Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Shoya Izakaya Check Up

It's no secret that Shoya has been on the Pouch's go-to list and rotation ever since they opened years ago. I have been a fan since day one and that has never wavered... It's been a few moons since I showed my fat face, it's about that time on the rotation schedule to make another visit, so, let's see how they're doing these days.
I know they have become very popular in the last couple years with the roundeyes but I was kinda surprised by how crowded it was on a recent visit... The line to get in was longer than the checkout line at Aldi. Yes, I said checkout line, singular... Because Aldi only have one person working the register, always... And of course, I'm always stuck at the end of the fucking Human Centipede line trying to buy 6 goddamn bananas, I felt like I was doing the elephant walk back in college again. The line at Shoya was no different... Y'all should see the specimens coming to eat here these days... Woof. I was having flashbacks from Aldi... Let's face it, some of the people that shop at Aldi ain't exactly photogenic, even in the dark. The Pouch is no exception... I usually feel like Clint Howard in most public domains but I feel like Brad Pitt inside Aldi. And now, it's at Shoya... Did I go on a Cosplay night? Because there were so many slobs and pigs dripping out of their skanky costumes or perhaps it was their normal daily rags, I couldn't tell.
Waited and waited because Masa wasn't there to hook me up, finally got a table in the back like an average nobody, get to eat the rest of my meal staring at a wall like a schnook. Things have certainly changed here... Hopefully, not for the worse. I was excited and quick to put in my standard order of their generous $8 for 8 oz. house "wisky" pour with ice on the side, but the new server girl said I should have the ice in it because they have "never" poured that much wisky... I showed her a picture of the pour last time I was here and she said, you must be mistaken, that's not from here. The picture had the Shoya menu in it... I was about to kick her in the balls but it looked like she was wearing her steel camel toed underpants. I was so pissed they were gonna fuck me on the wisky that I recanted the order... Told her to get me water, instead. And of course, I changed my damn mind the last second and got a Sapporo draft.... I need fucking booze to deal.
Let's take a look at the menu and see what's new on their massive mudflap sized menu... Motherfucker! The first goddamn thing I see is a fucking poke bowl... $16 for tuna or salmon scraps on rice. Holy shit, I wonder how many gaijins ordered this shit... They loved it as much as the California rolls. Fuck it, it can only go up from here... Or will it...

Fuck me... It's over Johnny, it's over. Swipe left quick!

BBQ Eel. Why is it sitting almost on the edge of the plate? And does this ultra glazed eel need more sauce on the side... Jesus, fuck me. What is going on up in this piece? The eel was fine, tasted acceptable but I have been noticing the portions on the dishes have gotten smaller and smaller over time and the price has inched up or stayed the same.

Ankimo. Can I get more green onions, pweez? WTF is going on... The presentation in the past was so awesome, simple and the monkfish liver was visible... Now, it's a treasure hunt and you may get lucky or not. It's all a gamble these days. But luckily, there was a decent amount of ankimo in there. And it was smooth and silky, not as good as before but still tasty. It seems like they are just rushing all these technical dishes these days because of the higher volume they're getting.

Sausage. This was just a pathetic plating... It used to come on a slim rectangular dish. They prolly ran out of them, so they just threw them on any old plate. The sausage still tasted great but you can tell they just really don't care about presentation anymore... Just slap it on there and get it out.

Koebi Karaage. Just like the eel, the baby shrimp portion is half the size it once was. It's still pretty tasty but I'm thinking this may the last time I get these little fuckers.

Soft Shell Crab. This is still spot on... I'm glad at least one thing stayed the same... So far.

Chicken Karaage. Ok, I will eat any cheekan that is fried without complaint and I really don't have anything bad to say on this... Except that they was a bit soggy and didn't have that crunch like they used to... Prolly from not frying them long enough due to the volume tonight. The batter mix may have changed a bit as well.

Monkfish Karaage. This was a special and I had to get it... And they were worth the price of admission. They call monkfish the poor man's lobster... Even though only poor people ate lobster back in the day because rich people didn't eat these nasty ass bottom feeders. These nuggets were thinly battered, crispy enough, moist and flavorful.

Kushikatsu. These were basically fried tonkatsu on a stick... And they were pretty tasty. Shit, you got panko fried pork cutlets on a stick, what's not to like... Just shut up and stick it in your piehole and enjoy.

Chashu Ramen. Before I get to this bowl... I have an amazing short story to tell... This hot little blond cosplay thing at the next table orders a bowl of ramen and she proceeds to only use a spoon to eat it. I guess she doesn't know how to use chopsticks and didn't want to embarrass herself in front of her LARP pals. Watching her struggle to get a noodle into her mouth for 3 minzies was breathtaking, since she seemed like the type of classy broad that have no problem with getting her boyfriend's noodle in her facegash. All you saw was ramen broth splishing and a splashing all over herself. Then all of the sudden she uses chopsticks to pick up a California roll... WTF just happened? Still a mystery to this day. But anyways... This chashu ramen did hit the spot. If you want flavor and filler, always get the ramen, especially, the tonkotsu here... But never at their ramen shop, Yebisuya, next door, it's just awful. How do you open a dedicated ramen joint and it sucks massive ass... Next.

Sashimi Deluxe. I order this every single time I come here and I was hoping it hasn't turned to shit with all these fucking yahoos coming here in droves these days. It has always been pretty spot on with a nice selection of fish... And to my surprise, it was still spot on with the place being so packed on this visit. I mean the quality of people in here was suspect... And usually the quality of food reflects the type of people in the joint. Yes, there were a shitload of pedestrians but look at that platter, it was colorful, vibrant and fresh. They even included the sweet shrimp which I didn't even have to ask... Speaking of skrimps...

Sweet Shrimp Heads. This is the best part of the sashimi deluxe... I fucking love eating brains and heads.

I absolutely hate the fucking crowds they draw in these days... It's full of fat smelly interlopers who order fried rice and California rolls because they read about it on Yelp. But that's the price you pay for being so good for so long. At least I had the pleasure of enjoying their menu for the last few years in a somewhat peaceful setting with the ex-pats. I don't even know where the ex-pats are anymore, I never see them in there nowadays, maybe they found a new secret joint... I wanna know! I don't get as excited coming here anymore because of the pedestrians this strip mall brings in since they opened the Revolting Play-Doh conveyor belt sooshee next door. This strip mall has become such a shit show goat rodeo that I don't come as much as I used to... As for Shoya, the massive menu for the most part is still pretty tasty, but the portions have decreased and the prices have increased. And they are becoming more gentrified with each passing day as evident by the new plebeian items found on the menu like the fucking poke ... My once favorite izakaya will be reduced to a Ru San's inevitably. I will keep going until they put a gyoza hot dog on the menu.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hattie B's Hot Chicken

There has not been a more over-hyped, over-crazed, over-PR'd opening in this one horse town in recent or past memory... You would think it would be some incredible restaurant/cuisine from NYC or LA with a sick menu, but nooooo, it's just a plain old fwied cheekan shack from Nashville... Not that I don't consider fried chicken one of the greatest foods ever created. When Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken came to downtown Atlanta, there were some hype but nothing on this level... Their second location in Chamblee got zero hype but I think the chicken there is better. I guess like in real life Memphis will always take a back seat to Nashville.
So, what makes Nashville Hot Chicken so desirable that makes tourists from near and far wait hours on line for? The original hot chicken joint, Prince's, was once the prince of the game but over the years the chicken has became worse and worse just like the lines outside their doors. The TV exposure and celeb chefs making appearances does help out these little local mom & pop shacks financially but in the long run makes their products deplorable and shameful. The last time I was at Prince's, I waited an hour and a half for a fucking XXX hot leg quarter and it was total garbage. I looked around the dumpy room at all these schmucks with shit eating grins on their faces as if they were eating gold or their last meal on death row. They have convinced themselves that this is what good food should taste like via the network media and social media in order to garner the almighty AAA effect on Facedouche/Instascam... What's the AAA effect you ask? Well, every mook who posts on FB/Instagram non-stop is always looking for Attention, Acceptance and Approval.
The Pouch says fuck off with all that nonsense. I barely post shit on social media.... Who the fuck got's the time... I mean, look at this stupid ass blog now. The Pouch was once a prolific writer (but still a prolific eater) and now, I am... "Truly a sight to behold. A Pouch beaten (or eaten). The once great chomper, now, a study in moppishness. No longer the victory hungry marsupial that have posted so many times before, but a pathetic, washed up, aged ex-bowel movement." Even my once loyal reader has moved on to better blogs like Goop, since Gwyneth Paltrow is such an authority in the food scene these days.
Let's get back to the original question... What makes the Nashville Hot Chicken so popular and in demand these days? Hasn't this gimmick ran it's course even after KFC introduced their version a couple years ago? Which wasn't as bad as I thought. I have been to the original Hattie B's in Nashville years ago and it bested all the other Nashville hot cheekan joints at that time. Their passion at that time created a really good product at a really good price point. They have since opened many more locations but never one in Atlanta, until now... Let's go see why it's been so popular since their doors opened... I tried to go a bunch of times but I passed on it every time since the line was wrapped around the fake lawn and building... Let's try this again and see what all the fuss is about... I was riding my motorcycle early one Sunday morning and happened to ride by this joint and noticed that the line was not bad at all, looked at the time and it was like 10:30AM, this place doesn't even open til 11AM and people were camped out already. These motherfuckers were sleeping on the tables using the brown burlap paper towels for blankets and pillows. You don't want to wake a sleeping elephant, I was a little skeered... But FUCK IT, just do it Pouch and regain your one reader's loyalty back, that's the only way to be legitimate again. I got on what seemed to be a line in this mini burning man gathering... There's no fucking way any of these mooks live intown, they were all tourists from OTP. But what blew me away was the amount of fat people here, it was surreal and surprising at the same time. Obese people don't move often, especially, early in the morning on a weekend, unless there is food involved or leaning over the side of the bed to pee in the pan. This creasture in front of me had legs the size of beer kegs, no ankles, just kankles... When they finally opened the doors for business exactly at 11AM, bigfoot walked in and blurted out a laundry list for his order. Does this beast really need to eat that much deep fried shit this early in the morning... As I asked my reflection in the glass door because I was gonna order exactly what he just did. Jesus Christ, am I as disgusting as all of these other fat slobs on line? Only one way to find out...

This spread included the large dark of STCU and Southern, a mild jumbo tender, a hot wing, pimento mac and cheese, black eyed pea salad, creamy coleslaw and banana pudding. The sweet tea was not sweet at all. Let's get right to the jumbo tender which was a bit dry and chewy, but it had a nice thin crust which was crispy and crunchy but the mild seasoning was pretty weak, obviously. The sides were pretty average, nothing really stood out. The slaw was slaw, the mac tasted like box mac which is not always a bad thing, the black eyed pea salad was bland but the watery vinegar base could help cut down the heat from the hot cheekan. The banana pudding was pretty good, it tasted like it was housemade and not from a box. But what about the hot wing and the STCU and Southern leg quarters, Pouch? There's just too many words in this post and your one reader is falling asleep... Just get to the good stuff already, fatso..

Large Dark, STCU and Southern. Shit, it's an eclipse! Nah, it's just the shut the cluck up and southern style... I wanted to try both ends of the spectrum, I call it the McCartney Wonder Effect aka the Ebony and Ivory taste test... I kinda prefer the Sinatra Wonder version on SNL but most millennials won't know what the fuck I'm talking about anyways... I am dark and you are light, you are blind as a bat and I have sight, life's an eskimo pie, let's take a bite... Nevermind. This pair of legs looked pretty balanced, kinda like yin and yang... Let's take a closer look.

Look at that thing, it's as black as night with extra habanero chili powder sprinkled on top... I'm getting IBS-D just looking at it. The crust was like armor, there's no way you're gonna eat that thing with your hands. I tried cutting it up but the crust was not cooperating. It was a total mess eating this but was it as spicy as they say it is? Well, no... It wasn't the same STCU I had in Nashville. Seemed like this sample I got was made in advance and kept in a warm box... The crust was kinda dried out and the meat inside was dry as well, it was pretty disappointing. I'm thinking that the STCU needed to be pre-made because it is such a process to develop that thick ass dark crust... But all that hard work didn't pay off in the end product. The STCU heat level was not as hot as I remembered it as well, it was pretty weak for their extreme hot level... I would say it's a 6 or 7 out of 10. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely heat in there and 99% of the pedestrians here will never be able to handle it. For the Pouch, the heat kicked in after 60 seconds and then it peaked after 5 minzies, from there it was all downhill. I will never get this again because it was such a nonevent and didn't deliver what it promised.
The plain Southern style fried chicken turned out a lot better, the crispy thin crust, the juicy innards and the simple seasoning made this a lot more appetizing to eat unlike that other warlock leg. It's a pretty good plain fried chicken but for the money, I would do Popeyes all day long. Look, no one comes here for their plain fwied cheekan, their gimmick is the hot chicken and it's obviously bringing in all the boys to their fake yard. I looked around and I was pleasantly surprised to see that most people were getting the "hot" level at least.
As much as I wanted to forget about the dark lord... The thick molasses crust of cayenne, chilies and spices on the STCU will sit in your bowels like the pit of Sarlacc but it won't take a thousand years to digest... It will slowly give you little love notes over the rest of the day to remind you that the demonic shit you just consumed is still alive and well inside you like Rosemary's baby. You will be burping and farting periodically until the Kraken is released with little to no warning. It will definitely put your stock of double ply to the test... Over and over again for the rest of the night. If you bring home TP from your office, you will literally be shit outta luck with that 1 ply crap. After a strenuous 4 rounds... I tried to tie my balloon knot as tight as I could before I went to bed but Davy Jones popped my balloon at 4AM and I stumbled into the bathroom like a belligerent Jack Sparrow and sprayed the starboard side of the bowl with a dose of Hattie Bowel's. Another reason why I will not be getting the STCU ever again... It's just bad news all around.

The hot wing on the other hand was actually quite nice. The hot seasoning had a gorgeous vibrant red color and a nice little kick which balanced out the crispy crust and juicy meat inside. The way to go here is to just stick with the hot level on all the chicken options but if you really need just a bit more heat then the damn hot will do. The pickle helped cool down the heat but the white bread was a total waste. I can only imagine how many loaves of bread go straight into the trash can every day. Shit, the STCU basically melted the white bread and the wax paper and it wasn't even that hot.

I liked Hattie B's a lot more in Nashville and while their shiny new Atlanta location still needs to work on a few things, I am genuinely happy that they are doing a ridiculous amount of business since the first day. They did an amazing job on transforming the former location that sat empty for years. Tourists and pedestrians will continue to swamp this joint for awhile but hopefully, once the crowds die down and gets more consistent, their food will do the same. As for the Pouch, I would rather drive to their location in Nashville for better executed hot chicken before I get on the insane line again in L5P. Atlanta once again proves that this town love gimmicks. Atlanta gets what Atlanta deserves...

PS- No chicken bones were found in the parking lot... Yet.

299 Moreland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307
http://hattieb.com/

Monday, July 30, 2018

Bojangles' Super Tailgate

July 4th is the greatest day for our Republic and it gave us the freedom to gorge on unlimited Nathan's hot dogs and blueberry pies with Castor oil... But July 6th is the greatest day for the Pouch.... National Fried Chicken Day should be a national holiday. Shit, there is no set date to celebrate fried chicken in my book... I celebrate it almost everyday because I'm a true patriot. But mostly because I'm a disgusting lardass. Seriously, how much fried chicken can one person eat on a weekly basis? It's not natural or normal for anyone to consume that much in a week. Fuck it, I don't care... No one asks a smoker how many cigarettes is enough per week, no one asks a meth head how much molly is enough per week. Ok, I admit it, I'm addicted to fwied cheekan. That shit is like crack since we have all seen the videos of people going ape shit in Popeyes and other chicken joints.
Speaking of Popeyes... We ain't gonna be making a visit there for this post... Say what, Pouch?! No fucking Popeyes?! Are you high? I know I know... Don't fucking rank on me for this treasonous act. But it is fried chicken from my second favorite joint... Bojangles' is pretty good but they're pricey and they never have coupons, so, I don't go there as much... Listen, don't bust my balls about using low-rent coupons, especially, with the amount of cheekan I inhale... I can use all the help I can get. I only get so much benefits from the Fat Americans Disability Act. To celebrate this glorious day and occasion, Bojangles' did send out a coupon to their followers and this fat fuck totally took full advantage of it... Now, lookie here and take a gander at this ridiculous feast for this obeast... 

"Our 12-piece Super Tailgate includes twelve pieces of perfectly seasoned chicken, three picnic fixin's, six made-from-scratch biscuits and a half-gallon of Legendary Iced Tea."
Jesus, it was the size of luggage...I mean the check-in kind. It barely fit inside the carry-on dimension cage. There was so much shit in there that the handles started to buckle and collapse. It was easily 15 pounds worth of crispy, crunchy, fatty, sweetened goodness. It's BO Time! alright... Wait, it's more like PO(uch) Time! Let's open up this golden sarcophagus and see which god is buried inside and what curse I will be releasing to doom the earth.

The only curse I will be releasing will definitely kill anything within a 7 foot radius after eating all of this. Fuck me, tis was a vision to behold... Every fatso is drooling down their triple chins right about now. Who can resist 12 pieces of freshly fried yard bird, dirty rice, green beans, mac-n-cheez and a box of biscuits with a half gallon of "Legendary" iced tea. The only thing missing in this box was a dick. The staff asked me if I wanted to wait 15 minzies for freshly fried chicken they just put in... Dude, you don't have to ask me twice, fuck yeah, I'll wait. Believe me, if you have the option and time to wait for freshly fried chicken, totally do it... It makes all the difference in the world of deep fry poultry. When it came out, the shit was crackling like a chicharron. Oh, man, I must admit it looked damn good... Maybe even better looking than Popeyes. What, bitch? Shut yo blasphemous mouth! Look at this spread... I can feel my waistline expanding even before the first bite. The crust of the chicken was pretty damn amazing since it was freshly fried. Crispy, crackling and full of flavor. It broke away from the chicken with little effort. The dark meat was tender and juicy and melted in your mouth like butter. Damn, it was a good piece of fwied cheekan. Even the white meat was just as good. All the sides were pretty much the classics and they all hit the spot. The biscuits were freshly made as well and they were still steaming when you pulled it apart. I don't know how much this super tailgate box was supposed to feed but I ate half of it and I was done for the day... Luckily, I had the other half for the next day. It's always nice to get two meals out of one.

I'm guessing the big question my one fan has... Was it better than Popeyes? While it was a very impressive spread with a very good chicken and sides... Popeyes still wins by a hair because they have a spicy and regular chicken while Bojangles' only offers their regular which was still seasoned nicely. Popeyes is still number one and Bojangles' a very close second. I just wished they offered more coupons like Popeyes... Because my fat ass can't afford to pay full price with the amount I consume on a weekly basis and they don't take EBT. But the gas station next door does and you can't have fwied cheekan without beer...

Burp.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill

Clarkston used to be a dusty, low rent, one horse town that no one gave 2 shits about... Kinda like a red-headed stepchild. Well, it still is a dusty low rent dump that no one gives a shit about but in the last couple of years it has become to be known as the "Ellis Island of the South" with it's open arms policy of welcoming refugees and poor immigrants. The town has become a beacon for people who don't fit into the fancy schmancy Atlanta scene... Sounds like a perfect place for this fat fuck. Let's face it, the Pouch is not quite the looker anymore these days, nor do I have the deep pockets like the Buckhead trust fund millennials to buy my hideousness away. If you got the money, even Quasimodo can get into Halo Lounge... Wait, Halo is like a refugee haven these days. What the fuck happened to this once great Atlanta hot spot... It's like the old Gold Club in disguise these days but with fuglier broads. Nevermind, don't ask don't tell.
Let's get back to Clarkston... So, there is not much going on around this dumpy little town except for the small area that surrounds the Clarkston Thifttown...Which is the heart of the city (kinda like C-Town supermarket in the ghettos of NYC) and it's also a mirage... To keep the interloopers moving along. From the outside, it looks like a run down thrift store, but on the inside, it's an international market... Not as big as DeKalb Farmers Market but they carry stuff that caters to this community's diversity not found anywhere else. It ain't fancy and a bit dirty but I love what they're doing here, they created their own little utopia here. You will not find the Buckhead/Midtown 'look at me' douchebags around these here parts... I have yet to see a platoon of khakis and button down Polos marching around here and that is a beautiful thing.
The melting pot of cultures in this little town is evident in the food available only around here. These hidden in plain sight little towns put out some of the best authentic ethnic grub... They ain't trying to impress whities or Yelpers. They don't give a fuck about putting some dumbass Yelp Loves Us sticker on their window. They care about bringing a little piece of their homeland to comfort the other refugees and immigrants in this foreign land... And the best way to bring any community together is always through food, lotsa lotsa food. Walk down the Thrifttown strip mall and you will pass a couple of small restos, I was tempted to walk into the "Thai" joint to sample a couple of bites before my dinner here but I resisted the urge. I was laser focused on momos and spicy shit.
Walked in and it was dark as shit. After my eyeballs adjusted to the dimly lit room, I thought I walked into a sketchy bus station or the DMV. My eyes automatically went straight to the bar to see what brown juice was available... Sadly, the only brown juice to be had was Jack Daniels, not a very exciting beverage program, here. I could prolly get stronger brown juice from the rusty pipes in the bathroom. Besides a very limited booze selection, they also offered beer and wine.. Which you should prolly just stick to beer here. The menu was colorful and had a lot of dishes to offer from Nepal, India and even Chinese. Seems like there are a lot of fun stuff to explore here but they also have a lunch buffet that seems to offer a decent sampling of dishes for like $9. I have been to so many Indian buffets and they usually suck ass, so, I'm gonna just stick to the main menu and see what they can do before giving the lunch buffet a try. Let's go sample a few bites...

Veggie Samosa. Jesus Henry Christ, look at the size of these fuckers... I didn't know if I should eat them or stick them down my pants.... To give my manhood a boost. They were huge and looked incredible. The golden crust was flaky and warm and the tater filler inside was generous and tasty. These things were pretty damn good and totally worth getting again. The curry dipping sauce was fine, nothing special or spicy but it fills that dipping action void. We're off to a good start, let's hope it continues.

Chicken Momo. To the inexperienced eyeballs, these may look like monkey brains on a plate but they were actually the monkeys' sack that holds their other brains... The Nepalese elders claim that monkey manhood possesses magical powers like a liger... Shit, I have eaten unicorns before and that didn't do shit except give me weird colored shits like a soft serve, taste the rainbow bitches. I didn't care if it was magical, I was just popping these Monchhichi sack after sack into my facehole because they were fucking dericious. I don't know what that orange sauce was but it kinda looked like buffalo sauce and tasted like an Orange Crush reduction. It also came with an amped up chicken soup which was kinda strange... I used that as a dipping sauce for these tasty dumps, instead. Git 'em, you'll gobble them up like the Pouch did.

Wai-Wai Sadheko. I asked the server what kinda noodle was this... She says, it's uncooked and we all eat it here. Shit, then I will, too... Bring it on, hoochie mama. I was so curious about this noodle dish... Then it came out and I was like, WHA DA FUK... It was just crushed up Mi Goreng instant ramen tossed with lime juice, red onions, tomato and cilantro. And it tasted really fucking good. What's funny is that I have a few bags of Ottogi Ppushu Ppushu ramen noodle snacks at home that you just crush up and sprinkle the seasoning on it and shake it up inside the bag... The grilled chicken flavor is good but stay away from the bulgogi flavor. This dish was basically a ramen salad. It's low rent as fuck but I liked it a lot and it's fun to eat.

Mixed Chao Mein with Pork. I got this as a spoof because chow mein has become such a bastardized dish throughout the country but almost every local that came in here ordered it. This noodle dish was on every table, no fucking joke, true story. It's a strange version of chow mein but it was satisfying in a homey comfy cozy way. It's not a fancy dish and it's purpose was to taste good and fill the bellies of those who come in for a little piece of their homeland. I would have no objections of getting this again.

Lamb Vindalu. The shits and giggles are over, time for something fiery and spicy hot. I told the server to make this the hottest y'all can... No holds barred. I couldn't wait to see how spicy this was and then this came out... Looked like Deadpool's bed pan. First thought... Hey, Dopinder, where's the fries with my tomato paste ketchup? Mixed it all up and it was quite chunky, although, there were a lot more potato vs. lamb in there. It was a really thick curry and it was pretty weak in the heat level but it was pretty flavorful. The spice/heat level would be a 2 out of 10.  The portion looks deceiving but they give you a really generous portion. The rice was nothing special but it mopped up all the curry quite well. If they can get the heat level maybe to a 8, then I would get it again. Why can't anyone in this measly town make anything spicy to the Pouch's standards... I know, first world, errr, third world problems.

Sahi Paneer Korma. It kinda looked like the gruel Oliver Twist asked for seconds... The menu says, homemade cottage cheese cooked with nuts in a creamy tomato sauce with spices. Did they use the tomatoes from Linda Blair's garden? It looked more satanic than the pea soup they used in the movie. Let's mix it up and see how many fingers and toes we can find... Luckily, it was all cubes of cottage cheese in there. The gravy was so thick that it started to form a skin on top when it came out to the table. Like with the vindalu, the portion was quite hefty... Too bad it didn't taste that great. It wasn't god awful but it was pretty pedestrian, no nuts or spices were detected. This is the first fail of the night... Not a bad average but I was hoping for more on this classic dish. I would skip this one.

Garlic Naan. For the price, the portion was really good. Shit, all their portions for every dish was very generous. The pic does not do it justice, these were big pieces of naan but not very garlicky, it seemed like they were just seasoned with garlic powder and baked. The char blisters were really nice and gave it a nice contrast of flavors. As always, the naan is a great vehicle to sop up the curries and gravies.

I didn't realize how much food I ordered until the server made a subtle comment, she was like, you ordered a lot of food, is your family coming, too? I'm like, nooo... Boy, how embarrassing. I looked around the room to see what the other people were ordering... Everyone had one plate, mostly the chao mein. Jesus, why am I such a fat fuck... Even refugees have no problem making fun of me, that's how disgusting I am. Then I remembered that I did it for my one reader.
I liked the place and I liked the grub. I liked how they are a small mom and pop shop that serves up big portions. I like how they are giving the refugees a little piece of home. I am totally going to try the lunch buffet now. And then head over to Thrifttown for some weird ass snacks.

Burp.

926 Montreal Rd
Clarkston, GA 30021
www.ktmkitchen.com

Friday, July 13, 2018

Momonoki

Brush is one of my favorite sooshee joints. I wish I could go more often but I get out of control in there spending more than I should or could. They need to open a baby Brush with a limited menu... And so, they did. Ok, it's not really a mini version of Brush but they are focusing on a more casual menu of ramen, cooked and raw rice bowls and katsu sandos. If you're from NYC, you may find the name of the joint very similar to David Chang's Momofuku... There is no relation but I still find it interesting. The location selection was surprising as well... There is nothing around there except the new NCR building which they will hopefully get a lot of lunch biz. There is not a lot of foot traffic or driving visibility except for overlooking 85/75. I don't know if this was a strategic decision but I hope this location gamble plays out in the long run. But what will draw the people into this secluded area will be based on the menu... Shit, if the food is good, I will take my fat ass to almost anywhere that I can fit my fat body through. The parking situation kinda sucks around here for cars but the parking lot next to them is available for free... For now. I didn't take any chances, I just parked my motorcycle right on the sidewalk out front.
The space is modern and clean, not a lot of fancy d├ęcor to distract you from the product... I liked it. But what I didn't like was the counter ordering right when you walk in. I can only imagine the line going out the door because people always take forever to order... Even the mooks at fast food joints. I know how people are and they live in their own little world and they take 5 years to read the menu and then ask 20 questions about each dish. It's such an inefficient system. They need to put menus outside so people can decide what they want before reaching the counter. I have no fucking patience for retards that hold up the line, just fucking order your food and move along. Luckily, I went early on a weekend and it wasn't crowded... Yet.
Let's take a first look... And see if it will be worth fighting the shitty midtown traffic for future visits.

Tonkotsu Ramen, pork broth, seared pork belly, ramen egg, soy braised bamboo shoots, scallions, house chili sauce, black garlic oil. It's a good looking bowl but I noticed that the menma was missing... I asked a staff member to get me the bamboo and she was like, no, it's in there, probably under the noodles. WTF... This ain't Ragu, does this look like spaghetti and meatballs, motherfucker? Why would anyone put one of the main condiments under the fucking noodles? I literally flipped the noodles upside down and told her it ain't in there... She's like, oh, they must have forgotten it then... No shit Sherlock. The bamboo comes out and all was right with the world again. Ok, maybe not yet... The broth was pretty good but what the fuck is all that white blobs in there? Was it cabbage, radish, I had no friggin idea... Then I tasted it. It was pure fat blobs. Lookie here, I'm ok with some fat in there for flavor but this bowl was injected with fat like the badonkadonks found in Lenox mall. There was way too much fat and it really distracted you from enjoying the entire bowl as a whole. It wasn't bad overall but they really need to tone it down. I don't know if that was for filler but then I found out later on that Jason added it in for extra richness and flavor just for the Pouch. And of course, I told him, listen bro, sometimes trying to impress me with overkill will not turn out well... Just give me the same bowl that you give the other mossbacks. I believe in equality, inclusiveness, tolerance and I deserve to eat the same slop as the other pedestrians. It's a pretty good tonkotsu, the noodles are toothy, the pork belly dericious, the soy egg spot on but I don't know if I would fight the midtown madness for it when I get the tonk craving. But I'll put it on the Pouch's list for a very respectable bowl of noods in this one horse town. I'll have to try the tsukenmen next time... Dipping noodles is nothing new but it's a new gimmick for this gullible town.

Avocado Shiitake Katsu Sando. What's going on, Pouch? Are you having a brain fart? Why didn't you get the fried chicken sando? I know I know... I was trying to watch my girlish, err, ghoulish figure. I'm so fucking fat, I thought I would try something healthy... Then I realized that all the katsu sandos were deep fried as well, durr. Someone give me a stent stat, the fat is cutting off oxygen to my pea brain. They were out of the lotus root chips, so, I had to settle for these leafy green things. What a cheap substitute. The milk bread is from a local bakery and it's sturdy enough to hold a steaming deep fried filler without turning the bread into a mushy mess. The fried avocado shiitake patty was surprisingly tasty and I would prolly get it again... After I try the fried chicken sando, of course. It's a fun little sando... But the $58 A5 wagyu sando is just way too ridiculous to even try it once. Unless, some broad wants to pay for it... I put out on the first date.

Seared Pork Belly Don, scallion and onion salsa, ramen egg, cured cucumber. I was too excited and nervous when I was ordering this at the counter... I wasn't thinking straight and I didn't want to hold up the line, so, I just blurted this out of my facehole. Why did I get the pork belly again, when I just had it in the tonkotsu? I can't believe I didn't get the chicken kara-age once again... What the fuck is wrong with you, Pouch? Oh, yeah, the fat was cutting off the blood flow to my head which was causing excessive brain farts. Besides, ordering the same damn protein twice, this rice bowl was pretty good looking. The egg yolk was perfect to mix into the rice. The pork belly was just as good as it was in the tonk. It's a simple rice bowl but it will definitely fill you up.

Black Sesame and Matcha Swirl. At most places, the matcha soft serve is just way too overpowering but this version is just right. When swirled with the black sesame, this was pretty much a match made in heaven. It was pretty damn tasty, may be the best in town for this dynamic soft serve duo.

I liked the place a lot, it's clean and modern with a good simple tasty menu, but the location doesn't make me want to come back here often unless I was in this area for something else. I don't mind driving to a joint if all the stars were aligned with light traffic and easy parking... And we all know midtown is the new Buckhead and it totally sucks ass. The last thing I want to get is a ticket by some mook in a cheap uniform for some bullshit secret new parking ordinance. But as for this joint, I think it will do well with the lunch crowd from the new NCR headquarters. If they start doing pork belly buns and family style fried chicken, then I better see that chubby fuck, David Chang back there in the kitchen.

95 8th St. NW Ste 100
Atlanta, GA
momonokiatl.com/

Monday, July 2, 2018

Ms. Icey's Kitchen & Bar

Anyone remember Mason Tavern? Who? Yeah, exactly. They tried real hard to fit into this area but no matter what they did, they just couldn't get their neighborhood gastropub concept to take in this space... And the Emory area is not hard to please. This space has always been cursed. Nothing has worked on this end of this tiny strip mall. Community Q kills it, Pyng Ho who knows how they do it, Mint 2 the sequel always suck, Apple House pineapple pen, Janet's flip fusion is a surprise and the newly open Brew & Bird in the old Villaggio space seems to be a sad joke in the making... This strip mall is filled with hits and misses. But now Ms. Icey's took over the space by the same owner of Negril Village in midtown. They were leaning towards a more Jamaican Southern theme but in the end they changed it up a bit to be more demographically friendly for this area.
They didn't change much of the interior, did a facelift just so that it didn't still look like Mason Tavern. The layout is still the same. The first week was packed as expected but it has tailed off since, even on the weekends. It looks like Negril's loyal patrons don't want to drive all the way over here every weekend anymore. I like the owner and he seems like a good guy but I was kinda skeptical of his concept in this mostly student body community. And the cuisine may be a bit off the mark for the area's palate. I have driven by it so many times and just never had the desire to go in... Until now, because I had no other options in mind and I didn't want to drive all over town for shit food. If I'm gonna get a disappointing meal, I want it to be close at least... So, I can purge it out ASAP. On that note... Let's go take a first look...
Walked in on a recent Friday night and it had a neutral vibe, no loud music or gaudy murals screaming in your face... I'm ok with this so far. It was pretty quiet in there and the large bar was empty which was great because I could take two seats, one for each cheek. There was no one at the bar but somehow the bartender was in the weeds... Cleaning glassware. Oh, this is gonna be fun, I can feel it already. Took about 5 minzies to get some menus. I asked about their whiskey pours... She said, they are about 1.5 oz pours, but she was gonna take care of me... Wink wink. And I'm ok with that. I got some Bulleit rye and she was generous with the pour, I was happy as a pig's snout in a trough, until... I started swirling the brown juice in the glass and this little black dot was just going with the flow. What is that? I mean I watched her grab a new glass and pour it in and everything looked legit. I stick my sausage finga in and start poking at it and trying to run it up the side without exploding whatever the fuck that was in my drink... It turned out to be a fruit fly. The bartender checked the bottle, I checked the bottle in the light and it was clean... And the glass was clean. Maybe it fell out of her noise. No matter, she poured me another glass and all was right in the world again.
Let's get to the grub already pouch, we don't care if you drink diseased insects... The food is the only reason why your one fan still reads this ridiculous blog. The menu is pretty simple which is a good thing... I hate big menus with a million items, you already know it's gonna be a shitshow. Take one guess what will definitely be on the list tonight... Yep, fwied cheekan... Let's go to the video tape.

Cassie's Fried Chicken, sweet potato waffles, bourbon praline butter. $18 for a leg and two nuggets (I assume they were hacked up thigh trimmings) of fwied cheekan. The crust looked pretty good, not too thick. But still, I couldn't get the chintzy ass pieces out of my pea brain. The more I stared at it the smaller the cheekan became... Was it an illusion or was it really deflating before my eyeballs? Took a bite, the crust was really crispy but too thick to break down easily in your mouth, the chicken itself was a bit dry but the flavor was ok. The thigh nuggets were even worse, dried out and hard to eat. This was not a craveworthy fried chicken, far from it... I have zero interest in getting them ever again. The floppy waffles were a bit too soft, I don't like them hard like a frozen Eggo but a little bite to them gives them some contrast. I'm not a fan of this dish. Why do people think chicken and waffles are such a great combination? Maybe it's just me, but the waffles were just cheap filler to make the portion look bigger so the joint can charge more visually. All I can think was how much cheekan I could get for $18 at Popeyes...

Grandma's Oxtails, mashed potatoes, charred baby carrots, pearl onions. It may look like a garbage plate but to me it looked dericious. The oxtails were ultra tender and flavorful... And a good amount of meat on them bones, too. The mashed taters mopped up the savory sauce nicely. It's a heavy dish but kinda worth the price and calories. I would get this again.

Blackened Trout, vegetable risotto. A very simple and classy dish. The blackened trout looked great. The spices spread over the trout evenly and the color was spot on. The trout was moist and had a nice bite. The veggie risotto is a bit mushy but it was fine, I rather have a regular old creamy risotto, instead.

Icey's Mac N Cheese, smoked gouda, yellow and white cheddar, parmesan. $8 for mac n cheez better be damn good. It was definitely cheesy and the large shell pasta captured the melted cheese nicely. But it was nothing over the top that I would crave it again. It's fine but I would skip it next time.

I'm OK with this concept in this space. It's something different for the area and that's a good thing... But I don't know how long it will last in this area at the same time. It's not cheap for the students to eat here and while the menu is pretty decent, I don't know if the locals will want to eat this all the time. People will come just to see what the fuss is about but you can get the full experience on the first visit and that might not bring them back in anytime soon. One visit was basically it for me... It's not bad by any means but it's not terribly exciting either... The fwied cheekan was pretty much a disappointment and that doesn't help to bring me back in... Oh, and the bar program was kinda lackluster as well and the fruit fly in my drink didn't help, either. I hope they do well in this area and break the curse of this location but that's gonna be a big challenge. Wait, the new Brew & Bird on the other end will have an even bigger challenge and I can't wait to ride that goat rodeo... The food pics on their website are just awful looking. That is gonna be a fun one.

1371 Clairmont Rd
Atlanta, GA 30033
http://www.msiceys.com/

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cousins Maine Lobster

I have seen the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck around town... And they claim that they are voted the number 1 food truck in Atlanta. The only time I have seen a line for them was in front of Hop City on the west side... And that's because they were the only food truck around. I was more interested waiting in line for beer in a climate controlled space than an overpriced lobster roll from a truck in the hot sun. I knew I wasn't missing anything from the looks of the lobster rolls in other people's hands... They were so small that it made me proud of my manhood for the first time in my measly life.
Fast forward months and years since and now they have opened a brick and mortar space in Lenox mall... What, where?! Yeah, I said Lenox mall... Where else would you expect to find this city's lobster roll connoisseurs? Let's face it, Lenox is basically the Atlanta version of the Mos Eisley spaceport. You would think the Cantina on Mos Eisley was bad but you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than at Lenox mall. I know what y'all are saying, what in the fucking shit, pouch?! WHY?! I know, I know... Believe me, this dump gives me the willies with all the urban hillbillies walking around like zombies. Who the fuck even goes to malls anymore these days? The best era for malls were back in the 80's when malls were the place to get your news, gossip, fashion, shopping, technology (at the arcade), dates, movies and dinner at the food court... It was our version of the internet back then. Now, these institutions are just a study in moppishness. But let's get back to why I have to come here. It's not because of choice, it's because of duty for pouchkind. I have said time and time again, that the pouch will sacrifice life and pannus to report all that's fit to eat to my one reader.
Just driving into the parking lot is giving me hives. Finding a spot can be dangerous, like who's turf am I parking on... You don't want to step on the toes of the Gramercy Riffs or the Baseball Furies but never look into the eyes of the Rogues if you want to make it to the Cheesecake Factory. Walked in from one of the rear entrances for the first time in many many moons without getting shanked by 3 pony bottles... Jesus fucking Christ, what the fuck is going on in here... Isn't Lenox supposed to be a hotbed of fashion in this one horse town? It looked like a cross between World of Dance and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the entire place was full of gaudy costumes that you would only wear during Halloween. I thought wife beaters were only for rednecks... Someone open a window, I can't breathe with all the stereotypes in here. Do people really live like this or is it just an act they put on when they come here? People watching is amazing up in this piece but it may also blind you... Which may be for the better. It's amazing how many people pretend to be something they are not and does everyone in here need to talk so loudly to make sure that everyone around them hears them. Seriously, bro, I don't care if you sent out 50 demos of your new single to all the producers around town including yourself while chowing down on a Doritos Locos Taco...Speaking of tacos, this joint is located right across from ATL Taco (which is another story). This place has zero visibility inside the mall... It's like hidden in a corner janitor's closet. There were people in there, not a lot but some. There is no table seating inside, just some stools and a ledge. But there are table outside along the window/wall and there are some tables outside of the mall as well. There are no servers, it's all counter service... And the service is horrid. The prices aren't cheap for mall food but no one expects lobster rolls to be cheap anyways. I was having second thoughts but then again, I made myself come here so I might as well zip in and zip out... How long can this take? It's counter service and fast food after all... Famous last words.

Not a fucking soul at the counter... Make like a Yelper and grab as much freebies as you can! When the dude finally appeared from the back, there was a line backed up already. He took order after order, while the pass was filling up with order after order coming from the kitchen... And the dude just let it sit there while customers were getting impatient watching their food get cold. He turns around and had a look like a deer in headlights... Total confusion and he started mixing and matching orders. It was a sight to behold. If he thinks he was in the weeds, he might as well be smoking some. Jesus, stop taking new orders and get the old orders out and clear the window, motherfucker... The natives are getting restless for their pricey lobster rolls. I put my order for 3 items in and it was almost sixty-fuckin-dollars... The best part of the ordering process is when the tip window pops up on the screen and they basically have the 20% button in the center of screen... They really expect 20% tip for counter service... Why the fuck not? They are high priced items. So, I waited and waited and waited, staring at my order at the pass while that mook continued to take new orders. It was a good 25 minzies before he noticed the window was backing up. I can't believe I gave them 5 bucks for that shitty service. I hope the grub was worth the hefty change and long wait... Shit, who am I kidding, we already know what the fuck's the deal up in this piece... But it will be fun to bust a nut all over them anyways.

Maine Lobster Roll- served chilled, touch of mayo, New England style roll. $18 for this? The bun was so small you could maybe fit two Vienna sausages in there... Compare it to the slaw container, you could fit that entire lobster roll inside it! Seeing this in real life actually boosted my manhood and ego, even if it was just for a minute. It almost gave me the courage to ask out this slutty 18 year old inhaling a lobster taco... On second thought, maybe not, the last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it. The bun was not buttered or toasted... But the lobster had a bright red color to it, though. Maybe the taste will make up for the size... Took a bite... Nothing, tasted absolutely like nothing. Where's the touch of mayo? Did they literally dip their finger in the mayo jar and touch the lobster with it... It was unseasoned, bland, tasted like it's been vacationing in a vacuum pack for weeks. Maybe I shoulda got the Connecticut version bathe in butter... Maybe I shoulda kept on driving... Off a cliff. The slaw was bland as well and tasted like chewing on cut up plastic straws... Wait, maybe it was straw not slaw. Even the pickle was bad. Why did they wrap the pickle? Maybe they didn't want to embarrass me...

Crab Roll- North Atlantic crab, served chilled, touch of mayo, New England style roll. I didn't know crab had pubic hair... There's a lot of seascaping on this bun. Not a lump of crabmeat in sight... It looked like they opened a can of Bumble Bee crabmeat and tossed it in a bowl to fluff it up and stuffed it in the bun. First off, there was zero taste to it and bland as fuck. It was like eating the stuffing that my dog pulled out from her dog bed. At least spray some perfume on it so I can pretend I'm eating out Betty White or some silver haired hag at least. $15 for this sad ass mons pubis of crab. Not even Flick would triple dog dare you to eat this. And the bucket of straws made another appearance... But the pickle was unwrapped this time, there's gotta be a riddle in there somewhere.

Maine Fried Clams- whole belly Maine clams, fries, lemon and house made tartar sauce. I was actually more interested in the fried clams with bellies than the lobster roll. When I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to have it... But I also had some reservations since I had the same excitement for the fried clams with bellies at Beetlecat which turned out to be a total dud. I wasn't expecting much initially, but when I saw the price (almost $18), they better put up or shut up... And this is what came out. All batter and crust with tiny clam strips and even tinier bellies if you could even find any in that basket... Is it me or does it look like I'm eating someone else's leftovers out of a trash can? Hey, I'm not above that. More than half of the basket was fries and only a handful of thick fried batter with clam bits. The lemon gave it a little zing but it woulda been nice if I had some tartar sauce to dip these funnel cake trimmings in. A total disappointment but what else is new... No one has yet put out a proper fried clams with bellies in this one horse town and it's a travesty.

The entire experience from start to finish was unbearable... To pay that much for shitty service and really poorly executed product almost made me vomit... But I didn't because it cost too much to flush it down the toilet, I'll wait for the full cycle and let it come out violently on the other end. It's too bad they are more interested in showing off pictures of themselves with celebrities rather than focusing on their product. I was gonna post some pics of their pics of themselves all over the walls but I ain't giving them free PR. They are very proud of appearing on Shark Tank and want to make sure everyone knows about it... But they are not really interested in the product they're selling, it's just an after thought. They should sell this low rent slop in the As Seen On TV section in Walmart.
I wouldn't hold my breath on their sustainability at Lenox mall, they got the entire demographics for this type of product totally wrong in here. It's a big ticket item in a low rent environment, maybe Barbara will fork out some more money to float this gimmick in this shark tank for another couple of months. I still can't believe I forked out $60 for this shit... Got suckered in again!
Y'all know how much Popeyes I could get for $60? I would have spicy thighs coming out of my ears for 3 days. Don't even waste your time fighting the traffic and crowds for this slop... Let's face it, there is absolutely nothing edible in this mall.

3393 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
www.cousinsmainelobster.com