Kimball’s Cheese Does Please

Tonight, I went out with two college chums, Harbourne Blue and Hamakua, to the highly recommended Kimball House, located in the depot across the street from our old stomping grounds. We could’ve eaten on campus, but I think we made the much better choice to visit one of Decatur’s finest, hippest eateries.It will come as no big surprise that I opted to get the cheese plate as my main entrée. Starting from the left, there is Caña de Cabra, a Spanish goat cheese; then, Belletoile, a triple cream brie; next, Deer Creek’s 7 year Proprietor’s Grand Reserve Cheddar; and finally, the Sweet Home Perdido, from yes, Alabama.

As you can see I also had quite a few accompaniments, too: a tangy mustard, some pickles, microgreens, chopped nuts, and my absolute favorite, a homemade strawberry jam. I was licking the ramekin at the meal’s end–I kid you not.

The cheeses were all delightful, and I was kind and shared some with Harbourne & Hamakua. Beyond my rapture with the jam, which caused a Proustian style flashback in me to freezer jams from my childhood, I can’t say that I had a favorite cheese. Probably the cheddar went best with the jam?

Kimball House supposedly changes their menu every day, so I look forward to going back and seeing what new cheeses are available to sample.

Goo Goo Tots

I got to Atlanta just in time for The Vortex‘s 25th birthday bash. My ATL bestie Idiazabal had initially mentioned going out for Indian, but when we heard about their big day, we knew we couldn’t miss it. Plus, tots! We ordered some of their Cheesy-Cheese Goo to go along with them, and it was delish. The only unfortunate thing was that I’d forgotten that the Vortex is pro-smoking and being in a restaurant clouded by smoke just seems weird in this day and age. Even in Europe, where smoking is so much more common, the smokers have to go outside in almost every country. So, the atmosphere wasn’t the greatest, but the food was still delish, if a tad disgusting. I’m not gonna ask what exactly makes this cheese so gooey.

Also, you can get pimiento cheese here on your burger, including a damn fine veggie one. So, two points for cheese minus one point for smoke. Yep, I’ll be back, but maybe doing takeout next time, if Georgia still hasn’t caught up with the rest of the world.

Take Two

My lunch this afternoon had an element of déjà vu to it. Like today, about 3 months ago, I was on my way home to Georgia. I was flying Delta, whose terminal D is the nicest of all at LaGuardia, and I had extra time to kill, so I sat down at Crust and ordered some bruschette. On the left is Butternut & Mascarpone and on the right Ricotta & Fennel. Obviously, there are some other ingredients–a bit of pesto mixed in with the squash and mandarin slices piled atop the ricotta–but the recipe is pretty simple. And if you aren’t like me and fearful of any cooking that involves chopping, you might even try to make them yourself at home.

Anyway, back in January, I had this very same meal, but unfortunately, my camera was lost/stolen before I had a chance to upload the pics I took at that lunch, so finally I had the opportunity to recreate what had disappeared. And I certainly didn’t mind revisiting this restaurant a second time. I like to think of the squash one as the main and the mandarin one as the dessert. Both were delicious and there are many other bruschette toppings to choose from, so if you find yourself stuck in this NYC airport with a sucky delay, at least know you can pass the time with some tasty food.

From Cheddar to Leicester

My fridge’s cheese drawer is overflowing with options, so it’s time for a dinner of cheese, crackers, and clementine. Just to the left of the Triscuits (smoked gouda flavor, no less!) is TJ’s Mull of Kintyre Cheddar. Very creamy, that one. Then below it is Millport Dairy‘s Smoked Cheddar. I’ll confess I bought this one because I initially confused it with Milton Creamery and their amazing cheddar. The Lancaster County blend is nice and I know it’ll be best when melted for mac ‘n’ cheese or a grilled sandwich.

Finally, almost matching the clemmie in color is the Red Leicester that I picked up as a cheese orphan. It has a very sharp, distinct flavor, so I recommend eating it with a cracker, not just on its own. It needs something to cut the intensity.

Interestingly, all of these cheeses draw their names from English towns. So I decided to look them up on a map. Leicester is northwest of London in the Midlands and Cheddar lies almost directly west of the capital. Cheddar is also close to the sea, so I’ve started to fantasize about a little day trip from London whenever I’m next there. If my dream comes true, you know where to look for a report on my adventures there!