Friday, June 14, 2019

Eats & Treats in GA

While on a (mostly) southern states road trip traveling from New Hampshire to Florida, we're sampling foods along the way. It's part of the road trip fun for us. Here's some recent dining experiences in Norcross and Dahlongea, GA.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Norcross, GA was a welcome place for dinner after a  long day’s drive from neighboring TN, more so because it was directly across the parking lot from our hotel. We learned just how popular the restaurant is as gates were installed at the entry to the hotel’s parking. Apparently, diners would use the lot which left guests with no spaces, definitely not good business for the hotel.

From the hotel front desk we learned that the eatery was a very popular place, not only on weekends, but many weeknights after the work day is over. So, of course, we had to dine there and try it out as it was a first-time for us.

Luckily, we were early and the dining room was uncrowded. Service was slow considering the sparseness. However, in this case, it was a welcome relief as we were in no hurry. Accommodations were next door. We were parked for the night, and more than willing to linger and enjoy our meal with our rush. However, our dining parter (above) was in a hurry and scampered off even before appetizers were served.
The menu featured, of course, seafood, mostly done cajun style. Appetizers included gumbo, oysters, octopus, crawfish, lobster bisque and crispy alligator, which Grenville enjoyed and I tried — it tasted (sort of) like chicken to me, but not a favorite. 

Dinner items included Shrimp Creole and Grits, Crawfish or Shrimp Étouffée,  Blackened Mississippi Catfish, Redfish Pontchartrain, If none of these choices (or others) were appealing, dinners with steak, lobster and crab were also available. Our dinners were rainbow trout with shrimp (Grenville) and grilled salmon and salad (my choice).

Pappas Restaurants, Inc. or Pappas Restaurants is a private, family-owned and operated restaurant chain, founded by Greek-American brothers Pete and Jim Pappas and headquartered in Houston, TX. The first restaurant was a greek grill opened in 1967. The company is currently run by fourth-generation brothers Chris and Harris Pappas. There are 10 unique restaurants in more than 80 locations in the U.S. including; TX, CO, AZ, IL, OH, NM, GA, and AL. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is the largest "concept" restaurant in the company's restaurant business. 

We told our server, John, that we had recently celebrated our 22nd anniversary, in fact it was on the day we started this current road trip. The anniversary marked the day of our 1st date, but John didn't ask and delivered key lime pie for dessert which was "complimentary." (Thanks, John, we shared and it was delicious.)

Mojito's is a Cuban-American bistro that opened last year in Norcross, GA, in the downtown shopping district. The family-owned and operated restaurant offers homemade dishes and desserts and live Salsa and Latin Jazz music in the evenings. We were there for lunch and unfortunately missed the music, which we learned was often provided by the owners, Luis and Yanin Fernandez.

The restaurant lunch and dinner menus include several sandwich choices including a traditional Cuban sandwich (sandwich Cubano), roast pork or a barbecue sandwich, plus chicken, seafood and pork choices of salads and entrees.

The small, casual eatery has indoor seating, but on a beautiful and not-too-hot GA afternoon our first choice was outside dining. 

Luckily, our dining companion readily agreed to our choice. We had the pleasure or dining with Ludwig, a fellow blogger, who coincidentally also lives in nearby Peachtree Corners and had recommended Mojito’s as a meet-up for lunch. 

This was a wonderful first-time meeting for all of us. We not only enjoyed a delicious lunch, but spent time afterwards exploring a bit of the Norcross shopping district, which was small but charming.

Ludwig and I had previously corresponded after I told him that my cousin also lives in Peachtree Corners and the we hoped to visit her (which we did on this trip). If you get a chance, do visit his blog site, Cafè Ludwig, it provides a wealth of information on photography and computer tips and tricks. (Thanks, Ludwig for a wonderful few hours together. we look forward to seeing you the next time we're in GA.)
A few views of the charming downtown Norcross, GA chopping district that we explored before and after lunch during our visit.

Monteluce Winery & Estates in Dahlongea, GA provides the beauty of Tuscany, the experience of Sonoma and the hospitality of the South. This is a winery-based estate community in Dahlongea,about 40 miles north of Atlanta, GA. It was founded in 2007 by a partnership between Atlanta-based Beecham Builders, Greenway Development, and Harrison Design Associates and features Tuscan-styled architecture. Montaluce's first grapes were crushed in the fall of 2008. The facility is on 400 acres with 35 acres dedicated to the vineyard which produces Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Merlot wines. 

If you’re are looking for a new home and can afford living here, a lot is priced from $70,000 to $600,000 and homes from $370,000 to $1.35 million. It’s expected that the project, which will include a hotel and 300 homes, will be completed in five or six years. (No thanks, we're staying in NH.)

Lucky for us, there's also a full-service restaurant on site which serves lunch, dinner and brunch. We went for lunch with my cousin, Kathie who lives in Peachtree Corners. We were also visiting her on this trip. (It was a great visit and more to come on our GA experiences.)

For lunch, Pat and I both selected the "Chef's Delight" which was Havarti grilled cheese, house-made truffle honey, and Tuscan tomato soup (photo top left). Kathie selected a" Local Salad Greens" with a chef's choice of cheese, roasted nuts, heirloom tomatoes, house croutes, house vinaigrette (no photo taken). We enjoyed our selections, even though Grenville and I usually prefer grilled and/or smoked gouda for our grilled cheese sandwiches.

The restaurant, as expected, serves wines produced in the winery. There's a separate tasting room and wine samples can also be tried in the restaurant, which we all did. Prices ranged from $7 to $35 for white wines (glass or bottle), $14 to $78 for red wines and $8 to $36 for sparking wines (Prosecco). We opted to enjoy glasses of wine vs. a bottle as we were heading out for more fun after lunch and Kathie was the designated driver.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful place to visit, it’s wonderful to actually meet our blog friends!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Wow, living on a wine estate! I can't even imagine! -Jenn

Nil @ The Little House by the Lake said...

How nice to meet fellow bloggers. Are you planning to meet more blog friends on this trip? I wish I were there to meet you while you are in FL. Hopefully next time. 😊

Sandra said...

since all the foods you are eating are not on my food plan, i am wondering if all these restruants are effecting your weight. you look the same to me, so maybe not. if i ate everything you have been showing me i would have to shop for clothes while on the trip. we have close friends in Dalongea.

William Kendall said...

It's good to meet fellow bloggers. The lizard is a neat addition!

Emma Springfield said...

Everything looked so good (if it was meant to be eaten). The scenery is beautiful. But I am still salivating over the key lime pie.

DUTA said...

My favorite picture is the last one - the two of you with cousin Kathy.
Food is very 'photogenic' in your posts! I greatly enjoy the food pictures.
In reality, when I'm out and want to have a bite I'll usually go to the nearest McDonalds as they have the calories marked on each item. I must watch my body weight (sigh).

Michelle said...

Trying new foods is one of the things I enjoy about travel. Looks like you are doing great in that area :)

Valerie said...

After reading this I felt a bit hungry.

I have never met a blog friend, you all live too far away.

Latane Barton said...

I just absolutely was salavating by the time I finished reading your post. Your trip is fantastic. My blog listing came up as . no name so I fixed that!! Now, maybe you can find me.

bill burke said...

It's nice to meet fellow bloggers. Looks like you are having a great time.

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

Thanks for the nice call and sorry that we couldn't make it work to meet up but our area is nowhere near as photogenic as what you show here. You've done a good job on your route. Happy travels.

Karen Lakis said...

The food all looks good. I'm fascinated by the winery restaurant - Tuscany, Sonoma, and the South sounds like a fantastic combination. This looks like a great road trip!

Connie said...

You've been enjoying quite an amazing culinary adventure. Everything sounds good (well, maybe not the alligator!). Nice for you to be able to meet fellow bloggers.

The Liberty Belle said...

It looks like you are really living it up on your travels! I'm glad you were able to eat at Pappadeaux's. The food is typically good there. Just thinking about their praline bread pudding makes my mouth water. How wonderful that you got to meet-up with a fellow blogger and a relative. Wishing you continued adventures!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It looks like you are still enjoying your trip and the wonderful food in these places in the South! Have FUN! Safe travels!

L. D. said...

A wonderful place to visit. I liked the looks of all the food.

baili said...

wow these food are mouthwatering dear Dorothy !

so many places with so many treats :)

i fell in love with surroundings of restaurant ,so much natural beauty there!

My name is Erika. said...

The food looks yummy. I've tried gator once and even though I don't crave it, I am glad I tried it. It's like the when in Rome cliche. if you are there you have to do it. Happy travels. I'm enjoying your journey.

Ludwig said...

It really was a great delight to meet fellow bloggers Beatrice and Grenville, and the real friends "behind the curtain", Dorothy and Patrick. How marvelous to connect with friends via blogging!

You have been doing a wonderful job of describing your experiences and going into such rich detail and history of the places.

Thank you for making time to meet up! I am looking forward to the next time our paths cross!