It’s hard to believe that four little words, “With an Irish
Side” can deter people from trying a great Mexican, that’s right, I said MEXICAN,
restaurant in Towne Lake.
But I have heard the following statements... a lot,
just don’t get it… Irish and Mexican?”
just sounds like a weird combination.”
I’m about to blow the lid off this “weird” fusion
Let’s just get a few things out of the way.
Papa Ps is owned by local residents, Caron (the Irish part) and Alberto (the Mexican part). They are experienced restaurateurs, both having worked in the Buckhead Life Group. Papa Ps menu is 85% Mexican. There are plenty of traditional Mexican items
that you will recognize: fajitas, tacos, chimichangas, quesadillas… you get the
point. In addition to the familiar are
some Mexican food items that I’ve never seen in the other local Mexican
Chicken Mole — No one else around here serves this complex
and completely addicting sauce. Maybe
because it’s labor intensive, and when it’s served with chicken, it’s heaven. This is definitely one of my dinner go-to’s!
Chilaquile — During a trip to Nashville, I ate a Mexican
restaurant and had an enchilada covered in salsa verde and topped with a fried
egg. It was amazing. I saw the Chilaquile on the Papa Ps menu and
it was so similar that I had to try it, and it’s now my new lunch
favorite. It’s a corn tortilla smothered
with salsa verde and topped with a fried egg, queso fresco and sour cream and
sliced avocado. O…M….G. The egg, when broken, mixes into the cheese
and salsa, and it’s a rich, savory, spicy concoction of melty goodness. Mix some of the home made refried beans into
it and it’s a Mouth Party.
Fish and Chips
And now, for the “weird” Irish components.
There are three parts to the Irish of this restaurant: Caron, subtle Irish infusion and Irish entrees.
Let’s start with the infusion as it seems to be the most confusing:
Salad dressing: the house
dressing, which is a balsamic vinegar base, has Guinness beer in it.
Tacos: One of the taco selections is corned
beef. This is an amazing flavor
profile! Served in either corn tortillas
or crispy flour, the corned beef is super tender and topped with an avocado
ranch. My college son will come to Towne
Lake specifically for this taco.
Boxty Quesadilla: An Irish potato cake filled with cheddar cheese and additional items such as mushrooms, spinach, chicken, beef or shrimp
And that’s about as weird as it gets.
Traditional Irish dishes include Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Stew,
a traditional Irish Breakfast and one of my favorite’s Fish and Chips.
Apparently, the Irish are a lot like the Americans in that
they LOVE dessert so Caron has added some delicious and decadent choices. If you want something on the light side, try
to traditionally Irish Pavlova, egg white meringue chunks mixed with
strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Or
if you’re feeling a little naughty, try the Bread Pudding, which is served with
an Irish Whiskey Sauce and a scoop of ice cream.
I am truly one of Papa Ps biggest fans. I dine there at least once a week, usually
for lunch. I keep coming back for three
reasons: the food is consistently good
and freshly made; the service is impeccable.
Caron is always making her rounds to the customer’s tables and getting
to know her patrons, and the staff has been trained by people who really know
the restaurant business and what it means to provide “customer” service. And the third reason is, it’s reasonable!
I did this blog because I’m a Fan! I hope this encourages you to step outside
your comfort zone and dabble in the “Weird.”
I think you’ll be glad you did!
This has been a long awaited opening, and finally during the 4th of July weekend, J.Christophers went live! Towne Lake and the Woodstock area has been in dire need of a good breakfast place. While I enjoy and patronize the existing and crowd favorite place, I was ready for something new, as I think a lot of residents were as well.
J. Christopher's is located in downtown Woodstock, along "restaurant row." The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
We visited one morning before work. The atmosphere is airy and light- love the colors. There are several tables outside, and I can see that patio being the place to dine once fall hits. The menu is extensive with several "healthy" options and several options if you want to "go big."
My choice for this visit was the "Goddess." :o) It was an egg white omelet with fresh tomatoes, spinach and feta cheese. OMG was it good! My husband chose the oven roasted turkey breast and avocado skillet. I don't think he uttered one word between fork fulls and certainly earned his place as the King of the Clean Plate Club.
There is no doubt J. Christopher's will be a huge success in downtown Woodstock, and all I can say is "Welcome! It's about time!"
I found this place when I was contracted to write a story about it. It's in Acworth, right across the street from Kennworth Park. When I first walked in, I was immediately impressed with the authentic southwestern decor- stucco walls, wood floors and a large fireplace. A few days after the interview, I was so intrigued by the menu and plethora of margarita flavors that I returned with my husband to dine there.
While chips and salsa aren't anything new, not having to reach for the salt shaker is for me. The chips have a really nice and flavorful seasoning, and you can definitely tell the salsa is homemade.
The margarita that I immediately zoomed in on was the "Skinny Margarita." If you're a fan of the Bravo series Housewives of New York City, you know exactly what I'm referring to. The "Skinny" is made with Patron (THE best), limes and soda.. no sweet and sour. I've had this concoction at other bars and not until now did a bar tender actually know how to make one that didn't taste like pure tequila. Delish!
The menu has a variety of unique items. I had three of the gourmet tacos, fish, slow roasted brisket and bbq. Mike had two of the gourmet enchiladas including the show stopper, lobster and steak! On another occasion (yes, I've been back a few times!), I had the chicken mole- so good!
What always appeals to me is outdoor seating. I love to eat outdoors, especially in the summer! Mojave has a huge outdoor seating area that includes a fire pit large enough to comfortably seat 10 people around. We have stopped in there just to have a drink and sit by the fire pit! It's a great way to unwind after the day or before or after your meal.
The architecture of downtown Acworth lends itself to unique, cozy and utterly delicious eateries. The latest one we discovered was the Waterstone Grill, located on Main Street. In fact, Waterstone Grill use to be the location of another famous Acworth dining destination, Henri's, before Henri's moved into its current larger location.
But, moving on to the real reason one visits a restaurant — the food. The first time we tried the Waterstone Grill, we were on the heels of a wine tasting at Boutier Winery (http://www.boutierwinery.com/), worthy of a separate blog. As part of the wine tasting, we received a coupon for the Waterstone, which we eagarly accepted as we had to try the place.
The barbeque shrimp was recommended to us by the owners of the winery, so we took her advise, and they indeed were recommendable! Bacon wrapped with a hint of horseradish, the shrimp were cooked perfectly. That night, I tried the scallops, pan seared with an orange butter sauce... mouth watering yet?
Subsequent dining choices included the lightly blackened tilapia, roasted beet salad and the indulgence of creme brulee.
In seeing other reviews about the Waterstone Grill, the service seems to be the biggest complaint and may be Achilles Heel of this restaurant. We've been served by the owner so it was exceptional. We did go there for Valentines Day, and we found the service to be extremely hurried; The menu was prix fix, and we no sooner sat down when our first course was delivered along with the wine pairing. I like prompt service but the frantic speed at which the dishes arrived was ridiculous. I did request that the meal be slowed down, and that's all it took to lessen the pace of the meal.
I have experienced nothing but fantastic food in this quiet and cozy restaurant. It's not large in size so I would recommend reservations, but there is a small bar to wait for your table.
The Waterstone is open for lunch and dinner, and on Saturday nights, they offer select bottles of wine for $10! If you sign up for their email list, you will receive weekly notifications regarding specials for each night of the week.
I've given this place two tries, each time a major strike. The first time I went, I went with a girlfriend, and we ordered wings. They weren't bad, but the service was so bad, it was going to take me a while to give them a second chance.
The second chance came one day after work. It was around 5 p.m. and my husband and I went there for a quick drink. Big Mistake. The clientele was the type that felt it was OK to belch loudly while drinking at the bar. The bar area also smelled badly of smoke, even though they don't allow smoking in the establishment. One patron was so drunk he crashed into the back of me and proceeded to stumble out the door.
No complaints about the service, but I would NEVER bring my children here nor will I be going back. I don't need three strikes to take Jersey's off my list.
On a beautiful fall Sunday morning, my husband and I went on a bicycle tour of Atlanta with a company by the name of Bike Tours of Atlanta. This was an amazing way to see the city in which we live! The ride was a ten-mile ride from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. The website describes the ride, which was titled Heart of the City tour as being for those "who practice a high energy lifestyle." This tour did include several hills and inclines so you do need to have somewhat of a good fitness level. Our tour took us through Sweet Auburn, home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Cabbage Town, downtown Atlanta near the Fox and Underground, the historic Oakland Cemetary, Little Five Points, Inman Park and Decatur. Along the way, we would stop and our guide, Mike, would provide tidbits of historical information (and a chance to get a drink and rest!). We got a discount through Groupon (http://www.groupon.com/). If you like to save money while trying new things and places to eat, it's a must. Daily deals are offered for activities, pampering, restaurants, etc. Doing this bike tour was something really different and unique and perfect for out of town guests who want to uniquely experience Atlanta. There are three types of tours, catering to different fitness levels. Check them out at http://www.biketoursatl.com/.
Since this blog is primarily for dining experiences, let's talk about where we ate lunch. After biking through Little Five Points, we decided to make that our pitstop. Little Five Points is one of the premiere neighborhoods in Atlanta for people watching, unusual stores and pretty darn good restaurants! Probably the most well known restaurant in this area is the Vortex, which is known for its hamburgers. However, there is usually a wait and no outside seating. Instead, we made our way across the street to the Brewhouse Cafe (http://www.brewhousecafe.com/). As I mentioned, it was a gorgeous fall day, so we sat on the porch. We took advantage of the $25 for two brunch., which included a pitcher of Bloody Mary's or Mimosas. Selections included a crab cake benedict, eggs benedict, corned beef hash and more. I went with the egg white omelet which was loaded with fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus and feta cheese. My husband went for the chipolte bacon breakfast sandwich. (fried egg, pepper jack cheese, chipolte bacon and tomato and avocado salsa). YUM all the way around!
My day job is as an Editor. As part of this job, I have written several articles featuring local and often times locally owned restaurants.
Because of this writing, I often have people ask me if I've tried such and such place and what I thought. Because I write about restaurants and truthfully, spend a lot of time in them, I've experienced some Hits and some Misses and sometimes both. If you're experience is different than mine, please share!
Take a journey with me as I blog about "Hits" and "Misses" in the Cherokee County area and beyond...