A selection of local eateries recently featured in the Gwinnett Daily Post:
The Blue Rooster Cafe
Like something that leapt off the pages of Southern Living magazine, this restaurant is known for its sweet, signature chicken salad. The cafe offers a traditional menu, but that doesn't stop the owners from adding new dishes to their repertoire, like a Reuben big enough to belong in a Manhattan deli and a Cuban loaded up with layers of pork and ham and topped with a tangy mustard. Make sure you leave room for dessert. There's plenty.
107 Main St., Lilburn. 770-931-2445.
In this modern-day, family-oriented take on "Cheers," each table has its own flat-screen plasma TV. The menu includes something for every taste, from a monstrous chef's salad to racks of baby back ribs smothered in hickory sauce. The K Sampler features a few bites of each appetizer, including fried mozzarella sticks, Buffalo wings and potato skins.
4955 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 678-205-0282. www.kaysonsgrille.com.
Nadia's West African Restaurant
African dishes with a soul-food influence are served at Nadia's, where the best-sellers include deep-fried tilapia and barbecue beef ribs. For those nervous to try more authentic fare, the restaurant offers an on-the-house sampler plate so first-timers can try before they buy.
5245 Langford Road, suite A, Norcross. 770-582-9994. www.nadiarestaurant.com.
Chin Chin 7
Located directly across from the Arena at Gwinnett Center and minutes from the affluent Sugarloaf Country Club, Chin Chin 7 attracts area sports stars, celebrities and performers. The restaurant offers traditional Chinese dishes with an upscale twist, as well as sushi, soups and the stew-like Hot Pots.
6575 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-1319.
Steaks are the best-sellers at this Chicago-style steakhouse, located inside the Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place hotel. The 10-ounce Matambre Filet, the house specialty, is topped with crab meat and roasted red peppers, then covered in a spicy pepper jack cheese. The menu goes beyond red meat to offer a large variety of seafood, chicken, pasta and salad dishes as well.
1775 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-923-1775. www.marriott.com.
Ribs 'n' Blues
Boasting the "best butts in Georgia," Ribs 'n' Blues specializes in two things: live, soulful blues music and sauce-smothered slabs of slow-smoked pork ribs. The restaurant prepares its signature sauce fresh every day. Side items include tangy coleslaw, rum baked beans and Brunswick stew.
3375 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 770-962-8041. www.ribsnblues.com.
Fiji has created a tropical getaway within the frazzle of Peachtree Industrial Parkway. Specializing in both island and American fare, the restaurant serves up Fijian dishes such as mango-topped grilled tilapia and curry rice, as well as homestyle favorites like meatloaf and penne pasta.
315 Peachtree Industrial Parkway, Suwanee. 770-904-7830. www.fijigoodfoodgetaway.com.
Made famous in Athens thanks to a huge following of hungry University of Georgia students, Barberitos is the latest oversized-burrito cantina franchise to hit Gwinnett. Everything from a vegan burrito to meat-and-cheese stuffed rolls are offered, as well as salads, tacos and quesadillas. Most meals cost less than $10.
2725 Hamilton Mill Road, Buford. 770- 945-1877. www.barberitos.com.
Ashiana prides itself on a wide selection, including several Indian-Chinese dishes, known as "Chaatt Bhandaar." Some of its signature items include the Tandoori Mixed Grill and Chicken 65. The restaurant also caters to vegetarians with meat-free favorites like Bhindi Masala and Aloo Gobhi. One of Ashiana's most uncommon features is an unparalleled sense of cultural and religious sensitivity - their kitchen is divided in half so vegetarian dishes are not prepared near meat.
5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross. 770-446-9092. www.theashiana.com.
Traditional Thai dishes of generous proportions are Spicy Basil's specialty. The sampler appetizer, with Bubble Ball corn fritters and Thai grilled chicken wings, is a customer favorite. Curries are also top sellers and are served with a choice of three rice varieties: white jasmine, long-grain brown and green jasmine. For lighter fare, opt for the Yummy Fish Warm Salad or the Green Veggie Galore.
3675 Satellite Blvd., Duluth. 770-232-2803. www.spicybasil.net.
Utage Steak and Sushi
A step back to old-world Japan, Utage is both traditional and chic. The menu features a wide range of sushi options, from standards like the spicy tuna roll to new favorites like the Bulldog roll. At the hibachi grill, selections span from chicken and steak to shrimp, lobster and fist-sized scallops, all served with three specialty sauces, rice and grilled vegetables.
860 Duluth Highway, Lawrenceville. 678-381-2800.
The chain of seafood restaurants, with a new location at The Avenue Webb Gin, has become known for its made-to-order dishes. Four sauces - mango salsa, pan Asian, lemon butter and virgin Mediterranean - can be paired with a variety of fish dishes for customized entrees. Customers love the deep-dish, graham cracker-crusted Key lime pie.
1350 Scenic Highway, Snellville. 678-344-8945. www.bonefishgrill.com.
Samurai Blue Japanese Grill and Sushi
Dim lights, polished wood tables and sleek floors give this Lawrenceville sushi house a soothing feel. The sushi menu features more than 40 varieties. Standards such as tuna rolls and spicy salmon rolls are offered, but diners often opt for the restaurant's specialties, such as the Georgia Sunday, a California roll topped with spicy crab.
2000 Riverside Parkway, Lawrenceville. 678-518-4216.
Indigo Joe's Sports Pub
From football to baseball, salads to burgers, Indigo Joe's offers something for every taste. Customer favorites include the Mexican chicken salad, the Regular Joe burger and sauce-smothered baby back ribs. The sports pub features 42 flat screen TVs, all tuned to sports channels, as well as a game room for children.
3890 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee. 770-945-5433. www.indigojoes.com.
Located in a Lawrenceville strip shopping center, the restaurant serves up traditional north Indian homestyle cooking, such as mild curries, vegetables seasoned with yogurt or pomegranate powder and lots of greens. Try a sample of everything from the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
1848 Old Norcross Road, Lawrenceville. 678-377-7600. www.thearomadelight.com.