Who Reigns Supreme? Antico vs Campania vs Varuni Napoli vs Ammazza

Today another authentic Neapolitan pizzeria has opened in the Atlanta area and last night we got a sneak peek at what you can now experience at Varuni Napoli. How does it compare to it’s closest gourmet competitors? Here’s the breakdown:

Atlanta Pizzaria ComparisonBut wait… there’s no food comparison in the chart. Why not? To answer quite simply, because we haven’t tried them all yet. You can click here to read about our experience at Campania earlier this year.

Yesterday we had all intentions of trying a variety of the menu items at Varuni Napoli when we went for their VIP pre-opening party (see photo gallery below) but when servers only brought out the same pizza three times over the course of an hour, we were repeatedly hit by a woman’s large purse to the point where it felt like it was beginning to be intentional, the volume level was so loud we were almost shouting at each other, and the servers weren’t able to tell us what we were eating; we decided it was time to leave.

Before we left, however, we talked to a few foodie friends (including one from a popular food television program) and we agreed that Varuni Napoli had great toppings on their one unidentified pizza that we did try but the crust was not as good as rival pizzerias. We love the atmosphere and the design of the interior. The location and parking is great. We were disappointed that the only local beer on tap is SweetWater.  And, lastly, we all agreed that we’d like to give the restaurant another chance, when it wasn’t jam-packed full of people and we could taste dishes that could be identified in order to give a truly informed opinion for comparison.

In the mean time, we’re making plans to visit Antico and Ammazza to be able to give you a true comparison in the future. Stay tuned!

chart images courtesy of Friday Night Date Night, Varuni Napoli, Eater Atlanta

15 Things to do This Weekend (April 26 & 27, 2014)

Weekend

…in addition to the Inman Park Festival & Tour of Homes, we recommend:

  1. Shakespeare’s Birthday Party – For FREE, experience a live animal encounter with animals from Zoo Atlanta, stage combat demonstrations, Celtic music performances, panning for gold & gems at the portable mine shaft, arts & crafts, performances of kid-friendly scenes from Romeo & Juliet, cake and more!
  2. Crawfish Boil Patio Party at Seven Lamps with Abita Brewing Co. – Welcome the warmer months with a Crawfish Boil Patio Party at Seven Lamps. Get one lb. of crawfish and one Abita Brewery beer for $20, while supplies last, additional available for purchase. Cocktails from Kevin Bragg will also be available. Live music provided by Drew Beskin of The District Attorneys and Party Dolls.
  3. Lemonade Days - There will be outdoor activities including amusement park rides, games, food vending and other individual and family activities. Additionally there will be a face painting booth and a petting zoo on both Saturday and Sunday.
  4. Georgia Renaissance Festival – It’s the same festival you love back for another year bringing renaissance fun for your whole family. New this season- Sirena! Straight from the depths of the sea, the Sirens Aglaope, Legeia, and Raidne bring you a show filled with drumming, dancing, and all-original music.
  5. Alpharetta Arts StreetFest - Festival lovers and art enthusiasts from around the Southeast will enjoy two full days of strolling through outdoor galleries filled with fine paintings, mixed media, photography, pottery, jewelry, textile, glass, wood, metal and paper art. Children can create FREE art projects in the interactive “Art in Action” area presented by Out of the Box Studio and more.
  6. Spring Chicken Egg Hunt at Willis Park & The Optimist Egg Hunt – Rained out last week? Head to Avondale Estates or Peachtree City for FREE egg hunts this Saturday.
  7. Ladybug Weekend at Pike Nurseries - During this event, Pike Nurseries will give away 1 million ladybugs (1 FREE packet per family) to help homeowners maintain a healthy, happy garden this spring.
  8. Touch-a-Truck in Sandy Springs, Griffin, Sugar Hill and Dallas – Full of family friendly fun, the Griffin, Sugar Hill and Dallas events are FREE while the Sandy Springs event is $5/person or $20/family.
  9. Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival & Parade - The 2014 Spring Chicken Festival will kick off with a 5k and include the Chicken City Parade, Cook-off, live entertainment, Re-Hatched upcycled art market, quilt show and kids zone!
  10. Atkins Park Crawfish Boil - Atkins Park Partner & Zac Brown’s Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin back home from worldwide tour to boil your crawfish during two full days of food, fun, and live music.
  11. Spring Jonquil Festival - The festival has a history of over 25 years and will feature over 175 hand-made arts & crafts booths, local non-profits, sponsors, puppet shows, live music, plenty of festival foods, and all types of children’s activities.
  12. Heritage Sandy Springs Beer Fest - Kick back and sip on a unique selection of 100+ speciality beers at the annual Heritage Sandy Springs Beer Fest!
  13. Decatur Garden Tour - This year’s theme is the woodland garden and the tour will feature eight private gardens and three public treasures: the Wylde Center, Hawk Hollow, and the Woodlands Garden. There will be plant sales at two locations, a children’s art market, musical performances and an opportunity to take in our presenting sponsors beautiful rose garden by candlelight Saturday evening.
  14. Taste of Marietta - Enjoy a day filled with 70+ restaurants, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Kid’s Alley, LGE Community Credit Union Food Court, Martin’s Famous Pasty Shoppe Cooking Stage, the select luxury car show, and music on four different stages.
  15. WWII Heritage Days - The weekend will again feature historic aircraft, antique cars, vintage military vehicles, guest speakers, education displays, demonstrations by reenactors portraying Allied and Axis troops, and activities for school age kids.

2014-15 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Season Announced

Atlanta Symphony OrchestraThe 70th season offerings from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have been announced and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

On Thursday, September 25, 2014 Conductor Robert Spano will lead the Orchestra in a weekend of performances featuring pianist Jeremy Denk playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20; also on the program is Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, “Haffner,” and Strauss’s Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel.

A two-part mini-Beethoven Festival will be performed October 2–11, 2014. Part I will feature pianist Jonathan Biss playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as Symphony No. 9 with soprano Angela Meade, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, tenor Russell Thomas, and bass Nathan Berg. Part II of the festival will feature violinist Nicola Benedetti playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Mr. Runnicles will also lead the Orchestra in Symphony No. 6, “Pastorale.”            Continue reading

Salt Factory Pub Announces Plans for Woodstock Location

The Salt Factory PubOn the heels of successful restaurant opening in Roswell and Alpharetta, F&H Food Trading Group and culinary director Bob McDonough have announced the third Salt Factory Pub is set to debut in Woodstock.  

In addition to Salt Factory classic gastropub offerings, the new location will boast an expansive oyster bar and al fresco dining complete with a bocce ball court in addition to an impressive beer and spirits menu.

Located at 8690 Main Street, Woodstock, Ga., 30188, Salt Factory Pub Woodstock will open mid-summer 2014 for lunch and dinner. For more information and to follow construction progress, direct your browser to fhfoodtradinggroup.com or their Facebook page.

photo courtesy of The Salt Factory Pub

WANTED: Junior LEGO Construction Experts

LEGOLAND AtlantaDo you have a child that loves LEGO? If they spend hours building, they may be the right fit to join Joshua Bohn, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta’s master model builder as part of a new team of Junior Construction Panel members.

Specially chosen Junior Construction Panel members will access to special events, provide insight on future events at the attraction and be part of a group of opinion-leaders who will lead LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta into the future.

So, how does your child get on the team? With the help of a parent or guardian, LEGO builders between the ages of 5 and 13 can apply by submitting a photo of an original LEGO creation via the specifications below. Parts from LEGO sets are allowed, but the new creation cannot be an assembled set. Each creation should have a body that is no larger than 8 studs wide by 20 studs long by 8 bricks high (no base is needed by the entrants—selected entries will be provided with a base).

Entrants must submit a photo of their work to claire.barron@merlinentertainments.biz from April 21-May 4, 2014. Submitted work should include the child’s name and age, a photo of the creation, as well as an email and phone number for a parent or guardian.

Entrants’ photos will be uploaded into an official Junior Construction Panel 2014 Facebook album on May 5, 2014. From May 5-11, Facebook fans may vote for a submission by liking the original photo in the album. One like is equivalent to one vote. The 12 pictures with the most likes will be the new Junior Construction Panel members. Winners will be announced on May 12, 2014 and their respective floats will be displayed in MINILAND throughout the month of June.

photo courtesy of Atlanta Magazine

What do Kids Receive for Entering or Being Named a Junior Construction Panelist?The children selected to serve on the Junior Construction Panel will receive the royal LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta treatment and a seat as a member of the panel for one year, a special “box of imagination,” as well as an Annual Pass for the center, granting them FREE visits for an entire year.

All Joy and No Fun Coming to the Atlanta History Center Tomorrow

All Joy and No FunFor years, experts have been talking about how the behavior and attitudes of parents effects children. Tomorrow, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior will examine what the effects are of children on their parents during her lecture at the Atlanta History Center starting at 8:00 p.m.

In her new book All Joy and No Fun Senior tackles this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents’ lives, whether it’s their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today’s mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear.

Pulling from many areas of study including history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology—she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country.

As part of her book conveys, lively and accessible storytelling, how real-life mothers and fathers wrestle with some of parenthood’s deepest vexations—and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards.

Tickets are still available for this unique event. Admission is inexpensive at $10 for nonmembers, $5 for members, and free for AHC insiders.  Guests to the lecture receive 25% off of the featured book. To get $5 off the admission price, enter code 5MOM.

Marlow’s Tavern Announces Locally Sourced Spring Menu

Marlow's Tavern

Marlow’s Tavern’s goal is, “to deliver great flavors with high quality ingredients in craveable, unique options,” and their latest menu showcases ample options that come straight from the farmers’ trucks to the chefs’ kitchens.  Here’s what you’ll find on the new spring menu starting tomorrow:

Farm-Fresh Salads

  • Baby Kale Caesar salad with crisp romaine, chopped egg, Parmesan, house-made Caesar dressing and garlic flatbread crouton ($6)
  • Tavern salad of field greens, jumbo asparagus tips, sugar snap peas, toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and apple cider and honey vinaigrette ($6)
  • Ahi Tuna Nicoise with field greens, Kalamata olives, parsley-covered fingerling potatoes, jumbo asparagus, chopped egg and house-made Lemonette ($15)

Locally Fished Appetizers:           Continue reading

Do You Have Your Tickets? This Summer’s Aaron’s Amphitheatre Concerts Are Selling Quickly

Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood

Are you heading to Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood for a concert this summer? If you are planning on it but haven’t gotten your tickets, you’ll want to log on to livenation.com ASAP because shows are already selling out.

Here’s the full line-up:

  • April 26 -  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  • May 2 -  Arcade Fire with Kid Koala and Tune-Yards
  • May 15-17 -  Jason Aldean with Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr (5/17 SOLD OUT)
  • May 24 -  A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band
  • May 30 -  Journey and Steve Miller Band with Tower of Power
  • June 7 -  Zac Brown Band: The Great American Road Trip Tour
  • June 22 -  Brad Paisley with Randy Houser, Leah Turner and Charlie Worsham
  • July 13 -  Tim McGraw with Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope
  • July 18 -  KISS and Def Leppard
  • July 24 -  Vans Warped Tour
  • July 25 & 26 -  Luke Bryan with Lee Brice and Cole Swindell (SOLD OUT)
  • July 30 -  Fall Out Boy and Paramore
  • August 5 -  Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
  • August 8 -  Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden
  • August 9 -  Flashback Festival
  • August 19 -  OneRepublic
  • September 9 -  Kings of Leon with Young the Giant and Kongos
  • September 11 -  Rascal Flatts with Sheryl Crow and Gloriana

Stay tuned to the Aaron’s Amphitheatre website for additional concert announcements.

photo courtesy of Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood