>:|

17 more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
17 more days till Halloween
Silver Shamrock!

Bakery Review – Gigi’s Cupcakes – Peachtree City, GA

I was really excited to try the cupcakes at Gigi’s since I just absolutely love cupcakes.

I bought 4 cupcakes from them to try them out: Lemon Dream Supreme, Snickerdoodle, Sweet Potato Pie, Blueberry Lemonade.  I have to say, for $13/4 cupcakes – they really weren’t that good. A bit of a disappointment really.  The ratio of icing to cake is weird – coming close to 3 -3.5 inches of icing to about 2 inches of cake.  Below are the descriptions from their website and my thoughts.

Lemon Dream Supreme
Lemon cake with a lemon filling topped with lemon butter cream frosting and a candied lemon slice.

Cake was dense (bit too dense), the icing was massive and the candied lemon slice was those fruit wedges instead of a candied lemon slice.  I couldn’t even see or taste the lemon filling. Surprisingly this cupcake was not very lemony and way too sweet, with the ever-present grainy butter cream (ick).

Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with crystal sugar.

Nate ate this one.  He said “can’t taste the bourbon at all, cake was dry and overall “it sucked”.

The last two, we shared.

Snickerdoodle
Cinnamon swirl cake with cookie dough frosting, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and topped with a snickerdoodle cookie.

Again, dry, dense un-moist cake, grainy and way too much cinnamon in the icing (could feel the texture of it on my tongue) and just overall ick.

Blueberry Lemonade
Lemon cake with a blueberry butter cream icing.

Couldn’t really taste any blueberry in the icing, lemon cake not very lemony.

Overall not very impressed and won’t be going back. I could probably make better.

Restaurant Review – Saza “Serious Italian” – Newnan, GA

Saza opened up in Newnan near the Square about 2 months ago.  I have mixed feelings about the place.  The interior is really nice looking.  Lots of blood red walls and “faux” finish added as touches.  The seating is weird and depending upon where you are sitting, you can have glaring lights in your eyes or blood chilling cold air blowing directly on you.  The staff is super nice and seem enthusiastic to work there.  We have been there several times now — once the day after it opened and it had a limited menu.  We have both tried several items on the menu, from appetizers, to salads, to main courses and desserts.

I am a skeptic when it comes to “authentic” italian food in the south.  They never seem to get it right – as evidenced by the amount of Olive Gardens and other “italian” chains down here.  Same goes for pizza down here — there is probably only 3-4 pizza joints I have found that are truly worth it.

Saza tends to be a bit pricey — overpriced really.  The don’t offer side salads, nor bread with the meal.  Garlic Styx are an appetizer. Now onto the food (and listing stuff we tried).

Appetizers:

Stuffed Hot Peppers – $8 – you get two peppers stuffed with Bolognese meat blend, fresh mozzarella and arrabiata sauce.
This is probably one of the best items on the appetizer menu.  Tasty, a bit spicy (a good spicy).

Grandma’s Eggplant – $8 – served at room temperature with tomatoes, fresh mint & grated Pecorino cheese.
We both found this bland and definitely not worth $8

Chopped Salads:

House Salad – $6
I ordered the house salad with the Mountain Blue Gorgonzola dressing – the salad is pretty tasty – nothing out of the ordinary in it, could use a tad more dressing

Grandma’s Traditional Chopped Antipasto Salad – $12 – Salami, soppresata, mortadella, provolone, roasted peppers, olives, artichokes, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and assorted greens.
Fairly tasty, esp when trying to find a traditional antipasto salad down “south”.

“Serious Pizza”
Have only tried one so far, and honestly it was a bomb.

Kafta Lamb Pizza – $19 for a 16″ pizza – lamb with cardamon curry, feta cheese, mint oil and curried yogurt sauce.
The curry is too overpowering on this pizza and can only eat one slice before it gets to be too much.

Pasta and Entrees

Chopped Lobster, Shrimp, Spinach over Angel Hair – $19 – with EVOO, exploded garlic, reggiano cheese, Chardonnay
Apparently this is one of their most popular dishes.  My only complaint was there wasn’t enough lobster, otherwise it was pretty tasty and glad I tried it – not sure if I will have it again.

Chicken Paillard – $16 – flattened and sauteed chicken breast in a rich pesto cream over rigatoni.
I have had this twice now and if you like pesto, this is very good, and definitely something I will order on a regular basis.

Calamari & Shrimp Fra Diavlo – $18 – with tomatoes over spaghettini
could be a bit spicier, since it is a Fra Diavlo sauce, but otherwise pretty good.

Grandma’s Spaghetti and Meatballs – $14
You get a lot of spaghetti and meatballs almost the size of baseballs.  The meatballs were rather bland and honestly I make better ones at home.

Grandma’s Sunday Sauce – $20 – meatballs, pork and lamb shoulder over rigatoni, the “real thing”
The pork and lamb were tasty, again bland meatballs and the sauce needs a bit more flavor – rather pricey dish.

Dessert:

Tiramisu – $8
probably one of the best Tiramisu I’ve had.  Definitely rich and creamy and there is biscotti in it as well.

Cannoli
It was just ok.

Some of the items on the menu are really good, others definitely over-priced and I think we go mainly for the Tiramisu.

Restaurant Review – Fabiano’s Pizzeria – Newnan, GA

Fabiano’s Pizzeria – 5 stars

Fabiano’s is one of my most favorite places here in Newnan. The place is located in the square in the heart of Newnan. Fabiano’s is small and cozy and decorated in the most fabulous geek art: Star Wars, Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, Zombies, Skulls, etc. which all can be purchased off the wall (I have my eye on the Cthulhu Stormtrooper painting!)

We go almost every Sunday and I usually order the same thing each time: Garlic Knots and the Grilled Chicken Caesar salad. Both are fabulous and I could probably eat that meal every day. Also outstanding is the Pizza, the Jamaican Jerk Chili and the Tater Tots (all the way and add bacon!).

Fabiano’s makes you feel welcome and the staff there is truly amazing. Special kudos to Lisa and Clint. Tuesday is trivia and we need to try that one night. Oh, and lest I forget. The desserts are to die for and will definitely put you into a food coma. Warm Brownie with fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzle, Canolli, Tiramisu and the giant bowl of Donut Holes covered in icing and powered sugar.

If you’re in Newnan and haven’t tried Fabiano’s, get there ASAP. If not in Newnan, make the trip, you won’t be disappointed!

Restaurant Review – Jekyll and Hyde’s Sports Bar – Newnan, GA

Worst place ever! Jekyll and Hyde’s website dubs itself:  Grill, Spirits and Sports!

We decided to check out Jekyll and Hyde’s this evening as their website and menu looked interesting and had some different offerings than our regular hangouts.

Upon entering the establishment, we noticed a sign that said “No baseballs hat turned sideways (only front and back)”, plus a slew of other no-no’s.  No hoodies pulled over your head, etc.  The place is fairly decent-sized – about 10 pool tables, a bar, and booths and tables.  Televisions everywhere but no real sports selection on them — more like a redneck dive.

We were told to sit anywhere, so we found a booth and the waitress (who looked about 16 and was channeling the Hooters dress code — too short shorts) came over to take our order.  Nate asked her what the beers were and she replied “Our cheapest is Coors Light for $1.50.  He then asked her again what bottled beer they have, and she gave him a blank look and didn’t know.  He ended up getting a Guinness draught and I ordered a sweet iced tea.

15 minutes later she came back and asked for our order.  We ordered the Pro-Bowl appetizer (a sampler of Chicken Wings – special Whiskey BBQ sauce, Fried Mushrooms and Jalapeno Poppers).  She asked for our main order and I said I wanted the Fried Crawfish.  Her:  “Oops, sorry, we don’t carry that anymore”.  Well okay, hmm, will have to look at the menu again.  She disappears for quite some time.  When she finally comes back, she asks us if we still want the appetizer.  Um, hello, ya.  We should have rethought that decision.  As you can see, the appetizer was a heavily fried mess:

There was about 1/4th of an inch of breading on the poppers and mushrooms and the wings tasted like they were just dipped in high-fructose bbq sauce.

I ended up ordering just a burger.  The “Avery Park” burger – American Cheese, Jalapeno’d Bacon, Lettuce and French Fries.  It was probably one of the worst burgers I have ever had, only ate about 1/3rd of it.  I also had to swap out my iced tea for a Coke because the iced tea just tasted like sugar water.  When it came time to get the check, our waitress of course had disappeared yet again, and I had to go hunt her down.  I was gone from the table about 10 mins, of which I was standing there at the counter trying to get her attention since she was just gossiping with another waitress.

Overall, the service was crap, the atmosphere was really awful and the food is sitting in my stomach like a lead balloon.  A table near us almost walked out after sitting there 30 minutes with no service.  They were still sitting there when we left and they still hadn’t gotten their food.

Verdict:  Never setting foot in there again.   This place deserves no stars.

Thank You

I just want to thank all the people that continue to leave *spam* comments on my site. No I won’t click your links, nor will I publish your comments. I will continue to delete them. If you don’t have anything productive to say, do not leave a comment.

Restaurant Review – Mexican Food Wars

We have tried two different Mexican restaurants in the past few weeks.  I love Mexican food, but don’t like “chain” type restaurants.

Chylacas (4 stars out of 5)
in Newnan next to Kroger:

I ordered the Carnitas Chili Verdes — tender pork cooked with green sauce, served with rice and beans and tortilla.  This was extremely tasty and the green sauce perfectly done and with the right amount of kick.  Even though I am not a huge fan of refried beans, these were really good.  I also ordered a side of Guacamole, since I must order Guacamole at every restaurant that carries it.  It was amazing.

La Hacienda (3 stars out of 5)
in Newnan near Walmart

Here I ordered the Chicken Enchilada Verdes — again with the green sauce.  The entire meal was bland and there was barely any green sauce on it.  The rice and refried beans tasted flat.  The guacamole was good, but not spicy enough.  We ordered an appetizer of Queso Chorizo, which was really good.

We will be definitely going back to Chylacas, as the food was much better.

Lowest Common Denominator

“The phrase is used to describe the most basic, least sophisticated level of taste, sensibility, or opinion among a group of people. This is most often used in criticism of art, products or media thought to be aiming itself at such a group, the implied complaint usually being that the subject has been simplified to appeal to a wider audience (containing only factors popular or at least acceptable to everybody).”

That is the only explanation I can give to why there is so much crap on television, the radio, the news outlets.  When movies like Twilight rake in millions, where reality TV is the norm on television and where some major news outlets read like the National Inquirer.

I don’t care about American Idol, The Housewives of Some Random City, The Jersey Shore, etc.  These shows are stupid.  I am not interested in reading about Lindsey Lohan on CNN, or some other random “star” getting drunk, doing drugs, who they married, etc.

There is a serious dumbing down of Americans.  I think culture is dead.  I don’t think I am very sophisticated, but I am definitely not in the lowest common denominator category.

Welcome to the New Blog

It has been 3.5 months since we moved to the “country”.  It has been 17 years since I moved from outside NYC to Georgia.  If you asked me 17 years ago if I would ever leave NY, the answer would have been “Hell No”.  Extraordinary circumstances and a split-second decision compelled me to move South.  Do I regret it?  No.  Do I miss NY?  Definitely!

Here I will chronicle my life in the South, the “country”, and so on.  So welcome aboard if you are reading this.