From My Table

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Laura Biscardi, artist of the month for NGL

My friend Laura is a phenomenal artist, and will soon have art hanging in a living room near you. Be the first on your block to put this up so you can say "I knew her when..."

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Lunchtime and I find myself in Buckhead, near the Terminus building. I had eaten a pretty stout breakfast, and I was pressed for time, so I thought I would go light for lunch. If I was not to eat a large portion, my choice needed to be a healthy one.

I stepped into Yogurberry.

There were some pretty low numbers on the Nutrition Facts board.
Twenty five calories per ounce, of which five come from fat! The team there also told me that their yogurt had other health benefits, such as a special ingredient that helps with digestion and weight loss.

That all being understood, I expected a "treat" with little taste. I was wrong. With twenty-two flavors and a myriad of fresh, healthy toppings (as well as the candy toppings), Yogurberry is anything BUT lacking in flavor.

I opted for a Taro/Plain twist with blueberry toppings. My friend JT chose to try a raspberry smoothie with raspberries on top. I am not sure who got the better treat.

Taro is an interesting flavor. Think blueberry with a twist of citrus. Adding the blueberries as a topping was a natural fit, and a delicious accessory.

The health benefits alone make this a good "quick lunch" choice. Yogurberry delivers to points inside the perimeter, and provides free WiFi to its patrons. All this with no preservatives and zero guilt.

If you are looking for a treat, or a delicious dessert, or even a lunchtime substitute, I recommend giving Yogurberry a try!

Yogurberry is located in Atlanta at 3280 Peachtree Rd NE, which is the Terminus Bldg. Parking is free when under two hours (ask for a validation ticket). Step out of the parking garage, go right, and there it is!

Yogurberry Frozen Yogurt & Smoothies (Terminus, Buckhead) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fickle Pickle

I have GOT to go back to this place, and soon!

Just the other day, I met some friends for a casual business lunch at Fickle Pickle in Roswell. This place is a gem. It is carved into an older home, with dining areas occupying what used to be bedrooms and sitting rooms. The hardwood floors are complimented by the dark painted walls, adorned with the artwork of many local artists.

The ordering is done deli-style, complete with the huge menu board and the smiling "what'll you have?". Intelligently, the staff places the Red Velvet Cupcakes front and center just before you get to order.

When ordering, it is important to make sure a serving of fried pickles will be delivered. Unless you have an army with you, get the half serving. The important thing is to get some. The pickles are fried Cajun style with Remoulade sauce, and are a must have!

The menu is full of comfort-food type sandwiches and salads as well as a handful of dinner entrees that look very appealing. The kids are not left out, as the menu gives a wide variety of smaller portioned meals.

One of my friends ordered the Chicken Salad, which is normally offered on a croissant, but she opted to go without the croissant. The Chicken Salad that she got was plenty of food to satisfy an afternoon, especially when coupled with a choice of soup as a side. Fickle Pickle's Chicken Salad is made with hazelnuts, dried cherries, celery and taragon. I almost wish I had ordered it. Almost.

Across from me, my other friend ordered the Roasted Vegetable Sandwich. Served on sourdough bread, the Roasted Vegetable Sandwich comes with portobello mushroom, zucchini and red pepper along with a side order of your choice. Another one I almost wish I'd ordered. Almost.

Finally, my plate. First I'll say it was more food than I needed. Then I will say I am glad. I ordered the Creole Cuban. Smoked ham and turkey, Swiss cheese, Cajun pickles and Creole remoulade sauce on grilled sourdough. I had the potato salad as my side dish. That sandwich was well worth my time and energy, as well as my money.

Cap off all that food with a smart array of dessert treats that include some of the best cookies and cakes I have had in a while, and lunch is complete. All that is missing is a nap.

Friends, chef Andy Badgett has done something special here. he has helped us come back to main street with a gourmet menu in a down-home setting complete with catering and party services. I can't wait to try Fickle Pickle's sibling, Relish!, but that's another review.

Fickle Pickle on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lenox Square Grill

A while back, I had the privilege to attend a function at Lenox Square Grill.

The approach was forbidding. The edifice is that of a high-dollar restaurant, and the fact that they offered valet parking made me clench my wallet.

By driving thirty feet further, I found I could park my own car. As I stepped inside, I saw the white linen, the high ceilings and dark wood. I saw the impressive bar and the fit, sharp looking servers. I gripped my wallet.

I was seated at a large table. The candle flickered. The impression of my fingers on my wallet was deepening. My server brought me the menu.

I am here to tell you to fear not.

I ordered a burger, fries and a coke. A very good burger, I will add. Tax included, $7.72. I could eat at McD's for that price, but not many other places, and certainly not in Buckhead.

That was on a Thursday night. Why wasn't the place packed? The staff seemed happy. The ambiance was great. The service was very good and the prices great.

I'm thinking it's the forbidding front. Do yourself a favor. Drive thirty feet down the road and park your own car. Pay not attention to the high ceiling, white-linened, dark wood dining room. Ignore the great looking staff. Just ask for a menu.

Lenox Square Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Genki Noodles & Sushi

A short while ago, I had the distinct privilege of visiting Genki's Prado location in Sandy Springs. Genki Noodles & Sushi opened its doors first in Buckhead back in 1996, a week before the start of the Olympics in Atlanta. Thirteen years later, in October of 2009, the Prado location began serving its patrons.

The website refers to the word Genki as having the meaning "a happy and warm feeling". Genki's dining room proves the description. Wide open with a long bar, fish tanks and bright colors, this is definitely a place to bring the family early and a date later. Kids are right at home watching the brightly colored fish in one tank and jellyfish in another.

The tables are simply set, some booths offer privacy, and some tables allow you to be a part of the party. The open, airy dining room is like a friendly smile, welcoming and comfortable.

The menu is broad so that everyone can find food to their liking. Price points range from $3 - 11 for soups and salads. Tuna specialties go for $13.95, "Tuna Symphony" for $35. You can create your own noodle bowl at a wide range of prices from $9 - 18. The menu goes on and on, with specialty and traditional sushi rolls too numerous to list.

I started with Somen noodles with sweet soy and sesame seeds. This dish is served cold and is delicious. I followed that with Hamachi Kama, a Japanese delicacy, which is marinated and grilled yellowtail cheek. I found it to be particularly tasty and enjoyable. The bones are long, and relatively easy to avoid.

After the Hamachi Kama, I went on to try the Goma Beef. This is a bowl of grilled beef, stir fried with julienne vegetables in a spicy sesame sauce, served over ramen noodles. The goma beef was very good, spiced just perfectly, with fresh, crisp veggies.

Not done yet. On came the sushi. A beautiful plate with Poker Face Roll, a combination of Ahi Poki, cucumber and avocado with escolar, red and black tobiko and wasabi cream. As most of you know, I am not a sushi pro, but this was very good.

Now, you have to wash all this food down with something. Genki offers a wide variety of drinks, including a good selection of Sake. Whatever you choose, you can't miss. Every week, Genki offers up "Wine Wednesday", giving you a choice of very affordable bottles from $12 - 24 which becomes even more affordable when shared among friends.

At the Buckhead location, Monday nights are "Sake and Spin", when Genki's own DJ Heather b spins away as the restaurant offers up $10 Sake flights and $2 Sake shots.

Genki will deliver within a three mile radius of each location, and offers great lunch specials for under $10. Catering and private party packages are available as well. Watch for upcoming events like the "Prado Patio Crawl" on April 29th. The restaurants of the Prado will combine to make that a memorable event.

This visit to Genki was delicious and pleasant. I will be back for more...

Genki Noodles & Sushi on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sweet Melissa's

Choosing a restaurant in Decatur is tough. In a small area, there are a half dozen places that could make me feel happy and full. Just walk past the array of them and the aromas will drive you to open a door and order.

Today, I chose Sweet Melissa's.

When my family and I stepped in, I immediately sensed a problem. My family likes privacy, and that was obviously out of the question. The place was packed, and the tables were close enough together that conversations and company could easily be shared.

Upon selecting a table, our fears were assuaged. We realized that here, communal dining is the norm, necessary, and somehow right. From the name of the place, an obvious reference to the Allman Brothers, to the well worn floors and tables, and the modern day hippie attire and attitude of the servers, this place felt like home.

Well past brunch, this was definitely time to order lunch. I scanned the list of sandwiches, had a decision made, and then a server brought a breakfast dish to the table next to us. Quickly, the menu popped back open, and I selected a breakfast fit for a starving hippie.

I ordered the Goose's Delight omelet. Three eggs, bacon, ham, salami, pepperoni and cheddar jack. The omelet was incredible. The cheese had to be cut to eat it. The biscuit on the side was huge and real. No assembly line here. I could taste the flour.

Now if only I can convince them to open up for dinner....

Sweet Melissa's on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 26, 2010

Schroeder's New Deli

On a short lunch break, what is quicker and more satisfying than a good deli? For a little more than the price of a fast food meal, I got some very good food at Schroeder's New Deli on Martha Berry Highway in Armuchee (Rome), Ga. By the way, if you don't say it "ArMURchee" be prepared to be corrected. It seems the founding fathers left out the r when they named the town after the local native american tribe.

This is the second of three Schroeder's, the first being on Broad in Rome and the third in Cartersville. The restaurant is a local favorite, with a beach-like feel, and food that befits both the theme and the geographic area. Music from the 60's plays overhead, and portraits of The Beatles, Joplin, The Who and Hendrix among others hang on the walls.

Before I start on the food, I must say that the staff seems to really enjoy their work. To me, that is the mark of good management and a cornerstone of good service. Keep 'em happy, Schroeder's!

According to the staff, three food items hold the throne at Schroeder's. Fried Mushrooms, Fried Pickles and the Roast Beef Relief sandwich. I am not a huge fan of mushrooms, but I did enjoy the fried pickle spears and the Roast Beef Relief. The Ham Roll was also good. I am told they have decent pizza, but I didn't try it.

I will, though. Because I will be back.

Schroeder's New Deli on Urbanspoon