I have a fancy to tell you about some of the places I visit, locally and quasi-locally - on the off chance you wind up in the area, you might even find this a useful sort of posting.
I'll start with where Mum and I had dinner on Friday, the Blue Pacific Grill.
The Blue Pacific Grill in Clarkesville, Georgia is a Thai/Japanese fusion sort of place. They'd fit right in down in Buckhead (and probably make a lot more money down there because they could easily double their prices for that crowd), but they're nestled into a cozy spot to one side of the Clarkesville town square.
The decor is minimal - the owners opted to preserve what was an old pharmacy, using the dark wood and glass cases to display tea pots, tea cups, and a variety of wood carving and oriental art, and leaving the apothecary counter up front to serve as a bar where patrons may enjoy a glass of wine (or whatever) while they wait. A few (three or four) booths line the right hand wall and a handful of tables (ten or so) are scattered in the rest of the dining room. They can handle larger parties, but I like the feeling of intimacy one has at the individual tables.
It's not so dark that one cannot see one's companion, nor is it so bright as to be harsh - it's lovely and warm, inviting diners to take their time and enjoy a meal, conversation, perhaps a glass of wine.
I ordered the chicken satay to start, and pad Thai for my entree. Mum decided to share my satay and forgo her usual spring rolls and coconut chicken soup. Instead, she ordered a green curry with chicken and steamed rice.
They weren't terribly busy for a Friday night - we had our appetizer in minutes. The portion is generous - four skewers loaded with plump chunks of chicken, perfectly seasoned and cooked, with a small dish of peanut dipping sauce and another small dish of Thai cucumber salad (I have much love for the cucumber salad) . Just a few minutes later, we had our entrees.
The pad Thai was just fine - maybe not spectacular, but flavorful, not overcooked (oh, overcooked Pad Thai can be a horror), and it came in a bowl large enough for two to share.
Mum's curry was almost a soup - I don't know how a curry should look, so perhaps they are supposed to be that saucy. The rice soaked up the bright green sauce beautifully, though, and Mum thoroughly enjoyed her meal. Neither one of us finished our portions - these folks don't believe in skimping!
We opted out of desert this time - we were heading over to the local fair and had hopes of cotton candy (yes, yes, sophisticates, we). In the past, though, we've had the fried bananas (light, sweet, crisp, delightful) and the tempura battered fried ice cream (an interesting idea a bit lost in the execution - the batter is not sweetened, is a little thick and tough, and the ice cream was mostly melted. I filched one of Mum's bananas, that night.).
They have some Japanese hibachi meals as well, which look hearty and healthy - meat, poultry, or fish cooked on the grill with assorted vegetables and served with sauce for dipping (or, if you're Mum, liberally pouring over) the meat.
Blue Pacific has a fair wine list, but I haven't had occasion to try any of their offerings - I'm not much of a drinker, any more.
Something else I enjoy about the place - while their food is anything but small-town America, they don't bat an eye at patrons appearing in blue jeans or overalls, baseball caps, even t-shirts. The community that supports this (and several other) restaurant is a mix of retirees, farmers, and seasonal residents, sprinkled with a few college kids, a few hippies and vagabonds, some artists and one or three eccentrics. Mum may be one of the eccentrics, but you didn't hear that from me!
Right, so if you happen to be in Clarkesville and craving Thai/Japanese/Oriental food, give Blue Pacific a try!
Dinner for two including one appetizer, two entrees (with enough leftover to make another meal the next day), and tip - well under thirty bucks.
Blue Pacific Grill
(706) 839-1800 1460 Washington St
Clarkesville, GA 30523