Dr. Leonard R. Achiron graduated from the New England College of Optometry with honors, but he?s not just book smart?he?s also laser smart. Dr. Achiron has co-managed more than 50,000 Lasik procedures as former professor of the Emory Eye Center and clinical director of Lasik Vision Institute. Like him, each of his colleagues on the center?s team of ophthalmologists has performed tens of thousands of eye surgeries, alleviating ailments ranging from nearsightedness and farsightedness to cataracts. At their clinic, they also pool their talents to treat eyes with nonsurgical services, such as exams, contact-lens fittings, and glasses for those who never took to their lessons on how to squint harder.
On a 6-acre farm in rural Georgia, Bella Cucina owner Alisa Barry and her team of chefs cook produce from their organic garden into small batches of artisanal sauces, spreads, and olive oils. Their "unbelievably delicious" artichoke-lemon pesto earned a spot on Oprah’s O List in 2004, and Atlanta: 365 Days, 365 Thing To Do calls the full roster of sauces "mouthwatering."
But the food is only one part of Barry’s mission to empower gourmands. She also stocks shelves with dozens of Italian cookbooks that brim with slow-food recipes and designs a line of ceramic cookware that respond to junk food by defensively sealing their lids.
You could easily spend every Saturday in Atlanta driving all over town, hitting up different farmers markets to stock up on produce for the week. One sure place to visit is Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Green Market in Midtown; just get there early if you want to park anywhere remotely near the 12th Street entrance. Depending on the season, the vendors in this market will offer whatever local fresh specialties are on hand. The standard vegetables and fruits are complemented by exotic teas, flavored goat cheeses and freshly brewed coffee. There are even food trucks on hand, serving breakfast or lunch to hungry market-goers. The Green Market at Piedmont Park also makes a fun first stop on your way to an arts festival or other rotating events at the park. And while it’s not the largest of Atlanta’s farmers markets, it provides an inspiring sampling of local products.
Hundreds of exotic and native plants spread across more than 30 acres of growing space at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Under the careful watch of the garden's horticulture team, these species provide a serene backdrop for garden visitors even as they educate them on the wonders of the natural world. The botanical discovery doesn't stop after the sun goes down. At night, visitors can explore the verdant pathways lit by millions of twinkling bulbs for the second annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, or decamp to the conservatory for a look at a mammoth collection of species orchids and the chirping poison dart frogs that keep them company. Amid its ever-changing visual display, the Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts frequent events such as concerts, holiday light shows, seasonal festivals, and an annual member-plant dance.
Long hailed for a mastery of ham far beyond the skills of mere mortal meat cookers, the meat mavens at HoneyBaked Ham invite you to put their newly honed turkey skills to the test with today's Groupon: a whole roasted turkey breast for $12 (an up to $25 value). Get your moist turkey breast unadulterated, or let the HoneyBaked masters finish your bird with crackling sweet glaze, which may or may not be cooled by having volunteer glaze-pixies fan it with their wings. Call one of HoneyBaked's participating locations (found here and in the sidebar to the right) to reserve your order, and pick up your juicy bird.
The New York Butcher Shoppe's high-quality meats star in the filet meal, which consists of two 8-ounce certified Angus beef choice filets, two locked and loaded baked potatoes, a bag of spring mix, and a French baguette. The shop's butcher buffs use beef from the country’s very best Angus programs and skillfully wield steak-shaped cookie cutters to produce well-marbled, tender, and consistent muscle patties cut to each customer’s order.