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The Cabernet Steakhouse

February 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Greetings Folks!

Godfather has been away a while, but has now returned to my good friend Joe Mantineo’s website with great restaurant reviews for your reading enjoyment.
Godfather recently was overwhelmed by a surprise 50th birthday party thrown in my honor at Cabernet Steakhouse in Alpharetta, GA. This is the Godfather’s kind of place. Of course I have been blessed with many friends and it was great to share the mid-century mark with them as such a great eating establishment.
Cabernet overs and masculine dark wood setting with great steak and wine offerings and you can’t help but notice a great cigar humidor in the entrance of the restaurant. Godfather had a bone in filet with family style helpings of asparagus and creamed spinach. Of the many great wine offerings, godfather treated himself to a 1999 Treana Special Reserve red wine, a complex blend of man red grapes from the Los Robles vineyard section of California. Treana is one of the Godfather’s favorite red wines and I am often happy to find it when I can. One slight complaint was the fact that they only had one bottle in their otherwise voluminous wine cellar offerings. Service was good to very good. One disappointing detail was the chairs that we sat in during the birthday celebration in the private room, were very uncomfortable, to the point where the party was making a joke of it. Something simple like chair comfort should not be something the Godfather should be concerned with, especially given his prostate challenges.
All in all, Cabernet Steakhouse earns a strong 7 on Godfather’s 1-10 scale. Bring your heavy wallet as they are shy about fixing chairs but not shy about charging high prices.

Until next time, Forgetabutit Caio’

PALM RESTAURANT – Nashville, TN

February 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Godfather had the opportunity to eat in Downtown Nashville the other evening, and selected THE PALM Restaurant, located right across the street from the Nashville hockey arena.  Overall the restaurant was good, but unfortunately, “Oh so typical of high-end chain type steakhouses.  Dark wood, waiters with butcher smocks on with embroidered name on chest, and “good with a joke or to light up your smoke”.  The problem the Godfather has with most of these places is that they love to charge “Cadillac prices” , but don’t love to give “Cadillac Services”.  Great place if you are on an expense account and I think these places know that and cater to that.

When I’m paying 60 plus dollars for a steak and 5 bucks for a coke, I want to be amazed and awestruck by the service!   I want to be serviced in ways I did not think I could be serviced.  Prime example, on this particular evening it was very cold in Nashville, so all of the six gentlemen in our party had to check coats.  At the end of a marathon business dinner, I want to get out of the restaurant.  A place such as the Palm, should have had our coats waiting, but instead we were forced to walk around the restaurant for someone to come help us find and pull our coats.  Even worse we were the last ones to leave so no real excuse for being busy.  After spending a thousand bucks, we were basically told “see ya”get your own coats or figure it out, we know you are on an expense account and from out of town and we get a 100 new suckers in here every night.  One of the wines we were looking forward to was out of stock, just not 5 start quality but rest assured they charge 5 star prices.

Great place to be seen if you’re into that superficial act, location is great.  100 yards from the Nashville strip.  These steakhouses are becoming endless and routine money makers.  Morton’s, Kendrick’s, The Palm, Stoney River, on and on what’s the difference?  Godfather sees none.

Milton’s

November 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Most recently the Godfather’s wife celebrated her 50th Birthday.  Normally the Godfather does not frequent “Southern Country Restaurants”, but given the fact it was the Godfather’s wife’s birthday, an exception was made.  Much to the Godfather’s delight, Milton’s Restaurant in historic Crabapple , GA was a pleasant surprise.  Only opened for dinner 7 days a week, this quaint historic establishment executed many of the “attention to detail” key success factors the Godfather looks for in his dining experience.

The manager/co-owner frequented our table no less than 4 times, spending at least 5-8 minutes during each “check-in”.   As we commented on the age and beauty of what we thought was an old farmhouse the restaurant was housed in, the manager told us the historic background of the building and that it was in fact an old farmhouse owned by Mr. Milton about a mile down the road from its current location where it stands today.  He also fascinated us by telling us that Mr. Milton was actually a very key historic figure because he developed a certain cotton seed hybrid which was deemed more appropriate to produce a stronger more durable cotton.   Another very interesting part about the restaurant is that all of the vegetables and fruit are grown right on the grounds, and picked and sent directly to the Godfather’s table.  This practice is what’s called a seed to table restaurant.  The obvious benefits being healthier food, free of preservatives and better tasting.

The menu consists of classic southern flair, shrimp and grits and many southern cooked fish.  They have a blueberry cobbler that is traditionally warmed with a scoop of ice cream that was for the most part out of this world, but the Godfather would have liked to eat more crust and less of the fruit.  Restrooms and general shape of the restaurant was impeccably and noticeably clean.  Old hundred year old creaky wood floors and as a great touch, black and white photos of farm related instruments and landscaping, added a nice touch.  Class in the windows was the old fashioned kind that waves and is imperfect.  Lots of patio and deck areas and private room for large parties.   Godfather gives Milton in historic Crabapple a 9 on a scale of 10.  Pricing was a bit aggressive for a down economy.

TOKYO BOAT RESTAURANT

July 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tokyo Boat Restaurant

910 Woodstock Road

Roswell , GA 33075

770 993 6646

The Godfather recently has begun to frequent a Japanese restaurant in Roswell, called Tokyo Boat.  Unlike most of these Japanese style restaurants, made famous by the “Benihanah” craze of the 80s., this one was very clean and service was very prompt.  One caution, however, since the establishment is very new their liquor license is still not secured.  In addition to the traditional seating in front of a large grill and entertaining chief that makes volcanoes out of onions and flings pieces of chicken into 7 year old anticipating mouths for target practice, there is a sushi bar off to the side with properly placed flat screen TVs and personable, sushi experts to give suggestions and carve up generous portions.

Perhaps fighting off the old stereotypes of the past, for some reason Godfather always anticipates an “unclean” establishment , in this case Tokyo Boat broke the stero type and had a very , very clean restaurant with reasonable prices, many choices and a great cooking show for all the enjoy

Style Pizza Wars !

March 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kennesaw New York

 Style Pizza Wars !

The Godfather is never surprised by the ability of local restaurants to come on strong in a particular area of a city, just when we think there is no hope.  For those of us who “really” know what NY Style Pizza is, you understand the feeling you get when you miss it and you can especially relate to the joy you experience when you find it.  A few short years ago, there were no, I mean no , nada zero restaurants close the Kennesaw that served the NY Style Pizza.  

It now appears that there is a, “NY Style Pizza WAR” brewing in the Kennesaw area.  There are 3 Pizza Parlors that serve NY Style Pizza now, and they are;  Big Pie in the Sky, Ray’s and Giardino’s Pizza.  Your Godfather will now give you his brief opinion of all three and ranking.

  1. Big Pie in the Sky- still # 1 and growing out of control based upon the difficulty of getting a seat.  Their novelty of the “King Jumbo Pizza” literally too large to fit in through the Godfather’s Cadillac is still a great unique feature of this place that makes it enjoyable.  The key factors to qualify for NY Style pizza are all still present in the pie.  The oil that runs off the cheese, the “thin ness” quality of the slices and the cheese , bread and sauce taste are all right on the mark to maintain the #1 slot.  Godfather gives a strong warning to Big Pie in the Sky; “Do not get too cocky and do not forget the customer service and attention to detail that earned you this rank!”  As many restaurants grow in size they forget what makes the great.  Recently the Godfather has noticed a slight burning on the back of the pizza, poor service, borderline rude non caring attitudes and long wait lines and questionable delivery service.  The attainment of their liquor license for beer has saved them.  A pizza parlor that serves no beer is much like an Italian man who takes orders from his wife…..it just is not natural!
  2. Ray’s Pizza-   A new establishment on Chastain Road near Taco Back.  Pizza is very good just not quite as good as Pie in the Sky, liquor license is obtained and owner is from the New York area, which is always a plus.  Plenty of room , a great location and a large accommodating bar with wide screen TV placed in great locations.  Service was quick and prices were on the mark.
  3. Giardino’s Pizza-  also a new place, created much like the many thousands of no frills pizza parlors you see in NY/NJ areas.  No liquor license so you can’t get a beer, this must be fixed immediately r Godfather will not return.  Pizza is good , very good.  Oil “ooze” was right up there with the best.  Small place , booths very small, but located right off KSU campus. 

 

Until next month, be good and stay out of trouble!  The Godfather

Tarahumata

March 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tarahumata

12050 Etris Rd

Roswell, GA

 The Godfather recently enjoyed Friday night cuisine at a Mexican Restaurant of all places!  The Don of Kennesaw , having relocated to Roswell was very surprised.  Perhaps the greatest quacomoule the Godfather has ever tasted.  This one dish is worth the trip to this establishment all by itself.  The Godfather could visualize just sitting at the bar drinking and having the Tarahmata’s famous guacamole dish!  Another great advantage of the establishment was a small live band that was playing old school music in the bar area, yet could be heard in the dining area.  Not too loud as to drowned out dinner conversation, but a good volume to listen to the song and relax and enjoy while still having a conversation.

 The place just had a new and “upscale” feel to it.   Too many times Mexican joints are like Indian joints , let’s face it, they are NASTY and DIRTY and many times the Godfather can tabulate in his head while visiting the restroom, how many health code violations are present.  This was not the case here, kind of almost a rich and “snooty” stuff shirt atmosphere which would definitely not tolerate that type of establishment.   Observing Lent on Friday, the Godfather had lobster tacos and of course the guacamole which were both fantastic.  Also, having given up beer for Lent, the Godfather had 4 frozen margarita’s with no salt.  The drink was good , but the missed the ball on the glass.  Frozen Margaritas need to be served in fishbowl shaped glass as to not let the frozen portion sing to the bottom.  Besides the misque with the Margarita glass, Godfather gives Tarahumata’s in Roswell a strong 8 and half!   Until next month,  Teamo   !

Sa Za Italian Restaurant

February 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Sa Za Italian Restaurant-  Montgomery , AL

Downtown in the new Alley !

The Godfather has taken notice of a great new downtown development initiative going on in Montgomery, Alabama during the last year.  Anchored by the new Marriott Renaissance Spa & Resort, the downtown Montgomery area is coming to life!   Last week the Godfather had the pleasure of visiting the new Sa Za Italian Restaurant.  I have mentioned before my trouble with Italian restaurants down south, many times they try , but they just don’t get it and they just don’t understand.  Nothing like a stupid young redneck kid with a backward baseball cap on, trying to talk like he is from the New York area, much worse also trying to be Italian.  These characters (normally the ones with the black hair who get brave) attempt to grease their hair back and throw terms out of their mouth like , “forgettabout it” or “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse”…..  please make it stop, and get out of the Godfather’s face!

This place seemed a bit different so I gave it a try.   In a very quick summary, the food was fantastic, but the service was a bad as the food was good.  I mean two very far extremes.  I really am in a dilemma on how to rate this place, and it’s a shame.   We had a party of 5 and waited one hour and 20 minutes and watch countless people walk in before us.  There is no other way to describe it but totally unorganized on no concern for customer service order, or anything.  The gentleman managing the process was either about to quit and was hanging on the last few hours in order to collect a paycheck, stoned or just very low in the ole “gene pool”.  Normally , I would have caused a scene bigger than Ben Hurr, but I was just not in the mood, and we were with some Mormon people who we had just met and we did not want to show them how “rude” we could be.  So we just endured the wait.

The good news, was that the food was outstanding.  I had chopped lobster over angel hair in a very light sauce, and mussels in red marinara sauce as an appetizer.  Both dishes were outstanding.  The clincher was what my friend ordered.  It was called, “Grammas’ Sunday Sauce”  it was pasta, but with it came this great black cast iron pot filled with thick red sauce and sausage and meatballs that tasted literally like my grandmother’s(well almost)…. We also had two bottles of Chianti that were outstanding.  Seating was horrible and there was a slight air of homosexuality among the waiters and some of the décor which was annoying but tolerable.  The bar was large and many TVs with the appropriate sports channels were visible; always a plus with the Godfather.

Bottom-line, a very difficult review because of the horrendous service and “light in the loafers’ service staff, but the food was outstanding.   Godfather says call 3 hours ahead and wait at the bar.

Summit’s Wayside Tavern

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Summits Wayside Tavern®
525 Lake Center Pkwy.
Cumming, GA 30040-2752
Phone: 770-886-4374
Fax: 770-886-4376

The Don had an opportunity to enjoy what started out as an after work beer at the The Summit Tavern in Cumming, GA.

The Summit is a cross between a sports bar and one of those places that serves 20,000 different types of beer.  The Don is a rather simple beer drinker and after many hours on the job, is not a big fan of making complicated decisions on which type of beer to drink. I normally stick with a Miller Light, but I guess for some variety is a good thing.

We walked in around 5:30 and I was amused that the bar actually ran out of Bud Light, but the Don was enjoying himself with one of his good friends as well as some other men that frequented the establishment (ed note: I bet he did).  Then something strange happened..

All of a sudden , what I could only guess to be a shift change to the dinner crew, we were swamped with many bartenders. Hey, even the owner came out to cut up with us.  The Don always likes when the owner is present and mingles with the patrons.  This shows interest and customer service as well as a personal touch.

The owner was obviously from “up north”, another great sign in a restaurant, specifically Buffalo , NY.  Soon after pleasantries were exchanged, a literal smorgasbord of new menu items were delivered to us for our “expert opinion”.  What started out as a beer after work immediately turned into a buffet of “Man’s Food”.  What a great great array of delectable new sandwich items that were served: Meatball sandwich, Roast Beef Sandwich, Cuban Sandwich, Philly Cheese Steak, and Pittsburgh “Garbage” sandwich.  WOW!!

As you may recall the Don is a huge fan of Cuban Sandwiches, and many places just can’t seem to get the basic requirement correct which requires the bread to be “pressed or smashed” down .  The Summit nailed this!  The meatball and roast beef were unbelievable.  If they serve these items regularly , the Don is sure their great business will continue to impress.

So if you are ever up in the Cumming area, stop by this place.  Till Next Month…

Stefanos Pizza & Subs

November 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Stefanos Pizza & Subs
30 Chauncy St
Mansfield, MA 02048
508-339-6111

While traveling in the Boston area recently,  I was uncommonly early for an appointment en route to visit a customer in Foxboro, MA.  Being from the Northeast area of the country originally, and having actually lived in the Boston area during my childhood, it is always an enjoyable time for me when business dictates my return to the New England area.

I came upon a quaint pizzeria and sub shop called Stefano’s on Chauncey Street in Mansfield , MA which is on the outskirts of Foxboro.

I had an Italian Sub all the way, a cheese slice and a large mountain dew(I awoke that morning at 5 am to catch my 8:00 am flight to Logan and needed the caffeine! They didn’t serve Jolt cola.).  Scrambling as I always do while traveling and getting hit with many of the Massachusetts toll booths, I was running low on cash and only had about 6 bucks in my wallet.  Of course as luck would have it the place did not take credit cards.  This irks me to no end and makes me want to shoot a horse in the head. But I’m older now, more mature.

Since I was on my way to see a customer I was “suited up” pretty nicely. After giving me the once over the proprietor behind the counter offered to accept a check. I then looked at him and said, “Out of state?” He asked , “You got a license?” I said, “Yes.”  We struck a deal like Northeasterners do.  The total bill was $9. 87 and I wrote the check for 14 bucks (ed note: the Don is generous with his checkbook, especially when he’s hungry).

The pizza was worth the hassle.  Many of you have heard me describe the love I have for NY style pizza and attempt to put into words what exactly goes into NY style pizza.  The cheese and bread obviously have to be right, but also the oil that pools up in the crevasses of the slice and then drip out onto the plate, and even the underside of the bread, which must have that certain taste. Add it all up, this place had it.

The Italian sub I ordered was also good, but not as good as the pizza.  A large pizza with four toppings was $13.25 and a garden salad was $4.50, just to give you an idea of the prices.  The establishment had about ten tables, 60s music playing faintly from the back of the kitchen and one small older TV in the corner near the ceiling.  Everything in the place appeared to have a small nostaligic film of grease on it, in a good way not a bad way , if that makes any sense.

A cop came in and was just as one would imagine; white haired of Irish decent and spoke with a rough Boston accent. His father was most likely a cop as well.  Three tough looking guys followed later. They were doing road construction, tattooed, smokers, and most likely pro-union. A very quick conversation was heard about a Red Sox trade and how the Patriots were 4 and 2.  Another tough looking guy came in with a Boston Bruin tee shirt on. Yes, it was an unseasonably warm day in Boston which appeared to make most of the patrons forget about their pathetic lives trapped in an overtaxed, under employed city that had seen its better days. The typically horrific winter season was soon to come, but not on this day, and that was just as well for these folks.

What made Stefano’s great was that it was so normal and typical Boston, no travelers except me, no tourists, just Boston people.  The place was not a chain.  No  wi-fi, just a lot of people saying  Caaaaar and Paaaaark.

Until next month…

Capitol Inn Restaurant

August 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Capitol Inn Restaurant
205 North Goldthwaite Avenue
Montgomery,AL
(334) 265-3844

“Man-O-Man” – is all this Yankee Godfather can say about a recent lunch that was devoured in Montgomery, AL.

It was an old southern “meat & 3″ as my rebel brothers call it.  Dipped in great history, nostalgia and heavily connected to the state legislative lawmakers in Alabama, the restaurant sits strategically next to the Goat Hill Tavern in the lobby area of an old hotel called the Capitol Inn Hotel.  This legendary eatery has been there for years.

Wed’s Menu includes Fried Chicken, Baked Pork Chops, Country Friend Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Collard Greens, Friend Okra, Black-Eyed Peas, Rolls and Cornbread, Banana Pudding, Dump Cake and Pecan Pie.  Holy Mother of the sweet baby Jesus in the manger!!   Need I say more.  I felt as if I gained 20 pounds after lunch and had the most violent urge for a mid-day nap that I had ever experienced! At first I thought I’d been poisoned, but no, it was just a week’s worth of food trying to make it’s way through my body.

Another great part of the restaurant is that you can enjoy eating with people from all walks of life.  That day I talked to lawyers, military guys from Maxwell Military base, teachers, and regular blue collar workers that just wanted to get in out of the heat and eat a great meal.  I give this restaurant an 11 on a scale of 1-10 (ed note: you can’t give it an 11 if the scale only goes to 10. If you try, you’ll only break it.).

Just go there, visit downtown and you’ll agree it will have been well worth the trip !

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