Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Banshee

This may be the only new joint that hasn't got as much hype as all the other new openings in this one horse town... What gives? What is wrong with this place? Is it EAV and how ghetto it has become? Is it the owners/operators? Did they burn some bridges in the industry? Who knows but let's check Yelp... Those retards don't give a shit as long as they are the first to review. Surprisingly, there are only three rave reviews and 4 pictures of the neon sign and menu but no pictures of the grub... How can this be? Wait, they prolly didn't get any freebies is my guess... No reviews for you! 
Now, the Pouch's interest has been piqued. So, a little bird gave me a play by play during a recent visit about how awful the food was, especially, the braised duck mezzelune which was a salty cesspool... I must admit that I get excited and turned on by slop. I had to go and see and feed for myself since I haven't been to a shitty new resto in such a long time. So, I snuck in there quietly around 9:40 on a Friday night, it was packed but that didn't surprise me, what did stumped me was that the host said the kitchen was closed... On a Friday night before 10PM. Let me say it again... kitchen closed before 10 on a Friday night. Do they want to go out of business, is that their MO and business model? Jesus, don't make me go to Octopus Bar, they have gone downhill so much these day which gives me sad panda pouch face. The host said I could hangout at the bar and get drinks... Why would I when the bar looked like the Thunderdome... Master Blaster was in the weeds with the pigs around that trough. I got the fuck outta there literally in 21 seconds and wasn't gonna stay in EAV waiting for a gun fight to erupt on a Friday night... That's because I was only carrying a small Kahr, I will remember to bring my CZ Scorpion Evo 3 next time. 
I was kinda over this joint with that ridiculousness, but once the Pouch gets an hankering for new slop, it doesn't let go... I had to do it for my one reader since I haven't posted any new slop joints in so long. So, I got real fucked up on Saturday during the day so I can make it here early at night before the ghetto herd arrived. Got here around 5:30 to dine with the blue hairs and it was kinda crowded already. Whatever, as long as the bar is flowing and the kitchen isn't closed by 6PM we should be all good. 
Let's sample some dishes and see if it lives up to my low expectations I already have deemed them to be...  

I drank so much booze during the day that I had to piss like an inflated fugu... Don't worry, I will be enjoying myself in the shitter, I might even light my farts on fire in there for extra enjoyment.

Fry Bread, pepperoni butter, sesame, scallion. The fry bread was nothing special but the pepperoni butter was what I was interested in... How can this possibly be good? It's grease on fat... But y'all know what, it was surprisingly edible and a taste that was quickly acquired. It wasn't craveworthy enough alone to bring me back here but I would order it again if I was here again depending on the rest of the dishes.

Butternut Squash Ravioli, white bean, pumpkin seed picata, parmesan crisp, brown butter. Look at this plating... Where the fuck is the rav? It looks like it's hidden under a coral. If Nemo peeks out from beneath I will swallow that lil fucker like I did in college pledging. Let me re-plate this for them... Amateurs.

Voila! How difficult was that? Now, I can see all the actors in the bowl... That ravioli, one ravioli, looked so lonely in there all by it's lonesome. Is it too much to ask for two ravs? Not like it's filled with foie gras and truffles... It's squash for crying out loud. The parm crisp is nicely made, the white bean puree was velvety smooth, the ravioli pasta was toothy, the squash inside was fine and the entire execution was seasoned nicely. It's a good lil dish but don't be so friggin' cheap with just one veg rav... It's take two to make a Pouch feel right, it takes two to make it taste outta sight.

Wagyu Rare Beef Salad, peanut crisp, togarashi mayo, pickled carrot, tatsoi, soft egg. I was real skeptical about getting wagyu beef in EAV... It could be from the plethora of roadkill found on Bouldercrest... That road is filled with shady roadkill creastures. Ok, let's start from the top... The soft egg was spot-on, can't complain about that at all. The salad was more of a pickled veggie tasting. The use of exotic sounding Asian greens like tatsoi annoys me... Like they discovered some new breed of greens. It's just a friggin' spinach mustard thinger. Let's get to the main actor here... hidden under all that shit soaking up all the juices. The thinly slice manmeat wasn't as rare as stated but it tasted just ok, nothing really stood out on the flavor because it's been marinating under that mess. Not that it was putrid, either... But I wouldn't get it again because it got real tiresome after the perfect soft egg.

Pork Cheek Skewers, shishitos, garlic chips, dragon sauce. This will either be a big hit or a massive miss... And then this came out... This beautiful skewer of chubby swine cheeks sandwiched between shishito peppers looked amazing. There was no dragon sauce on the plate but it looked to be glazed on the cheeks. This dish was pretty damn tasty... the cheeks were tender as fuck and had a hint of sweetness and heat from the so called dragon sauce aka spicy soy sauce. This was good enough for the Pouch to put in a second order. Now, this was craveworthy enough for me to go back for more.

Pappardelle, sauce portugaise, shiitake mushrooms, fresno pepper, sage gremolata. Paying $16 for a small bowl of pasta usually pisses me off since pasta is low rent filler grub. This bowl may have been worth the price of admission if it wasn't all stuck together... I had to quickly rip the ribbons of pasta apart like a hair wax strip. The sauce and shiitake was pretty good and hearty but it coulda use a bit more seasoning. Every time I look at this bowl of pasta it reminds me of the 40 year old virgin. Oh, nipplefuck! Kelly Clarkson! I bet she likes to eat sticky pasta...

Pork Tenderloin, fig olivada, charred leek, almond, port jus. There was no fucking way in my rational pea brain I was gonna get the duck mezzelune but I really wanted to experience that nightmare... Alas, I played it safe since this entire visit has been going way better than expected. You can't fuck up a pork tenderloin, right? And that seemed to be true with this dish.. The medallions of Ms. Piggy were tender and moist, the figs were sweet and the port jus gave it that hint of richness. It's not a generous portion by any means but the execution was good enough to not make me mad for over paying for this tapas size portion. 

I was buzzed and all psyched to rip this joint a new brown balloon knot, but with the very decent visit I just had here, I have nothing really that crass to say... But then again, I didn't order the duck. I may just have to next time and then finish it off with the pork cheeks to cover up that salty cesspool in my cesshole.
The service was pleasant and prompt, their signature cocktails were ok but just stick with the classics like the old fashioned and sazerac along with the pork cheeks... And your night will not be a total shit show like the rest of EAV on a weekend night. I hope they can make it last in this shithole.

1271 Glenwood Ave
Atlanta, GA 30316
www.banshee-atl.com

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Genuine Pizza

Didn't all the malls in this country died a slow death like in the mid 90's? I don't know how Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza are still in business. I haven't been back to either in so many years but I had to go to Lenox to try out Cousins Maine Lobster new brick and mortar store not too long ago and the food was more disappointing than Captain D's lobster roll... There is something seriously wrong if the Pouch is craving Captain Douche's sloppy surimi rolls than a supposedly real Maine lobster roll. I will never go back to Lenox ever again... But what about Phipps, Pouch? So, there is allegedly a decent Neapolitan 'ZA chain joint somewhere inside that dump. It's called Genuine Pizza. Yeah, right... I ain't falling for the banana in the tailpipe... No fucking way, bro... Say what? Happy hour pizza for $10 any pie... Hmmm. So, what? It's pedestrian pizza in a mall... How good can it be? I used the word "Neapolitan" instead of Napoletana because these Eyetalians are not from Naples, Italy, but Naples, Florida. Shit, the pizzaiolos... Err, I mean the pizza makers in front of the Marra Forni Rotator natural gas brick oven looked like they work here part time and aspiring music producers on their lunch break handing out demo tapes in the mall. The Marra Forni oven is a decent pizza oven for the high volume pedestrian palate... They do offer a wood burning one but since this is Phipps Plaza wood is out of the question for safety reasons... For the children. The oven is bright yellow and very eye catching but that giant hood above it is such an eye sore and just plain fugly. I have slayed fat broads prettier than this thing. If you look at it in the right angle, it kinda looks like Marvin the Martian... Isn't that lovely?
That is the question isn't it? Can a mall 'ZA joint be all that they claim to be... Time to make a visit. I swear, if it sucks ass, I will never go back to a mall ever again.

Margherita, mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil. The classic pie but not the size... They are a bit smaller at around 12" vs. the DOP 12-14" standard. It's not a bad looking pie but I'm not loving the basil leaves cut in half sprinkled sparsely around the 'ZA... Leave them whole, bitches. Please. Let's take a closer look at the crust...


Looks pretty good. The char blisters, the low rise thin crust- both totally acceptable. Took a slice and it folded nicely. The center of the pie is thin but yet a bit soggy, so the tip of the slice was pretty floppy and drippy. Not a deal breaker but it makes it a bit harder to eat. The sauce is bright and vibrant but unseasoned, it was kinda bland and muted. The spots of mozza dotted around the pie was fine, it was creamy and gooey. The crust is a bit tough to chew but it was acceptable. This Margherita is not going to win any awards but it didn't make me cry either.

Short Rib, gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, arugula. I know I know... Why am I making the same mistake I made at Firepit Pizza by ordering a non-red pie? Because I'm fat, drunk and stupid, that's why. Once again, this reminded of 70's porn when it came out to the table. Shit is getting hairy up in this piece. Jesus, that is a lot of arugula on there... And what is that smell... What are they trying to cover up? The server said this was her favorite pie and I bought it- hook, line and sucker. Look at that fucking giant crust, it's like buying a pair of flip flops two sizes too big. A giant flap that sticks out the back flinging sand and water right up your ass. I had to take most of the arugula off just to sneak a peak what pie it was. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to fold this in half and make it into a calzone just to keep all the filler inside. The short rib pieces were tasty, as well as the other ingredients on this pie but overall, it was a very dry pie. I would skip this 'ZA and just stick with the red sauce pies.

Slow Roasted Pork, fig, roasted onion, fontina cheese, arugula. Fuck me, am I having deja vu? Am I in the Matrix mall? If I see a fucking cat walk by twice, I'm gonna start shooting anyone in a black suit with sunglasses that is doing a revolved side angle pose. This pie was also the server's other favorite, seems like there is a pattern here of selling as much 'ZA to any pedestrian as possible. Jesus, I'm such a fucking sucka for roasted pork and figs on anything. If they had fried chicken as a topping, I would get that no questions asked. Let's take a closer look at that giant noodle of a crust... I bet you, this shit can float.

Not as much char blisters on this pie which was weird because the oven rotates inside for even cooking. This was the only area that had decent char spots. Once again, this pie was dry and chewy like eating a bowl of Cherrios in the desert with no milk. The pork was dried out but the figs were sweet and gummy. I really have to stop getting these white pies with fancy toppings on them... They all fucking suck.

Zeppole, honey whipped ricotta. The big thick triangles of fried pizza dough dusted in 10x sugar looked the part when it came out but when you take a bite of this wheel choke it will make you want to spit it out and stick it under the table leg to stop the wobbling or am I just dizzy from this dreadful specimen. The whipped ricotta was fine but no amount of that creamed jizz will make these thick, dense, hard to chew door stops go down your throat any easier, no matter how many bags of dicks you have swallowed. Save your money and skip these abominable snowwedge at all costs. They suck ass.

Was the 'ZA here Genuine? No, but the service was friendly, prompt and totally pleasant. But the manager/owner/partner/meathead seemed to belong more at an ultra lounge on the Jersey shore than running a 'ZA joint in a mall... Bedazzled jeans are so 24 minzies ago, just sayin', bro. If I had to pay full price for these 'ZAs, I would not have been so nice about it. But the happy hour deal is a good way to try all the different pies they have to offer (they are pretty small, so, go with a couple other peoples). I would not make this a destination 'ZA joint but if I was forced to be in this mall again, I would not mind trying the spicy pepperoni and Italian sausage pies next time (no more fucking white pies for this fat fuck)... During happy hour, of course. Everything else on the menu sounded so pedestrian and boring as fuck... Oven roasted 1/2 cheekan for $19? Puh-leez. I can get a whole roasted cheekan for $5 at Kroger or Publix... Don't forget to grab a box of fwied cheekan, too. If you time it right, Walmart puts their whole roasted chicken out for half price after a certain time. The Pouch is all about good deals these days and my one reader deserves to know the inside scoop.

3500 Peachtree Rd.
Room # 1096B
Atlanta, GA 32608
https://www.genuinepizza.com/locations/phipps-plaza

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Po'Boy Shop

This new po'boy shop quietly opened next to Ms. Icey's in the Community Q BBQ strip mall... But it's making a big draw with the crowds. Supposedly, they have served over 400 po'boys in 3 days and many other items on the menu. Obviously, the big seller is the po'boys since they are proudly serving the famous Leidenheimer bread which makes the po'boy a po'boy... Kinda like how an Amoroso roll makes a cheesesteak a philty. The last time I had a po'boy with Leidenheimer bread was at On the Bayou on South Cobb Drive many many moons ago... It was pretty good but they shuttered eventually like everything else in Cobb county. There hasn't been a decent po'boy since... Not that you can't find a po'boy around this one horse town but if it's not on a Leidenheimer bread, it's tough to call it a po'boy.
Since, this new joint is using the genuine bread, it's time for the Pouch to take a sneak peek and see what the fuss is about... Walked in and it's counter service which is pretty much standard for this type street grub. I liked the open kitchen so you can see them hock a loogie in your food if they're having a bad day. It's clean and it looks like they are doing a good job at keeping it clean with this type of messy menu. For being open for just a few days, they are pretty efficient but are they consistent? Let's go find out... I'm kinda excited and skeptical about the Leidenheimer bread, there is just so much bait and switch going on these days and most people will never even notice.

Half & Half, oyster and shrimp, spicy remoulade, Leidenheimer bread. They have a small which is 6 inch for $10 and the regular is 10 inch for $14... Which was kinda pricey for an unproven po'boy. I went for the full priced 10 inch to see what they were packing... As did many other broads behind me, they must be hungry for the 10 inch po'boy. It came out wrapped in paper and the size looked decent... Once it was unwrapped, I poked at the bread. It had a thin crispy crust and a soft spongy inside. The bread seemed legit... And the crispy golden brown sea snots and skrimps peeking out did so as well. It's a good start so far... Let's open up this specimen and check out the seahorse power underneath the hood...

What the fuck... How chintzy can you be for $14? What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this? They should rename this joint "The Po Shop Boys" instead. This snatch patch had 3 small oysters and 4 shrimp in single file. C'mon, for $14 you gotta be a little more generous with the all important filler. I don't know who cut the veg but it looked like they cut the iceberg lettuce and tomatoes together at the same time like at Ann's Snack Bar. I kinda prefer the lettuce to be a bit more shredded and the tomatoes in half moon shape.. But that is neither here nor there, it's just all aesthetics, right... C'mon, Pouch, it's not nice to criticize them about proper knife skills in a commercial kitchen. Closed the hood and took a bite... It's not bad at all but I must admit that the bread had a lot to do with that. The oyster and shrimp had a nice crispy batter and seasoned nicely... But I wanted a couple more oysters and shrimp, I wanted this po'boy to be plump like me. The pickles were fine and the spicy remoulade was pretty tasty. It was a respectable po'boy, great bread but just fill'er up with just a bit more crispy sea nuggets and I would be ok with paying y'all top dollar. Would I get it again? No, not at this point. But I would if they would just clean it up a bit more. This is not a subliminal message... I want more shit inside that fucker, yo.

Combo of Oyster, Shrimp and Grouper.  Red beans & rice, slaw, hush puppies and remoulade. When I opened the lid... At first glance, it didn't look like $16 worth of food. That styrofoam box looked kinda light with a few scraps of fried sea specimens. 3 oysters, 3 shrimp, 2 grouper and 2 hush puppies. Let's take a closer look...

Now, lookie here... Up close and personal. The batter is pretty good, light, thin and crispy. The hush puppies looked a bit sad... It's just useless filler anyways, so, we'll eat that last. The oyster and shrimp is the same as the po'boy. The grouper was nicely fried with the thin crispy crust and the inside was moist and flaky. It was pretty good. I would be happier if they round up the oyster and shrimp count  to 4 pieces each but the 2 pieces of grouper was acceptable.

Their red beans & rice was a pleasant surprise... It was robust and hefty, not like the box shit you get at the market with tiny beans you make at home. I almost wanted to do an "American Pie" with this glory hole of beans. It was almost spot on except that it needed to be seasoned more, it was kinda bland... Not that a little hot sauce can't fix. I saw the gumbo as well and it also looked pretty good, next time.

Let's get back to those saggy ass old man grandpa balls... I was hesitant to put their saggy balls in my mouth but I had to for my one reader. I cut a Nawlin's testicle open and it totally surprised me... It wasn't all dried out and grainy like at so many other places. It was moist, seasoned nicely with jalapeno bits and a golden brown crust. I couldn't believe it, this was a very respectable attempt at the lowly hush puppy.

Overall, it was a pretty decent display of Nawlin's street grub... Not considering the price as a factor. The po'boy needs to be cleaned up a bit but when they do, it will be fantastic. The fry platter was tasty as well but the portion needs to be for an adult, not a tween. The slaw and red beans & rice were acceptable as well but the hush puppy really surprised me the most on this initial visit.
The staff was quick and friendly but one of the owners/manager was just drenched in sweat... I mean like he just got a bucket of Gatorade dumped on him after a Saints win against the Falcons. I understand the stress and volume during a rush can make you sweat but if Gordon Ramsay saw this sweaty pig out in the dining room serving guests, he would send this donkey home to change. Seriously, it's not exactly appetizing to have someone soaked through his clothes serving your food. They say 1 in 4 people have Genghis Khan's DNA but half of the people who has eaten here has Po'Boy Shop DNA... I feel sweaty all of the sudden.
I would not go back for the standard po'boys until it's more consistent and the disgusting Impo'ssible Vegan Burger, why why why would you? But I would go back and try some of the other items on the menu like the Debris I saw at the next table, a gravy laden chopped roast beef that is more of a manwich log than a po'boy. But if it's on the Leidenheimer bread, I'll call it whatever you want me to... Because it did look pretty good in a messy saucy kinda way. The Cajun Meat Pies looked like little empanadas which may be a hit or miss, next time as well. I'm skeptical about the Muffaletta Po'Boy because it's just sacrilegious without the Silician sesame bread. But I like what they're doing in here and Decatur needed something a little different in this area. The local yokels are coming in by the truck loads so they must be giving the plebes what they want and that will keep them in business.

1369 Clairmont Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033
www.thepoboyshopatl.com

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Firepit Pizza Tavern

Gentrification is in full effect on this stretch of Memorial Drive... So much generic bland ass construction going up in this once desolate area that reminds me of Detroit. This little black and white strip mall is no exception. Ok, fine, the Grant Park Market is pretty cute and the prices for the items in the market are pretty damn affordable and competitive. Their little built in deli counter is adorable and the menu is pretty decent. There's not much else opened yet except for this joint and Full Commission which is only serving breakfast for now. So, since it was night time... I guess I have no choice except to sneak a peak at the 'Za they're doing here.
First of all, I walked around the entire place looking for the fire pit. Their website is like... "So grab your family and friends because nothing says gather together quite like a fire pit." There is no fire pit. What the fuck, yo? If I named a joint called Cheekan and Beer I would be expected to serve cheekan and beer. This lack of attention to detail is already getting on my nerves not to mention the prices of the 'Za.. But we will get to that in a little bit.
The space is clean and modern but lacks any type of personality. And the bar, it's like something you find in a hotel or an airport... It is gaudy, cheesy and kinda over the top for a 'ZA joint. You can prolly pick up some nightcrawlers at the bar after 9PM... But not on the night I was there, woof. For a weekend night, the joint should be hopping but it was barely half full and the demographics were mid-century plus and depressing as fuck. The entire vibe of the joint was putting me to sleep... Hopefully, the food doesn't either... Let's grab a quick bite because I really want to get the fuck outta here already...

Naked and Unicorn Wings. They didn't look bad when it came out but upon closer inspection, the wings were pretty small and a few wings looked like some rodent took a bite from them before they threw them in the fryer. They were fried nicely, crispy golden skin and decently moist inside, that's how most bros like their chicks. The hot sauce was the weak ass bottled varietal and did very little to spice things up on the nekid wangz but it was edible at least. The unicorn wings... I don't know what makes them so magical because they tasted like they were just seasoned with some sweetened dry rub. They were ok, but I wasn't pooping rainbow soft serve or beaming rainbows out of my eyeballs. They were acceptable but there was nothing craveworthy about them.

Firepit Dip, brussels sprouts. It's amazing they have already bait and switched the price from $10 to $12... $2 may not sound like a lot but percentage wise, oh, it's a big change, so, it better be friggin' out of this world. And then this came out... Was someone using the bread as an elbow rest? Those two halves look like they were used as shoes on Naked and Afraid through the Amazon forest. And from this pic it looked like both halves could fit inside that side dish of brussels with room to spare. This sando is friggin small... S. M. All. I opened up the sando and the meat inside looked like a lump of coal. It wasn't sliced to make it easier to chew or eat... It was just a lump of overcooked, dried out, chewy turd that belonged on the edge of a lawn than inside your facehole. The au jus looked like the leftover coffee at the bottom of the pot after 3 days. You have no choice but to dip that dry ass sando in the jus to get it down your throat like at the July 4th Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest. Someone in the kitchen actually thought this looked appetizing on the plate. The brussels sprouts were a lot better but so would styrofoam peanuts after that sad excuse of a dip sando. To be fair, they don't have a firepit, so this dip couldn't be all that it could be without one. But still... I want my two dollars... Back.

Porchetta, tomato jam, argula. A 12" pie that is missing the red sauce and cut up into square slices for $19. Look at that fat wrinkly crust and that bushel of arugula... Kinda reminds me of a pig with a giant fat bush I hooked up with back in college. I was so boozed up, I couldn't see a thing when I was down in it's cellar, it was all stretch marks and thick curlies that flashed before my eyes, it was a sign my life was coming to an end. This crusty terror wasn't far from it, I hope I don't find any cheese inside the crust... Or else it will trigger another PTSD flashback. I need to step away from this mons pubis pie for a minute to gather myself.

The crust/dough was terrible, dried out, hard and way too crunchy and chewy... Come to think of it, if the crust had cheese in it, it woulda made a big difference. Cutting it into deformed squares made it even worse, they called it "Detroit" style... Did the Doctor cut it up with his metal hand? These square slices made me feel like a little kid eating room temp frozen 'Za back in the 70's. This pie was listed under the red sauce pies but it barely had a hint of red sauce. If they counted the tomato jam as sauce, then they also failed miserably since the pie was barely dotted with it... Shit, there was more sauce on the server's apron than on this pie. The slices of porchetta tasted like they were poached based on the gummy fat layers attached to it. The best part of this pie was the arugula, it was vibrant and fresh... That's because they didn't have to cook it. This porchetta pie sounds great on paper but it's lacking in all areas on execution. They really should give you a heads up on the square slices... They told me I can get it cut like a normal 'Za after the fact. I will never get another 'Za from here again... This specimen is all the proof I need.

This sampling of food was disappointing but not as disappointing as the space. This is supposed to be a "tavern"? It had zero "I want to stay here and drink some more" factor... I was struggling just to eat the food as quickly as possible, so I can get the fuck outta here ASAP and go somewhere else to drink. I mean, I would even go to the Republic, that dump has no atmosphere whatsoever but at least there's strange creastures to look at and make fun of at the deck bar. This place feels cold and empty... Maybe that's because they don't have that firepit to warm up the joint as promised. And if it is supposed to be a pizza tavern why aren't they showcasing the pizza oven? The pizza tasted like it came from an Easy Bake Oven... They should give you Shrinky Dinks on the side as a prize for ordering the pizza. The service and staff was borderline acceptable, nothing wrong with it but not really warm and friendly, either. It felt more like you were intruding on their space and time... If you're here and I'm here, doesn't that make it our time? Why do I feel like Spiccoli when he orders the pizza in class and Mr. Hand confiscate his pie and gives away the slices to his classmates and he's force to watch them enjoy his 'Za... But I actually wanted to give away my pizza to the few customers in here and watch them spit it out. I left more than half of that overpriced small 'Za on table and nobody wanted the rest... Not even the hobos on Memorial. How can a kitchen be so oblivious to what they're putting out and charging real money for it... At this rate, they should just move across the street with the rest of the dead. Bless their heart.

Flush.

519 Memorial Dr SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
http://www.firepitatl.com/

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.