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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Restaurants

I like nothing more than food and everything connected with it: menu planning, reading cookbooks, grocery shopping (Yes, I love it), preparing meals, and enjoying them with family and friends. I'm always trying something new for dinner. Last night, I made vegetarian paella! It was good, but the saffron did not give the rice it's beautiful golden color! That's another story for another time.

Being from Atlanta, there are so many restaurants from which to choose. If a restaurant is famous for burgers, by all means, I'm going to have one of their burgers on the first visit. I went to Ted's Montana Grill and had a burger. It was fabulous! So, I've now tried many, many of their burgers since they are known for them. If the national soup of Viet-Nam is Pho, then that is the soup I will try at a Vietnamese restaurant. Pancakes at the "Original Pancake House", etc....

As a rule, I'm not a heavy breakfast eater. I'm just not hungry in the mornings. I really enjoy breakfast foods though. Yesterday, I went to a local cafe called "The Flying Biscuit Cafe". It was around noon, but they serve breakfast all day. Of course, before I even set foot in the door, I knew I was going to have a biscuit!! The friendly waiter explained many of the specials and must have said (at least three times) how wonderful the oatmeal pancakes were. I rarely eat pancakes, but he was going on and on how he eats them every day. I'd personally rather have a waffle or french toast. The menu at this place has a little bit of everything: pasta, meats, chicken, and of course breakfast food. I looked at the menu on the breakfast side, and I went the simple route and had an egg biscuit and coffee.

The biscuit was high unlike any other I have ever seen! Usually, biscuits are flatter in restaurants that I frequent. I believe there was a touch of cinnamon in the batter. Not exactly sure of all the spices, but it was a nice subtle taste. Along side was a butter made with cranberries and cinnamon. I've had "apple butter", but never cranberry butter. I took the top off of the biscuit, slathered (I like that term) it with butter and topped it with the cran-butter. I ate the other part of the biscuit with egg and cheese separately. I'm one to eat with a fork anyway, so it was not a problem taking apart the biscuit to eat.

The biscuit had a nice flavor, but I'm so used to a different texture biscuit. It was "fluffy" on the inside, but he outside was crunchy! I'm not wild about the crunchy-crusted biscuit, but the flavor won over the crunch! I was spoiled by my former mother in law who made biscuits from scratch. They were soft, tender, and melt in your mouth delicious. Visit this posting to read more about her biscuits:

...another biscuit memory.... Guess who else makes terrific biscuits? My brother!!! I know he is an awesome cook, but had never had his biscuits. I'm sure he learned from his southern born wife how to make them as I know he didn't learn from our mom. We had the kind that came out of the can on the rare occasion that we had biscuits. I'll even make them on rare occasion myself. Not from the can though... but the freezer!! Hey, they aren't that bad if you just want to have ONE or TWO biscuits!

Yes, I'll go back and visit this place to give the biscuits another try. Perhaps with gravy next time....southern style! I'm sure that would soften up the "crunch". From experience, I know that they can be overcooked just a tad and lose their soft texture.

The place was so colorful, bright, and cheerful I'd go back just for that atmosphere! Nice, friendly staff also is a plus in any dining decision made!! Plus, with a menu selection as varied as this cafe, I'm sure there will be other foods just as delicious!

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar