Monday, August 27, 2012

Mimi's Cafe - Mall of Georgia

Recently Jeff and I decided to take a long weekend and head over to the Atlanta area to visit with some family, take care of some business, and do some sight-seeing. We booked a hotel room across the street from the Mall of Georgia, thinking we were a little closer to town than we were. In addition to some good-natured joking on both our parts, we got the unexpected bonus of discovering Mimi's Cafe around the outside of the mall. We generally try to avoid eating at places where we can eat at home when we travel, so this was a great discovery, especially given how close it was!

Our first visit was for a late dinner on Friday. We didn't get "lunch" until close to 4pm so we really weren't interested in dinner until almost 9. They weren't busy at all, which was great. The atmosphere was casual, but still really nice. It had a New Orleans vibe to it, but it was kind of elegant, not an over-the-top Mardi Gras feel. Our first challenge of the evening came when we were presented with THREE different menus! Two were sort of specials and one was the "regular" menu. Oh, the decisions to be made. Despite all my pickiness, I had no problem coming up with a TON of options that sounded very tasty. Even my not-at-all adventurous husband was considering things like crepes thanks to a few strategically placed photos!

First, we started with an order of the spinach dip. It was very tasty and a little different, although it was a little on the oily side (I assume from some of the cheeses used in it). Still, it was very good and we polished it off quickly. I was really excited about trying a cup of tomato-basil bisque and Jeff got a garden salad with ranch dressing. My soup was great, but SUPER hot. I couldn't even take a bite for a good five minutes! Once it finally cooled enough that I could try it, it was delicious. Jeff tried it and Mr. "I don't like tomato soup" kept trying to sneak "just one more taste" and took full advantage of the two or three tortilla chips we had left from our spinach dip! I thought it was especially tasty with the crusty roll in the bread basket. Jeff really enjoyed his salad as well as a piece of the carrot raisin loaf, also in the "standard" bread basket. There was a third element, a couple of sliced of lemon poppyseed bread. It wasn't too sweet, which was really nice.

For our entrees, we decided on the Chicken Cordon Blue and the Pot Roast with the understanding we would share. Both were served with "seasonal vegetables" (broccoli and carrots) and mashed potatoes with gravy, although the chicken cordon blue came with the gravy on the side while the pot roast came with gravy on top of the meat and potatoes. The mashed potatoes were just ok. They tasted packaged. They definitely needed the gravy, which doesn't impress me much. I can't say much about the broccoli and carrots. Jeff liked them enough to eat most of his, but they weren't especially impressive. The pot roast was super-tender. I didn't use my knife at all because it just fell apart. It was juicy, but didn't have much flavor on its own. Once again, the gravy was almost essential. Normally I'm not a huge fan of brown gravy, but I really liked this. The chicken cordon blue was probably my favorite item of the evening. It wasn't a "typical" cordon blue. Instead, it was two small crispy chicken breasts with ham and swiss sandwiched between them and topped with a fabulous dijon sauce. Super-duper tasty and well prepared. After all that we were quite full but still in the mood for something sweet. For me, the lemon poppyseed bread was perfect at that point in the meal.

The service on that first visit left something to be desired. I don't know what our waitress had against us but she seemed none to pleased to be serving us. I would chalk it up to the fact that it was late and near the end of her shift, but she didn't have the same bad attitude with the tables around us. We sat for a long time before she ever came to take our drink orders, she pretty much just dropped our plates when she brought us our food, and brought our check before we could even inquire about a dessert. I also heard her offer several other tables to-go drinks and didn't offer us one so I wasn't about to ask. Despite that, we couldn't wait to come back.

Our second visit came for lunch the next day. This time, we were joined by some of Jeff's extended family who live around there. Although they came to us and told us to pick where we'd like to eat, they were thrilled when we picked Mimi's because we were informed that was one of their favorite places. When they inquired if we'd ever eaten there before, we admitted that we'd been for dinner the night before but wanted to come back. We came for a late lunch at 1:30, but we figured that would work to our advantage and it did. We had plenty of time to visit and didn't feel rushed at all. We were there for a total of four hours (probably three inside and another just standing outside talking) and no kidding, our waitress went on a break after we were finished with our meal and we were still standing outside when she came back and she was so sweet joking with us that she'd save our table for us in the back so we could come back in for dinner in a little while longer! I do remember her name (Jojo) and she was wonderful!

I couldn't get the fabulous tomato soup out of my head, so that with a grilled cheese seemed like the perfect lunch. The fact that it was 102 degrees outside was totally irrelevant. My sandwich also came with a side choice, and I got the kettle chips. It wasn't quite as good as the fabulous grilled cheese I got from Merchant's in January, but it was still excellent. Jeff's aunt and uncle both got the balsamic spinach salad with soup (one the tomato, one the corn chowder) and his cousin got the chicken dijon, which looked absolutely divine, and a garden salad. Jeff had in his head that he wanted to try the chicken crepes but when it came time to order he wasn't really paying attention to what he was saying and ordered the chicken parmesan with a caesar salad. The salad was good, but he was definitely surprised when his entree arrived. Even though it wasn't what he thought he ordered, it looked and tasted amazing and he didn't leave anything!

So, sadly, Jeff still didn't get to taste his crepes. There are plenty of other things on the menu I'd like to try as well, like quiche or that chicken dijon. We did some necessary digging and found out that there is a Mimi's in Montgomery, which is the closest one to us. Now, that's still a little over an hour away, but much more do-able than Georgia! This was especially good news to Jeff's cousin who will be moving to Montgomery after she gets married in the spring. I forsee a trip south in our not-so-distant future!

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