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Fish Tacos in Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

We’re in the season of Lent, a period for some believers to reflect, prepare, offer penance and practice self-denial. For many this includes eating only fish and vegetables on Fridays.

So I got to thinking… I write about food on Fridays. An observant Catholic might stumble upon my blog during this season and read about delicious and smokey barbecue. He or she might have been tempted by Mike Christensen’s description of lasagna bolognese in last week’s review. I don’t want to be the one who tempts you in your faith journey, so today I’ll offer something that better conforms to your theology – fish tacos!

Fish tacos are on a lot of Alpharetta menus these days so there’s no way to review them all. I like fish tacos because a chef can pack a lot of contrasting flavors and textures into a small package. Some were successful in this regard and others were not. Here’s what I found. Please let me know your favorite fish taco!

Boga Taqueria

Boga will do tilapia in their tacos either fried or grilled. My preference is fried. Their slaw is fair but the spicy mayo makes this taco. I wish there was a little more of it. All in all, Boga’s fish taco is fair. They offer far better alternatives elsewhere on their menu.

Pure Taqueria

Pure also offers fried and grilled fish tacos. The fried fish is tilapia. I liked the crisp batter which was almost tempura style. The mayo and slaw are good but the corn tortilla is awesome.

Pure’s grilled fish taco is the best in town. They use swordfish grilled with lime which comes deconstructed on the plate like a fajita. You assemble with grilled pico and fresh avocado slices. The fish is amazing with powerful grilled lime flavor. The grilled tomatoes in the pico stand out and the avocado acts as a cream sauce. If I had to nitpick about anything here it would be that it lacked a crisp texture for contrast.

BW Tavern

BW uses the most obscure species of fish in their taco – panga. I was not familiar with the panga but it has a white flesh not unlike a lot of fish in tacos. They rub the fish in ancho chili powder before cooking. It gives BW’s fish taco the spiciest bite of any in this list. They top it with cabbage, black bean salsa and a cream sauce. It is a decent taco but is a little wet and drippy.

Bite

The first thing that hits you is the pungent smell of cotija cheese. A little dusting of this Mexican parmesan cheese goes a long way. The guys at Bite are experts at layering flavors and they certainly do that with their fish tacos. Their pickled jalapeno slaw is amazing all by itself, as is their street corn. Both find their way into the taco. There’s so much going on that the flavors completely blow away the delicate taste and texture of the grouper.

Bite’s fish taco is good. But sitting right next to it on the menu is their highly-touted mole-braised pork taco. Order that. (oops, did I mention red meat? Sorry.)

Azul Agave

I’ve not been impressed with this Mexican newcomer to Alpharetta. Their fish tacos have been inconsistent on the two occasions I’ve had them. On my first try the mahi was overcooked and dry. A second chance turned out better. A generous application of Azul’s spicy cream sauce greatly helps these tacos. The cole slaw is decent but overall these fish tacos don’t stand out.

Photo credit: Cory Voglesonger (creative commons)

Pure Taqueria on Urbanspoon

La Casa Italian Grill – Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday. Today I feature a guest review from Mike Christensen. Follow Mike on Twitter @SCSA31274.

Inside a quaint converted house on Old Roswell St less than a block from Main Street is La Casa Italian Grill.  Owner Pasquale Cardamuro opened La Casa four months ago in the old Café Efendi location to make a fresh start.  Having owned several previous strip mall and shopping mall restaurants in Atlanta, the long time Alpharetta resident longed to have a free standing building in which to serve his generations old Italian recipes.  Pasquale has gathered a loyal following in his 31 years in the restaurant business since he came to American from Naples.  All the ingredients used are locally sourced from the pasta to the herbs grown by Pasquale himself.

The house has undergone extensive renovations since purchased.  Pretty much everything except the walls has been molded to suit Pasquale’s needs.  Walking across the porch to enter the restaurant feels as if you’re going to a good friend’s home for dinner.  Inside it’s cozy, inviting, and warm.  There are several rooms to dine in, each lending an intimate feel to your meal.  La Casa would be great for either an office party or a private date out with your sweetie.  The front porch overlooks a nice fountain as well as a few herb planters that were recently added.  This spring and summer, La Casa will have live music on the porch.  The parking lot is limited, but there are plenty of other lots to choose from within walking distance.

Growing up in the South, I have experienced my fair share of “Italian” food (I’m looking at you Olive Garden).  The food you will get at La Casa is the real deal.  My wife and I visited La Casa a few weeks ago for dinner, and I was very impressed not only with the quality of the food, but also with the professional level of service.  Choices on the menu range from the more traditional spaghetti and meatballs to much more advanced dishes such as mussels marinara and scallops terramia.  All of the sauces, breads, and desserts are made in house.

After you are seated, they bring out two different type of bread along with olive oil with herbs for dipping.  Both types did not last long at our table.  I had the lasagna Bolognese and can only describe it as the best lasagna I’ve ever had.  The pasta was fresh, the cheese had  great texture and flavor, and the sauce was superb.  My wife picked the Pappardelle Bolognese, which is wide ribbons of pasta in meat sauce.  She kept commenting on how fresh tasting the pasta was.  There were no take home boxes.  She did take home a slice of cheesecake, which was gone before we got home.  She said that it rivals the cheesecakes in New York.

One interesting observation I made was one of the employees bussing a table across the room was making faces and waving at my 2 year old son.  It was nice to see someone take the time to entertain even the smallest customer.

Most of the items on the menu for dinner are in the $12-18 range, but taste much richer.  La Casa’s menu will change seasonally, and has already undergone a few changes since they have been open so check with them often for any changes.

La Casa is open Monday through Friday 11 AM -2 PM for lunch and Monday through Saturday 5-10 PM for dinner.  They are also open on Sunday noon to 8 PM for brunch, lunch, and dinner.  They are in a prime location to take advantage of the foot traffic in Alpharetta.  Take a stroll off busy Main Street and come have some real, fresh, and delicious Italian food.  We look forward to visiting La Casa many times in the coming year.  Pasquale is frequently in the dining room greeting customers with the enthusiasm and warmth that can only come from someone who has found his true home.

La Casa Italian Grill is located at 37 Old Roswell Street in historic downtown Alpharetta.

La Casa Italian Grill Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Alpharetta Restaurant News – February 2012 Postlude

I have a foolproof way to learn of the latest news in restaurants… Work all your sources then write an article about new restaurants. The very next day you will undoubtedly learn of something new that you missed. This month is no exception – except the restaurants I missed are pretty big ones. It’s worthy of publishing a Foodie Friday article mid-week to make up for it!

Joe’s New York Pizzeria – Mansell Road

A rather vanilla-sounding name for a pizza shop, don’t you think? We’ve got a lot of very good joints making New York style pies here in north Fulton. How will this place stand out? Because Joe Amitrano is behind the effort.

Amitrano is the owner of Verra-Zanno Pizzeria in Johns Creek. Regular readers of my blog will know VZ as my favorite pizza in town. The fact that he’s branching out is exciting! Look for his new shop at 1605 Mansell Road in a former Starbucks store.

The Velvet Note – Old Milton Parkway

“The Velvet Note is a modern version of the traditional English gentleman’s club.”

You might get a completely wrong impression of the place after reading this on their website. I’m pretty sure clothing stays on at this new music venue coming to Old Milton Parkway. They will feature live music in a small setting. And the menu they have posted online looks very promising. Look for them to open in April in the stripmall at 4075 Old Milton Parkway with Cuzi Fresh and the new Ipanema Grill.

The Crab Trap – Closed

Thanks to blog reader Darryl for this one. The Crab Trap on GA141 in south Forsyth has closed. They were in the old SEN Vietnamese location near the Brookwood Target. I can’t say this one surprised me much.

Alpharetta Restaurant News – February 2012

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

I don’t have a lot of new restaurants to report this month. However several from my coming soon list have finally opened. Get out and try some of these new joints!

But before I get into the new restaurants, I’d like to put in a plug for something called Have a Heart for NFCC. Several local restaurants have partnered to raise funds for North Fulton Community Charities, a very worthy cause. If you dine at one of these restaurants on their designated day, a portion of your bill will be donated to the charity. There are some decent restaurants on this list. I encourage you to participate.

Feb 20 – Slopes BBQ
Feb 21 – Altobeli’s Restaurant & Piano Bar
Feb 22 – Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub
Feb 28 – Alpine Bakery & Trattoria
Feb 29 – Sedgwick family of restaurants (Pure Taqueria, Vinny’s, Bistro VG and The Union)

Seven Seas Cafe – Devore Road

This Mediterranean restaurant quietly opened a few weeks ago in the space formerly occupied by The Spot. Not sure where this is? You’re not alone. This restaurant might as well be invisible, especially from Main Street.

I’ve yet to try this joint, but I trust the opinion of Boris Y on Yelp.

Breadtime – South Main

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but this little mom-and-pop German bakery is sehr gut! Their made-from-scratch ravioli cooked in browned butter is amazing. But you didn’t hear it from Roots in Alpharetta, alright? A full review is forthcoming. I promised them I would wait until they secured their liquor license.

Saigon Cafe – Windward

Their grand opening is Monday, February 20th. Look for them near Smashburger and Einstein Bagels.

Liu Fu – China Inn

China Inn has relocated from Chamblee to Johns Creek. They opened this month under the name Liu Fu. A Chinese co-worker of mine tells me they are generating quite a buzz on the hyper-local Chinese websites. Check them out on 141 across from the Emory Johns Creek hospital. I suggest the Sichuan hot boiled fish.

Bassanos – Johns Creek

Now open on State Bridge Road in Tasca Latin Bistro’s old location. I ate there last weekend and was impressed with their New York-style pizza. It’s certainly worth a return trip. Watch the crowds and be patient as they work out the kinks.

And speaking of Tasca… the broker that sold this restaurant said on his blog that former Tasca chef and owner Rogerio Martins will host a cooking show on Telemundo.

Erwoods – Crabapple

They have a new chef by the name of Brian Earl. He brings steakhouse and Italian experience from past jobs at Houstons and Longhorn. Also new at Erwoods is a wood-fired pizza oven.

52 Bistro – Main Street

They also have a new chef – Adam Legrand. His past gigs include Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth, Downtown Kitchen and Goin’ Coastal in Canton.

Coming Soon

El Molcajete Mexican - Coming to Zola Bistro’s old space on Highway 9 in Milton.
Alfresco - Should open any day now on Main Street and Old Milton.
Meat & Potatoes - Johns Creek in the old Rio Bravo/Star Diner space.
Ipanema Grill - Coming to Old Milton Parkway where Chip’s Southern Cooking used to be.
Construct-a-burger - Still no word on a future location. I’m removing them from this column until I hear of firm plans to open.
Carrabbas - They plan to build a free-standing out-parcel restaurant at The Avenue Forsyth.

Valentine’s specials in Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Lobster stuffed filet mignon on a bed of lobster mashed potatoes.

Did I get your attention? Those are not my words but rather an Alpharetta-area restaurant trying to entice lovebirds on Valentine’s Day. It’s a busy night for higher-end restaurants and some are pulling out all the stops to get your reservation. Here are some specials I’ve found along with some others that might be a decent choice for a romantic meal.

Milton’s Cuisine

I’ve always thought of Milton’s as higher-end comfort food in a beautiful setting. You’ll never get any complaints picking this favorite for a romantic meal. On Valentine’s day they are offering a three course meal for $95 per couple. You can choose from scallops, cajun lamb lollipops and others. Don’t miss their famous carrot cake.

Village Tavern

Starting today through the 14th they are offering a four course prix fixe menu. There are several options in each course including a calamari appetizer, lobster bisque soup and filet. Their regular menu is still available.

Alpine Bakery and Trattoria

I teased this article with Alpine’s lobster-loaded surf and turf entree. Also available as a Valentine special is a sauteed salmon with passion fruit risotto. You can still order off their regular menu and the bakery is always there to tempt you. If you can’t make it there for dinner, a few tuxedo strawberries might make a neat little gift.

Sage, Spice and North Point Diner

These sister restaurants are all offering live music and candlelight dinner on Valentine’s Day.  Unfortunately they have no special menu offerings. Sage is by far the sexiest and swankiest restaurant in Alpharetta.

Windward’s Expense Account Restaurants

This is what I call Cabernet and Vinny’s. Cabernet is a great option if you’re spending someone else’s money and want to impress a client with a prime steak. It’s not a bad choice for a date night but far better alternatives are available. They are not offering a Valentine’s special.

Vinny’s (part of the Sedgwick family of restaurants) is a better alternative in this category. Someone asked about Valentine’s specials on their Facebook wall and the restaurant responded “We will have an extra special menu Valentine’s Day that will include some of our all time favorites from the regular dinner menu.” Sounds like a clever way of saying that nothing different is being offered.

There are so many others I haven’t mentioned that would make a great choice for a romantic meal. I’d consider Ray’s Killer Creek on Mansell or Sip Wine and Tapas in Crabapple. And I haven’t even touched on anything in Johns Creek. Don’t tell my wife but I have reservations at Dal Cuore tomorrow night!

If you’re all out of ideas there’s always the Johns Creek Waffle House. They are known far and wide for their white tablecloths, mood music and sharp-dressed staff on Valentine’s day. Check please!

What Valentine’s plans do you have or what romantic restaurants have I missed?

Crafty Draught – The Avenue Forsyth

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Andre Airich and his partner Cody Anderson accomplished much before their business even opened. In a few short months they managed to change the law in Forsyth County. They successfully lobbied for a change to an alcohol ordinance, a remarkable feat here in the South. We’re not exactly known for our forward-thinking laws when it comes to booze.

What did Airich and Anderson change? Forsyth now allows retailers to break the original packaging of beer. This paves the way for growlers. What’s a growler? It’s a 64 ounce glass jug used to transport draught beer. Their newly opened beer store, the Crafty Draught, will fill your growler with one of twenty craft beers they have on-tap. It’s a new concept for this area, something I had to try.

Crafty Draught’s selection changes almost daily. It’s best to check their website ahead of time to see what’s pouring. Also be sure to check their “coming soon” page. It’s sort of an on-deck circle of beer – a list of kegs in the backroom waiting to be tapped. When they empty a keg, one of these will replace it.

Most beers are in the $10 to $12 range for the 64 oz growler portion although some can reach as high as $20. Unfortunately samples are not available. New growlers can be purchased for $5, a one-time cost.

On my visit I met co-owner Andre Airich and secretly put him to the test. I explained that I don’t like beers with a lot of hops. I also mentioned my love of Bavarian hefe-weizens. Both of these statements are true which probably completely ruins any credibility I may have with the beer drinking world.

Being wintertime their selection is geared towards a lot of stouts and IPAs. Thankfully Airich didn’t steer me towards any of these. I let him talk me into a highly-rated beer called Ommegang Abbey, a Belgium-style ale made by a microbrewery in Cooperstown, NY. Twenty bucks later I had paid for my beer and new growler. Yikes, this had better be good! How did I like it?

Airich didn’t lead me astray. The beer had a yeasty character much like the hefe-weizens I enjoy. I tasted a lot of rich flavor going on including toasted nuts and honey. I can see why this brew wins awards. It also had a higher alcohol content, something I’m not accustomed to. Let’s just say I would avoid operating heavy machinery or writing wordpress blogs while  enjoying this beer.

Airich and Anderson might make successful political lobbyist if this beer gig doesn’t work out. I doubt that career change will be necessary. Crafty Draught is a cool little shop and I wish these young men much success. If this concept catches on I’d imagine they might have some competition soon. They’re well prepared to face it in my opinion. Check them out at 415 Peachtree Parkway, across the street from the Avenue Forsyth. I also like they’re active and effective use of social media. Follow them on Facebook and twitter @CraftyDraught.

Photo Copyright Robyn Guy Photography, used with permission

Start/Stop/Continue – Alpharetta Restaurants 2012

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

It is truly pitiful that I draw blogging inspiration from stuff at work. But indeed it happens and has resulted in this yearly article, now in its third year of life! Here’s how it works…

At the office we follow this routine during annual reviews. Your peers are asked to list things you should start doing in the new year, bad habits you should stop and activities you should continue. It is sort of a kinder and gentler way of telling someone what they should or shouldn’t be doing. I’ve adapted this theme for Alpharetta’s restaurant scene.

Start – Hot Dogs

Yeah, that’s right, I want hot dogs. Or maybe I should say “haute” dogs. They’ve got the potential to be our next great food craze. Hot dogs provide the chef a platform to be creative and innovative in a lot of ways – from the toppings to the protein and even the bun. They can be versatile culinary creations or simple ballpark grub, and everything in between. On top of that, hot dog margins are better than that of say a hamburger or pizza. I’d love to see a suburban restaurateur take a chance like this.

Stop – Self-serve Frozen Yogurt

I’m totally ripping this off from last year. It didn’t take a crystal ball to realize that closures were coming in the froyo space in 2011. We lost Tutti Frutti and Yoforia on Windward. Yoforia’s Alpharetta closure was significant as this was the franchise’s first failure. Also closing was the froyo shop in the Northpoint Mall food court (can’t remember their name).

I don’t wish failure on anyone, but I really would like to see a return to real, honest-to-goodness ice cream. Is that too much to ask?

Continue – Food trucks

2011 saw at least three food trucks make the drive up GA400 to Alpharetta. It’s a trend I’d very much like to continue. The suburbs could use the diversity and creativity these guys bring up from Atlanta. I’ll write more about this topic again.

What restaurant trends would you like to see begin or end in 2012?

Photo Credit: Maura Neill (creative commons)

Big restaurant spaces

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

So you want to open a restaurant. It’s a romantic idea at first, the notion that you could put together a beautiful space with a fabulous menu. Food writers would craft eloquent prose about your culinary creations and paste beautiful photographs in glossy magazines.

And while we’re day dreaming, let’s make this big! We don’t want a strip mall space next to a frozen yogurt shop or anything. Not a chance. Go big or go home, right? We’re talking free-standing building with cavernous space and sprawling patios.

Cue the record scratching sounds. Back to the real world of 2012 for a moment… No one is opening places like this. Today most new restaurants rarely exceed 2,000 square feet. However, if you do feel so inclined to open such a monster of a restaurant, there are options available! I’ve got three spaces ready to turn your dream into reality (or possibly bankrupt you).

45 Roswell Street

If you build it, he will come? Not exactly. This restaurant space was built about three years ago and no one came. It’s in the heart of what might someday become Alpharetta’s hip downtown restaurant scene. Pure Taqueria is a stone’s throw away. La Casa is across the street.

45 Roswell is 5,300 square feet of unfinished restaurant with a 1,400 square foot patio. It’s a beautiful building with nice landscaping and decent parking. Last year a film production company nearly purchased the building but the deal fell through. It’s a shame a thriving restaurant doesn’t live here.

Rainwater – 11655 Haynes Bridge Road

The grandaddy of all empty restaurant spaces in Alpharetta. The old Rainwater restaurant building has two floors, an elevator and measures in at over 20,000 square feet . The architecture is similar to that of a vineyard estate. It’s much more than a restaurant as this place was built for events like large wedding receptions. It’s been vacant for over three years.

Champps – 7955 North Point Parkway

When Champps opened here they spent $4.5 million on the real estate, buildout and fixtures. They’ve had the building on the market for a while now but about two weeks ago they closed up shop. If you’re interested in this joint you’ll find 9,000 square feet of restaurant space, a beautiful bar, 1,500 square feet of patio and an exceedingly large kitchen.

Alpharetta Restaurant News – January 2012

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

I search a lot of sources to keep up with restaurant changes in our area. But by far my best source of information is you! My readers are always sending me emails and tweets about new joints or places that have gone tango uniform. Thanks a bunch guys!

Unfortunately you guys sent me a lot of closures. Let’s get them out of the way first…

Champps Americana – Closed
Champps has wanted out of Alpharetta for some time. They employed a broker to find a new restaurant for this space. They even went so far as to offer rent concessions if someone would take over their lease. It isn’t clear at this time if they found someone or just closed. Let’s keep a close eye on this space in the weeks to come.

Tre Vietnamese – Closed
Tre never got great reviews and their prices were a little high. They closed their doors right at the new year. I wonder if the threat of a new competitor (Saigon Cafe) played a factor in their decision?

Legends Deli – Closed
This strip mall on McGinnis Ferry is a tough one. It doesn’t have good visibility from the road and obtaining a liquor license is difficult due to school/church proximity.

Rosa’s Pizza – Closed
This is a competitive market for New York-style pizza and Rosa’s couldn’t cut it. A poor location on Jones Bridge didn’t help. It’s interesting to note that this was the original Bassano’s location. We’ll talk about them in a bit.

Movie Theater – Northpoint Mall

The operators of Northpoint mall have requested a conditional use permit from the city to allow a movie theater in a vacant anchor store. One must assume this is the Parisian space. The mall did not identify which chain is interested in this location but I’m told we will know in a few weeks.

I wonder if it will be a dinner/movie combination along the lines of Studio Movie Grill (perhaps AMC Fork and Screen)? SMG’s been stealing movie goers from the two existing Northpoint theaters. It’s a total guess on my part, but we’ll know soon enough.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Avenue Forsyth

My friend Aldo Nahed at the Forsyth Herald broke this story last week. Carrabbas submitted plans to Forsyth County to build on the empty parcel between Chic-Fil-A and Red Robin. It’s a prime spot although traffic sometimes jams up here. And while chain Italian restaurants don’t get me very excited, I expect this location to do well.

Ipanema Grill – Old Milton

I don’t have a lot of information on Ipanema at this point. They are looking at a strip mall on Old Milton in the space where Chip’s Southern Cooking used to be before they closed… a second time.

Cafe Efendi – Main Street

They re-opened Wednesday! Go check out their new digs in Durty Kelly’s former location on North Main Street. I went for lunch yesterday and really enjoyed my doner wrap. I wouldn’t expect any opening jitters from this established player.

Brindavan – Windward

Yet another name/ownership change for this small Indian restaurant in the double-decker strip mall on east Windward. My co-workers and I still call this place Andy’s, the original name of the joint. It became Dosa Houze followed by a series of increasingly more difficult names to pronounce. I ate here Tuesday and found the food and price to be almost the same as Sai Murali, the previous restaurant.

M Chocolat – Old Milton

Turns out this is the name of the chocolate store I’d been calling Dulce Chocolat. They’re now open on Old Milton Parkway just west of Park Bridge Road. I tried a few truffles and was impressed. They’re made in-house and the prices are more than reasonable relative the competition. Being so new I’d give them some time to expand offerings before passing judgment.

Jilly’s Cupcakery – Roswell

Yesterday Jilly’s opened their second location in a strip mall on the corner of Mansell and Highway 9. I normally don’t cover events in Roswell but I thought this was noteworthy. I’m happy to see these ladies doing well as they run a fine shop.

Coming Soon

Saigon Cafe - Their opening seems imminent yet the chain isn’t publicizing a date. I talked with them over email this week and still couldn’t get a date out of them.
El Molcajete - Mexican restaurant set to open in Zola Bistro’s old space on Highway 9 in Milton.
Alfresco - Corner of Old Milton and Main Street in Alpharetta.
Bread Time - Still no word on when this German bakery will open on South Main Street in Alpharetta.
China Inn - A relo from Chamblee. They’re still building out their location on 141 in Johns Creek near the hospital.
Bassano -I was able to confirm with the new owner that they are NOT affiliated with the former Bassanos on Jones Bridge in Johns Creek. Look for the new Bassanos on State Bridge were Tasca Latin Bistro used to be.
Construct a Burger - They are looking at space near GA-400 at exit 13. Still no word on exactly where that might be. If I had to guess I’d say the Hangry’s space or Bad Bob’s old location.
Meat & Potatoes - The potential name of a restaurant to be located in the old Rio Bravo/Star Diner space in Johns Creek.

Photo credit: Ildar Sagdejev (creative commons)

Soup Du Jour

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

This past Tuesday was like most days at work. I walked out of the office at about 11:30 while contemplating which Alpharetta restaurant to patronize. Then it hit me – an unexpected blast of freezing air. It’s not something I’m accustomed to during my lunch break. It made me crave a hot bowl of soup and also inspired this week’s Foodie Friday article.

No soup for you!

Most restaurants have a soup on the menu or maybe a soup du jour. Here are a few that stand out in my mind or have otherwise gained a reputation. If you have a favorite soup at an Alpharetta-area restaurant I’d love to hear about it.

Chili at Never Enough Thyme

I’m not a huge fan of this hoity toity sandwich shop. I seem to be the wrong gender each time I walk into their shop for lunch. But when I do eat here I almost always order the chili. It is the best, most authentic bowl of Texas-style chili you’ll find in Alpharetta. No beans about it! The meat is sirloin cut into cubes. The gravy is rich with deep beef flavor. This chili will stick to your ribs on a cold day. It’s by far the most manly thing on the menu at NET.

Carrot Jalapeno Soup at Boga Taqueria

Yeah, I just reviewed these guys, but I didn’t talk about the soup. Boga’s got a few soups on the menu but you really should try their carrot jalapeno soup. Don’t let the jalapeno in the name fool you as this isn’t a spicy soup. It’s creamy much like a butternut squash soup. I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the base of the soup. The carrot flavor doesn’t jump out a lot to me, perhaps it’s more for color. But the jalapeno is subtle and delicate. It’s just enough spice to contrast the creaminess.

Matzo Ball Soup at The Corner Deli

I’m writing about matzo. Oy vey!

Let’s be honest – I wouldn’t know a good matzo ball if the traditional Jewish dumpling smacked me across the face. So take what I say with a grain of salt (and make it Kosher).

There’s something I enjoy about the simplicity of Corner Deli’s matzo ball soup. Sure, it’s just chicken in broth, some carrots and a dense matzo ball. They say chicken soup is good for the soul and I’m not going to disagree.

Coconut Soup at Satay House

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Satay House so I hope they haven’t changed things around. But their coconut soup is far and away the best in town. It’s rich and intense with a solid core of coconut flavor. Satay makes it with a few pieces of chicken, some mushrooms and no lemongrass.

Honorable Mentions

I’ve not tried every soup in town. Here’s a few more that receive consistently positive reviews…

Beer Cheese Soup at Norman’s Landing - It’s not available everyday. I know some loyal fans who’ll call ahead to see if it’s on the specials board.
Tomato Basil Soup at Wildflour - A popular soup and salad choice. I regret that I’ve not tried it but I never want just half a sandwich here!
Never Enough Thyme on Urbanspoon

Photo credit: Americasroof (creative commons)

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