Kennesaw: La Parrilla

on Monday, June 28, 2010 in , , ,
I try to eat out only during the week, but I can't help sampling some home town favs as well. A place I have been frequenting for quite some time is a local Mexican chain here in the Georgia area called La Parrilla.

It's amazing how many Mexican restaurants there are all over the city. It speaks volumes to our want for the flavors south of the border. By no means am I an expert on what real Mexican food is supposed to be, but I can speak to what tastes good. This place is exactly that: REALLY GOOD.

I have not spent much time in Mexico but the food here has those bold flavors and spices you hear about. Cilantro, smoked peppers, cheesy goodness, jalepenos, garlic, onions...its all there. Here is a sample of some of the items ordered of the menu on Saturday for lunch.

On this trip (okay, fine, on all of our trips to La Parrilla), we started with the Cheese Dip. The large bowl will easily be enough for two, but let this serve as a warning that it is addictive! It comes with or without diced, pickled jalapenos, however I always request freshly chopped jalapenos that they bring on the side to add a nice, fresh crunch.

Next we ordered the Chicken Fajitas which have seasoned chicken with cheese, green peppers, mushroom and onions and are accompanied by rice, refried beans and some other garnishes like gaucomole, sour cream and salsa. As you can see, the portions are huge although they do have a Monday - Friday lunch menu/portions but the full entree portions make for great leftovers.

We also ordered from their veggie menu and got a combo which included a potato enchilada and cheese enchilda with mexican rice. I topped it all off with a carne asada taco as a little extra. I can't help it! Had to sample as much as I could for the blog! The red sauce that smothers the enchilada is delicious. The potato enchilda is something I have not had before but a great alternative to those looking for a veggie meal. My wife has sampled their spinach enchiladas and really enjoyed them in the past. The chesse at this place is great. I need to confirm, but I swear the last time we asked we were told it had mozzarella in it, among others. I know doesn't sound right but thats what she said.

Been coming here a while and have to say the only negative experience I have had on the menu are the fish tacos. However, other then that item everything else is crazy good and the staff very nice, making sure you get a tast of Mexican hospitality!


New Orleans: Red Fish Grill

on Saturday, June 26, 2010 in ,
Red Fish Grill

I'll just say it - I'm not a big fan of the Quarter. However, my hotel last week was nearby so it drew me in. I didn't feel like driving anywhere for food so I took a walk and headed into a restaurant that I have heard good things about.

Red Fish Grill has a good reputation and offers a nice bar area for casual dining and for the more refined a more polished seating area with white table cloths. Being solo on the road, I opted for the bar to watch a little of the college world series and grab some grub.

I started with an interesting dish called Dueling Red Meats. It is an amazing array of sashimi tuna and filet. The filet is sliced thin and wrapped around the sashimi creating a nice combo of layers I wouldn't imagine together. Here is a picture:

The accompanying sauces were a horseradish blend that was not very spicy, and the green sauce seemed to be a diluted purée of fresh herbs. It was a good start to the experience.

For the main entree I tried the Blackened Red Fish. It was on a bed of parsnip purée that looked and tasted like creamy mashed potato with a side of fresh green beans and potato crisps on top. They called them fries, however they aren't what I think of as French Fries. Here is a picture:

The dish was awesome and cooked perfectly. The blackened crust adds a little bit of crunch and is seasoned to perfection to compliment the other flavors on the dish.

Red Fish is light and flaky and to me ranks right up there with the halibut, and haddock. I am not sure if this is their signature dish but it's the most ordered entree according to the staff. I recommend the bbq'd oysters as well. They would make for a great appetizer for a group of people.

When in New Orleans, bread pudding is a must. Such a classic dish and they have perfected it in New Orleans. The Red Fish Grill has their own great spin on this dish - The Double Chocolate Bread Pudding. It takes a little while to prep so order it early - it comes out piping hot. The bread is chocolate goodness. Then it comes equipped with two toppings of chocolate sauce, white and dark. Drizzle on both and enjoy! It is fantastic and I could easily have it for breakfast lunch and dinner.

If you are in the area, stop by and at the very least eat the bread pudding, my fav dish!

Red Fish Grill on Urbanspoon


New Orleans: Drago's

on Saturday, June 26, 2010 in ,
Hi there,

Sorry for the absence the last few days. With the close of my fiscal quarter I needed to take care of some business to ensure we have great places to eat at coming up here in Q3.

Last week I happened to be in an amazing city when it comes to food. New Orleans is such a diverse and resilient city. It overcame adversity of all kinds with Hurricane Katrina and now the oil spill. Yet the people fight on and welcome tourists by the droves to enjoy the Cajun and Creole cooking, boasting some of the best restaurants in the USA.

Gulf oysters are just amazing. They have a certain taste that is distinct, not too salty and just sweet enough. Because of the spill many restaurants have had to add a surcharge to their dishes to support the inflated costs of procuring these delights now that the waters have become very limited for the fishing industry.

In the face of adversity, one place that has the best is Drago's. Not only can you enjoy them in the raw but this place was the first to char grill the oysters. Have a look.

I didn't think there was another way to eat these other then raw, with a little horseradish and shrimp cocktail sauce. Man, was I wrong! This is a little piece of heaven on a plate. The seasonings and creamy cheese all get rolled up into the smoky charred flavors of the grill. I could easily eat a few dozen of these without blinking. The menu is actually pretty big and has a lot of seafood offerings that are very tempting. Regardless, the oysters take the starring role. Put this on your list of places to visit!

Drago's Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Kennesaw: Penang

on Saturday, June 19, 2010 in , ,
The last week I actually got stay in Georgia which was a nice, welcome break from the daily grind of travel. I'm hoping to visit some great spots this coming week as I head out to New York and New Orleans. Please be sure to check back and as always I welcome suggestions.

Tonight we went out for dinner at an amazing restaurant right here in good ole Kennesaw. It's called Penang...that's right not exactly southern comfort food! Well, let me tell you: It may not southern but it is all about comfort and boasts an eclectic menu featuring the best Malaysian-style cooking one could have. What exactly is Malaysian? To me it is the best combo of Indian, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese styles of cooking and flavors. Here is a link to the website and the menu.


When you hit the site you will see a variety of locations and while the Georgia location is not on the site their menu is identical. Not sure how the food tastes at the other locations but here in Kennesaw it is nothing short of fantastic.

We were greeted by the nicest folks welcoming us as if into their home. All the staff there are friendly and willing to help out with narrowing the broad menu selection. We decided to start with the Roti Canai, which are Crispy Indian-style pancakes with curry chicken dipping sauce. This stuff is a bowl of curry goodness...the roti is flaky and buttery, and dipping it into the curry is the perfect compliment of flavors and textures. We were mopping up the bowl trying to get every last drop! Here is a picture:

Once our palates were ready we wanted them to bring on the onslaught of spices and flavors. We tried a variety of items to get a sense of what they could offer. Our main entrees included the following: boneless curry chicken, pad Thai with chicken, sizzling beef plate, and veggie fried rice. Here are pics of all the delights:

Now those of you who know me understand that I like to keep it simple. So am I not going to do the foo foo detailed explanation of each dish. Here is what you need to know: The food is out of this world. Everything above is amazing. If you don't like it I think your IQ is in question. After sampling each I had strong desire to get up and hug all of the staff to thank them for such an amazing meal!

If you are local, make the trip out to this place, you will not be disappointed!

Penang on Urbanspoon
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Atlanta: Fresh to Order

on Sunday, June 13, 2010 in , ,

The weekend for me usually means a lot of lying around and catching up from a busy week by spending time at home with wifey and the puppy. Recently, she went out with her girlfriends and raved about a place called Fresh to Order. I checked out their website, but wasn't overly impressed. Sometimes, though, you have to go with the recommendations of other...especially if it comes from your wife.

So, we took off on Saturday afternoon headed to the Cumberland Mall location. It's a cool little joint that has a simple menu of refreshing salads and paninis. They also have main entrees that they call long plates. CLICK HERE to view the menu.

While something like a slightly fancier version of Panera, it does not have as diverse a menu. What they serve, though, seems to be good and Fresh to Order. I chose a veggie panini that had Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Onions, Kalamata Tapenade, Avocado, Grilled Squash, Feta Cheese, with a Balsamic Vinaigrette. Here is a picture:

It was pretty good - the combo of veggies with the grilled ciabatta was perfect. The portion sizes were decent and one sandwich is definitely enough to fill up the hunger tank. My wife had a half sandwich/half soup combo. The tomato bisque was decent. It was creamy and sweet using good ingredients to create a simple, delicious cup of soup. Her sandwich was the Asian Chicken Crunch; Almond Rosemary Crusted Chicken, Ginger Apricot Slaw, Avocado Aioli. Here is a pic:

Overall a really decent place, for the price you can't go wrong. It is one of the best choices fir a quick, healthy meal!

Location:Liberty View Ct,Acworth,United States

F2O Fresh To Order on Urbanspoon


Orlando: Moon Fish

on Friday, June 11, 2010 in , ,

Wrapping up a nice week in Florida. Met with some great customers and they all gave me some options for dining in Orlando that were rat-free! I ended up heading to a place called Moon Fish which is known for their seafood! I was accompanied by two customers and we were ready for a nice meal, I will post pics a little later, but you can use the link above to the menu.

We started with the sushi appetizer that was made up of a King Crab California roll, a Spicy Tuna tartare, a Super Crunchy roll with crab and smoked salmon that was lightly fried in panko bread crumbs. Following this we each had house salads that were nothing special but was made just right and had warm bread with nice soft butter that came along with it.

And now on to the main course. It was hard enough to choose from the expansive menu but then the daily specials threw me for a loop. Ever been in a situation where you spend so much time figuring out what you want and then bam the specials come out and just make you second guess your original selection?! My selection was a Chilean sea bass encrusted in lobster mousse sitting on a bed of schezuan sting beans in a soy sauce glaze. It was pretty fantastic. The lobster mousse was broiled on top to give it a nice crust while the sea bass was tender and absolutely delicious.

Moon Fish is a great restaurant with a diverse menu for anyone's tastes. With steak, sushi or seafood you can take your pick! I will definitely return and I'm looking forward to the next trip out there
Moonfish on Urbanspoon


Miami: Mango's Tropical Cafe

on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 in , ,

I am very lucky to travel into some really cool cities like Miami. It is such a melting pot of cultures that blends right on over on to your plate during every meal. The heavy Cuban influence adds the Latin and Caribbean flare to meals. The city is also a playground for the international community, you rarely hear anyone speaking English in the streets! French, German, eastern European visitors have spurred a scene that in my mind has changed over the last few years to a more sophisticated crowd with just as distinguished tastes for food.

Or so I thought! Yes the scene is cool, the people beautiful, I met up with a good friend from Germany and was expecting to head out to a nice meal, maybe nobu? Nooooo. When we discussed where to eat Cuban food came up! Just as I was going to ask for recommendations, a cab was ordered and we were on our way to Mango's! Oh boy.

Like any restaurants on the drive they hock menus at you try and get you in the door with their specials and prime beach side seating. Mango's is definitely a main stay on the strip. The food is ok, it's really just glorified bar food with hints of the Latin flavors.

I had the shrimp Al ajillo pictured below. It's description is a traditional Spanish dish with shrimp, in garlic wine sauce, with plantains lightly fried and rice and black beans. Like I said wasn't that bad but certainly did not scream Latin/Cuban to me. Oh well good friends, drinks food, a good time was had by all and my German friend was happy, that's all that matters!
Mango's Tropical Café on Urbanspoon


This Week: Florida

on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 in , ,
Well, just about bed time and gettin' ready for travels this week to Miami and Orlando. What's funny is that as I am getting ready for bed I am sitting here watching the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" (profiles celeb chefs' fav places to eat). Nothing has come up in the areas where I am headed. There should be no shortage of places in Miami so I am looking forward to trying something new and exciting there. As for Orlando, it is so touristy that I don't think I've ever had a memorable meal there. I am always open to suggestions so please feel free to help me out if you know of any must-eat places.

Regardless, I should find something note worthy. Talk soon.


I am back! Marlow's Tavern

on Sunday, June 06, 2010 in , ,

It has been a really long time but I gotta get better at this - I feel it is an injustice to not write about all the places I get to eat at during my busy weeks traveling. From now on...one entry every day while I am on the road. This is my commitment to you!

Today was Marlow's Tavern in Kennesaw, GA. We have eaten here before but couldn't remember if it was good or bad. Forgettable? Well, we decided to find out. To my surprise it was really nice. I like the decor and feel of the place. It brings a modern edge to the tavern with an upscale look and feel but not upscale prices.

We started with a tavern fav - homemade Kettle Chips topped with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce and a nice little tomato salsa. Chips were piping hot and salted just right so as not to be overly salty.

Wife had a chicken queso soup with tortilla strips. It was very close to a chicken tortilla soup, the portion size was just right and the flavors were fantastic! Creamy with right hint of heat. I had the blackened tilipia fish tacos. Not bad, but not great either. The fish was great, although, I would like to see a meatier white fish like cod, or mahi mahi. They topped it with lettuce, but for a true fish taco, it should be garnished with a cabbage slaw. There was a chile sauce that added some nice flavors and I also requested some sriracha sauce which really hit the spot!

Marlow's Tavern on Urbanspoon

A quick lunch but I liked it. A definite spot I would return to with friends to grab some grub and catch the game on one of their many flat screen TV and cool bar.