Friday, April 2, 2021

Doughnut World (Winder, GA)

 235 N Broad St, Winder, GA 30680

Doughnut World is a donut shop in a fairly rundown strip mall just outside of downtown Winder. Surprisingly, it is run by an Indian family and they also sell Kolashes.

I get 3 donuts for $3.50 in total. All donuts are quite and light, in terms of both the dough and the taste of the toppings. The maple bacon bar has maple and bacon crumbs on it (from jar, I bet), the chocolate coconut is underpowered, as is the strawberry sprinkles.

VERDICT: 73/100
Fairly light donuts but weak on flavor.

Casey's (Winder, GA)

 53 N Jackson St, Winder, GA 30680

Casey's is a small, unpretentious burger place in downtown Winder, Georgia, which serves homemade burgers, hot dogs, and fries in a decent amount of variety. They also have some sandwiches (philly cheesesteak and smoked chicken). The food is fresh and mostly homemade, while they have a condiments bar with lettuce, tomato, onion, relish, jalapeños, and sauces.

I get one of the specialty burgers, the Hells 1/2 Pounder ($7.75), and a Hot Dog ($2.50) with Chili ($1), while my son gets a side of French Fries ($2.50). The Hells burger is two quarter pound patties covered with a thin spicy (habanero?) sauce and a whole grilled jalapeño. The patties are thin but done medium, perfect and tasty. It’s a great old-school burger. The Hot Dog is standard but the chili is really good. The fries are thin but have excellent potato flavor. Some of best skinny fries I had.

Verdict: 92/100
This is how an old-school local burger place should be. Do the classics and do them well!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Sweet Joy's Ice Cream Bar (Lawrenceville, GA)

 178 E Crogan St Suite 100, Lawrenceville, GA 30046



After our disappointing dinner at Parkside District, we decide to get dessert somewhere else and find Sweet Joy's Ice Cream Bar as the highest rated dessert place nearby. It is in downtown Lawrenceville, at the lower end of a small mall, a bit tucked away. It quite spacious inside and also has outdoor seating.



The guys who work there are very friendly and clearly proud of the place. They sell homemade ice cream, but their main claim to fame seems to be "spiked" ice cream, i.e. ice cream with alcohol. We decide to go all out and order the "Puffle Waffle"($7.50), a kind of crossover between a waffle and a pancake, topped with two scoops of ice cream (we order Butter Pecan and Chocolate Chip, but get two scoops of Butter Pecan instead), whip cream, powder sugar, caramel and fudge, as well as two sweets toppings (we chose sprinkles and M&Ms). The pancake and ice cream are tasty, if not exceptional, but the combination is absolutely bingerific!



VERDICT: 87/100

This is a nice place with nice people. The ice cream is good, and the spiked ice  cream might be special, but the real winner is the bingerific Puffle Waffle!

Parkside District (Lawrenceville, GA)

 909 Parkside Walk Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Parkside District is a fairly new "seafood and meat" restaurant in a Lawrenceville strip mall, just north of Atlanta. It is not really a pig out spot, and has a stylish interior, but as so many (Southern) American restaurants it has a menu with many pig out favorites, such as burgers, fried chicken, etc.



My wife and I get two traditional starters, which are presented with a bit of a fancy twist. The "Crispy Calamari" ($13.95) comes with fried jalapenos, a "green goddess drizzle", and a "thai basil marinara". They all taste terribly bland. We get the "General Paul's Wings" ($10.95) with "Sweet Hotlanta" sauce, which is a kind of zesty sweet and sour sauce, which actually works well. The wings are tasty, but not very special.


I have "The Double District" ($14.95), which are "duck fat-induced" 1/2 lb beef patties, bacon, red onion, sweet pickles, "roasted garlic aioli" on a brioche bun that comes with herb-seasoned fries. The patties are well-done (the waiter didn't ask how I wanted them) and the burger is fine, but nothing remarkable. I ask the fries without the herb-seasoning, which might have been a mistake, as these are pre-fab thick Burger King fries, tasteless (and I doubt the herb seasoning would have saved them). Given this experience, we decide not to have dessert here.

VERDICT: 78/100

Parkside District came highly rated online, which would not have been surprising had it been in a small town, but in the suburbs of Atlanta there is so much better food to find. It offer non-remarkable food in a nice setting.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Team Biscuits and Burgers (Athens, GA)

 745-B Danielsville Road, Athens, GA 30601

Team Biscuits and Burgers is a small drive-through place on the outskirts of Athens, Georgia, which serves, as you might have guessed, biscuits and burgers. In fact, they also serve chicken wings and some other all-American snacks (e.g. hot dogs, chicken tenders, and even pulled pork sandwiches), but biscuits and burgers are their thing. The biscuits come with a variety of meats, while the burgers are fairly basic (though they do have chicken and fish options).

I order a Bacon Cheese Burger ($5.15) without cheese, but instead get a Plain Burger with added Bacon ($5.30). Sigh! I also get a Bacon Biscuit ($3.09), as they are out of Sausage Biscuits, and side orders of French Fries ($1.99), for my son, and Onion Rings ($1.99), for me. Everything is prefab, with possible exception of biscuits and burgers. The fries are kind of saggy, the onion rings without much flavor, and the biscuit incredibly dry. The burger is the high point, which is relatively though, as it tastes quite fresh. It is a classic 1950s burger, with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, and mayo and mustard. For that type of burger, quite food actually.

VERDICT: 70/100

Old-school drive-through with fairly mediocre, standard fare, but a decent 1950s burger.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Scoville Hot Chicken (Athens, GA)

311 E Broad St, Athens, GA 30601

Scoville Hot Chicken is a new fast food that started in Sandy Springs, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, in Nvember and added a location in Athens, Georgia, in January 2021. It is located downtown in a location that previously housed another fried chicken place, which went bust pretty fast. I fear the same fate will befall Scoville, who has to compete with local heroes Chick-fil-a a bare 0.1 mile away.


Scoville offers only three items: a chicken sandwich, fries, and coleslaw. You order through a machine on the wall, which let’s you pretty much vary everything on the sandwich, including five levels of heat (chill, mild, hot, extra hot, and reaper). Advised by a friend, I take “Hot”, the middle one, in the Scoville Set ($10), which includes the sandwich and fries, and add coleslaw ($2) and Scoville Fry Sauce ($0.50), which is a garlic aioli. The wait is long, between 10 and 15 minutes, even though they only take care of one online order (3 boxes) before me.


The chicken is big and thick, and you can smell the cayenne when you open the box. It is a bit over cooked, which makes it crispy but hard. The heat is overpowering, but slightly softened by the slaw and the creamy "comeback sauce" -- next time I will add some comeback sauce. The fries are thick prefab crinkle cuts sprinkled with steak salt, similar to Zaxby’s. While perfectly crispy, they are basic and whatever flavor they have disappears in the heat. The slaw is crunchy but without much taste.

VERDICT: 85/100
Scoville chicken offers real (Nashville) hot chicken with a hipster  twist. The chicken sandwich is really the hit on its very limited menu.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pita Pyramide (Antwerp, Belgium)

Statiestraat 6, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
Pita Pyramide is a shawarma place close to Antwerp’s Central Station, where it has stiff competition from several others, including Mandarin. It has a weird set up with red leather chairs and couches as if in you are in the lounge of a railway station. It serves the usuals.

I get a Pita Shawarma, which traditionally comes with three sauces. The pita is standard, but dry, while the shawarma is thinly cut and particularly dry. The sauces are mediocre at best.

VERDICT: 70/100
Mediocre. You can definitely do better in same area.