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Saturday, August 16, 2014

5&10 in Athens, GA, Southern Perfection

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who think the Parthenon is in Athens, GA

5&10 in my mind was kind of a mythic restaurant since I haven't been there and I do spend a decent amount of time in Athens. Here is what I knew:  5&10 is Hugh Acheson's signature restaurant.   Somehow I have frequented and reviewed The National, Empire State South and Cinco y Diez.  This leads to one obvious question.  What is wrong with me?  How did I skirt around this place for so long?

What is the equivalent of this omission?  Frequenting San Antonio and pretending the Alamo doesn't exist?  Visiting Peru without seeing Machu Picchu?  At the end of the day, I realize I'm just embarrassing myself.  There is no good answer.

I will say this Hugh Acheson has earned every accolade and deserves every morsel of success he and his restaurants have enjoyed.  And this new-ish location is a perfect backdrop for his signature establishment.

For appetizers, we had the Pimento Cheese made with Bacon Marmalade which is delicious.  We combo'd that with their signature Boiled Peanut Hummus which was outstanding.

Then my friend Parker suggested, no insisted, we have the Roasted Octopus made with sweet peppers, fairytale eggplant, pickled watermelon rind, mushroom broth and lamb’s quarter.

My favorite local appetizer
Outside of Thomas Keller's "Oysters and Pearls" at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, I don't recall having a better appetizer.  I mean EVER.  I cannot think of a higher praise, nor a better recommendation.  If you aren't the type to try octopus?  Then I really pity you.  Like Mr T pity.

Then the waiter highly recommended the "Sock Eye Salmon" with pistachios, charred peppers, petite potatoes, grilled scallion, yogurt and oregano.  Yet again, I was blown away with the dish.  I have never had salmon prepared and as tasty as this dish.  Again, I mean EVER.
Top 5 All Time Entree
To call the 5&10 meal a success would be a monumental understatement.  I had two dishes that absolutely blew me away.  I'll be in Athens a few times in the next year.  Take a wild guess where I'll be dining.

I don't have enough superlatives to describe my experience.  Just go.

Our own "A" Team
This dinner was to celebrate the endowment of two UGA/ Grady Scholarships that ABAC, the Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club has executed during the last two years.  It was also an extension of the countries largest Advertising Mentorship Program that we administer as well.  It's been quite a journey with the folks at UGA the last few years and, outside of having my children, has been extremely fulfilling.

More information on ABAC and the Mentorship Program can be found here:

And feel free to like our Dry Rub Facebook Page as well:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nori Nori Sushi- Sandy Springs, GA

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate to children under the age of 13 and those who think that Golden Corral is fine dining.

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Nori Nori goes against what I believe in.  It's a Sushi Buffet in Sandy Springs that is such a massive operation that if should be a complete disaster.  And somehow they pull it off.

I know, when you think of an asian buffet, this type of establishment pops into mind.

But this is really what it looks like.

And the exterior presentation tells you your are entering a great establishment.

The Sushi Menu is pretty extensive and they make some really good specialty rolls as well.  The hot and cold non sushi items give it a rounded menu that doesn't make you exclude the non sushi eater, which all of us have in our groups, right?  There is a sauteed curried squid that may be my favorite thing on the "non" sushi side.

Now, the one thing you can't escape is that it is a buffet.  Nobody is getting your food for you and it eats into your conversation time (which may be a plus at times too!).

But it is $17.50 at lunch, so you do pay for what you get.  I have no problem with that as long as they deliver.

So I would basically call this a sophisticated buffet.  It's the buffet that can do it all.  Basically, the LeBron James of buffets, though I would avoid a sushi buffet in Cleveland, though Cleveland has some great culinary tradition of it's own!

Come hungry and try everything that you can.  It's worth the trip and definitely worth the price.