Friday, November 25, 2011

Gu's Bistro Dim Sum - Unfortunately Disappointing

Smoked chili tofu - the first (and best) dish of the meal.

Sweet rice porridge with dried fruit.

As part of Calvin's birthday weekend I planned a special dim sum brunch at Gu's Bistro. We were served about 12-14 items for $15 each - definitely a good deal. Unfortunately the selection was not what I was hoping for and was rather disappointing compared with Gu's regular menu. The items were very starch/noodle heavy and while we enjoyed many of the items, it was too much of the same thing and included no seafood and very few vegetables. Several of the items were very interesting, however, including textures not commonly eaten in the US. It wouldalso be helpful to have a printed menu of the selections since the servers were not too good at explaining each dish. Next time we'll definitely go back to the regular menu, which is wonderful and unique for Atlanta.

Dumplings in broth. Tasty.

Very interesting cold noodle.

Beef noodles with greens.

Gu's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vintage Pizzeria - Chamblee

Calamari with jalepeno peppers and okra - favorite dish. The tomato sauce was really good, too.

We recently dined at the Chamblee location of Vintage Pizzeria while my dad was in town (there is a location in Alpharetta as well). Family friends we met at a recent gathering really raved about this place so we thought it was high time to try it out. We got a little lost getting there although once we found it I realized that every time I come to this part of Peachtree Rd. I get lost! This is definitely a neighborhood gathering place and watering hole, although I warn you to stay away from the house margarita - it is seriously 3/4 ice. In fairness, they did take it off our bill - however, it was removed only after the server said management would "discount" it. When it was not discounted on the original check we reminded her of this and it was removed.

Notwithstanding the margarita, we enjoyed our meal overall. However, the pizza did not stand out to me as much as I expected for a restaurant with such a high urbanspoon rating. While still not thick-crust, the pizza here is much more filling than some of our favorite pie places (Urban Pie, Antico) so there is more bang for your buck. The salads were also large, and the Caesar was tasty. This place is rather far from us so not a place we would likely return unless we were already in the area. If you live nearby, definitely give it a try. There is a cute ice cream stand across the street, too if you aren't totally stuffed after eating here.

Small house (left) and large Caesar salad.

The Vintage - half without olives.

Carmen's Own - a veggie pie with tomatoes and basil - we added garlic too. This was definitely my favorite of the two as I tend not to like a lot of meat on pizza.

Vintage Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cakes & Ale - New Location + Bakery

Fabulous fried okra.

After reading several wonderful reviews of the recently relocated Cakes & Ale in Decatur, I decided to try it out with my dad during his visit to Atlanta. We had a lovely dinner with gracious service, delicious food and a wonderful setting. The new space includes a large bar/table area, another large dining room and the attached, quaint cafe/bakery where breads, pastries and coffees as well as lunch are available. Many of the plates are small, sharing plates, which works just fine for me since you get to try more this way. I can't wait to return here to try more - the menu changes daily so there is always more to try!

Vermont burrata cheese with roasted broccoli, arugula and cherry tomatoes in a light dressing. The cheese paired perfectly with the house-made bread.

The delicious bread selection kept coming. You can buy whole loaves in the bakery as well. They also made me a lime/ginger "mocktail", which was delicious.

Squid stuffed with farro, frisee & feta, beet & frisee salad - one of my favorite items.

Gnocchi with rabbit ragu and mustard greens.

Roasted squash with rosemary - delicious and not too strong of a rosemary flavor.

Top: Pecan Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream; bottom: brioche donuts with squash ice cream & pumpkin seed brittle - really unique. Both were sublime.

Cakes & Ale on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Buckhead Diner's New Menu Items

Today's "Ceviche" Day Boat - Calamari and scallops with mango, papaya, melon, shallots and sweet potato and plantain chips - my favorite dish!

I was recently invited to a tasting at Buckhead Diner, organized by Atlanta Food Bloggers Society. Chef Charles Schwab is at the helm of this established Buckhead meeting spot where the warm Maytag Blue Cheese potato chips and veal and wild mushroom meatloaf are adored standards. In addition to the classics, there are quite a few new items on the menu and our sampling was comprised of these new additions. Everything we tried was quite tasty. My favorites include the ceviche (above), the Cobb salad (below) and the turkey Breast Jardiniere (not pictured) - a light entree of wood grilled turkey topped with fresh asparagus, tiny tomatoes, radishes, fingerling potatoes, arugula and a very tasty lemon vinaigrette. I look forward to trying Buckhead Diner again and for all you long-time fans - you must try the new menu!

Spicy "Pow Pow" Rock Shrimp.

Pimento Cheese fritters with spicy pimento jelly. Loved the jelly with these tasty fritters.

White truffle deviled eggs - this delicious delight started off our tasting.

Flatbread vegetarian pizza.

Cobb Salad - so pretty and delicious.

Horseradish Crusted Maine Cod + summer bean and corn succotash. The vegetables really shined here.

White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie - a classic favorite.

Buckhead Diner on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ledet Ethiopian

Lamb tibs (center) with vegetarian platter surrounding. We also had the doro wat (chicken with boiled egg).

I recently met up with friends to celebrate a birthday at Ledet Ethiopian. This quality Ethiopian spot is located at what I call "Ethiopian Corner" (corner of Briarcliff and Clairmont) in DeKalb County. The service, although a bit slow to start, was quicker than most Ethiopian places (other than Desta, which is my favorite modern Ethiopian restaurant) and the food was good. We found both the sambusas (below) and the salad dressing (not pictured) to be quite spicy even for our versatile palates. The main dishes, however, were very pleasing and it didn't hurt that was had a Scoutmob to take $20 off the bill. The doro wat, which is chicken in a rich sauce with a whole hardboiled egg included, was the best dish we tried. The vegetarian sampler was also very good.

The sambusas had a lot of flavor - too much flavor for most of my dining companions as there were huge chunks of very spicy jalepeno peppers inside. I'm not usually one to ask a restaurant to turn down the spice but in this case, they should do just that, or at least have two varieties: regular and extra spicy!

Ledet Ethiopian on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hillbilly Willy's Bar-B-Q - Chattanooga

Combo Plate with ribs and pulled pork.

On the way to MTSU for our nephew's football game, we stopped at Hillbilly Willy's Bar-B-Q and had a wonderful lunch. This family owned establishment is a great pit stop. The ribs and pulled pork were both particularly tasty. We also tried the chocolate coca-cola cake (not pictured) and it is also delicious.

The giant combo plate was enough for 2 to share, with delicious huge onion rings and homemade cole slaw in addition to the succulent, falling of the bone Q.

Specials on the board.

Owner George Foster cooks up all the meat right behind the restaurant.


Located in a strip shopping mall just off I-24 - a great place to stop while on the road in Tennessee.

HillbillyWilly's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 04, 2011

Roxx Tavern

Bacon cheeseburger with homemade chips.

Although we don't live far away, we'd never tried Roxx Tavern before our neighbor suggested that we go there for dinner one night. We really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the huge menu as well as the good service. We even went back again recently because they sent Calvin a $15 gift certificate for his birthday. The fish & chips were really tasty and the burgers are also excellent. We sat on the patio (enclosed for the cooler season now) both times we dined at Roxx and truly enjoyed the experience.

Fish & Chips.

Harvest salad with grilled chicken.

Fried twinkies.

Carrot cake - special of the day.

Roxx Tavern on Urbanspoon