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Atlanta Trip Report Day 4

I woke up late today and skipped breakfast. There were more meetings today and I also forego lunch until I got to the Atlanta Airport at 3pm. There were lots of choices at the airport.

I would normally get something quick like a sandwich or pizza but decided this time to take the train two concourse away where there is a bigger food court with proper tables. I had the Spaghetti with Meatballs Combo which included a salad and a drink.

The spaghetti is nothing special but I like the big meatballs. That big piece you see down there is not chicken breast — but it sure does look like one, isn’t it? It’s a piece of bread — not sure what you call that type of bread. It reminded me of the Indian naan bread.

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The Combo included a salad and I chose Blue Cheese for dressing. The salad does not look fresh at all. The costs is just above USD $10.

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See that two dark blobs at the top of the picture below? I had dreaded for this day. Dusts got into the sensor of my camera. I hate to pay people to clean it but at the same time I have heard of horror stories of do-it-yourselves. Tell me, what should I do?

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Took the picture below of Pheonix. This is a rare shot, I tell you because Pheonix is located right in the middle of a desert. It looks lush, doesn’t it?

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Got delayed on the Pheonix-Vancouver leg. It took almost 30 minutes to taxi to the runway. Must have been a very busy time of the day. Look at the picture below … there’s a line of eight planes all waiting to take-off.

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I’ll be travelling to London tomorrow night and will blog about my London trip on Saturday. I had some good tips from my blog readers on my trip to Atlanta. Any tips for the trip to London? I was so busy I did not have time to think about that trip. I have never been to London before. So, tell me what should I try for food? If I only have two days of sightseeing, what do you recommend I visit?

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Atlanta Trip Report Day 3

Day 3 in Atlanta. Have been putting long hours going to one meeting to another. I really hate doing this because it does not give me time to plan for the meeting and not having a proper time to recap what the take-aways were. I figure that out tonight in the hotel. By 6:00 pm my mind was so saturated that I just don’t want to think about work anymore!

Like Mark promised, he brought Paul and I to a Southern Cooking place. It was a really nice restaurant called South City Kitchen Vinings. The service was excellent — one of the places that stands out as genuine service, not waiters who fake it for a bigger tip.

Thanks to Maritza who recommended that I order “sweet tea”, I chose this. It is basically iced tea and was pretty sweet. Free refills, that’s what I like.

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We were served muffins with butter. The muffins were soft and buttery. Just took only one coz I know the main dish will be large.

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Mark recommended that we order the Old Charleston She-Crab Soup. It was very thick, rich and creamy. Pretty much like chowder but made with blur crab meat. $3.75 for a cup.

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For the main dish, I ordered the Pan Roasted Georgia Trout from their Southern Inspirations selection. I ordered this because of the word Georgia on it!

This trout is served with chipotle-sweet mashed potato and a few asparagus and topped with crawfish-basil brown butter. I love asparagus and wished they have a few more on the plate. I like the juiciness of the dish. The dish above costs $19.

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The total tab for the three of us was $91. Good thing Paul picked up the tab or else I would have a bit of a problem putting it on company’s expenses.

It has been hectic the past two days and am glad I just have half a day tomorrow before heading back to Vancouver.

So, all … what do you think? Does this pass as Southern Cooking? BTW, wanted to say thank you to Kirk and Ellen too for their tips on Southern food. I told Mark their suggestions and he did say that they were great and had been to most of them. I’ll try that the next time I’m in Atlanta again.

I’ll probably blog about airline or airport food tomorrow. Come back again, you hear?

South City Kitchen Vinings on Urbanspoon

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Atlanta Trip Report Day 2

Mark took me to a Mexican place for lunch today. I’ve never really been to an authentic Mexican restaurant before although there were a few around Vancouver. Not that I don’t like Mexican food but it’s just that I don’t know what to order besides Taco.

The nachos and salsa were free. Mark told me that most Mexican restaurants will serve it free. The salsa was made fresh and the nachos warm. Very nice — definitely much nicer than those we make at home.

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I really can’t remember what it is I ordered! :-) I know the short name — it’s the Lunch Special #6. Well, it has some rice. It also has some fried beans — all mashed up. Almost every dish has beans. Mexicans like beans but not me. There is also some guacamole (spelling correct?) — it’s the green stuff. Avocado, I believe.

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The lunch special was just $5.45. The restaurant is called The Border — kind of an odd name for Mexican restaurant, if you ask me, especially when these days the US is getting less tolerant of illegals from Mexico.

Mark said he’ll show me Southern Cooking tomorrow.

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Longhorn Steakhouse in Atlanta

Take the bull by the horns.
~ Russian Proverb

In my last night in Atlanta before I return to Vancouver, a few of my project team members finally told ourselves that we should just go out for a nice meal in a restaurants a block away from our hotel. Shahdad wanted Mexican while Rob fancies steak. I was the vote breaker … I chose steak.

I heard so much about the Longhorn Steakhouse this entire week here and was told that there is a long line up most of the nights. So, we decided to give that place a try. We went at a right time because although there were five parties ahead of us, we were seated in just 10 minutes. Hmmm … good start.

The Longhorn Steakhouse has a string of restaurants in the 24 east coast states from Maine to Florida. There are 14 Longhorns just around Atlanta itself. The interior is very western with longhorns, horse shoes, cowboy stuff and whatnots adorning the walls. The service was very prompt and very friendly.

The night started with sourdough bread (or at least I think it is sourdough!) and butter. The bread was warm and felt like it’s just fresh out of the oven. It was served on a wooden platter with a sunken cup for the butter. It was a great start.

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Next came the salad. Nothing fancy except that the plate was huge. We agreed that this salad alone is good enough for dinner. I like this.

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I ordered the Flo’s Filet and Grilled Shrimp. The waitress recommended the Flo’s Filet saying it’s their most asked for selection. The Filet/Shrimp was served with rice and chipotle range sauce. That dish costs $20.49. I also order a side of Fresh Asparagus at $3.49.

The prawns were really nice with the chipotle sauce. I took that and the asparagus first — yummy! The Flo filet is a 7oz fresh tenderloin cooked to medium rare. I did not touch the rice much because I was really full.

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Did we stop there? Nope, we were no quitters. We couldn’t possibly eat the entire dessert and decided to order just one to share. We asked for the Caramel Apple Goldrush which is … listen to this … a sweet, sliced cinnamon apples tossed with butter and brown sugar baked in a golden pastry shell. It is served warm with vanilla ice cream and whiskey caramel and raspberry sauce. The description looks delicious, right? It was.

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Ahh … what a way to end the week in Atlanta. Total damage for the three of us — $100, tips included. Not bad, especially when this goes into expenses. Hope the boss don’t flip seeing our claims! :-)

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DQ’s Shrimp Basket

When in Rome, do as the Romans do
~ unknown

Sigh … been working in Atlanta the whole week and am seriously missing Suanne’s food! I sure look forward to coming home this weekend and have a simple bowl of noodle soup — nothing fancy, just plain noodle soup!

There were so much I need to do here that I did not have much of a chance to have a good nice Atlantan meal. So, it’s pretty much food catered for the meetings and food at the mall.

After another long day at the office, I just went over to the Cumberland Mall across the road to grab a quick bite from the food court. At the food court, there was this nice big banner with big delicious prawns that caught my attention. Sure, I thought, why not try the DQ’s Shrimp Basket.

I expected it served in a basket, like the picture on the banner but as always, what you get is not exactly the same as what is advertised. The Shrimp Basket should be called the Shrimp BOX.

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I am surprised by the size of the serving and the number of shrimps. They are deep fried and was served with fries. It looks very inviting, but does it taste good? Well … I find that North American shrimp is nothing much like those from SE Asia which tastes a bit more … shrimpy.

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The shrimps also comes with a dipping sauce and a small bowl of coleslaw. The coleslaw was terrible. I threw it away. The meal costs less than US$5. Not a bad deal. However, it’s not something I’ll go looking for again.

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Just can’t wait to get home!

Dairy Queen Cumberland Mall on Urbanspoon

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United Airlines Snackbox

A good meal ought to begin with hunger.
~ French Proverb

On my flight to Atlanta, I thought I try out United Airlines’ Snack Box even though Suanne packed some snack for me. It has been a while since most airlines had discontinued free inflight meals even for long haul flights. On United’s flight over 3.5 hrs, one could purchase United’s snack boxes for USD $5 each — they accept only cash. United has choice of four different types of snack boxes. Click here for their selection. I wanted something a bit salty and cheesey. I opted for the Mini Meal Snack Box.

The boxes were shrink wrapped. I was pretty surprised by the content. It was packed pretty tight and had a very good selection.

I started off with the Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. There are two in a pack and sandwiched a layer of chocolate. As with most cookies I was particularly concern about crumbs since I was sitting in such cramped space with my bulky camera by my side, but it does not crumble much. Made just right for a flight.

I always get so dehydrated on flights. I took the apple sauce next. It’s a Granny Smith apple sauce from Mott’s. I like it because it is unsweetened.
There are seven of Hommel Hard Beef Salami slices in the pack. It was exactly what I wanted … a little bit of salt and meat.

Next was the Parmesan Cheese spread on stoned wheat crackers.

I did not particularly care for potato chips and kept it aside for snacks later.
I like this item. It is called the Hiya Peppermint. Instead of the normal peppermint drops, these peppermint is liquid filled capsule. It releases the mint instantaneously. Good thing to share with people.

It was a good thing I had a window seat on the last row on the plane. It was not easy to escape people’s attention when I took my time to arrange my food for the shots. Luckily, the person who sat next to me was sleeping all the way. Some people did notice and must have thought I was a village bum flying for the first time and taking shots of every little thing I came across. :-)

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Chicago Style Hot Dog

The heart of a man may be compared to a sausage; no one can tell exactly what’s inside.
~ Yiddish Proverb

I was delayed at the Chicago O’Hare Airport for four hours just a few days ago. At least United Airlines gave me a meal voucher so that I could have a wee bite while waiting. My tummy was growling then. Since I was in Chicago, I thought I should try something native to Chicago. Seems like Chicago’ians (?) are pretty proud of the Chicago Style Hot Dog which is served very consistently the same way. Here is what it looks like:

What I learn is a Chicago style hot dog is almost always:

  • a beef hot dog
  • a poppy seed bun
  • yellow mustard
  • sweet relish
  • chopped raw onion
  • a dill pickle spear
  • tomato slices
  • celery salt
  • AND NO KETCHUP

I don’t know why no ketchup. I find it strange because I have always wanted ketchup on hot dogs. It is a perfect meal with a little meat, vegetables, spicy peppers, cool tomato and a zing of celery salt. I also got myself a bottle of Tropicana Orange Juice.

How much did it costs? It’s slightly less than $7 (USD) including the drink — all paid for by United Airlines. Thanks a bunch for making me wait in the airport for four hours (NOT!).

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