Noshfest '11 in East Cobb - September 4th and 5th

Sunday, September 4 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Monday, September 5 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

The festival takes place in the parking of lot of:
1415 Old Canton Rd,
Marietta, GA, 30062

For the second year, Nibble and Noshfest entices the community with food
and entertainment over Labor Day weekend. Their boast is “You don’t have
to be Jewish . . . to enjoy what we’ve got planned!”

Nibble and Noshfest (just Noshfest, for short) is a two-day gig that provides
visitors with a taste of Jewish and other ethnic and traditional foods sold in
“sample-size” portions, priced from $1 to $4 – in other words, a Cobb Jewish
version of “Taste of . . .” events. In addition to the food, there will be a range
of entertainment from music and comedy, to Israeli dancing. Craft and
accessory vendors sell their wares; Community organizations will provide
insight to Jewish life, and give tours of the Temple Kol Emeth’s sanctuary.
Children will be entertained by huge inflatables and other great activities.
The festival will be taking part in the HAVE A NOSH, SHARE A NOSH program.
Visitors are encouraged to bring 2 non-perishable food items that will be
donated to charitable organizations to fight hunger.

As a comedic entertaining bonus, the public is invited to participate in one of
several Yiddish Spelling Bees to win prizes for spelling Yiddish words like oy,
kibbitz chutzpah and schmooze

There is no entrance fee; visitors purchase tickets to pay for the food samples
and children’s activities.

And for a great evening, plan on a “nosh and a show.” Enjoy dinner at
Noshfest on Sunday and then attend Comedy Night at Noshfest at 7pm,
featuring Keith Barany, a former writer from the hit show Seinfeld and The
Jimmy Kimmel Show. For one evening only, tickets are available at the door
for $20 and pre-sale for $15. It’s a wonderful evening to complement the
traditional BBQ’s of Labor Day weekend.


The Hub at Holiday Inn - Gwinnett Center

Mom and I went to the concept launch for The Hub at Holiday Inn this month, and we were extremely impressed with their new design, social media integration, and delicious cuisine, not to mention their excellent service and very warm, friendly staff. We also got to meet Adventure Girl, a beautiful travel guru. Holiday Inn's headquarters are in Atlanta, and if you would like to try their new concept, it was just launched at the Gwinnett Center Holiday Inn. The food was wonderful, and the new menu includes healthy fare as well as comfort food like Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwiches and scrumptious waffle desserts, as well as tasty specialty cocktails. They are also sponsors of StoryCorps, the oral history project. Here are more details about The Hub at Holiday Inn -


In today’s world, people are staying connected in myriad ways – in person, by phone, online via social channels – and all the while, sharing experiences with one another through their stories. The Holiday Inn brand understands the importance of personal connections and the value in stories shared with business colleagues, friends, family or even someone you’ve never met before. With that in mind, beginning today through Sept. 14, 2011 the Holiday Inn brand is launching Stay Social and asking consumers across the country to share their favorite travel stories on its Holiday Inn Facebook page. The initiative celebrates the official launch of The Hub at Holiday Inn, a new guest environment where travelers can easily fill up, unwind and have a little fun, all while connecting with each other.

“We know the Holiday Inn guest is social and enjoys interacting with others,” said Verchele Wiggins, vice president global brand management, Holiday Inn Family of Brands. “In keeping with the philosophy of doing things ‘on the guests’ terms, we designed The Hub at Holiday Inn to be an innovative and open space where travelers can connect with others as well as eat, drink, relax, work or just have fun. The Hub at Holiday Inn is all about bringing good things together.”

Stay Social

To kick off Stay Social, Holiday Inn is proud to sponsor StoryCorps®
, the national nonprofit organization that provides Americans the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their stories. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. The brand tapped C. Kemmons Wilson, Jr. and McLean Wilson, the son and grandson, respectively, of Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, to be the first to share their personal travel stories and the connections they’ve made with their hotel guests over the years. Through StoryCorps, the Wilsons’ recordings will be archived at the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress ─ forever becoming part of American history.

“Throughout the years, the Holiday Inn brand has continued to evolve in order to stay connected to its guests,” said Kemmons Wilson, Jr., president and chairman of the board, Wilson Hotel Management Company, Inc. “From the first personal connections made at check-in to its online communications, it’s clear the Holiday Inn brand understands that listening to guests’ stories drives innovation and service.”

Whether it’s a chance encounter on a business trip that resulted in a lifelong friendship or a cherished family beach vacation, each personal story posted online by consumers as part of Stay Social, will connect travelers all over. While on the Holiday Inn Facebook page, guests will also have the opportunity to explore The Hub at Holiday Inn virtually and even share their thoughts on different elements of the space with the brand directly. In addition, one person will be chosen at random to win the Stay Social grand prize – an all expense paid trip to The Hub at Holiday Inn in Atlanta, Ga. After experiencing the best of Atlanta, including two tickets to a Major League Baseball game and an opportunity to record their winning story with StoryCorps, the winner will go home with a brand new iPad and Wii.

A Place to Connect

Holiday Inn Hotels also officially launched its innovative design of The Hub at Holiday Inn at the Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center in Georgia. The Hub at Holiday Inn is the answer to the changing needs of travelers. The 5,000 square-foot space integrates existing but separate public areas into one cohesive space designed to help guests easily connect with others and enjoy a variety of experiences outside their hotel room.

While Holiday Inn Hotels already provides guests with everything they need to stay connected to the office or home with free WiFi, accessible outlets and a business center, The Hub at Holiday Inn allows the brand to provide the added benefit of being able to connect with people on a social level. The Hub at Holiday Inn focuses heavily on three areas that really sets it apart from similar concepts: an enhanced bar experience for eating and drinking, the ability to have fun via the gaming area and being able to relax either at the outdoor cabanas and fire pits or in the media lounge. Between the restaurant, bar, coffee shop, market, media center, games and outdoor patio, it’s easy for guests to unwind at The Hub at Holiday Inn.

For more information about The Hub at Holiday Inn and Stay Social, please visit the Holiday Inn Facebook page.


P. F. Chang's "Triple Happiness" Happy Hour Review

My parents, Pattie and Jim, were invited to a dinner on August 1st at P.F. Chang’s Vinings location near Cumberland Mall, to try the new Triple Happiness “Drinks, Dim Sum, Street Fare” Happy Hour menu. Here is their report, followed by reviews of individual dishes.

The personnel were very personable, as one would expect. We were greeted by Krissy, the PR Representative, and were immediately provided with a small glass of house wine, either Shiraz blend or Sauvignon Blanc. The brand was Vinyard 518. This was refreshed as needed until the cocktails were served. I had a glass of each. The red was a bit tart, but smoothed out with drinking. The white was clean and what one would expect of such a wine.

Three tables were set up refectory style with about 10 seats at each. There were a couple of restaurant people at each table, also. Our table had four of them. Another couple consisting of a young woman and her mother were at the other end of the table from Pattie and me. We were occasionally joined by the visiting chef, who was quite a character. Pattie and I spent most of the evening talking with Mr. Ricca, the managing partner for this location.

The food and drink, aside from the wine, was served as one dish and one cocktail at a time. The drinks were served in what were described as sample sizes. These were what I would call normal highball glass size. We were also provided with a special cocktail, namely a very high-end Margarita that was very delicious.

In my opinion, I could have a great time at their Happy Hour and would need a ride home afterward. We had a great time. Good conversation, good food and drink.

Cocktail Display - Clockwise from left

Blue Moon Belgian Wheat beer
Light wheat beer without hoppy flavor. Very clean.

Yuku Ginger Mojito
Light ginger flavor with minty overtones as befits a mojito cocktail.

Coconut Lemon Sour
Very nice summer drink. Made with lemon water and coconut water. Nicely tart.

Dragon Martini
Made with Skyy dragon fruit infused vodka.

Dark and Spicy
Both light and very dark rums. Kinda like a high end Planter's Punch.

Dishes Served

Tuna Tataki Crisp (3)
A crispy rice cracker holding a slice of tuna (referred to as "tuna sashimi"), but slightly cooked. Covered with a garnish of scallions, tomatoes and others.

Pork and Rice Sui Mai (3)
Steamed dumpling, open at the top, stuffed with Pork and Rice, slightly spiced. Nice.

ShangHai Street Dumpling (2)
Dumplings with a very spicy sauce, which added greatly to the flavor. The chef brought our table some of the sauce that had been chilled. It started out cool, but heated up rapidly.

Flaming Red Wontons (5)
Very spicy. Made my capsaicin reaction come on and my voice hoarse. In other words, really good.

Asian Street Tacos (2)
Near to far: Spice Shrimp, Traditional Beef, Red Cooked Pork.
A mixture of Chinese and Korean cooking methods.


P.F. Chang's China Bistro (Vinings) on Urbanspoon


Madras Chettinaad - Indian Restaurant Review

Ever since our favorite Indian restaurant closed, Dan and I have been looking for another one that we could consider our favorite, and so far had had no luck. Indian cuisine happens to be our favorite cuisine, so this is a pretty important designation. Finally, though, we have found one that we think fits the bill! It is in Alpharetta, but that is not very far to drive for a special dinner, and if you live near Alpharetta, you are in luck, because Madras Chettinaad is the best!

My friend Malika invited us to try it, and we were very excited to see what it was all about. I have never had South Indian food, and I have a friend from Madras, so it was fun to try that cuisine. As soon as we entered the restaurant, I suspected that I would have a great time. The décor is much more modern and hip than in most Indian restaurants. There is a chic chandelier and a large flat-screen TV showing Bollywood music videos. If you know me, you know that I am a huge Bollywood fan, so that was a big plus. They even played a song from Veer Zaara, starring one of my favorite actors, Shahrukh Khan.

Narendra and Soona Patel, the owners of the restaurant, were very hospitable to us, and our server Satish was knowledgeable and took wonderful care of us. Narendra has owned successful Indian restaurants in Decatur as well, such as the Bollywood Masala Grill House, which received rave reviews from Atlanta critics. His wife Soona came to check on us many times, and when I mentioned that a dish was very hot, she gave me extra yogurt and rice to mix it with. Great service!

We ordered most of our dishes based on Satish’s recommendations, and started with Chat Samosas and Spinach Pakoras and a Kingfisher Beer, which we adore. I told him that I love samosas (who doesn’t since they are fried and full of yummy stuff), and he said that we should try the Chat Samosas ($3), since they are a little different. Dan described them as “Samosas Supreme” because they are the ingredients of a samosa served in a bowl and topped with chickpea noodles, then topped with spicy and sweet chutney, cilantro, and yogurt. The Spinach Pakoras ($4) were crunchy and scrumptious, served with a superb spicy mint sauce and a tamarind sauce.

Our first entrée was pretty amazing! It was the Masala Dosai ($7), a house specialty. It is “a thin golden crispy rice and lentil flour crepe, stuffed with spiced potatoes masala served with sambar chutney.” This thing was very impressive and fun! I had seen the picture on their menu and website, but I had no idea that it would be two feet long! It was also very delicious, and lots of fun to “Rip and Dip” in all of the assorted sauces it comes with – coconut sauce, a lentil soup, and yogurt. The lentil dipping soup was especially good, and Dan said that it was definitely comfort food, just like dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into tomato soup. It is very family friendly, and everyone should try this dish at least once.

We had Butter Naan and Roti (whole wheat bread) with our second entrée, Lamb Chettinaad, which is lamb meat pieces cooked in Chettinaad gravy ($11). He got it “Indian Spicy,” which is too spicy for me to eat very much of, but he loved it. Chettinaad Gravy is “Kuzambu which has the ingredients stewed in a gravy of coconut milk and spices.” I did eat some of it mixed with the Raita yogurt and vegetables that Soona so kindly brought me.

Dessert was interesting and truly mouth-pleasing. Ras Malai was our absolute favorite. When you taste this dish, you have to smile and simply savor it. It is homemade cheese balls dipped in flavored creamy milk ($3.50). We also had a cool and refreshing bowl of Pistachio Kulfi, Indian-style pistachio ice cream that was delicious. We really, really enjoyed our visit to Madras Chettinaad, and we will be back very soon, and definitely for birthdays and special occasions. It is wonderful to have a favorite Indian restaurant again!

You can visit their website here.

Lamb Chettinaad

Masala Dosai

Ras Malai - Best Dessert Ever!

Owner Narendra Patel

Madras Chettinaad on Urbanspoon