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The Diner [Norcross, GA]

20130217_134648I had the pleasure of dining at this restaurant this past weekend with my boyfriend. I was totally pleased with the total experience.

I ordered a two-egg breakfast that was accompanied by my choice of hash browns or home fries, grits or gravy, and either a biscuit or toast. I chose hash browns, grits, and a biscuit. I was feeling pretty hungry, so I ordered a single pancake as well. The food was cooked to order, and made right in front of us. They have a setup very similar to the Waffle House. Although I had to add salt and pepper to my meal, it was still pretty good. It was definitely like having a home cooked meal. I am very specific when ordering, and everything came out perfectly. The serving sizes were good. The pancake was the size of the plate, and was light and fluffy. It was delicious! I drank coffee, and had no complaints there either.

20130217_125344The service was awesome. We were greeted as soon as we came in. The cooks and cashier were very nice and helpful. They cracked a few jokes, and made the dining experience excellent. We didn’t have to wait long for our orders to be taken or to receive our food. We were often checked on, and our glasses remained full.

The restaurant is set up like a typical diner with booths, tables and counter seats. The seating is limited. I like diners because they always seem to have a comfortable and inviting setting. This diner was no different.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience. The food was good, the service was great, and I loved the diner atmosphere. Not to mention, the prices were just right. I would most certainly recommend this restaurant.20130217_134639

Jonah’s Fish & Grits [Thomasville]

I was born and raised in Florida, so I think I am well-versed in my Southern cuisine. Some may argue that Florida shouldn’t really be considered Southern in nature, but I begs to differ.

Although, I was born in the South, I must say that I am a bit picky when it comes to certain foods that are of Southern decent, e.g. grits. I haven’t always liked grits, and that’s mainly because I am weird when it comes to different food textures. However, over time, I’ve become very fond of grits. And I absolutely love fish & grits and shrimp & grits. Whenever the opportunity presents itself for me to order this meal, I will rise to the occasion.

Needless to say, I just had to order the shrimp & grits at Jonah’s Fish & Grits. Although I haven’t eaten grits for an extremely long time, I am quite aware of when I get bad batch. That seems to happen a lot when dining out. Grits, like rice, is easy to prepare, but for many, it’s hard to master. I was skeptical, but after reading the description, I knew that is what I wanted.

This dish did not fail; it was so good! My Mom is an amazing cook, but I have to say that Jonah’s shrimp and grits was just about as good as hers. It pains me to say, but it’s the truth. The entrée was a mixture of sautéed shrimp, cheese grits, and vegetables, and it was served with a homemade hushpuppy, which was also really good. The serving size was perfect, and very filling.

Our server was nice, and helpful. I wasn’t asked if I wanted another coffee. That kind of erked me, but other than that the service was decent.

The restaurant is small, and set up like a cafe. It doesn’t really have a personal atmosphere. It’s perfect for lunch with the coworkers, or a quick meetup with a friend. I definitely recommend this restaurant, and the shrimp & grits!

Ruben’s Cubans Cafe

This past weekend, my parents came to Tampa to celebrate my Mom’s birthday. On Saturday, we went to dinner at Ruben’s Cubans Cafe, which opened in 1986. This restaurant is located on Busch Blvd.

I like cafes and diners more than other types of restaurants. So, with that said, Ruben’s Cubans Cafe’s atmosphere was something I really appreciated and enjoyed.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t eat pork or beef. As usual, I was worried about finding something on the menu that I could eat. Fortunately, I found something and I found it quickly. I ordered the breaded grouper with yellow rice, plantanos and a side salad. The meals were also served with Cuban bread.

This was my first time trying grouper, and I was so pleased with the taste. It was well seasoned, breaded and fried. The yellow rice was fluffy and well-prepared. The plantanos were fresh and fried just right, which allowed it to be full of flavor. They were quite tasty! I am a huge bread eater. Needless to say, I indulged in the Cuban bread that was toasted and buttered perfectly. My side salad was pretty mediocre; there was nothing special about it at all. As my beverage, I ordered a cafe con leche. That was the best one I’ve ever had. When my parents lived in Tampa years ago, my Mom would always go to Ruben’s Cubans for a cafe con leche, and now, I see why. I will go on to admit that since I was not paying, I took full advantage of the situation. I ordered an explosion milkshake with Oreos and Nutter Butters for dessert. It was so good!!! It tasted nothing like the milkshakes you get at fast food restaurants; it was ten times better!

Our server’s name was Natalie. She was very helpful and attentive to us. She smiled and cleaned away our dishes in a timely manner. She checked on us often, but wasn’t overbearing. Her service was awesome! All of the employees seemed to be very keen and focused on servicing the customers.

Overall, Ruben’s Cubans Cafe is a pretty decent restaurant. The service was great. The food was good. I would recommend this restaurant and plan on going again.

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