Bandora. A review.

Super fresh and vegetarian options are why I often seek out mediterranean style food.  What makes Bandora different is how they do business as well as a few menu options unique to them.  They pay a living wage to their staff members, have a commitment to helping local non-profits through food donations and revenue sharing as well as all fresh (never frozen ingredients).

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Brooklyn Cafe. A review.

The menu is what I describe as white bread Americana.  It is limited but still has something for everyone.  Roasted artichokes and lobster bisque are both great to see on a limited menu but I was in the mood for good ol american red meat.

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il Giallo Osteria & Bar. A review.

The interior is a large open space carefully sectioned into a proper bar and bar seating, kitchen and pasta making area and main dining room. It's a bit loud because of the open  layout but it's also beautiful and quite frankly, it works.  It's a Friday night and it is packed.  I am feeling like many are regulars here.  I could be wrong but if I were a betting woman I wouldn't bet that I am wrong on this.

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Drift. A review.

The hushpuppies have vibrant green chives minced into the batter and are served with a sweet butter. I have no shame in saying I ate the whole basket myself. This made the rest of my dinner go into a take away container.  

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Health benefit of mushrooms

Similar to penicillin, mushrooms contain natural antibiotics that inhibit the growth of fungal infections.  Including them in your diet regularly will boost your body’s natural immune system and ward off common ailments. Ergothioneine is a powerful antioxidant unique to mushrooms. Ergothioneine is suggested to have the ability to provide relief from chronic inflammatory diseases as well. When left unchecked, inflammation can escalate into some forms of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, periodontitis, COPD and hardening of the arteries.

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Oak Steakhouse. A review

The waiters have on leather aprons to give a butcher feel.  It's pretty fab.  The menu is fairly steakhouse standard but don't limit yourself to beef.  The truffle parmeasan fries put me in heaven at first bite. 

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Sushi Making Class at Bottle Rocket

There is a trick to seasoning, cooking and handling that special sushi rice. You will learn it.  If you make a mess in the process that's ok.  You will have plenty of supervision to make sure you are understanding what is being taught and correct you before your slight error turns into sushi disaster!

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Grouchy's Deli. A review.

Clean and modern inside but not kosher. I figured that out with one bite of really fantastic potato salad. It's got bacon.  May I say it is absolutely delicious and that is a big reason why.  Lobster bisque is on the menu and making me glad I am not kosher more and more each minute as I read the menu. Fear not gluten free, kosher and vegetarians. There is plenty here for you to eat.

You will see the usual suspects for you deli menu traditionalists and then a few items for your perhaps, more adventurous companion/group.  BBQ chopped salad (chicken in this one), crispy chicken salad and buffalo chicken panini.  In fact the menu was so overwhelmingly tempting I had to hang back a bit to narrow it down to 3 contenders and crown one of them my winner of the day. Today's winner is the Californian sandwich.  Deli Oven-roasted turkey, avocado, provolone cheese, lettuce, cucumbers and ranch dressing.  Rye, duh. 

I can't say that they are making their own bagels. I am gonna go out on a limb and make this assumption when a bagel delivery driver wheels boxes of bagels past me while I am enjoying my potato salad outside. You will have to hit Goldberg's if you want house made bagels and bread but my rye was just fine, house made or not.

The newfangled coke machine where you can make 1000 combinations of drinks is in Grouchy's. If you're into that sort of thing.

See you next time, Grouchy's. I will have potato salad with it.

 

Grouchy's Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Alpine Bakery and Trattoria. A review.

 They are all over the top in size and appearance but inside the taste is pure gold.  No sticky sweet butter creams, but rather pastry creams and whipped creams are the basis for fillings and frostings. 

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I<3 Pho. A review.

 I ordered up some Chicken Rolls. They are plus size in the most sexy possible way. Big and full of goodness.

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2015 Gift Guide for (almost) everyone

It’s the holiday season AGAIN.  Do you get filled with excitement for all the special moments coming or are you filled with dread because it is one more year you have to come up with a gift for (fill in the blank here).

I am here to help. My gift guide guidelines must meet some criteria:

1.       Unique but not too “out there”

2.       Appealing to the eye or the palette or have a highly useful place in recipients life

3.       Won’t drain a bank account

4.       Is suitable for a man or a woman (or baby)

5.       Likelihood of being used on a scale of 1-10: 8+ 

 

Salt of the Earth

Salt makes everything taste good. Some of your friends and loved ones may not venture out to buy specialty salt with some flavor that is more than just salty, but complex.  Jacobsen Salt in Oregon has an incredible array to choose from. If you can’t find them locally buy directly from their website.  Varieties like basil, ghost chili, pinot blanc and white truffle and even a salty black licorice should get your gifts in order.

For the Winter Outdoor Sports Lover

Windburn and sunburn from the snow is the unfortunate side effect of wintertime sports and activities.  I am a huge supporter of companies that make effective non toxic skin care products and this Apres surf and slope lotion from Subtle Green has been spotted on a few sites I frequent for clean skin care with lots of praise. It comes in formulas for both men and women. No more chapped cheeks!

Buttery Goodness

If you’re more of the do it yourself type how about making some cultured butter?  I make my own kefir at home and use the grains to culture the cream before turning it into butter but this link shows a variety of ways. These reusable beeswrap papers are a pretty way to give them. Let your recipients know the butter should be kept frozen until use. It’s great to put on cooked vegetables and all your holiday breads.

 

Nuts and Sweet Treats are a Classic Welcomed Gift

I visited Pearson Farm recently and got to enjoy their pecans in a variety of ways. This pecan and peach farm is in Fort Valley, GA and the Pearson family has 100+ years experience in growing these orchards to optimal harvest results.  Mrs. Pearson has come up with some fantastic baked good recipes you can have shipped but also painstakingly sourced a chocolatier that had Belgian chocolate worthy of their nuts. They are triple enrobed and it is the perfect ratio of super creamy chocolate against the crunch of their delicious fresh nuts.  Gorgeous fruit condiments are on offer if you’re indecisive (I always have some on hand to put on yogurt or to spread on black bread). If you’re baking this season their nuts are available natural as well as seasoned for gift giving. Select Krogers in the Southeast will be stocking the nuts as well.

For Baby

Got some new parents or parents to be on your list?  This is a darling gift even for the most eco minded of parents. The Lifestyle in Green warm buddy gift set.  Baby will love the push toy with or without the warmable insert and mom and baby will enjoy the eco bath products.

Tea for Two...or a Few

Tea is always in fashion and with more varieties every year it seems I think it's safe to say in our lifetimes it will always be in style to give it as a gift.  Cozy winter favs fit nicely into a stocking, work well as a hostess or teacher gift and even for colleagues. I don't mind gifting myself some tea now and then too.  How about the harvest stackable tin  or some comfort and joy in the holiday stackable tin.

 

Cinebistro. A review.

Am I really writing a movie theater review? Me, the woman that doesn't go to the movies?  I am when a theater is as food centric as Cinebistro in Brookhaven.  I have a movie obsessed dear friend that dragged me, paid for everything and color me surprised, I enjoyed it.

The ticket takers instructed me, the newbie what to expect and plates of available entrees are there as a marketing ploy. I mean, who doesn't eat something when watching a movie at home?  We had to hurry for in 5 minutes no more kitchen orders could be placed inside the theater. There is a concession window to order and pickup yourself after that and during the movie.

Once seated in the rather spacious comfy seat with a tray table and cup holder I ordered up a cobb salad and for later, unbuttered popcorn. Pelligrino to wash it down, which instantly arrived ice cold coupled with a plastic chardonnay glass.

The salad quickly arrived.  Then a few minutes later the forgotten chicken arrived on an apologetic but warm plate. Pretty damn tasty overall. Nicely mixed baby greens along with all the other goodies in cobb salad.  Better late than never on the chicken. The popcorn never showed up (all this was paid for prior to the movie starting).  The server was waiting to recognize and correct the popcorn issue during the closing credits and a manager immediately followed two complimentary dessert certificates.  My head is still shaking a bit about the mixups. The theater was nearly bare on a Saturday afternoon so I don't know where the cog in the machine is there but they did the right thing in fixing the errors before a complaint came out of either of our mouths. 

We opted to eat the desserts in the bar area before leaving.  Chocolate mousse layer cake and deconstructed peanut butter pie.  I was really impressed with how elaborate the presentation was on both.   The cake was a bit dense and dry but the peanut butter extravaganza has got to the be star of the dessert menu. Layered mousse, graham and whipped  cream with crunchy balls of crisped chocolate covered something topped it.  If you have a sweet tooth do not miss this one.

Despite the mix ups I would go back in a heartbeat.  Cinebistro is a comfortable class act.


CinéBistro at Town Brookhaven Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hola Taquiera. A Review.

Instead of my usual fancy steakhouse birthday dinner I wanted some fun Mexican food. it goes without saying I wanted it to be damn delicious. Thanks to the suggestion of others, Hola fit the bill perfectly!

Super cute freestanding building (albiet in a parking lot but this is how Atlanta rolls). An Indoor/outdoor bar area and outdoor seating as well as a sleek spacious interior.  A bubbly hostess seated my group outside and more bubbly staff greeted us.  The menu is so creative and inviting in the options it really is tough to choose!  I love, and require,  cheese dip when eating Mexican so I ordered up the poblano  queso fundido with grilled skirt steak. It already has chorizo in it but why not guild the lily? It is my birthday after all.  The bottom of the iron skillet got yummy brown crusty cheese and the rest was gooey and flavorful. Quite frankly this was enough to make me happy, coupled with a Hola margarita.  The drinks are strong! I made it through two and the server talked me into another special one with dessert and let's just say I was glad uber was driving me.  I am 5'll I should be able to handle 3 but no. I failed deliciously.
 

The chips are paper thin crisp and salsa is roasted tomato based so it's a bit browner than the ketchup colored salsas you find more commonly elsewhere.   I did get my fill of them with the queso which made me opt for an entree that had no sign of a flour tortilla or corn chip. Salmon a la Talla.  Medium cook on the fish, perched atop a serano laced half potato and lots of fresh corn and sauteed spinach. Simple and delicious.   

I had my eye on the tres leches cake before I even arrived. This cake can go wrong in a too sweet way or a too gloppy wet way but not at Hola!   3 silky creamy layers and too much sugar isn't an issue here. The coconut flavor is delicate but balanced. Nice texture to balance out the creamy cake. Don't miss this one!

I can't wait to go back this weekend!   My new favorite spot.

 


Hola Taqueria and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Capital Grille. A review.

I ordered the porcini rubbed ribeye with aged balsamic glaze and it is absolutely divine. The meat itself is excellent quality, cooked exactly as I specified and the seasoning was dead on.  I would not hesitate to order this again. 

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