The three are a portabella, a fish and a gyro taco. All good, but the portabella? Surprisingly good.

Portabella on left, gyro on right. Fish taco in the middle.

Our original review of this restaurant is here.

Teela Taqueria
227 Sandy Springs Place
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 459-0477

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In a strip mall on Sugarloaf Parkway, sandwiched between Old Norcross Road and Highway 316, is the third member of Taqueria Los Hermanos chain (of four, as there is now a Suwanee location). It’s easy to miss, as this area is packed with chains of all kinds. Passing it though, would be a mistake, as this small Atlanta area chain is one of the better taquerias around (reviews here and here).

The emphasis has to be placed on “tacos” in this place, because the tacos, far better than in any generic “Mexican” chain, make the reputation of this restaurant. Well, in Taqueria Los Hermanos, it’s the tacos, the excellent salsas and dry crisp chips, the excellent service, the way food rapidly reappears on your table. I’ve felt in general that Taqueria Los Hermanos always excelled at the little things and had some trouble getting together really good entrees. This changed when we ate at the Lawrenceville location.

pechuga en mole, sauce on the side.

pechuga en mole with the sauce.

One of the specials this day was pechuga en mole, and both my daughter and my wife ordered it. My wife ordered it with the mole on the side, my daughter as it is normally served. It worked well for both of them, and they really enjoyed the dish.

The base salsa here is a bright red salsa with lively bright flavors. The bowl they give you is large and they refill it often. Chips, as mentioned, are dry, not oily. They do well with the salsa that comes with  their tacos, and their pico de gallo is also quite good. Taqueria Los Hermanos wouldn’t hurt themselves if they added a salsa plate to their menu.

The carnitas taco is much larger than I remembered, and this day the verde sauce came separate from the taco. Other  times I’ve eaten at this chain, everything was assembled for me.

excellent marinated pork

I also had their pastor burrito. I  think Taqueria Los Hermanos handles pork well, and  you’re missing out if you don’t have some pork when you eat here.

Overall? The best meal we’ve collectively ever had at the Taqueria Los Hermanos. This chain comes very highly recomended. It’s a serious fix for the “I want more than a Speedy Gonzales” blues.

Taqueria Los Hermanos
4955 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 817-0363

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The boonie pepper (singular)  has been amazingly productive inside the house, despite indifferent watering and poor sunlight. It’s doing so well I want to make sure it gets watered while I go on vacation at times. I need a way to get water to a 6 foot tall plant while I’m not there, and in a relatively inexpensive way. Enter these water spikes:

They work by capillary action, but I’m not at all sure how to use them, or how to tell they they are actually working. I’m feeding one of these from 1.5 gallons of water in a 3 gallon bucket into the plant now, but we’ll see. The next thing to add are timed grow lights, in the hopes the extra light will prevent leaves from turning  yellow and falling off. Inexpensive grow lights were available via Amazon, so  they’ll be arriving in the next couple days.

Maya Fresh Grill is doing so well that when I went in last, Guillermo was no longer there. It’s the first time I’ve not seen  the owners. The menu has firmed and the grill is getting better. Below is a shot of their jungle takkos, a pretty good vegetarian entree. Their grilled steak quesadillas, though, are better, and perhaps the best thing I’ve had there to date.

Finally, in  the food court in Mall of Georgia, is this sushi bar. Anyone ever try it?

I picked up my family in South Atlanta and they were starving. They had no food of consequence and I needed a place to feed them. I suggested Holy Taco on the way home, and it worked out well (though their excellent quinoa salad wasn’t available that day).


Beef tongue and shrimp tacos. The beef tongue was the better of the two, so says my daughter.


Chicken and steak tacos.


A pork cheek sandwich. It was very good, with very tender meat.

Taqueria Del Sol is an attractive,  informal restaurant with multiple locations, one of which is in Decatur. It’s on Ponce De Leon and close to a lot of places with good food, including Watershed and Sawicki’s. We went there recently, as my wife wanted to try something new for lunch. To note, as Decatur is a hard place to park, Taqueria Del Sol has its own parking.

Every time I’ve seen Taqueria Del Sol there has been a line out the door. This was no exception. It was a hot day in July and the sun was more annoying than the heat. I’m not much of a fan of sunglasses, but I’d recommend them here in the summer time. The line moved rather quickly, and after a few minutes we were inside.

The lunch menu for Taqueria Del Sol is relatively simple. They offer about 6 different tacos,  4 different enchiladas, sides, soups, and what they call starters. Starters are chips with something to dip them in. For my family I ordered chicken enchiladas for my wife, beef brisket tacos for my daughter, a Memphis taco, a fish taco, a shrimp taco for myself, along with the jalapeno cole slaw. We ordered the salsa trio starter for everyone. We also ordered soft drinks, and we were handed ice in cups and cans.

Near the entrance there were metal tables with tall chairs to sit in. Almost by the time we were seated the chips and salsa came out. The chips were good, but to be honest, the salsas (a red salsa, a green salsa, a pico de gallo) were pretty ordinary. No heat, no spice to speak of, and most home made pico de gallos are better than the one they served.

In just a couple more minutes the food was served. The restaurant did far better with main courses. The fish taco was quite good, crunchy with a nice fish flavor. The Memphis taco tasted like a pulled pork sandwich without the white bread, and the shrimp taco was tasty as well. My wife’s enchiladas weren’t bad, though she also complained about the lack of spice and heat, and my daughter said that her tacos were also good tasting.

There wasn’t a lot of service here, but the service that existed wasn’t just good or excellent, it was superb.

I have mixed feelings about this place. It delivers the goods, without question. Tacqueria Del Sol is taking border cuisine, and expanding it in original ways. The more western character of the food exposes a Mexican influence to people who just wouldn’t touch it otherwise. It’s a pretty restaurant with good looking clientele. If you just ordered a drink and a taco and watched the crowd, it’s probably better, cheaper entertainment than half the movies at the cineplex.

However, this is a restaurant that feels to me like “Taqueria Del Mild”. There are a number of restaurants with salsas I can think of better than Del Sol’s red, which lacked flavor and heat. The tables didn’t have any hot sauces available that I could see, and the food would really improve if something akin to Mojito’s habanero sauce were available. Mojito’s habanero and Del Sol’s tacos would be a killer combination.

Verdict: Good inexpensive tacos served quickly. Great service. Great people watching. Milder food than I prefer, but still highly recommended.

359 West Ponce De Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA
(404) 377-7668

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To get to Taqueria Del Sol from Snellville, take 78 until it becomes Scott, take Scott to Clairmont. Turn left (south) on Clairmont and take it until you get to Commerce. Turn right on Commerce. Turn right again on Ponce De Leon. Taqueria Del Sol will be on your right after a couple blocks.

Other locations include:

1200B Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 352-5811

Taqueria Del Sol (Midtown) on Urbanspoon

(Cheshire Bridge)
2165 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 321-1118

Taqueria Del Sol (Cheshire Bridge) on Urbanspoon

334 Prince Avenue
Athens, GA 30601
(706) 353-3890

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Agavero Cantina is a very attractive restaurant, brick and thick wood used freely throughout, plaster where appropriate, and in the main dining hall, a ring of tequila bottles above the tables. It’s roughly a half block north of the Beaver Ruin – Lawrenceville Highway (29) intersection, on the right as you’re heading north.

It’s a bit of a hard restaurant to place. It has Atlanta Tex Mex dishes, but perhaps only 1 of the 4 pages of the menu are devoted to that kind of food. They have a vegetarian section, for one, and most of the dishes seem to be Mexican, Tex Mex favorites, or cantina originals. So, unlike Frontera or El Jinete, trying to break free of that Atlanta Tex Mex mold, this one is, oh, 3/4 out of the shell.

I came here during lunch with my daughter, and we were served quickly and chips were rapidly brought to our table. We ordered queso fundido as an appetizer, and for entrees, I ordered the Acapulco cheese steak and she ordered a Mexican omelet.

Queso fundido is melted cheese with a healthy dose of chorizo, and Agavero Cantina’s version was not the soft white cheese you see often served. It was a melted pale yellow cheese, with a consistency closer to a semi-hard cheese. We ate bits of it with chips, and as the dish also came with pico de gallo and steamed tortillas, we put some in tortillas, along with the pico, and ate it that way too. It was good, but as the chorizo tended to generate fat over time, you had to eat it fast or forget it.

The Mexican omelet was stuffed with chorizo, salsa cruda, and it had enough bits of spicy green pepper to let you know it had a bite.  My daughter liked it a lot. My “cheese steak” was a tortilla filled with sauteed onions and sauteed strips of steak, with molten white cheese poured over the top. It was very good, reminiscent of the burrito al carbon served elsewhere.

Serving sizes, as noted elsewhere, were good and the cost pretty low. Service was very good.

Verdict: Recommended, Good to excellent food, good service, a welcome addition to the Mexican repertoire of Lilburn GA.

Agavero Cantina
4140 Lawrenceville Highway
Lilburn, GA 30047
(678) 924-1970

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Bonefish Grill is located in the Avenue at Webb Ginn, just a stone’s throw from the large Barnes and Noble there. Inside, Bonefish Grill is a good looking restaurant, with a good looking bar. They have bar seating on stools, and long tables with marbled black stone surfaces, and booths, whose tables are covered with brown craft paper. Above the bar are a pair of television sets, and wrapped around the bar area are dozens of wine bottles. Compared to McCray’s Tavern, which we recently visited, this place is focused on wine sales.

And surprisingly, compared to McCray’s, this place is noisy. The music is a little loud for my tastes. Now, that means that table conversation doesn’t drift, but it also means that Bonefish Grill really isn’t about a quiet romantic dinner.

In seafood choices, however, this place excels.  You can get food grilled, sauteed, baked and fried. The fish and seafood offered included grouper, chilean sea bass, tilapia, tuna, scallops, shrimp, squid, mussels, lobster tails and rainbow trout.  If high end doesn’t impress, they offer shrimp tacos and fish and chips. For those inclined to land bound fare, they have two good looking chicken entrees, pork options, filet mignon and a steak special.

My west coast in-laws commented on the imperial longfin on the menu, and ordered it. We also ordered swordfish, grilled rainbow trout, chicken,   some house salads, and their corn chowder (with bits of crab). The corn chowder turned out to be really good. It was creamy, and the bits of crab added that hint of seafood to the dish. My daughter commandeered the cup and finished it quickly. The salads were good. The pine nuts were a nice touch, the olives quite good, and I’m partial to palm heart myself.

Among the entrees, we liked the grilled rainbow trout the best. It was really good, thin filets, with the fish opened as if it were a book.  The grilled taste of the trout really came through. But everything was good, really. We all shared tastes, and almost nothing was left behind, but for a bit of the chicken. We were all quite full at the end, and I’m not sure how we would have saved space for their desserts (which also look really good).

Service is very good. Waitstaff wear white tops with the Bonefish logo. They are friendly, helpful, and notice when drinks are empty.

Verdict: This place is a winner in the Snellville/Lawrenceville axis, with really good food and seafood choices that can’t be found within miles.  Highly recommended.

Bonefish Grill
1350 Scenic Hwy, Suite 200
Snellville, GA 30078
(678) 344-8945

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Pure Taqueria isn’t your Dad’s Taco Bell. It isn’t your Mom’s Del Taco. It’s a shockingly good place to eat, with food that looks as if it could be on the menu of any fine restaurant. Pure Tacqueria is also in the process of becoming a chain. They openly promote franchise opportunities on their website, and there are two  locations now, one in Alpharetta Georgia and one in Woodstock Georgia. This review will cover the Alpharetta location.

I came during a lunch hour recently, and the first thing I noted was the total lack of parking at the site. There are about 10 parking spaces by the restaurant. About 1 block down Roswell Street, there is public parking, and plenty of it. And I’m thankful for that, because I then seemed to be in a foot race with 6-7 other people to get into Pure.

Once there, since there was one of me, I was quickly seated. People with larger groups were taking longer this day, maybe 5 minutes or so. Once seated, I had waitstaff asking for drinks almost immediately. To note, the look of the staff is pretty casual. The waiters, bartenders and cooks are dressed in T-shirts. And although the eatery is built from an old wooden frame house, the tables and chairs are of a modern, clean design.

The menu is a single laminated sheet, with one side reserved for drinks and the other a list of foods. Food here isn’t cheap, nor is it expensive. Appetizers run from $5 to $12, and entrees run from $8.50 to $15.00. A typical entree is about $10. Tacos, which run about $10, come 3 at a time at that price. I called my coworkers (this was a work day) and took orders. As for myself I was going to eat there, and ordered the Pescado Veracruz.

Chips came quickly. They were a little thicker than some corn chips, but dry and crisp and tasty. The salsa that came with it was bright with cilantro and moderately spicy. I can see some Atlantans complaining about the heat in this salsa, but I loved it, myself.

The Pescado Veracruz surprised me. I was expecting a fish dish, not fish surrounded by 8 mussels. The look of the meal was fantastic. And the taste was there too. I love mussels, and the fish was really fine as well.

As far up Highway 400 as this restaurant lies, Pure Taqueria isn’t convenient to Snellville. But there is a buzz about this place. It’s currently the #1 restaurant as ranked by Urban Spoon, and throughout lunch, there were people coming into the place. For those who work along “IT corridor” during the days, or have time on weekends, this place would be a worthwhile investment in time.

Verdict: Great little restaurant, really good food and a casual air. Highly recommended.

Pure Tacqueria
103 Roswell St
Alpharetta, GA 30o09
(678) 240-0023

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It’s a small locally owned chain, El Jinete, and it’s one based on Atlanta Tex-Mex with a twist. Yes, you can get a Speedy Gonzales here, but they are trying to make sure they have some unique items. For example, they serve a queso to dip your chips into, but the queso comes with a little chorizo in it. They have a good looking chicken soup, with chunks of avocado in it. Not content with beef and chicken tacos, they have fish tacos and also their rather graceful tacos el jinete (beef, sausage and onion taco). Their milanesa steak looks very appetizing.

I came here for lunch recently. They were fast to the table with chips and salsa (one red salsa), the chips were crisp and largely dry. Service was good, at times very good. The tacos el jinete came with beans, rice, onions, chopped cilantro, and a brown sauce to pour over the meats. The tacos were good, but somehow I kept wanting more flavor from them, as if the sausage should have been giving me more taste. Serving size was more than ample. I took a lot of it home with me.

The restaurant is located on Highway 124, a bit south of 124 and Zoar Road, in a shopping center with an Ingles in it, next to a dollar store. The front of the restaurant is neat, with a spanish tiled facade.

Verdict: Recommended. Atlanta Tex Mex with a fair number of interesting twists. Good food, but I keep hoping for more from this place.

El Jinete Mexican Restaurant
3303 Centerville Hwy
Snellville, GA 30039
(770) 982-1539

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One of the simplest “spreads” that you can do is to make some ground beef, refried beans, add some cut fresh vegetables, sliced jalapenos, and some salsa for people to eat. Your young ones will pile on what they want, ignore the rest. The cooking is simple and fast. Salsas don’t require any cooking at all, and no preparation if you buy a canned salsa.

Black Bean and corn salsa:

We made this using:

1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) corn
1 roma tomato, diced.
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green onion, diced.
2 hot peppers, diced finely.
juice of 1 lime.

We should have added minced cilantro but didn’t. It didn’t affect the outcome. We mixed well and put it in a bowl to marinate.

Pico de gallo:

See the blog article here.

Taco meat:

Brown ground beef or ground turkey in a skillet. Season as desired.

Soft flour tortillas

Place between moistened paper towels and microwave for a few seconds, till steamy and warm.

hard taco shells

Heat in the oven, per package recommendations.


We usually take a round tray with segments and fill the segments with things like:

diced tomatoes
commercial red picante
commercial salsa verde
sliced cheese
sour cream

and provide spoons for those who want them.