Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Residence Inn Savannah Downtown/Historic District - Savannah, GA

On our recent trip to Savannah we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn in the Downtown/Historic District. A truly pet friendly hotel located within walking distance of restaurants and attractions. The area around the hotel is peaceful and very pleasant.

Once inside a beautiful lobby area greets you as you enter the main building, the Charlton House.

We got our keys and the 4 Pound Wonder got a welcome gift. Nice touch and unexpected.

The property consists of the main building and several guest cottages. The architecture reminded me of beautiful row houses.

Each of the cottages has a lovely brick sidewalk leading to the entrance.

The buildings that make up the property surround a beautiful courtyard; swimming pool, fire pit and several places to sit and enjoy the grounds.


This was one of the most uniquely styled chain hotels that we've visited. The fact that it's truly pet friendly was a nice bonus. We've stayed at hotels that are listed as pet friendly but are only pet tolerant at best. The Residence Inn Savannah Downtown is actually pet friendly and the accommodations reflect that. Directly across the street is a park for dog walking and romping. A welcome perk.

Dog walking and play area
There are some nice people perks as well. A hot breakfast is served every morning and there is a bar in the lobby where you can grab a quick drink.  

If your travel plans take you to Savannah, and they should, check out this beautiful hotel. You're a short walk from good food, unique bars and lots of Southern charm.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Savannah, Georgia - Third Time's a Charm

City Market
The Dining Companion and I spent a recent weekend in Savannah. This was our third visit to this charming city and the best one so far. It felt like the welcome mat had been rolled out for us. The weather was just about perfect. The city was alive with crowds of people; some celebrating graduations and weddings and, some like us, just happy being there.

I saw a lot of bicycles over the weekend. It seems a popular way to get around the city

There are a lot of places to get outdoors and enjoy the city
This visit we stayed in the Downtown/Historic District. After our last visit I wanted to stay where we could park the car for the weekend and get around on foot.

We were very near the Georgia State Railroad Museum. Which, sadly, I didn't make time to see but is on my list for a future visit. I did manage to grab a couple of pictures.

What better than to spend a lovely weekend in an equally lovely city? We stayed at a beautiful property, ate good food and truly relaxed. 

If coming to Savannah isn't on your travel list it should be. A beautiful city steeped in history but with a young heart. There's something interesting around every corner. I can tell you that after three visits we've barely made a dent.

Street art
Happy travels!

NOTE: Stay tuned for a great, pet friendly property, a lucky find in a small bar and some really good food.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Daddy's Country Kitchen - Acworth, Georgia

Daddy's Country Kitchen is a locals place that has been dishing up Southern classic cooking for a little over 30 years. Walking into Daddy's is like walking into the middle of a conversation between old friends. As far as I could tell, that was exactly what was happening. It seemed to me that everyone in the place knew one another. Kids and grandkids were asked after, school accomplishments were shared and neighbors caught up.

For all of that cross chat and familiarity there are seemingly no strangers at Daddy's. If there are it won't be for long. The Dining Companion and I were greeted warmly and made to feel welcome.

Daddy's offers a buffet of down home goodness and also has a menu for those who might want a burger or a club salad. We were there for the buffet. I was there for the fried chicken specifically. It didn't disappoint.

Peach Cobbler and Fried Chicken

Stuffed Peppers and Hamburger Steaks in Gravy

Beets, Seafood Salad, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw and a Garden Salad
Sauteed Cabbage, Fried Okra, Spaghetti(!), Green Beans and Au gratin Potatoes
All of the food was fresh and delicious. The fried chicken was just what I was looking for. One item not shown above was the homemade dressing (like stuffing but not). One of the best things I had.

From front center - Fried chicken, cornbread dressing, cole slaw and potato salad
Last but not least, homemade fruit cobbler. (Peach and apple?) There was no way I was leaving without trying it. Light biscuit topping with a glaze of crunchy sugar on top. Perfection.

Eating at Daddy's Country Kitchen reminded me of dinner at grandma's house in the best possible way. From the warmth of friends greeting each other, to the down home cooking, Daddy's is a nice place to pass some time.

If you find yourself traveling in the South be sure to check out places like Daddy's. A little off the beaten path but well worth seeking out. You won't be a stranger for long.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mellow Mushroom - Kennesaw, Georgia

Image from Mellow Mushroom website

It's fair to say that in any new city I usually find myself making my way through a list of pizza joints. Always searching for the pizza that'll be my go to.

I've been on a continual quest, for my idea of good pizza, for years. I've found it in a few places; a decent Sicilian pie here, the pretty good hand-tossed pizza there. Some really good pizza.

Original Atlanta location - Image from Mellow Mushroom website
That quest recently brought us to Mellow Mushroom. Mellow Mushroom is a pizza chain that got its start in Atlanta, Georgia in the early 1970's. You can still feel the peace, love and hippy vibe when you walk into their stores. 

As the Dining Companion can attest I have a pretty vague way of describing what my ideal pizza is. As has been said before, I know it when I see it. Or taste it in this case.

I found pizza happiness at Mellow Mushroom.

Our usual go-to order is a regular cheese pizza and it didn't disappoint. The crust was crisp with great chew and wonderful flavor. I'm not sure what all the Mellow Mushroom folks are doing with their dough but whatever it is, keep on doing it. The crust is great, the pizza sauce was flavorful and the whole thing is topped with lovely, melty, cheese-y goodness. 
Cheese Pizza

Mellow Mushroom has a lot of inventive pizza combos on their menu. One of those caught the attention of the Dining Companion. Along with the cheese pizza we got the Red Skin Potato Pie. It's made with red skinned potatoes, bacon, caramelized onions, do I need to go on?!
Red Skin Potato Pie - Olive oil and garlic base with sliced roasted red potatoes, Applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Garnished with chives then drizzled with sour cream and spicy ranch dressing
The potato pizza was easily the best pizza I've had in a long time. Seriously. It's that good. If you're lucky enough to have a Mellow Mushroom nearby go get this pizza.

Quest complete. At least for now.

Happy dining!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rio de Janeiro Brazilian Buffett - Marietta, Georgia

The Dining Companion and I have been checking out local Brazilian restaurants. Recently we had lunch at Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is a small buffet restaurant located in a strip mall.

The first thing we heard after we greeted the staff was "I don't speak English." That's ok I replied, I don't speak Portuguese, I'm sure we'll figure it out. And we did.

We sat down and with the help of an English speaking employee, got the lay of the land. Rio de Janeiro's buffet is available for dine in or take out. As a matter of fact, while we were there, no one else joined us for lunch but many people stopped by for take out.

I managed to get one, only one, halfway decent picture of the food. 

Clockwise from the top: Layered chicken dish, pasta salad, a lovely rice and bean dish and boiled yucca
The Dining Companion and I are familiar with a few Brazilian dishes. None of those dishes were on the buffet. I'll be honest, I asked what these dishes were and I was told.(Muito obrigada!) I didn't write anything down and the dishes aren't really listed anywhere. That said, everything we tried was good. (MENU)

From what I understand, Rio de Janeiro, is a typical quick service Brazilian lunch spot. Something you might find in Brazil.

The buffet is small with a handful of items. Some items change depending on the day of the week. At some point we'll get back to sample some of the other choices.

Was this my favorite Brazilian restaurant? No, but it was a serviceable lunch option and a good way to try a few new things.

As it happens the Rio de Janeiro buffet is located in the same strip mall as the Brazilian Bakery Cafe. When filling up at the buffet for lunch be sure and save room for some tasty pastries a few doors down.

 Jantar feliz!
(Happy dining!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Brazilian Bakery Cafe - Marietta, Georgia

All I know about Brazilian food I learned from a waiter at Fogo de Chao. Well, mostly. It was on his advice that the Dining Companion and I sought out our first Brazilian restaurant that wasn’t a churrascaria.

Poking around the local dining scene, the Dining Companion found that there are a few Brazilian restaurants in the area. Armed with that knowledge we set out to try a couple. The Brazilian Bakery Café was first up.

We were there early on a weekend morning. It wasn’t overly busy which was great for me. I was able to ask about some of the delicious looking things on offer without holding up a line. The guy behind the counter was very helpful. (I wish I had his name) We looked over the options in the cases and chose a few things to try.(menu)

Coxinha are deep fried drumstick shaped fritters filled with chicken

We had one of the split pastries above. Filled with vanilla cream.

So many things to try!

There were cakes as well and flan

We ended up with a coxinha, a small shrimp pie and a ham and cheese pastry called an Americano. The coxinha we’d had before but the other two were new to us. We enjoyed all of the things that we tried.
Clockwise from top: Ham and Cheese pastry, coxinha and a shrimp empadinha

I did end up getting a sweet pastry as well. It was so good that it didn't last long enough to get its picture taken.

I asked about the feijoada and found out that we were there too early. We’ll be back for it another day. From what I can tell most of the local Brazilian places serve it on Saturday. Brazilian Bakery Cafe has it both Wednesday and Saturday.

The cafe also offers different soups and salads daily and bacalhoada on Fridays. Bacalhoada is a dish that consists of salt cod, onions and potatoes. There are sandwiches too. A little something for everyone. Judging by the steady stream of people coming in and out while we were there it's a popular weekend stop.

Chocolate Easter Eggs
I saw several foil wrapped packages hanging here and there in the bakery. I asked about them and was told that they're chocolate Easter eggs, a tradition in Brazil. They each have a hollow space inside that can be filled with a small toy or something. I'm sorry I didn't get one.

Sitting in the café was what I imagine being on vacation in Brazil would be like. Everyone it seems, but the Dining Companion and me, were speaking Portuguese. It's the kind of thing that can transport you right out of your everyday and into something new. We love that.

There are a couple of other places that we're going to try. One of them is a buffet place and the other appears to be a market with a place to eat attached. They both look interesting.

Stay tuned, the Brazilian food adventure is just beginning.

Happy dining!