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. 

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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

Dine with the Dead!

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outside

moto

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob


Intrigued…are you? So was I when I was introduced to a new Mexican eatery in Atlanta, GA recently. Recommended by my cool sis, who if you haven’t realized is just awesome & knows her way around GA, I was ready to try out Bone Garden Cantina.
Run by a couple (hope they are still “Happily married”) influenced by their Southern Cali upbringing. The thought behind the restaurant is to offer something different than the usual “Americanized” & often bad Mexican food out there. In fact, check out what they say on the back of the menu about the other Mexican restaurants!

Located on Ellsworth Industrial Blvd, its Atlanta’s best hidden place to eat authentic Mexican. And from the moment you pull into the parking lot, with one of the many skeletons looking over you, you know it’s going to be an experience.
The restaurant is located in what appears to be an industrial building, with open fresh air. Though on this chilly night, we rushed to get into the restaurant. To keep patrons warm during the colder season, the restaurant has constructed what appears to be a small sun room with a heater running …so needed!

From the moment you enter the doors, you are intrigued by the Dia De Los Muertos décor. Now I wouldn’t recommend this place for very young children, it could be intimidating though my 7 yr. old niece thought it was just “cool” & “weird!” The walls, counter tops, ceiling, anywhere they can put décor….it’s there. That I thought was a bit much but I did enjoy the motorcycle man suspended from the ceiling separating the bar from the dining area.

And be ready for long wait times when you arrive especially on weekends. We arrived close to 9 on a Friday night and had an hour wait! Now the wait is also due to the fact that it’s a very small restaurant. When sitting, when you extend your arm, you will be touching the person at the next table! But that too adds to its charm. Since we were starving, one hour wait wasn’t going to cut it. So on we moved to the small bar in hopes of finding space & quickly we did. The bar is very accustomed to serving guests meals because of the wait times.
And sitting at the bar, you got to peak into the kitchen as the kitchen window was right there. Boy that kitchen was just churning it out that night! Not to mention you were mesmerized by the wonderful skeleton alcohol bottles!

Now being a Mexican restaurant, they certainly had plenty of tequila on hand some in wonderful/unique head skull bottles. Offering 60+ types of tequila on the menu, you were surely to find one you liked. And if you didn’t, don’t despair the bartenders are happy to assist with items from the “Fun with Booze” menu.
The menu is vast & unique offering normal Mexican dishes with a twist. All the food is authentic & fresh and you can certainly taste it. This is no Taco Bell! A few great items we enjoyed that night:
• Chips & Salsa with Queso – loved the Queso with tomatoes and jalapenos…
spicy & cheesy! Salsa was ok but very mild.
• The guacamole is nice too…not the normal green goop you see. It was
actually served as a sauce mixed with tomato, onion, & cilantro.
• Mas Queso – Very large Queso (if you don’t speak Spanish hehe). Melted
with more cheese than you’ll ever need with sour cream, guacamole. Since
I love cheese…of course I enjoyed it!
• Rice & Bean combo – Refried vegetarian beans & Spanish rice with all the
seasonings. I must say the best Spanish rice I’ve had in a very long
time! Good flavor & spice.
• Elote – grilled corn on the cob just like in India with spices sprinkled
on top
• Drinks were awesome too! Can’t handle my tequila so I opted for vodka,
the Macho Canelo Punch. A light citrus drink that went down smooth & hit
you quick well;) & sis enjoyed a different kinda margarita.

Pricing is reasonable especially considering the freshness of the food. You must try this hidden yet great Atlanta restaurant! Go online now & check them out….oh and make sure to read the Restaurant Rules on the back of the menu …hilarious & true!

http://www.bonegardencantina.com/

href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/9/452318/restaurant/Westside/Bone-Garden-Cantina-Atlanta”>Bone Garden Cantina on Urbanspoon

Oh…spicy…bring it on!

Chicken 65 Yum!

Chicken 65 Yum!

wpid-IMG_20131023_204152_072.jpgwpid-IMG_20131023_204255_997.jpgwpid-IMG_20131023_204406_169.jpgAfter a long day, I headed over for some food therapy! & Spice South Indian Cuisine was the spot for just that! Often I think I should’ve been born a South Indian since that’s my taste in food. (Though I’m very happy being a Sindhi)

Since I was craving a dosa…I knew exactly what to order. Though the restaurant carries everything from traditional vegetarian, non-veg, dishes and desserts.
Since I was super hungry, I wanted an appetizer to boot 😉

Spice South is hidden in a nice area on Ardery Kell Road, at Fountains Shopping center. Now don’t go in expecting some grand place… it’s not. A small but quant restaurant with minimal artwork & decor. Even the staff is minimal…only 1 person manning the floor. That was a little hard to understand because trying to handle just a few tables can be challenging. And such was the case on this weeknight. Many tables tried to get the waiter’s attention + the phone was ringing off the hook. Since one person was seating guests, taking orders, delivering the order, answering phone, helping To Go customers, clearing tables, etc he must have been tired.

I ordered Chicken 65 with extra spice. This equates to Chili Chicken at other restaurants. Chicken 65 is boneless chicken (the only way I will eat any meat) deep fried & served with an orange sauce with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, yogurt, curry leaves, The chicken was cooked so well…nice & tender. Oh & the smell of it was just heaven….in fact, you smelled the dish even before you saw it! As it was very spicy & a large serving, I couldn’t finish it all…not eve 1/2. Leftovers are awesome ;). I would’ve liked it to be served as a true appetizer though..it was served minutes before my meal.

My entree was Pondicherry spicy Dosa. Dosas are a southern specialty…A thin rice crepe cooked with no fat! This one was cooked with red spices & stuffed with a potato filling served with sambar (curry) & coconut chutney. Again, a large plate but sooo good.

And what drink to enjoy all this spicy food with…a beer of course! The restaurant serves beer & wine and the selection of Indian beers is nice. I tried Maharaja…my first time. Good light beer that went well with my meal.

And the restaurant is not expensive like perhaps Blue Taj. Now I love Blue Taj but inexpensive it’s not. Prices here are reasonable. Dosas are $7-$9 while the entrees are $14-$20. And it’s definitely family style portions.

Go & try it out soon! & tell me what you think about it.

Spice South on Urbanspoon

Italian with a new twist….I’ll pass!

If you’re in the Atlanta area and craving something new….please avoid this please!
As you may know now, I’m a foodie & I truly enjoy some good Italian food. So I was intrigued when my cousin suggested we try a new Italian place for dinner, Osteria del Figo. She’d heard great reviews from friends/co-workers so we decided to try it together.

As you may have read about another one of my reviews, Mirko, this restaurant has the same theme. In fact, I’m a little late in posting but this is the first restaurant we visited before heading to Mirko’s that night.

The restaurant, located at 1210 Howell Mill Rd NW, has an odd entrance but never the less, we made our way inside. Now the restaurant is small so if you have a large group, you may want to eat out on the patio. I did enjoy the look of the restaurant with the lights display, as if you were in a garden area.

When you enter the restaurant, you’re greeted at the door with the menus on the walls. There’s also a seasonal or specials menu posted & someone is waiting eagerly to get your order.

Now the twist, you select your meal and how it’s to be prepared! You have a number of pasta, proteins, & sauces to pick from and create your own meal! Sounds pretty cool. Since we had time to kill, we started with drinks only…seasonal drinks of course. We did order a bruschetta appetizer…mistake! The bread was so hard to bite into I thought I lost a tooth!

Now comes the part I didn’t like. While I enjoy sitting on the patio occasionally, the reason I don’t like to eat outside is because of the bugs, flies. Yes, I’m spoiled…if I wanted to eat with nature, I’d go back to India and not be here! So I prefer most of my meals inside as I did this day. However, it certainly didn’t feel like I was inside with the nats and creatures flying around! I’m sure the patio door being left open contributed to this lovely effect but when you look down and your food has a bug sitting on it, I’m turned off. So off we went elsewhere!

I’m a little surprised at the reviews of this place. While it has a cool concept, it’s not put together very well. On a quite night, we should not have to keep asking for plates, napkins, etc. And as we sat at 4 top table, as I like my room , the waiter did not clean off the rest of the table’s silver way or glasses. The manager (I presume) came later to do so when he made his rounds.

Definitely a fail in my book!

Happy eating everyone!

Osteria Del Figo on Urbanspoon

Mirko- Benvenuti a casa

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Decided to try a new Italian place with my sis recently with a new twist.  It’s a pasta place that allows you to create your own dish.  Kinda cool so off we went especially after the not so fun experience earlier.

 Mirko is located in a shopping center but don’t let that deter you.  It may look small from the outside but the dining area is quite large.  A small patio area is also available. 

We went on a Tuesday nite so the crowd consisted of families, couples, to college kids.  Attire is casual & the décor is quite nice though I could’ve done without the woven baskets on the walls.  Tuesday was also Ladies Nite with specials on drinks and a free dessert, said the sign outside.  Sadly, it was misleading as you needed to order 4 dinner entrees for the free dessert.

We were escorted quickly to a booth & our waiter, Nick, also arrived quickly.  Being our first time, Nick was happy to share the menu & concept with us.  An added bonus, he shared his favorite dishes too.  Check out his pic!

While waiting for our meals, we were treated to rolls and bean dip (white bean dip with celery and garlic).  Definitely a pass, bean dip was blah & very thick.  I would’ve been happy with butter for my rolls, they were good!

Being a cheese lover, of course I went for the 4 cheese ravioli with a pomodoro sauce (classic Italian tomato and basil sauce) and pesto sauce.  Sis tried the spinach ravioli & funghi sauce (Funghi wild mushrooms, cream and parmesan).  The ravioli dish arrived with 4 large raviolis with the pesto on the side.  At first bite, I got a cold and not quite finished piece of ravioli.  In trying the others though, they were much warmer though the edges felt like they weren’t cooked all the way.  By the way, the pastas are all made fresh every day at Mirko’s.   Once Nick arrived with extra cheese on top, the dish was even better.  If you are a mushroom lover, then definitely try the funghi sauce because it’s loaded with mushrooms.  Definitely a fulfilling dish. 

As the drinks go, be aware they serve beer and wine which was enough for me.  I tried the Labrochuse that was a special that nite.  In essence, a red wine with fizz.  Not bad. 

A place I’d definitely try again soon & maybe this time I’ll have enough room for dessert.

Go try it out soon & ask for Nick….he was awesome!  Then again, the customer service was phenomenal. 

 

 

 

Let’s go to India

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In a lurch recently when I found this place Passage to India. I had no intention of eating there but considering it was lunch time & the group wanted Indian only, it became the go to place. After all, it was almost 2 & 4 hungry women can be dangerous 😉

Located in a small strip mall, you’d miss the place if you didn’t know about it. After an odd entrance, you are immediately seated. But don’t be too surprised, this place is very small & is often packed with students (UNCC is around the corner).

Lunch, as in most Indian restaurants, means buffet time. Though I did call ahead to see if ordering from the menu was allowed (sometimes it’s not). Yes was the response esp. for my fav Dosas. Imagine my surprise when we showed up & I tried to do just that but was told no 😦 except for 1-2 dishes). The staff really should know what is allowed.
We did order one dish from the menu that mom & I enjoy lots, idly sambar. Served with coconut chutney & sambar it’s a hit! The spice was just right in the sambar (lentils curry). The coconut chutney, which I normally like, had a tang that didn’t go well with the coconut. Ick!
The buffet was quite nice & large, from several desserts to veg & non veg dishes. Since it was a meat less day, I tried my go to anywhere, paneer. The dish is diced homemade cottage cheese cooked with tomato & almond cream sauce. It was OK with rice & nan. Nan is a staple at every Indian restaurant. The chana lentils weren’t that great…very bland with no seasoning and very runny. Definitely pass! The pakoras (fried critters with potatoes, peas, and peppers) was not the best. But my little niece, who loves any pakoras, ate em right up. Wish I could tell you all about the meat dishes , perhaps next time. However, looking around @ the other tables, must have been good. The others were devouring the meat dishes like it was on sale wait clearance haha The restaurant offers Indo Chinese…very nice! I’ll have to try the next time back. Dishes like GOBI MANCHURIAN[WITH , VEGETABLE CHOWMEIN, & CHICKEN FRIED RICE sound yummy!

I ended the meal with Gulab Jamun dessert. (fried cheese balls soaked in flavored sugar syrup). What a sugar rush & nice, warm.

Prices are good. Buffet is $6.99 during wkdays & 9.99 on wknds.

Defiantly worth a try!

9510 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28213(704) 549-1886