Thursday, October 20, 2016

Decatur: Pyng Ho

I recently had an early dinner at Pyng Ho in Decatur. It has been part of the Emory neighborhood for a long time. The décor is classic old school Chinese-American restaurant. The service was efficient and very courteous.

This is my tofu with vegetables. Nothing fancy, but it was well prepared and I was grateful to have it. 5 PM is a good time to have dinner out; the room is quiet and contemplative.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Doraville: Sunrize Cafe

Sunrize Café is across the street from the Doraville MARTA station, ensconced in a cozy brick storefront. The owner tells me that he has been open for about three months.

The baked goods come from a Mexican bakery. Supersized items seem to be the norm at these bakeries and Sunrize's collection certainly fits that description. Most of the items in the case here are sweet but they also offer a variety of savory pastries. I went with the fig croissant and a coffee.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

B's Cracklin Barbeque

Grant and Marie invited me to join them for dinner at B's Cracklin Barbeque. I'm glad they did---the food was excellent and the location was great for a fall evening. The restaurant is located in the Riverside neighborhood of west Atlanta. I parked next to the portable smoker; the restaurant also has a much larger BBQ shed. I could smell the smoke as I walked in, always a good sign.

Chef Brian stopped by and very graciously talked with us for several minutes. This location is an outpost of the original Savannah location.

I ordered the two-meat plate with brisket and ribs. The brisket was excellent, very moist and rich. The ribs were my favorite---very flavorful and moist. It's hard to find a real corn cake and this one was outstanding. The okra and slaw were also excellent. The peach mustard sauce was superb on both the beef and pork. The chef told us that the vinegar sauce also contains some peach nectar.

Grant and Marie concentrated on the sandwiches, which they reported to be outstanding.

Cherokee NC: Peter's Pancakes and Waffles

Peter's Pancakes and Waffles is just outside the boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I managed to snag a counter seat for breakfast and was lucky to do so. The food here is truly excellent, which means long lines. I ate breakfast at 10 AM and still faced a wall of hungry faces at the front waiting for tables.

I ignored the strong hint in the restaurant's name (it is Peter's Pancakes and Waffles, after all) and ordered an omelet with biscuits and gravy. The omelet was excellent, fluffy and rich. The biscuits and gravy were outstanding.

I sat in front of the griddle and watched the pancakes roll out. They were beautiful specimens, perfectly round and tall. I also saw a pair of strawberry waffles being prepared. The waffle looked excellent. Covered with waffles and ringed with whipped cream, it was a heart attack on a plate and a wonderful way to go.

Cherokee NC: Chef's Table Buffet

I acquired a fondness for casino buffets as a teenager in Reno. The buffets are a godsend to hungry teenagers. The days of bargain pricing for the buffet is over, but they still offer a wide variety of food that is well-prepared. After some exercise in the mountain air above Cherokee, the buffet at the Cherokee casino seemed like a good way to sample some proteins and maybe sneak in a dessert.

This photo shows you the scale of the place.

I started with sushi.

In casinos, everything is big, including the lemons.

My next stop was the Italian bar for some pizza and salad.

Onto the highlight of the meal, the BBQ station. This plate has salmon (a nice surprise), roast beef, a rib, and some brisket.

The Oktoberfest station was a seasonal treat. I had some sausage, sauerkraut, tomato salad, and chopped salad.

I wound things up with a slice of cheesecake; I also snuck in a piece of chocolate cake. The cheesecake was my favored dessert.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Flowery Branch: Fini's Pizzeria

Fini's is a delightful surprise on I-985. It's located in the mall near the highway in Flowery Branch. The menu and atmosphere are that of the kinds of restaurants I used to eat at in New Jersey. In the Northeast, many pizzerias also offer a full menu and table service in a homey atmosphere. The owners, as it turns out, are from Italy. Italian-American food culture is distinct from Italian food. I suspect that the owners made a stop in the Northeast before moving down here. The staff was very helpful and friendly.

I forgot to take a photo of my salad. It was very fresh with non-iceberg lettuce, vegetables, and nice little tomatoes. The oil and vinegar dressing was light and refreshing.

My server also brought out some bread knots with sauce. The sauce was very good; it nicely balanced sweetness and tartness.

Here is my eggplant parmesan. The eggplant was very tender on the inside. The crust was nice and crunchy. The portions were very neatly cut and coated. I used my sauce from the knots on top. This was a very satisfying meal. I will make this a frequent stop on my trips to the mountains.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

East Point: This Is It!

Debbie and I caught up over a very enjoyable dinner at This Is It! in East Point. The food was quite good and the service was extremely gracious. The restaurant has a long history going back to Miami in the 1950's.

The service is cafeteria style. Some of the dishes, such as the catfish, are cooked to order and brought to your table.

Debbie ordered the fried catfish. I was able to sample it---moist on the inside, crispy on the outside.

The restaurant's motto is "It's the Rib Tips!" so that's what I ordered, along with hot sauce. They were tender and meaty. The greens were delicious, tender but not over-cooked. The sweet potato was rich with butter and brown sugar.

We sampled two desserts. The banana pudding was classically good. The banana flavor came through well. The vanilla wafers at the bottom were moist and fun. The sweet potato pie was moist, just rich enough, and very nicely spiced.