Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pure Perfection

   This next post is for one of my favorite restaurants named Pure Taqueria.  They have a few locations throughout the Atlanta Area and if you live ANYWHERE close to one, you really must go.  I've been here numerous times now and am never disappointed.  The menu is unique and delicious take on traditional mexican food, but trust me, this is not your typical tex-mex.  Everything here is made with fresh, good quality ingredients.  Every bite of fresh avocado and fish takes you straight to a beach somewhere in Mexico, with your toes in the warm sand, and you reach a state complete happiness and relaxation.  Then you sip on your margarita and you have truly reached pure perfection. 

   Some of my favorites here include their guacamole, their "skinny" margarita (Made without the margarita mix! Just tequila, lime and agave nectar.), and the fish or short rib tacos.  But at this place, I don't really think there is a bad option on the menu.  At our last visit, my sister had her favorite, Costilla de res (the short rib tacos).   These bad boys are served in REAL soft corn tacos.  They then fill the tacos with beef short rib, smoky pickled red onions and chile morita salsa.  The beef is tender and juicy, bursting with smoky and sweet flavor.  The red onions add in a little kick and the salsa brings it all together.  My sister ordered the black beans, but I strongly recommend the refried beans.  I don't know what they do differently at Pure, but they taste unlike any refried bean I've ever had.  They are sweet, not dry at all and topped off with a little cheese that melts as you eat it.  Ooooh yeah.

   I ordered a daily special on my last visit, Seared Scallops.  Just when I thought Pure couldn't get any better, they bring me this:       

  Perfectly seared scallops served in a tomato salsa with roasted zucchini, fingerling potatoes, onions, and poblanos then topped with fresh avocado slices.  The vegetables were cooked to that perfect cooked but still slightly crunchy state.  The onions and tomatoes were sweet and the avocado added a lovely creamy texture.  The scallops, on the other hand, cannot be described.  As a devoted scallops lover, I have ordered them at quite a few places and never have I had better tasting scallops!  The were tender, not chewy in the slightest, and had an amazing sweet and almost caramelized taste.  These scallops literally melted in your mouth.  I kept trying to chew as slow as possible just to savor the taste for as long as I could.  This entire dish was out of this world and probably my favorite at Pure yet.  The only bad part about it was that it was only a daily special.     

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. —-Virginia Woolf

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

My next destination was Marietta, GA.  I grew up in this beautiful town just north of Atlanta and it was wonderful to be back.  I love the south for many reasons, but the food is one of the main ones.  The south just gets it.  From collard greens to BBQ to cornbread, it really doesn't get much better.  Southern food is the ultimate comfort food and will always fill you with happiness and that "being home" feeling.  One of mine and my Dad's favorite places to go get home cooking is a little place called Johnboy's.

  For my Georgians, it's right on Canton Hwy. and, as you can see, it's an all you can eat buffet.  :)  From the outside it looks like a shack of a house or old trailer home that they have converted into a restaurant.  The inside pretty much matches the look of the outside.  There is nothing fancy about Johnboy's.  But you better believe if you walk into this place at 12:00, every table will be filled with good ol southerner's eating delicious fried chicken to their hearts desire. 
   You know it's the real deal when you sit down and instead of being asked, "What would you like to drink?" they just say, "Sweet tea?"  Welcome to Johnboy's.  Once you place your sweet tea order, because you really can't get anything else, you head up to the buffet.  The buffet line changes daily with a few staple items that have been there every time I've gone.  There is always fried chicken, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and some sort of cobbler.  (You know, the basics of a southern meal.)  But then on certain days you can find fried okra, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, and some sort of delicious casserole.  But no matter what you get, I promise it will taste like something you grandma whipped up for ya on a Sunday afternoon.  This is a view of my (1st) plate from my last visit to Johnboy's:

  It was delicious.  I won't lie, I was a little disappointed that I didn't go on a fried green tomato day.  They really cook em up well there.  I stole this picture from my good friend, and fellow fried green tomato lover, Holly:

     So if you happen to find yourself in Marietta, GA and are looking for a filling and delicious meal for about $7, head on over to Johnboy's.  The people are friendly, the food is simple and good, and the environment is about as down home as you're going to find north of Atlanta.  Enjoy, ya'll!

"Well, butter my behind and call me a biscuit.” – Southern saying