Sunday, October 16, 2011

Luqma


Sorry for the blurriness! -___-"


Saag Paneer - spinach and cheese




Chicken Boti

Naan - totally worth the price

Luqma serves Indo-Pak cuisine at prices comparable to Zyka, which is located nearby. At a friend's suggestion, we met up here for my first time to sample a variety of, haha, chicken dishes. [She cannot eat pork, and no pork is served in this restaurant.] Fortunately, my friends and I eat anything and everything, so our hardest decisions were which dishes to pick. :o) I'm having difficulties pulling up the website at the moment, but last I checked there were pictures and descriptions of every dish. The butter chicken had a spicy kick to it! 

Ginger Cookies




I was itching to make something seasonal from scratch. I thought ginger cookies were pretty appropriate! The recipe called for a lot of butter and sugar - the cookies were still pretty soft after a couple of days. You can't taste much of the ginger though, so it's more like a sugar cookie with ginger rather than ginger cookies. I didn't have molasses so I substituted 1/4 cup honey. Thank goodness for Cook's Thesaurus!

Loca Luna and Philips Arena




Bocadillo - mortadella, pistachio nuts, melted onion, spiced honey, manchego, foccacia


Fish taco - paprika spiced sauteed grouper with coleslaw and jalapeno aioli


Ejotes Fritos - crispy green beans, sea salt, jalapeno mayo

Yucca Frita - yucca fries, romesco verde sauce

Score at half-time? Atlanta Dream 37, Minnesota Lynx 33

And... yeah, that's been my experience going to any Atlanta games with friends - Atlanta loses. Perhaps I'm a bad luck charm?

Loca Luna is a tapas restaurant that offers nightly live music. You can order your own dishes or order multiple ones and share them family-style. I'm a fan of the family-style methodology as it allows you to sample several dishes in one sitting. 

According to my friend, the bocadillo dish was a glorified bologna sandwich. Haha... I have to say she was pretty spot-on but the melted onions did taste great and you know I'm not a huge fan of them, so that's saying a lot. I didn't taste much of the cheese though and the bun was rather filling. The fish taco was just okay for me. After all of the fish tacos I've eaten, it's obvious to me that tilapia is the best fish for the dish. And I had no idea what was going on with the coleslaw, either. :o\ I do recommend the green beans and yucca fries - yes, they're fried but they're also delicious. The mayo sauce for the green beans makes them especially tasty. The yucca fries are deceptively filling - they reminded me of sweet potato fries.

After dinner, my friend and I went to Philips Arena to catch an Atlanta Dream game. This is the second time I've seen a Dream game in person, and also the second time the Dream has lost in my presence. Not a good track record for me, I suppose. :oO It's as if the players got cocky with their measly four-point lead from the first half, and decided to coast through the second half. Too many missed opportunities and too few players putting forth a team effort. I don't understand why someone would willingly go up against three defenders when attempting to do a lay-up. *shakes head* Disappointing.

Marlow's Tavern


Personalized, signed copy of Alton Brown's latest book


Kickin' Chicken Verde soup - tender chicken, fresh cilantro, roasted tomatillos, fall sweet corn, and chili cream

Grilled Crispy Chicken - Bone-in Prestige Farms chicken breast, summer squashes, crispy goat cheese, and toasted curry tomato sauce

White Cheddar grit cake

I included part of the seasonal menu for Marlow's Tavern above - I figured you could look up the regular menu on your own. [Note: I don't know whether this seasonal menu is available only at the midtown location or at all Atlanta-area locations.] I had the chicken verde soup - it was light and surprisingly filling. My friend had the grilled crispy chicken and grit cake off the regular menu. The chicken was tender and moist. The sauce at the bottom of the dish looks like marinara and tastes sort of like a diluted marinara, which I didn't like. The grit cake was awesome - it's essentially fried cheese grits. I think it would taste great with ketchup. :o)

Mini Hot Pot




What comes with one hot pot order, regardless of meat choice

Pork hot pot with vegetarian broth

Complimentary taro with shaved ice

Mini Hot Pot is a restaurant I've avoided for quite some time. Growing up, my family would regularly have hot pot for the holidays and we always had too much food leftover. Hot pot is best consumed at that moment, not as leftovers. To me, it was and still is the equivalent of having pho - one big soup dish. I guess I'm not a fan because I usually like to finish my plate, and I simply can't do that with hot pot (or pho, for that matter). It's a sign of defeat, haha. And, now that I think about it, it probably stems from my parents telling me to finish my plate (as there are millions of African children who are starving in another part of the world). Oh yeah... I got that guilt trip.

The tables are on the small side as the hot pot takes up most of the space. If you're there with a large group, you're going to have to be creative with the space-saving techniques. There is a sauce stand near the back of this restaurant's location with all sorts of sauces available - I went for the customary BBQ sauce as it's what my family always uses. Like I predicted, I couldn't finish the plate of "sides" that went with the pork. Most of those ingredients soak up the broth, so it's more like you're drinking your meal rather than eating it. ^_^ It was tasty, though you have to try really hard to mess up hot pot. If you're afraid of cooking or think you're an awful cook, then you should be fine here. It's one of the simplest meals you'll ever make.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rosebud, Stone Mountain




Calamari

Open-faced salmon sandwich - House-cured salmon, citrus-fennel slaw, h & f pumpernickel, horseradish aioli, and fried egg







"Boat" of sushi - I'm afraid I didn't order this, so I'm unsure as to what's included. I will say, however, that the sushi to the far right was AWESOME. There is a "sushi boat" available on the sushi menu, but we definitely had more than four people. O_O

Charleston Shrimp and Grits - Shrimp, Andouille sausage, spinach, tomatoes, roasted garlic cream, pepper jack cheese grit



Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel's ice cream


At my brother's recommendation, we had brunch at Rosebud Restaurant in Virginia-Highlands. The sign is hard to read from the car, so let it be known that it's across the street from Yoforia. Service was a bit slow - we were a big party, including additional family members - but the food was good. Half the table got coffee (which kept the server busy, for sure!) but I opted out. The open-faced salmon sandwich was HUGE - I had trouble finishing it. I normally opt for eggs when I have brunch but by the time the server came to take our order, it felt like lunch time to me. I do recommend the calamari there.

Thank goodness for the walk-up trail at Stone Mountain Park! It's deceptively easy - the first half-mile is pretty good for hiking and there's a station where you can rest at a picnic table to catch your breath. The second half, however, is at an incline. (O___O) It was another beautiful day and another filled-my-stomach-to-the-brim meal, so what the heck? Why not? There were even more people at Stone Mountain than there were at Piedmont Park the day before. I was majorly impressed with the number of families partaking in the trek as well as those people who went up and down the trail numerous times. There was a pumpkin festival going on, which might have accounted for the number of people there. I hadn't been to Stone Mountain in YEARS.

On the way home, I made a stop-over at White Windmill. It was a chance for them to visit a Korean bakery (which, to them, was similar to a Chinese bakery) and again try the coffee. Surprisingly, they liked the iced coffee. We picked up some pastries and headed home; the place was pretty packed and, for some reason, it felt stuffy in there (unusual).

We took it easy until dinner time at Goldfish. The whole family came out. The sushi boat served as an appetizer for everyone; we also split seaweed salad (which is pretty much the same wherever you go). I ordered the Charleston shrimp and grits and LOVED it. The grits had a mashed potato-like consistency to them. It was a very filling meal - the theme for the entire duration of my cousin's visit. ;o) A few people wanted dessert, so I ended up trying the bread pudding, classic vanilla bean crème brulée, and warm chocolate cake. The bread pudding was ginormous - definitely a dessert to split with others. The crème brulée and chocolate cake were decently-sized individual portions. I had never been to Goldfish before, and now I'm glad I did. I was told they were known for their sushi, but I would recommend most items off of that menu. Service was excellent.