Jimmy Sobeck is the owner, operator, editor, publisher, chef and chief taster of Eat It, Atlanta. Eat It, Atlanta is best described by its sub title: Cooking, Dining & General Food Philandering, Mostly in ATL. It’s a site that you need to add to your bookmarks- your stomach will thank you. For now, Jimmy’s take on a few of our hard-hitting questions…
Q. The James Beard Foundation calls, and they want you to set up a weekend of Atlanta eating for them. Where are you going?
A. When it’s just my fiancé and I, we tend to eat at restaurant bars. Sometimes we’ll pick an area of town, and hop from place to place. One of my favorite routes is a two mile stretch of Peachtree in Buckhead. I’d take the JBF to La Pietra Cucina for some fresh pasta in butter sauce and a pile of their prosciutto with their house made ricotta and pineapple mostarda. Then we’d move on to Varasano’s for some pizza. My favorite is the nucci – it’s a white pie with olives and garlic, capicola, and Emmentaler cheese. I still think Varasano makes a better pie than the beloved Antico. Finally, we’d end up at Holeman & Finch for cocktails and many small plates, hopefully the hot dog if it’s on the menu. If it’s too crowded we’d walk over to Eugene and sit at their great but overlooked bar. The cocktails and well-priced desserts are killer there.
A. Little 5 Points and the surrounding neighborhood is one of the great areas of Atlanta. It’s fun to walk around there and check out the shops and grab a beer and a bite to eat. The Porter is underrated, I’ve had some really good food there lately and their beer list is only second to Brick Store Pub. Fox Brothers BBQ’s short rib special with a Sweetwater beer on the patio when the weather is nice is a calorie filled but awesome Saturday afternoon.
Q. Best Atlanta celebrity sightings?
A. Chefs are my celebrities. You can see them all over town. Have you seen what Billy Allin can do with Israeli cous cous and a few vegetables? Rock star.
Q. You’re given an unlimited budget to create your dream home kitchen- what’s it going to look like?
A. Maybe a mix of industrial and classic design. Industrial aspects like massive hoods for dealing with smoke, and large stainless sinks with overhead sprayers are very functional. I don’t want to have to disable my smoke alarm when making pizza like I do now. I saw these really cool ovens recently, La Cornue, which are these French ovens that are modeled after classic French ovens, but with modern technology. They look pretty nasty too. Also, I found these huge, worn-down 19th century butchers blocks at Scott’s antiques market. They were put out of commission when the FDA decided steel was more sanitary, but what do they know? Something like that could really be the centerpiece of a cool kitchen, and useful too.
Q. Off the radar food gem that Atlantans need to find?
A. Sushi Huku – Sushi chef Jey Oh is young, and is eager to be great. He appreciates the history of sushi and does things the right way. Some fish flies directly from Tsukiji market in Japan, but the prices are the most reasonable in town for that level of quality.
BONUS QUESTION: What is Eat It Atlanta, and why is it awesome?
A. I don’t know that it’s awesome to everyone else, but it’s been awesome to me. I started it as a personal outlet, and to share information with friends and family. I discovered there was this food community that is active not only online but in real life all over town. I’ve learned more than I could have imagined, and have made some great friends. Anything that can bring people together like that must be worth doing.