Monday, September 8, 2014

Willy's Mexicana New Design & Offerings

Willy's Mexicana Grill

I can't say that it had ever previously occurred to me to even visit a Willy's. I just never got into the fast casual Mexican thing when Buford Highway is just a hop skip and a jump away. But color me recent visit to the new location on North Druid Hills left me impressed.

Willy's sinoloa chicken taco
Willy's sinoloa taco

Willy's guacamole

The new store design is bright and modern. It may be fast casual but it felt pretty upscale. There's even a little outdoor seating area and a station where they're making fresh tortillas. Service was fast and exceptionally friendly. Not bad for reasonably priced, convenient Mexican in a strip mall!

Our sinoloa tacos and chicken adobe burrito at Willy's could hold their own against the usual suspects like Chipotle or Moe's and offer a better priced alternative to pricier sit down spots. I also loved that they had horchata available as a fountain drink - why is every fast casual Mexican spot not serving this divine concoction? Cheese dip was a little thinner than I prefer, but was just right after it cooled off a bit and got thicker. Guacamole is also flavorful and fresh. And the fresh baked cookies and piping hot, oh so sweet sopapillas offered an unexpected treat to end the meal.

Willy's Mexicana is kid friendly
Gemma approves
Willy's Sopapillas
Willy's Sopapillas

In my mind I'd always lumped Willy's in with other fast casual chains because I didn't realize it was actually Atlanta-based. Next time you're craving quick Mexican, wouldn't you rather support a local business?

Willy's North Druid Hills
2566 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta GA 30329

Full disclosure: Although my first meal was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Woblet Supper Club at Ink & Elm

It's hard to keep up with all the apps these days, right? I have a zillion on my phone but pretty much just use feedly, facebook, pinterest and gmail on a daily basis. But I'm a sucker for a good deal, so Woblet might just tempt me to open my food folder a little more often. Here's the deal, at participating restaurants, you pull up the app, show it to your server, "spin the wheel," and get a discount of 5-15%. You can use it spots such as Tap, BurgerFi, Tin Lizzy's and Ink & Elm.

Get it here for iPhones and here for Android.

Woblet dinner at Ink & Elm
Savory Profiteroles - rosemary and chive with sweet potato butter 

If you're more of an analog type, you can still get in on the woblet action. First they have a card option in lieu of the app, and now they are starting a supper club that let's you get up close and personal with a local restaurant.

Woblet dinner at Ink & Elm
Spring vegetable and ricotta

First up is Ink & Elm. I was lucky enough to sample their first dinner. You can do the same on the following dates: Wednesday, June 18th at 7:30pm, Wednesday, July 16th at 7:30pm, and Tuesday, August 12th at 7:30pm.

Woblet Dinner at Ink & Elm
Florida Black Grouper with beets, fennel fumet, sugar snap peas, orange segments and pea shoots

Dinner includes four different appetizers, two entrees, and a variety desserts served at a communal table for $60 (excludes tax and gratuity). You can get your tickets here.

Woblet dinner at Ink & Elm
Culotte Steak with Eggplant Frite
Ink & Elm is walking distance from my soon to be Decatur/Druid Hills 'hood, so I was happy to go check it out again. Woblet dinners will showcase whatever dishes the restaurant is excited about. Ink & Elm's Stephen Sharp takes regional sourcing and high quality ingredients seriously, so the dishes we tried emphasized the seasonal and were unfussy preparations intended to let the ingredients shine. If you attend, dishes will likely vary since Sharp is inspired by whatever is fresh and fab that day.

Ink & Elm dessert

And in case you were thinking the chef's name sounds familiar...why, yes, he was the Adventurous Tastes Atlanta's Hottest Chef 2009

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Product Review | Double-Walled Serafino Glasses

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

It's only mid-May, and it's already hotter than blazes in Atlanta. But it's grilling season, so I head out to the patio, mop my brow and complain about the humidity. Fortunately, I can keep an ice cold beverage with me at all times thanks to my double-walled Serafino glasses which keep liquids at the ideal temperature whether hot or cold.

These cups are made of durable borosilicate glass, which is unaffected by heat and shatter resistant -- perfect when you have a handsy toddler around! I doubt it could withstand her throwing it on the ground, but at least a nudge shouldn't do these in. The Serafino glasses are microwave and freezer safe and come with a one year warranty to boot.

The double wall design keeps your beverage within the inner wall, so you don't get sweaty drinks that leave rings on your tables. I can't even think of drinking a hot beverage right now, but if that's your thing, this glass will be cool to the grip even when filled with hot coffee. These are fairly large sized glasses, and while their curvey. double-walled shape is attractive, I wouldn't bust these out at a dinner party. They're more of an everyday casual dining option.

When I poured myself a cold glass of water with no ice, just the way I like it, I was impressed to find that my water was pleasantly cool even an hour later despite the high temperatures outside. As of today they sell on Amazon for $34.95 for a set of 4.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



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