Foodie {style profile}

Introducing our new series, Style Profile! For the kick-off we interviewed local Atlantan and self-proclaimed foodie, Rafael Love. His full walk in closet attests to his other love, fashion.

We selected the Westside area, a haven for foodies, for our shoot. The neighborhood is home to Octane, Bocado, Miller Union, JCT. Kitchen, West Egg, Yeah! Burger, Ormsby's, Star Provisions, Bacchanalia, and Abbatoir

WL: What are your top two favorite dinner spots?
RL: I find myself most often gravitating to Holeman & Finch and Shoya Izakaya. 

WL: Why?
RL: Simple. Less is more, and more is better. Whether I´m happily drowning my taste buds in one of Greg Best's (the mastermind mixologist at Holeman and Finch) deliciously orchestrated mixed creations (I´m craving his holy Muddy Waters as we speak) or fully enjoying a hard-to-find beer (e.g., Founder´s Kentucky Breakfast Stout), I always leave the place satisfied. And the food - oh the food!
As for Shoya Izakaya... same deal, but in a different band of the gastrospectrum. The long list of always-changing grilled this, grilled that, raw this, raw that, what´s this, what´s that... topped with your choice of Japanese beer, sake, or soju, all served thirst-quenchingly cold in the perfectly-textured mug/glass...... what more could an attentive-and-demanding man want? Oh yeah, for those who care about the ambiance - the lighting, design and seating are quite suitable for the gathering of kuidaore-philliacs (i.e., lovers of the artsy side of glutony).

WL: Favorite lunch spots?
RL: Alon´s in VA Highlands, Star Provisions, Super Pan, the carts of the Atlanta Street Food Coalition, Lee´s Bakery (and a few others on Buford Highway)... and for a light lunch, a hot or iced mocha from Octane´s or Steady Hand Pour House always comes to the rescue.

WL: Anything new to the Atlanta culinary scene that excites you?
RL: Street Foods Coalition - they seem to be somewhere around town everyday now, woohoo! Every great city is accompanied by a side of street foods... looks like we have put in our petition to be considered a great city. Still a long ways to go, but every great journey begins with a first step. Ah - the relatively new introduction of third wave coffee shops in Atlanta (e.g., Octane or Steady Hand Pour House) is enough to shiver my bones with delight!

WL: Favorite thing to cook?
RL: When time & energy are plenty, I very much enjoy izakaya-style foods or dishes which can be easily prepared completely in my Zojirushi rice cooker (which is in many ways my favorite kitchen tool). Japanesefied Brasilian-style hot dogs & American breakfast dishes are also tops on my list for their simplicity and quasi-foolproof results (which are especially welcomed when I´m half asleep in front of the stove in the morning).

WL: OK, you are going to have to break down "Japanesefied Brasilian-style hot dogs" for us.
RL: Brasilian hot dogs are the kind that have potato crisps, tomato sauce and mayonnaise... I make them Japanese by adding shredded seaweed and kewpie (Japanese) mayo, and using Wagyu beef.

WL: Favorite place to shop for groceries?
RL: By far, Buford Highway Farmer´s Market. If I´m in a rush and carefree with regards to prices, Whole Foods is a brainless choice due to its proximity to my house. If I'm in the area, I'll pick up several items from Tomato in Marietta (a little hole-in-the-wall Japanese supermarket).

WL: Most unusual thing you have tried in Atlanta? Outside of Atlanta?
RL: Ha, in the past +/- 6 years, I have experienced quite a bit. Having been raised vegetarian (my dad used to own health food restaurants in Brazil) and afterward maintaining quite the boring eating lifestyle, I have tried blood sausages, many different organs from multiple animals, etc. Several things come to mind as far as being unusual. Ones which I detested were bull penis and rotten raw squid in squid liver preserve sauce. One which I was iffy before trying, but managed to tiptoe in delight around its perfect combination of texture and strength was a duck beak which I savored at Holeman & Finch (I´m convinced... those guys can make ANYTHING taste nothing short of blissful).

WL: Is there any place you have always wanted to travel to because you want to try the food?
RL: Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei, anywhere in Spain & France. Ah, world-renowned molecular gastronomy kitchens (wherever they may be found) are also on top of my list!

I hope you enjoyed and feel inspired to step out and try some new culinary delights around Atlanta. Stay tuned for more from our Style Profile series!

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