A selection of local eateries recently featured in the Gwinnett Daily Post:
· Rice Station
Rice Station offers up surprisingly sophisticated sushi, sashimi and tempura, as well as both favorite and unusual Chinese dishes. The five-star sushi chef will prepare sushi at a diner's specific request, garnishing with kiwi, mango, roe and other specialty accents. On Sundays, the hibachi station rolls away to be replaced by a well-stocked and very reasonably priced buffet. Soon, diners will be able to dine on Korean barbecue, already a favorite dish in this region with Southerners raised on good barbecue.
742 Dacula Road, Dacula. 770-822-9999
· Emerald China
Emerald China offers Cantonese-style Chinese dishes with bold flavors. Popular lunch items include the Mongolian beef and sesame chicken, while dinner guests frequently enjoy the Canton stir fry - a mix of seafood, meats and traditional Chinese vegetables in brown sauce served over lightly fried noodles - and the crispy salted fried shrimp. Guests can also enjoy specialty dishes, including the stir fry chicken and mushroom and grouper filet with green beans.
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suite 880, Duluth. 770-623-0088
· Haru Ichiban
Haru Ichiban features food at any price point, with appetizers from $3 to $15. Dinners start at about $15. Along with daily lunch and dinner specials, the restaurant is known for its ramen, served in a half-dozen ways. Another favorite is the personal size Hot Pot, which is sukiyaki - beef and vegetables in a sweet mirin soy sauce - cooked before diners in a small fire urn.
3646 Satellite Blvd., Duluth. 770-622-4060. haruichi.net
n Rico's World Kitchen
Rico's World Kitchen offers a small menu of items served every day, complemented by daily soup and entree specials such as chicken marsala with penne pasta, a pinwheel pork loin stuffed with cheese and spinach, alligator chili (yes, it is made with alligator meat) and an asparagus and white truffle soup, to name a few of the occasional options. For those who consider desserts to be a highlight of any meal, Rico's offers homemade red velvet cake, banana pudding and hummingbird cake - a banana cake with pineapples and pecans, which Katie Cunnington said is a delicious, old-fashioned, vintage type of cake.
2720 Mall of Georgia Blvd., Buford. 770-831-7484. ricosworldkitchen.com
· Red Brick Oven
Red Brick Oven isn't just a pizza place, co-owner Marcel Baghdadi said. With influences from various cultures, including Italian, French, Japanese and Lebanese, the restaurant's menu features gourmet food, a reflection of Baghdadi's previous restaurants, at reasonable prices. Items include specialty salads, soups, sandwiches and grilled entrees. Baghdadi said the blackened chicken sandwich is a popular lunch selection, while entrees range from grilled quail and lamb kabobs to shrimp brochettes and grilled salmon. Homemade desserts at Red Brick Oven include cheesecake and tiramisu.
415 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suwanee. 678-546-4848
· Bubba's Biscuits and BBQ
Bubba's Biscuits and BBQ is a small place with a large menu, and although barbecue is in the name, Bubba's isn't just a barbecue place. From chicken cooked a variety of ways and Salisbury steak to meatloaf and catfish, the restaurant offers home cooking, which just happens to include barbecue. Bubba's offers daily specials of meat and vegetables as well as burgers, hotdogs and sandwiches served up every day. Homemade desserts and tall glasses of sweet tea complete the menu options.
2700 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville. 770-638-1161
· Blessings Cottage
Blessings Cottage offers cafe-like table seating inside the historic Hinton house, which was built in 1905, the same year the city of Dacula was incorporated. Blessings Cottage's menu offers a few breakfast selections - cinnamon rolls, muffins and bagels - while focusing on lunch items. The cafe serves sandwiches, including its signature chicken salad sandwich on croissant, which co-owner Sonya Kee said is the most popular lunch item. Hot sandwiches, wraps and salads round out lunch offerings.
2495 Fence Road, Dacula. 678-343-6012
· Ida's Pizza Kitchen
Ida's Pizza Kitchen has been open since 2006, serving up pizza, salads, calzones and hoagies. Ida's Special is a popular menu item, and the pizza is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, bacon, ham and extra cheese. The garlic and honey pretzels made from pizza dough are also a treat.
1340 Pleasant Hill Road, Lawrenceville. 770-817-0666