#86 - Eat at 10 new restaurants.

This is where I will log and review the ten new restaurants at which I/we dine on the way to completing #86.

1.  Martin's Barbeque (10.05.09) - I'm clearly not a southern native because I tend to think all barbeque (of the pulled pork variety) tastes pretty much the same.  So, of course, to me the pork sandwich was good, and the stew and potato salad were great.  The negative is that they don't have french fries.  This doesn't really work for me.

2.  Momma Goldberg's (12.17.09) - I absolutely LOVE sandwiches and could eat one every day for the rest of my life.  Based on that, keep in mind that I might not be the most unbiased reviewer of a sandwich place.  Momma Goldberg's STEAMS their sandwiches which sounds really gross.  Despite what I imagined, the sandwich wasn't soggy at all, and instead was so delightfully soft I barely had to chew it.  YUM.  It's bad, bad, bad news that this place is right around the corner from my office.  I have a feeling I will become "a regular".  I had the Momma's Love sandwich, but I am dying to try those nachos.

3.  New China Buffet (01.06.10) -I almost hate to count this because I kind of feel like if you've been to one Chinese buffet, you've been to them all.  At least that's how it feels in Central Georgia.  I was delightfully surprised to find that there was sushi on the buffet (which also seems to be a new thing at any and all Asian restaurants around here).  It was really good, but I still prefer the China Buffet across town where you can dip your own ice cream at the end of the meal.  YUM.

4.  Benson's Steak & Sushi (02.18.10) - While the kids were away at Grammie's (2 out of 3 of them anyway), Sam, Sarah, and I tried out Benson's, which I had heard was a local knock-off of PF Changs.  We began with a sushi appetizer...with *actual* raw fish.  It was the first of the kind that I'd ever had, and I'm surprised to say that I loved it.  (When I told my dad about it, he said if I can eat raw fish then there's no reason I can't try liver and onions.  I told him it might have something to do with it being called "liver" and onions.  Gross.  Who's with me?)  So thanks to Sam for being brave and helping me to expand my horizons.  I got the Salt & Pepper Shrimp and Sam had Beef and Scallops.  They were both very good.  The cabbage that my shrimp was served over was great.  I wasn't all that impressed with the price.  It was good, but I'm not sure it was *that* good. 

5.  WOW Cafe &Wingery (02.21.10) -We went here after church because kids eat free on Sundays (score!).  When we pulled up the parking lot was significantly less crowded than it has been since opening, so we took that as a good sign.  We ordered the sauce sampler for an appetizer, with boneless buffalo wings coated in five different sauces of our choosing.  They were excellent.  We ordered our food and waited.  Were it not for the tv's at our individual booth showing Spongebob (which is outlawed at our house, but we made an exception in the interest of occupying the kids), I'm not sure they'd have made it.  There were several very large parties filling up the dining room, and the kitchen just couldn't keep up.  The servers were hustling, and doing the best the could, but clearly the food was straggling out of the kitchen.  It's a shame about the wait because our food was delicious.  Sam had the Buffalo Wrap and I had the Bayou Blues Burger (keeping with the tradition of me ordering the man dish).

6.  The Grillmaster (3.5.10) - Ben & Abby went to Grammie's house for the weekend, so we dared to try a new barbeque joint down in Perry (since neither Ben or Abby really dig barbeque, despite their usual penchant for pork products).  We'd been wanting to go since we heard about it a while back.  We pulled up to it and we were skeptical.  It didn't appear that you could dine in and this is a requirement for Sam, especially where sauce is involved.  We decided to take our chances, and were pleased to find out we could (though sans high chair, we made do).  All in all we tried ribs, pulled pork, brunswick stew, potato salad, and baked beans.  The pulled pork was the best.  The potato salad is worth mentioning though, as it seemed to have ranch dressing in it.  It was definitely interesting.  It is run by two men, one who mans the front and the other who does the cooking and they were both great.  The man behind the counter might as well have been family.  It felt like we were long-time customers on our first visit there.  Kudos for making us feel at home!

7.  American Deli (3.17.10) - Don't let the name mislead you.  This is not actually a deli.  When I think of deli, I think of sliced deli meat sandwiches.  And I LOVE them.  Sam called and invited me to meet him for lunch at the American Deli, so I was getting my mind set on something like turkey on sourdough.  When I got there I realized my options were hot wings, a Philly cheesesteak, or a burger.  Hmmm.  All tasty, but not "deli" menu items in my humble opinion.  No matter.  I tried the Philly and it was quite good (especially for central Georgia).  I also tried the hot wings (that Sam ordered) and they were tasty as well. 

8.  Mama Mia's (3.23.10) - We met for lunch at Mama Mia's.  They just opened up maybe a month or two ago.  We were the only patrons at around 11:30, but as we ate, more people came in.  I hope they stay open because it was really good and reasonably priced, I think.  We tried the cheesy garlic bread to start and it came with some seriously awesome marinara sauce.  We shared a chef salad with their house Italian dressing (of the creamy variety).  It came loaded with black olives, onion, tomatoes, ham/turkey/cheese rolls, and a hard boiled egg.  It was great!  Then I got a chicken parmigiana sub and Sam got a pizza steak sub.  We split them halfsies, of course.  That's just what we do.  It's like a mini-buffet when we share our meals.  I'll be so sad if he ever stops wanting to do that with me.  Anyway...they were both good.  I would love to go back and try the pizza.  And I'm sure we will...now that we've scoped out the interior and know that it won't be scary to take the kids there.  (Follow-up, I *did* take the kids there while Sam was in Oklahoma City.  Mission accomplished!  And the lasagna is AMAZING.)

9.  T-Rex (5.28.10) - On a whim amidst a short trip to Orlando, our family of five found our way to Downtown Disney on a Friday night on Memorial Day weekend standing outside the behemoth restaurant that is T-Rex.  Our eldest has a serious penchant (read: obsession) with dinosaurs, so we thought this would be the perfect place to take him.  We were told it would be a 45 minute wait (which was not bad at all considering the sheer volume of people and the location).  While we waited, the kids got to play paleontologist in a sand pit, uncovering dinosaur remains.  It was awesome and even Sarah enjoyed it!  While I'm sure the food was okay, I barely had a chance to notice it.  The decor is amazing...complete with moving, roaring dinosaurs.  (And, of course, we were a little distracted because Abby got sick while we were there.)  It was pricey, but that's to be expected at a resort location.  Overall, glad we went, but wish we all could have enjoyed the meal a bit more.  (For the record, Abby is feeling just fine now!)

10.  Texas de Brazil (6.4.10) - On my most recent stay in Schaumburg, Illinois, we dined at this Brazilian grill.  The premise is simple.  You pay one price for all you can eat salad bar and meat, with emphasis on the meat part.  There is a steady stream of servers coming from the kitchen with meat on skewers, ready to carve for you tableside.  The highlights were the bacon-wrapped chicken, House Special top sirloin, and bacon-wrapped fillet.  There was a lobster bisque on the salad bar that was out of this world.  Then there were the caramelized bananas...from which I had to cut myself off for fear of undesirable repercussions (if you catch my drift).  All around a great place to eat.  I was just glad I'd worn my stretchy pants.  (I didn't really, but I should have.)  Highlight of the evening:  When the server guessed I was from England.  Gotta say...I've never been asked that before.

As it turns out, Sam would be able to complete this task in a single week-long business trip.  However, since my world is mostly confined to Central Georgia, and being that we (used to) dine out quite regularly and there aren't *too* many new places to try, it took me longer.

Either way, it is finished!  #86, consider yourself checked!


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