Saturday, June 24, 2017

Village Burger - Dunwoody - Atlanta Georgia

You can find Village Burger at 1426 Dunwoody Village Pkwy, Dunwoody, GA 30338. This is a standalone building that if memory serves used to be a Brusters Ice Cream. Parking is out front and along the sides, the shopping center is Dunwoody Plaza.

If you haven't been to Dunwoody then you probably don't really have much of a reason to go - it's a sleepy town that services the neighborhoods that surround these plazas that make up the core local shopping. Dunwoody has only been a city for a couple of years, following the recent cityhood efforts of Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. I've been visiting for many years as an alternative lunch destination to my office near Abernathy. This place gets quite busy during lunch and especially on Fridays.

Village Burger is a local privately own burger shop serving up delicious cheeseburgers via fast-casual counter service. You have a few options and specials including a double-patty Village Burger, a single-patty house burger, a Turkey Burger and a Veggie Burger. You select your cheese and toppings (some are premium like the fried egg but well worth it!) and sauces. They also serve Hot Dogs, Grilled Cheese and BLT Sammies, Tenders, Salads and a few different sides (the seasoned fired are quite good). They have a limited selection of bottled and draft beer - I'd recommend enjoying these out on the patio if it's not too hot.

I've now eaten here about a half-dozen times and the burger is quite good. The toppings are fresh when they should be and pickled when they're not. I always get extra jalapenos, the pepper jack cheese and bacon on the wheat bun. I've tried the Southwest salad with chicken and it was quite filling. I'd recommend this as an alternative to Farm Burger - the prices are quite competitive though the patties are thinner (more like Five Guys but the quality is better and you aren't fighting all the grease). Service is also very good with every responsive food runners depending on fast turnover.

-- John

(also posted to Yelp)
Village Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Costilla Grill - Buford Hwy - Atlanta Georgia

You can find La Costilla Grill at 3979 Buford Hwy St 109, Atlanta, GA 30345 - this is a strip mall that also used to be the home of Havana Grill (it's recently either closed or changed names). The shopping center is behind and slightly north of the Buford Hwy Aldi slightly north of the Clairment intersection. There's tons of parking but there are also several restaurants in this center so be prepared to walk a bit.

I'm a bit hesitant to review La Costilla Grill as I consider it a hidden gem - it's also one of the finest Mexican restaurants we've come across in our Buford Highway Restaurant Crawl featuring great food and awesome drinks - this became a favorite after nearby visits due to the alcohol (most of the near-area restaurants serve no alcohol or only beer). My hesitation is rather selfish - I don't want it to become so popular that it's hard to get a seat - I've now had this food about a dozen times and it's been very consistent. During sporting events the place is already packed, but fortunately there's a small patio that is usually open so we gringos can still be seated and served during busy nights. 

This restaurant is extremely popular among local Latinos for good reason - there's a full bar, the prices are reasonable and the quality of the food is way above average. The restaurant I think is more of a sports bar than a restaurant so expect a dark dining room, lots of stuff on the TVs and blaring music (another reason to sit outside if it's not too hot). The only negative is that the food delivery is a bit slow so be prepared to enjoy your time here. 

The menu is extensive - let's start with the drinks:

Margarita - I thought their mix and alcohol ratio quite good. The frozen is surprisingly good and strong and at $5 quite the bargain.

Caipirinha - this fresh lemon drink is very tart and quite good

Michelada - this is an amazing drink - similar to a Bloody Mary only made with beer so it has an effervescence and lightness you don't receive from a bloody. This is a huge drink served in a styrofoam cup covered in chunks of cucumber and seasoned salt - there's also a fruit-roll-up stick stuck in there for good measure.

Pina Colada - typical recipe but if you want something special have it served in a pineapple

For food, our server Carelis recommended any of the beef items (Castilla are beef short-ribs, a bit like Korean Galbi) but especially the Parrilladas.

The chips served here are thick corn tortilla - they also come with a trio of salsas, all are quite good but I love the green - something like an avocado-and-jalapeno puree. It's cool and creamy. The cheese sauce was your typical melted Mex cheese but the quac was quite good. They also brought out a special "hot" salsa when they understood we liked heat - this was served in a stone vessel.

Tacos - these are simple and traditional bits of meat and veg served doubled-up in corn tortillas - quite authentic. I thought the meat slightly dry but that's typical.

Taquito Plate - Paul F thought this quite good and mentioned that they were hard to find.

Chicken Quesadilla - Laura C said this was quite good and filling.

Ribeye Steak - my friend John F ordered this and said it was quite good but to beware of the sizzling plate - the food continues to cook so you should order it one temperature down (if you like medium, order medium-rare).

Parrilladas - to me this is the star of their menu - outside skirt steak grilled with salchicha Nortena, onions and jalapenos primos. Comes with beans, quac and tortillas. These bits of meat are delicious and quite filling. The beans are interesting with bits of hot dog.

The service here is quite good - most recently I hit it for Cinco de Mayo and while most of the TexMex places were packed there was still seating here. Other than being served the margaritas in plastic cups the food quality was still great and the service quite good, if a bit slow.

-- John

Also published to Yelp
La Costilla Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato