Food & Drink

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Gay city slickers turned farmers offer comfort food with a twist

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

What happens when two urban gay men decide to become gentleman farmers? Planet Green chronicles the highlights and pitfalls in “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” the reality series featuring life and business partners Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell.

“We’re two city guys who bought a farm. We’ve got a herd of goats. A llama. And a whole lotta drama. Farming ain’t easy. But we make farming fabulous,” the boys explain on their website, Beekman1802.com. “Or at least that’s what our TV theme song says.”

The cable series is frequently described as a gay take on the “Green Acres” motif. Since it debuted in 2010, the boys have bickered and made up through two seasons of struggle as they work to grow the Beekman farm and their Beekman 1802 brand to a level of success that will allow Kilmer-Purcell to quit his job in the city and move to the farm fulltime.

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Pride: Dining options abound near Piedmont Park

Joe's on Juniper

At Pride you’ll have as many food choices as the ex partners you might see. There will be all the festival food that you crave, like funnel cakes, gyros, and my favorite — jalapeno corn dogs that they batter dip in front of you. Get your fare, find a grassy knoll and have a people-watching picnic.

If you want to sit down in a restaurant instead, or you need to entertain guests in town for Pride weekend, options are plentiful surrounding Piedmont Park.

Near the park with great patios

Willy’s Mexicana Grill: You can’t get closer to Pride than this. Located in the front of Piedmont Park facing Piedmont Avenue, Willy’s won best burrito by the AJC and has a large patio. Choose either chicken, tofu, or grilled steak. I like lots of their chunky guacamole and visit the salsa bar. The burritos are big enough to split which would give you a healthy huge fresh meal for under $8. Good place to bring the kids and dogs.

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Sandwiches, salads and a recipe for romance

The Pie Shop

Try this recipe for hot liaisons before summer ends: Start at Alon’s Bakery & Market with an Asian BBQ salmon sandwich or roasted portobello on rosemary focaccia, with sauteed spinach, swiss cheese and basil pesto. Next add curried couscous salad or chickpea and feta salad and indulge with a big soft chocolate chunk pecan cookie.

Then grab a big quilt, some chilled pinot grigio, and citronella candles and head to Emory’s Lullwater Park with your date or partner to have a splendid twilight meal by the lake. But be careful: The impressive food, rising summer moon, chirping crickets, sparkling fire flies and candlelight might cause feelings of love to blossom. My best friend Alison did this and she and Ellie were together for two years.

Another 90-degree day, another burger joint opens. Last month saw the opening of 5 Napkin Burger at 10th and Piedmont. In July, Smashburger opened on Piedmont Road, and while a filling burger isn’t always crave worthy in the heat, Smash also has some very tasty salads.

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Perfect 10s for Double Zero

Sadly homophobia still exists even in the liberal service industry. We recently approached a notable restaurant about hosting our LGBT professional networking group and they refused.

We then anonymously asked if they would host a “straight” retirement party — same date, size and price point — and they accepted.  Why would you not want to host a group of professional LGBTs who are bar friendly?

But luckily, that wasn’t the case at Double Zero Napoletana on Roswell Road. Their response to hosting the Atlanta Executive Network and Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce last month was not chilly and elusive but extremely excited.

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Take a bite out of Midtown’s new 5 Napkin Burger

5 Napkin Burger

Invited by local PR guru Bill Kaelin to the grand opening of 5 Napkin Burger, my friends and I were excited to try Atlanta's newest burger concept on the corner of 10th and Piedmont.

The extensive renovation of what was Nickiemoto's has resulted in what 5 Napkin calls "butcher shop chic." While some of the location's old sushi regulars might recognize elements of the floor plan, the space is truly revamped and felt very cosmopolitan.

According to the company, the restaurant will seat 100 inside and 40 outside. 5 Napkin Burger opens for dinner service on Monday, Aug. 15, and will add lunch and brunch services soon after.