Monday, February 29, 2016

ATL: Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill

Papi's, a midtown favorite, is a recent addition to ATL. It is located near the center of Terminal T, close enough to the escalators that you could stop by for a good meal on your way to another terminal.

My pork dinner was excellent. The pork very moist and full of roasted flavor. A possible pitfall of pulled pork is that it often dries out, but that wasn't the case here. The beans had a surprisingly mild but satisfying flavor; you can see the full bay leaf on the edge of the cup. The fried plantains went under a name that I didn't recognize and they were outstanding. I don't know what they do to get that particular carmelization but those brown bits were a perfect complement to the plantain flesh.

Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Update: Miller-Union

A dinner meeting allowed me to enjoy another fine meal at Miller-Union. We started off with three appetizers.

These are grits fritters with ham. They are pretty darn small and I didn't recognize them when they appeared at the table. They were superb. The ham must have been cut into little tiny pieces; I couldn't feel its texture but each ball had a wonderful ham taste.

This is hummus with some superb pita chips that had a great nutty flavor.

This is a cheese (sorry, my head is still spinning from all the food) and slices of two varieties of radish. The huge radish had a very delicate flavor.

This is a vanilla bean soda that was outstanding. A nice but not overpowering vanilla flavor in a soda that was just sweet enough.

My main course was the bass, with a soft, flaky meat and a perfectly crisped skin. It was served on a bed of Vidalia onion tops.

For dessert, I ordered a Meyer lemon tart and an espresso. The tart was huge and delicious. The Meyer lemon is naturally a little less tart than the standard varieties and it makes a great tart.

We also were able to try the chocolate tart with a touch of citrus---wonderful.

Miller Union

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Austell GA: Wallace Barbeque

Wallace Barbeque is a very popular and long-standing restaurant in Austell. The parking lot was full when I got there and equally full when I left, with cars entering and leaving all the time. The restaurant is quite large and very nicely decorated. I would compare the decor to TGI Friday's but Wallace is much more tastefully decorated; most of their decorations are car-related. Service is very friendly and prompt. Just grab a menu and sit yourself down.

My pork plate should tell you that this is a meat palace. None of those wimpy vegetables that those other so-called BBQ places serve. (To be fair, you can actually order some vegetables, but I didn't see much green on the tables around me.) The steak dinner, served on a sizzling platter, looked pretty darn meaty and delicious, too.

My fries were outstanding. They were clearly hand-made and very much reminded me of Mom's. My pork was excellent. While part of it was pulled, some pieces were in little cubes, giving more textural variety. The meat was tender and very juicy. Every once in awhile I hit a bit of fat that gave an extra burst of porkiness. The sauce was fairly light and vinegary, a great complement that didn't overshadow the star of the show.

Wallace Barbecue

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bite Size Now

I just had a wonderful light lunch from Bite Size Now thanks to the Farmer's Market at Georgia Tech. (The market is most Wednesdays mid-day if you are keeping score.) BSN (bitesizenow@aol.com) sets up camp at several markets every week and also provides catering. Today's food was all Indian flavor but she also offers Jamaican, Asian, Ethiopian, and American dishes.

Here are two of my three veggie samosas (sorry, I was carried away). These were truly excellent. The pastry was thinner than what I have seen on other samosas. It had the quality of pastry and was perfectly crisp. The filling was hearty and very well seasoned. I tried the mango and hot sauces; both were very flavorful but not so strong as to overpower the samosas.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Avondale Estates: My Parents' Basement

My Parents' Basement is on the main drag in Avondale Estates. The restaurant is large and inviting. Most interestingly, it has a complete comic book store and vintage video game parlor.

The service was friendly but very confused. The food, however, was pretty good. This is my mushroom sandwich, which gave me a good savory hit. My only slight complaint is that the bread could use some sort of spread. The cole slaw was great---vinegary and just a little hot.

I also ordered crunchy black-eyed peas with curry powder. I wish they had come before my sandwich but I enjoyed their crunch and snap.

My Parents’ Basement

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

College Park MD: The Commons

The Commons is the restaurant in the Marriott Conference Center at College Park. It is a large restaurant with a very light-filled space. I also ate breaakfast here and found the service to be very courteous.

For lunch, I ordered the fish and chips. For some reason, this is listed in the "Lite Fare" section of the menu. But it was tasty. The fish (probably cod) was thick, moist, and flavorful. The crust held up very nicely. Overall a very satisfying lunch.

BWI: The Greene Turtle

The Greene Turtle is inside the security area in Concourse D at BWI. It seems to be the only sit-down restaurant in the concourse. Our service was efficient and friendly without being rushed.

I enjoyed my crab cakes. They were both very meaty with just enough bread crumbs to minimally hold them together. The crab was moist and juicy.

The Greene Turtle

College Park MD: Siri's Chef's Secret

Shuvra convened our group meeting at Siri's Chef's Secret. The menu is Thai. Despite the low-key exterior, the interior is nicely decorated in the traditional wood Thai style. But no, your food won't be cooked by an iPhone.

I ordered tofu with almonds, which I enjoyed. The dish and its sauce are relatively light but still satisfying.

For dessert, I ordered a superb coconut pudding with a cappuccino. The pudding came in four small dishes---all are the same. I suspect that the small, shallow dishes help to cook the pudding. It was sweet with a nice coconut flavor. The cap made for the perfect pairing.

Siri's Chef's Secret

Columbia MD: Romano's

My friend Shuvra took us to a very enjoyable evening at Romano's. It was Super Bowl night so we had the restaurant to ourselves. The service was outstanding. Shuvra needed the gluten-free menu, so the culinary manager came to our table and spent several minutes explaining all the options. Romano's actually has a pretty good selection of GF options.

I ordered the eggplant parmesan, which I greatly enjoyed. The crust was very crispy and gave a nice crunch. The eggplant itself was soft and flavorful. Overall, my dish was very comforting on a cold night.