Atlanta is full of beautiful parks and terrific outdoor music venues that provide the perfect place for a summer picnic, but deciding what’s worthy of sitting atop of your blanket can be tricky. To offer insight on the art of picnic-packing, we figured there was no one better to ask than Alon Balshan of Alon’s Bakery and Market. He shares with us what he would bring along in his basket:
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  • Date and Walnut crisps (8.49) go well with a lot of different cheeses, and they’re really nice on their own too, for a more neutral choice, get some of our Lavosh made in house (2.99 for 1/3lb).
  • With the cheeses, I always like to use a sweet, spicy jam or fruit mostarda to break up the richness – my favorite is a pear with white wine mostarda (9.89) we carry in the store. And tapenade goes well with the Clarissa cheese on a nice slice of crusty bread, or our red wine walnut roll (1.89).

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  • Bread and cheese are picnic staples. I like strong cheeses. Here are a few of my favorites: Cana de Oveja (4.00), a goat cheese from Spain, Robiola Bosina (3.50), a cow and sheep’s milk cheese from Italy and Clarissa (5.12), a harder goat’s milk cheese from Sardinia, Italy. At the store, we sell cheese by the quarter pound, so guests can sample several and decide which ones they like best.
  • Edmond Fallot mustard (5.99) - the black currant flavor is different and really unique. I like getting people to try that one since it’s so unusual and it goes great on bread, with cheese or on sandwiches

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  • Rosé or white wine. Pinot Grigio is especially good for warm weather.  One of my favorites for a hot summer day is the Picpoul (11.99). It’s very crisp, citrusy and has a faint sparkle in the back. It’s a very easy wine to drink and reminds me of summer nights in Barcelona. My wife, Janine, opts for the Reverdy Sancerre Rosé (24.99).

  • Deli salads: potato salad (7.99/lb), pimento cheese (5.29) and green apple coleslaw (5.99/lb) are good choices, but if the danger of sitting out in the heat too long with a dairy-base worries you, try these options sans-mayonnaise: hummus (7.99/lb), edamame salad (6.99/lb), spicy soba noodle salad (8.99/lb), artichokes (6.99/lb), cranberry orange wild rice salad (8.99/lb), black bean and fresh corn salad (5.99/lb), chick pea and feta salad (5.99/lb), guacamole (5.29) and black bean dip (4.29)– there are lots to choose from and something to suit any taste.

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  • Phickles Pickles carrots (8.99) are a really good snack and they come right from Athens. 
  • For dessert, Heath bar brownies (1.99) and cookies (13.49/lb) travel well. If you’re really careful, you could probably successfully transport some macarons too (1.99 each, 15.99 for 8 and 26.99 for 16) Alon’s also has house made caramel popcorn (5.49) that would be great for a picnic.

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  • Rieme’s drinks are good – especially the Clementine Sparkling Lemonade (1.99).

With locations in Virginia Highlands and Dunwoody, Alon’s Bakery and Market is stocked with all of the above items in order to create an experience that is truly picnic-perfect. Learn more at here. Or, better yet, let the expert staff at either Alon's location pack a picnic according to your tastes!