June's Atlanta Underground Market was held at the Goat Farm. This 12-acre facility was originally built in 1889 as a cotton gin factory. Today, it houses some of Atlanta's most interesting artistic events. The Atlanta Underground Market, of course, was no exception!
For those of you who have loyally followed me on my culinary journey through the first four Markets, first of all, you rock. Second of all, I have some bad news: my camera died during the last Market. So, the last few photos of the event were taken with my iPhone and are therefore horrible quality. I'm ashamed...mostly because it doesn't do your incredible food justice! If your cuisine is featured with an iPhone photo in this post, I am truly sorry. It doesn't mean I love you any less! And I promise to make it up to you at future foodie events if you'll let me :)
As I was saying, our approach to the Goat Farm was beautifully rustic.
Once inside, I began with a pork belly taco from Everyday Chef.
The meat was tender, and had just the right amount of kick! The cool sauce and lettuce felt great, as the evening was already a bit warm.
Next, I had Masa Beef in a peanut sauce from Kwashe's, a catering company specializing in South African cuisine.
The Masa was flavorful, but very spicy! The coolness of the accompanying ginger juice evened it out nicely, though.
I was really impressed with Kwashe's display. All of their food looked so beautiful.
Next, I visited Teranga, which features Senegalese cuisine. I tried some grilled lamb, a roasted chicken drumstick, some jasmine rice, and, best of all, hibiscus juice. I don't know if I've ever even imagined what hibiscus juice would taste like! It was refreshing, and more fragrant than sweet. It would have been awesome with some rum in it poolside. :) I also tried a very unique onion and olive sauce. It was tart and crisp, like Vidalias, but it had the smoothness of olives. It was definitely a new (and incredible!) kind of flavor for me.
"Teranga" means "hospitality" in Wolof, and owner Cheikh Ndiaye serves up just that. His cuisine is inspired by a world of flavors, and I'm not exaggerating. I had the wonderful opportunity of chatting with this passionate and personable chef, and he explained to me that he draws inspiration from Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and North Africa. Somehow, all of these flavors still marry well when they come together. To me, this is what an event like the Atlanta Underground Market is all about.
I then switched it up from savory to sweet, as I tried some peach-buttercream whoppie pies with a peach-basalmic reduction from Dr. Sweets.
You may recall from the chocolate event that Dr. Sweets specializes in gluten-baked goods. I'm usually not a fan of gluten-free treats (What can I say? I'm a purist.), but I really love his creations. I asked what the secret was, and he informed me that most gluten-free items are baked with chick pea flour. This can give off a bitter aftertaste. The chef at Dr. Sweets only uses rice flour or potato flower...voila! No bitterness!
Finally, we tried some fudge pie from Darden's Delights.
They handed out these little free samples which were just enough to get you to buy the whole slice! They were absolutely delicious. Best of all, the purchase of these pies benefits local organizations for developmental disabilities. Darden is actually the owners' daughter, who was born with Down syndrome in 2005. I love the idea of creating something enjoyable while giving back...it's just a whole lot of good!
Last but not least, I ran into two of my favorite Tweeps! Sure, the lighting was bad and we were sweaty, but I love these girls and needed a photo.
Will I run into you at the next AUM?