “McVegan” burger on Wednesday, but vegan lovers will have to travel a long way to find it for now.

>> Read more trending news

The fast-food giant said its newest menu item will only be available at one restaurant — Tampere, Finland — and for a limited time, Elite Daily reported. The burger will be available through Oct. 21, Fox News reported.

The burger consists of mustard, pickles, onion, lettuce, tomato and a soy-based patty on a sesame seed bun. Food & Wine reported the McDonald's Finland also serves vegan fries, but that's just because their fry recipe is vegan by default (McDonald's fries in the U.S. are made with a hydrolyzed milk, and therefore not technically vegan), Fox News reported.

A McDonald’s spokesman told Today that the company was not planning to offer the burger anywhere else — for now.

BYU is allowing Coca-Cola, caffeinated soda on campus and everyone is freaking out

On Thursday morning, Brigham Young University announced the university will offer caffeinated soft drinks – including Coca-Cola – on campus and fans couldn’t contain their excitement.

The BYU Twitter account posted the news along with a Q&A with BYU director of dining services Dean Wright on the decision to bring caffeinated soft drinks on the Provo, Utah, campus for the first time since the mid-1950s.

>> Read more trending news

BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and requires students to adhere to a strict honor code in line with the church’s beliefs. The honor code enforces a mandated dress code, personal grooming standards as well as abstinence from premarital sex, drugs and alcohol.

BYU is the largest religious university and third-largest private university in the United States.

>> Click here or scroll down for more

How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

Diets are a great way to cut down on calories. But if you’re hoping to shed the pounds, taking a two-week break from your regimen could help you lose even more weight, according to a new study.

>> On AJC.com: Why this diet praised by Jennifer Aniston could work for you

Researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, to determine ways to improve weight loss success based on eating patterns.

To do so, they assessed 51 obese men over a four-month period, breaking them off into two groups. Those in the first one were asked to follow a diet, which cut one-third of their calories, for all four months. Those in the second group were required to go on the same diet only for two weeks, taking a break from it for the next two weeks. They repeated the cycle eight times.

>> Read more trending news

After analyzing the data, they found that those who took breaks lost 50 percent more weight than those who didn’t. Those who deviated from the plan also shed more fat.

Six months after the study, both groups regained weight. However, those who took breaks were about 18 pounds lighter than those who followed the diet continuously. 

>> On AJC.com: Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach

Why is that?

Researchers believe dieting can alter the body’s biological process, which can lead to slower weight loss or even weight gain. 

“When we reduce our energy (food) intake during dieting, resting metabolism decreases to a greater extent than expected; a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ – making weight loss harder to achieve,” co-author Nuala Byrne said in a statement. “This ‘famine reaction’, a survival mechanism which helped humans to survive as a species when food supply was inconsistent in millennia past, is now contributing to our growing waistlines when the food supply is readily available.”

Although the researchers’ method proved to be more successful than nonstop dieting, they noted that it wasn’t more effective than other popular diets. But it could provide another weight loss alternative. 

>> On AJC.com: 6 of the best apps to track your eating

“It seems that the ‘breaks’ from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach,” Byrne said. “While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss.”

These are the most hated foods in each state

Many states are known for producing edible staples -- Georgia is known as the Peach State, Idaho is known for its potatoes, and people traveling to Illinois expect to indulge in some of the nation’s best deep dish pizza.

>> Read more trending news 

 

But there’s one delicacy locals despise the most in each state, according to a new report. And some of the findings might surprise you. 

Hater, a dating app that matches people based on the things they hate, pulled data from its hundreds of thousands of users to round up the cuisine that every state dislikes the most, compared to the rest of the world.

They found that Georgians can’t stand tuna salad, Floridians don’t like licorice, and people from Nevada don’t deal with La Croix, the popular sparkling water drink. Also according to the results, Oklahomans prefer to stay away from veggie burgers, North Carolina residents don’t favor cottage cheese, and you won’t catch many Pennsylvanians sipping on chai lattes.

 

Possibly surprising? Californians aren’t fans of Chick-fil-A.

Then there were some findings that were more in line with the state’s traditional specialties. 

Texans, known for their grilled and barbecued meats, do not like steak cooked well done, and people from Washington, which is the world center for coffee, stay away from k-cups. 

Others were a bit more specific. Residents in Maryland avoid the corner piece of a brownie, Louisianans roll their eyes at cookies with raisins, and Massachusetts residents don’t like mayonnaise on fries. 

Curious about the other locations? Take a look at the map of findings below. 

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