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.

 

 

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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

food

passage
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

You had me at Pizza…..Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar

Goat Cheese Pizza

Goat Cheese Pizza

pizza

 I’m a foodie…I enjoy no love food!  And there are some foods that I can’t get enough of….Pizza being at the top of that list.  So when I was invited out for GNO to Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar, it was a no brainer Yes!

Located in Phillips Place near the Palm Restaurant, it’s a great eclectic restaurant.  Parking in the area is not great so get there early to find a spot.  The restaurant is nice & large with the bar located up front with limited seating around it & the main dining room is located behind the bar.

The service is good but we didn’t see our waitress too often once the restaurant started to fill up.  We met up at 5:30 and by the time we left, a few hours later, the restaurant was booming.  The golf after hours event across the street helped bring in the people too.

The drinks were great and the waitress was very knowledgeable in helping us decide what we wanted, with the help with the floor manager.  My choice is always vodka so I tried the Razz Ale (vodka, raspberry liquer, fresh raspberries, & ginger ale).  It was yum!  The waitress got it right!  There were other great drinks ordered by the table like The Back 9 and Prosecco cocktail.  And all were nicely priced…which always a plus too!

Appetizers followed next like roasted cauliflower and white beans & kale.   The roasted cauliflower was very good with bread crumbs and pepperoncini.  I enjoyed seconds too!  I didn’t care for the kale and white beans as the kale seemed bitter.  Normally known to be bitter, either you have to acquire a taste for it or have it cooked where the bitterness goes away.  Some good spices like tumerin, red pepper, and some haldi would help in that.  But I enjoyed the experience of trying something different.  After all, you don’t know what you like unless you try it!

Of course, with it being a pizza bar I had to have a pizza.  Wolfgang Puck has an eclectic menu of pizzas like potato & egg, roasted eggplant, clam & garlic to name a few.  I gave the goat cheese a try with marina sauce (traditionally served with pesto but as usual I have to change it up).  All the pizzas were thin sliced and nice & large, 6 slices with a great toasty crust.  I tried a slice of margherita pizza too and yet another delish pie.  The basil brought out the taste of the cheese and san marzano tomato sauce.  After consuming so much food, there was no space for dessert, that will be next time!

If you’re in the Southpark area, make sure to stop by this great restaurant!