La Mei Zi


Crab Roe with Napa Cabbage?  We’ll definitely be back for a taste.  We weren’t expecting a buffet.  We’re not fans of the buffet, in general.

But, this was good…. really good.

Sadly, we weren’t all that hungry when we arrived.  We were intending to try a little bite or two off the menu.  But, the buffet was offered so enthusiastically and eagerly.  We couldn’t resist.  The sesame chicken was extremely rich, yet delicious.  We both enjoyed the eggplant.  And, the spicy tofu with scallions and celery was incredibly satisfying for a tofu dish and quite tasty.  After the first bite or two, we were wishing that we were ravenous.  In the end, there were just many dishes that went untasted.  But, we can’t wait to return.  Smoky, rich plum juice and tea are offered to drink with your meal.

Charming place and the staff was lovely, love it!

La Mei Zi Asian Bistro
(La Mei Zi GA)
5150 Buford Highway
Doraville, GA  30340
770 676 0225

Nam Phuong — Bo Tai Chanh

Bò Tái Chanh

Bo Tai Chanh

Slivers of beef, a blend of chopped herbs (mint, cilantro, Thai basil, and at least one mystery herb), roasted peanuts, red onions, white onions, sweet red pepper slices, sweet yellow pepper slices, deep fried garlic and shallots top shredded iceberg lettuce.

And, we must say this is a great use for iceberg lettuce.  The added crunch is lovely.

Bò Lúc Lắc
(Bo Luc Lac)
Vietnamese Shaking Beef

We swear it just gets better.  Every time we order this dish at Nam Phuong, we’d swear it was better than the last.  There’s a gorgeous color on the outside of each beef cube with perfectly medium rare interiors.

Goi Du Du Tom Thit
Gỏi đu đủ tôm thịt
(Papaya Salad With Shrimp & Pork)


And, it’s crunchy fresh delicious perfection… as always.

From start to finish, this was one seriously divine summer meal.

Nam Phuong
(Nam Phuong Atlanta)
5495 Jimmy Carter Blvd.
Norcross, GA  30093
770 409 8686

Bittermens’ & Bar Keep

Bittermens’ Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Joaquín Simó for Death & Co., New York City
(Courtesy of Bittermens’ Website)

2 oz Ron Zacapa Solera 23 Rum
½ barspoon Sugar Cane Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon Twist
Absinthe Rinse (or Herbsaint or Ricard)

Fill a double old fashioned glass with ice and a small amount of Absinthe. Stir the Rum, Sugar Cane Syrup and bitters in an ice filled shaker glass. Dump the ice from the old fashioned glass and rotate the glass to ensure that the rinse coats the entire inside of the glass. Strain into the glass.

Bittermens’ Bitter

Bar Keep Apple & Lavender Bitters

True Outlaw
(Courtesy of Green Bar Craft Distillery Website)

1½ oz TRU organic gin
¾ oz FRUITLAB organic orange liqueur
1 oz organic fresh lemon sour
6 dashes BAR KEEP organic Lavender bitters

Shake and strain into coupe.

Green Bar Craft Distillery
Bar Keep

Both brands (and prices shown) are available at Earth Fare.

(On a side note, Earth Fare has a decent beer selection, too.)

El Boulevard

Oxtail Stew

With Black Beans & Rice

Stewed Beef With Red And Green Peppers

Passion Fruit (In Front) & Soursop Juice

The options vary on a daily basis.

El Boulevard Restaurant & Lounge
1200 Rockbridge Road
Norcross, GA 30093
470 255 2198

Branch House Tavern

The Smok Stack Burger

Pulled pork, cheddar and slaw top the smoke stack burger.  And, we enjoyed the option of a baked potato (even if we were way too stuffed to actually eat it) with our burger.

Karaoke on Wednesdays, if you’re in the area and that’s your thing.

Branch House Tavern
5466 McEver Road
Flowery Branch, GA  30542
678 828 8345

Pho Dai Loi 3 — Mi Thap Cam

Mi Thap Cam

Or, Hu Tieu Mi Thap Cam
(Or, Hủ Tiếu Thập Cẩm)

Just looking at that piece of gorgeously tender chicken makes us crave a return visit.  The slivers of chicken were so tender, moist and full of flavor.  We’re ready for cooler weather.  And, bowls of Pho Dai Loi’s Phở Gà.

There was a generous portion of roast pork and at least three quail eggs, too.

Sure, it’s in the 90s outside.  But, inside it’s cool in the air conditioning.  So, it’s hard to turn down a bowl filled with all that goodness.  There were plenty of deep fried shallot slivers and crispy pork skin pieces in our bowl.  They aren’t seen in the picture above since they were hiding under all of that freshly chopped cilantro.  The crunch was lost.  Still, they were tasty additions to this feast in a bowl.

Fresh Herbs…

…and sprouts, too


Com Tam Thit Nuong Trung Ga

Similar names (and, they’re all good), but, each dish is different.

If in doubt, check out the illustrations.

Pho Dai Loi 3
1500 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA  30096
770 381 1415

Jerusalem Bakery

Jerusalem Bakery Mixed Platter

With Beef & Chicken Shawarma

The Jerusalem Bakery sampler platter comes with a portion of hummus, baba ghanough (or baba ghanoush, or baba ghanouj, or baba ghanoug), tabuleh salad, tomato slices and rice.

Chicken Shawarma On Hummus

This generous portion of chicken shawarma was served with pita bread, olives, a drizzle of olive oil, tomato slices and pickled vegetables.

It’s all good… so very good.  And, it’s made even better by fresh pitas warm from the oven.

Another visit, another delicious meal… it’s always worth the drive.

Jerusalem Bakery & Grill
4150 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA  30005
770 777 0193

No Mas! Cantina

Camarones Alambres

If you’re starving, this more than fits the bill.

Grilled shrimp on sugar cane skewers and fried sweet plantains top a large square of sweet corn cake.  We would have preferred significantly less sauce.  It’s a bit too sweet coupled with the sweet plantains.  But, those sweet plantains were cooked to perfection with dark caramelized edges.  Dark, but, not burnt… just as sweet fried plantains should be.

Salmon Del Diablo

The zucchini and squash were significantly under cooked (bordering on raw).  And, the salmon was cooked well beyond it’s prime.

Chips and salsa, it was a nice way to start our meal.  Charred vegetables add a nice depth of flavor to No Mas! Cantina’s salsa.  We’ll be making a return visit for that salsa, too.

And, to finish…

Passion Picante

Simply put, this was a tropical holiday in cocktail form.  It was quite sweet.  But, those pepper flecks lace that sweetness with a mild spicy tingle that carries you beyond the sugar rush, we both loved it.

Guava Margarita

Do you like the glass?  Buy it.  On the spot or check out the variety of glassware right next door.  These glasses are available in a number of shapes and sizes… just a few steps away…

Wander into the connected space… Adios Cafe and check it out.

No Mas! Cantina
180 Walker Street
Atlanta, GA  30313
404 574 5678

Top O’ The River

Cornbread  & Cole Slaw

As you sit down, you’re immediately presented with a sizzling hot cast iron pan filled to the brim with golden brown cornbread, cole slaw, and pickled onions.  You place your drink orders and start to nibble.

Cornbread and pickled onions, we both loved them.  The fresh (sweet) onions were still crispy, yet lightly pickled.  The spicy tang and crispy, cold bite of the onions were just what this sizzling hot, old school cornbread needed to keep our interest.

Yep, we ordered it.

We’re not exactly sure what we were thinking.  We weren’t even hungry after just one wedge of that seriously hearty cornbread.

The largest seafood platter in the world came with fried catfish fillets.

And, the fried catfish platter comes with not one or two whole catfish.  Oh no, it’s a giant platter of fries topped with three whole deep fried catfish that were golden brown and crispy on the outside.  Inside, it was tender, flake at the fork’s first touch goodness.


…spicy white northern beans, too.

The crab?  Well, it was just as we expected it to be.  It was crab in the Krab with a K family.  The boiled shrimp were a bit over-cooked, a touch on the rubbery side and cold.  But, we still sort of loved the charm of this place more than a little bit.  It was a journey into another era.  And, we really enjoyed our trip.  We’d happily return if we’re ever in the area again.

Within minutes of opening their doors, just about every spot in this restaurant’s parking lot was full.  We know this for a fact because we initially arrived at 3:50pm.  The parking lot was empty and they were closed.  We drove around looking for another place to eat.  We gave up and returned to Top O’ the River at approximately 4:10pm.  (They open at 4pm on Saturdays.)  And, we grabbed the last spot in front of the building.  So… We guess it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re passing through Anniston, this is the place to go for catfish.

Top O’ The River
3330 McClellan Blvd
Anniston, AL  35901
256 238 0097

Dive Land Park

Dive Land Park
(Glencoe, Alabama)

It’s a little diving oasis.

Dive Land Park
401 Websters Chapel Road
Glencoe, Alabama
256 492 4455