Savoring Soul Food on Mary Macs in Atlanta, Georgia

Comfort food is a category I know all to well. It’s when food makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and preps you for long cat nap, yet I’ve only had soul food a handful of times. Based on rave reviews I’ve visited both Fox Bros BBQ and Sweet Auburn BBQ and both were good, but it left me craving for more. On my visit to Mary Mac’s I was stuffed to the brim and extremely satisfied with experience from beginning to end.

Complimentary bread and Pot Likker with cornbread.

Just down the street from the Fox Theater in the heart of Midtown this historic destination has been serving locals and celebrities alike for over 70 years. While parking can be a challenge it’s definitely an experience you wouldn’t want to miss when visiting. There are multiple dinning rooms in the building and guests are all presented with a sheet to write in our order. Since it was my first time my friend and I were given a sample of complimentary Pot Likker (a soup of boiled turnips). It was soothing, perfect for the chilly weather and the mini cinnamon rolls were so warm and fluffy. I had to stop myself from eating them all.

Two entrees: Fried Chicken Legs and Shrimp & Grits

Mary Mac’s is known for their Fried Chicken and have won countless awards for it. Guests can order different quantities, but my friend and I opted for three legs since we both love dark meat. Each dish is accompanied by two sides. We ordered tomato pie, broccoli souffle, collard greens, and baked sweet potato – the former two were absolutely delicious.

Mary Mac’s Dinning

The fried chicken legs were very moist and tender, but the skin could have been more crisp. However, the generous portions and affordable price-point, and southern hospitality makes me feel like I’m at a family gathering. There’s ample space and would be perfect to host large parties. In a lot of ways this reminds me of Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner, but with more Southern charm.

What part of fried chicken do you grab? Legs? Thighs? Breast? Wings?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

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Ringing in the Holidays at Macy’s 71st Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, GA

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches…  There’s nothing more magical than the moment when you trim a tree then light it up, yet the Macy’s 71st Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony they did that and so much more.

The evening tree lighting extravaganza had a fun filled program complete with special performances and two stages in the Macy’s parking lot.  The annual event was hosted by anchors Jovita Moore and Zach Klein of Channel 2 WSB-TV and filmed live to kick-off the holidays!

Francesca Battistelli, Adrienne Bailon Houghton & husband Israel Houghton, and Kyla Jade

There were many special performances from celebrity singers including Adrienne Bailon Houghton (previously Disney Cheetah Girl) and husband Israel Houghton, Francesca Battistelli (popular Christian singer), Russell Dickerson (handsome country superstar), and Kyla Jade (“The Voice” contestant on Team Blake). They sang holiday classics as well as music from their albums. Additionally the Macy’s All-Star Choir sang a few pieces and Santa also made a festive visit!

Macy’s Tree Lighting

Once the stage performances commenced fireworks lit up the sky laying the perfect backdrop for the lighting of the Macy’s Christmas Tree. It was a magical evening and it really highlighted the joys of this wonderful season.

How do you kick off your winter festivities?

 

 

XOXO.

Rockstar

Reviewing Alton Browns “Best Thing I Ever Ate – Messy” Pick at the Red Eyed Mule in Marietta, Georgia

Alton Brown is one of my favorite celebrity chef’s so when he listed The Red Eyed Mule as one of favorite messy meals I wanted to check it out for myself. My friend and I visited several hot spots in Atlanta and Snack Boxe Bistro (blog post) was our #1 restaurant. Would Alton Brown’s pick knock-down our current champion? Would it even make the top 3?

Red Eyed Mule endorsed by Irene and Alton Brown

The restaurant is located in Marietta a city about 20 miles outside of downtown Atlanta with morning/afternoon hours (6am-2pm daily). The brick exterior and humble interior  resembled more of a local’s diner than a celebrity chef hang-out, and I was excited to try the coveted Jake’s Sloppy Slaw Burger.

Jake’s Sloppy Slaw Burger and Diner

The burger arrived and I was blown away by juicy patty made with a combination of coarse-ground chorizo and beef. The thick Texas toast was buttered and grilled to perfect – soft on the side with a beautiful char on the outside.  The slaw and sauce gave the crunch and it was so saucy. I loved it!

Verdict: This was definitely the BEST thing I ever ate in Georgia and for $6.25, I’d glad re-arrange my plans to include this hidden gem in my plans.

Whats your favorite “Messy” item to eat and where do you get it?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

Disney fun at Los Angeles Comic Con (Sunday) and New Disney Cosplay Reveal?!

Disney has been a big part of my life growing up so when I debuted my Violet Parr cosplay at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC post) this past summer, I was excited about all the upcoming Disney gathering and photo shoots since I’ve mainly done DC characters.

Disney Group Shoot

LACC seemed like forever ago (See Marvel post, and Street Fighter post), but a few photographers posted some shots of my Violet Parr cosplay and I was reached out by Kids Can Cosplay, a nonprofit organization to portray her in an upcoming holiday meet-and-greet event benefiting at-risk kids. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog about it since it’s a private event and I’d want to be sensitive about minors and their financial status, but we shall see if I can do the adult cosplayers!

Me, Disney Princesses, Nightmare Before Christmas

I’ve always so impressed by the Disney cosplayers and the Princess group always seemed so much fun, so… for 2019 I’m going to debut a NEW Disney cosplay and it’s going to be a Disney Princess!! *gasp*

Disney Pixar Characters

Can you guess which Disney princess I’m working on? I’ll give you a hint, she’s sassy and will have a live action movie coming up! Who’s your favorite Disney princess and why?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Sampling Street Snacks at Snack Boxe Bistro in Atlanta, GA

When I think of Georgia I think of peach pie, fried chicken, and any and all good Southern soul food. Gosh, even the amazing brunch at Hen Mother Cookhouse (Stomach Souvenirs Entry) in Alpharetta would fit the bill. Yet, it’s hard to imagine that Atlanta would be home to one of my favorite ethnic restaurants – Snack Boxe Bistro, a Laotian restaurant focused on street food and one of Atlanta’s newest hot, up and coming restaurant.

(Front: Beef Laap; Back: Mok Pha and Khao Poon)

I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about trying Laotian food from a restaurant that seemed so far away from the country, but after hearing so many rave reviews I thought I’d check it out myself. My friend and I ordered the following items.

Mok Pha ($8) Banana leaf wrapped steamed herb fish

Khao Poon ($9) Red curry pork vermicelli noodle soup (available weekends only)

Beef Laap ($10) Minced salad with rice powder, kaffir, galanga, chili herbs.

And the verdict…

The Mok Pha was super soft and just melted in your mouth and the Khao Poon, a last minute addition was one of my favorite dish of my Atlanta trip! The were so many different textures and taste profiles that made the soupy noodle dish so complex and delicious. It was a little spicy, a little sweet and all the ingredients just worked so harmoniously. You definitely want to order the Khao Poon if you want an explosion of flavors. I’d love to try the cuisine in the motherland.

What country’s food would you be eager to try?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

Spreading Holiday Cheer and Watching the Nutcracker Performance at The Shops Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia

Ti’s the Season! and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta  made short of no expenses when kicking off their holiday festivities. Garlands and trees were trimmed and the floor was even decorated with Nutcracker artwork. Multiple shops also set up stations giving free seasonal treats including fresh pecan fudge, caramel apple, smores, and spiked cider for adults to enjoy. Patrons could also make their own gingerbread house and I had a blast decorating my little dog house. (It was only after I painted it that UGA chant that it’s “Go Dawgs”, as opposed to “Go dogs” – but I digress)

Holiday Kick-Off

I attended the kick-off festivities on my recent Atlanta Adventure (Stomach Souvenirs Entry 1) and this weekend event  featured both local and international guest entertainers. There were carolers who sang both classic and pop music acapella as well as an amazing violinist who played Top 40 songs with an electric flair. When sun-set talented dancers of the Atlanta Ballet 2 performed iconic pieces to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The dance company dazzled the audience with their grace and flexibility all while balancing on their pointe shoes.

More photos from the Holiday Kick-off

Hundreds of people from near and far enjoyed the festivities and throughout the month shoppers can enjoy ongoing weekend activities from 1:00pm – 5:00pm every Saturday until December 15 while shopping for loved ones or for yourself.

What are you hoping to get this Christmas Day?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Salivating at the Best Brunch in Alpharetta, GA

Brunch is one of those iconic meals to share with family and friends, so I picked Mother Hen Cookhouse after some extensive research to meet up one of of grad school girlfriends. She was very excited and informed me that though this restaurant had just opened up earlier this year and that it’s quickly become an Alpharetta staple. I did breakfast everyday that I was in Georgia, and this was by far my favorite brunch spot!

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Front: Market Hash; Back: Brioche French Toast

The homey restaurant evoked a sweet county kitchen feel and I loved the coziness of the space. After deep contemplation on what to eat we decided on the following:

Market Hash & Two Eggs ($13): I love has and the presentation of this was different but absolutely delicious. I always order mine with two sunnyside up eggs and this picture perfect dish encapsulated the perfect savory dish. I would eat this everyday if I could It had the crunch, the creaminess, and the ooey gooey egg yolk just running through it all. Yum!

Baked Brioche French Toast ($10): You had me at Brioche! and while I don’t typically do sweet for breakfast my friend and I shared and demolished it. The poached peaches, with the whipped custard and pure Vermont maple syrup over the fluffy bread was perfect and now I understand why this item was a crowd favorite.

Fluffy egg white & veggie omelet ($11.95): I found out that my friend didn’t eat red meat and that the four times she’s been here she always orders this. Must be a solid staple.

Inside of Restaurant

My friend and I had a wonderful time catching up and sharing stories on our lives. The venue for our 8 year reunion couldn’t have been more picture perfect and I’m glad that we got to share a delicious meal to commemorate it. I’ll definitely be back and eager to try all their other offerings.

Whats your favorite brunch spot?

XOXO,

Rockstar

College Touring at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and New Series Announcement!

As a school counselor one of my primary roles is to help students with college admissions, and there’s no better way to learn about a university than by signing up for an official campus tour. I went ahead and signed up for an info session and guided walking tour for Emory University, an Ivy League of the South.

Emory University Campus Photos 

There were so many prospective students and families eager to learn about this prestigious institution and at the end of the information session we were separated into smaller groups and a current upperclassman. We were guided around the campus and I loved learning about the traditions, and various free resources available to students and staff – one of which was free admission to the Michael C Carlos Museum, a premier museum focused on ancient artifacts directly on campus! My tour guide commented that in the past the museum housed a King Tut collection. So cool!

More Emory University 

The university places great emphasis on collaboration and sustainability, while also upholding academic excellence and a well-rounded education. The architecture evoked a New England feel and I loved walking around seeing the Fall foliage. And guess what, I’m kicking off a new series – Adventures in Atlanta!

Which Atlanta posts are you most eager to read? Wandering Wednesday or Foodie Fridays?

XOXO,

Rockstar

“Step Aside” Office Side Dish Competition – Thanksgiving Recipe included

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year as you get to spend time with family and friends over a feast. Home-cooked meals are hard to come by in my household as it takes love and time to make and I’m always on the go. I usually bring drinks or a sinfully delicious dessert to Friendsgiving, but with a competitive office side-dish showdown happening I thought I’d give it a go to partake.

I decided to go with an easy cream corn recipe from a slow cooker. It was a hit and super easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 6 slices of American cheese
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar (Though I will probably try 1/4 cup next time)
  • 5 cans of corn

Recipe

Strain can of corn and dump all ingredients into your slow cooker. I personally cut the butter and cream cheese into smaller pieces, set on low for three hours (stir occasionally) and voila! You have a delicious dish. Serve it warm and it’ll be a crowd favorite!

What do you bring for a food competition?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Heros and Villians Compete at the U.A. Sports Festival in Huntington Beach, CA

I’m aware that conventions attract the biggest comic geeks such as Los Angeles Comic Con (Day 1, Day 2) etc, but the fandom for My Hero Academia is on a whole other level. At Anime Expo & SDCC  fans waited hours to see the show’s creator. Suffice to say there will be a Season 4 and I’m sure many more seasons after that. There’s an arc in the earlier seasons where the first year students competed in various competitions  called the U.A. Sports Festival and Cosplayers Undercovercottonswab and Libbubblescosplay hosted a similar competition at Huntington Beach!

U.A. Medals; U.A, Teachers and Sports Festival Hosts

It was a beautiful sunny day and this casual event was hosted right on the beach. Fans of the anime came from far and wide, some in cosplay and some in beach-gear to experience the U.A. Tournament. There were various mini competitions such as the limbo, and jump rope, but everyone was eagerly anticipating the relay-style race to the finish and the contenders were wait for it… heros versus villians!

Hero Cosplayers

I had a great time meeting others who also love this anime series and was proud of myself for styling my characters wig (2 hours and a whole can of hairspray later… lol). The things we do for characters we love.

Do you watch/read My Hero Academia? Who’s your favorite character? Momo Yaoyorozu’s mine

 

XOXO,

Rockstar