Friday, December 4, 2009

Strike Two- Jersey's

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.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bicyling, Brunch and Blogging

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 ( 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

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 ( 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!
Not bad for a Sunday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Being treated to a "dress rehearsal" at the newest Georgia location of Ruth's Chris Steak House was a treat! We have never dined at an upscale steakhouse before. Mainly because when we eat out, we like to eat things we normally don't cook at home or can't do to lack of skill! We typically don't go out for steak.

At Ruth's, we started with a Crabtini (pictured). It was a martini glass filled with jumbo lump crab meat. It was delicious. Based on our server's suggestion, we shared a tomato and mozzarella salad. I wouldn' t recommend that choice. The tomatoes were flavorless. For the price, everything, including the produce, should be the best. The steaks, the reason you come to Ruth's Chris, were good, very good. I had a petite filet and my husband had the T-bone. The steaks arrive on sizzling, 500 degree plates. My side was asparagus with a side of pretty flavorless hollandaise, and Mike got the creamed spinach, a first and probably last for him. He's just not a creamed spinach type of guy.

The bottom line: The food was good. The service was great. But the prices will keep me away. If I'm going to drop approximately $200 plus on dinner, it's definitely got to be for something I cannot get at home... a good steak doesn't fit that criteria. It's nice to have a high-end restaurant on this side of town, and if you entertain clients with a nice fat expense account or don't mind dropping that kind of money, give it a try. Ruth's Chris is located on Chastain Road in the Embassy Suites Hotel. Now, they do serve lunch and the banquet manager confessed it wasn't even close to as expensive as the dinners. I'd be willing to try lunch, but unless someone else is picking up the tab, forget dinner.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I love this place. I have always received fantastic service, and I've never been disappointed by the food! We went there this past Friday night with another couple. The owners, Carmen and On, have been talking about new seafood items on their menu. Carmen brought out a whole lobster, flash fried, for us to try. OMG! I've never had lobster prepared that way and it was amazing! And for $14.99, how can you go wrong?
Pictured is a new appetizer they are getting ready to roll out. It's ahi tuna, salmon with citrus vinaigrette and mango, I believe. She let us try it in exchange for naming it. We came up with East Meets West Damn Good. Go to Izumi... ask for Carmen and ask for East Meets West Damn Good...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SNEAK PEEK- Pure Taqueria, downtown Woodstock

Once in a while, there are some really cool perks to my job, and this was one of them! I received an invitation to the soft opening of Pure Taqueria, located in downtown Woodstock near the Right Wing Tavern. There's been so much talk about this restaurant (first location is in Alpharetta), and everyone in Towne Lake and Woodstock has been antipating the opening of Pur for months now.
My invitation allowed me and a guest (my husband) to experience Pure before it opens to the general public on September 7. We were treated to an appetizer, dinner entree, dessert and drinks. For each course, the waiter would present all the choices written on pieces of paper. We then randomly selected our choice. For the appetizer, we picked the cheese dip with chorizo and poblano peppers. It was served with warm tortillas and was amazingly good! I could have eaten that as a meal in itself! Definitely plenty to share! For the entrees, we each got to pick from the "hat." I chose tacquitos (pictured), and my husband picked the fish tacos. Unlike some tacquitos I've had, these were light, not greasy, and wonderfully flavorful. The tacquitos were accompanied by guacomole, sour cream and cheese. The fish tacos consisted of lightly fried tilapia with chipolte aioli and salsa to put on the tacos. We made excellent random choices! And we got lucky on the dessert pick- flan. But this was flan like I have never had- cinnamon apple! Sounds kind of weird but it was so good! There were specs of cinnamon in the flan with spiced, warm apples on the side. The drinks... oh the drinks, were tasty. They have a fairly extensive selection of margaritas, and I did my job and tasted a few of them.
Here's the part that really makes Pure unique. There is a rooftop bar with couches, chairs and a restroom! Very much like Cinco that I wrote about earlier. There was live entertainment, cocktails and a full moon. Perfect night! Pur is destined to be a BIG hit in Woodstock, and hopefully, this will drive more businesses to open downtown.
Let me know what you think!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hit Rocky's Pizza and Hot Dogs-Towne Lake

Rocky's Pizza and Hot Dogs recently opened next to WOW Fitness. Of course my first thought was, "Do we really need another pizza place?" No. But what we do need is a place that serves really good pizza with high quality ingredients and that's reasonably priced. Rocky's is that place. My office tried a variety of what Rocky's offers including the White Pizza (pictured), a Margherita Pizza, hot wings, a Greek Salad and a Caesar Salad. Yes, there was plenty left over! For lunch, you can get a cheese slice for $1.49. Add one of the many small salads Rocky's offers for $2.79 - $3.79, a drink, and you're eating for under $7. Rocky's offers a wide variety of specialty pizzas including a buffalo pizza, bacon cheeseburger, and garden fresh veggie to name a few. The cheese is 100 percent real, high grade (Grande) cheese. And as the name states, Rocky's also offers Red Hot Chicago, all beef hotdogs in eight styles, including Chicago and Naked. I would say Rocky's is more of a carry-out place as there is limited seating, but there are a few tables outside, allowing patrons to take advantage of the upcoming Fall days! Rocky's does deliver within a limited area, and the next time we decide to "do" pizza, I'm calling Rocky's!
(678) 445-3399

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hit with Smart Ass on the Side... Metrofresh, Midtown

Yes, another Midtown eatery, and honestly, I never would have found this place had it not been for a big ole coupon on Groupon. If you have no idea what a Groupon is, check it out at They have some great deals. Back to Metrofresh. It's located on Monroe Drive, very close to Piedmont Park. Their premise is fresh food fast. Every day, there's a new menu based on what's available "fresh." You can get soup, salad, sandwiches and at dinner time, they have a few entrees. They serve wine by the glass or bottle (always a plus to serve wine!) Part of my lunch that day included a mixed green salad with goat cheese, mango and blueberry (pictured). Absolutely fantastic! It's counter service and they had two menus, one that was generic with prices on it i.e. salad, soup, sandwich, and one with actual food on it. I found it to be confusing so when I asked the dude, and yes, he was a dude with 'tude, to explain it to me, he said, "Well, you speak, I listen, we exchange currency and I produce food for you." Smart Ass. Being so close to Piedmont Park makes Metrofresh a perfect place to get a picnic lunch, even with a side of Smart Ass!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hit! Marietta- Red Sky

If you enjoy the tapas dining experience, this a must on your list of places to hit. Red Sky is located near the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Roswell Road in Marietta. Upon recommendation, I made reservations and I'm glad I did as there were two large birthday parties. We ordered a bottle of wine and perused the extensive tapas menu. Most of the plates were in the $5-$7 range, which is very reasonable. The first thing we ordered was the Buffalo Calamari. It was good in flavor, but the calamarie was rings only (true calamari to me includes rings AND tenticles) and a bit heavy in the breading. Going a little lighter, we then tried the grilled asparagus with manchego cheese and a balsamic reduction. I could have eaten several more of that plate! Then we ordered what became my favorite for the evening... marinated Ahi Tuna. Outstanding! We followed that with Seared Tenderloin Carpacio and finally, Lobster Egg Rolls (pictured). And even though we had several items, there were so many more that looked interesting, warranting a return visit! Every Friday and Saturday night, Red Sky has dueling pianos- very entertaining and a great way to end the dinner. This will surely become one of our new favorite places!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hit Outside the Hood. Cinco, Cumming

Left to right: View from the roof, homemade guacamole and fish tacos

Do you like Mexican food? (not the Taco Bell version) And do you like your food with a roof top view? Then Cinco in Cumming is a must go destination. We took the scenic route up Hwy 20, which was about 30 minutes from Woodstock. There are many redeeming qualities to this restaurant including the smokey, chipolte salsa, Prickly Pear margarita as well several other flavors and homemade guacamole. But it's the view that really makes this place unique. The rooftop is open seating. There are several small table tops as well as a few comfy couches to plop yourself down. My choice for dinner was the fish tacos, lightly fried pieces of tilapia, jalepeno mayonnaise and slaw. I would have preferred an option such as grilled for the fish, but from the outstanding service we received, I imagine such a request would be accommodated. Cinco also offers live music on the rooftop. A complete schedule is available online. You can have Mexican food anywhere, but when you're looking for great food and great view to match, check out Cinco.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hit! Rosie's Diner

When was the last time you ate breakfast outside? In Towne Lake? In July??? I did this morning, and what a great way to start the day! Rosie's is locally owned by Debbie and Tom Cerbone. Pictured is the Breakfast Burrito, of which I could only eat half! Portions are very plentiful for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've been here several times, and the service always has been as good as the food! Love supporting a local family! 2990 Eagle Drive, where Decio's was located.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Miss. But Could be a Hit. Vingenzo's

First, the good. The decor. The exposed ceilings, tile flooring and cozy lighting are a welcome change to downtown Woodstock. A lot of thought was put into the atmosphere. Freshly prepared. The meals are freshly prepared, which limits the menu a bit, but it's a good selling point.

The bad. In all fairness, I have not eaten dinner here, only lunch, so my experience is not well rounded. With that said, I found it to be a bit pricey and not really worth the price. I went for lunch, ordered an arugula salad. It was $9. For $9, I expected a fairly decent sized salad with perhaps some salad-typical vegetables (tomatoes, onions, etc.). What I got was a dinner-sized salad with a few olives. Albeit, it was good, but I left hungry and felt the need to do a drive-thru run.

I've "heard" the pizza is very good, and I've "heard" the pasta is as well. If you can turn this Miss into a Hit, please give it a try.

Hit in Midtown! Park Tavern

Park Tavern, located at Piedmont Park is one of my favorite haunts outside the "hood." The crowd can vary from the young 20-somethings to those who think they are in their 20s (that would be me), families and um..... dogs. Yes, Park Tavern is dog friendly in their outside eating area. Piedmont Park is a haven for Atlantans who like to play outside and that includes their dogs.
The Tavern also is a micro-brewery, which are offered on draft. There is nothing better than sitting outside on a beautiful Atlanta afternoon, sipping an IPA and people watching! But it's not just about dogs and beer — the food is outstanding and not your typical bar-type cuisine. In fact, their sushi is some of the best I've ever had! Not what I would expect at a tavern, but that's what's great about this place.. it's full of contradictions! In the summer - early fall, Park Tavern has FREE... that's right FREE concerts every Sunday night. Great way to end the weekend. The Park Tavern realizes it's biggest attraction is the outside area so as an incentive to come play in the rain, they offer $1 drafts when it rains. "When it rains, we pour."
Check it out...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hit! Izumi Asian Bistro

When this place was the Chinese restaurant, you wouldn't catch me within five feet of it. What a difference a new owner, a new concept and a new look make! When you first step in, you might think you are in Midtown. The decor is modern but not intimidating. Booths adorn the walls with plenty of tables in the middle and a full size sushi bar.

Izumi serves Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisine, including KILLER sushi. The Pad Thai also is on my "recommended" list. They have an extensive selection of sake, wine and beer and dollar sushi deals throughout the week. The owners, On and Carmen are always on hand and always friendly. Now.. pass the spicy tuna sushi.

Hit! Zucca Towne Lake

Love Zucca! It's a great place to go after work for a drink — sit outside and watch Towne Lakers coming and going and be thankful you're sitting have a glass of wine rather than sitting in your car on Towne Lake Parkway. They have weeknight drink specials such as $2 pint drafts on Mondays and Tuesdays, Wine Down Wednesday (my favorite) where select bottles are $10 and $6 Martini night on Thursdays (try the pear cosmo!). The food is really very good — I haven't had anything there I would not recommend including the spaghetti carbanara, 42 St. Pizza, Caprese Salad and more. I can almost forgive the misspell of Towne Lake on the website!