Mimi's Cafe to offer heat-infused menu items

Grab the coats and mittens; temperatures are dropping. (It's all of 50 degrees outside!) With such chilling weather, Mimi's Cafe is aiming to warm things up.

Starting Thursday, the comfort-food franchise will add 10 heat-infused items to the already packed menu.

We're not talking a pinch of cayenne and a dash of Tabasco, either. Expect homestyle classics to be enhanced with international flair. On the expanded menu are dishes like chicken chorizo and egg enchiladas for breakfast, a carne asada entree salad for lunch and a tender pork shank with creole mustard sauce for supper.

Mimi's Cafe is located at 1880 Mall of Georgia Blvd., Buford. Call 770-614-0554 or visit ww.mimiscafe.com.

Web site offers dining gift cards

Everyone loves food. Everyone loves gifts. And everyone loves saving money. So what if you could combine the three?

That's exactly what Restaurant.com is doing, and not just for the holiday season. Founded in 1999, Restaurant.com offers customized gift cards to allow recipients to choose where they want to go eat.

A $25 gift certificate costs $25, right? Not so. It actually only costs $10, meaning your recipient can buy two meals for the price of one. And a $50 gift certificate will only set you back $20. To redeem a gift card, it's as simple as clicking print.

The Web site offers gift certificates to more than 8,000 restaurants and online retailers nationwide, including Alligator Blues in Norcross, The Fieldhouse in Dacula and Mrs. Fields gourmet baked goods online outlet.

Visit www.restaurant.com for a complete listing of area restaurants and more information.

HomeGrown beats homemade for the holidays

Homemade gifts always sound good in theory. But when the macaroni masterpiece is finished, it amounts to little more than a pile of noodles and glue. A HomeGrown gift, though, is a much safer plan. For everyone.

HomeGrown restaurants, the folks responsible for dining gems Doc Chey's Noodle House, Osteria 832 and Stella Neighborhood Trattoria, are offering good karma deals for the holidays. Buy a $100 gift card to any HomeGrown restaurant, and get a $20 card for yourself. If you buy a $50 card, you get a $10 card for yourself, and a $25 card purchase will land you a $5 card.

The good karma is only for this year, though. The sale ends New Year's Eve. Gift cards can be bought online, or at any HomeGrown restaurant location. Visit www.homegrownrestaurants.com.

- Compiled by staff writer Anna Ferguson