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.

 

 

Dine with the Dead!

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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

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.