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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

Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles [Atlanta]

I am definitely shaking my head while writing this review. I had high expectations going to this restaurant located in Atalanta. My expectations were met with disappointment.

I ordered a chicken breast, waffle, catfish and grits. The chicken and waffle came out cold. Yuck! My butter didn’t even melt on my waffle. I asked the server to nuke my chicken and waffle, and that’s exactly what she did. Everyone knows what warmed-up fried chicken tastes like; it’s gross. She should have said that she’d have the kitchen make a fresh waffle and chicken breast. After re-receiving my chicken and waffle, I didn’t think there was anything special about them at all. Considering this restaurant is supposed to be known for these two items, I was quite disappointed that it had no flair and was just the average chicken and waffle combination.

The catfish was pretty good though, but the grits were salty. I wish that I had only ordered the catfish and grits because I wasted my money ordering the chicken and waffle. I’ve definitely had better.

The server was okay. She was somewhat attentive to our table; she could have checked on us more often. After the food was delivered, she kept away for quite a while. There was nothing spectacular about her service.

I was really excited to visit this restaurant, mainly because of the names associated with it. However, that’s all this restaurant stood on, its name. This was later confirmed by a resident of Atlanta, who said that people only go there for the name because the food is not all that good. Now, the menu offered a lot of other options. So, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I don’t recommend it. I’d give it another shot, but I would definitely order something else.

Cantina Laredo [Chicago]

Let me start off by saying this restaurant is gorgeous. The atmosphere is amazing! There are two floors for dining. The first floor was a bit more crowded, and set up more like your typical restaurant. The second floor, where we dined, was arranged like a lounge. There was a very relaxing and laid back ambience that I truly enjoyed, especially after walking all day. There were huge windows they let open and allowed for the cool breeze to come through. It was great!

I will say this though, the menu was lacking. They did not offer a lot of items, at least not to my liking. Thankfully, I was able to locate something to eat. I ordered a quesadilla with a small side of guacamole. The quesadilla was pretty good, but the guacamole stole the spotlight. I absolutely love avocados and I love guacamole. I’m not easily moved by a lot of guacamole, but this was definitely noteworthy. It was fresh and wonderfully prepared.

Our service was pretty good. Our glasses stayed full, our complimentary chips and salsa were brought out quickly, and all of our questions were answered throughly and truthfully. He also provided us with recommendations when asked.

I would recommend this restaurant. The food was good, but if you’re looking for a wide variety of Mexican food to try, this place probably won’t suit your needs. It’s not a typical Mexican restaurant. It’s more “modern” as it states under the restaurant name.

*There are other locations around the Nation.

Beef & Brandy [Chicago]

Sigh, where do I  begin?

The atmosphere and set up of this restaurant was the best part of my entire dining experience. It is set up like Ruby Tuesdays. Like Ruby Tuesdays, it has a bar, a lot of dark wood, and pictures on the wall. I wouldn’t suggest going here for a romantic date, but if you must try it, go for a lunch outing or to catch the game. There was very casual, laid back atmosphere, which is something I enjoy when dining out with friends.

Upon sitting down, we were greeted by our server in a timely fashion. She didn’t seem to be very interested in serving us though. I observed how she interacted with her other tables, and she treated them a lot better. She was cheerful, and helpful. She checked on them regularly, and made sure their glasses were filled. When it came to our table, she never checked on us nor did she keep our glasses filled. She was quite dry and totally not energetic. That really bothered me, especially after observing how she interacted with her other tables. Then to top it off, she left and someone else picked  up our table. It took him forever to come to our table at first, but at least he was a bit more energetic and helpful.

I ordered the chicken sandwich. It was served on Cuban bread, and came with the regular garnishes, avocado and fries. I like Cuban bread, so I thought this sandwich was going to be really good. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I hoped for. The chicken was tasteless. Not even my avocado could save this sandwich.  I don’t think they added any type of season to it nor did they marinate it. I had to order honey mustard to give it some type of flavor. The fries were good, but  it’s hard to mess that up. Overall the food was mediocre.

While visiting Chicago, I just knew that we wouldn’t eat anywhere bad, but this place definitely ruined that idea. To make matters worse, it was the first place we ate while in Chicago. Thankfully, none of the other restaurants we visited disappointed. I’ve mentioned before that I will always try a restaurant again, but I don’t really see myself trying this place again when I go back to visit. Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant. There are so many other great restaurants in Chicago to eat at, and this just isn’t one of them.

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