Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fran's Filling Station - Charlotte

Huge salad with grilled salmon.
Fran's Filling Station is a relatively new addition to the Dilworth dining scene. Located on Park Road across the street from the American Red Cross, Fran's functions as a place nice enough to take company but inexpensive enough for a casual dinner anytime. Restauranteur and owner Fran Scibelli serves a varied, tasty menu including soups, sandwiches and salads as well as some heavier entrees. Having dined here twice recently, the second time indulging in dessert, I recommend Fran's wholeheartedly. Try the grapenut pudding if it is offered - a real New England treat not usually found down south.

Special fries plain and (back) with blue cheese.

Chicken sandwich - I can't remember which variety!

Greek salad with seared tuna.

Eggplant parmesan.

Burger with fries.
Fran's Filling Station on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lupie's in Charlotte

While in Charlotte we had a late night meal at Lupie's Cafe, a long standing Charlotte institution serving up delicious chili in a darkish neighborhood bar-like comfotable atmosphere. Unfortnately the burger was nowhere near as good as the chili. The patty tasted like it had been frozen and with so many great freshly packed burger places around - no use having a froze one! The veggie plate with mac & cheese, carrots and salad was tasty and hit the spot. Next time I'll stick to the chili if I'm going for meat.
Lupie's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fado Irish Pub

Corned Beef Rolls - a Fado specialty.

A few weeks ago I was invited to bring the family along to try Fado, an Irish Pub located in Buckhead. We really enjoyed our meal - so much in fact that I brought my office here to celebrate a birthday and we're holding our office holiday luncheon here soon!

Not only was the food amazing, the space is also fantastic, with dark wood, Irish objects and three levels of seating including a rooftap bar and patio. Wow. For some reason I don't think I've ever had Irish food before and I mistakenly thought I would not really like it. Well, go figure. Some of the highlights for me were the corned beef rolls, the chips and the brown bread ice cream. The boxty was great also. Apparently they have all of the soccer games on (even early) here and they always serve a good Irish breakfast! If you haven't been to Fado before, you should definitely check it out. They are not so busy at lunchtime (at least when I was there) so it's also a great place for an office luncheon or party.

The front door.

"Chips" with curry sauce and Guinness BBQ wings.

Trinity Steak Boxty. I loved the whiskey garlic sauce. Boxty is an Irish potato pancake, perfect for stuffing and rolling.

Fish tacos - a seasonal special that has since moved off the menu.

Harvest bread pudding with brown bread ice cream and black & tan brownie with Guinness ice cream - yum! The brown bread ice cream has an amazing consistency and taste - very unique and delicious.

Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 10, 2010

Taka Sushi Lunch

Sashimi Lunch.

After hearing about Taka Sushi Cafe and reading Chef Taka's blog from time to time I finally had an opportunity to venture there for lunch. Lunch service was recently added, which is helpful for me since I work in Buckhead. It is also helpful for the wallet because lunch is most certainly less expensive than dinner. Overall I enjoyed what I had and the fish was fresh. I would have loved a scallop or shrimp to be included also on the sashimi plate. I still hope to try this place for dinner sometime. I've noticed that Chef Taka serves up some home-style Japanese specialties similar to what my host mother made for me when I studied near Osaka in 2003. I am going to have to try their curry rice!

Spicy Tuna Roll.

Soup and Salad.

Taka Sushi Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ziba's Restaurant and Wine Bar in Grant Park

Olive and nut plate - the olives were outstanding.

Back in October I met up with my book club at Ziba's Restaurant and Wine Bar. I'd heard about Ziba's for some time but this group meeting made for the perfect opportunity to check it out. The funniest part was that another book club was meeting there on the same night!

The menu.

The inviting patio.

Yucca Frites.

Crispy Artichoke.

Our group enjoyed sharing several small plates and entrees. After finding out about my food blog the owner graciously sent over some freebies from the kitchen. I really enjoyed the clams with sausage and the quail. The atmosphere was perfect for our group meeting - not too loud and very inviting. As we were leaving, they were gearing up for some dance lessons.

Stuffed dates - I love this presentation!

Persian Meatballs.

Citrus braised baby octopus with clams.

Crabcake entree.

Clams and Merguez Sausage - a surprise highlight of the meal.

Grilled quail (back) and grilled calamari with artichokes (front). The quail was very tasty and the calamari definitely had a unique preparation.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with the food. For example, the meatballs were dry and there was something off about the octopus, which I was so excited about when I ordered it. I think it would work better with sliced octopus rather than small baby octopus, which dried out easily. I would give Ziba's another try sometime, though, as I don't like to judge a place based solely on one visit. There were also several dishes I liked a lot, as indicated above.

Ziba’s Restaurant and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Der Biergarten VIP Opening Event

Der Biergarten, brings German cuisine and the beer garden atmosphere to Marietta Street's Luckie District. I was invited to the restaurant's grand opening a couple of months ago and really enjoyed the food, special music they had for the event and the atmosphere. This is definitely a unique addition to the Atlanta scene. The restaurant offers over a dozen German draft beers including some cider that I particularly enjoyed.

The food was better than expected!

Too funny to pass up!

Der Biergarten on Urbanspoon