0

DINING: Gwinnett Tastes

A selection of local eateries recently featured in the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Palomilla's Cuban Grill House

Filling a distinct void in the Gwinnett dining scene, Palomilla's is one of the only Cuban restaurants in the metro area. The warm pressed Cuban sandwich served with plantain chips is a customer favorite, as is a savory dish of marinated chicken chunks served in tropical juices. For the indecisive, the house sampler platter offers a few bites of everything, from pork tamales to fried yuca sticks.

6470 Spalding Drive, suite B, Norcross. 770-242-0510. www.palomillasatlanta.com.

Holy Smokes

The menu at this barbecue restaurant is simple, centering on sweet and spicy barbecue and standard Southern sides. Hungry families flock to the diner for the huge racks of smothered ribs, piles of shredded pork and smoked chicken salad.

1944 Braselton Highway, Buford. 770-963-0994. www.holysmokes-bbq.com.

Crossroads Grille

Don't let the exterior fool you: Crossroads Grill isn't just another restaurant along the Peachtree Industrial Blvd. stretch. This bar and grill serves upscale dishes, such as Black Angus filet mignon and spinach and artichoke-stuffed tilapia, but retains a cool, family atmosphere.

360 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suwanee. 770-614-7880. www.crossroadsbarandgrille.com.

Cornerstone Grill

The menu at this high-end restaurant offers a range of American, Asian, Italian and continental fare, such as fresh ahi tuna tartare, Cajun-style pork tenderloin and seafood ravioli. Customers should be sure to finish the meal with a signature dessert, notably, the fried ice cream.

2445 Moon Road, Grayson. 770-962-9898. www.cornerstonegrill.net.

Sushi Rock and Thai Cuisine

At this restaurant, which offers Japanese and Thai food, the menu includes sushi, as well as curry, stir-fried and noodle dishes. Customers like the Pad Thai, as well as the cooked sushi rolls. The Candy Roll, made with shrimp tempura, avocado and scallions and topped with fried crab meat and cheese, is popular.

2133 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee. 770-237-9955.

Brickhouse Pizza

At any given moment, diners might expect to see Tony Soprano lounging in one of the restaurant's corner booths. The Italian restaurant dishes out a wide selection of homemade pizzas and entrees such as spaghetti and meatballs, mussels and linguine and cheesesteak subs. With a flat-screen TV mounted next to a wall of video games, the restaurant is ideal for sports fans and families alike.

1480 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville. 770-513-7108.

Wok-In Wok-Out

This restaurant offers custom-made stir-fry dishes from an all-you-can-eat buffet. Customers take a bowl and fill it with ingredients ranging from baby corn and bamboo to spinach and zucchini. Each bowl is topped with one of 16 sauces, such as Korean spicy barbecue, black bean garlic, kung pao and orange ginger sesame. Chefs then take the bowl, add the meat selected by the customer and cook the stir-fry dish in a wok.

860 Duluth Highway, suite 700, Lawrenceville. 770-513-1372. www.wokinwokoutrestaurant.com.

Blue Bay Seafood

Restaurant

Decorated with a nautical theme, this eatery serves up a variety of fare from the ocean. Customers often order the restaurant's stuffed seafood entrees, which feature crab stuffing. Grouper, trout, shrimp, catfish, flounder and tilapia are offered both with stuffing or without.

2750 Buford Highway, Duluth. 770-497-3317.

Mimi's Cafe

Housed in a quaint, cottage-styled restaurant, Mimi's Cafe is both elegant and family-friendly. Dishes draw from homestyle, French and New Orleans influences, including fare such as three berry-stuffed French toast, pasta jambalaya and creamy chicken pot pie. Mimi's also offers a lighter lifestyles menu.

1880 Mall of Georgia Blvd., Buford. 770-614-0554. www.mimiscafe.com.

Picasso Cafe and Wine Bar

Named for the artistic community that surrounds it, this downtown Buford restaurant offers a large selection of wine, which is served by the half-glass, the glass or the bottle. The appetizer platters are a customer favorite. Lunch and dinner are also available.

39 E. Main St., Buford. 678-482-8661.

Cade's Deli

This deli, owned by a family that relocated to Gwinnett from New York, serves up a taste of of the Big Apple with sandwiches such as the Cuban and the reuben, a New York strip steak and New York cheesecake. The decor features vintage photographs of New York City, while newspapers such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post are available.

860 Duluth Highway, suite 1550, Lawrenceville. 678-985-3801.

Lowcountry Barbecue Outpost

For 20 years, Lowcountry Barbecue Outpost supplied its customers with a platters of sweet, Carolina-style barbecue. Thanks to the constant inquiries from patrons, the catering company branched off and opened its first stand-alone location. Lowcountry serves up heaping plates of chicken, pork and beef barbecue, spicy peel-and-eat shrimp and huge helpings of Southern sides.

3455 Peachtree Parkway, suite 201, Suwanee. 678-688-7678. www.outpostbbq.com.

Noodle Mi

An alternative to the hectic food court and greasy Chinese food joints, Noodle Mi offers an extensive menu chock full of options. Beef, chicken and pork dishes, as well as non-meat dishes of mock duck, tofu and vegetables, are served, as well as a long list of Asian drinks, such as salted lemonade and Thai iced tea. Large bowls of Pho, a Vietnamese soup made from vegetables, broth and noodles, are a customer favorite.

3200 Woodward Crossing Blvd., Buford. 678-714-0115. www.noodlemi.com.

Pier 77 Hot Fish Cafe

The restaurant offers a selection of fish, from basa and mahi-mahi to salmon and rainbow trout. The fish can be ordered fried or grilled. Diners often check out a poster on the wall that lists the calorie count and nutritional value for each kind of fish on the menu.

1108 Herrington Road, Lawrenceville. 678-376-7558.

Doc Green's Salads and Grill

As the restaurant's motto says: "It's as healthy as you want to be." Doc Greens features a massive salad bar loaded with both traditional and inventive ingredients. Diners can choose from signature salads or build their own creations. Entrees of grilled salmon, chicken, turkey and others meats, plus a few sides, are also on the menu. Sandwiches, wraps and soups are also offered.

1250 Scenic Highway, Suite 1200, Lawrenceville. 770-736-5353. www.docgreens.com.

Lefty's BBQ/Old 33 Pub

The concept is simple - barbecue, lots and lots of barbecue. Lefty's and the new Old 33 Pub both provide a short menu of barbecue options with traditional Southern sides. Old 33 Pub is decked out with vintage rock posters and a stage for nightly live music performances.

4965 Friendship Road, Suite 113, Buford. 770-945-9131. www.leftys-bbq.com.

Who's Got Soul Southern Cafe

You don't need a menu at Who's Got Soul - the cafe's fare is listed in stark white letters on the windows. The cafe dishes out classic Southern food, including - but not limited to - fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese. The menu includes seafood as well, with the grilled tilipia as a top choice.

1098 Herrington Road, suite 14, Lawrenceville. 770-995-6544.

Armaan Indo-Pak Fusion

At this upscale Indian restaurant, entrees cooked in the tandoori, or clay oven, are particularly popular. Customers also come here for the lunch buffet, which features a different selection of dishes every day.

3064 Old Norcross Road, Duluth. 770-923-2323. www.thearmaan.com.

Dos Copas

Suffering from split personalities, Dos Copas caters to two types of people: those looking for a family-friendly atmosphere and those seeking something a bit more lively. Half the restaurant is a bar, while the other side is an airy dining room, complete with a children's play section. The menu features an assortment of authentic Mexican dishes, including the Mexican Pyramid, a literal pyramid of rice, topped with broccoli, chicken and cheese sauce.

2463 Hamilton Mill Parkway, Dacula. 770-614-3077.

Alligator Blues Cafe

The menu at Alligator Blues Cafe features traditional New Orleans flavors, like red beans and rice, jambalaya, etouffee and seafood gumbo. A house specialty is the Asian Cajun, which is a dish of sauteed shrimp and crawfish in a Cajun sweet-and-sour sauce that is served with rice. This dish reflects the Chinese heritage of the restaurant's owner.

15 Jones St., Norcross. 678-969-0295.

Sophia's Valentino Italian Family Restaurant

A Gwinnett favorite since it opened in 2001, Sophia's has struck a chord with area diners. Drawn by classic Italian dishes such as the creamy fettuccini primavera, Pene Italiano with spicy sausage and the Chicken Valentino served with a garlic white wine sauce, the restaurant is typically filled with the sounds of clanging forks and friendly chatter.

555 Progress Center Ave., Lawrenceville. 770-682-6700.

Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries

With its red-and-white color scheme and vintage-inspired decor, this burger joint feels like a retro diner. The house specialty is the burgers, which feature hand-formed patties and a choice of toppings ranging from ketchup and mustard to mushrooms and green peppers. Fries, in both regular and Cajun flavors, are also popular.

Town Center Park, 340 Town Center Ave., suite 1A, Suwanee. 770-945-4670. www.fiveguys.com.

Blue Marlin Seafood

Welcomed by the sweet, salty aroma of seafood fare, Blue Marlin's patrons know they are in for a freshly fried treat. Featuring shrimp and fish filets lightly battered and fried, as well as broiled, steamed and grilled, Blue Marlin offers an ocean full of options, served in hearty portions and topped with several sides.

1600 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-279-9144. www.bluemarlinseafoodatl.com.