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Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello All!

Hey guys, I know it has been a few weeks since my last review, and I apologize for that. I have been busy with some other important things right now but I promise to be back in full effect within the next few weeks. To those that have suggested places for me to visit, I will be trying to get to those places first.  So enjoy what's already posted, and happy eating to all of you!!!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Cafe Intermezzo

(all photos copyrighted and are property of their respective owners)

Place: Cafe Intermezzo
Where:1845 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
Reservations Needed: No, but recommended for parties of 12 or more. Evening reservations are available before 8:00pm Sunday through Thursday, and before 7:00pm on Friday and Saturday.
Price: $$
Breakfast, Lunch, Diner Sunday-Thursday 10AM to 2AM,Friday & Saturday until 3AM.

    I had taken last Friday off to spend time with a couple of friends but I couldn't resist writing this review.
    We went to Cafe Intermezzo in Atlanta on Peachtree Rd.  Cafe Intermezzo has been one of the best cafes in Atlanta for years.  I've always gone in the evening or early morning hours and its a great spot to come wind down after a night out.  Not much has changed at Cafe Intermezzo, and for good reason.  Its comfortable and laid back and features an intimate setting that's also perfect for a date night. Couple that with great service, food, and drinks, and you couldn't have a better place. We arrived well after midnight and there was a moderate-sized crowd of other Atlanta Nocturnal Adventurers, which added to the atmosphere; making it feel like you just walked right into the “cool” scene of a movie. Even with the number of guests on hand our server delivered impeccable service; before we could even look around to call for her attention, she was already on her way to us to fulfill our requests.
    Cafe Intermezzo is a wonderful venue for cocktails. Their spirits menu is wide-ranging with various mixed drinks, wines, beers, and my favorite: the martinis. They Key Lime Martini is a great choice and the Key Lime flavor is captured perfectly without being too sweet or too weak. I prefer the Ketel One Vodka in my martinis, although they do offer other top shelf selections such as Ciroc and Grey Goose.
    The dinner menu is extensive, with a full offering of appetizers; soups and salads; various styles of
Patio Seat
crepes; paninis and other sandwiches; and familiar Italian entrees like Gnocchi and Seafood Risotto. They feature a full breakfast menu that is served all day with items such as omelettes and traditional Eggs Benedict. 
    I once again ordered my favorite sandwich, The Rueben.The Rueben sandwich Cafe Intermezzo prepares was definitely worthy of having a top spot on my list.  It’s served on warm, toasted Marble Rye bread with tender house-made and delicately marbled corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Cafe Intermezzo’s own Russian dressing.  My friend ordered one as well.  She is a New Yorker and very particular about her Reuben sandwiches; there was nothing left on her plate.  We shared an order of home fried potatoes that were a perfect accompaniment to the corned beef. My other companion ordered the Hummus Platter with pita bread and Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, cucumber and tomatoes. The spicy hummus was authentic; spread it on the pita bread with a bite of cool cucumber and its a delightful appetizer or light meal. 
    Cafe Intermezzo has the greatest dessert selection I've seen in Atlanta lately.  The cheesecakes, cakes, and pies are of gourmet status, made in-house daily, and the choices vary from time to time.  The Plain Cheesecake is rich and blended to just the right texture.  I am sure New Yorkers would not
be disappointed if they decide upon this item. The Caramel Apple Pie is the absolute best pie to ever reach my palate.  I don’t think even homemade pie could compare!  The sweet hint of caramel combined with the fresh apple filling and buttery crust makes for the ultimate comfort dessert. I couldn’t resist ordering a second slice (which I left in the car overnight and it still tasted just as good the next day).  For the ultimate sweet tooth the Turtle Cheesecake is a top pick.  The smooth and creamy cheesecake filling which is blended with milk chocolate, topped with chocolate chips and chocolate and caramel sauces also possessed the same gourmet quality and taste as the other desserts I sampled.  The remains of the Turtle Cheesecake also met the same fate as the Caramel Apple Pie (being left in the car) but not to worry, it was still delectable after being temporarily abandoned.  It turned into a kind of mousse-pudding. Delicious.  To cap off our meal we had a few cups of Cafe Intermezzo's fresh brewed coffee that is served in your own personal 3-cup container.
    I encourage everyone to go to Cafe Intermezzo and try something, anything. You will not be disappointed, even if you are just dropping in for coffee and a bagel.  They have a reputation for offering excellent food at reasonable prices, and professional service while maintaining a friendly, relaxed environment.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vickery's Bar and Grill

 (all photos by WHO SHOT YA Photography)

 Place: Vickery's Bar and Grill
Where: 933 Garrett Street #101 Atlanta, GA
Reservations Needed: No
Price: $$
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Sun: 11:30AM - 10:00PM Mon-Thurs: 11:30AM - 10:00PM  Fri & Sat: 11:30AM - 12:00AM

We braved the remaining ice on the road this past 14th of January to warm our bellies with some bar and grill fare, thanks to Crowd Cut's (check links on this page) latest deal. That deal lead us to Vickery's Bar and Grill in Atlanta.  After the dining experience, hindsight makes me wish we'd gotten lost on the way.

Excited about trying something new, we kept our same M.O. of sampling as much of the menu as we possibly could.  To test if an establishment's cooking skills are up to par I always order what's recommended, or their special dish. We started off with a couple of appetizers.  I got the Fried Green Tomato Caprese Stack, which is fried green tomatoes layered with Buffalo mozzarella accompanied by marinara and pesto sauces.  Excellent presentation minus my tower of tomatoes being showered in too much garnish.  As far as taste, the tomatoes were fried well and possessed good flavor; the cheese, however, was slightly rubbery. Unfortunately, the wonderful flavor of the tomatoes gets lost amidst the combo of marinara and pesto sauces.  The second appetizer we chose was the Fried Calamari.  Once again, great presentation, although the red and green bell peppers served absolutely no purpose in this dish other than addition of color. We politely pushed them aside to enjoy the perfectly fried calamari that was blessed with a sweet chili sauce and sesame seeds that gave it an Asian flair. Too much of the sweet chili sauce was used and it overpowered the calamari; but the less soaked pieces were exactly how the entire dish should have been; perfectly balanced and delicious.

I also ordered the Cream of Spinach soup, which was the Soup of the Day.  Big mistake.  The soup was bland and lifeless, like it was scared to be in the bowl.  It should have been because it was watered down and had a taste reminiscent of hospital food or an elementary school cafeteria.  The Southern Pecan House Salad on the other hand, was a pleasant wake up for my taste buds with its combo of mixed greens and golden raisins, sliced cucumbers, crumbled blue cheese, and candied pecans.  One of the best salads I have eaten in a restaurant.  Note: skip the Balsamic vinaigrette it comes with, and opt for the strawberry vinaigrette instead.

Low Country Seafood Sautee
     After a slightly disappointing start we decided to move on to our main courses. Only one problem. Our waiter was nowhere to be found. Empty appetizer dishes sat on the table for at least 30 minutes while the next table patron was never short a sip of water.  There weren't many dining guests on this particular Friday night, most likely due to the inclement weather. So it was baffling how long it took for the server to come back. After a few minutes he returned and we ordered several more dishes.  We got the Low Country Seafood Sautee, Catfish and Grits, the Vickery's Crab Cake Sandwich and Black Beans, and an All Natural Certified Angus Burger with Provolone and an order of fries.  The Low Country Seafood Sautee contained crawfish, Andouille sausage, and shrimp served over grits. It would have been topped with spicy fried oysters, but thanks to the oil spill in the gulf they weren't available.  A lot of the shrimp in the dish had half of their shells on making you work while you eat, and the grits were embedded in a nice puddle of grease from the low quality Andouille sausage.  The grits in both dishes were deplorable.  I'm from the south and I have been eating grits well over 20 years; I know what they should be. Grits should not be the consistency of mashed potatoes and taste like kindergarten paste. Grandmothers everywhere below the Mason-Dixon Line would shed a tear if they witnessed the destruction of that Southern staple.  The Catfish and Grits featured blackened catfish and Andouille
Catfish and Grits. Note the pool of grease to the left.
sausage atop "grits".  The fish was palatable by itself but once again I was greeted with useless red and green bell peppers.  My "grits" were also sitting in a wade pool of grease and I couldn't figure out why since they forgetfully left the Andouille sausage out of my dish.  It was impossible to finish either meal after a few bites.  The Angus Burger made a good showing among its lackluster counterparts, but it was at best an average burger. Great fries though. Moving on, the Vickery's Crab Cake Sandwich,(which also comes as an appetizer),
Vickery's Crab Cake Sandwich
 was made with real crab that tasted fresh and fried just right, mustard aioli, lettuce and tomato, and (a missing) red onion.  It could have used a boost in flavor to make it really stand out but it was the best of the entrees. This was surprising since crab cakes usually aren't a good pick while dining out.  The black beans and rice side, however, was less than appetizing. We opted out of dessert; our faith in receiving a great dish was diminished.
    Vickery's Bar and Grill is sub par compared to other bar and grills offering similar tastes, but costs you more of your hard earned money.  I've had better food at places with a little red chili pepper as their logo.  Maybe a change in cooks or better attention to detail could provide a better experience. As of yet, its not a place I would return to. It is not worth a second go, and it definitely wasn't worth the trek over the icy roads in hopes of good eats.

(Who Shot Ya Photography contact:

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rising Roll Sandwich Co.

(all images are copyrighted and are property of their respective owners)
Place: Rising Roll Sandwich Co.
Where: 113 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, Ga 30303
 In the Candler Building next to Woodruff Park

Reservations Needed: No
Price: $
Breakfast, Lunch: Mon-Sat 10:30-4pm
   Sandwiches. How can you not love sandwiches? I mean, you ate them all the time as a kid, you brown bag it at work--sometimes there is just no other lunch that will suffice.  Being the huge sandwich fan that I am, a friend whom I call the "doggybagdiva" and I dropped by here to enjoy a few favorites.  It's located in the historic and very picturesque Candler Building, which in itself makes it worth a trip.  
   The  Rising Roll Sandwich Co is a family place that has the absolute best service I have ever received while dining out informally.   We felt like VIP as they opened their security gate to let us park in the few spaces they have in the rear of the building.  The manager gave us some interesting historical information and a brief tour of the building.  We placed a large order thanks to our Groupons (check links on this page!) and the entire order was on-point; free of mistakes. They offer a wide variety of sandwiches from paninis to sliders.  They also feature various salads, daily made soups, and desserts.  I ordered the Original Cuban, and the Reuben Panini but instead of the grilled Tandoori Nan bread I chose the Sliced Marble Rye to suit the traditional Reuben style.  Ms. Diva had the Killer Blue Turkey on Asiago Basil bread and a Reuben identical to mine. To round off our sandwich excursion we ordered a Colossal Turkey.  We also selected a couple of sweet treats to accompany our meal.  I chose my favorite, the Walnut Brownie, and my friend chose the Blondie or Blonde Brownie. 
  The Original Cuban was just like the name says, original ingredients with no deviations making it a great eat.  The pork was tender and flavorful and the Cuban bread had a pleasing texture.  I have had this style sandwich at several places and I will say that while it was very good, it was not the best rendition if you know the Cuban.  The Colossal Turkey came with roasted turkey, ham, roast beef, provolone, and traditional sandwich toppings.  Definitely my favorite of the bunch and a recommended purchase.  The Reuben was a proper made Reuben but lacked in flavor to make it stand out as a cut above others. I opt for the Schlotzky's Deli Reuben.  The Killer Blue Turkey is roasted turkey with crumbled blue cheese, hickory smoked bacon, tomato, and 1000 Island dressing.  With this combination I expected much more to the palate as the combination of ingredients would suggest. It was a bit bland. Great thought went into the creation; poor execution.  The Walnut Brownie, however, was the perfect cap to my meal and the same can be said about the Blondie.  Let's say I'd rather go to Rising Roll than make brownies at home. They were THAT good.
  Despite the few letdowns I experienced, Rising Roll Sandwich Co is a place I would visit again if I'm in the area.  The menu is too extensive not to go back and see what else is tasty. Since parking is extremely limited and awkward, this is a great place to stop by on foot if you are nearby. The history, architecture and service alone will make it a memorable visit. 

Questions? Comments? Feel free to post and don't forget to follow.  Also, check the ads on this page for other great offers!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let's Chow Baby!

(photo courtesy
Place: The Real Chow Baby
Where: Suite A, 1016 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta
Reservations Needed: No
Price: Lunch-$  dinner-$$
Lunch:  Monday – Friday 11:00AM – 2:30PM
Lunch: Saturday Noon – 4:00PM
Dinner:  Monday – Thursday 5:00PM – 10:30PM
Friday and Saturday 5:00PM until 11:30PM
Sunday 5:00PM until 10:00PM

The first review of the New Year!  2011 is going to be a great year and the food hopefully greater.  I had the privilege of visiting a well known Atlanta stir-fry establishment by the name of The Real Chow Baby!
   (courtesy of

  The Real Chow Baby is a casual family restaurant with a fun, friendly atmosphere.  The concept is all-you-can-eat freestyle stir-fry where you select all your ingredients and spices from the large variety of rice, noodles, vegetables, sauces, and selected meats.  The selection varies slightly from day to day but you are more than likely to find all your favorites.  If you are an experienced cook, your culinary skills will reward you.  If you don't cook or don't know a tasty ingredient combination, there are several recipes at the start of your journey in the stir-fry line to provide you with something you can enjoy.  They also offer various options to turn your creation into a soup, wrap, make it vegetarian, and more.  I always transform my first choice into the soup. It is a rich coconut broth that has unique flavor all in itself.   I can never get enough of the bok choy as my main veggie, and the calamari is always a good choice and its usually featured in the meat section regularly. Mahi Mahi and tilapia make the occasional appearance while beef, chicken, pork, and sausage can usually always be found.  Everything is always fresh here. The vegetables always look and taste fresh and I have never had to report any discrepancies to management. As far as not enjoying your meal, well that depends on you. You are the creator!! They do not offer entrees, but do have filling appetizers. Don't forget dessert either. The Key Lime pie is in classic form and tasting delicious.
  The service is always friendly, courteous, and prompt.  Planning on making a lunch visit?  I recommend getting there well before 1:30. There is a moderate wait at that time and the place closes at 2:30pm to prepare for the dinner service. Dinner service is usually full, but the wait is very minimal.  They also offer an excellent package for a date night: One trip to the stir-fry bar, appetizer, dessert, and a bottle of wine for only $30!
  I have not had one bad experience at The Real Chow Baby and I would encourage all to try this new form of stir-fry that puts you in control of a well prepared meal.  Worth every cent.

Any more questions about this eatery? Feel free to ask questions and comment!