Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Decatur: Seven Hens

Seven Hens in North Decatur Plaza is a surprising little place. It's a little unusual but the shortest description is upscale/international Subway with a killer chicken cutlet. You get to choose a flavor profile for your chicken, the type of bread, plus all your toppings.

Here is the cook at their signature slicing station. He cuts the chicken with quicvk rolls of his circular blade. It sure made me hungry.

I decided to try the salad option, which is the chicken served on top of a salad and toppings of your choice. The chicken is served Viennese style: pounded thin, coated with bread crumbs, and then fried. Mine was wonderfully crispy, enough to tickle the tastebuds of any Southerner. The salad was also very good---extremely fresh, very green leafy vegetables and a good salad accessories.

Seven Hens on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boulder CO: The Buff

The Buff is nationally known for its breakfasts. I've visited them for years during my occasional visits to Boulder.

This time I decided to try something different, which turned out to be the breakfast tacos. It was rich with eggs, peppers, vegetables, and all sorts of other things. All the flavors were distinct but no one flavor dominated, exactly what you want in this sort of thing. The sauce was excellent.

The Buff Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Boulder CO: Agave Mexican Bistro & Tequila House

Mike and Linda took me to Agave for a wonderful dinner. Like so many newer restaurants, it is in a low-key strip mall location that hides a very nice interior. The restaurant is decorated in low key colors, natural but modern, and features a fireplace.

We started with a guacamole that was made at our table by our waiter. As you can see, he added a flourish to the presentation. It tasted great, with a complex flavor from the variety of things he added to the avacado.

I had seafood tamales for my main course. The seafood was cooked perfectly and the taco body was moist while still holding together. I must say that the most amazing part of the main course was the beans. The dominant taste was clearly beans, not some additives, but that taste was rich and luxurious in a way that I don't normally associate with beans. It's amazing how much flavor can be had from beans by someone who knows what they are doing.

Agave Mexico Bistro and Tequila House on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Lodge at Unicoi State Park

I visited Unicoi State Park for the first time. It's near Helen and features a lake and fun, easy hiking trails. It also has a lodge whose mountain trout buffet has gained renown. I figured I had hiked enough and deserved a treat.

That's one big pile of fish. The buffet also has beef, veggies, salad, dessert, everythign you would expect.

Fried fish would, it seems to me, be a particularly hard dish to make work in a buffet. This fish was excellent. The crust was flaky and crisp. The fish was very moist and flavorful. And, as you can see, it was also pretty darn big. The rest of the buffet was excellent as well.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tucker: Fork in the Road

Fork in the Road opened just this week in Northlake Mall. It advertises itself as a chicken-and-beer place. That translates to a sports bar with really good fried chicken. Even though the restaurant is brand spanking new, I was very impressed by the food, the service, and the prices.

The menu features fried chicken and wings. My fried chicken was straight out of the fryer and delicious. The crust was crispy and flavorful. The meat was tender. They serve a variety of sauces even with the fried chicken. I really loved their chipotle sauce. It starts off with a nice smoky flavor, then goes into a long burn. The cole slaw was of the creamy variety and not overly goopy---quite good.

Fork in the Road on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tucson: Breakfast at Lodge on the Desert

Lodge on the Desert is an elegant little hotel that has been here since the '30s. This morning, the breakfast tamale caught my eye. Given that I just tried to make my own tamales, I had to try.

The tamale itself was very subtle, not of the overstuffed variety. The filling included ham, cheese, and strips of sweet red pepper. The salsa verde was the show stopper. I was tempted to order a bowl of salsa and eat it straight. Really flavorful and rich, not overly hot. It's hard to find salsa this good on the East Coast---it makes that airplane ride much easier to take.

Lodge on the Desert on Urbanspoon