Chuy’s

And, last but not least, the Elvis shrine…

The Elvis Shrine

Oh, yeah, there’s food, too… like this nachos bar.

The Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken

Breaded with crushed potato chips, topped with shredded cheese and served with canned pickled jalapeños on the side, it’s clear that this place is more about the Tex than the Mex.

Steak Burrito with Hatch Green Chile Sauce

The surrounding kitsch rubs off onto the food.  There’s a distinctively weird retro thing going on with the food here.  Maybe it’s the canned jalapeños, but, we both think this is probably what tex-mex food of the 50′s (or 60′s… or 70′s) tasted like.

And Charro Beans

Jalapeño Ranch Dip for the Chips

Chuy’s, they’re doing their part to keep Austin (and now Atlanta) weird!

Chuy’s
118 Perimeter Center West
Atlanta, GA 30346
770 351 7777

Bocado

Spindrift Sparkling Blackberry Soda

8 Blackberries & A Squeeze of Lemon

The scent of fresh blackberries hit both of us before ever taking a sip.  You really can see specks of blackberry in the bottle and suspended in the soda.  We both fell in love with this fresh tasting soda that had loads of tart blackberry flavor with a lovely touch of lemon.

What’s for Lunch?

Pressed Short Rib Sandwich with Gruyere & Preserved Tomatoes

Served with a Leafy Green Salad Dressed in Balsamic

And, the Bocado Burger Stack

Served with Herb Fries

The only question:  Who’s lunch was better?

Bocado
887 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30318
404 815 1399

Octane Coffee

Cappuccino Love

Two Locations:

Octane Westside
1009-B Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30318
404 815 9886

Octane Grant Park
Suite A5
437 Memorial Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Golden House

Perfectly Spiced Cold Zucchini

Now, you see it.  Now, you don’t.

We ate these tasty nibbles at light speed.  This was an ideal dish to wake up our appetites.

Dumplings, 3 Kinds

We could have eagerly made a meal out of these.  Each one was bursting with the sweet essence of the sea.  While they were all delicious, we both independently chose the shrimp and mushroom combination as our favorite.

Crispy Garlic Chicken

In a word, divine.

Hidden under a pile of crispy deep fried garlic mixed with green onion,  this golden crusted beauty was crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside.  We’d love to make a meal of this every day of the week.  And, since we crazily ordered a whole chicken, we can!

Frog Legs With Black Bean Sauce

This was the perfect dish to finish the meal.

We’ve eaten almost this exact same dish in NYC.  Was it better in NYC?  Well, that wouldn’t be fair to say.  We may have been blinded by the bright lights of a big city.  But, this was one fine dish ….or casserole.

Look at that garlic.

Just look at those charred bites of whole garlic cloves mingling in there with chunks of onion and tender bites of delicate white frog meat.  So rich, savory, and salty, the sweetness of the onion helps to round out that salty richness.

A Peek At The Menu

Next time, black pepper oyster.

For More on Golden House, check out:  Chow Down Atlanta & The Blissful Glutton

Golden House
1600 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
770 921 2228

Road Trip Food — Outback

Bacon Cheeseburger With Sweet Potato Fries

On highway roadtrips, Starbucks is our mothership.  But, if no Starbucks are available, we’ve been known to consume foods that should not be named in polite company.  We were happily surprised by this bacon cheeseburger.  It was shockingly good.  The bun was hearty, the bacon was super crispy and the sweet potato fries were nicely browned with a scant drizzle of honey.

Bacon Cheeseburger with Baked Sweet Potato

Both cheeseburgers were properly cooked to our requests.  And, those burgers were absolutely loaded with cheese, two slices per burger.  If we’d known, we might’ve skipped the cheese option.  But, if you’re starving, this is a good road trip option.  It’s a road trip.  Who’ll know?  It’s your own dirty little secret.

What happens on the road trip stays with those on the road trip.  That is, unless you choose to wear one of the most ridiculous shirts on the planet.  Then, you’re fair game.

Road Trip Bonus Points Added:

Within a minute or two of being seated, they shove a warm wheat bun with sweet butter in your face.

Outback

The Mad Italian

Meatball, Sausage & Spinach Calzone

Chicken Philly & Ruffles Potato Chips

It’s what’s for lunch!

The Mad Italian
2197 Savoy Drive
Chamblee, GA 30341
770 451 8048

Tutti Frutti

Coconut & Chocolate Frozen Yogurt With Sweet Coconut Shreds

This is the small bowl!

If you find yourself at Discover Mills after a day of holiday shopping, you might want to reward yourself with a little treat.  That place is a family friendly people zoo.  Even, the small bowl holds what looks to be about a pint of frozen yogurt.  So, we always choose to share a bowl.  This bowl of coconut and chocolate yogurt topped with sweetened shreds of tender coconut flakes was about $ 5.  That was more than enough for us.  Actually, it was still too much.  But, it was an acceptable splurge after many (MANY) hours of shopping for shoes and boots.

Tutti Frutti

Quicos de Chocolate

Quicos de Chocolate

Chocolate Corn Nuts

These large kernels of corn are fried, dipped in chocolate and dusted with cocoa.  You might see these same kernels of deep-fried corn dusted with salt or chili powder at your local convenience store under the name of Corn Nuts or Beer Nuts.  But, we found these much more interesting.  The contrast of bittersweet chocolate with the mildly salty, toasted corn nut will keep you reaching for one right after the other.

Alon’s Bakery & Market
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE
Dunwoody, GA 30346
678 397 1781

Lilly’s Pizza — Raleigh

If you find yourself in need of pizza & a beer or two in Raleigh, North Carolina, Lilly’s fits the bill.  Their pies offer one gigantically puffed up and bready crust.

Seriously, this is one big fat pie.

The Five Point

This puffy pie is topped with pesto, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, and fontina.  It might not be the best pizza pie to cross your lips.  But, it sure won’t be the worst either.  If we grade this pie on a pass/fail basis.  It’s a sure fire pass any day of the week.

Lilly’s Pizza

Varasano’s Pizzeria — Brunch

The Half Moon Dolce
(Fontina, Capicola, Dates, Walnuts, Honey & Minced Rosemary)

This pie was practically begging for a glass (or bottle) of wine.  Sadly, we were too early.

Note to self:  Delay all future brunch meals til noon or later.

It felt a bit lonely.  But, it was still delicious.

So, we reverted to another pair of vices.

Caffeine meet sugar, doughnuts (or, sweet pizzettes) meet coffee.

Chocolate & Nutella Dusted With Cocoa & Powdered Sugar

Lovely.

Caramel & Pecan

This one was a bit too sweet, but, still wickedly tasty.

That didn’t stop us from devouring every super-sweet bite.

Varasano’s Pizzeria
2171 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30309
404 352 8216