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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Culinary Scene At Atlanta’s Midtown Festival Of Arts

A festival would be nothing without the food. With the local vendors with their unique offerings, there’s usually something for everyone!

corn dog

Photo: Helen Kopp

Corndogs made with organic ingredients from Applegate Farms.

Can we all agree that a festival would be nothing without the food? It’s what I look forward to: the local vendors with their unique offerings. In a city like Atlanta, there’s usually something for everyone. The only challenge is how to try as much food as possible, before I can’t take another bite!

Here’s a small sampling of last weekend’s Midtown Festival of Arts food vendors, and their tasty treats.

A Corndog You Can Trust

Applegate Farms was founded because founder Steve McDonnell loved the whole foods’ concepts behind macrobiotics, vegetarianism and co-ops, yet still craved meat and cheese.

The crew from Applegate Farms showed up with tie-died aprons. They served corndogs made from organic ingredients at farms that practice ethical farming techniques. You don’t have to wonder what you’re eating because the small amount of ingredients are all listed right on the package.

Southern Food Represents!

bbq sandwich

Photo: Helen Kopp

Pulled pork barbecue sandwich with homemade pickles from South City Kitchen.

People in Atlanta know South City Kitchen. It’s where you can get southern food with a contemporary spin. Menu favorites include fried green tomatoes with goat cheese, red pepper coulis, and basil; buttermilk fried chicken with bourbon gravy; and homemade banana pudding! This weekend they were serving a true Southern classic: pulled pork barbecue sandwiches with homemade pickles.

French Bistro Meets Southern History

french fries

Photo: Helen Kopp

JTC Kitchen's truffle parmesan fries doused with smoked mayo dipping sauce.

I go to JTC Kitchen for two reasons. Well, besides the excellent food. First, I love their Southern cocktail menu. My favorite cocktails are the JCTea (ice-tea infused gin, Grand Marnier, lemon and orange bitters) and the Leaves of Grass (Bison Grass vodka, Dolin Blanc, lemongrass syrup and fresh tarragon).

Second, I love the atmosphere. JCT is built over an old railroad track. You can enjoy your Southern cocktail from a romantic arching bridge that overlooks the old, rust-colored tracks.

The most popular menu item at JCT’s might be the truffle Parmesan fries. The crispy, melt-in-your-mouth fries showed up at the festival in portable form, wrapped in newspaper and doused with smoked mayo dipping sauce.

Farm-Fresh Pizza


Photo: Helen Kopp

Thin crust pizza from MotoBene Pizza.

MotoBene Pizza chef, Dan Latham, once worked with famous Food Network chef, Mario Batali. Now, he crafts thin crust pizzas from whatever is available at the local farmers market each morning, and bakes those pizzas in his portable wood-fire brick oven. You can always find him shopping and baking at local farmers markets, and last weekend he showed up at the Midtown Festival of Arts!

Ending On A Sweet Note

chocolate popsicle

Photo: Jocelyn | McAuliflower (flickr)

Handcrafted chocolate popsicles like this made by the King of Pops.

I’ve provided only a tiny sampling of the many talented festival food vendors. One last treat worth mentioning is a handcrafted Popsicle from the King of Pops. Founder and self-professed Popsicle-slinger, Steven Carse, sells startlingly mouth-watering frozen treats, in flavors like banana pudding, orange basil and grapefruit lemongrass from his portable Popsicle cart. I tried Mexican chocolate and let out a little gasp of surprise at just how creamy, chocolaty and indulgent it tasted. It was a perfect ending to a yummy, food-filled day.

What do you look for in festival food? Write us with your comments and send us your photos.

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Helen Cobb

Helen Cobb is a writer and triathlete living in Atlanta, Georgia. She majored in English and Spanish at the University of Georgia. Her favorite things are art, food, language, running, and the ocean. Helen grew up on a small farm in rural Georgia, where she developed her appreciation for whole plant foods and simplicity. She loves sharing the healthy side of Southern cuisine with friends and family, and through her blog Why I Consume Art.

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