Monday, April 30, 2012

Inman Park Festival

First time at the Inman Park Festival. I originally did not intend to go but my dad was curious about food trucks, and I thought there might be some at the festival. So this was reconnaissance! Unfortunately, there was only one food truck there, The Pickle. Still, Dad and I walked around to see what else was going on. We found mostly merchandise vendors, food tents, and Sweetwater trucks. Had I been wearing the proper footwear and brought an umbrella as shade, I wouldn't be blistered and tanned/burned right now. :o( Sadness. I should have known ... but I didn't think it'd be that hot and humid! O_O We went after lunch. Nevertheless, I extended our trip into the city by detouring at Rosa Mexicano (one of Dad's clients) and showing him where Hankook Taqueria (past posts: here, here, here, and here) as well as the Atlanta Food Truck Park are located. Now, he can check out the food trucks on his own. ;o) Teach a man to fish and all.

The phrasing on this sign is weird. 

Yay for free maps! 






 People!

Clever company name 

Reduce, reuse, recycle 





Serpas





Tuna tartar - chile-sesame dressing, green apple, house chips


Georgia Strawberry Salad - Balsamic strawberry dressing, arugula, local greens, candied pecans, goat cheese


Sweetwater 420 Steamed Mussels - garlic, shallots, herbs, butter, toasted focaccia


The tuna tartar was delicious - so scrumptious with the different flavors and textures. The mussels were not to my liking; I'm not much of a beer drinker, but the Sweetwater may have affected my taste buds on this one. The Georgia strawberry salad was quite light and refreshing. If you only have the salad for dinner, you will still be hungry though. I was tempted to get dessert but ultimately did not order from that menu. It was getting pretty late!

Overall, this was a great first experience at Serpas. I came here to bid a friend farewell as she relocates for a job. The atmosphere was great - definitely a nice date night spot - and the service was pretty good on the whole. My only complaint is that I was charged gratuity for the entire table's bill rather than my own portion, so my $9 salad ended up costing me $16. Well... I couldn't say or do much about the bill, so I let it slide. Besides, that kind of ridiculous gratuity charge happens once in a blue moon, so perhaps from now on I will have the good fortune to avoid it. ^_^

Staff Appreciation Week Lunch

Staff Appreciation Week at work was called something else more politically correct like Administrative Professionals' Week. When I first started at this company, the appreciation events spanned five days. During down times, the events spanned from one to three days or none at all. Through it all, we always get some sort of swag as a token of appreciation. One year, I received a light blue fleece vest. Another year, I received a small planner. Every swag item is company-branded, of course. Clever marketing. ;oP This year, we received a hybrid bookbag/portable seat. Usually, I think it'd be useless but it may come in handy for any of those summer movie nights Atlanta hosts. ;o) Anyway, one of the day's events was a catered Italian lunch. I grabbed a little bit of everything, starting with salad, pesto noodles, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, sauteed vegetables, a bread roll, and a slice of tiramisu. YUM!


  

Benihana

Left: Sumo roll - Crabstick meat, avocado, cucumber, shrimp tempura, salmon, special mayo sauce (baked)
Right: Salmon skin roll - Salmon skin, cucumber, yamagobo, bonito flakes





Top: Las Vegas roll - Salmon, avocado, cream cheese, jalapeno, spicy sauce on top (deep fried)
Bottom: Eel sashimi


 Back in the day, I could get full of of $50 worth of sushi. Sadly, my stomach cannot handle as much these days but I still love eating sushi. :o) I had a belated birthday dinner with a friend of mine. When you sign up for Benihana correspondence, you get a free birthday dinner up to a certain dollar amount. Hehehe, in other words, this was a free meal! That's the best kind of deal there is, really. ;oD Just know that when you sign up for restaurant correspondence and the website asks for your birthday, it can only lead to email spam and free birthday swag. Starbucks has a birthday promotion as well!

All of this sushi can be found on the specialty roll section of the menu. I can honestly say I loved all of them. When it comes to sushi, I bypass the beginner's stuff (ahem, California roll *rolls eyes*) and go straight for the complicated-sounding options. They are generally the best, in my opinion. I am a fan of fancy-sounding sushi dishes; plus, anything with mayo sauce or cream cheese is bound to be delicious. The Las Vegas roll was certainly intriguing. When I pictured "deep fried," I imagined an American kind of deep fried. Thank goodness it was tempura-fried! The spicy sauce sat atop a sliced jalapeno. I daresay that the sauce tempered the jalapeno's spiciness. It had a great, mild kick to it. I think I'm getting used to eating jalapenos now. Baby steps towards the next level of pepper!

Family Dinner

The family friend from the Sweet Hut post was still in town the next day, so we hosted dinner at home. Mmmm... seafood!



Papaya salad 





Pork loin

Sweet Hut









Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe sits in the old Ranch 99 shopping center with the blue roof. The blue roof is unmistakable driving down Buford Highway.

Anyway, this location used to be an eyeglass store (which is now located in the middle island of shops). It was recently converted into a bakery and cafe. The sign is quite catchy from the street. I went here for a family outing; a long-time friend of the family was in town, so we met up there to catch up.

It was my first time there. There weren't as many pastry selections as the bakery up the road, White Windmill, but that may have been due to our being there on a Sunday morning. The interior is similarly modern in its furnishings but with darker tones compared to WW. It's also a smaller locale, occupying a corner of the shopping center compared to WW's stand-alone store. Still, the pastries were fairly priced at around $1.40 apiece. On the plus side, Sweet Hut had more salty pastries available compared to WW. I chose a hot dog and cheese confection that nearly reminded me of a similar baked good I had in New York some years back. It was glorious. I'd love to go back and try more of the salty baked goods.

The drinks were competitively priced - you'll find roughly the same prices on the same drinks at other cafes. I had a hot coffee that morning. I like my coffee very weak, so I have to admit that I am no coffee connoisseur. The bakery has free, password-protected Wi-fi, which is nice. I found out a friend went there the following Tuesday evening, and he mentioned it was pretty busy. I'm curious to see what kind of crowd ends up occupying this cafe, especially compared to the few cafes up the road (White Windmill, Mozart Bakery, et al). There are more bakeries, I just don't know all of their names.

Panera

Low-fat vegetarian black bean soup - Plump black beans simmered in a spicy vegetarian broth with onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, garlic and cumin
Greek salad - Romaine lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, Feta cheese, peperoncini, red onions, Kalamata olives, pepper and Greek dressing




I met up with a friend I hadn't seen in about a year for a quick dinner before both of us heading out to a friend's going-away party. We opted for something quick, simple, and inexpensive: Panera. Since the going-away party was off of Buford Highway, the logical Panera location was North Druid Hills. Anyway, I ordered a half soup, half salad entree. I decided to stick with a vegetarian theme because I had eaten a big lunch. In my head, vegetarianism balances out heavy meals. >.>

The soup was good - I didn't taste onions at all, which was magnificent. I didn't realize it had all those other ingredients in it though! Nice. Salad is salad; the dressing was all right.