Restaurant Weekend 10:05 p.m. 2003-10-25

Current Listening: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Current Reading: Julie by Jean Craighead George
Recipe of the Day: Flageolets with Smoked Sausage, Tamarind Sweet Potato Bisque, Beef Brisket Braised in Guiness, Stewed Dried Plums in Marsala
Last night was great! My husband had purchased tickets to see the Ballet Gran Folklorico de Mexico at the Rialto Theatre here in downtown Atlanta. Before that, we had reservations at Sala Restaurant in Virginia Highlands. The only challenge was getting there on a Friday afternoon at rush hour. We had a circuitous route dictated by MapQuest, and managed to follow it, being late by only 15 minutes. The restaurant wasn't busy, since it was only 6PM, so that wasn't a problem.

I love Virginia Highlands, a chic "bohemian" neighborhood east of midtown Atlanta, and don't go there often enough. Before Freedom Parkway was built, I rarely went there because it seemed so hard to find. I would get lost and end up in Decatur every time I tried to go there! I would have loved to live there, but the price of homely, rustic bungalows is outta control there! Little Five Points is a neighborhood farther south that really was the boho hangout - especially ten years ago when I re-entered ATlanta. It too is showing signs of extreme gentrification and cuteness. and I am sure that the prices will go up - if they already haven't.

Sala was very nice, and we got out of there in plenty of time to get to the Rialto. The performance was very colorful and authentic - there were about 8 female dancers, and maybe more male dancers. There was also a group of musicians who played mariachi music, fiddles, and even two-man marimba. The extra male dancers were for performing the indigenous dances, like the deer hunting dance, and the "virgin sacrificial dance." I loved the costumes - there were all sorts of colors!

We struck up a conversation with a family from Mexico that was seated in front of us. The man was from Mexico City, and his wife was from the state of Hidalgo. They were there with their son, a sixth grader, and their daughter, a fourth grader. They seemed to enjoy the performance. It was good to see a Mexican family there.

Afterward, we went to the original Jake's Ice Cream (I know, two times in one week!). I tasted a new flavor called Mexican Hot Chocolate, which was a chocolate ice cream with chili or cayenne in it! It was interesting, but I didn't feel like having the burn that was definitely there after I ate. I had the Coconut Custard and the Cherry Piescream. My husband had the Kenya AA and the Apple Piescream.

Today was a pretty lazy day. I slept until noon - of course, getting up to feed the dog, let her out, and to have some cough medicine. My husband went out on a job, and spent several hours fixing an elderly couple's computer.

My mother was signing books for the Atlanta Cow Parade at the North Point Barnes and Noble. After a couple of false starts, I managed to get there by taking a northern route (as opposed to going back to 285 and up 400). It took me an hour to get there, but only half an hour to get back. She was signing her name under pictures of the two cows she decorated: Virginia Highlands Cowleen and Scarlett O'Heifer (called the Suddern Belle by the CP people). It was pretty neat!

After I got home, we rested a bit and then went to meet Mom and my aunt at Ambra, a restaurant in the Lumberyard Lofts, over on my Mom's side of town. I had the pizza with prosciutto, fig compote, and Maytag blue cheese. I was unimpressed. If I had made it, I would have spread the "fig compote" on the crust - it was just chunks of rehydrated figs - then chopped smaller pieces of the "prosciutto" - I suspect it was just ham, since it didn't have the streakiness I associate with prosciutto - and sprinkled them on there with the blue cheese. As it was, the giant slabs of ham were hard to keep on the pizza, and took quite a balancing act to get cheese, fig, ham, and crust to work together! Mom had the lobster burrito, my aunt had the traditional pizza, and my husband had coffee (he had eaten before he knew we were going out to eat.).

This time, we resisted Jake's - three times would really have been too much!

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Tiedyefor 2003