Twisted Taco – Kennesaw

Yes, that’s right – Twisted Taco in KENNESAW!

I wish they had all the bars here that they do now when I was in school 10 years ago. Of course, I think I would have enjoyed them a lot more than I do now too. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good time hanging out here once in a blue moon. I just get annoyed with the fact that they never seem to have servers for the tables, so while you are sitting on the deck relaxing, you are forced to get up and go to the bar if you want a drink. Speaking of drinks, their beer selection is really good, they even give Taco Mac up the street a run for their money.

I’ve never tried the food, but it does look pretty enticing with names like The Wyatt Earp and The Treasure of Sierra Madre – Crispy fried chicken, jack cheese, lettuce, salsa and jalapeno mayo. Looking forward to trying that one next time I visit.

2606 George Busbee Pkwy N
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(678) 324-5040
Twisted Taco

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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.

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Aspen’s Signature Steaks

This is a nice steakhouse but I don’t think it is all that fabulous. I’ve been at least 4 times and have not been wowed by the food in any way. On my most recent visit (July 08), I was with a party of 6. We made a reservation for 8:30 and were seated promptly. Good so far.

We were seated at a table that was nearly shoved up against another booth. I felt awkward the entire meal because I felt I couldn’t move my chair back at all or else the people in the booth behind us would not be able to get out. And the waitstaff kept on trying to squeeze behind me instead of going around the table which made it even more uncomfortable.

Anyway, about the food. So, we ordered their signature salad (one with chickpeas, hearts of palm, avacado, etc, etc,) which sounds amazing right? Well, unfortunately it was one of the most bland tasting salads I’ve ever had. Granted their salads are large enough for 3 or 4 people to share, depending on how much you want to eat. We also ordered calamari which although seemed to be cooked to a good consistency (not too rubbery) did not have much of a flavor to it either.

So, I thought well, at least the steak will be good. I ordered the Tuscan Steak which is marinated with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. I ordered it medium but I think the server heard “well-done” instead. It was completely dry and it would have been better if he brought me a saw to cut it with. The best part of the meal was my side dish – creamed corn with jalepenos and bacon. I should’ve just gotten a bowl of that.

As far as the service, for the most part is was really good. They kept checking if everything was ok and refilling water glasses promptly. But, I was disappointed that with as many in the waitstaff as there were to help us, dishes were left on the table far too long. This may seem like an insignificant detail but it was a little awkward as we didn’t have a lot of room at the table so extra dishes just got in the way.

Maybe they were just busy and having an off night, but I really did expect more.

Pros: Hummus spread for bread
Cons: Tables too close

2942 Shallowford Road
Marietta, GA 30066
Phone: (678) 236-1400
Aspens


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Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant

Really good frozen margaritas, amazing salsa, fresh, flavorful food. All of these can be found at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant in Kennesaw.

The combination plates are great if you want a mix of things and come with just about ever combination possible: tacos, burritos, enchiladas, rellenos, you name it. My personal faves are the chimichangas, the super burrito, and quesadillas. I love that they also have a great selection of seafood dishes although I have yet to give any a try.

So, if you find yourself in the Kennesaw area but don’t want to deal with the hassle of Barrett Parkway traffic, why not try Las Palmas?

The Spotted Dog

The Spotted Dog is a cool place to stop for a beer if you are in the area. But I wouldn’t drive down to North Ave just to go here. I’ve driven by the Spotted Dog on the way to other functions and it seems to be more of an after work crowd than a late night crowd.

They did a great job restoring this old firehouse. It really is beautiful inside. And when the weather allows for it, definitely sit outside.

The Spotted Dog has many great beers on their list. And the Dog has this beer there that comes with a slice of orange, or is it lemon? Can’t remember which, but it is kind of sweet tasting – I get it every time I go there. It’s great.

30 North Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 347-7337

Mosaic Restaurant in Buckhead

Mosaic Restaurant, situated just off the main drag of Buckhead, is one of those charming old homes that has been converted to a restaurant. Mosaic makes great use of the space inside and although it was pretty, we opted for their patio seating.

Mosaic definitely has a later crowd. We had reservations for 7:30 and on a pleasant June evening we were the only ones seated outside. By the time we were leaving there wasn’t one open table outside.

The service was exceptional at Mosaic and very attentive but not overly intrusive. The food, on the other hand, was average. Maybe if it was priced a little lower I would have enjoyed it more. But at nearly $30 an entree, the bar was set a little higher.

We started off with the Mosaic salad. I am always a sucker for artichokes and hearts of palm. The salad was a generous portion (of lettuce) and big enough for me to split with my other 2 dining companions. However, I spent more time looking for the almost non-existent artichokes and hearts of palm then I did enjoying my salad.

Next were the entrees: Lobster Ravioli, Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna, and Pork loin with sausage and chick peas. The tuna and pork loin were ok, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about either one and the tuna definitely was not worth of the $27 price tag. I didn’t try the 28 dollar lobster ravioli but I’m guessing it was on par with the tuna and pork loin.

One great thing about Mosaic (besides the service and atmosphere): There is plenty of free parking available.

3097 Maple Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 846-5722
website

Lime Taqueria

Don’t read this review…..

……….if you are expecting a review of a typical Mexican restaurant

……….if you are looking for an inexpensive meal

……….if you are looking for a casual eatery or a family style restaurant

Lime is none of these things. What it is is an upscale restaurant that has spared no expense when it comes to design and decor. It is evident in the colorful furnishings and the lime them throughout the entire restaurant. They have giant limes throughout the restaurant, limes are printed on the napkins in restrooms, even the dishes are lime-shaped.

What it is is a great place to go after work on nice day and sit outside and sip mojitos, cosmos or margaritas with friends. I went there on a recent Wednesday after work to meet a friend for drinks and dinner. They have drink specials of cosmopolitans for $6. As we are both Sex And The City fans we couldn’t pass this up. And I’m so happy I didn’t. They were outstanding! I had a buzz going on 3/4 of the way through my first drink. Any restaurant that isn’t stingy with the liquor gets big points in my book.

As far as the food, we both had to try the mini gordas which is like a huge dumpling if you can imagine it stuffed with shredded beef, potatoes, tomatillo sauce, and some amazing spices. Definitely the best thing we tried. As this was quite filling on its own, we each opted to try some tacos: mole, shrimp, chorizo, and chicken.

Had I known how small these would be I think I would have just gotten a salad or another mini gordas order. For the price $3-$5, I expected more. My shrimp taco had 1 shrimp in it and was $4.50. Not to mention the sauce just about set my mouth on fire. I would go back but probably just for drinks or if I had a gift certificate (click banner below).

Service was great. Very attentive but not overly annoying. Just the way I like it.


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Cobb Energy Center

Great new venue in Cobb County!

I just attended Glenn Beck’s kickoff tour at the Cobb Energy Center. It is wonderful that there is another venue rather than being limited to the Galleria or having to drive down to the Fox. Although it may not be as big as the Fox, the Cobb Energy Center is a nice modern building that has great views no matter where you are seated.

The Cobb Energy Center is located just off I75 at Cumberland Blvd close to where I75 meets I285. Parking isn’t a problem as there are 1,000 onsite spaces available. And its not a ripoff either at 5 bucks.

If you are looking for somewhere to grab a drink or a cocktail before or after performance, head to nearby Vinings. Dining options include Garrison’s, The Orient, La Paz, among others. For drinks, there’s the Vinings Inn, Meehan’s or the Grape.

2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway Atlanta, GA 30339

770-916-2800

http://www.cobbenergycentre.com