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Gwinnett tastes: A selection of local eateries

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Photo: Brendan Sullivan . The Bolgheri Tuscan Pizza is an authentic Tuscan Italian restaurant on Braselton Highway in Dacula that specializes in fresh pastas and thin crust pizza. Three of Bolgheri's signature dishes include a thing crust Four Seasons pizza, beef short ribs, and an antipasto plate.

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

• Salamandra’s Mex Grill

Salamandra’s serves Tex-Mex cuisine as well as authentic Mexican dishes, which means a little something for every one. Breakfast is served Sunday mornings with plates like chilaquiles and poblano enchiladas. As for the food, everything is made in house except for the actual tortilla. That includes the sauces, hard shell tacos, preparations of the meats and desserts.

1911 Grayson Highway, Suite 1, Grayson, 770-682-8160, salamandrasmexgrill.com

• iBangkok Thai Restaurant

As the name implies, iBangkok serves Thai food, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all spicy dishes. The large menu offers not spicy, mild, medium, hot and extra hot for all of the plates — you control the heat. The eatery uses fresh vegetables and meat daily in the meals because owner Holly Kue goes shopping almost every day. If you have a sweet tooth, iBangkok serves sweet Thai tea (super-sweetened black tea with milk) and coconut ice cream. Both are made in the back.

2700 Buford Highway, Suite C, Duluth, 770-676-6666, www.ibangkokrestaurant.com

• Suwanee Pizza Tavern

The menu is Italian with a twist. It’s not traditional, but it’s also not serving contemporary plates. Suwanee Pizza Tavern uses fresh pizza dough — made in-house — for its pies, garlic knots and more. What makes its crust stand out is that the cooks add herbs to the dough. Most popular pizzas are The King (meat lovers), Robilio and pizza bianca (white pie). Every time someone purchases a large Robilio pie, Suwanee Pizza donates $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project.

1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suite 150, Suwanee, 678-546-0823

• Moksha Kitchen

The fast-casual restaurant’s menu consists of Indian cuisine from the northern and southern parts of the country, offering both vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. Moksha has a tandoor oven in the kitchen to cook fresh pieces of naan (Indian flatbread) and pieces of meat, such as chicken. It also caters for weddings, corporate events and parties.

3294 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suite 1005, Duluth, 678-473-9288, www.facebook.com/MokshaKitchen

• Bolgheri Tuscan Pizza

The menu serves authentic Tuscan cuisine from the appetizers to dessert.

“Nothing is frozen, everything is handmade — the pasta is even fresh and high quality — and still at a great deal,” general manager Jon Skinner said. “You don’t have to come in here and worry about breaking the bank.”

The top seller is the penne alla rustica, which is penne pasta served with grilled chicken and sun-dried tomatoes tossed in a creamy basil sauce. The second most popular dish is the appetizer plate of calamari.

3517 Braselton Highway, Suite A100, Dacula, 404-835-0000, bolgherituscanpizza.com

• Bastie Boys BBQ

Barbecue is the specialty, whether your style preference is Carolina, Kansas City or Texas. Sandwich platters are available with pulled pork, sliced brisket, pulled chicken or jalapeno sausage. Ribs are available as either baby back or Memphis-style. But the menu is much more varied than just barbecue. The B’Mac Burger is smoked Angus with grilled macaroni and cheese plus red pepper mustard. The most popular appetizer is Voodoo dip, sauteed alligator sausage, onions and jalapenos blended with white cheese dip and served with chips.

2685 Buford Highway, Buford, 770-932-8320, bastieboysbbq.com

• We Got Soul

The menu is soul food and then some. At the front of the restaurant, guests order food from the front counter, either from the menu or from the food on the heated display case. The case holds meatloaf, baked chicken and sides, sides with more sides. The kitchen turns out Southern staples like black-eyed peas, collard greens and mashed potatoes with the skin left on. If you’re not in the mood for soul food, We Got Soul also offers pork chops, seafood, sandwiches, salads and salmon croquettes.

5210 Stone Mountain Highway, Suite A, Stone Mountain, 770-413-4213, www.facebook.com/WeGotSoulfood

• Duluth Diner

The diner offers a wide variety of food, so there is a little something for everyone. So, the crew created the menu of all menus with steak, pork chops, breakfast, burgers, sandwiches and salads — and that’s not the half of it. There are also lunch and dinner specials daily, plus different soups made in-house. Owner Erion Ziu personally shops for the vegetables on a regular basis to keep his food fresh.

3620 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Duluth, 770-814-0523, duluthdiner.com

• Praise the Lard BBQ

Slow-smoked meat and freshly cooked sides. That’s it. Nothing fancy.

“I don’t own a freezer or a microwave; we don’t open cans,” owner Ted Shomake said. “I always hoped that we would be ... a good ol’ Southern meat-and-sides kind of place.”

Shomake and his small kitchen crew — mostly family — prepare everything from scratch, including the barbecue sauces.

1350 Buford Highway, Suite 109, Buford, 770-362-4420, praisethelardbbq.com