EAT Summer 2014
summer 2014 Dining Out This Summer Outdoor Restaurant Dining Tips SUMMER 2014 1 Great Steaks & Seafood In 1992, John and Kay Bentley opened The Snug Steak & Grill at 240 Davis Road in Augusta. The upscale and casual atmosphere of The Snug is provided with the help of the Bentleys’ four sons. Three sons – Colin, Alex and Birk – are the cooks of the dishes on the menu. “All the food are our own recipes, and we don’t put anything out until we’ve tried it,” Kay said. “Colin and Alex invent and create most of the recipes.” Before all the food chains opened near The Snug, business was steady, with people coming from everywhere to grab a burger or try the top-notch steak. When the chains became more prominent, however, The Snug lost some business during lunch and was open only for dinner. Kay said that with the help of their daughter-in-laws, they have redecorated the restaurant to be more comfortable and inviting. The Snug is open for lunch again from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, serving some of the 2 SUMMER 2014 best hot sandwiches such as the Prime Rib Cheese Steak and the Big Kahuna Burger. From 5 p.m. until closing from Monday through Saturday, join The Snug for dinner. Start off with the Jumbo Lump Crab Dip and then move on to an entree. Nightly specials include Monday night’s 12-ounce or 16-ounce rib-eye and snow crab legs. “Our favorite dish is the Crab Stuffed Tilapia, which is new, and our other favorite is the Black ‘n Blue,” John said. The Crab Stuffed Tilapia is draped in a lemon sauce beurre blanc and served over rice, and the Black ‘n Blue Filet Mignon comes in either a 7-ounce or 10-ounce size, wrapped in bacon and topped with blue cheese crumbles and a spirited blueberry-port wine sauce. “We are careful with our meat and only serve certified Angus,” John said. If you’re not too full, indulge in one of the desserts such as the Caramel Apple Pie or White Chocolate Rasberry Cheesecake. The Snug uses fresh ingredients for all its menu items. It also offers vegetarian options and will work with vegan dietary needs. The restaurant can accommodate a party of 18 in a private room with a large-screen TV with HDMI connectivity for presentations. The room is just right for a business meeting or birthday. The Snug offers not only great food but also lunch delivery service. Call ahead of time for more information about delivery and to-go orders at (706) 863-1118. After you’ve had your fill, enjoy a drink from the full bar or stop by The Snug bottle shop. The shop offers a variety of wine, beer and whiskey. “People should come here because it’s great,” Kay said. “We have good food, friendly people, and it’s comfortable.” Visit www.thesnug.net for more information and to join the mailing list to receive e-mails with special promotions. summer 2014 Visit CSRAeats.com for more restaurant information and complete listings of all restaurants in the CSRA. About This Section: Eat is a biannual publication of The Augusta Chronicle. To be included in our next publication, please call (706) 823-3288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. John Kane, Special Sections Manager Taylor Hanks, Commercial Reporter, Chronicle Media The Snug Steak & Grill Sandwich City Diner Diablo’s Southwest Grill How To Keep Things Light When Dining Out This Summer Villa Europa Restaurant Philly Cheese Steak Factory Habanero’s Mexican Grill French Market Grille West Cafe On The Canal Chick-Fil-A The Brown Bag The Bollweevil Cafe & Sweetery Sno-Cap Drive-In The Iron Horse Bar & Grill Outdoor Restaurant Dining Tips City Billiards Delightful Bites Dining Out Still Possible Even If You’re On a Diet Andrew’s Place • • • 2 4 4 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 6 6 7 7 8 9 10 10 11 11 13 14 15 • 15 • 16 Corey Treacy, Layout Design SUMMER 2014 3 Homestyle Country Cooking Come enjoy the homestyle country cooking at Sandwich City Diner. The diner opened in 1972 by Jack Connell and is still owned by the Connell family. Jack was a former law-maker and World War II veteran who wanted to create a place that has good food and good friends. “It’s a great place to meet your buddies and you see every body here,” said Mike Mulherin, the general manager. “I love the hours and being able to talk to my customers and get to know them better.” For 42 years, the diner has attracted regular customers who enjoy the delicious southern style food. The breakfast menu has all the favorites from omlets, breakfast sandwiches, and biscuits to waffles, pancakes, oatmeal and grits. Don’t forget about the lunch options. Fast Casual with the Freshest Ingredients Three years in the making, Diablo’s Southwest Grill is the creation of Carl Wallace and brothers Brandon and Brad Wall. They are all from the Augusta area and wanted to bring a unique, fast-casual, Southwestern-style restaurant to their hometown. Diablo’s features the freshest ingredients to create an array of dishes in a fun environment. You can choose from a variety of proteins to add to your burrito, tacos, quesadilla, salad, nachos or chili. They also feature tofu or vegetarian options for all entrees. The queso, guacamole and chili are the 4 owners’ from-scratch recipes. There is no freezer at Diablo’s, so you can rest assured your meat and vegetables are always fresh and never frozen. The art inside the Diablo’s Wheeler Road restaurant is by Augusta artist Brian Stewart. The antique wood on which Brian painted the Diablo’s logo is the original floor boards from an Anderson, S.C., textile mill. Diablo’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week at 3668 Wheeler Road. SUMMER 2014 “We have great sandwiches – pimento cheese, chicken salad, roast beef,” Mulherin said. “It’s all made from scratch, too.” Try a weekly special that includes your choice of a meat, two vegetables, bread and a drink for only $8.29. According to Mulherin, the two most popular specials are the pot roast on Tuesday and the pork chops on Wednesdays. “My favorite is the pot roast,” Mulherin said. The specials change daily, so visit its Facebook page to stay informed. Sandwich City also offers sandwich trays for business lunches, as well as, hot meals to go for the office. Just call ahead to make the order at (706) 823-6237 and pick it up at 10th and Ellis streets in downtown Augusta. How to keep things light when dining out this summer Dining out is a great way to experience new cuisine and enjoy a meal with family and friends. But dining out often leads to overeating, a problem that’s unhealthy year-round but especially inconvenient when warm air makes it more uncomfortable to deal with the side effects of overeating. Though some restaurants offer large portions that can make it difficult to lighten things up when dining out in the summer, the following are a handful of ways diners can keep things light but still enjoy their favorite restaurants even when the mercury has risen. Don’t be bashful. Some restaurants alter their menus in warmer weather to accommodate those customers who prefer lighter fare on hot nights. But even those that don’t make such alterations might be amenable to customers who request certain changes when d i n i n g o u t . Fo r e x a m p l e, a s k your waiter if you can substitute vegetables in lieu of a side of potatoes or french fries, which tend to be heavier and harder to digest. Don’t be afraid to ask for such substitutions or even ask that vegetable servings be doubled. Don’t mistake “low-carb” for “low-calorie.” Just because a dish is heralded as “low-carb” does not necessarily mean it’s low in calories. A low-carb dish might seem like the perfect option on a warm summer night, but not if it’s laden with calories. Before ordering a low-carb dish, confirm if it’s also low in calories and low in fat. If not, look for a lighter option to avoid feeling too full after dinner. Think inside the box. When ordering a large entree, you can be creative by asking your waiter to box half of your meal before it even reaches the table. This prevents you from overeating and makes it more likely that you will eat a meal that’s more in tune with a healthy serving size. Don’t pile on your salad. Salads are a summertime staple for many people, who prefer salads because they’re delicious but not likely to produce any symptoms of overeating. But salads are only as light as their ingredients allow them to be. If you want to keep things light and healthy, avoid adding too many ingredients to your salad. Creamy dressings are often heavy, especially when paired might regret eating when you head back into the warm summer air. Split dessert. Dessert might seem like the ideal way to cap off a delicious meal, but a decadent slice of chocolate cake or creamy helping of creme brulee only makes a with ingredients like bacon and cheese. When adding ingredients to your salad, opt for lighter and healthier items like raw vegetables or even some fresh fruit. Forgo the freebies. While many people consider complementary bread baskets one of the joys of dining out, such freebies also make meals more filling. If you anticipate your meal taking a long time to make it to your table, ask the waiter to bring a plate of fresh fruit or vegetables in lieu of a bread basket or a bowl of chips or nachos. This way you won’t starve while waiting for your meal, but also you won’t be filling up on heavy foods you meal more filling. If you must indulge in dessert, split your dessert with a fellow diner so your last few bites of the night don’t make you feel uncomfortable when it’s time to leave the restaurant. Many people prefer to eat less when temperatures rise. And while restaurants tend to offer larger portions than you might eat at home, there are ways to enjoy a night out on the town without overdoing it at the dinner table. Dining out when the weather warms up need not involve overeating. SUMMER 2014 5 Old World Mastered Recipes Feel at home at Villa Europa and enjoy the warm and casual atmosphere. “We use a German word to describe the atmosphere: gemuetlichkeit,” said Pat Schaffer, the vice president of Villa Europa. “It means ‘hospitality.’” The family-run business has seven dining areas with different decorations ranging from Augusta National Golf Club to Neuschwanstein Castle influences. It’s a great place to hold special events such as birthdays, rehearsal dinner and more. With a variety of food, there is something for everyone to enjoy. “You can have everything from a schnitzel to a prime rib to a lasagna,” Schaffer said. “Our guests tell us we have the best escargo and french onion soup in the world, too.” Most of the recipes served at Villa Europa are family recipes that have been perfected by Anneliese, part-owner and the old world master of recipes. The The Best Philly 6 Philly Cheese Steak Factory is a mom-and-pop business owned and operated by Philadelphia native La La Alston. The authentic Philly cheesesteak is heaven on a bun, and all the menu items are made by the Philadelphia-native chefs who work there. “We hold the crown for the best Philly,” Alston said. “Perfecting our craft and learning what SUMMER 2014 Philly-D taught us is how I became the queen of steaks.” Philly Cheese Steak takes its reputation seriously and uses only the best-quality rib-eye steaks for its sandwiches. It also offers specialty steak fries and nachos and other menu items such as burgers and wings. “We opened our second location this year across from Gate 2 at Fort Gordon,” Alston restaurant has been open since 1974. Generations of families have enjoyed the dining experience of the restaurant and continue to come back year after year. Diners can sit at the bar and watch their favorite team on the two televisions, while enjoying a boot of beer. This year, Villa Europa will be having their 40th anniversary Oktoberfest on Oct. 12-16 beginning at 5 p.m. until the last person leaves. Reservations will be accepted starting on Sept. 2 at 2 p.m for the event. Enjoy the quality, quantity and value of the German, American and Italian cuisine of the restaurant, which is a half-mile from Exit 5 of Bobby Jones Expressway at 3044 Deans Bridge Road in Augusta. Keep up with the surprise menu offerings at www.villaeuropa.com, and on their Facebook page at www.facebook. com/villa.europa. said. “I wanted to honor a promise I made three years ago that I would open a location near the base for the military. And I finally did. We’ve had a great response from our military customers.” The Cheese Steak Factory offers upgrades for members of the military, giving them the first-class treatment with larger portions on the Ms. La La’s No. 1 combo. Go by and try this Philadelphia sandwich shop at 2906 Peach Orchard Road in Augusta and at 405 Robinson Ave. in Grovetown. “There are a lot of steak and sub places out there desperately trying to mimic the authentic Philly cheesesteak, and all they do is kill its reputation,” Alston said. “None can be compared to us.” Wanted: Appetite and Loose Jeans Bring your appetite and put on those loose jeans. Habaneros Mexican Restaurant will fill you to the brim with freshly-made chips and salsa and some delicious dishes. Habaneros opened in July 2009 and has been voted the best Mexican food in McDuffie County for the past four years. “Well, if they want to enjoy good Mexican food, they should come here,” said Miguel Chavez, co-owner of Habaneros Mexican Restaurant. Alfonso and Chaves are the owners of Habaneros. Chavez was a manager at Monterrey’s for five years before he opened his restaurant. He saved money and found a good location to do what he enjoys, which is making people happy and giving them a place to have a good time after work. Miguel raved about his staff, calling them polite, friendly and wonderful. After work, stop-in and unwind with a margarita and some of the establishment’s fantastic food. “We have new menus and added new items,” Miguel said. That includes the customers’ popular choices of Maria’s Steak and Pollo Jalisco. Come enjoy the vibrant atmosphere that is full of life, and the beautiful Mexicanstyle decor at 1435 Washington Road in Thomson. They’re excited for you to come try their amazing cuisine for lunch or dinner. Mardis Gras of Colors Whenever you feel the urge to eat New Orleans Cajun or Creole cuisine, head to French Market Grille West. This restaurant is full of the spice and charm of the Louisiana city, yet it’s local. Jim Beck purchased French Market Grille West in 2006, nine years after it opened. For 25 years in the food industry, Beck has strived to create a fantastic array of Cajun and Creole cuisine that will give the taste and flair of New Orleans. “The uniqueness about our Cajun and Creole is it’s made from scratch,” Beck said. The made-from-scratch recipes were created by Beck himself, and the specials that run on the menu were a collaborative effort with two of his chefs, Tuo Sivised and Adam Winfrey. Sit down in the Mardi Gras of colors and begin your meal with the Creole File Gumbo and then move on to the daily flown-in sea bass or crawfish. Once you’ve had your fill of the Cajun and Creole, dive into the sweet and try the combo pie of peanut butter and turtle. “If you haven’t experienced French Market Grille West, you need to give it a try,” Beck said. Try the food, not just because of the freshness, but because of the value.” French Market Grille West specializes in catering ranging from full service to office lunches. The full menu is available, and customized orders are welcomed. Also, remember to come by on Nov. 1 for the Oyster Roast in celebration of the Georgia vs. Florida football game. French Market Grille West is 368 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until the last customer leaves. SUMMER 2014 7 A Mission for Healthful Living If you haven’t tried the $5 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at Cafe on the Canal in the Salvation Army Kroc Center, you are really missing out. Open to the public, the buffet includes turkey sausage, biscuits, bacon and sausage gravy from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The executive chef, Tony Direnzo, has an extensive background in food and beverage. He has worked at several five-star and five-diamond resorts such as the Cloister at Sea Island, Ga. “My comfort zone for eating and cooking is Italian because I grew up in an Italian family,” Direnzo said. “But, once I moved back to the South, my love for cooking turned to Southern cuisine because of the simplicity of the dishes. They don’t use a lot of spices or overwhelming ingredients like the Italian dishes.” The chef has a fantastic variety of delicious options, not only for breakfast but also for lunch. The favorite 8 SUMMER 2014 options at the cafe are the buffalo chicken wrap, served on a jalapeño tortilla, the fried green tomato BLT and the Reuben. “Our Reuben is unique because instead of boiling the corn beef, we slow-roast it giving a more explosive flavor to the meat,” Direnzo said. Cafe on the Canal also offers hot dishes such as meat loaf and fried catfish, with a side of macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes with gravy. The cafe also does in-house catering for events offering plated, buffet, snack and other menu options. For a special occasion, have an event in the theater and seat up to 260 guests in the cafe for the reception. Each event space has separate audio and video options for any business meeting or meet-and-greet. There are managers on site to help book your event. “When people spend money at the cafe, or even at the Kroc Center, they will know that their dollar is going back into the community,” said Maj. Tony Perez, the Salvation Army representative for the area. “The Kroc Center is a community center and it’s open to the community.” The Kroc Center is one of 27 in the country. The mission for the Salvation Army community centers is to provide education, spiritual development and healthful living to the area. The cafe is part of the Salvation Army’s mission for healthful living, and all funds go back into the programs at the Kroc Center such as senior activities, arts and education programs, and worship on Sundays. “The prices on the menu are affordable, and the food is delicious,” Direnzo said. Cafe on the Canal is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. To place a to-go order, call (706) 922-1525, and for e-mail updates for the daily chef special, send an e-mail to anthony_ email@example.com. Farmer-Direct Coffee Chick-fil-A’s newest product is the Chick-fil-A coffee, which is a farmer-direct coffee from THRIVE Farmers. The specialty-grade coffee has been specially developed specifically for Chick-fil-A. The coffee is a custom blend made froma Arabica beans grown at high altitudes with creamy notes of caramel and cocoa with a light citrus finish. It was carefully, and purposefully crafted to pair with Chick-fil-A’s breakfast menu. “I’m really excited about the new coffee,” said Ali Mays, Marketing Director for North Augusta Chickfil-A. “I think it truly enhances our breakfast menu.” The company searched for a coffee that was great-tasting, but also was provided by a brand or company that aligned with the brand of Chick-fil-A. THRIVE Farmers Coffee met the criteria for that partnership. THRIVE Farmers Coffee removes the “middle-man” in the supply chain for coffee and allows the farmers to share in the revenue generated by their coffee beans. This new model of business has begun to impact farmers, families and communities all over Central America. For Chick-fil-A it is an exciting venture that the company will be helping impact the lives of others in the partnership with THRIVE Farmers by improving the restaurant’s coffee products. “Our coffee beans are sustainably sourced by THRIVE Farmers who enrich the lives and communities of those who grow it,” Mays said. Chic-fil-A also has designed a new grill that gives the “backyard flavor” to their grilled products. “No one else has designed a grill like this,” Mays said. With the new grill, Chick-fil-A has also provided thicker cuts of chicken and a new marinate that is more nutritious than the previous grilled products. Including the Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich that is served with a fresh wheat bun that’s not frozen and purchased from a local vendor. You don’t want to miss out on the new products, so come by and order a made-from-scratch biscuit with a Chic-fil-A specialty-grade coffee. Or, come by for lunch or dinner and order the famous Chic-fil-A Chicken Sandwich or one of the grilled products such as the Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets, Chick-fil-A Grilled Market Salad or the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap. In the early 1960s, Chick-fil-A was founded by Truett Cathy who was the first to open a restaurant in a mall in suburban Atlanta. The company has grown to become the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States. “Truett built his company on customer service and going the extra mile,” Mays said. “And that’s what we strive to do- go the extra mile in our products and service.” SUMMER 2014 9 Intimate & Casual Restaurant From a food truck to a restaurant, The Brown Bag serves up some of the best eclectic comfort food in Augusta. “We serve Cajun, Hispanic and southern comfort food,” said Enrique Romero, part owner of The Brown Bag. “Everything that’s on our menu has been carefully developed with its own unique flavor profile for each item.” The intimate, casual atmosphere at the restaurant is perfect for a date night. And Darrin West, the master cook, has collaborated with Romero to create new and exciting dishes to add to the original Brown Bag items. Passion for food is what The Brown Bag prides itself on and it shows from the staff who are friendly, fun and have a desire to work with food to the unique menu. Some of the best sellers at the restaurant are the homemade chicken salad, shrimp Desserts Made Fresh Daily For some great comfort food and desserts, come into the cozy atmosphere of The Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery. “The food is amazing, the atmosphere is wonderful and the service is friendly,” said Elaine Buster, the manager of Boll Weevil. Boll Weevil was once a cotton warehouse. In 1990, the warehouse was turned into a small restaurant by George Harrison. The owner of The Boll Weevil opened it for a fun getaway for him and his friends, serving beer, popcorn and pizza. The cafe eventually evolved into what it is now. George’s son, William Harrison, recently took ownership. “We are constantly trying to update and modernize The Boll Weevil,” Buster said. “Right now, I say people come for the dessert and stay for dinner, but we are trying to add new items to the menu so 10 that people will come for dinner and stay for dessert.” Boll Weevil serves over 30 homemade desserts that are made fresh daily by Casey Crocker, the sweetery baker. Some of the best sellers are the perfect chocolate cake and the red velvet cake. All the food served at the cafe is made fresh, including the bread that is baked inhouse. The specialty items served at Boll Weevil are the fried green tomatoes and tomato apple soup, but the best sellers are the curious george sandwich and the shrimp and grits. The cafe also has a banquet room that seats up to 50 people and catering options with a special menu for your event. For more information about The Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery, visit the website at www.thebollweevil.com. SUMMER 2014 and grits empanada and the H3. “The chipotle chicken is one of my favorites,” Romero said. The Brown Bag also has daily specials and featured dishes. To keep up with the specials and more information, check out the Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram. For all other information about the restaurant, visit the web site at www.bbaug.com. “We’re unique, so give us a shot and we’ll give you our best shot at satisfying you with not only good food and service, but with our fun atmosphere,” Romero said. We are located in beautiful Downtown Augusta at 215 10th Street right next door to the Bees Knees. Community Favorite In 1962, Grant Hoyer opened the first Sno-Cap Drive-in in Aiken. The second location of the drive-in opened in 1964 and is now a North Augusta landmark. “My husband and I bought the Sno-Cap from Charles Terry, who owned it from 1972, on Aug. 24th, 1996,” said Rachel Franklin, Sno-Cap’s owner and operator. What makes this drive-in unique is the inside dining area. The 1960s-theme establishment has a black-and-white checkered floor, red booths and bar stools. The menu includes Sno-Cap’s long dog and the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. You also don’t want to miss out on the homemade coleslaw and onion rings. And what diner would be complete without a root beer float. “I’m very passionate about the Sno-Cap,” Franklin said. She has worked hard to make the SnoCap a community favorite by having frequent events such as car cruise-ins on the last Saturday of the month, anniversary celebrations and fundraisers. Because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Sno-Cap, ask about the 50-cent daily specials. On Aug. 21, the 10-day anniversary celebration begins. Each day will have something new to enjoy. Drive in to the Sno-Cap at 618 West Aven. and help celebrate 50 years of good food, fellowship and fun Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until the last person leaves. The drive-in also offers to-go orders, so call ahead for faster service at (803) 279-4004. Keep up with the Sno-Cap’s events and other news at www.snocapdrivein.com. More Than a Burger Joint Sit on the pet-friendly patio and enjoy the food at Iron Horse Bar & Grill. “We have the best food you’ll find in Aiken county – hands down,” said Brian Minty, a part-owner of Iron Horse. Minty moved from Massachusetts to open Iron Horse with Deborah Schier. The private club has original staffers who have been serving guests for eight years. “People come here to meet friends, not just eat,” Minty said. “We’re more than a burger joint.” Inside the Iron Horse, you’ll find a casual atmosphere with friendly faces and good food. Everything is made to order with fresh ingredients. The hamburgers are the most popular item on the menu at the family restaurant. Iron Horse also offers a full bar with seasoned mixologists. Invite your friends and play a round of pool while eating one of the daily dinner specials, or you can watch a game on one of the 9 high-definition television sets. For a fun Saturday night, sing your heart out during karaoke night. The membership fee for a year at Iron Horse is $15. Visit for dinner Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. until closing, or for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday from noon until closing. Everyone under 21 is welcome until 10 p.m. “At Iron Horse, it’s so friendly and the food’s so darn good,” Minty said. “It’s really a fun place to be.” The restaurant is at 2510 Storm Branch Road in Beech Island. Call for reservations for parties of four or more at (803) 867-2388 and get more information at ironhorsebarandgrill.net. SUMMER 2014 11 12 SUMMER 2014 Outdoor Restaurant Dining Tips “Dining out” takes on an entirely new meaning in temperate climates or when summer arrives. Rather than being cooped up inside for meals, diners flock to cafes and restaurants that boast al fresco seating to enjoy a bit of scenery and fresh air with their meals. When the sun comes out and the breezes are warm, blooming gardens and trellis-covered restaurant patios can be ideal dining spots to grab a meal. Good food combined with a hearty dose of fresh air can make everything from a cappuccino to a hamburger taste better. Considering the best outdoordining spots can fill up quickly, and enjoying a meal outside takes a bit of finesse, follow these tips to make the most of any outdoor-dining experience. Make a reservation. Outdoor seating is not always easy to get. To ensure you will have a spot at your favorite restaurant, call ahead and reserve a table. Otherwise, you may have to wait quite a while for a table to become available or be forced to sit inside. Scout out restaurants beforehand. If you are hoping to try a new restaurant that boasts outdoor dining, plan a visit to see the layout of the space. Many restaurants, even those without ample outdoor space, cater to the outdoor-seating crowd, even if their outdoor dining area is limited to a handful of cafe tables placed near the curb. Unless you want to spend your meal with pedestrians walking by or inhaling car exhaust fumes, visit the restaurant ahead of time to ensure that the outdoor seating is more amenable to an enjoyable meal. summer sun. Don’t assume an outdoor restaurant is pet-friendly. Just because there are outdoor tables does not mean you can bring your pooch along. If you will be spending the day with your dog afraid of all buzzing insects may want to eat indoors instead. Check for a dedicated outdoor waitstaff. Unless there is a waitstaff assigned to outdoor seating, you may spend more time than you anticipated waiting Choose restaurants with overhead coverage. It is one thing to want to eat outdoors, and entirely another to be subjected to the wrath of Mother Nature. An outdoor seating area should be comfortable, offering the best blend of fresh air and ample protection from the elements. Umbrellas or a covered patio can provide shelter should it start to drizzle or you need relief from the and then want to enjoy a lunch or dinner outdoors with your pet, verify that a restaurant is petfriendly before meal time. Do not leave a dog unattended in a hot car and waiting for you to finish a meal should you discover the restaurant is not pet-friendly. Expect some uninvited guests. Dining outside means bees, flies, birds, and other animals. Those who are deathly for service outdoors. Waiters may not realize you are outside, and it can be easy to forget about patrons who are not seated in the heart of the restaurant. Restaurants accustomed to serving guests outdoors will have staff assigned to outdoor seating areas, particularly during busy times of the day. SUMMER 2014 13 20 Years of Food & Fun Take the whole family to City Billiards to have one of the delicious chili dogs or a hamburger that is said to be the best in Aiken. “Our hamburgers are made fresh daily and hand-patted with fresh ground beef,” said Michael Allen, the owner of City Billiards. City Billiards was opened in 1957 by A.R. Edwards, who is the original recipe master for the chili served at the restaurant. Beginning as a “men only” pool hall, the billiards hall has now evolved into a family-oriented restaurant. “This is the best business I ever owned because of the people I get to meet and deal with on a dayto-day basis,” Allen said. “I bought the restaurant because I love food and I love people.” Allen took ownership of City Billiards in 1994, along with the original chili recipe. The restaurant serves not only great cheeseburgers but also great fish plates, crab legs, shrimp and other entrees. City Billiards has lunch specials that vary throughout the week, in addition to a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night special of all-you-can-eat crab legs for $22.99. For more information about specials and other menu items, go to www. citybilliardsaikensc.com. For almost 20 years, Allen has served the Aiken community great food and fun. All the food is served fresh and made to order. According to Allen, nothing is served from a can. “People who are older from the retirement home still come here to have a hamburger or chili dog,” Allen said. “They’ve been coming here for years.” The family atmosphere at City Billiards 14 is a great place for birthdays, church groups, graduation parties and wedding receptions. “The cooks are great,” Allen said. “The cooks make everything in front of the guests, so they see what goes in their food.” At City Billiards, the waitresses have been there for about 10 years and, according to Allen, everyone loves them. Although City Billiards is no longer a “pool hall,” the restaurant still has pool tables for customers to enjoy. For a place to watch the present sports event, the restaurant is a perfect destination to relax, play pool and watch the game on the big screen TV. Also, the restaurant offers some of the best pricing on pool cues and tables. City Billiards offers refelting old pool tables, delivering and setup. Call for pricing at (803) 649-7362, or go by 208 Richland Ave. W in Aiken, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The grill closes at 9 p.m. “Once you experience this restaurant and the freshness of the best burgers you’ll ever eat, you’ll keep coming back,” Allen said. SUMMER 2014 Custom Cakes Baked to Order Delightful Bites is a new kind of hometown bakery. Now in their third year, Delightful Bites works hard to ensure that every product is second to none and that customers leave delighted. ‘We have an excellent product at a competitive price,” said Sharon Hutko, owner of the Cakery. “We invite the community to come and taste the difference. All of our products are made in-house with high quality, name brand products - no cutting corners here.” This contemporary style bake shop specializes in custom cakes, baked to order and never frozen. From extravagant wedding cakes to celebration cakes and all of the cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and more in between, it’s no wonder that Delightful Bites was voted among the Best of Augusta. “It’s tough to choose a best seller, but our customers do love our vanilla cake with our signature buttercream. It’s simple, well balanced and absolutely delicious,” said Hutko. Have a more adventurous palate? Other flavors like Breakfast, Chunky Monkey and Fluffer Nutter are sure to satisfy. “It’s been a lot of fun to celebrate life’s moments with our customers. Getting to do their wedding cake one year and their baby’s gender reveal cake the next is really special,” Hutko said. “We know that our customers have a choice of bakeries in Augusta. When they choose Delightful Bites to be a part of their celebration, we deeply appreciate it.” Delightful Bites also offers themed workshop for children and adults, as well as all-inclusive birthday parties. There’s something for everyone at Delightful Bites. ENTER TO WIN A CUSTOM CAKE FROM DELIGHTFUL BITES augustachronicle.secondstreetapp.com/Delightful-Bites Valued at $45 Dining Out Still Possible Even If You’re on a Diet Dining out at a restaurant is a treat for many people, while for others it’s a way of life. On-the-go professionals often find that dining out is simply more convenient than cooking at home. However, large portion sizes and dishes that tend to contain a lot of sodium and fat can make dining out less healthy than eating at home, which is a concern for those men and women who want to shed a few pounds. But dining out does not have to be done at the expense of your waistline. The following are a few ways dieters can still enjoy their favorite restaurants without having to worry about their weight. Order foods that are broiled, boiled or roasted. Foods that are broiled, boiled or roasted tend to be healthier than foods cooked in other ways. When ordering your meal, ask that oils be used sparingly if not removed completely. When foods look somewhat greasy, dab them with a napkin in the same manner you might dab the grease from a slice of pizza. Don’t fill up before your meal arrives. Once you have been seated, skip the unending bread basket, forgoing this free appetizer altogether or asking for raw vegetables instead. When fellow diners order potentially fattening appetizers, ask to have a side salad with low-fat dressing on the side instead. Leave a little behind on your plate. Restaurant portions can be substantial, so don’t feel as if you need to finish your entire meal. You can always ask the waiter to pack up what you have left behind, or, when ordering, ask if the restaurant offers smaller portions at lower prices. Skip the dips and dressings. Many condiments can add unwanted calories to a meal, making even a healthy entree a calorie-laden meal that’s best avoided. For example, a salad covered in creamy Caesar salad dressing can take away from the overall nutritive value of the salad. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or simply ask to have dressings put on the side so if you must indulge you can do so without going overboard. Eat in the hours leading up to your dinner. Low-fat snacks eaten throughout the day will reduce the likelihood that you will overeat at the dinner table. Drink a tall glass of water and enjoy some low-calorie fruit so you won’t be famished once you arrive at the restaurant. Avoid buffet-style restaurants. Many people cannot help but overeat at buffetstyle restaurants, where the size of a typical spread can make it hard for dieters to stay disciplined. If you must eat at a buffet-style restaurant, choose healthy fare like salad and steamed vegetables. Look for a low-calorie menu. Many restaurants now supplement their existing menus with a menu of low-calorie fare for those customers who want to eat out but want to do so without abandoning their diets. When visiting a restaurant, stick to ordering from the low-calorie section of the menu. The food will likely be just as delicious, though not as dense or as large. SUMMER 2014 15 Perfect Date Night Go-to Walk into the upscale sports bar and grill, Andrew’s Place, and enjoy some of the fabulous dinner specials offered daily. “This place reminds me of Cheers,” said Jody Dickson, business consultant for Andrew’s Place. “Everybody knows your name and we never meet a stranger.” Christopher Marks opened Andrew’s Place as a fine dining establishment, but after consulting with Dickson, changed the the concept to an upscale sports bar and grill. Nickie Marks, the owner’s father, is the operator of the restaurant. Nickie asked Dickson to consult on running the business because Dickson has owned or managed several clubs in Augusta and other cities, including Coconuts, Adam’s and Saints at the Sheraton. The bar and grill not only offers high-quality service, but also great entertainment with eight TVs with different games and Keno. If it’s Tuesday night, enjoy a drink from the full bar and sing your heart out during Karaoke night from 8 p.m. until closing. 16 Andrew’s also has nightly drink specials, live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday, as well as, shag night on Thursdays. On Sunday, Happy Hour is all day. According to Dickson, the restaurant has had Steve Chappell, Tim Cadiere, Atomic Road, Funk You on stage for the live entertainment nights. “People should come here to have a good time, meet friends, make new friends, eat good food and enjoy great service,” Dickson said. The staff at Andrew’s, 231 Furys Ferry Road, Martinez, are ready to serve their customers with sincerity and attentiveness. According to Dickson, everybody that comes to Andrew’s is familiar with the staff and it’s like coming to hangout with friends. “The employees are really friendly and the bartenders are really outgoing, as well,” Dickson said. At Andrew’s Place, you’ll find a nice clean atomosphere with reasonably priced menu items, dancing, great entertainment and the perfect date night go-to. It’s also a sports bar, SUMMER 2014 so you don’t have to miss the game if you go out for dinner. “My favorite is the steak here,” Dickson said. “We buy the steak locally from Happy Valley Old Time Meat Shop.” Andrew’s buys most of its ingredients from local vendors, so come try some of the AllAmerican cuisine from burgers and wings to seafood and steaks. “It’s a great location,too,” Dickson said. For more information about Andrew’s Place and its daily specials, check out the Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/ andrewsplaceaugusta.