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Jackson’s Steakhouse in Pensacola

Not too far from the blue-green ocean at Pensacola Beach, the historic downtown Pensacola vibe is quaint, yet vibrant with breweries, shopping, and delicious dining. On one of those picturesque corners sits Jackson’s, a steakhouse staple where Pensacolans go for a good steak, cocktails, and dessert for any occasion. Everything from the decadent chocolate mousse to the crunchy red snapper, fantastic filet mignon, earthy brussel sprouts, to the tender lamb lollipops, plus the cocktails, everything you get at Jackson’s is a food adventure.

What’s better with a steak dinner than a cocktail? We got the fantastic off-menu blueberry martini, as well as the sweet and sassy BAMA Buck. The martini was recommended by our waitress and turned out magical with the tart and tangy berries up front mixed with the citrus and booze on the back. It was a refreshing yet potent sip! As far as the BAMA Buck, with whiskey on the back and the sweetness of strawberry on the front, this cocktail is sweet and boozy. It was just the right balance between the two. I’ll have another, please!

On to the delectable food, we started with the lamb lollipops. The lamb was seriously tender and wonderfully seasoned lamb bites. It was perfectly paired with an earthy, bright shaved brussel and radish salad. These two go so well together with the meatiness of the lamb and the earthy, crunchy of the salad. As far as the entrees, John got the flavorful filet mignon and I got the amazing red snapper, plus we paired it with some delicious brussel sprouts. These brussels are so good the guy next to us said he’s now a brussel sprout believer because of these! We agree, they’re rustic, earthy, tart, tangy, crunchy, and meaty. It’s all the adjectives you want to hear when describing these gems.

For our main entrees, the filet mignon was perfectly cooked medium steak with a tender inside and light grill outside. With the garlic on the top, it ended up being meaty and tangy with the right amount of smoke. But, the best dish of the night was the Red Snapper! Can snapper be decadent? Yes, the very definition of decadent with a ginormous piece of fish that literally melted in your mouth. Topped with a cracker crust that gave it a light crunch, lemon, butter, and herbs, it was simply divine. Crunchy, buttery, flaky.

Even if you don’t have any room, you have to stay for dessert and get the chocolate mousse! It was rich and decadent chocolate base, then a buttery, toffee, crunchy surprise at the bottom. On top an in-house made whipped cream brought it all together. Perfection if you ask me.

What do you want to try at Jackson’s?

The Woodall

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/12/21

Over on the west side of town, there is a new restaurant, The Woodall, with a beautiful long bar adjacent to a stunning mural of a bird’s talons holding a sword. People are dotted at the bar sipping on cocktails and chatting with the bar staff. Just around from there is a pristine patio with couples, families, and friends enjoying meals in the early evening. From the center cut filet, to the spectacular salmon special, delectable small plates, sippable cocktails, and sensational desserts, everything is pitch perfect here.

We had a little bit of everything on the menu during our visit to The Woodall. Starting with the Hemingway Handshake cocktail, it starts out sweet and runs the spectrum of crispy, earthy, citrusy, and floral on the back of the palate. This one was a balanced and wonderfully unique cocktail! Of the cocktail plates we could not get enough of the Taste of the Day, a steak concoction that was meaty, spicy, tangy, and creamy. This tender and juicy steak, delicate horseradish puree sauce, and spicy, tangy, harissa are all a testament to the complex flavors that you’ll get at The Woodall. We can’t wait to see what they have for the Taste of the Day next time!

There are so many sharable options to choose from at The Woodall. We sampled the Smoked Salmon Dip, Pigs in the Blanket, and Poke Crudo were all delicious! The Smoked Salmon Dip was the favorite of these and we could eat this all day! It is slightly fishy and tangy with tasty, crispy capers to add crunch and a little bit of earthiness. That pairs so well with the overall creaminess and buttery bread. Love. John’s favorite cocktail plate was the Pigs in the Blanket! These tiny link sausages are so rich and meaty on their own then enveloped in a wonderfully crispy puff pastry. The crunchy and meaty bite is elevated by the wonderful mustard dip! If you love poke, make sure to get the Poke Crudo. It is light and fresh with hints of spice from the jalapeno, savory of the soy and tuna, and avocado creaminess. The fantastic soy sauce forward sauce pairs so well with everything on the plate. Yum.

If they did not skimp on the flavor of the starters, you’ll be treated when you try the entrees! We got the Center Cut Filet, Special of the Night (Salmon), Pappardelle pasta, and brussel sprouts. Beginning with the Pappardelle, this dish mixed thick and tender noodles, rustic mushrooms, bright tomatoes, and mellow zucchini all in a light, creamy sauce. A great combination of flavors can be paired with a protein like the Sea Scallops! Our side item, the brussel sprouts, didn’t disappoint with a sweet and savory one-two punch of flavor. These went well with the main entrees like the Center Cut Filet! Speaking of the Center Cut Filet, this savory, well-cooked steak is perfection with a light salt and pepper seasoning to let the meat’s flavor shine through. The delectable sauce is deep and savory adding an element of richness to the meat and the steak’s accoutrements. It is paired with creamy, dreamy, mashed potatoes, a dotting of tangy cooked tomatoes, and earthy spinach. What a creamy, savory, tangy, and earthy bite! Our tip is to enjoy all the flavors together in one bite! Topping our delight with the steak, was the Special of the Night, the Salmon. Literally uttering OMG, this salmon is flaky and tender with the right amount of heft yet melts in your mouth. Accompanied by a mustardy and bright citrus drizzle, plus a crunchy slaw, that’s pitch perfect with the flavors of the salmon. If this is the special of the night when you go, it’s a must try.

Our tip at The Woodall, no matter how full you are, is to stay for dessert. The Bailey’s Cake is literally the icing on the cake to a wonderful meal! Sweet and moist cake up front with a slight crisp on the edges, and finishing with a boozy Bailey’s kick, this cake is light, creamy, and tangy. Whatever you do let the cake soak in the sauce for a few minutes for even better flavor, if there is such a thing. Divine.

What do you want to try from The Woodall?

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/9/21

Not too far from Alpharetta, there is a sleep town square in the city of Milton. Nestled in a beautiful house with an expansive, inviting porch, the bright spot downtown has to be Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails. We sampled a bit of everything from the happy hour plump filet mignon, amazing deviled farm eggs, crispy fried green tomatoes, spicy Nashville hot chicken tamales, rich blackened salmon, sweet carrot cake and a few dynamic cocktails. Get ready for a food adventure.

As we sat leisurely on the patio, we sipped on several of their fun cocktails, like the Poncho Appleseed, Applewood Smoked Old Fashioned, and Smoked Cherry Gin Ricky. They were all balanced and good. The Poncho Appleseed is one part apple and cinnamon and one part margarita. This feels like fall with cinnamon on the rim and apple forward on the front with hints of citrus and a tequila finish. As for the Applewood Smoked Old Fashioned, we enjoyed the boozy goodness with orange notes up front and smoky on the back of the palate. It’s a solid by the fire sipper. Then, the Smoked Cherry Gin Ricky was oh, so sweet and sassy. The cherry flavor up front is sweet, tart and pairs well with the floral gin that hits you on the back.

The reason we ventured to Milton’s is to try their happy hour steak special and this one didn’t disappoint! Just imagine a plump and juicy cut of beef that is so succulent you won’t want to share. We swear it must also be marinated in red wine because it has so much rich and deep flavor, but we were told just salt and pepper, now that’s a good piece of meat! John decided it was his and kept quipping that he loved it and couldn’t get over the flavor. Plus, they have an array of great sauces for any palate! For us, we’d recommend the truffle butter. It’s earthy and creamy and adds that “je ne sais quoi” factor to the steak. We also enjoyed the bearnaise, creamy, and the red wine sauce, which was savory. Pro tip: mix the red wine and truffle butter. That’s pretty tasty.

On top of that, we sampled our way around the appetizers as well. We got everything from the Deviled Farm Eggs to the Fried Green Tomatoes to the Nashville Hot Chicken Tamales. Starting with the Deviled Farm Eggs, these babies some of the best in the city with a creamy, savory, tangy mustard filling that worked so well together. Then, topped it with meaty bacon, crunchy and tart red onions, and slathered in truffle oil and an aioli. This dish comes together into an explosion of different flavors. Must try. Also, rich and decadent are the Fried Green Tomatoes. They’re crispy on the outside with gooey goat cheese and tangy tomatoes inside. Adorned with pepper coulis and truffle oil, you get the gamut of flavors from spicy to savory to sweet to creamy to earthy. Can we have more? Finally, the most unique and fun dish of the appetizers was the Nashville Hot Chicken Tamales. Stoked to try these, they stuffed shells with crispy and spicy hot chicken, hominy grains and crisp pickle pieces. They paired it with extra pickles and a Pimento Cheese spread on the side for you to add the amount you like to the filling. You could literally eat the Pimento Cheese spread with a spoon, it’s that good. Pro tip: mix in a ton of the cheese spread and pickles to taste for the best bite. In love.

Of the main dishes, they suggested the Blackened Salmon and a slew of sides. First off, the Blacked Salmon was perfectly seasoned and blackened piece of tender and juicy fish. This spicy and peppery salmon was on top of an amazing bed of creamy pimento cheese grits, earthy wilted spinach, and an amazing lemony sauce. All of these flavors paired so well together from the creamy of the grits to the earthiness of the spinach to the heft and spice of the fish, to the lemon in the sauce. On the side we got baby iceberg wedges, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and creamed spinach. One of our favorites was the creamy and earthy cauliflower that soaked in all that truffle oil and garlic and topped with sharp Parmesan for an outstanding toasty bite. We also enjoyed the brussel sprouts that had pieces of sweet, cooked apple to go with the earthy sprouts and hearty and crisp bacon. Spot on. The most unique side was the creamed spinach with a runny egg on top! A moat of creamy and earthy spinach ramped up with the savor and heartiness of a runny egg! It was deep, rich, and tangy. The favorite though, had to be the baby Iceberg wedges! Smaller than a large wedge, these came with pickled onion for tang, everything bagel seasoning for that extra flavor, and some of the best avocado buttermilk ranch dressing that ever went in our mouths. Let us tell you that everything bagel seasoning really makes it well, everything. Prepare to drool.

For the dessert, they brought us the Carrot Cake because it is one of their staple items. Now THIS is carrot cake! Milton’s mixes carrots and cake together that’s crispy on the edges , fluffy cake with a light crunch in the middle, then topped with a crazy good cream cheese frosting, candied orange peel, and nuts. It’s so much flavor and worth every bite. Funny story, my mom gave me carrot cake for my first birthday, I’m not sure I’ve had it since until now. I was missing out.

Stuffed to the brim, we bid farewell to Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails up in Milton. What would you want to try?

STK Atlanta

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 9/3/20

The large glass doors open slowly to reveal a swanky, low-light opulent bar, and luxury greeting space dotted with flashes of lights and a smooth beat permeating the air with cool vibes. STK Atlanta is one cool cat with sleek design and top-notch service, but don’t let its vibe fool you, they’re also very serious about their food. Everything your traditional steak house offers like a myriad of perfect cuts of steak, sauces, decadent sides to fun happy hour dishes like the rich beef tartare, stellar seafood options like the sea bass to specialty cocktails that reminisce of a hip night club. Our chef’s tasting had all of this, plus a dash of pizzazz to culminate in one of the most epic of culinary journey’s the city has to offer. Are you ready to be amazed?

Starting with our first course, the beef tartar. Beautifully presented, this beauty is packed with flavors, like the richness of the tender beef juxtaposed to the creaminess and tartness of the horseradish and earthiness of the olives. Mix that all up and pile it on a large, crunchy banana chip and you got a complete array of textures. We can’t get over how crunchy and hearty this dish turned out to be in the end. What better way to start your meal with a little bit of beef, and a cool sweet drink to complete it? With this course we sipped on the Strawberry Cobbler. A sweet and sassy pink drink that’s one-part sweet and tart strawberry and one-part boozy vodka martini. Finish it off with a sweet and rich graham cracker crust rim and you have a dessert in a glass. Pinky up.

Something we can’t stop thinking about is the second course dish, the sea bass. A fantastic and flaky, melt-in-your-mouth piece of decadence simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and dusted with butter. Even thought it is simply done, it is perfection. Just image that perfectly done fish on top of a fava bean puree mixed with fava beans, snap peas, and butter. It was soft, light, buttery, earthy, and crunchy. It had the gamut of flavors and knocked our socks off. Mark our words, this is one of the best fish dishes in Atlanta. For best bite, mix all the dish ingredients together. With our sea bass, we opted for the Shake Your Honey Maker cocktail. Their take on the tiki cocktail with a blend of pineapple, rum, honey, and vanilla. This was my (Liz’s) favorite cocktail because it reminded me of a cool beach day, sitting under an umbrella, watching the ocean waves crash on the beach. It was the beach in a glass. Don’t forget to get some of the sugar rim for something a little sweeter!

Have you ever had an experience that went down as one of the best of your lives? Enter the Tomahawk Steak with truffle and butter. Brought to the table plain, the butter is slathered on top and then the truffle is sliced FRESH right in front of you and layered on top of the steak. Beyond the top-notch presentation, it comes with all-out decadent sides and so many sauces, you almost have an endless combination of flavors to choose! Starting with the steak itself, tender and medium temperature, it has everything you’d imagine in a perfect steak with that meaty burst up front and a slight char on the back. Topped with the butter and truffle, you get a ton of creaminess up front, but the truffle comes in and mellows it into an earthy, creamy, meaty bite. You really don’t need ANY sauce for this gorgeous piece of meat, but if you do you can mix and match to find your favorite combination. With the butter and the truffle, we found that you can brighten up the bite with the chimichurri sauce or turn up the richness with the au poivre. If some tartness is what you’re looking for to pair with the butter and earthiness of the truffle and butter, why not MIX both the STK sauce and the STK sauce with sriracha? No matter what you pick, you’re in for a real treat. Perfection on a plate.

You can’t go to a steak house and not get an array of fabulous sides that are beyond good. From the truffle mac n cheese to the jalapeno cheese grits and the newest side, egg-in-a-hole, you’re taste buds are in for a roller coaster! The best of the three was the truffle mac n cheese, which was so rich, deep, cheesy, creamy, and earthy, there’s no way to you’re NOT finish that whole thing. It’s one of those sides you can’t stop eating. They also offer bacon, lobster, and other flavors to top on there, but for just the base mac n cheese it’s one of the best we’ve ever had, EVER. The jalapeno cheese grits were the perfect blend of out-of-control cheesy to slightly spicy. Plus, the egg-in-a-hole was a fun, different side with a runny egg that created a sauce over the succulent mushrooms. Which side would you choose?  Put us down for some more mac n cheese, please.

To end our epic night of decadence, was the dessert board with a little bit of every dessert on the menu. We sampled the bag of donuts, cheesecake, chocolate cake, and the cookie sundae. Each were delicious in their own way, the cheesecake with hints of key lime and rich crust was tart and slightly sweet, while the donuts were flaky, puffy, and sweet with spicy or sweet dipping sauce. These are good for those who like their desserts on the lighter and sweeter side. Of all the desserts, the chocolate cake and the cookie sundae stood out. Being a decadent dessert lover, we both really enjoyed the chocolate cake. It was an explosion of rich, dark chocolate with tender cake. The cookie sundae was so rich, chocolate-forward, and delicious topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce. This was Liz’s favorite because it was warm, gooey, and so deep and rich that it was the perfect icing on the cake for this great meal.

Did we mention we wish we would have worn our elastic waist pants? With the evening winding down and the darkness coming over the buildings, we left happy and stuffed. This is one of those meals, you’d never forget! So, next time you’re in midtown, whether you want a light bite for happy hour, which they have daily with great deals, or in for a full meal, this is the spot to go. Next time, I want to try that $5 Lil’ Burger for happy hour. It’s so cute and looks amazing! What do you want to try?

Carson Kitchen: Food So Good, You’ll Swear By It.

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/3/20

Carson Kitchen, the newest edition to City Center in Alpharetta, feels homey with the open-air kitchen, delivers soulful and sinfully good food, as well as thoughtful, elevated cocktails. Every single thing we tried on their menu was top notch, from the scrumptious bacon jam, to the divine deviled eggs, to the best #$%@ black rice and oxtail risotto, the tender and perfect NY Strip, and let’s not forget the How ‘Bout Dem Apples delightful cocktail. Food so good, you’ll swear by it. Trust us, you’ll let one slip. Get ready to pay the swear jar (more on that later). Fantastic food adventures ahead, enjoy the ride.

Sips like the How ‘Bout Dem Apples cocktail reminds us of the holidays. With it’s apple and all-spice forward flavor to the sweetness and smoothness on the back, it’s an all-around delicious drink. You’d forget it had whiskey in it if we didn’t mention it. They had a ton of options from tequila, gin, vodka and so many other variations, plus they have a sangria that looks tasty too. We’ll have to try more.

Then, we started the sampling with a few of the appetizers like the bacon jam, deviled eggs, and crispy chicken skins, but the best appetizer by far was the bacon jam. Imagine savory, crunchy bacon ground up and mixed with jalapeno and brown sugar and topped with melted Havarti. It reminded us of candied bacon in a bowl. This is the appropriate place to insert the mind blown emoji. It was rich, decadent, savory, sweet, spicy, and creamy all in one dip. We can’t say enough about this dish, it is an absolute must try. We WILL be back for more. In addition to the bacon jam, we had the crispy chicken skins. It was spicy, crispy, and perfectly paired with sweet honey for dipping. We got a fun tip, to dip the skins IN the bacon jam. How’d they do that? Amazing way to mix and match dishes! Another delicious bite was the deviled eggs, which were topped with salty caviar and fried prosciutto. This little number was tangy and rich with savory yolk, sour cream, and mayonnaise mixed with the right amount of salt from the caviar and fried prosciutto. Eat the whole thing at once, stuff it all in there, it’s the best balance of flavors!

If you thought the bacon jam was amazing, you must try the black rice and oxtail risotto. This dish was the best bite of the night with al dente cooked black rice and risotto, pulled oxtail and a sauce that was both savory and rich. The oxtail itself is like a pulled pork but even deeper and slightly saltier, but that’s a good thing here. Plus, this dish is impeccably plated in a bowl that looks dainty but eats like a meal. It’s every flavor on earth and is breathtaking, but what’s even better is it’s unexpected. It sounds like it would be good, but who knew this would be one of the best dishes we would have all winter? Get. This. Dish. You’re welcome.

The flavor train continues with the cocoa-espresso NY Strip. This sassy dish is one of those steaks that’s thisclose to perfection. The rub is earthy and rich with a slight chocolate flavor that mixes with the savory of the meat. Even better was the demi glaze that was literally cooked with the oxtail bone in it, so it explains the depth of the glaze. It was tangy and slightly fruity to enhance the flavor of the meat and rub. Don’t get us started on the tenderness, either. All the elements have us wondering, “where have you been all our lives?” Pairing this with the brussel sprout salad for a little cream and little green, what a delicious meal.

Have you ever had a meal so good and so overall complete that you just couldn’t help but let a little swear word slip? This is it. And yes, they have a swear jar on the kitchen bar! They say their food is so good that you will swear when you eat it and if you do, you’ll have to throw in some money. We may have lost a $20. That money is the kitchen staff’s shared bonus at the end of the year. We dig it.