5 Anticipated Openings – 9/19/2014

  1. Farmhouse Coffee and Crepes I am very excited about this place opening in John’s Creek off Jones Bridge Rd. I get the feeling it’s going to be a hipstery coffe shop, but I think the crepe thing is what excites me the most. This is going to be great for so many occasions and I am excited to see if it’s as great as I think it will be.
  2. Chama Gaucha – Those who know me know that my favorite kind of restaurant is a Brazilian steakhouse. That’s why this place has me jumping out of my seat. They already have 3 other locations in the US and all the reviews for them are great. I am hoping this place will be as well. It’s also in an amazing location in Buckhead where Modern used to be.
  3. Sweet Auburn Seafood – An independent high quality seafood restaurant is exactly what downtown needs. This place opening on Auburn Ave fills that void, or at least I am hoping. It looks like it is getting very close so I have my eyes on this place the most.
  4. Caspian Grill – Opening on Johnson Ferry Rd in Marietta comes another Mediterranean restaurant. There has been quite a few of these opening OTP north lately. None of them has really impressed me and at first I didn’t have a lot of hope for this one. As I stop by the building more and more, it’s looking better and better. They are putting a lot of work into this place which gives me hope that it’s going to be a shining star.
  5. 1920’s Tavern – I am not 100% sure this is what the name of it is going to be or if this is just the concept. Anyways, I have heard about this place coming to Buckhead for some time now from the same owner as The Dive Bar. I had almost lost hope but last time I drove by, they were really moving there. I am hoping it is almost here within the next two months. It’s going to be a very upscale cocktail/bar place that fits the Buckhead crowd, which is absolutely 100% me. I’m thinking I will be their first customer.

Village Burger – John’s Creek

GRADE: B-

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Food – Always go with the daily special! Today it was a turkey burger with cheddar, grilled onions, their seasoned fries and a drink. Fries were good. Seemed hand cut and decently tasty. The burger had all fresh ingredients, delicious melted cheese on a fresh bun and then….then…you had the patty. The patty was a very thin, probably frozen patty. Why!?!? Everything else was amazingly fresh and tasty. Why put that patty on there!?!? I don’t understand. It really took what could have been an amazing burger to just an ok one. Food gets a C+

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Ambiance – It is a really great spot here. They decorated it beautifully. Nice hardwood tables and a cool bar. Comfortable seating. I really like the fake brick wall as you walk in. Everything is designed quite well and they have thrown in some nice tv’s too for entertainment. Ambiance gets an A

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Service – Seemed like just a couple of buddies out grilling burgers. They were talkative in a very very casual way. They were good at what they did and service was fine. It was just very chill, more than professional service. For me that was awesome. I loved it. It might not be for everyone but certainly was my cup of tea. Service gets an A-

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Price/Quality - $9 for this meal. Not bad for burger drink and fries. I just can’t get over that stupid patty. The patty wasn’t good. Everything else was incredible quality but the patty is pretty darn important. I guess for what I got it was a good price though. Price/Quality gets a B-

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Uniqueness – There are a lot of burger places around. This place wasn’t bad but I don’t feel like they outdid any of the other ones in any area. It was fine overall. I might be back because the price isn’t too bad. Really with so many other burger joints around and other restaurants at similar price points, it’s hard to say this one offered anything so unique to get me back in. Uniqueness gets a C-

Village Burger on Urbanspoon

Pressed Panini Bar

GRADE:  B+

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Food – I was honestly blown away at how good this Panini was. I had the turkey bacon avocado Panini. Often times with a Panini, it’s either pressed too long and burnt, or not enough and it’s more like a regular sandwich. This one was perfect. Crisp bread yet still soft enough to effortlessly eat. All the ingredients were pretty fresh too. It was just a really well made sandwich. Honestly, of all the restaurants on Marietta Square, I’d come back here before I’d go back to any of the others. I’d give it a perfect rating, but I got pasta salad with it and while not bad, it was just ok. The homemade cookie was amazing though. Food gets an A-

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Ambiance – They took a very minimalist casual approach here. It’s a newer restaurant so all the floors, tables, and everything else is new and extremely clean. Not really any decorations on the wall other than their name painted on one and a painting on the other. It’s a very casual place to stop in for lunch. Ambiance gets a B+

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Service – The lady that served us was just so incredibly nice. She was also training a young guy that was very nice as well. This lady was all smiles and very good at what she does. She knew several customers by name that came in which makes me want to live closer to here so I could be a recognized regular too. She was so appreciate of everyone that came into the shop, it made me think she could have been the owner and not just an employee. Anyways, it was a pleasure to be served by her. Service gets a B+

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Price/Quality – So my amazing sandwich, pasta salad, drink, and a cookie landed around $12. I had a discount so I only paid $7. They also have a rewards program there too. The sandwich itself was only $7 which I’d pay much more than that for the quality I received. With the discount, it made it a pretty amazing price, but even without, it’s still a good deal. Price/Quality gets an A-

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Uniqueness – The sandwich itself is the best Panini I have had in Atlanta. It takes the cake hands down and so doing something that no other restaurant does makes the food here quite unique. That is the reason you should come here. Uniqueness gets a B

Pressed Panini Bar on Urbanspoon

Blue Grotto Sushi, Tapas & Bar

GRADE: B

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Food – They had some unique specialty rolls here which I really appreciate. The sushi seemed to be snow crab focused, and it’s hard to find more than 1 snow crab roll on most sushi menus. We got a snow crab roll with avocado topped with white tuna and red tobiko which really made the roll. The spicy yellowtail (Ocean Roll) was probably my favorite. We also got the Pacific Roll which was salmon and two types of tuna rolled in cucumber instead of rice. I had never seen that before and while I am not a huge fan of cucumbers, this roll was quite tasty. I appreciated the chance to try some things I never had before. Everything was above average and enjoyable although it might not knock your socks off. I’m very glad I went. Food gets a B

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Ambiance – It’s a newer and a very clean place. An average restaurant with a bar. They do have a cool lounge area with couches where you can eat as well which really adds to it. It’s just a quiet, out of the way little sushi restaurant. Ambiance gets a B

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Service – The gentleman that served us was very nice and attentive to us. He had some really good suggestions too. He was just a very good person that cared about our experience. He was very timely and very helpful. We never had to ask for anything or wonder where he was. He was excellent at his job. Service gets an A

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Price/Quality – Bottle of Sake was $9 and 3 rolls and a tapas landed our bill just over $50. It was a good meal. I’d come back here but at just “above average food” and for $50 it’s not extremely high on my list to revisit. No complaints as it was appropriately priced though. Price/Quality gets a B-

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Uniqueness – The rolls here are unique. The reason to visit would be to try some different sushi. Like I said items like the Pacific Roll and a menu that favors snow crab isn’t like most sushi restaurants. I appreciated their effort towards the unique and it’s the sole reason I am glad I visited this restaurant. Uniqueness gets a B-

Blue Grotto Sushi, Tapas & Bar on Urbanspoon

 

* PICTURES SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM ONLINE BECAUSE I DIDN’T TAKE MY OWN

Canoe

GRADE: A+

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Food – The absolute best brunch I have ever had. Some of the best food I have ever had, period. I’d eat here every day if I could. I got the smoked salmon Benedict with a citrus hollandaise sauce. The salmon itself was cooked so perfectly, I could have just eaten that. Throw in an absolutely flawless hollandaise sauce and a very flavorful hash and you have yourself the makings of the most fantastic meal I have ever had. Every single person I was with said the same thing about their meals. I am going back as soon as possible. Food gets an A+

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Ambiance – The most beautiful restaurant I have ever eaten in. We were lucky enough to get a large table overlooking the grounds and river which we could see through a large bay window. Not only is the inside gorgeous, but they have some land you can take a walk on and see the garden and chickens they own. You can also have a drink from the outside bar right beside the river and there are several Adirondack chairs to sit in outside. It’s one of those ambiances that is the experience and not just a compliment to the food. Ambiance gets an A+

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Service – Our server was amazing. She was on top of everything, very cheerful, and just a good person. I loved hearing her describe the menu. She did it with so much passion, she made me want to order everything. She truly believed in the place she worked and enjoyed it, and that came thorugh into us. It got us excited before we even saw the food! At the end, she also gave us some free pastries to take home which didn’t hurt my opinion of her at all. I wish she could be my server at every restaurant. Service gets an A+

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Price/Quality – You give me this meal without a price tag and I’d be laying out $30 to pay for it. However, my bill was less than $20 (And I had a drink). Astonishing considering how good it is. They really could up the prices but for how cheap it is for what you get, it makes me want to run back every Sunday for brunch here. Price/Quality gets an A+

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Uniqueness – No other brunch has come close to touching this one. No other restaurant comes close to being this beautiful. No other restaurant that I have been to offers what Canoe offers in terms of an experience. Even if I moved hours away I’d still drive to do this again because no other restaurant between there and here can offer what they do. Uniqueness gets an A+

Canoe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wahoo! a Decatur Grill

GRADE: B

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Food – I think my expectations were probably a little too high. The last brunch I had was at canoe after all. I was ready for another amazing brunch. What I got was a good brunch but not so much an amazing one. The menu looked incredible, but I got talked into doing the buffet by the person I was with. I wish I hadn’t. I feel like they sacrificed some quality to get out quantity. Most things were good. French Toast was incredible but some things like the eggs were just below par. The eggs almost seemed cafeteria quality. You just had to stick with the right things like the curried chicken salad which was divine. Overall it was fine but if I come back I would stick with the menu next time. Food gets a B-

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Ambiance – It was truly a beautiful restaurant. There is the inside which is very nice but then there is the back porch which just has beautiful landscaping outside of it with large glass…well….I’d hardly say windows because it was more like glass walls. It was just so open and gorgeous that I know anyone would love it. Ambiance gets an A

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Service – We had a very friendly and attentive server. The hostesses were all smiles and helpful as well. We did feel welcome. One comment on it would be about the kitchen staff. The kitchen is open so you can watch them prepare your meal. While I enjoy this, the staff has to be conscious that everyone in the restaurant can hear them talking. Nothing bad was said but they seemed in their own little world, shouting stories to one another as they cooked. They were quite load and while slightly distracting; it wasn’t a huge deal to me. Service gets a B

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Price/Quality - $18 for an all you can eat buffet with plenty of good offerings is a great deal. There were some things on the buffet I wish I had avoided but with enough trips I certainly got my money’s worth. While I might not pay that again for the buffet, I certainly have no complaints about what I received here for the price. Price/Quality gets a B

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Uniqueness – Everything they do here is just ever so slightly above average. Food was good, not amazing but above average. I wasn’t snapping tons of pics of the ambiance, but it was pretty and service was above average too. Everything was done well here and puts them above a lot of other places. It stood out enough that if I was in the area, I would consider coming here over a few other restaurants in Decatur, but at the same time there are a good handful of restaurants I’d pick over this one. Uniqueness gets a B-

Wahoo! a Decatur Grill on Urbanspoon

Da Vinci’s Donuts

GRADE: A-

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Food – I got a sample box of 8 doughnuts. They were good, and I am sure you will like them. However, you have to understand the concept here before you bite into the first one. The doughnuts are small so yocan try several different ones. The batter has no spices mixed in so that the customer flavors stand out. The different flavors are made from the icing and toppings placed on the donut. This place is really just a chance to try some new and different donut flavors. They aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here by giving you some donut monstrosity or outdo other donut shops. They are trying to give you something unique and I think they do well at that. Food gets a B+

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Ambiance – It’s a typical donut shop in the middle of a small shopping center. Everything is new and very nice. They have cool little chalk boards the menu is written on and a nice place where they display all their donuts. If you can take the girly overtones out of this statement then I can say…It’s like a little adventure. I think most people get some to go, but if you want to grab some coffee and a donut and sit down, there are some tables in there too. I could see myself stopping in the morning and hanging for a few. Ambiance gets a B+

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Service – The two nicest people on the whole planet work in this shop. I’m pretty sure it was the owners and you could just see the pride beaming from them. They put love in every donut they make and they are just full of joy when they get a customer coming in to try their creations. I love that. I love going into a place where someone is so happy to have me as a customer. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. Great service is one thing, having your patronage really appreciated is an entire other thing. Service gets an A+

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Price/Quality – I got a box of 8 for a little over $9. That’s really a good price for 8 unique, delicious and hand crafted donuts. Keep in mind these are smaller than what you think of a typical donut is but still when other shops are charging me $2-$3 for a donut, this place is a great deal. If I wasn’t such a health nut, I might frequent this place more for my morning pastry. Price/Quality gets a B+

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Uniqueness – The donuts here are very unique. I don’t think you will find the style replicated many other places. I at least have not in all my donut eating days. I also can say that being appreciated for my business like I was here has never happened anywhere else. It’s a truly unique spot that I will visit many more times. Uniqueness gets an A

 

Da Vinci’s Donuts on Urbanspoon

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