Chili’s baby-back ribs: oh, man they’re good…the fried shrimp (what I could find of them is not).

Half rack of Chili's Ribs
Half rack of Chili’s Ribs

For a restaurant that is not a barbeque specialist, Chili’s has some delicious ribs.  I should know since the last three times we’ve gotten take-out, I’ve ordered them.

You can get them on the $20 Dinner for Two Deal.  The official name is “Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs w/ Homestyle Fries (Choose New Honey-Chipotle, Original or Memphis Dry Rub).”  I got original sauce all three times and these rocked.  I added the Mashed Potatoes with Loaded Pepper Gravy (yes, every time) and they were very good too.

The wife got the Bacon Burger and enjoyed it. I took a bite and it was quite tasty.  The appetizer we chose was the Tostada Chips & Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole.  It has a little kick and was so good that we ordered it every time too.  The only complaint was the chips were too thin to hold up the heavy dip.

Chili's Guacamole Dip
Chili’s Guacamole Dip

Chili's even has "to go" at The Avenue at Webb Gin

The service at the take-out was fine every time…smiles for the most part. They give you a heavy duty paper bag with plenty of napkins and utensils…and the food is packages neatly.

An no, I don’t work there or have any friends that do either.  On one of our recent trips to the same location I ordered the fried shrimp.  They may have taken it off the menu by now as I don’t see it as an option to order online.

There was no problem with the temperature but the shrimp were puny and were covered with too much batter. I’m guessing that it was about a 3:1 ratio of batter to shrimp in volume.  Anyway, it was quite a disappointing meal.
Nothing wrong with the service though.  Our waiter and server were both fans of one of my favorite bands, Led Zeppelin, as evidenced by the tattoos that they both wore.  In fact, one of the Roycrofters, a local jam band, was our waiter.  

Flowers at The Avenue at Webb Gin

If you go and walk around the outdoor mall where our Chili’s is you will probably like it.  The name is The Shoppes of Webb Gin.  The sidewalks allow plenty of room and it’s always neat and tidy around the parking lot. There’s a nice mix of stores with the Barnes and Noble bookseller being the closest merchant to the Chili’s.

I included a few photos of what The Shoppes look like.  If you go, I trust that you’ll have as much fun as I do.


The fountain at The Avenue at Webb Gin

Coldwater Creek's iconic wood storefront

Playful artwork adorns The Avenue at Webb Gin

John Robert Conley Atlanta restaurants

Avalon Limo Service of Monroe – ask for Chris, the owner…he cares about his customers

We had the pleasure of using Avalon Limousine Service of Monroe on Saturday of this past weekend.  The driver was a lady with a big smile and pleasant disposition.  The extended Ford Excursion was spotless on the inside and outside and looked new.

Okay, maybe the same thing could be said for others in the limo business.  What set Avalon apart was the owner, Chris Calhoun.  My oldest son left his Epipen injector for severe allergic reactions in the limo once he was dropped off for his formal in Duluth.  We were able to get Chris on the phone and set up a time to pick up the Epipen which Chris had secured from the limo.  Chris was able to meet me in Monroe a few minutes after midnight for the dropoff.  He was still working for other clients and had a run to make to Hartsfield-Jackson.  Chris was gracious and friendly in helping us get the medicine back in case we  needed it that night.  He was patient, never seemed perturbed, and was willing to accomodate my schedule.

I would recommend his service to anyone that needs limousine transportation.  I’d never met him before Saturday night and am glad that I did.

Here’s a link to their page for reviews. Reach them by phone at 770-207-0677 or e-mail at


Forget about bending over picking up baseballs again – who needs that pain?

My cousin, Clint Conley, is a private baseball instructor based in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  He has created and patented a device to hold baseballs for batting practice and easy transport.  It is perfect for soft toss – no more sitting on the ball bucket and reaching in it for the balls.  Sit on the top and reach under for the baseballs.  Another reason you might like one is that it also acts as a ball retriever.  Kinda like a tennis ball retriever except for baseballs.

Clint has had to get 20 or so patents on this creation.  Here’s a link to his website with all of his contact information, photos, and video demonstrations.  Very cool and saves your back.




Try it, you’ll like it – pubbing in Grayson with Mary.

Actor Anthony Quinn, seated in the middle at left, dining with group at an unidentified restaurant Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Recently, I met a good friend at The Hail Mary Sports Pub in Grayson.  I ordered the grouper salad and sweet tea.  The food was delicious, the tea was just right (sweet but not overdone), and the atmosphere was like you’d want for a business appointment.  Our servers were friendly and attentive, the TVs were tuned to sports and some soap opera but I don’t remember it being noisy.  Even the bathrooms were clean.


The Hail Mary Sports Pub on Urbanspoon

John Robert Conley Atlanta restaurants is Where You Can Find the Next Herschel Walker


Photo by Malleus Brando on

Find out about all the top-ranked high school athletes on, not just football either.  Pretty cool site for all athletes, videos too.

Find Your Favorite Restaurant’s Inspection Grade Before You Head Out

Check out that eatery before you get sick again.  My wife insists on a 92 but I go for an 87 or higher since I figure my immune system needs a better workout.  East Metro Public Health puts out a report on their website.

Find Something Fun or Educational to Do in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Economic Development has a cool website that gives ideas about what to do throughout the state all year round.  You can put in a town or zip code and search a few different ways.

Here’s an example: a full moon hike to the suspension bridge at Tallulah Gorge. You do have to register in advance.

State Parks and Historic Sites

Georgia is full of picturesque parks and historic sites.  Some of these might be of interest to you or your family.  Just click on the name of the site and you will be taken to the page for that particular place.  These web pages are well done and full of useful information.  Here’s Fort Yargo’s site, the closest to Gwinnett County.  Hard Labor Creek is not too far away either.

The state has even included a page of Georgia Performance Standards curriculum on Excel spreadsheets for touring each site.  You have to go to this page first.  Here’s more educational resources for making the most out of the sites.

It keeps getting better.  Here is the Events Calendar for the Parks and Sites.

Stars and Strikes Bowling in Dacula

My family has been to Stars and Strikes in Dacula and had hours of fun.  It’s right at Highway 29 and 316 in a new development in Dacula.  They have an arcade, bumper cars, and laser tag too.

Additional locations are in Dallas, Cumming, and Stone Mountain with Holly Springs planned for Winter of 2012.