leon’s full service – atlanta, ga

since we took last week off from nrw, i decided we’d go for something indulgent this wednesday, and indulge we did!  leon’s full service in decatur was the pick of the week, and considering i’d only heard good things, i was excited that we were finally giving it a try ourselves.

the idea here at leon’s is that you are going to have the best part of your day at their tables and that you will be itching to come back again.  they strive to provide only the best service and hospitality in addition to a great meal and equally as great drinks.  after beginning brick store pub nearly 15 years ago, mike, dave, and tom took a new turn when they started leon’s in february 2009.  since then, chef eric ottensmeyer and sous chef robert lupo have been bringing “fun and seasonal aspects to neighborhood pub cuisine.”  the menu has a varied yet modest menu that should hopefully tickle your taste buds in some fashion.  we were a hungry crew that night, as always, so we were ready to dig in!

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the big ketch saltwater grill – atlanta, ga


this week i wasn’t sure where i wanted to venture to for nrw, and as it turns out, i didn’t venture very far, at least as far as mileage is concerned.  after meeting at my condo, we all made the short walk down roswell road to try out the big ketch saltwater grill.  i pass it all the time on my runs, and since seafood sounded like the perfect dinner choice, we found ourselves gathered around a couple of tables and ready to eat.

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trail blazers @ hawks

ladies and gentlemen, we welcome back guest blogger scott “scootz” tennant as our group gets ready to attend the trail blazers vs. hawks basketball game tonight.  scootz is our resident nba expert as you may remember from his first guest post.  this time he has pulled out all the stops, leaving no stone unturned and no question unanswered.  buckle up for a pre-game analysis that would impress even bill simmons.

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takorea – atlanta, ga

i perused my list of nrw hopefuls and couldn’t really decide what sounded best this week.  then, in a striking moment of clarity, i remembered good ‘ole hankook taqueria over on the west side.  i have literally only been there once, and it was about four years ago with my old small group, but i remember it being one heck of a place.  i thought it might be a contender, but kyle reminded me about the very limited parking.  eh, that’s right….but!  to keep in the spirit of that line of asian fusion cuisine, we decided on the midtown location of takorea.

takorea is the creation from hankook taqueria chef tomas lee, hence why i didn’t mind coming here in place of hankook.  their idea is to make korean flavors available in a fun and energetic atmosphere by presenting it through traditional mexican dishes like tacos and burritos.  don’t be fooled, though, because the fresh ingredients and components are all asian.  you’ll be easily introduced to your new favorite street snacks, wondering how you lived all those years without these flavors!  sound exciting?  then read on to see how much we all enjoyed it!

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saltyard – atlanta, ga

ah, so good to be back for the first official new restaurant wednesday experience of 2015!  some friends tried out naanstop a couple weeks ago (much to my dismay since i was out of town), so tonight we bring you the review of saltyard, a small-plate dining experience that is casual and ambient, luring yet not pretentious.  with its globally-inspired menu and perfectly-paired beverage selection, it sounded like a flavor odyssey that we couldn’t miss.

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where to eat!

the new year seems just around the corner, and with our resolutions come changes, and kelseyv.com shall not be left out of the fun!  my regular readers will start seeing some improvements and new features over the next several weeks, and i want to first point out perhaps the most exciting one:  a restaurant map!  on the new restaurant wednesday page, you’ll find a map of the greater atlanta area with red stars of all the restaurants we have visited and reviewed.  it should help you find the perfect place to dine no matter where you are!

as you begin, or continue, to explore kelseyv.com, please send kind recommendations my way.  there’s always something bigger and better out there!

gypsy kitchen – atlanta, ga


some of my plans fell through this evening (which seemed to be continuing the weekend trend…), so when clark got back home from auburn, i easily persuaded him to go try gypsy kitchen in the buckhead atlanta area for dinner.  i love going out to eat with clark because he’s always up for it and is usually interested in trying a new place with me.  gypsy kitchen had opened back in mid-october, and after driving by it nearly everyday and seeing it pop up on my facebook newsfeed, it was time we see what it is all about for ourselves.

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la urbana – atlanta, ga


***author’s note:  since our visit last fall that prompted this post, la urbana has unfortunately closed its doors.  do read on, though, to hear about how we enjoyed this local joint.

we brought nrw back this week and took it to the westside of town at la urbana, a spot that came highly recommended from my coworker batkinson.  now, i already have my favorite mexican place in town at bone garden cantina, so i was looking to be impressed.

la urbana opened in march of this year, and considering their peripheric location, i’m sure they were thrilled to have nine people come in for dinner.  their spot took over some pizza joint that used to be there a couple years back, and they’ve certainly made it their own.  the large space isn’t too crammed with tables and chairs, and i think we were all comfortable at our tables that were pushed together.

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sun in my belly – atlanta, ga


so, check this out, mis amigos.  last weekend our uncle craig was in atlanta before taking a whirlwind tour of the southeast for some client visits.  we got to spend some fun time with him as we gave him the local tour of the city, and considering he had never been here, it was great getting to show him around town.

of the many fun things we got to do while he was here, one of them was grabbing brunch at sun in my belly before he had to hit the road for the carolinas.  uncle craig is from the fair city of san pedro, california in southern los angeles, so we just couldn’t pass up the chance to show him how the south does food.

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the pig & the pearl – atlanta, ga


you guys, i have very much been looking forward to writing this review.  why, you ask?  well, i’ve a few reasons.  number 1:  there were eleven of us at our new restaurant dinner this past week – how exciting!  number 2:  we were going to a restaurant in atlantic station, and we haven’t ventured there in a while.  number 3:  my younger brother clark was going to be there with his friend a-dex, and it was her first nrw since moving to atlanta.  welcome to the city, girl!  and finally, number 4:  a fellow blogger alannah was joining us.  ah, an adoring fan, what a thrill!  alannah has been a loyal follower for many months, and after getting to know each other through our writing, we decided it was time to meet in person.

so, just exactly where did we get to enjoy all of these wonderful things?  at the pig & the pearl, your “one stop shop for all things smoked.”  they serve up the finest cuts of pork, beef, and lamb alongside the freshest raw seafood and shellfish.  get it now?  pig and pearl?  ah, yes, there ya go!  as you will soon find out, the sides are also incredibly crafted and pair well with the extensive spirits list.

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