February 4th, 2014
09:27 AM ET
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Brian Maloof knows it sounds crazy. Why would a small business build a chicken coop on its roof?

Maloof’s father, Manuel Maloof, opened his namesake watering hole in 1956. Manuel’s Tavern has been an Atlanta institution for decades, a place where journalists and cops rub elbows with legislators, carpenters and college students as they belly up to the wooden bar. The same portrait of JFK has hung over the bar since the days when “unaccompanied women” were not welcome. It's surrounded by pennants of Atlanta sports franchises, past and present

But things haven’t been easy lately. So Maloof “put it out there in prayer” and waited.

“I just said, ‘Father, I don’t know what it is that you want me to do, but it sure has been tough. I need some help here,’” said Maloof, who left his paramedic job in 2001 to work at Manuel’s.

The response he got back was "chickens.”

November 4th, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's installment comes courtesy of Amy Evans, oral historian and Eatocracy crush.

Earlier this morning, Dexter Weaver announced on his Facebook page that his namesake restaurant will close its doors at the end of this month:

"Weaver D’s Fine Foods is announcing that we will be closing the restaurant for good 2-3 weeks from today. The restaurant is for sale along with it’s contents. Come and get your last eat-on here at Weaver D’s, where our food has made us world famous for the last 27 1/2 years! Automatic, Dexter Weaver!"

September 13th, 2013
02:30 PM ET
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Josh Ozersky has written on his carnivorous exploits for Time, Esquire and now Food & Wine; he has authored several books, including The Hamburger: A History; and he is the founder of the Meatopia food festival. Follow him on Twitter @OzerskyTV.

Like every other man of spirit, I love steak houses. Even the cheesiest New Jersey ones, like Arthur’s, in Hoboken, or the Library III, in Egg Harbor Township, the kind with Reader’s Digest Condensed Books on the walls and a “Queen’s Cut” filet mignon, make me happy. Happier, in fact, than their more upscale rivals.

The contemporary high-end steak house promises an Hermès experience but often delivers a Men’s Wearhouse feeding. The reasons range from incompetence to immorality, but it’s the damage to body, spirit and bank that matter, not the motivations. Even a hard-bitten meathead like myself only gets to go to a steakhouse every few months. The calories are indefensible, the check averages sky-high. It’s not asking too much for the meal to live up to the hype. When it doesn’t, one or more of the following swindles is to blame.

August 23rd, 2013
01:15 PM ET
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Bill Cosby sits in the shade of his own shadow, a large mural painted in his likeness on the wall outside Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington D.C.

Cosby's still got a sharp mind and a sharper sense of humor, but he's starting to show his age: It's hot outside, and despite the sticky August weather, Cosby is wearing white socks with his brown leather sandals.

The 76-year-old comedy legend has been visiting the D.C. eating establishment since 1958 and is perhaps its most famous patron - so when the restaurant decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it was fitting that Cosby hosted the festivities.

This week, the restaurant turns 55, so it's no surprise he's back.

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Filed under: Classic • Restaurants

National steakhouse month
June 21st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Get ready for the sizzle. June is National Steakhouse Month!

Look up any steakhouse worth its chops and it will likely have a history section on its website. That’s because a lot what they’re selling is just that – history, a legacy, a tradition.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Classic • Food Holidays • News • Restaurants • Steakhouse

Waffle House CEO in alleged sex scandal
November 10th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
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A former personal assistant of Waffle House's CEO accused him of forcing her to "perform sexual services," among other degrading acts, during her nine years of working for him, according to an Atlanta police report.

Police blacked out the woman's name in the report, but gave a graphic account of her accusation, based on an interview that she gave Atlanta police on September 28. CNN obtained a copy of the police report Friday, as news of the allegations against Joseph Rogers Jr. spread around the media.

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Filed under: Chain • Restaurants • Waffle House

September 26th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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When CNN highlighted some excellent historic restaurants in major cities across the country last month, readers wondered why their small-town and smaller-city favorites didn't make the cut. Thus, in this follow-up tribute to more laudable veteran restaurants, we've zeroed in - thanks to suggestions from our commenters - on the decades-old, and in certain cases centuries-old, icons that thrive outside of America's biggest metropolises.

Columbia Restaurant, 1905

The Hernandez/Gonzmart family claims the title of Florida's oldest restaurant and America's oldest Spanish restaurant with their 107-year-old icon Columbia in the Ybor City area of Tampa. What started as a corner cafe for the cigar workers in town has ballooned into a 1,700-seat restaurant specializing in Cuban and Spanish cuisine. Live jazz and flamenco shows are offered on most nights, and the gift shop comes complete with cigar rolling demonstrations in the afternoon. The restaurant expanded with locations across Florida - including one in Tampa International Airport - but the locals still stop in here for the famous Cuban sandwiches, the 1905 salad, tossed tableside and the old-school Spanish decor.

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Filed under: Bite • Classic • Restaurants • Travel

Quest for the perfect power lunch
September 14th, 2012
11:30 AM ET
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If a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then what's true in love is true in business too. At least, it is in New York City.

With some of the most upscale eateries and trendy downtown diners in the world, where you decide to take a client for lunch can be just as vital as what you talk about between bites in the Big Apple.

Indeed, it's widely believed the term "power lunch" itself was first coined in a 1979 article by Lee Eisenberg, the then-editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine, while writing about a new lunch scene that had popped-up in midtown Manhattan.

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Filed under: Classic • Culture • Fine Dining • Restaurants • Richard Quest

July 21st, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Editor's Note: Byron Hurt is a documentary filmmaker whose latest film, Soul Food Junkies, is scheduled to broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens in January 2013.

A friend of mine called me Thursday evening and asked, “Did you hear the news about Sylvia?”

I knew right away which Sylvia my friend was referring to. Something must have happened to Ms. Sylvia Woods, the pioneering restaurateur whose soul food gave so many people comfort.

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Filed under: Classic • Restaurants • Soul • Sylvia Woods

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