My thoughts are all over the place today, but I wanted to get my Little Bee reactions posted before they are too far in the past to make any sense. So I’m only going to do a quick mini-review which seems appropriate as I’m probably the last blogger to read Chris Cleave’s second novel.
I’m even cheating and giving you the brief Goodreads.com synopsis: Two women’s lives collide on a Nigerian beach. One must make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again and the story starts …
First half of the novel was intriguing and a great story – suspenseful, realistic, and heartbreaking. Second half was a major letdown and filled with major plot holes and downright ridiculous scenarios. What saves this novel at the end of the day is Little Bee herself, who I loved tremendously even through the rather far-fetched ending. Cleave definitely has talent as a writer, but the story lacked a crispness – it’s almost like he ran out of steam at the middle and just wanted the damn thing to end. For instance, what mother would take her four-year-old son to a volatile country where she previously had her finger cut off and continue to draw a ton of negative attention towards herself? Bad mother of the year award for sure. Perhaps Cleave just doesn’t have the insight to write from the female perspective or, more accurately, the mother perspective? Either way, a clumsy novel that could have been great.
And now time for more food! I’m loving my foodie-ish ways these days. Sunday Jimmy and I ventured out for a rather rare breakfast treat. We decided to give J. Christopher’s in Dunwoody a try because the reviews are amazing despite this being a chain and having 6 million Atlanta locations.
We arrived around 9:00 am and the place was just beginning to fill up. We were seated at a booth and our waitress was quick on her feet and super friendly. I ordered the shrimp and grits while Jimmy ordered the huevos rancheros with fresh fruit and breakfast potatoes. The shrimp and grits came in a skillet (see picture to the left provided by restaurant’s website) and looked amazing. They tasted decent as well and the serving size was huge. But….the grits were obviously of the instant variety and a tad too watery. The gravy, tomatoes, and delicious shrimp helped make up for this, but was still pretty disappointed. Jimmy’s potatoes were also obviously of the frozen variety – another let down. Prices should have been much cheaper with the cheap ingredients. Not to mention, Jimmy and I both spent the rest of the day feeling sick and having heartburn. We’ll probably not be returning any time soon.
To soothe us over, we decided to have some ice cream for lunch! We went to the Morelli’s location in Ormewood Park for some homemade goodness. Jimmy had a banana split and I went for just one scoop of the chocolate. We had a lovely time sitting outside in gorgeous weather and the ice cream was yummy! So excited that my neck of the woods is opening a Morelli’s next week!
Monday night, Jimmy and I drove over to Duluth for some Korean-owned Japanese. Strange combination. The restaurant is Raku Tonkatsu and Ramen. They specialize in, you guessed it, tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) and tonkotsu ramen (pork bone broth ramen). DELICIOUS. Tonkatsu is my fav Japanese food so I ordered the dish below:
And could not have been happier. Tender and moist, truly scrumptious. The sides of rice and miso soup were so-so, but that doesn’t matter when the main dish is to die for. Jimmy’s tonkotsu ramen:
Was also completely amazing. The broth was done to perfection and not overly salty. The braised pork belly was some of the best I’ve ever had. If you are ever in the area, please give this place a try! You get to watch K-Pop too while you eat and the place is gorgeously designed in an upscale modern trendy way. Plus, the prices are amazing. For both our dinners and some lovely edamame our bill was only $22. You can’t beat that. (Pictures provided by Raku’s facebook page)
Everything else we’ve had has been fairly generic. I had baked potato soup from Newk’s Express Cafe which is a favorite of mine. Yesterday I splurged and ate out twice – Guthrie’s for lunch and Hudson Grille for dinner, but only because we do trivia Wednesday nights. Guthrie’s has great chicken fingers in the same vein as Zaxby’s. Hudson is just an overpriced sports bar with good trivia. I had a small bowl of blah chili and a side of blah fries.
Okay, enough already with the food because I’m starting to get hungry! Gonna have to go downstairs and pilfer my pantry. I promise at some point to have normal book review posts again once I actually finish a freakin’ book.