Don’t take anything seriously, except food!

Recently, I got to try a new Mexican restaurant in the Southpark area.  And when I say new, I mean new to me as the restaurant opened in April 2013.

Hidden behind Crate & Barrel @ Southpark, a few feet down from CowFish, is a great Mexican restaurant worth trying…Chuy’s!  While the location has been home to a few restaurants, I remember it last as M5.  A cool little place where the Who’s Who of Charlotte could be seen.

The décor is fantastic!  From the moment you walk in, (make sure to look up at the celling as you’ll see antique cameras on display) you’re transformed into their Tex Mex & eclectic environment.  The bar, with its own “car trunk” buffet area for the Happy Hour Nacho Bar special, to the Wall of Dogs, to the main dining area with palm trees, & Elvis décor, the place certainly makes an impression on you instantly.  The large patio out back would be great during the spring & summer months too. 

And the food packs a punch!  Make sure to try some of the Big as Yo’ Face Burritos or the loaded nachos…yum!  And as the name says, be ready to eat lots!  I ordered the beans & cheese Big as Yo’ Face Burrito and could barely get ½ of it down.  You could taste the freshness of the 12-inch tortilla, made in house.  In fact, Chuy’s Food Fullosophy touts authentic food all made in house.

When you are seated, you’re brought the normal platter of chips with two dips:  salsa (Fresca with a little heat) & a buttermilk jalapeno ranch with a tang.  The salsa tastes authentic & fresh with just a little heat but for the burrito, I asked for the full hot/spicy experience….got it!  And for those of you not sure how hot to order it, check out their spice meter.  They offer 7 signature sauces made in house from mild to hot!  & of course, I asked for the Hot!  

The Nachos looked & tasted great too…with handmade fresh chips topped with just enough sauce, beans, & cheese to give you that Tex Mex flavor.  Definitely trying those next time! 

And the prices match the food…which at times in the Southpark area doesn’t happen :)

Can’t wait for my next visit!

 

 

 

Chuy's on Urbanspoon

These mashups I can do w/out…who’s with me on this?!?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food/food-reviews/5-hybrid-foods-that-became-popular-in-2013/articleshow/27749460.cms

 

Why have only one food item when you can enjoy the taste of two? Foodies across the world had a reason to rejoice as this year, unique hybrid food items became popular internationally. Here’s looking at some mash-ups that became a rage this year.

Cronut
A combination of a croissant and a doughnut , this dessert is the brainchild of chef Dominique Ansel who owns an eponymous bakery in New York City. With its crusty exterior and sugary filling inside, cronut became a craze not only in the US but was also served at various Indian restaurants.

Ramen burger
Who would’ve predicted that in time to come, burger buns would be replaced by noodles? A creation of chef Keizo Shimamoto, this Japanese-American mash-up comprises meat patty that is sandwiched between compacted fried ramen noodles.

Waffle tacos
Introduced by Taco Bell, this hybrid breakfast option features a sausage patty and scrambled eggs folded into a waffle. Packaged in a way that can be eaten on-the-go, waffle tacos became so popular that the eatery is now dishing out different varieties like waffle tacos filled with cream and fruit and one with fried chicken, too.

Pizza burger
Are there times when you crave a pizza as well as a burger? Who wouldn’t love the option to eat both at the same time? Created by popular eatery in New York, a pizza burger comprises a nine-and-a-half inch sesame bread filled mozzarella, pepperoni, pesto and marinara sauce.

Cuffin
The cronut inspired several hybrid desserts, one of them was the cuffin. Made by combining the shape and soft inside of a muffin with the sweetness and chewy outside of a cookie, cuffin is served in several flavours like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin as well as with a raspberry jelly filling.

Surin – aahaan tai

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It was a chilly night out in ATL & we were ready for some heat & hot food so off to Surin of Thailand we went!

Located on Highland Avenue, the restaurant is right in the middle of the fun on a weekend.  Surrounded by other restaurants & pubs, parking can be a bear.

From the minute we walked in, we were hit with the warmth of the restaurant.  Being out in Atlanta on one of the coldest nights of the winter, the heat felt great! 

The restaurant is quite large with a good size bar area, the first thing you see, & walk right into when you enter.  They are in need of a hostess stand since you walk in & just wait and hope someone comes to seat you.  Since it was Saturday night, the restaurant was slammed so the only table to hold us all was near the back, close to the kitchen.  & apparently the back exit, that made it very cold.  Apparently, the door was opened a lot so the cold air just rushed in & the heat disappeared. 

Now I must say it’s been a while since I’ve had  Thai and I’ve been craving it for a while so welcomed the opportunity to try this new place with my crew.  Coconut soup was ordered to help us warm up again.  I haven’t tried this soup at Thai restaurants before so this was a first & not a good one!  While everyone loved the soup, I didn’t.  Too much coconut for me, in fact that’s all I tasted.    Couldn’t taste the mushrooms, scallions, or cilantro.  I had to pass.  But kudos to the way it was served…check out the picture.

We decided to order a few plates & just share:  Thai noodles with chicken, chicken fried rice, egg rolls, and cashew nut noodles with chicken.  Boy did we have lots of food…the portions are family style so be careful about ordering lots of plates. 

The egg rolls were crispy, as I like them & served with a tangy sauce, they weren’t bad.  The fried rice was delicious with veggies & chicken though not a lot of heat.  Thank goodness I asked for the extra hot sauce so I could add to everything.  Bland food doesn’t do it for me…something everyone knows :) The noodles were cooked well & had a little heat.  I just added some more to kick it up a notch!  The chicken was bland so I ate around it.  I enjoyed that they served the peanuts on the side so you could add as you liked.  The veggies:  baby corn, carrots, zucchinis added to the flavor.  The cashew nut chicken again was not to my liking.  Too bland & the taste of cashews with the other flavors didn’t mix well.  The fried rice was definitely the dish of the night, everyone finished it quickly.  The other fav appeared to be the cashew peanut chicken.  And the soup was hit, almost all gone!

After eating so much, there was no space for dessert.  Thought I did want to try some mango ice cream, in warmer weather of course. 

Service was ok at best.  While the rest of the group has visited on many occasions with attentive waiters, we didn’t experience it that Saturday night.  Could it have been because they were busy, perhaps but they often are on weekends and that’s when the others had visited.  We constantly had to ask for everything, from refill of drinks, to silverware, to napkins.   And being seated by the cold doors was not a good idea on our hostess’s part. 

Not sure I’m a fan of this place but I’m willing to give it another try…on a warmer night.

 

 

The CowFish

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Recently I tried a new restaurant in the Southpark area, The CowFish.  Hidden near Crate & Barrel, you’d miss it unless you knew it was there.  The same for all the shops near the area & the parking is very limited…good luck!

Normally a sushi or burger joint is not my thing but I was open to trying something new so off we went.  Met up with a group prior to dinner time for a glass of wine so the restaurant was not busy. 

The bar and dining area is quite large though you wouldn’t think so from the outside.  Once you enter, your eye can’t help but look at the large aquarium.  Very nice!  The bar wraps around both dining rooms. 

We were seated immediately, as they weren’t busy.  And our first waiter quickly appeared to give us the full “Cow Fish Menu experience.”  He went over all the items on the menu, highlighting his favs, & the restaurant’s best dishes.  Our second waiter was happy to recommend wines & our third took our order.  Apparently, shift changes, sick staff caused us to have three waiters in less than 20 minutes…hmmmm  Our first two were very helpful & attentive, the third unfortunately not.

We started with a little appetizer with our wine & if you know me, it was carbs!  So truffle fries were ordered & delivered quickly.  A large platter of house fries with truffle, melted parmesan cheeses, & chives…yum!    We ordered dinner while we munched on the appetizer & dinner arrived quickly…we didn’t even finish our yummy fries.

The menu is eclectic from sushi burgers, sushi boxes, & burger salads.  I tried the The Screamin’ Korean Chicken burger.  Unique burger with flash fried chicken breast topped with kimchi & sriracha, ranch, & Asian slow.  It was served with the burger usual’s, lettuce, tomato, onions & pickles.   I added a little more sriracha to the sandwich, because everything is better with heat :)  and it wasn’t bad.   While the burger was $11, you certainly get a large portion for your money & that goes for all the dishes.  The other dishes were the same too.  Another entrée that looked good ordered was the Cowfish Bento Box.  Literally served in an Asian box, you get a lot for your $12:  sliders, sweet fries, edamame, sushi rolls, & Thai cucumbers.   While I didn’t try any of it, my friend certainly enjoyed.  And the shrimp dish was proportionally large  & apparently good as everyone shared, minus me of course. 

 The proportions were large, so no room for dessert this time.  Not to mention the restaurant did get very busy & loud.  By 6, there was a line outside the door to get in. 

 Décor is interesting from large comically pictures all around the restaurant to the leather chairs, booths, Asian foods artwork.  Take a look at http://www.thecowfish.com/gallery/?loc=1

 For a unique experience & great ambience, definitely give it a try. 

Surin of Thailand on Urbanspoon

Pizza Pizza

ImageImageImage/ Happy Holidays!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve wrote but it is the holidays & I’ve stayed very busy with them.  Hope everyone had a great holiday as I did.

So let’s talk about a pizzeria I ate at during the holidays…Wolfman Pizza at Quail Corners on Park Road.  At first look, it looked like a small, empty place as I walked by to do a little shopping.  But when I walked inside, it was actually full; the seating can’t be seen as the booths are further in and tall.

Luckily a booth was empty, even though I was by myself, I need my space :)  The place is small but they do make the most of it.  With a few tables up front, several large booths, and even bar style seating with a great view of the pizzas being cooked.

A family friendly place, on this night, you saw a variety of people from elders, to young kids, to the high school/college crowd. 

The menu is unique, printed on a newspaper, with a variety of pizza toppings.  “The Laboratory” section of the menu allows you to create your own unique pie from the sauce, to the crust, to the variety of cheeses.  Want a Black Bean sauce pie with Bleu Cheese & Bean Sprouts…it’s yours here!

Since it was my veggie day, I tried the White Wolf pizza.  The 10 in pizza arrived & was delish!  Garlic butter, New York style crust, with mozzarella/parmesan/Swiss cheeses, topped with Roma tomatoes minus the basil!  The size was just right, though I couldn’t finish it.  One thing I didn’t care for was all the oil…it was everywhere.  A little paper napkin to soak it up & I was good.  The cheese was oozing everywhere…the way I like it :)

On tap, local beers which I think is great!  I enjoyed a nice NoDa ale, a little darker than I expected but still good. 

$ is good too…I recommend you try if you’re a pizza lover!

 

 

 

Wolfman Pizza on Urbanspoon