Anchors Seafood and Ale House, Roswell, First Impressions

Anchors-Seafood-Restaurant-Roswell

Walking into Anchors Seafood and Ale House around 6 pm on Saturday is a huge mistake, as I learned. The restaurant is only about 10 percent full at that point, but that didn’t stop the hostess from telling us they have so many reservations, the only spot available is at a high top in the bar area. No problem – at least we will be serenaded by the soothing sounds of non-stop doo-wop music.

Half of the name of this restaurant is correct, and it isn’t “seafood.”  Ale House is the winning half of this Roswell restaurant. Anchors has a very extensive beer list. I had a Ballast Point IPA which was quite good. What they are lacking, is seafood. That’s not to say that the seafood we had was sub-par, just not much of a choice. Besides shrimp, your choices are Oysters (fried not raw), mussels, crab cakes and Trout. Listed under the “Catch of the Day” was Tilapia. Really?

Anchors-seafood-ale-house-roswell

The food fared much better than I was expecting. The giant onion rings are, gigantic as promised and mighty good, but skip the “Anchors dipping sauce,” an overly spiced cream sauce, and opt for plane ‘ol ketchup. The Rainbow Trout ($18) was incredibly fresh and flaky, even if the presentation lacked any appeal.

Blackened Shrimp Po Boy at Anchors Seafood

Blackened Shrimp Po Boy at Anchors Seafood and Ale House

My Shrimp Po Boy ($11) was delicious, though I strayed from the normal preparation of a fried shrimp in favor of blackened. I felt the onion ring starter plus the hush puppies I ordered as my side were fattening enough. Speaking of hush puppies, Anchors are very unique. Instead of the standard bready filling, these gave way to a sweet, creamed corn-like center. You can see pieces of corn peeking out of the hush puppies in the picture above. It was good, but so sweet, one or two will do ya. The shrimp were rather large and a generous offering of eight, yes eight, to a sandwich. Though the bread was inferior grocery store variety, the contents of the sandwich were incredible. This time the spiced cream sauce was a better match.

Anchors-Ale-House-Roswell

Dining Room at Anchors Seafood and Ale House

Overall, this restaurant seems to be suffering from some sort of personality disorder. On one hand, it seems to want to be a fun seafood spot with a killer craft beer list, but the god awful music and decor doesn’t match. I would have expected a more rustic decor like Tin Can Fish House in Sandy Springs. On the other hand, I do understand wanting to appeal to an older Roswell crowd. Anchor’s extensive beer list and limited menu probably isn’t going to win them over.  On the bright side, our waiter, Julias, was extremely attentive and friendly. If I ever return, I hope he serves me again.

Anchors Seafood & Ale House on Urbanspoon

Win a Pair of Tickets to Best of Atlanta Party 2015

best-of-atlanta-party-cobb-galleria

The Best of Atlanta Party, set to return to Cobb Galleria on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, will also offer a silent auction to benefit The Giving Kitchen.

Each year, Atlanta magazine’s Best of Atlanta attracts thousands of foodies from across the state to celebrate and feast upon the city’s culinary achievements. More than 60 restaurants and food trucks, including current and past Best of Atlanta winners, will gather to serve up fan favorites to the hungry crowds. Adding to the festivities, more than 30 bars will be on hand to offer specialty beer, wine and spirits samples, while local tribute band, Yacht Rock Schooner, will help guests dance the night away to some of their favorite tunes.

WHAT: 28th Annual Best of Atlanta Party

WHEN:             Wednesday, March 4, 2015              

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

VIP entry begins at 6 p.m.

WHERE:           Cobb Galleria Centre
Exhibition Hall A&B

2 Galleria Parkway Southeast Atlanta, Ga. 30339

Cost:               General Admission: $65

Unlimited cocktail and appetizer tastings plus one-year subscription to Atlanta magazine

VIP tickets: $90 (limited tickets available)

Early admission, VIP gift bag, VIP wristband, unlimited cocktail and appetizer tastings, plus one-year subscription to Atlanta magazine

Tickets are available at www.atlmagconcierge.com But you can win a pair from Atlanta Restaurant Blog.

Want to win a pair of tickets The Best of Atlanta party? Here’s how:

1. Like Atlanta Restaurant Blog’s Facebook Page
2. Caption the clown photo on  Atlanta Restaurant Blog’s Facebook Page.  The best caption wins a pair of tickets. That’s it!

Rules and Contest information:
One entry per person. Multiple entries will not be counted.
You have until noon on Wednesday February 25th to enter.
A winner will be randomly chosen by 5 pm on Wednesday, February 25. That’s not much time – get your butt moving! Winner will be notified via Facebook message.
By entering contest you completely release Facebook of any liability.
You must be 21 or older to enter and claim tickets. ID will be checked.
You will need to provide your full name and email address to receive the tickets.
Make sure you are able to attend the party on March 4th before entering.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

 

 

Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Atlanta

Chinese New Year is right around the corner! And it’s the Year of the Goat!

celebrate chinese new year atlanta

Image source: picturesimagesclipart.com

What does that mean? According to Chinese astrologists, there are 12 zodiac signs, each New Year presenting itself with a new sign. Those born in the year of the goat are thought to me mild mannered, shy, calm in nature, but also with a yearning for the finer things in life, but never snobbish. There are colors, flowers, and good luck numbers associated with each zodiac sign. This year in Atlanta, you will find an array of venues to choose from to bring in the New Year. Here are a few:

Gu’s Bistro
Voted “Best Chinese by Atlanta Magazine last year, and one of my favorite spots on BuHi, bring in the Chinese New Year at Gu’s! Gu’s is famous for its authentic Szechuan cuisine. Some menu favorites are their spicy, crispy beef, their Thai An fish filet and their Ma Po tofu. They also have a great selection of both hot and cold appetizers. If you’re looking for a quiet, intimate way to bring in the year of the goat, this is your spot.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel
On Thursday, February 19th – from 6:30 to 8:30pm – you can celebrate the lunar New Year at the majestic Mandarin Oriental Hotel, located in the heart of Buckhead. The entertainment will include traditional dance performances, delicious Chinese cuisine, lively music and a grand prize giveaway which is a trip for two to China! Tickets are $65 for adults, and $25 for children.

Atlanta Chinatown Mall’s Chinese New Year Celebration
On February 21st, 2015 between 1:00 – 5:00pm, Atlanta’s Chinatown’s Mall will celebrate the Chinese New Year. If you’ve never seen Chinese lion dancing, here is where you can see a live performance! Also, expect performances from the Sing Wah Performing Group, Atlanta Chinese Dancing School, Spring Music School, and the Chinese American Cultural Performing Group. If it’s your first time there, make sure to take a browse around. You’ll be sure to find some great authentic Chinese foods and finds.

Makan
Makan is celebrating the lunar New Year with something a little different this year – a cooking class! Along with serving an amazing feast them self, of course. Chef George Yu will host a private dumpling and wonton making cooking class on Thursday, February 19th at 5:30pm. Guests will have the chance to learn the art of making some great traditional Chinese food, and then indulge in a family style dinner together. Tickets are $50 and are available online. On Wednesday, February 18th, the main event will include an 8-course dinner, which will feature a variety of Chinese dishes that each symbolizes something essential for the New Year. The multi-course dinner is priced at $60 per person, and $88 if you opt for drink pairings.

Doc Chey’s Noodle House
On Thursday, February 19th, and Friday, February 20th, Doc Chey’s Noodle House will be the host of live entertainment and some great giveaways. Guests that dine will will receive a complimentary swag item at the Morningside and Grant Park locations on both Thursday, and Dragon Bowl on Friday. For your entertainment, the enchanting Chinese Lion Dance performances will be held at the Morningside and Grant Park restaurants on Thursday, February 19th, at 6:00 and 8:00pm. – at Dragon Bowl on Friday, February 20th, at 7:00pm.

Celebrate #BlackHistory Month at Paschal’s Southern Restaurant

Everyone visiting Atlanta seems to be on a mission to visit Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles. While it certainly has a famous founder and some decent chicken and waffles, if you want to experience something with historical significance, visit Paschal’s in Castleberry Hill.

Paschals-Dining-Room-Atlanta

Since 1947, James and Robert Paschal, the founders of Atlanta’s historic Paschal’s Restaurant, have been serving the Atlanta community. James began his career at 13, with a shoeshine stand, and Robert, began working at a restaurant where his love of the food industry began.

Their first of the brothers’ restaurants had humble beginnings. It was a small 30-seat lunch restaurant, with no stove. The food was prepared at Robert’s home and transported to the restaurant. Shortly after, they expanded to serve dinner, with fried chicken being a signature menu item. Still popular today, Paschal’s fried chicken recipe remains a secret.

Paschal's Fried Chicken

Paschal’s Fried Chicken

As their popularity increased, the brothers decided to open Le Carrousel Lounge in 1960. It was considered Atlanta’s jazz mecca for more than a decade. Le Carrousel Lounge featured acts like Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls,  Dizzy Gillespie and more.

But the brothers strived to support the community with more than phenomenal food. During the 1960s, they became very involved in the Civil Rights movement. Paschal’s became a meeting place for civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. The brothers regularly posted bond for arrested protestors.

Their service to the Atlanta community has garnered many Hall of Fame awards for the brothers. In 2002, they relocated Paschal’s to the glamorous building on Northside Drive in Castleberry Hill. The two-story expansive dining room has several pictures of civil rights leaders adorning its walls. There are several private dining rooms and a re-created Le Carrousel Lounge, perfect for any reception, gala, or upscale business luncheon. If you can’t make it out to Paschal’s restaurant, they also can be found in several locations within the Atlanta Airport.

Want to see more pictures from Paschal’s? Watch my video below:

Begin your evening with The Legacy cocktail, a key ingredient being sweet tea. This is the south, after all. I’d skip the starters, with the exception of the Catfish fingers. They were fantastic. But seriously, skip them too if you think you may order the fried chicken. This signature dish, available since 1947, and the most popular, comes with a leg, wing and huge chicken breast. Although a bit pricey, at $17 for the entree, it was juicy and filling. Save room for Paschal’s Peach Cobbler – some of the best in Atlanta. Paschal’s is the perfect spot to celebrate Black History Month.

Paschal’s
180 Northside Drive
Atlanta, GA 30313

Paschal's on Urbanspoon

GiGi’s Cupcakes to Giveaway Cupcakes for a Year

 

Gigi's Cupcakes

Gigi’s Cupcakes Founder, Gigi Butler

Tonight, Feb. 13, Gigi’s Cupcakes will be featured on the reality show, Undercover Boss. Personally, I think the show is pretty staged. If you’ve seen one episode, you’ve seen them all. I’m sure every company has dedicated, hard-working employees, that at the same time are facing miserable circumstances. I just have a hard time believing that every “Undercover Boss” is placed, by accident, at the very location where these people are working.

However, I do love Gigi’s Cupcakes. Not only are their cupcakes a sweet treat, but for my Thanksgiving dessert last year, I served a phenomenal Pumpkin Pie courtesy of Gigi’s Cupcakes. So, you should totally get on this opportunity to win free cupcakes from Gigi’s.

To celebrate the episode, “all Atlanta Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery are giving away free cupcakes for a year to one lucky guest” according to a press release. At the time I’m writing this, no other details are available. To enter, you can register on Friday, Feb. 13 at the following address: gigiscupcakesusa.com/undercover-boss.