Caribana Bliss. A Vacation for Your Tastebuds!

About Caribana Bliss

Have you heard of the pop-up restaurant Caribana Bliss¬†that is ready to take over the Atlanta food scene? Imagine relaxing on a beautiful Caribbean beach; with the sound of waves crashing on the soft, white sand, while biting into some delicious local cuisine. Well, that just about sums up Caribana Bliss. This is not simply a pop-up restaurant, this transports your body and mind to the Caribbean Islands. You’re taking a journey with each bite, and it gets better after each course.

Keep an eye out for the next event. You can find out where it will be and what the menu will feature on the Caribana Bliss Facebook page, their website or on Instagram!

Passionate Chefs

The owners are all of Carribean Heritage and are very passionate about what they do. Chefs David, Jorge, Will, and Ebony Nicole have a mission to serve some of the best Caribbean food while making sure their guests are taken on a “once in a lifetime experience.” And believe me, they do just that! One of the best parts of the event is definitely¬†getting to talk to the chefs. You can truly see how passionate they are when it comes to their food and how much work they put into ensuring¬†every dish they serve¬†is PICTURE-PERFECT!

 

SALAD CARIB
A traditional Seafood Salad from the Island of Saint Barthélemy.

 

Not Just Food: An Experience

What I really love about Caribana Bliss, is the experience. The setting is usually at a home, so the vibe feels very comfortable. You are seated at a beautiful table, with white linen and beachy themed items perfectly set all around the dining area. At times the chefs will implement “party games” as an icebreaker so everyone can properly meet one another. Everything just feels so well prepared and pleasant.

As the evening proceeds, Chef Will introduces each plate and describes in detail the ingredients used in the dish and the Island and culture where it originates. When the plate is set down I immediately¬†want to devour the beautiful and aromatic dish that was just set in front of me. Unfortunetly, as a food blogger, I must watch others indulge as I take some expert photos; and maybe snag a few bites from my girlfriends’ plate!

Here is an example of a menu from the last event, just to show you the work the chefs put into creating this masterpiece.

  • Saint Barth√©lemy

    Seafood Salad | Lobster & Shrimp tossed in Mixed Greens, Tomato and Caribbean Fruits with a Honey Lime Vinaigrette.

  • ¬†Martinique

    Colombo Chicken | A Creole Curry from the island of Martinique with Chicken simmered in provisions.

  • ¬†Haiti

    Legume with Sos Pwa Nwa | A Velvety Black Bean Puree served with Caramelized Mixed Vegetables over Rice.

  • ¬†Puerto Rico

    Pastelòn | A casserole dish layered with sweet plantains, carne, a tomato-based sauce covered with cheese.

  • Cuba

    Guava Cheesecake | Cuban Style Cheesecake elevated with a Tropical Fruit Compote and a Blood Orange Coulis.

Previous dishes

Caribana Bliss has been really starting to pick up. Currently, it is not an event that receives as much publicity as it should. There are generally about ten people at the event. I personally hope to see this number rise because the food is really, really, really good and I would hate for the chefs to stop hosting these pop-ups!

Stay involved with Caribana Bliss on social media and also keep an eye out on my personal Instagram page: ATLFoodChronicles and be on the lookout for a Caribana Bliss ticket GIVEAWAY! 

Here are some of the previous dishes that were absolutely delicious!

Mofongo, A popular Caribbean Treat

bliss mofongo

The mofongo was one of my favorite dishes from Caribana Bliss. Mofongo is really not that simple to make (believe me, made it plenty of times), you can easily dry out the plantains, which takes away a lot of the flavor. The chefs cooked the green plantains perfectly, it had a great consistency, good garlic flavor (not overpowering) and just overall a tasty dish.

Heavenly Pastelon!

59B67745-120C-4E91-96B3-0FDD54BF2A5F 

This dish was featured in the most recent popup menu. I probably took the fastest photo of my life on this one because I could not wait to dig in. The result….. Words can not explain how good it was. Pastelon is easily one of my favorite Puerto Rican dishes, so I was not expecting to be blown away. Well, I was wrong. The chefs did more than blow me away, they got me HOOKED! Everything was perfect; the meat was seasoned generously, the sweet plantains had a great texture and sweetness to compliment the meat and the guacamole on the side was a smart addition to this dish. I give it a whopping 5.5/5 stars!

Colombo Chicken

449EE1B4-248A-4DA7-B269-9DC736BBEF1E

Moist and delicious chicken with a slightly spicy curry sauce, incorporating just the right kick to it! Another great dish from the chefs! Some people at the table enjoyed this meal most! It was tough between the Colombo Chicken and Pastelon for me!

More Amazing Food!

2B5C090A-FC3C-4529-AFE6-5184153097A5

carib

 

 

chicken bliss
Saheena Fried Chicken Drummets: Photo courtesy of Askwame 

You can find tickets for Caribana Bliss on Eventbrite! I will keep everyone posted when the next event is scheduled.

Advertisements

Why the DiningOut Passbook is a MUST HAVE for local foodies?

Let’s face it. Atlanta’s¬†food scene is huge. Metro Atlanta has thousands of restaurants that are all calling your name, right NOW! You hear that?

At all times, there is a temptation to go out to eat somewhere¬†delicious; whether¬†it is a boozy brunch in Midtown or some authentic tacos on Buford Highway. With so many choices, it can be quite overwhelming deciding where to eat. And there is nothing worse than spending 45 minutes or more deciding where to eat when you are literally dying of hunger!¬† Believe me, I know from personal experience with the wife……..

Eating on a Budget

If you are like me, eating out almost every day has its own section dedicated¬†in your budget (yeah I have to ensure I have a majority of my income set aside for food). Sound familiar? Then you know eating out can get a bit;¬†VERY expensive… Luckily, The DiningOut Atlanta Passbook is here to solve both problems!

DiningOut Atlanta created a small booklet, with huge real-world implications. This “Passbook” offers two for one entrees’ or BOGO brunches at over 90 restaurants located all around metro Atlanta. Why I find this to be such a great value at $99 is because the Passbook does two things, it saves you money when eating out AND it gives you a reason to try restaurants you never thought of trying or restaurants you didn’t even know existed. If you call yourself a “foodie” then this is a must! Use the passbook for date nights or for Sunday brunch! What’s even better is that most of the restaurants listed in the Passbook are some of the top choices in the city; so you are getting the best food the city has to offer with the Passbook!

The Passbook can be used to get together with your foodie friends as well. Oh no! You have no one to go out to dinner with this evening (sorry for those who are lonely), well what friend, or breathing organism, would turn down a FREE MEAL! *Sorry in advance if you start receiving texts and emails from people who have not contacted you in ages.

But seriously, I wish I would have invented the Passbook. I love what it is doing for the communities around Atlanta. This book is helping out our local restaurants to get more customers. This little book is bringing friends together. This little book is helping us all save money. This amazing book is helping us do what we all love to do, EAT!

Serious Savings

Are you ready for the best part! I have a code to save you 60% on the Passbook. Yeah, you read that right. That $99 Passbook can be yours for only $39! A New Years Miracle!!!!!!!!!!

 

Get your Passbook by clicking here: DiningOut Passbook and enter code AFC18, to get the 60% discount. You can thank me later ūüôā

 

 

http://diningout.com/atlanta/product/atlanta-dining-passbook-presale-only-2017-2018/

How to Begin Taking Food Photography?

The art of food photography has become a daily routine for thousands of people around the world. Seriously, not only food bloggers with insane equipment and high tech cameras are involved in the food photography scene. People are taking photos with their phones and point and shoot cameras; heck even old school people with flip phones are taking food photos! What makes food photography so special is because food plays a role in the lives of every human being. Food is social, cultural and a downright necessity. So why not build your skills and gain more knowledge on this fascinating hobby?

So like previously mentioned, in theory, you can use any device that takes a photograph to shoot food, however, if you are trying to take your ability to the next level, a DSLR camera is a great start! For our photos, we use the Nikon D5600. You can purchase it from Amazon, here:

Now, once you purchase a camera, it is time to learn how to actually take great photos. Cameras can be overwhelming at first if you are new to photography. Which is why the Nikon D5600 is a great camera for beginners because it is relatively simple to use. Make it a priority to learn the manual functions of the camera; this will ensure the highest quality pictures.

To be honest, when we first began shooting, we used the auto feature. Once we learned how to use the manual functions, we noticed a huge difference in our image quality!

terrible burger pic
This is one of our first burger pics using auto setting. As you see, the flash on our camera was used, casting a terrible glare on the burger. The quality is also grainy. We also did not clean the plate; amateur mistake!

Make it a goal to learn about a new function each day. Focus on aperture one day, then ISO and so on. Once you have an understanding of each feature, you should see a huge difference in photo quality.

sushi closeup 1

This is one of our favorite shots that we took of food so far, using a Nikkor 50mm lens.

The photo was taken in natural lighting with an ISO of 100, aperture 1.8; to really get a great blur of the background and shutter speed of 1/60.

Here is a great book that can really help take your photography to the next level!

Please feel free to comment or message us with any questions you have relating to food photography, cameras etc.. Once you start taking great pictures, leave us a photo in the comments and we may feature it on our Instagram!

Good Luck! And most of all, have fun!

Top five brunch spots in Atlanta (2018)

Brunch is becoming what dinner used to be. A time for family and friends to gather around and enjoy a great meal. Even though brunch is usually early in the morning; booze is a MUST. So Atlanta takes this meal very importantly. I mean, how much more important can brunch be, it includes the most important meal of the day fused with lunch and alcohol. The only three things needed to get through the day! Our city boasts some of the best brunch in the country! So where are the best places to get brunch in Atlanta?

  1. Buttermilk Kitchen:

The name itself implies that there is some good food being whipped up in the kitchen. I envision a little old lady, with tons of bottles of buttermilk, a big festive apron and a recipe book, containing only the best family recipes. This may not be what you fantasize about when hearing the name, but I am sure something delicious comes to mind!

Anyway, back to the delicious brunch! At Buttermilk Kitchen, you can not go wrong with any menu item. TRUST ME! I tried everything. Start with the Pimento cheese stack!

PCB EDIT Delicious house pickles with creamy, pimento cheese, fluffy toast, and some red pepper jelly. Like I said, a MUST try! Do not be afraid to try any of the amazing entrees they have to offer. Some of my favorites are the Lobster omelette, chicken biscuit, Short rib hash*, and of course the pimento omelet because pimento cheese makes ANYTHING delicious!

*Pro tip: ARRIVE EARLY! THIS PLACE GETS BUSY!!!!

Go check out their menu here: Buttermilk Kitchen brunch menu 

 

2. The General Muir 

The General Muir, located at Emory Pointe, right on the line between Decatur and Atlanta, has a serious brunch menu. The options are wide at The General Muir, ranging from bagel platters to an extremely¬†tasty burger! Start with a platter, if you come hungry, then dive into one of the delicious entrees. Oh, and you must get a craft cocktail. It’s brunch time! Flush down the deliciousness with a unique, boozy creation.

maven platter.jpg
Maven Platter
The Burger: shot courtesy of Serious Eats

General Muir Brunch Menu

3. 9 MILE STATION: 

One of the newer establishments to the ATL food scene. Nine Mile Station offers great food with a scenic view. Grab a cocktail, some banana stuffed french toast and simply enjoy what is left of the weekend!

view 9 mile
The view: courtesy of EATER.

9 MILE STATION BRUNCH MENU 

4. 8ARM 

This spot may be one of my favorites. The brunch menu is served all week and it is a more convenient spot to relax and get some work done. 8ARM is labeled as a coffee bar, but do not let that fool you. Once you try the food, you will be in complete AWE! And you will definitely be back to try out the rest of the brunch menu!

potato with hummus
Fingerling potatoes with housemade hummus
EGG MCMUFF
The real EGG MCMUFF!

5. Ticonderoga Club 

Although the brunch menu is not large. They specialize in what they serve. I can honestly say, Ticonderoga may have served me the best grits that I have ever had! So creamy, cheesy and perfect amount of garlic flavor. Ticonderoga also has some damn good morning cocktails; so why not spend a whole Sunday here!

jerk chicken ticon
Jerk chicken sandwich
0516_ticonderoga05_cck_oneuseonly
Craft cocktails: Courtesy of Atlanta Magazine

8ARM CAFE “A coffee shop with an executive chef!”

Wow! I am blown away every time I frequent 8arm! This establishment was literally a blessing from the food gods for Atlanta!

8arm serves some of the, no let me rephrase that, THE best food I have ever eaten at a coffee bar. At this point, I would not even consider 8arm a coffee bar anymore, It is almost insulting. This is a culinary HOTSPOT! Owners Nhan Le and former owner Angus Brown, (Rest in Peace), really know what they were doing when creating this masterpiece. If I lived in Ponce City Market’s¬†trendy loft apartments, I would be at 8ARM every day….¬†Hold on, I don’t live at Ponce, but I am at 8arm almost every day!

Back to the point, 8ARM is a go-to spot when in Atlanta. If you live in Atlanta (or anywhere around the perimeter), and have not been to 8arm, your palate has unfortunetly not matured to its full potential. With options ranging from an Egg Mcmuff to a Sweet Potato Beef shank, you know there is something serious going on in the Kitchen. And this is just brunch!

Without prolonging this post any further, I must conclude by simply stating, “Go to 8ARM!’ If you are not pleased with your experience, I would doubt that you were in the right state of mind when you came to visit, or maybe you were having a bad dream.

Now let me bless everyone with some mouthwatering pictures off of the brunch menu at 8arm, taken by yours truly, ME ūüôā

EGG MCMUFF

 

potato with hummus

 

 

8arm beef shank brunch

#WeeklyWednesdayChallenge

#WeeklyWednesdayChallenge #2: Who can eat the most donuts in five minutes? Featuring the amazing, handcrafted donuts from Scream’n Nuts

 

 

Scream’n nuts; the local donut/ice cream shop that makes some of the best treats in Metro Atlanta! The shop is family owned and operated, the owners even make their own ice cream in house!!!

 

Scream’n nuts is a must try! They always have new flavors of ice creams and donuts. They are guaranteed to have something that will satisfy your taste buds!

 

As for our #weeklyWednesdayChallenge, Emily and I tried to see who can eat the most donuts in 5 minutes… the results were hilarious. Emily ate one whole donut and a few bites of the second one: I ate one donut and a half!!! Which sort of makes me the winner, however, I would say we both failed. In my defense, I wasn‚Äôt really that hungry, and when I got home I destroyed those donuts!!! ūü§£

 

Comment on our blog with a picture of your favorite donut, then follow us on Instagram, for a chance to win 15$ towards Scream’n Nuts!!!!!

1. Post a picture of your favorite donut in the comments below.

2. Follow us on Instagram and message us to secure your spot!

 

Winner will will be announced January 10th! Enjoy your delicious donuts!!!

5C1D3125-1F45-4EC9-BB87-C237183807B6

 

#WeeklyWednesdayChallenge

Challange #1 Who can design the best bagel?

weekly wednesday challange bagles
Michael’s bagel on left, Emily’s on right

 

We decided to start a weekly challenge, to keep all those who follow us something to look forward to every week. The challenges will differ each week and we will begin to implement a Vlog, so our fans can watch!

For our first challenge, we decided to go to The General Muir 

We chose General Muir because they have some of the best bagels in the south. Designing a bagel seemed like a unique challenge and could be voted on by viewers. The outcome was hilarious (on Michaels end at least). Emily is known for having a creative side; she even does art as a hobby (unfair) and is hoping to one day make a career out of her artwork. Michael, does not really have an artistic bone in his body….

The viewers voted on Instagram and Emily took the cake by a long shot!

We used the “Maven platter” from the menu. It was seriously delicious!¬† We love The General Muir!¬†maven platter

 

Now it’s your turn. Vist The General Muir and send us your unique bagel. We are excited to see your work!