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Entries Tagged as 'Cumming'

Daisy’s Drive Thru

Daisy's Drive Thru

Deep in the woods of Forsyth county, there lives a stand alone, drive-thru shack.

Daisy's Drive Thru

Daisy's Drive Thru

They have fantastic homemade biscuits, made from scratch on the premises using a generations-old recipe.

Daisy's Drive Thru

It’s way up GA 400. And just like most everything good in these parts (read: bagels), they are only open past noon. Drive thru if you’re in the area. You won’t regret it.

Note: There’s a table with four chairs on the porch that you can use if you choose to eat on the premises.

Daisy’s Drive Thru
104 13th St
Cumming, GA 30040
(770) 887-4615

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Good sides: Smokejack BBQ

Three of my most favorite barbecue places in town comes from a grandson, a bird, and some brothers. But since I am an Equal Opportunity Eater, I also go to all the other hundred (bbq) places in town. You know how servers ask if it’s the first time you’ve been to a place? Like, so what if I have or haven’t? What can you possibly tell me if I haven’t? I’ve been here a couple of times and sure enough, I get asked that million dollar question. So I put it to the test and answered, No. I waited for a good comeback. Because I never get one. And… this girl no older than 18, actually had a good one. She proceeds to tell me a brief history of the place, how the menu is laid out, what some of the items were, what the portions are like, and gave a few suggestions. I was actually impressed.

Smokejack BBQ

Smokejack BBQ

On this visit, we got a combo plate and some ribs. I have never been blown away by their KC- style barbecue. They use this sweet glaze on the meat that I’m not a big fan of. It’s cloyingly sweet and reminded me of those fake-looking chicken entrees from chain restaurants. An option is to get the Memphis-style dry-rub instead.  The meats here are fork-tender and flavorful and the portions are huge.

Smokejack BBQ

Smokejack BBQ

What’s really amazing here are the sides. They are all made in-house from scratch. Two words: Corn Pudding. It’s savory with a slight sweet, lots of corn flavor, lots of fresh corn. It’s a cross between a quiche and a pie. It’s buttery, milky, eggy, and just plain delicious.

Other notable sides include the creamy cheese grits, the leafy collard greens, the macaroni & cheese, and the Vidalia onion rings. I’d go for the corn pudding alone.

Smokejack Southern Grill and BBQ
2 Locations:
29 S Main St
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 410-7611

5063 Post Rd.
Suite 105
Cumming, GA 30040
770-781-8474

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Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

You just have to love this cute doughnut shop. It reminds me so much of San Francisco: from the concept, down to the store colors. Even the mascot is super cute.

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Doughnuts are made in-house by hand daily using nothing but top notch ingredients — Valrhona, Tahitian, Canadian — are just some of the catch words thrown around at this place. Proprietors Arpana and Martin (both of whom are professionally-trained chefs), are both veterans in the restaurant industry, with stints at Mesa Grill and Craft, to name a few. I came in one morning, a week after they opened and saw Chef Martin busy making the dough for the following day. I love the bakery smell that permeates the place which is just pleasantly intoxicating.

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

There are about 20 types of doughnuts in any given day including the regulars, and a few specials that change daily. The doughnuts here are yeasty, dense, and resemble bread more than pastry. They are thicker in size, yet soft, with an inside that is airy and springs back up after each bite. They are good. But in a yeasty, bready kind of way. I like it that they are not cloyingly sweet either.

Insider tip:
Check website for daily flavors.


The scoop:

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts
3075 Ronald Reagan Blvd Suite 502
Cumming, GA 30041
(404) 432-5130

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Quanto Basta

Quanto Basta Ristorante (Cumming)

I attended the baptism of a good friend’s baby a couple of Saturdays ago and the reception was held at Quanto Basta Ristorante. First of all, this place is far. It’s on Exit 14 off Ga-400. I usually draw my limits to traveling for food to Exit 11 which is Windward Parkway (a bustling area with lots of places to eat) but I’ll have to add this one to my far-away jaunts.

Quanto Basta Ristorante (Cumming)

Quanto Basta Ristorante (Cumming)

Usually closed until dinner on Saturdays, my friend got them to open for lunch for us that day and provide catering for 40 people. Food was served family style. First off — bread. They were baked in-house and were very good. Asking for seconds meant waiting a good 10-15 minutes as they are baked to order. I liked that they also served small side dishes of parmesan cheese and roasted garlic with the bread. Next came the Fried Calamari. They were very fresh, lightly battered and fried to perfection. A great starter although I really want to try the prosciutto-wrapped figs next time. The ceasar salad was also good and fresh. The Caprese was the usual beefsteak tomatoes topped with basil leaves and mozzarella cheese then drizzled with good balsamic vinegar. Overall great appetizers.

Quanto Basta Ristorante (Cumming)

For our main entrees, we had the Lemon Caper Chicken, Chicken Marsala, Penne Pasta in Marinara Sauce, and a side of roasted potatoes. The chicken was nicely pounded flat yet still meaty then topped with a lemony caper sauce. It had a good balance of sweet and tart and the sauce was just the right thickness.

Quanto Basta Ristorante (Cumming)

The Chicken Marsala was absolutely delicious. Each flat chicken piece was layered with a thin piece of eggplant parmigiana then topped with cheese. The mushroom-marsala sauce was just divine and the clear winner of the meal. I would order this again next time. The marsala wine was very apparent but not overpowering. The mushrooms added a nice earthy flavor.

Quanto Basta Ristorante (Cumming)

Another winner, the penne pasta was among the best pasta I’ve had Simply put, it’s just perfect. I could have eaten a huge bowl of this. The sauce was the right consistency and clinged just enough to the pasta just as it should. I don’t like it when pasta swims in sauce. I could still feel the texture of the fresh tomatoes in the sauce and the taste is just spot on.

I’ve come back a second time since my first visit and everything is still on point. Service is great, bread takes a while (a plus since you don’t really want stale bread), and the food is consistently good. A must-try.

Insider tip:

Located in a new shopping plaza on the intersection of Buford Hwy/Ga-20 and Windermere Pkwy. Windermere Pkwy intersects 141/Peachtree Parkway and then turns into Jones Bridge Rd.

The scoop:
Quanto Basta Ristorante
2980 Buford Hwy
Cumming, GA 30041
(678) 455-3444
Tusday – Thursday: 4:30pm- 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 4:30pm – 10:30pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed

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Jim ‘n Nick’s

Here’s another chain for you. This time, barbecue. The first time I got introduced to Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q was about three years ago during Taste of Atlanta. They had a line literally a mile long.

Jim 'n Nick's

They have this thing on the menu called Mr. Jim’s Deluxe Combo that serves two people. I’m all for combos like these because they allow you to get a taste of a bunch of things in one sitting. The deluxe combo here comes with a half-rack of ribs plus an additional 3 barbecue meats and 4 sides. A great deal for two people sharing. We decided to go for it and had spicy sausage, brisket, and chicken with mac-and-cheese, coleslaw, fries, and collard greens with the half-rack of spare ribs which have more fat than the regular baby back ribs.

Jim 'n Nick's

The ribs had a lot of meat around the bones and were tender and moist. The spicy sausages were really, really good with a good amount of heat in them. The brisket, likewise, was moist and tender; as well as the chicken. Their barbecue sauce is a bit on the thin side. Taste wise, they’re just, well, okay. Not fantastic but not bad either. I much prefer Fox Bros or One Star Ranch. The sides were all okay, too. I did like the collard greens which weren’t bitter at all.

Jim 'n Nick's

They also have these heavenly cheese biscuits that taste like sweet, cheesy muffins. They are to die for. I’d go back for these biscuits alone.

Anyway, there’s really nothing special about this place, in my opinion. Just a popular chain where you can get okay barbecue.

Insider tip:

Located at The Avenue Forsyth. Check website for other locations.

The scoop:
Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q
3130 Ronald Reagan Blvd
Cumming, GA 30041
(678) 845-1565

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