Always take the culinary road less traveled

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Want the most authentic food at a great price? Step out of your comfort zone and try those tucked away hidden gems in your neck of the woods.

I love, love, love me some Mexican food but I abhor the boring, cliche neighborhood Mexican-food joint.

My husband discovered La Carreta (The Road) in Marietta, GA – it has it all – restaurant, bar (with spectacular margaritas), and a store.  It is now a favorite with our entire family.

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It’s casual and a little bit quirky – I love the interesting touches of art.  You can sit on the quieter restaurant-only side or you can sit in the bar area where there are lots of T.V.s to catch the game or the match.

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My husband gets stared at a lot at La Carreta, especially if the Braves are on – he is kind of a dead ringer for Tom Glavin.  No one wants to say anything, you can tell, but they always seem a bit surprised when he pays.  Maybe he should start paying cash so he doesn’t disappoint.

But seriously, when scoping out potential new hidden gems:

  • Check the reviews: always a good place to start but don’t let a lack of reviews scare you away.
  • Look for areas just outside of your normal dining zone – look for ones close to major roads.  Many of these hidden gems can’t pay for top real estate but still want to be discovered.
  • Keep an eye on how crowded it is during peak times – hidden gems are usually well known to insiders so look for places that are getting traffic.
  • Check for cleanliness and friendliness when you stop in – look for hosts and waiters that are excited to have you try them out.
  • Ask how long they’ve been in business and what their specialties are and try those first. Be adventurous.

You’ll definitely be rewarded many more times than you are disappointed!  Enjoy!

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