Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar

Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar located at 1723 McCollum Parkway Kennesaw

(770) 485-7469

Elma and I give it 4 stars

If it takes you a while to find this place, it will be worth the effort. (BTW…the entrance is on McCollum Pkwy at entrance “B”…follow the road and signs that say “restaurant”)

Elevation Chophouse is a restaurant located right in the middle of McCollum airport.  This place should get 10 stars just for the atmosphere.  It was really nice to sit and look out of the wall of windows and watch the planes and helicopters take off and land.  This would a REALLY COOL FIRST DATE SPOT!! (do ya hear me guys?)  I am told the atmosphere for dinner is great and with all the planes jetting here and there with all the pretty lights…well….it would definitely put ME in the mood.

But I digress….I’m here to talk about lunch.

The Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar was built 2 years ago in the middle of the McCollum Airport from the ground up.  There was definitely a vision to this place.  The entire place is made of glass with two levels for eating and drinking.  There is a stage area where the Sky Bar hosts live music every weekend.  They also serve a Sunday brunch.  When I asked what is on the brunch menu, the waitress didn’t know because it was so new.  I will check it out and report as an “add on” to this post.  If it is as good as lunch, it will be worth the wait.

Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar

You are in the middle of the action while you eat!

As you know if you have read my other posts, Elma and I rate 6 categories on a five star rating. Please review our rating system so you’ll know what we are talking about.

Food Quality:  Both Elma and I gave our highest rating in this area.  Most everything is made fresh in the kitchen.  There are details to the food (like cutting the cucumber decoratively) that really make the overall appearance and presentation top notch.  The french fries are homemade, thick and extremely good.  I just had to try the homemade chips for an appetizer.

Home made chips appetizer

"Blue Chips": Home made potato chips with blue cheese bechamel and balsalmic reduction $8

These things came out light and crispy and warm with that blue cheese bechamel and the balsalmic vinaigrette reduction.  Elma said, “Wow…that chocolate sauce on the chips is very good!”  The reduction did bring a sweet flavor to it.   Very good!!

I also ordered a house salad that was huge and filled with fresh baby greens that were chilled just right and came with tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion.  The citrus vinaigrette dressing finished it off perfectly. ($7)

House Salad at Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar

House Salad--nice, fresh and big

Value: We ordered a lot of food.  I really wanted to taste as much on the menu as I could.  So in reality, we ordered  1 appetizer, 3 entrees (the house salad is considered and entree), 2 drinks, and 2 desserts. The bill was $49.50.  Not the usual $20.00 we like to spend on lunch….but we did leave with doggie bags–for both our entrees and the appetizer.  It’s a bit more fancy, but we liked it.  This is one of the reasons they lost one of their stars from us.

Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar

Portabella Mushroom Sandwich and house made fries $9

Atmosphere: Here’s where this place hits the heights (no pun intended)  It was very interesting sitting on the first level (no way Elma’s knees could do the long staircase to the top level) but I could imagine sitting on the upper level must be great.

I really want to come back with some of my friends on a weekend night to hear some music and taste the drink specials (sorry, Elma…that’s past you bedtime) I am told the age and type of person that is here on a typical weekend varies.  I asked the waitress if I would “feel like a grandma” if I came here on the weekend. “Oh no! There are lots of older people here on the weekends”  (older…..older…….does that mean OLD? I’ll have to come back to see how many wrinkles I can count. )  It looks like it could have a lot of potential.

Wait Staff: I always feel guilty when I rate the wait staff because we usually end up eating lunch at 2:30 or 3:00 and we’re usually the only ones in the place. (Don’t forget…we’re running on “Elma Time”–wake up at 11:00, breakfast is at 11:30, lunch is at 3:00) If we can’t get good service between the lunch and dinner crowd, something’s wrong.  Of course, our waitress was great and the food was served quickly and with a smile.

Senior Friendly: The parking lot is small and there were no handicapped spaces, but because it was so small, there was not a long walk to the door.  There are no steps to get in, but the upper level is not accessible to those that don’t so stairs well.

Bathrooms: There was a sweet scent of clean (like Irish spring) when I walked through the door. It was very clean and it had a changing table, which was thoughtful.

Elevation Chophouse and Sky Bar bathroom

The bathroom was clean and smelled great

Other things to note: The desserts are all house-made (except for the cheesecake)  I decided to try the house made ice cream.  The flavor this week was coffee (my favorite) It was great with tiny coffee grounds in it, but it looked so lonely rolling around in that big bowl.  Can you give me a cookie or something to keep it company?

House made coffee ice cream $2.50

All in all, a pleasant experience and we will most definitely return.  Check it out for yourself and see if we “hit the target” or had our “heads in the clouds”.

Some of the reviews I read were not so nice…….. we did not experience the things that others complained about, but we were only there one time.  I will go back and add another report.

Elevation Chop House and Skybar on Urbanspoon

West Cobb Diner

West Cobb Diner

Elma and I give it 3 1/2 stars with potentila for 5

Located behind Waffle House at the corner of Barrett Pkwy and Dallas Hwy (770)422-7717

When we first saw the sign for “Grand Opening/ West Cobb Diner”  I really was not expecting anything great.  I mean…diner food is…well…diner food.  I was thinking greasy burgers, and Cobb salads.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The head chef previously owned a restaurant in South Carolina and for the past several years has been cooking and catering for Atlanta’s “elite” (so I’m told). The establishment is a family affair with brother-in-law bankrolling, and wife and other family members helping out in front.  I will say one thing:  this guy can cook.

Our rating system consists of a five-star rating on six categories.

Quality:  The food quality was definitely good. There were ingredients that could have been used pre-prepared, but they chose fresh every time.  I had the Mimi’s Italian Chopped Salad, with chick peas, artichokes, hearts of palm, roasted red peppers, white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and lightly battered and freshly fried eggplant cubes. ($7.00)  Every ingredient was crispy and delicious and the eggplant pieces are done to order so they were delightfully light and crispy.

Mimi's Italian Chopped Salad

When you see things on this “diner” menu like creme fraiche and remoulade you know that the level of cooking far exceeds that of a short order cook.

Elma had the Crab Sliders which very nice and full of crab meat, not bread crumbs.

I had the chocolate cake for dessert which tasted a bit like a “bake sale” cake with vanilla icing.  (I notice that this is not on the printed menu. It must be on trial—keep trying)  Next time I will try the Sweet Potato Pecan Pie, which I believe is made in-house as is the Key Lime Pie.

Chocolate Cake

Value: The prices are very reasonable.  Most items are under $10.00 and the most expensive thing on the menu is the Char Grilled Ribeye with skillet herb potatoes and house-made Worcestershire with choice of 1 side for $14.00.  My meal was a great value because the level of “original” I got was well worth it.  Elma ordered the Crab Sliders which were “delicious and full of crabmeat” and came with sweet potato fries that were done to perfection.  She ended up eating 2 sliders and taking one home (which I ate….sorry, Elma) She ate ALL the fries.

Atmosphere:  Things were not changed much from the Atlanta Bread Company layout.  There are some small tables by the fireplace which is nice……comfortable, but not memorable.

West Cobb Diner--I'm sure they will be adding to the atmosphere as they go

West Cobb Diner--I expect they will to add to the atmosphere as they go

Wait Staff:  I am going to give the wait staff a BIG pass when I am reviewing their skills.  We ate there on the third day it was open, and needless to say, there was some confusion. We waited 20 minutes for our dessert which, the waitress told us (after the fact) was being freshly prepared (we ordered peach cobbler). I went back the following week and waited over 40 minutes for a take-out order.  While I waited, I could hear the stress in the busy kitchen……chefs blaming waiters….waiters blaming chefs…and around and around.  I have to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that things settle down and they get in their groove.  If not, the service will be the death of them….but let’s give them a chance…OK?

Senior Friendly:  The restaurant is very easy to get into–with no steps.  there are several handicapped parking places, but even if you don’t get one, the parking is convenient

Bathroom: Neat and clean with plenty of products, but let’s face it…it was only open 3 days when I went!

All in all it was a very pleasant experience.  The menu is original and diverse without being “stuffy” and stuck up.  There is a wide variety of foods that would satisfy any palate.  We will most certainly be returning to try their other menu items like the Pan Seared Top Sirloin with roasted eggplant blue-cheese butter  or  Shrimp and Mango with toasted corn, jicama, and cilantro lime dressing (Um……yum)

Please go and check it out…and let us know what you think. Were we on track? or off our rocker?

Thanks for reading
West Cobb Diner on Urbanspoon

Whitlock’s Grill

Elma and I gave Whitlock's Grill 3 stars overall

Three out of five stars now……but things are a-changin at Whitlock’s!!

Elma and I decided to eat at Whitlock’s Grill, (which was formally Chicago’s Steaks) on Whitlock Avenue about 2 miles west of the square in the Kroger shopping center.  Those of you who expect Whitlock’s to be Chicago’s are in for a disappointment. 

I would imagine it’s difficult to buy and established place, that everyone knows, and then make it your own, but that is exactly what this owner from Peru is doing….but he’s doing it gradually.

The menu now, is what I would call “familiar”.  It has the basics that one would expect on a menu: burgers, salads, and sandwiches.  But all that is expected to change in the upcoming months.

In speaking with the pleasant waitress (who is also the certified pastry chef) the owner, Fernando Vargas, wanted those who expected a Chicago’s menu to at least come in and get what they expected….for a while.

The word is, he is expected to slowly change the menu from “expected” to “pleasantly surprised”.  He plans to showcase a more unique style in both the entrees and the desserts. 

Thus this review is based on the food that is being served now, November 2009.  Elma and I plan to go back in several months to sample the new, hip and happenin menu and report to you on it.

For a synopsis of how we rate things please see our rating system.

Food quality:  Elma ordered the fish and chips.($9.99) The fish was fresh and soft, but the fries were previously frozen and gritty.  The hush puppies were crispy and good.  Says Elma:  “this is OK, but it doesn’t make my taste buds say “POW”.”

Whitlock grill's fish and chips ($9.99)

I ordered the grilled salmon ($9.99) which was a bit overcooked and not very tender, but fresh and flavorful, which made it as good as any…better ‘n some.  the only side was some steamed broccoli.  All the pieces were flowerets and no stems (thank you!) I have to admit…the plate looked a bit lonely and could have used a roll or something, no?

If you don’t eat meat, there are 3 things on the menu for you…even the salads all have meat (I guess I could pick it out, but I didn’t want to pay for it)

Whitlock Grill's grilled salmon ($9.99)

Value:  I don’t mind paying $9.99 for lunch but I expect to get a bit more than we got for it.  There were items on the lunch menu for $6.99, but it was nothing that sounded good to us.

Elma’s plate had a lot more food than mine, and she went home with a doggie bag. My plate was completely clean (I was hungry).  All is all, it was an average value.

A bright spot in the experience was the desserts.  Three of their desserts are made on site: the creme brulee, the carrot cake, and the key lime pie.  The owner and head chef  likes chocolate, so there were a lot of chocolate choices :pecan pie with chocolate chips, chocolate cheesecake, double chocolate cake, and a chocolate bundt cake.

Elma loves creme brulee, so she tried that.  It was very large, and the top sugar crust was thick (Elma picked up the pieces of sugar ice and ate them seperately..with a smile) The custard was very nice–soft and smooth…very good.

I had to try the chocolate bundt.  Even thought this was not made on site, it was very good.  Super moist little round cake with a chocolate explosion in the center covered with ice cream and whipped cream (canned I believe).  Very nice and it hit my sweet spot.

We recommend the creme brulee and the chocolate bundt!!

Atmosphere:  There has been no new changes in the set up from Chicago’s to Whitlock’s.  It was clean and neat–nice all in all.  “How would you rate the atmosphere?” I asked Elma.  “The atmosphere has to do with who you are with–not what’s on the walls.”   Smart lady.

Wait staff:  This one may be unfair, because we were the only people in the place when we went at 3:00.  The waitress that served us was very attentive (it would have been really bad if she wasn’t, right?) and very nice.  She seemed very excited about the changes that were to come in the menu…..we’ll see.

Senior Friendly:  There are 2 handicapped parking places in the front, so if it were a busy day, I don’t think we would have gotten one.  There is a ramp and  several stairs to the front door.  There are also stairs in the main part of the eating area in some places.

Bathroom:  The bathroom was very nice, fully stocked and smelling like a fresh flower.

Whitlock's Grill bathroom was fresh and clean

All in all not a bad experience.  I am very interested to see the changes that take place–it all sounds very exciting……there is talk of  “de-constructed desserts”…..very “avante gard”!

Check back with the blog after the first of the year and we will review the “new” Whitlock’s Grill!

Whitlock’s Grill’s web site is under construction at the time this blog entry was written. (Nov 2009)

Marietta Fish Market

Elma and I both give 5 stars

 

Marietta Fish Market–Canton Road, Marietta 

I thought I would open up the reviews by noting a place Elma and I have been to 8 times in the last 2 months (at the time that this was written :-) the Marietta Fish Market.  This restaurant belongs to the family of restaurants that include The Marietta Diner,    Pasta Bella’s, and The Cherokee Cattle Company, so my expectations were set high from the get go.  We were not disappointed. 

I don’t know how these people serve such delicious portions at such a low price.  I have seen this restaurant compared to Red Lobster—ummm….what?  There is no way in this universe that the freshness and quality of the food at Marietta Fish Market can be compared to that of a chain seafood place.  It would be like comparing a burger at Chops to a burger at Burger King…pah-leeze! 

As you know if you have read our rating system, there are 6 categories that factor into the final rating.  

Food Quality:  This is a no-brainer.  The freshness of the seafood is evident at the first bite.  Whether you bite into shrimp, flounder, tilapia, salmon, red snapper…you name it, it tastes like it was caught in the back room.  Now folks, we’ve eaten here 8 times…yes EIGHT! Every time we have eaten lunch here, it is always the same: FRESH!  

We usually ask for a bread basket.  This is no ordinary bread.  It comes out piping hot, and it has a thin layer of sweetened cream cheese in the middle.  This did not stop us from spreading butter on it, though. 

Then the soup which comes with all the lunch specials….get the seafood bisque…you won’t be disappointed! 

The seafood bisque is loaded with huge pieces of fish and whole shrimp

 

Fish and chips ($8.95)—okay, fish, yes, fresh, yes,  but the batter…….the batter  is the lightest and crispest I have ever eaten.  Remember–I am the health nut out of the pair..I RARELY eat fried foods ever…but the batter on this is light as a feather and didn’t weigh me down.  The “chips” are homemade, just out of the fryer, crispy, drizzled with blue cheese dip..(okay, my mouth is watering as I am writing this).  I don’t care if it’s fired in STP , (it’s not…, I’m just saying I wouldn’t care if it was) it just is GOOD! 

Soup, 5 big pieces of fresh fish, 10 hush puppies (they are under the fish), homemade potato chips, slaw, mixed veggies and bread come with this lunch special. 

Marietta Fish Market

Marietta Fish Market fish and chips--I left off the blue cheese on the chips this time because I love it with malt vinegar

 

The other dish to note was the red snapper (not on the “lunch specials page). I was told to order it with a light Cajun spice. I’m glad I did.  The fish came out head and tail on–which I don’t usually see.  I was worried that it would be hard to eat, but the fish was so tender, that I just slid my fork down along the bones, and the juicy seasoned-just-right fish came right out on my fork.  At the end of my meal, my plate looked like something you’d see on Tom and Jerry, with the fish bones looking like a cartoon-head, ribs, and tail.  My fish came with two side dishes–I can’t for the life of me remember what they were because the fish was so amazing! 

The only thing I can say in the negative column is that the dirty rice is a little dry. 

Value:  This is also a no-brainer. 

Elma went for the catfish lunch special at $5.95: 3 pieces of fried catfish, 11 hush puppies, cup of soup (she loves the New England Chowder), cole slaw (she’s an expert on slaw and this, she says rates in her “top 5″) a large portion of fries, 7 fried shrimp.  and of course, the bread.   Whenever they bring the plate to the table she always says”Holy Hannah!…you won’t have to cook for me for a while!”  We have never left lunch without a doggie bag.  And she was right—I didn’t have to cook for her for 2 meals. 

OK you guys at MFM…how do you do it? Volume?   We usually go there around 3 pm and the parking lot looks like a Friday night at most other places. 

Atmosphere:  From the moment you pull up into the parking lot, you get hit in the face with atmosphere.  There are boats strewn about the lot as if they just docked for the day.   And the friendly dolphin on top of the watchtower says you’re in the right place. 

Adorable, not "in your face" murals and decor

 

When you walk in, the entire place is done with nice tasteful murals and faux brickwork, but not in a cheesy way.  the ceiling is a sky with wispy nautical clouds.  Each area of the restaurant has a different mural, but it’s tied together as if you really are at sea. Very nice calming colors. 

Wait staff:  Here’s where this place stands head and shoulders above the rest.  From the minute we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly seating hostess who went out of her way to help us in and get us seated right away. Every time we have been there, our waiter/waitress has been extremely nice, accommodating, and any other word you can think of to mean “what a server should be”. 4 out of 8 times, the manager made his way around the floor asking everyone if things were ok, and if he could make things better.–this is during lunch, mind you. My drink was never empty and I never had to ask for anything. 

Senior Friendly:  We always get a handicapped parking place as there are more than enough.  Elma has had 2 knee replacements and doesn’t do stairs well.  You can take four small steps or a ramp into the dining area.  Once in,  it’s easy to maneuver around.  Elma says the seats are comfy and supportive.  

Bathrooms:  They passed the clean test with flying colors. Stocked with paper and seat liners, they “get it”. 

The bathroom smelled clean and fresh

 

Elma and I could find no reason why not to give five starts on every category.  We absolutely LOVE this place, and from the looks of all the people there, we’re not the only ones!  

One of Elma's favorites is the Maryland crab cake sandwich: a huge patty served on toasted rye with melted swiss, 10 hush puppies, fries slaw, veggies and soup for $10.95

 

Go and enjoy! 

Click here for a coupon for you to use at the Marietta Fish Market

Let’s Do Lunch! Why I Started This Blog

Lunch is my favorite meal of the day.  If you eat it early enough, it can be brunch.  If you eat it late, it can be an early dinner.  You can eat anything and make it lunch.  But where can you eat in Cobb County, Georgia and get a great deal?

As fate would have it, my mother-in-law, Elma moved in with us 6 weeks ago.  She is 83 years old and she is great.  The one thing she loves to do is go out to lunch.  She MUST get a good deal–a lot of food, at a bargain price.  But the food HAS to be quality.  She also likes a thoughtful atmosphere and music that’s “not so pounding”.

While I love lunch as well, I value quality interesting food that is healthy and served by a great wait staff.

We thought since we go out to eat at least 3 times a week, that we would save others time and money and give ratings for the places at which we eat.   We would give our honest opinions and we would not take any free meals from any establishments that wanted to be on the blog.

Elma and I rate the eateries in six categories using a 1 – 5 star rating system.

  • Food quality:  Is everything fresh? Does it taste like it’s been sitting around for a while?  Are the lettuce leaves wilting? You get the idea.
  • Value:  How many meals can we get out of our doggie bags?
  • Atmosphere: Can we keep busy looking around when the conversation lags? and do we like what we see?
  • Wait staff: Are they accommodating? do they make light banter? do they laugh at Elma’s jokes? are they attentive?
  • Senior friendly: are there enough handicapped parking spaces? is the entrance difficult to navigate? are the seats comfy?
  • Bathrooms: c’mon let’s face it–if the place is great, but the bathroom smells like Uncle Frank has been in there reading War and Peace, forget it!

Elma rates the restaurant from her point of veiw, and I rate it from mine.  You, the reader get the value of our opinion (for what it’s worth!)

We plan to visit restaurants more than one time to get a true feel of what it is like.  I plan to post many pictures of the inside as well as the meals.

Please check the blog roll for “favorites” and “don’t bothers”.

Thanks for reading and check back soon!!