Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunset Grill update
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
It's pretty much unheard of for a Greek restaurant to have bad gyros or baklava. The Greek food here is no exception, prepared well even if it doesn't do much to distinguish it from other gyro places. The Greek salad portions are fairly large here, with the sizes above small probably being intended for sharing. Two people could share an appetizer and a medium Greek salad here and call it a meal.
The pizza's not bad either, even if it isn't quite the Mellow Mushroom. The crust is relatively thin and crispy, with a list of both relatively traditional and Greek toppings. Their Mediterranian Special, for example, has feta cheese (along with mozzerella), tomatoes, gyro meat, and several branches' worth of black olives. They don't skimp on the toppings any more than they skimp on the salad portions.
Tava's Pizza is a good everyday restaurant. It's neither likely to top any charts, nor is it likely to be the sort you'll hear horror stories about terrible food. It's simply a solid choice for when you feel like dining out and getting some decent Greek food without spending a fortune.
4489 Highway 20
Conyers, GA 30013
Monday, November 14, 2005
R L's Off the Square
You will find no such innane advertising nonsense at R L's. The chef here came from New Orleans, and writing on the menu only describes the care he puts into his cooking. They have no need of inappropriate Louisiana references to sell their food. R L's serves up a variety of authentic Creole food. You'll find the expected crawfish and jambalaya on the menu, and there are also some original creole creations such as The Turner.
The Turner is one of those combinations that sounds unlikely when you first hear about it, but it works. To make one, start by taking some jalepeno and cheese grits. Fry them up into patties that sort of resemble flat, burger-shaped hush puppies. Now stack two of these with three layers of meat. Top it off with a generous helping of meaty, spicy soup, and garnish with shrimp, parsely, and tomatoes. It's definitely not the sort of food you see everyday... but it works so well that you have to wonder why you don't.
This is a fairly upscale restaurant. Expect to pay between $12 and $20 for an entree. However, you definitely get your money's worth. Not only is this top-notch cooking, but the presentation is truly impressive. If the Atlanta Grill served Creole, it might arrive on plates that looked like these.
This is not the sort of restaurant I would compare to Bourbon Street. Instead, it reminds me of an afternoon I spent in Jackson Square, listening to a street jazz band, watching a musician, and looking at a sidewalk art show. R L's is straight out of the part of New Orleans that you could visit and not be embarassed to write to Mom about.
1113 Floyd St. NE
Covington, GA 30014
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Thomas' Country Buffet
The restaurant occupies half of an old railroad depot, not to mention a pair of converted boxcars. It's easy to imagine how it must have looked in the height of the era of steam trains, as passengers stopped for a brief rest on their way from Augusta to Atlanta. And if you are having difficulties imagining it, the artwork on the walls should help. Decorating the walls with paintings of steam trains, vintage railroad posters, and old railroad logos is a fairly obvious choice.
The food is quite good. The menu depends on the day of the week, and to a lesser extent, the time of year. If you stop in, you can pick up a copy showing their rotating menu. There is always a couple of different meat dishes and a wide selection of vegetables. One vegetable that is not to be missed is their fried green tomatoes; I don't know if I have ever been to a restaurant that prepares these better. These are served weekdays (except for Monday, when they are closed) and on some Sundays. According to the menu, they don't normally serve fried green tomatoes on Saturdays.
For some reason, this buffet has changed hands several times in the past few years. Given how crowded it has been recently, I think Thomas (whose name is pronounced with a long "O") is going to be able to hang onto this for as long as he wants.
4122 Emory St.
Covington, GA 30014