Archive | February, 2011

Decatur Diner – a review

23 Feb

First, let me say, I just used Old English cleaner for the first time and I think it’s making my eyes burn.  I mean, I used it and now my eyes burn.  But it was so effective!  Yes, this is what my life has become.  Hopefully life will get a little more interesting when I start my new job on Sunday.

NOW – The Decatur Diner.  We’ve been in town for about six weeks now and last weekend we discovered how awesome “Downtown” Decatur really is.  I think it’s the cutest little downtown I’ve ever seen and we’d driven through it a few times but never stopped.  We ate a Raging Burrito (YUM!) the other night, walked around, and realized there was more around than meets the eye.  We need to explore more!

So I got the call this morning that I’d gotten the job and wanted to celebrate – so we headed off to the Decatur Diner for lunch, which I’ve been wanting to try since I noticed it opened.  According to Urban Spoon it opened on Valentine’s Day and every time I’ve driven past since then it’s been pretty crowded looking.  It also met my criteria for outdoor seating with people watching.

Parking was on the street with a meter (cost us fifty cents) or in a paid lot, which would have been three or five dollars.  I didn’t notice anything that said they validate and I forgot to ask if they did.  Raging Burrito validates for one and a half hours, which is nice.  There was a wait for inside, so we sat outside even though it was a little chilly.  I didn’t see the inside at all so I can’t tell you if the decor or bathrooms are any good.

The menu had enough variety.  The price point was pretty good, too – the two of us ate for $18 before tip.  We each had a Diet Coke, I had the BLT (I’ve been craving one!) and that was $5.50-ish.  Husband had a gyro which was about $9.00.  It was a lunch special and came with a very yummy Greek salad with two massive chunks of feta on it.  I didn’t ask him how his Gyro was, but he ordered the greek potatoes and it came with fries instead.  My BLT left somewhere between a little and a lot to be desired.  The toasted bread actually came burned on one side.  I could taste the burn in my mouth.  Also, it came without mayo.  Who serves a BLT without mayo?  I had to ask for some.  The fries were very delicious, though.  The cole slaw was nice because it didn’t have any pepper in it.

Since they just opened I think the cooks/wait staff are still trying to get up to speed.  All of the wait staff looked flustered and hurried.  We got there quarter after noon and it was already packed.  I think they could stand to have a few more wait staff per shift.  We saw the owner walking around, he was seating people but other than that he didn’t seem to be doing much.  If it was that busy I would expect the owner/manager to be pitching in some more.  We’ll go back in a couple months maybe to see if things have improved, and because Husband wants to try some more of their Greek food.  He’s a bit of a Greek food foodie, I guess.

Overall, it was mediocre… for now.


Spinach-Bacon Mac & Cheese

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies.  I know some people loathe the holiday so  I won’t say any more on that except to reiterate that there is no such thing as a Hallmark holiday.

What I have for you today is a recipe.  One of those little gems you find on the back of a package of cheese that ends up being sinfully delicious.  I made this for us last week and it’s definitely a keeper.

3 cups med shell mac
5 oz baby spinach leaves
5 slices bacon, chopped
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook macaroni, adding spinach for last minute.  Meanwhile, cook bacon in large saucepan.  Remove bacon and save drippings in pan.
  • Add flour to drippings and stir until bubbly.  Stir in milk, bring to boil stirring constantly and then and additional 3 to 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Stir in one cup cheddar cheese and parmesan.  Stir/cook until melted.  Add bacon and mac; mix well.
  • Transfer to casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheddar and bake twenty minutes.

New book review…

7 Feb

You can check out my latest book reviews of A Billion Reasons Why and Outlander at my other blog, Panda Reads.

Is there anything better than Maple Syrup?

7 Feb

My husband is something of a maple syrup connoisseur.  He knows what all the grades mean and he absolutely won’t eat the syrup you find at place like IHOP.  He will bring his own bottle if he has to because unless it’s real, he won’t eat it.  And I think he’s on to something because there isn’t much better than real, fresh from the farm, maple syrup.  Ever have maple syrup soft serve?  I have, at the Erie County Fair last year.  I think it might have actually been the best thing I ever ate.

Why all the fuss about Maple Syrup?  Because one of my best bloggy friends is having a give away on her blog… and the winner gets a bottle of her husband’s maple syrup.  Husband and I have been wanting to try her husband’s syrup (ok, that didn’t sound right) for along time and I was a little sad that I didn’t end up being her secret santa because they got syrup.  Anyway, here’s my chance!  If you want to try and win, you can enter here.  And while you’re there, read the blog.  It’s chock full of good stuff, including some yummy recipes that I’ve tried myself.

Some Culture in ATL

7 Feb

When we lived in Miami I decided I wanted to see some of the city while we were there because I couldn’t picture myself ever going back for a vacation.  That resulted in our unfortunate trip to an art museum.  I still don’t care if I ever drive through Miami again, though I do miss our favorite restaurant, The Big Cheese.

Lucky for me Atlanta has a lot more awesome stuff to see!  We’ve already been to the World of Coca-Cola, which was awe.some.  There’s a real functioning bottling line and it was really interesting to see how they load bottles, clean them, fill them up, cap them, the whole shebang.  Then at the end of the tour you get your own bottle from the bottling line!  There is also a section where you can taste cokes from all over the world.  There were over 60 of them the day we were there, and true to my husband’s word, he tried every single one.  And didn’t throw up after!  Some were delicious, but some were gawdawful, like one of the bitter ones from England.  Blechh!

This past weekend we went to the aquarium on Friday because after three p.m. college students get in half price.  Chris used his med school ID and I used my old UB ID because the picture still looks like me and it doesn’t have any kind of date on it.  Score!  We saw all kinds of good stuff, including penguins, who I just wanted to pick up and squeeze, and sharks and whales and everything in between.

Saturday, because it was the first weekend of the month and Bank of America card holders get in free, we went to the High Museum of Art here, and boy was that a nice change from the one in Miami!  It had REAL art, including Chris’s favorite, Monet.  They have an exhibit going on right now featuring the art of Toulouse-Lautrec, which I loved.  I used to have several posters of his hanging in my various dorm rooms in college, and it was great to see the full-sized version of my favorite.

We haven’t done the history museum yet, but I can’t wait.  I think that ones going to take a full day because it sits on 30 acres or something.  There’s still a lot to see in Atlanta and so far I’m loving our Saturdays of sight-seeing!