Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2010

Queen Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant

I've passed by this restaurant quite a few times but this is the first time I've been in. It's located near Target at Briarcliff and North Druid Hills. The front is plain but the atmosphere inside is more upscale. They have what seems to be a well-stocked bar and they have jazz performances on some nights. The seating was mostly European-style (chairs); they probably have some cushions but I didn't see them. I just stopped by for a quick buffet lunch. As you can see, I got carried away---you're supposed to dip your bread into the food, not spoon the food on top of it. It was pretty tasty; I'd say medium spicy, enough to get your attention but not too hot. Dinner would, of course, be a better test. I plan to try out their dinner some time.

Chamblee: Frosty Caboose

The Frosty Caboose opened about a year ago next to the Chamblee MARTA tracks, just up the road from the Chamblee MARTA station. Talk about cute---it's a real red caboose complete with their own railroad crossing sign. There's no place to sit, unfortunately, but it is a great place to visit. I was in a mood to indulge, so I ordered a banana split. I don't think I've had one since I was a kid. It was wonderful. They use Greenwood Ice Cream, made in Chamblee and something of a local legend. Overall, one couldn't ask for a better summer evening.

South of the Border

South of the Border is a big national chain. I sampled the location in Buckhead, near the entrance to GA 400. I have a weakness for fajitas. Today, I tried the pulled pork fajitas. The nicest thing about this restaurant is the fresh tortillas. There's nothing like a fresh tortilla---soft and tender. Have you ever noticed the machine they use to knead the tortillas? They put the dough balls between two metal plates that make the dough do a little belly dance to liven them up. I wouldn't mind having a small home version of one of those...


Small world department---I used to eat at Penang's sister restaurant in New Jersey. This one is located in Chamblee, in the same shopping center as Pho Bac. (That little strip mall turns out to be a go-to spot for food in Chamblee.) Indonesian food borrows from a number of nearby traditions, as you might expect, including Chinese and Indian, but makes good use of its own local ingredients, the peanut being the most memorable. Leslie, Mary and I tried several small items. I really enjoyed my order, satay tofu. The fried tofu was used as a pocket for sauteed bean sprouts and topped with peanut sauce.

Cafe Sage Hill

Only in Atlanta---a Korean-owned Southern cafeteria. Sage Hill is in Dusty's old location on Briarcliff. They added an outside deck, which is a very nice place to sit this time of year. This is your standard Southern meat-and-two cafeteria. The food isn't anything special but it is pretty good and quite inexpensive. I tried the fried chicken cutlets with gravy. I also had the fried green tomatoes, which were well executed.

Pho Bac

Pho Bac is on Buford Highway in the same shopping center as Little Hot Pot. It's a pretty big Vietnamese noodle shop. Like most of these places, it's all business, no atmosphere. I had the brisket soup. The broth was quite hearty. The side salad includes a leaf that doesn't look like mint but certainly tastes minty; I wish I knew what it was called. I'm still not sure exactly how to rank the various pho spots in town, but I did enjoy Pho Bac. And, in general, I think that pho makes a great lunch---well balanced but not too heavy.

Salmon Dinner

My friend Michael decided that we should cook the Bon Appetit cover dish; he did all the work and deserves all the credit. The salmon was broiled with a mildly hot glaze. The hot salad---snow pea tips and sweet peas---was cooked separately and added on top. We also had a cucumber salad that really tasted like spring. A wonderful dish and not very difficult to prepare.

Buford Highway Farmers Market

I don't think I've reported on this market before...Buford Highway Farmers Market is on Buford Highway just north of I-285. International Market would be a more appropriate name. It is, in my opinion, the best of the international markets. It is in a huge space and can accommodate a lot of different items. The aisles are helpfully labeled by ethnicity, as is fairly common practice around here (and yes, there is an American aisle). The produce section is outstanding; of course, I don't know how to use many of the items, but I've never had any problem finding anything I want. I didn't realize until this trip how extensive their fish section is---many Asian markets don't carry salmon for some reason but BHFM does. They even have some sushi-grade fish. They also have an extensive appliance section.

Thaicoon & Sushi Bar

Thaicoon is located on Briarcliff near Emory. (They also have a location in Marietta.) Given that I'd spotted it twice in the past week, when an appointment brought me back to the area, I had to try it. I didn't sit at the sushi bar because I wanted to enjoy the view of the sunny day. The sushi bar is very well stocked and has several sushi chefs behind it. I tried a variety of sushi plus a sasimi sampler that isn't shown here. It was all very fresh and good. My absolute favorite was the salmon sasimi---the buttery richness of salmon is always my favorite. Can I use this forum to register a complaint against stunt sushi, even though I know that any such complaint is bound to be fruitless? The waitress suggested that I try their special sushi, which had a huge number of ingredients and two sauces. It sounded too complicated for me. I believe that, in general, simple is better in sushi and sasimi. If the fish is as good as it should be, you don't need a lot of oth

Eating Around Georgia Tech; All Star Pizza Co./Taste of New York

I'm not actually sure what the name of this place is---as you can see, it has signs for two different names. In any case, it is just off 14th Street, within a reasonable walking distance of campus. The key test of a pizza establishment that claims to be authentic New York style is whether they serve slices. These guys, to their credit, do. The instant gratification of a slice is hard to beat, plus it doesn't require a gang of people to help you finish off the pizza. This is pretty good neighborhood pizza---nothing fancy but it hit the spot. They also have a variety of other New York Italian sandwiches and Philly cheesesteaks.

Marietta: Blu Greek Taverna

Leslie introduced me to Blu, a small restaurant in old downtown Marietta. The building itself is charming (sorry, no photos). I started off with a Greek salad. It was good, but it did follow the mold of American-style Greek salads by concentrating on lettuce. In Greece, the mother's salad concentrates on tomatoes, onions, olives, and feta cheese. I had a pork souvlaki for my main course, which was very enjoyable. It was complemented by some fruit---papaya, etc.---which was a welcome refresher.

Tucker: Sheridan Frozen Custard

Sheridan has been on my should-try list for quite some time. The start of real ice cream weather seemed like the perfect excuse. It's on Lawrenceville Highway in the Wal-Mart shopping center. I just had a basic chocolate frozen custard. It was straightforward, your basic soft ice cream, but good. They have a variety of toppings and mixins, including something they call concrete. I went through the drive-in; they don't seem to have indoor seating.

Dessert at Seasons 52

I was in the mood for a dessert in a nice location the other night. Seasons 52 struck me as being just the right place. They have multiple locations around town; I've only been to the one at Perimeter Mall. I have had dinner there before (excellent) but this report concentrates on dessert. All the desserts are served in small portions (tapas-style dessert?) in parfait glasses. I had the chocolate and pecan desserts. They aren't overly sweet, which is important to me---too much sugar hides the other flavors. The pecan pie parfait was particularly enjoyable because of the range of textures as well as flavors, this even though I was in a chocolate mood. The capuccino was the perfect complement. I sat in the bar area and, I must admit, read my email, but it was a very enjoyable experience. And each parfait is only $2.50.

Macon: Nu-Way Weiners

I saw a feature on Nu-Way Weiners on the TV show "Georgia Traveler." So when an appointment brought me to Macon, I knew that was my big opportunity to try it. The home location is in old downtown Macon. The chili dog is the classic dish here. The signage is new and the staff's uniforms are spiffy, but the basic decor hasn't changed in decades. I felt like I'd been going there all my life, even though this was my first time. I had to go for the Combo #3, which is a Combo #2 with an extra dog. These dogs are very bright red---you can see the red proboscis sticking out under the chili in the photo. They are the same color all the way through. My immediate reaction on the first bite was a sweet note---not too much, just right. A moment later, a bit of heat kicked in. I found that combination to be delightful. Overall, the chili added just the right touch to the dog. The chili should complement the dog, not overwhelm it either physically or in taste. Nu-Way

The Fountain at Tucker

The Fountain at Tucker is in the old business district. It has a 50's fountain feel. They seem to have music on some nights, but I was there for lunch. I tried the BBQ sandwich. It was a straightforward sandwich, but it did get the job done. I was particularly in the mood for a pickle that day, for some reason, and it seemed a particularly appropriate complement to the sweet BBQ sauce on the pork on that day.

Update: Phnom Penh

Yu, Fumin, and I went back to Phnom Penh. I wanted some help with the fried fish. The entire meal was wonderful. The fried fish comes in a brown sauce that is rich with spices and just a little hot. The contrast between the crispy fried fish and the sauce is, of course, an excellent complement to the taste. We also had a seafood soup that was wondeful---once again, spicy but not overly done. A noodle dish topped off the dinner, which was the spiciest of all. You simply must try the fried fish. Don't worry, the owner always recommends it, so you can't miss it.