Visited Mom in Athens, GA this weekend and tried out a few places.
Friday - Lunch at La Dolce Vita - started with the complimentary house made (?) focaccia which was nice and chewy but somewhat light/airy as well. I assume the olive oil was salted as it complimented the focaccia wonderfully. We also ordered the grana e rucola carpaccio which was delicious - the beef was shaved perfectly thin and served with an abundance of shaved parmigiano and arugula with a lemony citronette. Actually there was almost too much parm and I didn't think it had the bite of a well aged Parmigiano-Reggiano but I had a beer so maybe my taste was off. Girlfriend went with the tomato and eggplant soup while I had the prosciutto, tomato and buffalo mozzarella panino on the same foccacia. It was not pressed. The sandwich had an abundant amount of deliciously salty and somewhat fatty (in a good way) prosciutto, a good portion of somewhat chewy rather than silky mozz, and a tomato which was what you would expect this time of year. It might have had some mixed greens on the sandwich or maybe those were just served on the side. Overall, everything was very good and I would not hesitate to return.
Friday - Dinner at La Fiesta as La Parilla had a line about 50 deep at 7 PM and Harry's only had outdoor seating left at the same time. Unfortunately La Fiesta is operating without a liquor license so no cervezas with dinner. The bistec a la Mexicana was a sizable portion served with ample peppers, onions, jalapenos (although undercooked), and though they asked how I wanted the steak cooked (Med-rare) medium well beef. I liked how they briefly grilled the flour tortillas (strangely, quesadilla sized rather than the smaller ones) to go with the dish. I did not try anyone else's food but everyone seemed happy. I only saw gringo tacos on the menu with the exception of a trio of asada tacos. Growing up, I ate at La Fiesta all the time and this was well before I knew anything about Latin foods (aside from combo plates). I had heard that La Fiesta is back in the game and was pleasantly surprised, but Sr. Sol will still be my go to place.
Saturday - after a few hours at Sandy Creek with the dogs, we drove to J&J to check out the Mexican offerings there. The Taqueria Mi Tierra did not disappoint. I had an al pastor taco which was one of the heartiest and best I have ever had, even though it did include a pineapple chunk or two. The salsa verde and the red picante were excellent and hit the spot. The carnitas torta was the size of my head and pretty amazing too, except it did not seem to include refried beans. The tortas at Sr. Sol remain my favorite in town so far.
Saturday - Dinner at Shokitini was fine if forgettable. The seaweed & smoked squid salad to start was good, but it was pre-made and refrigerated it was almost too cold. No Otoro. I forget the rolls we ordered - fine but nothing amazing and none of the nigiri really excited me so we didn't order any. The calamari tempura was ok. Service, however, was excellent - funny, there when you needed her, but otherwise unobtrusive.
Still want to try A Tavola ...
251 W Clayton St Ste 117, Athens, GA 30601
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