Monday, June 27, 2011

Alon's

Portobello sandwich: Roasted portobello mushrooms on rosemary foccacia with sauteed spinach, Swiss cheese, and Thai basil pesto


I'd only been to Alon's once before; I happened to receive a gift card for my birthday a while ago, so I happily went to redeem my gift. :o) Huh, I'm on a portobello kick, aren't I? I can't help it! They're so good! O_O I picked up a white tea drink while I was at it, well, because I hadn't had white tea in a long time. ^_^

I was tempted to pick up a side order of veggies, but I decided to finish the sandwich first to see whether I still had room for them. Turns out, the sandwich was rather filling! I happened to see the veggie sandwich
(Roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, fresh marinated tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with pesto mayonnaise on whole wheat) roaming around, which looked just a bit tastier than my sandwich. I'll have to try that out another time. The white tea was less sweet than I was hoping it to be but it was still good. My sweet tooth can be quite biased.

My friends and I split a chocolate gelato/ice cream, which was phenomenal. I forgot to take a picture. >.<

Murphy's

Lobster Cobb salad: Maine lobster, tomato, avocado, bacon, aged Gouda, egg, roasted garlic herb dressing

Many of you have probably heard of Murphy's - they have a great brunch menu. This time around, I met up with some friends for dinner. Thanks to this summer deal from Concentrics Hospitality, we knocked $20 off the tab. :o) For strategic purposes, however, I would only have 2-3 people total out for dinner. That way, you'll really feel like you're getting the best deal. We had five people at our table, so $20 off the total didn't seem like much savings to me.

I didn't expect the salad to come out in a deconstructed manner, so it immediately piqued my interest. I cut up the lettuce and all the accompanying food items and then I proceeded to consume the entire plate. ;o) The dressing was fantastic - it too surprised me. I was expecting a vinaigrette dressing, not even thinking how on earth that would taste with lobster. I'm glad this garlic herb dressing came with the salad - it's on the creamy side like ranch but tasted (far) less fattening. O.o

Mellow Mushroom


Stuffed Portobello: A giant portobello mushroom basted with garlic butter and stuffed with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese. Topped with mozzarella cheese, baked, and served on a bed of spring mix.

Mellow Mushroom?! Yep... I was there for trivia night. I don't normally frequent Mellow Mushroom restaurants because, well, there are simply better places to eat in my mind. Imagine my surprise when I saw this dish in person: It was gorgeous and filling! The combination of vegetables and cheese was delicious, and all for under $10. I believe the "dressing" was a vinaigrette, possibly the balsamic variety. It was just the right amount for me. This was essentially two stuffed mushrooms on top of a salad. I didn't want pizza or anything starchy because that's all I had eaten earlier in the day, so this was the perfect option. This gets a thumbs up from me.

Mr. Tea House - We meet again!


Taro milk tea with tapioca

Condensed milk toast

I figure the "X" on the toast was to allow the sweetened condensed milk to absorb into the bread faster. 

Told you I'd go back! I specifically tried a different flavor bubble tea AND got a little bite to eat while I was there. The taro milk tea was awesome - I hesitate to say that it was better than the honey milk tea from the first go-round, but it's comparable. Some people don't like the flavor of taro though; if that's the case, then there are plenty of other flavor options available. 

The condensed milk toast is about $2 to $3, which... given that it's basically Texas toast is ridiculous. But I wanted to try something there, so that's what I picked. My friend ordered toast with nutella on it, which was yummy but also quite crumbly - the nutella, not the bread.

I might try to go back in the next week or two to try out more menu items. It's quickly becoming a substitute coffeehouse for me to meet up with friends.

La Fonda

Tilapia burritos: Marinated, grilled tilapia and grilled corn with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a sour cream-jalapeƱo sauce rolled in a warm flour tortilla

It's been a while since I've been to La Fonda. One of my friends tried the salmon version of the same dish. From past experience with fish tacos, I definitely prefer tilapia over salmon. There's just something about salmon that makes it taste weird in taco/burrito/quesadilla format. Anyway, this was delectable, though a bit lacking on the side of taste. Perhaps it needed more of that sour cream sauce? I ended up trying to eat it in tandem with the black beans. The fish was incredibly soft - I could cut through it with my fork. This was an okay dish - I normally order fish tacos because I simply love fish tacos (what's not to love?) - but decided to try it in burrito format this time around. Hmm. It's weird because I've actually had the fish tacos there, just at a different location. I wonder if the location made a difference; I went to the Peachtree Road location. 

Munch

Pork banh mi and Thai tea


Munch is a Street Food Thursday offering in the city of Atlanta. It is a Vietnamese food truck that sold a few different types of banh mi sandwiches (which I've featured before) as well as a couple of different types of dumplings. They sold water for $1/bottle - do you remember those days? - as well as Thai tea.

I met up with a friend and her new coworkers to try out this truck. The afternoon was hot (note my umbrella in the first pic), the line was long, and the service was slow. :o( Sadness. Though the sandwich tasted fine, I had issues with the way it was made: stuffing the ingredients into the bread like a hot dog into a hot dog bun. That's not how it's supposed to be, folks. Plus, it was WAY overpriced! I paid $7 or $8 for this one sandwich when I know perfectly well I can spend $2.50 to $3 at Lee's Bakery or even Quac Huong. Plus, they didn't complete the Thai tea (it's missing milk) - but I didn't even care at that point because (a) I was hot, (b) I was hungry, and (c) I was on my lunch break from work, which meant I was crunched for time.

I would NOT recommend this place. I shudder to think how the actual restaurant service might be compared to the truck's. The fact that the sandwich is about triple the price of a better version off of Buford Highway is an atrocity, and no one should be ripped off like that. 

Young Augustine's

Hey! Did you miss me? It's been a while since I last posted, which in Internet time could potentially mean eons. O.o The postings started to feel like a chore for a minute there, so I took some time away to remember the reasons why I enjoy doing it. Nevertheless, I never stopped dining out and taking pics, so there's a backlog of new posts to come.


[Side note: QR codes are really starting to take off!]

With the exception of the few salad selections available, everything on the menu is ridiculously unhealthy for you. O_O

I ended up choosing what I thought was a "healthy" option: the roasted mushroom panino with truffle paste, muenster cheese, and basil pesto.

It... was... gorgeous... AND seemed to be dripping with butter. >.>

With a side of brussel sprouts and cauliflower and a scoop of white rice. ^_^

NOM

I met up with a couple of friends at Young Augustine's to play bocce ball. I'd never played it before and I'd never been to Young Augustine's before, so this was a two-birds-one-stone kind of deal. :o) Bocce ball is also offered at Ormsby's and Leon's Full Service.

The panino sandwich was great, though I could've used less butter (or butter substitute, O.o) on the bread. Though I like messy sandwiches/burgers, I don't like having that oily residual on my fingers. It makes me think of that same oil clogging my arteries. x_X The brussel sprouts and cauliflower had a nice spiced flavor to them and were a tinge crispy, which was pretty neat. I enjoyed them immensely. I believe the scoop of white rice was to tone down the saltiness of the sprouts and cauliflower. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have eaten the rice - too much starch already. Fact: For the longest time, I confused brussel sprouts with lima beans. This was before the Internet, mind you. :o\ Other than that, I just didn't know any better. (Sadness) 

Bocce ball turned out to be a lot of fun! It was two against two - two newbies (including me) against two who already knew how to play - and the newbies won! Ha ha! Victory was ours! It's a neat game, and relatively simple to play. I'd definitely recommend it. Young Augustine's has two outdoor courts (Ormsby's has one indoor one, I believe; not sure about Leon's). It was a great experience overall. It'd be best to get there a little early for dinner - the place was packed by the time we left. I'd like to go back with a healthier heart and try something else on the menu.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mr. Tea House



Medium Honey Milk Tea with Tapioca

No official website for Mr. Tea House, however, there are Yelp and Facebook pages. My sister had told me about this place, so I'd been wanting to visit for a while. [She likes the green milk tea, among other choices.] I opted for the honey milk tea because, well, I like honey and I like milk tea, and I figured the combination could only be fantabulous as a result. :o) It was quite tasty - sweet but not too sweet. The tapioca (or the "bubbles" in bubble tea) were chewier than what I'm used to and I could've sworn they were slightly smaller in diameter, too. But.. that may just be me. I think what makes it awesome is that it's not made from a powder, at least it doesn't taste like it. I'm going back again this weekend. :o)

In addition to bubble tea, they also serve food items. I saw another table order fried sweet potatoes, which looked delicious. I'll have to go back (yet another time!) to try their food. In the meantime, you can read this blogger's account of the food. [Note: I don't know this person, I just googled Mr. Tea House and this was one of the search results.] The service was great - most likely due to the time of day I decided to go, 3 pm. My water cup was never empty. O_O The decor's pretty spiffy and modern - something a "younger" crowd would like. It's two stores down from Suno.

Violette Restaurant

Apologies for the fuzzy quality ^_^"

Salad Nicoise [Grilled Yellowfin tuna fillet with salad of mixed greens, potatoes, peppers, hard-boiled eggs, olives, capers, and green beans]

Creme Brulee and Crepe Milton [Thin pancake filled with chocolate mousse & vanilla ice cream]


Nom! Violette was a last-minute dinner outing with a few friends. I have been here once before, and the parking situation has improved sometime between the two visits. There's a lot on the premises that offers complimentary valet parking. Alternatively, you can park across the side street in another lot. This restaurant is hard to see right off the road - though it's a stand-alone, you have to keep your eyes peeled for it.

The salad took a while to come out, which I thought was funny given that the others had ordered actual cooked dishes. I suppose it was the tuna. :o\ Anyway, it was delicious! I love seeing a food color palette - it means I'm eating healthily. ;o) It came with a vinaigrette dressing - it was simply "the dressing that came with the meal," so I'm unsure of the specific type. Who cares? I had enough for my salad. ^_^

We opted to stay for dessert and shared the creme brulee and crepe Milton. My only regret is that the creme brulee seemed like a small portion compared to the crepe. Sadness. Both were delicious, however, and I would recommend them.

Thai Silk Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar


(Not-so) Spicy Coconut Tofu Soup on left and Miso Soup on right

Chicken Masaman Curry served with avocado and cashew nuts

Thai Sesame Chicken [chicken breast battered and deep-fried topped with sesame sauce and garnished with broccoli and carrots]

I went with a friend to Thai Silk for lunch. I had a Scoutmob for them, and thought 'why not?' I hadn't had Thai in a while anyway. :o) I tend to order the same few dishes no matter which Thai restaurant I frequent, so I've had the coconut soup and masaman curry before at other places. Both the soup and the curry were tasty - just like they should be. Maybe I never noticed it before but the curry was slightly on the sweet side. Good thing the rice was there to temper it. Most of the time I prefer creamy soups over brothy ones (unhealthy over healthy), so I would vote for the coconut soup over the miso any time. The miso soup was fine, it's just not what I prefer. ^_^ I didn't try my friend's sesame chicken, so I'm afraid you'll have to go there and try it yourself.

This restaurant used to be called Rama5 or Rama 5, something like that. I hadn't heard of it then, and I only know it now because of Scoutmob. The menu was pretty affordable even without the Scoutmob and the service was excellent. The decor's dated, and there's an outdoor patio available for dining, if you like that experience. They have a small private parking lot which was pretty empty when I arrived on a Saturday because they had only been open for lunch for an hour or so. I doubt the place gets super busy, so feel free to try it at any time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bento Cafe

Food and drink menus

Pictures in case you need'em

Cutesy quotes

Taiwanese Stir-Fried Noodles [with cabbage, carrots, green onion, cilantro, shiitake mushrooms, black fungus, celery, and shredded pork]

Bento Cafe is one of few Taiwanese restaurants I'm aware of in the area. The website can be annoying to navigate, which is why I linked to the menu in the above picture. I've only eaten here once before, and I ordered one of the most popular dishes there: the Bento Chop. I wish I had ordered it this time around. :o( The noodles were just so-so and the accompanying sauce was on the watery side. Flavor was lacking, too. And before you go freaking out about black fungus, let me tell you that it's harmless. To me, it has an almost seaweed-like consistency (like thinly sliced seaweed) yet acts like tofu in that it doesn't have a distinct flavor but it absorbs other flavors surrounding it. I've eaten it many times over the course of my life, and I'm still walkin' and talkin'. ;o)

If you're going to go, I would recommend the Bento Chop (fried). It's two fried pork chops with a scoop of white rice and two vegetable sides (definitely opt for the corn). Yummy food for a low price.

The Corner Pub


Menu

Small corner salad [lettuce, tomato, onion, carrots, raisins, sunflower seeds, and eggs] that came with my meal with herb vinaigrette dressing on the side. Onions removed.

Falafel wrap [friend black-eyed pea falafel with arugula, cucumber, red onion, and remoulade]. I also had the onion removed here. 


The salad itself was good. I'm not a fan of raw onions, so I had them removed. The vinaigrette was just okay for me - I kind of wished I went with a creamier, fatty ranch or blue cheese instead.

The wrap was GINORMOUS. It wasn't pretty (both the wrap and my consumption of it) but I finished it! O_O I was in a food coma for the next hour or so during the trivia night that's hosted on Wednesdays. Not good! The questions were pretty difficult and our team placed somewhere in the middle of the pack. At least we weren't last! ^_^

Anyway, the falafel itself was good but I wished I had more remoulade. And then... no, I really prefer a "regular" falafel in pita bread with the salad that comes with it. (See NYC - Day 3 for a proper falafel.) I would try something else there next time.

The Corner Pub is located in Decatur off of E. College Ave between Agnes Scott College and the Avondale Estates Marta station. My GPS took me to another building, so for what it's worth look for the newer development in the area called East Decatur Station. There's no obvious outward sign for Corner Pub when you're driving by, but it's in the first building once you turn into East Decatur Station.

Cho Dang Tofu House



My go-to Korean staple dish: Bibimbap. This version has ground beef in it, I believe. The name has various spellings but the ingredients are generally the same: rice with veggies (bean sprouts, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms), meat, and an egg all in a hot stone pot. Ya can't go wrong with this, really. Once you get it, you stir up the contents of the bowl and chow down. If memory serves me correctly, there's a vegetarian version available as well. At Korean restaurants, it is normal to have a handful of appetizer/side dishes come along with your meal. I didn't get pics of those - maybe next time! ^_^ There's no sauce in the dish, so you either eat it as is or you add red sauce to it. Now... I don't know what the red sauce is but it has a kick to it, so be mindful if you're sensitive to spiciness.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Radial Cafe


Menu

Ambiance

Specials

Portabello Benedict


"Regular" eggs Benedict - tasty! This was my sister's dish. The potato wedges lacked salt; honestly, I'd rather have non-salty potatoes than salty or too salty. Easy fix! Ketchup.

Located in Candler Park, Radial Cafe is housed in an old industrial building along with several other businesses. There's a parking lot out front as well as additional parking across a side street.

The Portabello Benedict was quite scrumptious. The mushroom cap was easy to cut yet the yolk was cooked all the way through. Having had eggs Benedict before, I thought this was odd but it didn't cause me a lot of grief. Looking back, I wish I had more hollandaise sauce plus some bread option so I could make a sandwich out of it. The asparagus was easy to cut as well and buttered perfectly. The picture is deceptive as the plate was rather small when it came out of the kitchen. I was full from the whole dish but I kept sneaking potato wedges from my sister's plate. ^_^" I can't resist potatoes! Anyway, I enjoyed this meal even with the yolk cooked through. It would be interesting to go back and ask for whole wheat toast to be added to it.