It’s close to the intersection of Spalding and Holcombe Bridge, a nice restaurant on the southeast side of the intersection in a strip mall full of restaurants. It’s neat and clean inside, has plenty of sushi options, and if you’ll look hard – sushi and rolls tend to dominate the lunch menu – you can find things like donburi and shioyaki. Because of my diet, shioyaki is a staple these days.

saury shioyaki

eel and octopus sashimi

This isn’t a location I could have reached from my old work location, but being more on the Holcombe Bridge side of things, suddenly I can get to this site. I was pretty happy I could.

The saury was a sweet fish, tasty, but it’s a whole fish and better when cleaned. Both the eel sashimi and the octopus were satisfying. Sushi Mito can get comfortably full at lunch. There are plenty of patrons, including native Japanese.

I didn’t show at dinner, but Chloe, of Chow Down Atlanta, has a review of their dinner scene, and the Constant Gobbler has a nice photo montage of their dinner. As a lunch spot though, this place has a lot to recommend it.

Sushi Mito
6470 Spalding Dr
Norcross, GA 30092
(770) 734-0398

Sushi Mito Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

The nature of this eatery reveals itself at the dessert counter, where the Napoleans are unlike any I’ve seen since my days in West Philadelphia. The desserts are enormous, and look fantastic. The desserts, the pared down menu, the character of staff here: efficient and no nonsense, suggests this is a real New York style eatery. That’s notable, because 100 places might claim New York roots, and perhaps 5 actually manage to pull it off.

I had a sausage sandwich here. I’m not able to eat the pizza, for which I can give a qualified optimistic note: the bottoms of crusts are satisfyingly brown, and when I asked people who were eating pizza here, they seemed to like it. This won’t satisfy the crust hounds of the Atlanta food world, I know, but some discerning foodie who can eat a slice or three does need to prowl this place and render judgement.

In speaking with customers, they would mention Northeast or Midwest roots, and generally praise the “sauce” here, the marinara. And that seems to be how it works here, to do a few simple things well. Northeast pie places tend to be that way: a few ingredients, a very well done crust. It’s far more easily said than done.

Gino’s NY Pizza
5975 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
(770) 263-7000

Gino's NY Pizza on Urbanspoon

My first impressions of Ten Bistro were good. The food was respectable, the atmosphere something else, a sonic essay by Dave Brubeck in 5/4 time. Perhaps such a look is ‘meh’ to ITPers, but to the commuting/OTP crowd, this place stands out. I’d compare it most directly to an eatery on Canton Street in Roswell or perhaps Lilburn’s “Three Blind Mice“.

"The King" sandwich, with grilled veggies.

For cold winter days, this place is warm, soothing comfy. Inside, there is a long bar backed by an equally long extended table along the back, speckled in between by tables for two or four. There is art on the walls, real oils, with the gouges, scratches, and raised rough edges to prove it. With the sounds reflecting an authentic early 1970s groove, the menu itself has its share of puns and allusions to groups, singers or bands of the period. I haven’t been at dinner, or had their wines, it doesn’t really fit along my commute back home, but as a lunch place? It has a lot going for it.

Lamb sloppy joe with a bit of Perfect Ten salad.

One item I prefer, and try to work into my meals is the Perfect Ten salad. It has tender  greens, some artichoke, and shades of the old “Badayori“,  a bit of heart of palm. There are  useful grilled vegetables on the lunch menu, and  plenty of sandwiches. The clientele, if you listen carefully, are some of the most astute, smart people I’ve ever overheard, and I’ve had plenty of lunches in the cafeterias of the University of Pennsylvania. It’s attracting an erudite crowd.

Yes, I’m aware that some people have had mixed results with this eatery, but the owner is engaged, active, friendly, cordial. And when I started a long discussion with his staff about what music might set off his restaurant the best — seriously, where  in my 400+ reviews have I ever gotten into it about a restaurant’s music – he listened attentively. And yes, they need to sneak in a little more jazz into their 1970s mix.

It’s an upscale bar, better looking than most, more friendly than many, convenient to my work, so I bothered to find it, and it surprised me a little. Whether others find it as appealing, I can’t tell, but watching the good looking and active customers over repeated visits, I think this place will find its niche.

 

Ten Bistro
5005 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
(770) 375-8330

Ten Bistro on Urbanspoon

La Parrilla? Why? Because there are days when only a Taco Loco will do.

La Parrilla is a local chain, about 100% Atlanta Tex Mex at lunch, Speedy Gonzales, #1s and #2s, warts and all, and with a few more options at dinner (tacos de camarones, carnitas, etc). There is a La Parrilla in the Forum on Peachtree Parkway, next to the Barnes and Noble. And yes, though Atlanta Tex Mex is about as authentic as are buffalo wings — show me a buffalo with wings, please — their Taco Loco is a damned good one.

Service was both good and blazing fast at this location. The salsa ranks a bit on the spicier side as well. Chips are thin and dry, and the place runs a little noisy. I was by a patron who was asking for a quieter spot of the eatery who then laughed and said, “I’ve been here a lot. There really aren’t any quiet spots here, are there?”

La Parilla Mexican Restaurant
5131 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
(770) 242-0766

La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Some of the best things I’ve put in my mouth over the past couple months are the Cornish Kababs at Baba’s Gyro and Kabab, the Norcross version.

Tender, flavorful, they make you realize the mild taste of chicken can be supercharged in the right hands. Don’t be surprised if the manager drops a small shaker bottle of sumac by your plate. He surely did mine.

“It’s not a spice, but a flavor enhancer.”

The day I showed I arrived just after a lunch peak, and the place was packed. It has wifi, and people were there with laptops, working remotely. Prices run into the low teens for the more interesting lunch entrees, but don’t let that stop you. There is a world of flavor here.

Baba’s Gyro and Kabab
5270 Peachtree Pkwy
Norcross, GA 30092
(678) 966-9994

Baba's Gyro and Kabab on Urbanspoon

Note: Watching tweets here on a Kindle led me eventually to be interviewed :-#. Whether that interview ever sees the light of day, I’ll probably never know, but in the voice of Yoda, cool that was.

Sushi Yoko is on the right as you head north on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, a tan to yellow building below the afternoon commuters. You need to exit at roughly the Tilly Mill Road exit to get to this eatery, as there are no exits immediately by this place. Inside, it has booth seating and a sushi bar, and is a little more cramped than you might expect, because this same building houses the Japanese store Tomato.

mackerel shioyaki

salmon shioyaki

tempura

tsukemono

Sushi Yoko features largely authentic fare, no teppanyaki to speak of, and has inexpensive eats, as a J place goes. Comments that it’s a good lunch spot ring true. These days a lunch single runs about 7 dollars. The shioyaki here is a good bet, tasty and fresh. They also serve a generous bowl of tsukemono.

Hall art.

But it was Tomato that we were most suprised by. My wife is in love. It fills a niche that disappeared when Books Japan closed, though it’s more a grocery and general store than truly a book store. Pretty art fills the walls as you approach both shops, and both indeed are recommended.

Sushi Yoko
7124 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
Norcross, GA 30071
(770) 903-9348

Sushi Yoko on Urbanspoon

Tomato
7124 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
Norcross, GA 30071
(770) 263-7838

Dalia’s Grill is a Mediterranean restaurant, found roughly at the corner of Peachtree Parkway and Holcombe Bridge Road. The strip mall in which Dalia’s is found has things like an IHOP and a Chik-Fil-A, and is opposite a Target and Publix. Dalia’s is not that easy to see, but if you can find the sign to a local Mellow Mushroom, then walk under the sign. Dalia’s will be right in front of you.

This restaurant has something of a history in the Atlanta metro area (see here and here), having been preceeded by Joha Grill and a version in Alpharetta. I recall trying Joha Grill, and the same older man who cooked kababs at Joha is definitely manning the burners here. Just, this time, he has substantially more help.

Meditarranean cuisine, with its emphasis on meats and vegetables, fits well with what I can eat. I can control the amount of carbs I eat, and I don’t have to eat a lot of carbs to have a meal. That said, the family that runs Dalia’s has a knack with chickpeas. Their falafel is well respected, and the spices they threw into the chickpeas I had were notable.

Also notable that day was the lamb shank special they served. Dalia’s is good with more exotic meats such as lamb, the rich selection of salads, the choice. You can eat fast here, by grabbing a couple of salads – they’re laid out almost buffet style – or you can take your time, let them grill your meat and have a kabab or gyro along with some green veggies.

Recommended, a true Atlanta original.

Dalia’s Grill
6135 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
(770) 687-2448

Dalia's Grill on Urbanspoon

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