Saturday, March 25, 2017

Chamblee: Cafe Mozart

I paid another visit to Café Mozart. If you aren't familiar with the format, they have several tables of individually-wrapped baked goods; they also have a refrigerator case with some beautiful cakes and tarts.

This fruit tart is one example of their visual style as well as taste.

These chocolate cookies were delicious.

Chamblee: The Halal Guys

The Halal Guys have been open since January at the corner of Buford Highway and Chamblee Tucker Road. The night I was there they did land office business. My initial reaction to the décor---bright colors, "World Famous"---was that it was like a Halal hot dog stand. Pictures in the restaurant show that, in fact, they originated as a New York food cart.

The combo plate is the big hit here. It combines chicken and gyro on a bed of rice with a salad on the side. My dish had a combination of tziki sauce---super duper delicious---and a bit of a very nice hot sauce. This is a great meal, very satisfying, and a pretty good value.

Chamblee: Tea House Formosa

Tea House Formosa is a fairly new entrant on the Buford Highway scene. It's on the southbound side and a bit hidden in its two-story strip mall.

Inside, the interior is very stylish. The tables were all full on this Saturday afternoon but they also have takeout. The menu includes a variety of food items, many of them snacks but some seem to be more substantial as well.

Here is my cold oolong tea. First off, the packaging is great. The paper lid is stuck on and you just jab your straw through it. I find this much more pleasant than drinking through a hole in the lid. The tea itself was wonderfully flavorful with that earthy oolong taste.

Update: Chateau Saigon

I've always enjoyed Chateau Saigon and made it back for another visit. Here are some highlights.

A wonderful spring roll.

This is pork wrapped around sugar cane stem. The sugar cane isn't sweet and is mainly used as a support but it is much more mild than, say, a popsicle stick. The pork itself is a bit like a hot dog. Overall, very enjoyable.

This is my favorite burnt rice cake with fish. The fish was wonderfully moist and tender. The sauce was wonderfully robust and filled with umami.

I forgot the name of this beef dish but it didn't last long on the table.

DTW: Longhorn Steakhouse

After a long day of meetings and facing a late arrival home, I was really in the mood for a piece of beef. Longhorn seemed like my only pure-play beef option. So I gave it atry.

My salad was iceberg-intensive but, quite frankly, I like the crunch of iceberg. I enjoyed my salad, philistine that I am.

My steak was appropriately meaty and overall pretty much what you would expect from Longhorn. My big question going in was the amount of MSG I would find on the beef. I could definitely taste it. So this isn't world-class aged beef, but it did do the job and I am grateful that Longhorn was ready for me, steak in hand.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ann Arbor MI: Gratzi

My University of Michigan friends took me to a wonderful dinner at Gratzi and some good discussions. The space is large and with a high ceiling. The service was impressively gracious.

We started with this sampler of meats and cheeses. I concentrated on the cheeses; the two on the bottom right were my favorites but all were great.

My salad was simple with a very light dressing, just what I had in mind.

For my main course, I ordered the veal scallopini, a favorite that I don't get very often. The meat was very tender and the sauce gave it a nice umami kick. The roasted Brussel sprouts were a good complement.

And a cup of decaf espresso allowed us to relax and discuss.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ann Arbor MI: Sava

I had a great breakfast at Sava---two, in fact, since I went back the next morning. The space has a very high ceiling and tall windows giving an inviting feel. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Early birds beware, though, since they don't open until eight AM.

My veggie omelet was very fluffy and rich; the vegetables were very nicely cooked and gave me a healthy feel. The hash browns were appropriately toasty on the outside and moist on the inside, just as they should be.