Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

The City Grill


Great special event venue. Recently went here for a wedding reception and everything – food, service, decor – was first rate. The decor of this place has not changed in years but it still looks as classy as ever. Upon entering, we ascended the marble staircase to the entrance where we were greeted with servers with h’ourderves of bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, mini beef wellingtons, and lamb chops. There was also an offering of wine, mimosas and blood mary’s.

The service and pace were great. Walking in the door we had servers with h’ourderves and drinks. And we had time to enjoy some drinks and mingle with other wedding guests before our lunch. The organization here was right on the money. They had 4 different food stations – 2 vegetarian, a carving station, and a pasta / potato station. The wait staff organized for a couple tables at a time to be at each station that way the lines weren’t ridiculously long.

As far as a wedding reception venue, the City Grill is a top notch venue. You can have great food but poor service and execution or vice versa. But everything here went extremely smoothly. I loved that we had service as soon as we walked in and never felt rushed at any point during our afternoon.

Here’s what the NY Times said about The City Grill:
“One of the grandest restaurant settings in Atlanta is the City Grill, on several levels of a former Federal Reserve Bank downtown….The space is stately, spacious, and serene…City Grill’s interpretation of new Southern cooking is equally refined.”

50 Hurt Plz SE # 200
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 524-2489
City Grill

Other Wedding Resources:
Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide
The Wedding Day Diet
Bridal Show Planner

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Casablanca Restaurant and Hookah Lounge

So, there was a huge wreck on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw the other day when my coworker Brandon and I wanted to go for lunch. So, we decided we’d venture up to Wade Green and try this new Mediterranean restaurant. It is tucked away in a strip mall near I75. There’s also a Johnny’s Pizza and Cold Stone in the center.

I don’t know what the place was before it became this restaurant but obviously a lot of money went into decorating the place. Lots of curtains (more for decoration than privacy) and low seating with comfy cushions. Very colorful setting. This would be great if you have a group of people to go. And I bet they would draw a bigger crowd if they had belly dancing.

Appetizers to try? Stuffed grape leaves and Falafel. I always thought Falafel was like a wrap but apparently its some sort of meat and spices that are fried and resemble a small doughnut. It was exquisite. We each had the beef wraps (I had the ground beef and Brandon had the beef tips). It was good but a little salty. Next time I’ll try the gyro.

Prices are like $7 for the wrap which comes with a side of fries. So, it is definitely reasonably priced. Hookahs are like 15 bucks if I am remembering correctly. I can’t wait to try these next time. Didn’t have enough time as I was on my lunch hour.

Casablanca Restaurant & Hookah Lounge
3490 Cherokee Street #303
Kennesaw, GA 30144
678-797-9373

Read my Sahara Restaurant Review

Season’s 52

Health Food in Disguise

All items on the menu are 475 calories or less. I’m not understanding that with the flatbread pizza type thing which is served on a plate that must be 2 feet long. It must be low carbs, but that is just too tasty to be that low in calories. And the stuffed mushrooms are too die for.

I think the fish is a better bet than the meat on this menu. My dining companions both had fish and it was delicious. I had the pork medallions which is supposedly the most popular item on the menu, but I bet no one orders it more than once after they taste the fish – especially the curried snapper. If you are dieting but are still looking for an upscale place where you don’t have to feel guilty about what you’re eating or count calories, this is definitely the place to go.

On Peachtree at W Paces
3050 Peachtree Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: (404) 846-1552
Seasons 52

Olives Waterside Martini Bar

Couldn’t wait to try this place after experiencing some great dueling piano bars in Orlando and Vegas. Just as a side note, if you ever travel to Vegas don’t miss The Bar at Times Square at the New York New York hotel. But unfortunately it was not meant to be as they no longer have the dueling pianos here. Why don’t we have any dueling piano bars in Atlanta? If anyone knows of any, please let me know.

So, needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. But I made the best of the evening – I was with a good group of friends and the bar does have like 30 different types of Martinis to choose from at $5 each. My suggestion is the Nutty Martini made with Frangelico – soooooo yummy! So, I guess the evening wasn’t a complete loss.

The crowd is slightly and older one – 40s and 50s. The music is a mix of mostly 70s and 80s with some 90s thrown in occassionally, which you can tell the crowd doesn’t like as they all scatter from the dance floor when Will Smith starts singing.

6450 Powers Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770.226.0201
Olives Waterside


Riedel Vitis Martini Glasses (Set of 2)

Sahara = Excellent Mediterranean Cuisine

Baba Ghannouj, Hummus, Stuffed Grape Leaves…..
If all of the above start to make your mouth water, then Sahara Mediterranean Grill is worth a visit.

Attached to a Dunkin’ Donuts in a quiet unassuming strip mall, you wouldn’t think there is anything that special from the outside of this place. But step inside, and you’ll feel you’ve been transported to an exotic locale in the Mediterranean. And the staff is super friendly and is good about making recommendations if you aren’t sure about what to order.

My suggestion? Start with the Mezza, a combination of any 5 appetizers for $20. Don’t miss out on the ARAYESS – Pita bread stuffed with a bee/lamb mixture and a blend of seasonings.
If there are only 2 of you, this will be pretty filling, so just split an entree after that. We had the beef skillet which was very tasty, and left us completely stuffed.

My only regret? We were pressed for time and didn’t get to try the Hookah. Hookah is the name of a large water pipe that utilizes water and heat for smoking. It has its origins in India but became more popular in the Middle East.

Shisha is the name of the tobacco mixture that is smoked in the water pipe. Shisha comes in several flavors, with fruit flavors being the most popular. Smoking the hookah is becoming more and more popular all over the world.

One caveat, the website promises belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights, which didn’t happen on the Saturday evening I visited. But other than that, it’s a great place for a leisurely weekend dinner.

550 W Crossville Rd, Suite 102
Roswell GA 30075
(770)594-8463
www.saharamediterraneangrill.com

Restaurant Certificates 60% off – ends 8/31

Restaurant.com is offering discount certificates for 60% off the regular price. That means that a $25 certificate to the restaurant of your choice is only $4.00. The way the program works is that you purchase a restaurant certificate for $25 at a cost of $10 to you. But with this special promotion you get the certificates for 4 bucks! This is a great deal to try restaurants that you’ve never been to before.

Now take 60% off $25 Gift Certificates. Pay $4 when you use the code LABOR. Valid 8/26/08 through 8/31/08.

I’ve been using restaurant.com for years now and am very pleased with the service. I’ve never had a single problem with them in all the restaurants I’ve been to. It’s allowed me to try many restaurants in Atlanta that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. But hurry, this offer ends 8/10/08.

There is NO LIMIT to how many certificates you can buy. So, stock up, certificates may never be discounted this much again. And remember, this isn’t just limited to Atlanta. If you’re traveling to other parts of the country, you can find certificates for restaurants there as well. Restaurant.com is all over the United States. Check out the link below.

Now take 60% off $25 Gift Certificates. Pay $4 when you use the code LABOR. Valid 8/26/08 through 8/31/08.

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Taste of Alpharetta

Taste of Alpharetta is Thursday, May 15th 2008. The fun begins at 5:00. The event will be at Willis Park – 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA

Although it is unusual to have a ‘taste of’ festival on a Thursday it helps out the restaurants because they are obviously busier on the weekends than on a weekday. The good thing is it will probably be a lot less crowded than if it was on a Saturday.

They’ll be music from 5 pm to 830 pm. And there’s plenty for the kids to do. They’ll be rides, face painting, dancing, etc.

Admission is stated as “free” and although it is free to get in you must pay for the tastes with tickets. Average ‘taste’ is between $ 0.50 and $3.00 or 1 to 6 tickets. You can buy tickets on site and pay with a credit card.

Sweetwater 420 Festival

Spring is my favorite season in Atlanta.

It’s warm, but not too warm, the humidity is down, and there are a ton of festivals in Atlanta this time of year. There’s the Inman Park Festival, The Dogwood Festival, Virginia Highlands fest, Taste of Marietta, The Crawfish Boil in Smyrna…..and list goes on. Bottom line its a great time to be outdoors!

So, I decided to check out the Sweetwater 420 festival last weekend down at Candler Park. We scored free parking so we were definitely off to a good start. Although the event was free, you needed to purchase a $5 wrist band if you wanted to partake in the beer drinking. I opted to skip this as beer tends to go right through me and i’m not a fan of the port-a-poty (the only restroom option here).

But there was no way I would pass up sampling some of the great food offererings they had here. I had some scrumptious fish tacos from a catering company….Culinary something…really wish I could remember their name. No doubt I’ll be seeing them again at one of the many festivals this season. They had awesome food -chicken quesadillas, sausage and rice gumbo, crabcakes. But the fish tacos were great!

Although it was a smaller festival, probably only 1/4 of a mile stretch it was fun and definitely well attended. Oh and the bands were good too. Next year I’ll plan on getting there a bit earlier to scope out some good seats.

La Dolce Vita

Located, a bit off of the main drag of Barrett Parkway, this newly established Italian eatery is an excellent choice for those wanting and nice meal at reasonable prices in a decent atmosphere. Everything is sooooo great here. I’ve been there 3 times now and love it.

The service is fantastic. Food is delicious. And the prices are reasonable – almost couldn’t believe how reasonable. I went with the BF and we both had an entree (eggplant and beef which was exquisite) and it came with salad and rolls all for under $10.

Also, they had their house wine for like 3 or 4 bucks. And boy do they give a generous pour.

Just writing about this place is making my mouth water….

1635 Old Hwy 41
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(770) 422-2990