Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Gourmet donuts in D.C. Diners can soon get their sweet and savory cravings in one spot: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, a take-out joint slated to open this week. Former Fiola pastry chef Jason Gehring is upping the ante on the spherical sweet with rotating flavors like pistachio, creamsicle, and gingerbread (above) made from quality ingredients such as Benton’s bacon and fruit from local farmers. Thankfully the crispy fried chicken and donuts like Brooklyn blackout and PB&J are available every day.
2. Two dinners in Atlanta. Tonight, Top Chef All-Stars winner and chef Richard Blais serves up bites from his recent creative cookbook Try This at Home at his Midtown restaurant, The Spence. (If his offerings are anything like the dinner we had there in January, you’re in for some innovative and delicious eats.) On Tuesday, Seven Lamps in Buckhead pairs its seasonally inspired fare with whiskey from Heaven Hill Distilleries for a five-course meal. One hearty course features a half-ounce pour of Evan Williams Bottled in Bond bourbon with wood-grilled beef tri-tip with English peas and smoked pancetta.
3. Southern photography exhibit and book. Photographer Paul Kwilecki spent four decades (1960-2001) capturing people at work, at church, and even at the high school prom in Decatur County, Georgia, and his photos show a richly preserved South straight out of a time capsule. Check out the exhibit at Center for Documentary Studies in Durham now through July, and pick up the book featuring even more shots in April.
4. A week of Blake Shelton. Around here, we’re always on Team Blake, so we’re happy that he is everywhere this week. First Blake gets back to coaching on a new season of The Voice on TV tonight. The country crooner drops a new album, Based on a True Story, featuring a song with Pistol Annies, out Tuesday. Finally, watch Blake perform a new song or two from on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday.
5. New brewery in Virginia. Housed in a renovated soda bottling plant, the recently opened Three Brothers Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg, Virginia, is out to be as eco-friendly as possible. The guys’ leftover grain fuels the cattle of area farmers, the extra yeast feeds the fish at a local trout farm, and customers are welcome to take the coffee grounds remaining from making their Coffee Breath beer. Of course, Adam, Jason, and Tyler Shifflett are just as dedicated to brewing quality beer including The Great Outdoors (a Virginia pale ale) and Hoptimization IPA.