Tuesday’s Treats #15

Rico’s World Kitchen

Location: Buford, Ga

Rico’s is a cool little eclectic restaurant in the heart of Historic Buford. Buford is the town famous for The Mall of Georgia, but sometimes the downtown can get missed, because it’s a few Mike’s away from the mall. Rico’s has been listed in several magazines and articles as one of the best places to eat in Georgia, and I completely understand why. Their food is unique, and it tastes incredible!

Pictured above is their sandwich called, “The Chicken Cuban.” I promise you, when you first bite into it, you will think it is a wonderful pork Cuban. It’s all in the marinade. The first time my husband orders it, he called the waitress over and she knew before he even asked what he was going to say. She assured him it was chicken, and it was due to the marinade and cooking process. He thinks it’s the best chicken sandwich on the planet.

I do think it’s wonderful; however, I’d have to say their “Royal Rooster” is my all time favorite. They (now – it used to be just one) take TWO chicken breast, marinate them in a habanero sauce and fry them, place them on a bun with tomato, lettuce, and mayo. Now, I switch mine up just a little, because I sub in smoked Gouda for the Swiss, and I only have it with lettuce and the bun.

You have a choice of inside dining and outside patio, both are nice. If you time your meal just right, you’ll also get the treat of watching the train run through downtown. I always love that..I guess, I’m still a kid at heart. 😊

They always have the best sweet tea (yes, this is the South! 😉), a creative and delicious daily special and beautiful desserts on display. If you haven’t been to Rico’s, you’ll want to try it! Here is their website for more information.

Tuesday’s Treats #11

The Country Kitchen

Location:  Pine Mountain, Ga

This place is great, but you probably wouldn’t see it, unless, you know about it. I apologize for not having a pic of the actual dinner we are here. We were traveling back from Florida, had stopped at the beautiful overlooks and were totally consumed with the atmosphere and the sunset as our food arrived.

I’m going to include the menu; so, you can check it out. It was simply a delightful place, and we got to watch the sunset over the horizon, too. That was an incredible ending to an incredible week of chasing sunsets. 😊

They have a little country store with all kinds of goodies and specialty items.

These are the views from the overlooks, but I thought I’d include them to entice you just a little. 😉

Honestly the pics really don’t do it justice…

Ok, enough distractions. On to the menu… 

 Our party of 8 ordered chicken pot pie, veggie plates, grilled chicken salad, cheeseburger, chicken fried chicken, and chicken tenders. Everything was delicious. The fried okra on the veggie plate was a little greasy, but that happens sometimes. The mac and cheese wasn’t processed; it was homemade. They serve biscuits and corn muffins, before your meal, with homemade muscadine preserves. Oh. My. Word! Incredible. It was a great meal.

The only drawback was I do wish someone would come and wash the Windows from the outside (and in), because we couldn’t get any really great shots of the sunset as the windows were messy. Other than that, we had a wonderful time! 😊 

If you’re looking for an enjoyable dinner, with beautiful surroundings and down home country food, this is the place to go. You can find their website here.

Tuesday’s Treats #8

Flounder’s Chowder House

Location: Pensacola Beach, Fl 

It’s funny, until I looked up this website, I never knew it was called Flounder’s Chowder House. We’ve always just called it Flounder’s my whole life! 😉

Flounder’s is a good seafood restaurant at Pensacola Beach, Florida. (I choose good, because there’s a couple of other places I like better, but this one is still pretty popular.) It has a cool atmosphere with several different rooms from which to choose. The bar is what it is and has a hearty, nautical wood motif. The “library” is small, with about six booths, and the walls are lined with books. (We liked this when we went on one of our dates here. The room is cozy and intimate.) Then, there is what I’ll call the “shipyard” room. It has a wide, open and fun feel area. It has one side that opens to the sandy beach where the kids can play until their food is ready.

The food here is good, most of the time, and the menu has a good variety (burgers, steaks and such), but the seafood is pretty specific. Everything is pretty unique to them, and that’s what’s best about it. They have their famous Flounder Chowder (winner of the Great Florida Chowder cook-off and featured once in Southern Living), oysters on the half shell, about six Native Gulf Fish items, a great, big shrimp boat platter, which has their fresh catch of the day of tons of differently prepared shrimp, and a scattering of fried seafood choices, and that’s about it. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, necessarily. I just think you better check the menu before going, or you might be surprised if you’re going here thinking you have all the options of Red Lobster. 😉

…Believe me, the food is much better than Red Lobster! Not, that I dislike a good RL when I’m in Florida…The food here is good, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, but it does seem to be a little hit and miss over the last few years. I was told a little while ago that the ownership has changed hands, and that may have something to do with the inconsistencies.

Oh, I didn’t mention desserts. They have a good key lime pie (I thought I had a picture, but apparently it got deleted. 😁), a big chocolate “explosion” type dessert and a few others I can’t recall. The key lime is good, but if you’re key lime connoisseurs like us, you might not be as impressed. The presentation is beautiful…I so wish I could find that picture! 😁

If you’ve got a few days at Pensacola Beach,  you might want to make room for this one. Now, if I only had one or two choices of places to go, I’d probably go to Peg Leg Pete’s first, and the Grand Marlin second (I’ll write about it soon!), but this would probably be in my top twenty. 😉

You can find all the info you need here. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday’s Treats #7

Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen Restaurant

Location: Gainesville, Ga    

Not sure what’s going on with the website as I post this; it simply won’t pull up the page. However, I’m going to give you both the  Google link, and let you navigate from there: Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen

This is a little “diamond in the rough” location and well worth the discovery. My husband had been driving around the square, in downtown Gainesville, trying to decide where to eat when we took a side street and saw this sign. It was kind of on the “alley side,” and we were a little hesitant to check it out, but we were so glad we did. The atmosphere of simply romantic, and the food was delicious! 

I ordered the Chicken Marsala, and let me tell you, I don’t like everybody’s Chicken Marsala, but this was great! My favorite is at Carrabba’s, but Costa Nostra would be a close second. 😉

oops! sorry this pic is sideways!

  My husband got the lasagna, and it was incredible as well. They bring you bread and salad, as well, and it was all quite yummy, and we were so full, we probably should have waited on dessert. However, we were in the splurging mood; so, we went for it, and ordered the Forgettaboutit Peanut Butter Pie…  
Oh. My. Word. That’s all I’ve got to say about that!! …I think we gained 20 lbs each just when we looked at that as the waitress brought it to the table, but it was Soooo, soooo good!😜

A couple of things to note: 

*The seating is all tables and chairs, no booths. We’re not so “hip” on sitting at tables, especially when we’re out on a date We’d much prefer a booth, but we were given a wall seat, and it was really quite intimate. We actually plan to make a return visit, and this isn’t usual for us at a “cafe style” arranged restaurant. 

**Be sure to get there early, or just make reservations, because it’s not a large place, and it fills up quickly. The waitress told us we were lucky to have gotten in there so easily without a reservation on a Friday night, but we were there a little after 5:30, and there was one table available.😉

As of the day I am printing this, I still am unable to pull up their website by the link above; so, I am going to include their number and address for those interested:

Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen, 118 Main St Southwest, Ste 16, Gainesville, GA 30501 … (678) 971-5420

**I am sad and so sorry to announce: This restaurant was closed in January 2016. 😔 This is so disappointing to me! We were looking forward to making a return visit!**

Tuesday’s Treats #6

Lucky Dill

Location: Palm Harbor, Fl   

We went to the Lucky Dill a few years ago while we were staying in Tampa. Palm Harbor is just north of Tampa, almost like a suburb of the city. This is a Big Apple themed restaurant, and it is so cool!

The Lucky Dill fills up quick at lunch; so, get there early. They have a breakfast, lunch and late night menu, as well as, a wide variety of bakery items that are out of this world (see above photo)! Looking back at their website, it appears they have a pretty lively nitelife, complete with a bar and live music, if you’re into that sort of thing. We never went at night; so, I couldn’t really speak to that. 

But I can sure speak about their lunch menu and bakery! They have great big subs, great big regular sandwiches, Italian selections, a few seafood items (like fish and chips), salads, burgers and chicken sandwiches, and much more. It was really hard to narrow our choices to only what we could eat in one meal, especially when we went in starving! 

We started out with the Ba-Da-Bing Shrimp, which is fried shrimp tossed in some “bad sauce.” It’s got a little kick, but it’s not too bad. Then, we had a burger, the Hot Brisket, the Al Panino Panini and the kids burger (party of 4😉). Everything was delicious!! We were so full, but we still had to get some bakery items to take back to the condo with us!

Oh. My. Word. Just writing about this place gives me a craving to go back! Wish it wasn’t forever away, and we’d head out this week! Haha. We had some friends go there last year for breakfast, and they said it was just as wonderful. If you are ever on vacation near Tampa, or you live in that area, you don’t want to miss a trip to the Lucky Dill! 😉

Check out their menus here.

Tuesday’s Treats #1

If you missed the blog last week, this is my new weekly event, and I’d love for you to read about it here. This week, I’m excited to share with you one of our favorite treats! 🙂

Location: Pensacola Beach, Fl
One of our favorite places to eat is Peg Leg Pete’s on Pensacola Beach, Florida. It is located right on the beach, and if you don’t get there early, even in the off season, you may have to wait! Lots of the locals come here to grab a bite for lunch, and it is so worth the wait!!

Note: You do get double the amount of grouper fingers than what is pictured!! We had just dove right in, and I almost forgot to take the pic! 😉

They have grouper nuggets as an appetizer, and Oh. My. Word! They are so good!! Order them “extra crispy,” and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

My husband always follows it with a delicious grouper sandwich, and I always get the Charbroiled Mahi Mahi with snow peas, rice pilaf and dill sauce. I don’t even like snow peas, but I eat every single one as I dip them in that yummy dill sauce! Then, for dessert, we each order our own slice of key lime pie. Oh. My. Word. Is it delish! Now, that key lime pie is not homemade there, but it is still delicious!

The atmosphere is cool and very casual. There is outside, covered patio seating, as well as, indoor tables and booths. The service is always friendly and prompt, and the prices are moderate.

You can check out their menu here. When you get finished with lunch or dinner, just drive down a few 100 feet and take a walk along the beach! 😊🏖

New Weekly Event: Tuesday’s Treats

Last week finalized the last of the Wednesday’s Odes, and I hope you enjoyed those. This week, I’d like to introduce Tuesday’s Treats. 

My husband and I love to go out to eat, and it is such a treat! We have kind of created a little “rating system” for ourselves by which we “grade” the restaurant at which we eat. If we like it, you better believe we will be back, and we recommend it to many! If we don’t care too much for it, we just find a new place. If it’s really bad, we “mark it off” the list. My husband always says, “Eating is not just a necessity; it’s an event. If I can’t sit down to enjoy the meal; then, I won’t eat!” …always makes me think of Mr. Ego on Ratittoue, “…If I don’t like it, I don’t swallow!” Haha! 😂 (I promise, he’s not that bad, but it is funny!!)

So, I thought I would share a few of these places with you and call it Tuesday’s Treats. These are from all over the South; since, that’s pretty much our locale, and I may give a few from other locations and/or a some that are highly recommended by a few of our good friends; however, I will note if it’s not from us. 😉 These will not be in any particular order; however, I do plan to include pictures, when I can, and the city where the restaurant is located. If I don’t have a picture, I may try to screenshot one from the restaurant’s website, and I will note this. when I can, I will, also, try to include the website link; so, it will be easier for you to find the location, menu and other needed info. 

 I do hope you will, also, take this opportunity to share with me some of your favorites. We always love to try a new place! 😊

I hope you enjoy these, and maybe, you’ll find a yummy new place to try, too! See you next Tuesday! (Or tomorrow, if you’d like to follow the blog.😉)

Wednesday’s Ode #17

I absolutely love Highlands, NC! At over 4,000 feet in elevation, it is the second highest town on the East Coast, and it is simply a wonderful little town. If you’ve ever visited Gatlinburg, Tn, we always say Highlands is everything Gatlinburg should be…without all the Tshirt shops and commercializations. It is simply beautiful, and if you’ve never been, I encourage you to make a trip! It is a definite favorite for me and my husband, as we spent our first and second honeymoons here, and due to the cooler temperature year-round, we come here at least 4-6 times a year, if not a good many more. 

It’s not a big city. It’s a quaint little mountain town with a little bit of “high society” living. They’ve got wonderful accommodations, restaurants and shops. One of my favorites is The Old Edwards Inn; the character of this place is incredible. They have a library, in which, you can actually find a book to sit and enjoy, high vaulted ceilings and even a hidden butler pantry where the staff may come to serve the guests. Their restaurant, Madison’s, has some of the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever put in my mouth…and being a Southern girl, that’s quite a bit! They have inside seating, a wine garden with outside seating, and even a rooftop terrace where you can choose to have your meal.   Now just imagine: a lovely rooftop terrace, with beautiful shutters, table settings and cushioned seating, overlooking the little town, and a gentle summer breeze blowing in the “heat” of summer with ceiling fans gently rolling. The temperature gauge rising no more than about 70-72 degrees, because you’re at such a high elevation! The waiter brings you a pleasant cheese and cracker tray for an appetizer, “just right” sweet Southern tea, mini biscuits and cornbread made fresh daily, and your meal consists of fish and chips and the best shrimp and grits you’ve ever tasted. They even serve the shrimp and grits in a mini iron crock; so, they stay warm throughout the duration of the meal. It is a fine Southern meal to remember! 😉

   Doesn’t that look just awesome?! …It tastes even better!!

For dessert, you’ll want to walk down the street to Kilwin’s, where you can choose homemade fudge and chocolates, or you can choose from a mass variety of Mayfield ice cream. The pralines and chocolate dipped Nutter Butters, PB cups and Oreos are some of my family’s faves; however, my personal favorite is the turtle caramel apple! They take a Granny Smith Apple, dip it in caramel, roll it in pecans and, then, drizzle it with chocolate, and they will slice it right there for you; so, you don’t have to try to bite into that monstrosity! It is divine!!  If you’d like a wonderful cup of coffee with your dessert, you can also find it there; however, I prefer a cup of Buck’s Coffee, preferably a cup of white chocolate mocha, just across the street. Outside Kilwin’s is a brick patio with lots of umbrella tables and chairs where you can enjoy your coffee and yummy desserts, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, often times, they will have a live bluegrass, country (or other Southern genre) band playing. It’s simply a delightful ending for a great day. 

These things have just got to be in heaven! 

Now, if you’d like to work off some of those delicious calories you’ve added to your waistline during your stay, they have a ton of shops for you to find any number of items, and they have a numerous amount of hikes for you to explore. You can stop by the Highland Hiker and pick up a local booklet of all the Day Hikes Of Highlands, and explore till your heart is content. You can check the local weather and head out for a delightful, cool climat-ed, adventure. 

We, personally, love Dry Falls, Glenn Falls, Sunset Rock and Whiteside Mountain. Dry Falls had recently had a remodeling of the parking lot and walkway, and it’s an incredibly easy walk to a beautiful waterfall which you can walk behind. When it has had a lot of recent waterfall, the roar can be so loud that you can barely hear each other talk while standing behind it. Glenn Falls is a little bit longer of a hiker but definitely an easy one. Many people who go to this one say they’ve always ended up at the bottom of the falls, but haven’t ever been to the top. Upon starting out, there is a sign to the falls on the left, and to another location on the right. Choose the left; then, a little bit further down the trail, there is a fork in the road where you must choose the right side path in order to get to the top of the falls. The left path takes you to the bottom. We always choose the top of the falls, because we like to put out feet in the water, but please, please be careful here! There are no boundaries once you cross over the overlook area. You can get as close to the edge as you’d like, and if you have adventurous boys like mine, your mother’s heart can very easily suffer about three heart attacks during your enjoyment of the view and the cool waters!! 

 …WAY too close, JGrizz!!

If you are visiting the area with your significant other, Sunset Rock is a must! You drive to it, and walk just a tiny path that opens up to an incredible sheer-faced rock that overlooks the town of Highlands. The view from here at sunset definitely earns its name! If you’d prefer to just drive to the many water falls, you can pick up a map, head out and literally drive under Bridal Falls and drive around to see many others. Just beware of the very curvy, and often, very narrow highway you must travel to see these. You might want to have a designated driver who doesn’t want to sightsee and drive! Haha. 

If you’d prefer a bit longer hike, Whiteside  Mountain is a great choice. We hiked here during our honeymoon week and saw our first Peregrine Falcon face to face. The little snapshot camera I had (these were the days before iPhones and digitals!) didn’t really do it justice, but he was about 3-4 feet from us and just seemed to sit there and simile for the camera. The hike is pleasant, and the views are simply breathtaking! 

If you are on the East Coast and have never been to Highlands, it is well worth the trip!! It is a beautiful town that is surrounded with breathtaking sights, and the weather, especially in the summertime, is a very welcome delight! If shopping, hiking and sightseeing is your kind of thing, this is definitely a must-see!