First Watch Kennesaw Opens

First Watch Kennesaw

Chickichanga and Pumpkin Pancake

If you live in north Cobb county, or the Kennesaw / Acworth / Woodstock area, you’ll be glad to know that you have a fantastic new spot to enjoy breakfast and lunch – First Watch. First Watch opens for business today in Kennesaw.

I was first introduced to First Watch a couple months back when I  visited their Alpharetta location. I completely enjoyed the omelette with sun-dried tomatoes and sweet Italian sausage. This time, I opted to give their signature Chickichanga a try. It is both chicken and chorizo egg and avocado in a spicy sauce. Not sure which of their breakfast / brunch entrees I prefer.

For a limited time they also have Pumpkin pancakes. What I love about these fluffy pancakes, is that they aren’t overly sweet and sugary like so many other restaurants have. They have a delicious Pumpkin flavor. Be careful – one is quite large!

  • You can substitute cholesterol-free eggs or egg whites at no extra charge
  • Want to share? There’s no split-plate charge
  • No auto-gratuity no matter how large your party is
  • They source ingredients locally

First Watch Kennesaw is open daily from 7 am to 2 pm.
3815 Cherokee Street
Kennesaw, GA 30144
678.401.7431

First Watch on Urbanspoon

Doc Chey’s Dragon Bowl in Decatur, GA

By Kelley Musson

Asian food has always been a love of mine. My first time eating authentic Asian food was in college. A friend of mine from Laos had huge family gatherings every Sunday. The first time I saw the layout I was in awe at not only the amount of food that was on display, but the beautiful colors, quality, and overall flavor of the food. From the beautifully cooked spring rolls, to the greens that gave every dish a pop of color, to the way in which the rice noodles sat in their bowls of pho, which filled the room with an amazing aroma. It was authentic Asian food at its finest, and I was ready to dig in!

dining room at doc chey's dragon bowl

Upon going into Doc Chey’s Dragon Bowl, I’ll have to say that I was a bit skeptical. After all, how exciting is a bowl of food? As I walked inside the moderately busy restaurant, I had no clue where to start. I saw some other lunch goers walking towards a huge blackboard which had the menu written in chalk. Dragon Bowl does counter service for lunch hours. The menu was a step by step system: Pick your style (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese), pick your base (noodles, rice, or salad), protein, and veggies. I love that fact that you can tailor your bowl to your specific craving.

Dragon Bowl decatur emory lunch

Dumplings and Citrus Punch

Since it was after 12, we decided to indulge a little. I chose the citrus punch (see left), which is a fruity beverage infused with saki. It’s a great choice if you’re opting for a lunchtime cocktail; very light, not too sweet, and very refreshing. I also tried a taste of the Fu Man Brew that they had on tap. Nice and a deal at only $3.50 a glass.

We started off with the Shanghai dumplings which were AMAZING. It was a perfect combination of ground pork, garlic and ginger. I honestly could have eaten it as a meal by itself. For my main entree, I decided on the Japanese style which consisted of a teriyaki glaze, sesame miso sauce, Japanese pickles,and furikake. I went with the ramen for my base and grilled chicken for my meat. Since my lovely date ordered the grilled ribeye, I figured chicken to be the next best option. They do offer Tofu as well. For my veggie I chose their season picks of the day – broccoli and sesame slaw.

Japanese Chicken Bowl at Dragon Bowl

Japanese Chicken Bowl at Dragon Bowl

When my bowl arrived I was really pleased with the colorful dish; bright purple slaw, fresh broccoli, perfectly glazed grilled chicken, all sitting on a bed of ramen with furikake sprinkled generously. All of those flavors crammed into one bowl was a pleasant surprise. The combined flavors were awesome, taking me back to that same feeling from college.

Malika went with the Vietnamese style which consisted of nuoc cham, a honey lemongrass glaze, Vietnamese pickles, crushed peanuts and cilantro. She chose the vermicelli for her base, with the ribeye and cauliflower. Another great combination, but I think I preferred the combination of hot and cold in my bowl. The ribeye was cooked just how I like it; tender, but seared to a slight crisp. The cilantro was also a nice addition. The only thing I would have done without was the nuoc cham, which was luckily served on the side. It had a specific taste that didn’t do the bowl any justice.

Overall, I would say Doc Chey’s Dragon Bowl is a great lunch spot. The service was friendly and helpful, and fast. The food was fresh and generally delicious.

1556 N Decatur Rd, Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 378-8188

Disclosure: This as a complimentary meal but the opinions expressed are my own.

Doc Chey's Dragon Bowl on Urbanspoon

About Kelley:

Kelley Musson was born and raised in one of the most beautiful islands in the world –Bermuda. She relocated to Atlanta summer 2014, and is excited about the variety of restaurants at her fingertips. With an appreciation not only for great food, but also the ambiance that a restaurant provide, Kelley loves to share when she’s had a memorable meal; especially one that includes a great cocktail or glass of wine to accompany it!

Lobby Bar and bistro Atlantic Station

Lobby Bar and Bistro, Atlantic Station, Gets a New Chef

I’ve always liked the food and Lobby and Bar and Bistro. Unfortunately, for me it is like a middle child that often gets forgotten. Lobby has a new chef and I was invited to sample some of his tasty new treats. Chef Justin Kurtz has spent a considerable amount of time working for the Ritz-Carlton and also served as the executive chef at Chateau Elan Resort.

There’s a good mix of craft cocktails all priced at $12. Some of the more interesting sounding ones were the White Whiskey Punch, Ginger Blossom (made with vodka, ginger beer and muddled strawberries) sounds like a fun twist on a Moscow Mule. My choice was the Cucumber Collins with vodka, muddled cucumbers and thyme which was very refreshing.

Rather than indulge in a second cocktail I moved on to wine. There’s definitely a nice selection wines by the glass including Malbecs and Tempranillos, perfect to go with the spice of many of the dishes you’ll find on Lobby’s menu. However, I wasn’t really in love with either of the wines I sampled.

Lobby Bar and Bistro #ASNation

Cucumber and Green Apple Caprese Salad

Lobby’s menu is divided into three sections: Small Plates (average price / dish $5), Shared Pates (average price / dish $12) and Large Plates (average price / dish $29). With each section the choices get slimmer, with the Large Plates section only having five choices. But that’s okay, because I guarantee by the time you make it through the first two, you’ll only have room to share an entree, which is exactly what happened to me and my hubs.

Chef asked if he could just select things on the menu to have us try. When a chef suggest this, I never turn him down. Note the first dish (Cucumber and Green Apple Caprese salad pictured above) is a half portion of what would normally be served. I thought this was an incredible, yet simple twist on your normal caprese salad. The green apple (only slightly tart) and mint added such a wonderful change from normal tomato and basil. And what a deal for just $5.

Lobby bar and bistro in Atlantic Station review

Fried Egg

Another new favorite at Lobby Bar and Bistro? The Fried Egg. But this is no ordinary fried egg. It has a mustard base, but with the jamon serrano and fried bread crumbs it seem like a cross between a deviled egg and a scotch egg. Who would think so much pleasure could come from something so small? Another starter we sampled, the scallops with creamed corn (pictured at the top of the page) was quite good too and seems almost like a holdover from the last menu.

seafood restaurants in Atlantic Station Atlanta, ga

Shrimp Cocktail Veracruz

Under the shared plates we stuck to chilled seafood with Shrimp Cocktail Veracruz and Tuna Ceviche. We did sample the Duck Confit Flat Bread as well, and it was pretty disappointing. There seemed to be little duck and the “roasted grapes” had an overall displeasing taste. While I’m a slut for Tuna Ceviche, and Lobby’s with dates, grapefruit, pistachio and sweet potatoes sounded so promising, I’m a fennel hater and it seemed particularly overpowering in this dish.

seafood restaurants Atlantic Station

Blackened Salmon

Too full to share an entree each, we shared the Blackened Salmon. With charred corn and tomato coulis, the dish had a pretty smokey flavor. While I did love it, the smokiness might not be palatable for everyone. All throughout the menu there are touches of peppers  and spice, which shows the chef’s proclivity to south of the border foods, probably from his time spent working in South Beach.

Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal. But the opinions expressed are my own.

361 17th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30363

 

 

Oktoberfest at Petite Auberge

No need to travel to north Georgia’s Helen, to celebrate Oktoberfest this year. Petite Auberge, has a traditional Oktoberfest dinner menu all month long and an authentic Oktoberfest Party on the third weekend of the month.
Oktoberfest at Petite Auberge
Now through Fri., Oct. 31, the restaurant offers an Oktoberfest dinner menu, featuring traditional German and Bavarian appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. Entrée selections, include: braised Bavarian Pork Roast, marinated German Sauerbraten, roasted Schweinshaxe, braised Beef Rouladen, pan-seared Wiener Schnitzel, sautéed Jaegerschnitzel, pan-fried German Rostbraten and, of course, Bratwurst and Knackwurst. Sides include are: potato pancake, spaetzle, Bavarian dumpling, whipped potatoes, red cabbage, sauerkraut and vegetables of the day. And of course, homemade Apple Strudel, for dessert.
The Oktoberfest Party happens on Fri., Oct. 17 and Sat., Oct. 18, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and features a buffet with all-you-can-eat traditional German and Bavarian cuisine (served until 9 p.m.). Items on the buffet include everything mentioned above. The restaurant’s courtyard and banquet rooms are transformed into a Bavarian-style festival hall for the festivities. The event also boasts a cash bar with select German draft beers and a selection of German wines as well as traditional “oompah” music by the famous polka party band Bavarian Express. The party costs $40 per person including gratuity.

Netherworld: #HauntedHouse Creeps Up Again

Netherworld #hauntedhouse
Now in it’s eighteenth year of production, the creators of Netherworld, one of the top rated haunted houses in the country, have learned a thing or two along the way about scaring us silly. Never having been before, I was excited to be invited to a special behind-the-scenes look at Netherworld and have a tour by co-creators Billy Messina and Ben Armstrong.

About 75,000 people come through Netherworld each season. The space has grown to encompass 40,000 feet (no wonder they can’t locate downtown). There are 125 actors and the costume room, which is the size of a small house, contains nearly 3,000 costumes.

As we toured through the different rooms and saw witches, psycho dolls, gigantic creatures, navigated spinning rooms, and dodged flying bodies, I came to understand what the appeal of Netherworld truly is. These guys are geniuses at creating something new and exciting each year.

“We want you to use all your senses,” says Ben. Not only is there a plethora of creepy sounds going on but during the show they even pipe in offensive scents into the air. And if you get sprayed in the mouth by the creepy dolls, well…

is netherworld haunted house scary netherworld haunt

What I really loved about Netherworld is that it is well thought out in that even when crowded, a group of people in front of you won’t necessarily spoil the surprise of what you might find when you enter a room. Many of the creatures are human operated, meaning they know just when to jump out and scare you. The rooms are small and the path twists and turns so you never know what the next room will hold.

While in the past, haunted houses had a theme of evil or terror, according to owner, Ben, now the trends are more about the supernatural and apocalyptic (think The Walking Dead). Knowing this, Ben and Billy work on incorporating that into Netherworld each year.

New this season is Spliced, the story of a human cloning company gone awry. The clones morphed into insidious monsters, leaving lots of blood in their path.

Netherworld is open every night from now until November 2, plus is open on November 7th and 8th. Check out the video of their opening weekend:

Looking for a place to eat near Netherworld? Check out these three ethnic spots.

The Mughals $
This restaurant serves a mixture of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine. Really want to get into the Halloween spirit? Order the brains masala. Yes, it’s actually on the menu. Not feeling quite so adventurous? The Chicken 65, curries, Biryani are sure to please.

Nam Phuong $$
For a taste of Vietnam, visit Nam Phuong. The restaurant has a popular Buford Highway location, and opened up this second location in Norcross. Menu highlights are the Catfish in Claypot, Salt and Pepper Tofu and Ground Shrimp with sugar cane.

Hae Woon Dae BBQ $$
This Korean barbecue is a terrific choice if you have a group of diners. The restaurant has grills in the center of the table for diners to cook their own food. It works well if you can order several dishes to share.