Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Junior's Pizza

Whenever the Pouch hears about a new NYC-style 'ZA joint opening up in this one horse town, the blood flow to my nether regions open up like a floodgate... Then reality must intrude into my wet dream and my manhood is drained as quickly as it was filled. Because we all know there is no such thing as real NYC style 'ZA here in this town. Many have tried, none have succeeded. Many blame the water, yeah yeah, it's definitely the water, ooook, mook.
So, people have been talking up this new pizza joint for awhile before they even opened... It's located right next to Wood's Chapel BBQ which is breeder central. They were all jizzing their pants about the cup and char pepperoni that they will be offering... But they called it old world pepperoni. Seriously, who the fuck uses that term... Not one goddamn motherfucker who knows pizza. In NYC, you just call it cup pepperoni or just plain pepperoni if you go to the right pizzeria that only uses cup pepperoni. Go to a Papa John's or Domino's and ask them for old world pepperoni and see what they say... They will put fucking ground vegan sausage on that stupid fake ass 'ZA.
The hype was growing more and more just days before their doors opened to the public but I wasn't buying into it, just yet... Because I will only be disappointed even more if it sucked a giant natural casing salumi. But it's either now or never... Eh, fuck it, let's go all in...
I thought going later around 8:30-9 PM would avoid all the riff raffs and screaming demon spawns... Nope. No such luck... They were all over the fucking place on the patio between Wood's Chapel and Junior's. But once Wood's Chapel closed at 9PM, it became a fucking ghost town and the adulting could finally begin.
The space is simple and feels like a Felini's, but way way cleaner...It's basically all white inside except for the cool Rat Fink-esque mural. Why do all the Felini's look and feel so filthy? It's counter service, order, pay and take a VHS tape... It's gimmicky AF but cute. Find a table and wait for your shit to arrive... Don't forget to get a beer or two during your order. I ordered a bunch of classics but they were out of the Sicilian... Not even a slice to be had, WTF. I don't usually like Sicilian 'ZA but I was curious on their take on it... And if it's anything like L&B Spumoni Gardens' kickass Sicilian 'ZA, they would get full street cred from the Pouch. Oh, well, maybe next time... If there is a next time...

Just let your Soul Glo... Just let it shine through... Oh, wait, it's just Eyetalian dressing.

House Salad, $4.50. Iceberg, romaine, onions, red bell peppers, mozzarella and tomatoes, Italian dressing. House salads are usually just rabbit filler but somehow you have to get it with pizza... Something to do with digestion of the carb loading the Pouch was about to engage in.

Calzone, ricotta, mozzarella, spinach and mushrooms, $8.50. A lot of people don't get the calzone, but the Pouch loves it... Maybe because it's in the shape of a... Pouch. I love how they give you a good amount of sauce (it ain't marinara) with the calzone but it's more useful as a lube, since that steaming moist hole is tempting me with perverted thoughts. I tell y'all what, this calzone was quite acceptable... It was filled generously with ricot, mozza, spinach and shrooms and there were no empty spots in the corners, either. The dough was not too thick and not too thin, it was pretty much spot on (less see how it turns out on the pizza). The calzone was pretty good and priced right, they just need to work on that V8 juice and turn it into a marinara with flavor.

16" Cheese, cup and char pepperoni, $16.75.  Right off the bat, they were a bit light on the cup pepperoni... It needed at least 15 more slices. When you can see more cheese than pepperoni, it ain't a pepperoni 'ZA. It's NYC style-esque at first glance but further examination is required... The cup pepperoni ain't charred or curled enough but let's look at the crust first...

Hmmm, the crust is a bit flat... Not a deal breaker but you gotta have some rise to it. Maybe it wasn't allowed enough time to proof or maybe they need to mess around with the yeast mixture and crust recipe a bit more. I do like the charred edges on that lone pepperoni, though... I will need to taste test that one immediately... And tis was good.

Lift that skirt up, Pouch... We wanna see the hoochie coochie! What a cock tease...

We got bush, err, crust... Not terrible but definitely needed another minzie in the deck oven. I like more color on the bottom and also more char on the cup pepperoni. The slices are foldable and doesn't flop... It also doesn't drip orange grease like a hatchet wound from the cheap wood pulp cheese... Well, that and also because they didn't put enough pepperoni on it, especially, for a large pie. The crust/dough is a bit chewy and not the kind of good pull from a real NYC 'ZA. But this was not a bad initial showing at all. People claiming this to the best 'ZA they ever had on the first day is either a shill or some hillbilly that recently moved into the city. 

It's a good start and I think they will get better and better with time, but let's not kid ourselves here, they will never reproduce a true NYC 'ZA... Like I said, many have tried and none have succeeded. It's a decent NY inspired pie but not craveworthy enough for me to go back to Summerhill for it... But in the meantime, Junior, keep doing what y'all are doing and surprise me when I come back again as a senior citizen.

77 Georgia Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
https://www.juniorspizzaatl.com/

Monday, September 9, 2019

Hotto Hotto Ramen & Teppanyaki

Hey, y'all, lookie here... Another intown ramen joint! Oh, boy... That's all this one horse town needs is another fucking purveyor of ramen. Well, I guess poke was out at the Beacon since that fad lasted a whole 2 weeks in 2018. The Beacon is a hidden little complex in Grant Park with a handful of restos and businesses and I kinda like it even though it caters directly to the millennial crowd. The Cardinal is one of my favorite drinking spots, love the cozy vibe in there. But one of the newest resto with some hype behind it because Atlanta can't get enough of ramen is Hotto Hotto. They have gone through a few revisions to their menu from 15 ramen to 7, sandos and baos wholly disappeared along with a few other preliminary items. Which is not a bad thing... Why have a giant menu with a bunch of half baked ideas, filter it down to the best tasting dishes and execute it consistently. I'm totally ok with a smaller menu, I'm actually for it, 15 items or less are usually the best menus.
If the tonkotsu ramen turns out to be as good as promised, Ton Ton may have a real contender... If not, then it's back to Sapporo Ichiban instant tonkotsu ramen for this fat bastard. Let's go take a first look shall we? There I go again with the "we", like people actually reads this crap...
The space is open, airy, modern and simple with a good size bar on the inside and also on the outside. The open kitchen is standard issues these days. They have TVs to play games because ramen and football goes hand in hand. They also have a DJ on Fridays but they close at 10PM? Do they also have a child care center for working moms? It almost sounds like they're trying to please everyone just to get bodies into the place... Hmmm, I don't give a shit about DJs, I care about food... Feed me, Seymour!

8 Jumbo Garlic Ponzu Wings, $9.95. Looks like someone can't count... Fat Murica got fucked again! No breading, just a good deep frying of naked skinned wangz... And these were fucking dericious. Sticky, salty sweet, garlicky with a hint of the ponzu tart-tangy-sweetness. It still had a crisp bite even with the glaze and the flesh was juicy and tender. I was actually impressed with this first dish from a brand new joint... There is a god of marsupial supremeness afterall! But I'm still fucking pissed they fucked me on the missing wing that I paid for. I really should quit while they're ahead...

Roasted Sesame Sticky Fries, $4.95 small. This may be as gimmicky as those fucking ridiculous totchos... There is nothing special about these brown bag fries except they were drenched with a sesame sweet sauce. It could be addictive if you were smoking some ganja but if you're not on drugs, the first few fries are fun but it gets muted after that. It's a try it once kinda item.

Hotto Tonkotsu Ramen, $15.95. One of the most pricey tonkotsu, if not the most expensive in this one horse town. For top dollar, this better make me pump and squirt uncontrollably... Unfortunately, this bowl of sodium was almost inedible. The tonkotsu broth was extremely salty and lacked any evidence of collagen from the pork bones only broth. They also have Chinese black mushrooms in there (supposedly shiitake) and they used the reconstituted reserved liquid from the black mushrooms in the broth as well. The salty black mushroom flavor is very prominent in there. The ramen noodles were springy, firm and toothy as it should be. I had a feeling they were from Sun... So, I asked the husband owner what kinda ramen noodles they use and he goes, ah, it's called Sun Noodles... I'm like that's great because most everyone in Atlanta is using Sun Noodles. He's like, oh, really? I'm like, where have you been in the last 5 years? He didn't even know they were from New Jersey or have a ramen joint in NYC (Ramen Lab is amazing, stand up eating only, sick!). The guy was like a clueless special chubby child that is loved by all... Kinda like Corky. Let's get back to this exhibit... The chashu and soft egg was spot on, but there was no way to get around that disgusting broth. They say it's creamy and milky... All I see is a rusty cesspool like draining the bottom tank of a 15 year old water heater. It lacked the stickiness from the collagen of the bones, it was obvious the broth was not simmered for hours overnight. They got a few elements of a proper tonkotsu right but the broth that pulls everything together was god awful... The salt factor was so overwhelming, you need to pound a gallon of water to dilute all that sodium in your system. Jesus, my toes are swelling up as we speak. Don't even waste your time or money on this tonkotsu, it is one of the worst examples in this town of ramen shops... And to put more salt on the gash, I had to wait longer for it because the server didn't write down the order (she "memorized" it) and sent out a Chicken Curry Don, instead. I said, is that the tonkotsu ramen? She had to think about it for a minute because she really didn't know the answer. I had to mouth it to her, noooooo...

Street Ramen, $11.95. 12 bucks for a brothless vegan ramen with an EGG in it... If the egg came first then it's ok... It's not a chicken yet. Did I mention it was 12 fucking dollars for noodles and cucumber cubes? Let's do a roll call of the ingredients to justify this price tag... Fried shallots, fresh cucumber salad, garlic oil and scallions. Hmmm, that sounds about right for that price point. Here's the verdict, it's not worth the price of admission to this side show... And that's where this belonged, to the side. Street ramen is right because you will want to throw it into the street after the first bite.

Teriyaki Chicken, $15.95. I actually ordered the Chicken Katsu but since my server has the memory of an elephant and didn't write down my order, I got the teriyaki instead. I didn't want to send another dish back and it wasn't a big loss because it was the same price and with my luck tonight, both dishes would probably look and taste the same anyways... Wait, could this be the Chicken Katsu in disguise? Shit, who cares, everything tastes like cheekan anyways, even chicken! Well, just look at that specimen... Take one guess on how that will taste. I'll give you a clue... It starts with cloying and sweet in the middle and ends with salty. Yes, that teriyaki was so syrupy sweet and incredibly salty once again. They do love their salt here. The chicken itself was really good after you squeegee 90% of the sauce off. It was tender and juicy excluding the sauce. The Asian sesame slaw was fine but not enough to cut the saltiness from the sauce. The rice had hard dried lumps in the middle, another evidence that old rice was mixed in with fresh rice. Teriyaki anything is so Americanized and I don't usually order it ever and this example solidifies my opinion on this gringorized slop.

Look, it started out really good with the dericious wings (minus 1 wing for the tanuki's share) but it took a turn for the worse real quick... Mixed feelings, buddy. Like going off a cliff in Gordon Gekko's new Maserati. Nothing else sampled was good enough to warrant a revisit from this marsupial anytime soon. But that shouldn't stop the pedestrians from living the hype because it's all about la vida loca. That fucking tonkotsu is still giving me nightmares along with hives from the sodium overdose. Eh, what does this fat fuck know, go give it a try and find out for yourselves. They seemed like nice people, so, support local even if the ramen suck... Hey, I did my part because I'm a proponent of mom & pop shops but I'm also a sucka, now, y'all do yours...

Flush.

1039 Grant St SE
Sute B10
Atlanta, GA 30315
https://hottohotto.com/

Vietvana Pho Noodle House

Oh, lordy, where to begin... Are Vietnamese restos, especially, pho joints, the newest gimmick like the revolting poke bullshit days of yesteryear? They are popping up all over the fucking place in this one horse town with the lure of delivering ethnic cuisine to the middling gringos who never venture more than 500 feet from their garage door. Pho and Korean BBQ are invading the intown landscape trying to capture that market share of people who don't want to drive to Buford Highway or just never had the cuisines. I don't mind seeing one or two pho joints intown because the grub is usually pretty watered down for the demographics with a higher price tag but it's getting annoying to see more and more pop up with similar setups.
So, the owners of Khanh Vietnamese Pho and Sandwich at the H Mart strip mall in Duluth opened up a sister location in the old Our Way Cafe in Avondale... Whatchu talkin'bout, Willis?! Avondale??? There's no slopes in Avondale, you may be able to find a few pseudo ones in Clarkston but Avondale? C'mon, motherfuckers, stop playing, yo! I had Khanh's many moons ago and it was alright but alright in Duluth is just not good enough with some many other options within a stone's throw away. But if you open an ethnic resto in an up and coming gentrifying area, the pedestrians in the community will eat that shit up, hook, line and sinker... It's a ballsy move but if you don't take risks there's no reward. Even if the food sucks ass here, I still give them credit for doing it in this area even if it's for 6 months.
I wanted to wait a bit to write this up... I needed to visit this joint at least a couple times just to make sure it was consistent. Let's take a look at a few classic dishes and see if they can deliver the goods or just dumb down garbage with a Vietnamese name on the menu...

Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam, $6.95. Menu says "Crispy wings with sweet garlic fish sauce"... 1. Wings were soggy, 2. Not a hint of fish sauce, 3. The flesh was stiff, 4. Fucking stiffed me the 6th wing, 5. Skip this shit. Seven bucks for 5 wings... It was supposed to be 6... Yeah, I want my 2 dollars back, ese. These wings were glazed with something but it ain't fish sauce. These were just plain bad... Tasted like they poached them first and flash fried it and splashed it with some watered down concoction. Nothing Vietnamese about these at all, they actually sucked hard. If you're gonna steal Nam Phuong's fish sauce glazed wings at least do it some justice. Fuck me, the more I think about it, the more upset I get... Pouch is getting UPSET! Not a good start at all...

Banh Beo Chen, $6.95. Hue style rice cakes with dried shrimp, scallion oil, fried onions and croutons. I do like how they give you 8 little plates to share with the table but in my case it was just me and the Pouch. Let's take a closer look...

It's a fun little dish but once is more than enough to last a life time. It's just not that interesting or flavor packed. It's a dish for little kids. If they paired it with a shot of whiskey for each little plate, then maybe it's worth it.

Banh Xeo, $11.95. I have been craving this Vietnamese crepe... Made with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, mung beans and yellow onions with garnishes on the side. The house made fish sauce aka nuoc mam was so weak and watered down that I had to ask them for some unadulterated full strength fish sauce (luckily, I saw a few bottles of 3 crabs on the shelves). The banh xeo was a robust portion, no complaints about that. But it wasn't as crispy or thin as it could be... They also just threw in the fillers afterwards, it's supposed to be cooked with the batter, so it becomes part of the crepe. It's not a bad attempt but kinda hard to call it a true exhibit of a banh xeo at this stage of the game. Hopefully, they will improve with time.

Bun Bo Hue, $11.95. BBH is one of my favorite Viet noodle soups... And if it's done correctly, it totally surpasses any pho on any day. I love BBH because it encompasses the delicate balance of spicy, salty and umami flavors all in one bowl. It is an incredible dish on a cold rainy/snowy day... But I can eat it even on a hot swamp ass summer day in GA as well, I don't fucking discriminate. This specimen was a nice showing at first glance... It had many of the elements required in a BBH bowl. They got the big blood cube, the giant beef shank, slices of assorted meats, thick round rice noodles, and a hint of lemongrass because the pile of raw onions on top overpowered the core aroma of the broth. Took a sip... Eh, it's not spicy at all, even the color was pale in comparison to other BBH found in this town. Like with pho, the broth is the main star in any noodle soup... It brings all the elements together in harmony and this specimen was more style than substance. The real non-compliance for me was the weak unspicy broth which totally killed it for me... But I still ate it after doctoring it up with the supply of sriracha, sambal oelek and shrimp paste on hand. It is what it is... Especially, in this part of town. I asked the server if anyone has order this at all, she said, you and one other person so far... I guess those fucking Yelpers are more interested in complaining about the soap in the bathroom than the food.

On another visit...

Papaya Salad, $8.95. Vietnamese papaya salad is nothing like Thai papaya salad at all... It is more delicate and way less spicy than their Thai counterparts. I fucking love Thai hot papaya salad, it gets my blood flow going in my nether regions that no fat chick can. This Viet version was fine, the most noticeable element was the texture, it didn't have that crunch and fresh herb aroma that a well made Viet papaya salad delivers. I guess that's why they give you prawn chips, for that crunch factor that's missing in the papaya salad. It's not a bad dish, it's just kinda boring. Freshness is the key to this dish.

Com Tam Bo Luc Lac, $12.95. The infamous shaking beef turned out more like sleeping beef... It almost put me to sleep while chewing it. It was delivered to the table barely warm through and had no sizzle. The flavor was good, the accompaniments were acceptable, but the broken rice had some dried out crunchy bits which seemed like they mixed in day old rice with rice they made that day. Not a deal breaker but the Pouch makes observations with precision that my one reader demands. The beef cubes were tender and seasoned well, it would have been a better dish if it was served hot right away and not sitting at the pass waiting for the server to pick it up. It's like made to order chicharrones, they have to be served right after it comes outta the fryer for that crackling goodness. Food is a show and without the music, the experience is half complete. But this should be an easy fix.

 
Banh Mi Dac Biet, $5.50. Someone is in desperate need of a manscaping... Anyone got some hot wax or a machete? Look at that bush, woof. How do we even know what's in that shrubbery. I pulled all the Ho Chin Minh foliage away to inspect the innards and it didn't look half bad (I forgot to take a pic). It had a decent helping of pate, ham, roast pork and shredded pork. Put everything back together and took a bite... Hmmm, it was delicious. The bread was flaky on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside. The entire flavor package was spot on... And the mark up was worth it. But Quoc Huong still has some of the best (if not the most consistent) banh mi's in town.

Banh Xeo, $11.95. I had to get it again just to see if it improved... And it has but not by much. The execution was cleaner and the crepe was sealed nicely like a giant empanada or calzone. The edges were crispier which was a great improvement, it was more crepe like than omelette like. It's kinda growing on me but not enough to order it again for myself... I will wait for some poor schmuck to order it and I will sample it just to make sure it's edible.

Pho, $9.95. Build your own- Tendon, tripe and meatball x2. Alright, alright, alright... Here is the main event, the much hyped home made signature beef broth and fresh rice noodles. I like how you can customize your pho bowl. I doubled up on the meatballs because most places are always so fucking chintzy with their balls. The beef broth looked kinda weak and watered down... Took a sip and my initial assessment was correct. It had a beefy flavor to it but it was not complex or rich, it was like from a bouillon cube added to some bones in a pot with water. You can taste it almost immediately that this wasn't simmered for hours as hoped for. Maybe if we dress it up with all the accoutrements and sauces we can disguise it...

Pre-hot saucing the beast... After you mixed in all the goodies, it starts to develop a more complex flavor that resembles more like a rich bowl of pho. The tendons, tripe and meatballs were all acceptable, the fresh made rice noodles were toothy and springy as promised. If only the beef broth was better this would have been a very respectable pho... But for the area, this was totally acceptable. Hopefully, with time, they can improve the "signature" beef broth, but for now, it's more of an e-signature beef broth.

They took a chance in opening an ethnic resto in Avondale and so far it looks like it is paying off because the pedestrians are packing the place... It's a good beginner's guide to Viet grub, a Pho for Dummies of sorts. The great thing I like about them is that they are opened till midnight every single day, so you can come after the rush of families and their demon spawns screaming like banshees... Which may sound just like you're in Vietnam. But don't get your hopes up just yet of slurping pho till midnight because they may have changed their hours till 11 PM now according to those mooks at Yelp... Boooooo! But it won't stop me from trying out a few more dishes before heading back to Buford Hwy for the real deal.

2831 E. College Ave
Avondale Estates, GA 30002
https://vietvana.com/

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Bawarchi Biryanis

Anyone remember Tava Indian Bistro? They had some tasty fresh lamb brains and giant ball sandos but not much else... And it was always dead in there. Semi fine dining Indian restos never last long. But out of the ashes came a biryani franchise... There's one in Sandy Springs and a couple other ones way OTP. I have never been to any of them because I'm obese and refuse to drive that far to be disappointed these days. I love biryani but so many places in this one horse town can never just get it right with all the spices and seasonings, the balance is always way off or none at all. If you're gonna open an Indian fast casual chain that specializes in biryani in the Patel Bros. strip mall, you better bring your B game... These expats around here don't play that. Biryani is one of my favorite dishes... I love rice and eat it on the regular, usually, at least 10,000 times in one sitting.
So, this joint specializes in all things biryani but they also have many other things, basically, every type of Indian dish out there. The menu is huge and I'm thinking to myself, there's no fucking way they can make all these dishes taste good. This is gonna be a productive visit either way...If they suck, I will shit on them. If they are authentic, I will shit my pants. But let's see what the losers online have to say about this place. I like how all the brownies panned it on Yelp, it gave me hope for those poor schmucks. Wait, they prolly didn't get any freebies... Still schmucks. One mutt was trying to be funny while telling people that Jon Snow or anyone else will never know or taste what a real 5 star biryani is in this town because they haven't lived long enough... This mook looked like he was 24 and I don't think Westeros has Indian grub. That fuck face never even tells us what a 5 star biryani should be or where we can get some... Already suspect.
Unlike Yelp, the Pouch will never beat around the bush (because I manscape) and always report to my one reader if the grub is edible or not. I'm excited about this joint, let's get to it already you fat fuck...

Chicken 555, deep fried chicken in special sauce with cashew nuts, $8.99. My pouch was set on the Chicken 65 but then I had to ask what the fuss was about on the Chicken 555 and 999... And why isn't there a Chicken 666, I would prolly eat the shit outta that devil's ass. The 555 is in special sauce and cashews and the 999 is with green chilies, curry leaves and spices. Both sounded good but which one is the spiciest? The dude said in a Short Circuit accent, "Oh, the triple 5 is vetty vetty spicy, I can't even handle it!" Number 5 is alive, you motherfucker you... SOLD! This gorgeous platter appeared quickly and it passed the smell test right away with the fragrant aroma. It looked spicy but we all know you can't judge a book by it's scratch and sniff cover. Took a bite... Fuck me, me rikey! I was hoping it would be spicy as the dude stated but it was like a 3 out of 10. But that didn't mean it wasn't good because it was addictive as fuck. I was popping these nuggets into my fat face faster than Jenna Jameson popping dicks in all her orifices during a gang bang. Triple 5 was dericious but make sure you ask them to make it at least 10 times spicier if they are able to.

Masala Dosa, filled with mildly spiced mashed potatoes served with peanut chutney, mint chutney, tomato chutney & sambar, $7.99. What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs and sits in front of Patel Bros. entrance? Masala Matt. Look at that shit, that ain't no dosa, it's a fucking door mat. This thing was yuge and gorgeous. This golden brown crepe stuffed with spiced taters was fucking dericious. The sauces were just ok but damn, this dosa even surprised me. I want to try all the other ones now.

Paneer Tikka Masala, cheese cubes in a creamy buttery tomato sauce, $8.99. Let's get right to it, it wasn't spicy at all but it tasted good. The curry consistency was creamy as advertised. The cubes of paneer were toothy and yet forgiving. It's a tasty dish but there are many more dishes to try on the menu before ordering this again.

Basmati Rice. Standard issue to soak up the bloody cheese bowl above.

Garlic Naan, $2.49. It's a pretty good naan, nothing exceptional or crave worthy but it will do the trick to sop up any sauce left in the paneer tikka masala. I spread the masala gravy on the triangle shaped garlic naan and topped it off with the cubes of paneer and folded it in half and ate it like a slice of Indian 'ZA. That's the right way to eat it... F'in derish.

Malai Tikka Kebab, chicken marinated in chef's secret creamy garlic sauce, $8.99. This dish was ordered for the roundeye at the table... Their fragile stomach is delicate like a flower. The chicken was tender and had a soft chew to it. The seasoning was fine, nothing special about it. Skip it.

Goat Dum Biryani, served with Mirchi Ka Salan (curried chili peppers), Raita and Avakai (upon request), $12.99. I don't require all these sauces for a biryani but for a Hyderabadi biryani it's a must... Except the Avakai, a spicy mango pickle, which they gave me a sample to taste. And it was pretty nasty like licking a goat's moist asshole. This was a bone in goat biryani and more often than not there's more bone than goat meat and it's such a rip... So, the dude said he will put more meat and less bone in it... That's what she said. It's a gorgeous looking bowl, the colors are bright and vibrant and it smelled awesome... Let's take a closer look.

Look at this beauty. The closer I stick my snout to the bowl the more I begin drool into the bowl... I got dibs on the entire bowl, motherfuckers! Mixed it all up and there was a good amount of goat meat hidden underneath and yes, there was also bone chunks in there. The spices and flavors of this biryani was spot on and you get the full effect with each bite. Damn, this was good... And you know it's crave-worthy if the Pouch is still dreaming about it days later. I can't wait to go back and gobble down more brownie vittles...

On another visit not long after... Shit, I couldn't wait to get back there to try more biryani and cheekan numbers.

Chicken 65, $8.99. So, I went back to see if the 65 was just as good as the 555... And the portion was half the size of the 555 on my first visit. What. Da. Fuck. Patel. Don't fucking tell me they started shrinking down the portion size because the word was getting out that this place was legit. The chicken 65 was pretty damn tasty but I was still furious that this portion was served on a side dish. Next time, I'm getting the 999... No more of this shrinky dink 65.

Palak Paneer, $8.99. The classic Exorcist spinach green puke with cheese chunks. It's a bit too watery and could be seasoned a tad better but once you mix it up with the rice and raita, it's passable if you're starving. I rather have something with more of a spice kick if I'm going veg.

Garlic Naan, $2.49. Same stuff, still good to wipe up the bitchy demon's green bile with.

Veg Dum Biryani, $9.99. This time I wanted to try the biryani in all it's naked glory... Without meat. They should call this the birthday suit biryani. No, the Pouch is not going vegan, fucking never! But this bowl looked as gorgeous as the first bowl I had on the first visit.

Mixed it all up and it looked even better with all the spices revealing themselves from the bottom of the bowl. The basmati rice was spot on and absorbed all the fragrant spices and flavors... It was aromatic and just goddamn dericious. And I didn't even miss the protein nor even noticed it was missing. I could almost eat this everyday.

This little chain Indian resto hidden within all the other authentic Indian joints in Patel Plaza really delivered and even impressed the Pouch... Which we all know is a prissy picky marsupial. The biryani is the star here but many of their other dishes can easily hold their own as well. I am still curious about the Chicken 999 and will report back to my fan after my next visit. I don't know how you motherfuckers did it but y'all made this fat fuck happy as a pig in shit or was that IBS...

Squirt.

1685 Church St.
Suite 110
Decatur, GA 30033
www.bawarchidecatur.com

Baker Dude Artisan Pizza

I don't doubt that the Baker Dude down at the Beacon in Grant Park makes good cupcakes, pastries, quiches and sandwiches but they recently added Artisan pizzas (Made Fresh and Fast!) to their menu and are very proud of it... Since, it was a Sunday and Junior's was closed, I had to resort to trying this 'Za. They are very excited that they are slinging pizzas now. I, on the other hand had major reservations from a bakery... The generic pictures of the pies looked, well, generic. And second, they where giving away a small cup of soft serve with every pie. The soft serve was decent, especially, on a hot ass swamp ass day. I'm game to try out any type of pizza, who knows, they could be a pleasant surprise...
Then this creasture came out a few minzies later... Oh, lord, bless their heart... Here we go, let's just get it over with and be dunzo forever... Like ripping a band-aid off quickly. Just eat this slop really fast, Pouch... And you may not even notice it.

Margherita 'ZA. What. Da. Fuck. Is. That... Someone needs a shower because the fromunda cheese is fierce up in this piece. How is this even close to a margherita 'Za? It is absolutely revolting. When Crapa John's, Dominot's or Little Pissers conveyor belt 'Za looks more appetizing and edible than this specimen, you know something is rotten in the state of Atlanta. There is nothing attractive about this, but I need to take a closer look at this exhibit for my one reader...

Jesus Christ, look at that pathetic crust... It's like a prison shank disguised as a slice of 'ZA. The cheese is ultra greasy, the sauce was way too sweet, and the crust was like a matzo cracker. There was so much cheese on there that it flopped over even when folded in half or tried to fold it. If a kid made this at home, you may eat it just to appease his fragile entitled soul, but when you're paying top dollar for this, it better be half way edible. This wasn't even a quarter of the way edible. It was so bad that I actually felt sorry for them. You know the old saying, "There is no such thing as bad pizza." or "Pizza is like sex, even when it's bad, it's still pretty good." Well, I beg to differ, sir. I rather have sex with an armadillo on meth than eat this slop again. This was the worst pizza I have ever had in my measly life... Even compared to the ones from an Easy Bake oven. I beseech y'all to avoid this nasty pie at all costs... Even the hobos outside begging for scraps. Because it will be IBS-D central within minutes of consumption.

Flush.

1039 Grant Street SE
Ste B18
Atlanta, GA 30315
https://www.bakerdude.com/

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Wood's Chapel BBQ

Y'all knew this visit by the portly tubber was coming...
BBQ in this one horse town has become pretty legit and respected by the rest of the country... Not fully but respected nonetheless. I could name all the acceptable BBQ joints in this one horse town but I'm not going to. My stubby sausage fingers cannot type that much without developing blisters. So, the General Muir gang decided to open a BBQ joint... Hmmm. I do like General Muir and their food hall concepts but not enough to be regulars on my rotation. But when it comes to BBQ, I am always willing to try it at least one time.
Everyone has been sucking them off just by association... And I fucking hate that. Especially, the media and all the online "food critics" professing their love while saying it's still a work in progress at the same time. So, which is it... Good or bad? They are so enamored with them just because of their other restaurants that they could never write anything critical about something they have never done before... And a BBQ resto isn't something that you decide to open overnight just because you thought it was something fun to do. People spend years, even decades, mastering true BBQ. Some of these retards haven't even eaten the food or maybe just a couple of bites and they proclaim it the best BBQ in this one horse town. C'mon, give me a fucking break. The Pouch will never dumb down a review just because I'm friends with a resto... Luckily, only my one reader will know the truth if this BBQ stands up to the rest in this city... And within a very competitive crowd at that.
First off, it is millennial breeder heaven in here... And there is no fucking way most of these people in here lived around here. Summerhill is still a major work in progress, this little stretch of road near the deserted ballpark has a handful of businesses up and running which is fine during the day but when the sun goes down it is dead as fuck because it ain't exactly a safe space for the breeders. Just like Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market and Inman Quarter is also dead as roadkill during the week but it's tourist central on the weekends.
The one thing my one fan knows is that the Pouch will always deliver the good, bad and fugly on all things that's fit to eat. Let's go see if the adoring reviews live up to the hype as they claim...

Meat Sampler, sliced brisket, ribs, creamed corn, pork belly fried rice, pickled onions and pickles with standard BBQ, AP, Hog Mop and hot sauces, $17.50. Sounds like a hefty portion but the words on the paper menu weighed more than the meats on the tray. I wasn't wowed nor disappointed when this platter was placed in front of my snout. It was just like, eh, two meats and two sides. First of all, the sauces were nothing to write home about. They were all boring and none of them paired well with either of the meats. Even the hot sauce was weak as ass, it almost looked like the nuclear cloying orange sweet and sour sauce you get at slutty Chino joints. Let's take a closer look at each of the specimen on this tray...

Smoked pork belly fried rice looked decent enough until the first bite... It was boring and tasted like nothing, no smoke whatsoever. Hell, put a few squirts of liquid smoke to trick me at least. It was so under-seasoned it coulda passed for baby food. Pork belly my ass, it was minced up pieces of meat that coulda been any of the scraps and trimmings. Who's gonna know the difference... This was such a let down, a real snoozer.

Creamed corn with chili mayo, cotija and lime... It's basically an elote in a soup form. Mixed it all up and took a bite... Shit, mofos, this was pretty tasty. It had flavor and seasonings, could use some more cotija but it was totally acceptable. I almost put in some hot sauce from muscle memory but then I remembered how lame the hot sauce was. It's not a hard side dish to make at home but they did a respectable job here.

Beef brisket... Woof. I asked for sliced and this is what I got... I guess they never heard of the old saying, "Ask and you shall receive" because all I got was this small pile of end pieces and trimmings hiding underneath. After further investigation, it turned out to be a glob of fat cap hidden under that first layer of brisket... Which didn't have much of a smoke ring. The bark was pretty nice, not too thick and not too thin but it wasn't smokey at all... Which was quite baffling. The brisket was passable, a bit dry, but really nothing memorable enough to be crave-worthy status. I even had to use some of the sauces to get this down. If I never ate this again, I wouldn't be missing out on anything. Let's just say I won't have a case of FOMO but IBS, that's another matter. Perhaps it would have been a different story if I received some proper slices of brisket, instead. This was a really unexciting showing. What a shame.

St. Louis style pork ribs. The ribs also had a really nice bark, a lovely dark caramelized shiny coating... And they were smokey, too, unlike the brisket. The ribs were tender and moist and seasoned unlike the brisket. It's a decent rib but like the brisket, it ain't nothing worth driving down here for... You could get similar quality ribs at Publix.

Cue-bano, smoked pork shoulder, our ham, pickles, swiss, cracklins', mustard sauce, $13. I saw pictures of this presentation and I had to witness it for myself in real life. This plating is baffling, it's not like I don't know what's inside that wrapper. It's kinda weird that they sliced it down the middle length wise instead of the standard on the bias. Looks like you can use it to measure things with or beat back the hobos outside asking for your leftovers... Does the rule of thumb apply to hobos? Only if they are women. Let's take a closer look at this unconventional exhibit... This presentation is really annoying the fuck outta me... I gotta rearrange it for my sanity. Serenity now!

It was like unwrapping a Christmas gift you already knew what it was... I re-plated it in a few different positions but seriously, how many ways can you plate two thick rulers... This presentation looked a hundred times better than theirs. The bread was good but a bit too much color which almost tasted charred. Shit, this cuebano had more smoke than the brisket. The pressed bread was crunchy on the outside, pliable on the inside and held all the innards together well. Nothing fell out with each downward pressure bite. It's a decent version of a Cubano but at a pricey $13, once is all that my mama allows to me spend... Mama, it's ok because I won't be getting another one, again. The best Cuban in the city is still $5 and only my one reader will know the name of that joint.

I like the idea of this BBQ joint in this area, but the reality of it still has a long way to go. The breeders like this place because they can pretend to be hip still while their kids can scream all they want in here, make a mess and no one complains about it. I'm sure they will do well here based on their pedigree but will the hype last once the shiny newness of it has worn off.

It's not the best BBQ in this one horse town, far from it, but there are some decent bites to be had here. I ain't coming back here anytime soon but I'm really curious to try Junior's Pizza... Dammit, you mean I gotta come back here, again...

85 Georgia Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
http://www.woodschapelbbq.com/

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Las Brasas Long Awaited Revisit

Alright, y'all got me... No one has been waiting for my revisit here. I don't know if anyone even reads this stupid ass blog. I just assume there is at least one deviant fatso like me that would relish in these unorthodox food reviews. Just believing that there was another culinary maverick out there that thinks and eats like this corpulent slob keeps me producing these eloquent reviews. Who the fuck am I kidding? That one reader I speak of is me... I read my own shit because I'm obese and lonely. This is the stupidest blog ever allowed on the ultra web... Al Gore is rolling over in his king sized bed with two hookers as we speak. I'm sure one day he will ban me, but until then, I'm going to be that counterculture voice that must be heard... But it's mostly in my own head. Let's get to it shall we?
When Las Brasas was in that tiny shithole space which is now Doggy Dogg, their Peruvian chicken was fucking amazing... I still think about the first time I ate at that shithole back in the days. There's always something sexy about Latin grub produced from a holding cell made of cinderblock with window bars. That was some dericious juicy ass rotisserie cheekan. They got so popular that they needed more space to produce more volume. Unfortunately, the Peruvian rotisserie chicken became so mass produced and sat in warm boxes for hours on end and when it was served it lacked all the characteristics of a juicy flavorful chicken with that amazing golden shellacked skin that made it a Peruvian chicken. It was depressing as fuck and I filed this fowl in the back of the pouch and never made a revisit again... Until now.
The long awaited revisit of the once great champ, now, a study in moppishness. No longer the victory hungry Peruvian cheekan we've ate so many times before, but a pathetic, dried up, aged ex-champion. I'm still waiting for my two dollars from that visit. So, a buddy says he wants to try that chicken place... My pouch perked up and started growling. I was like, Popeyes?! He's like no, you fat ass... I want to try that Peruvian chicken joint. I'm like, fuck that noise, dude... That place sucked the last time I went. But he was adamant about it and since, I love proving motherfuckers wrong... I was like, fuck it, let's do this and see how they're sucking these days. I was kinda surprised they were still in business...

 
Lamb Empanada, spiced lamb with mint & chimichurri, $8. I was kinda surprised it was 3 emps instead of the usual two... But what surprised me was how golden brown they were. These aren't bad looking emps. But the garden salad didn't exactly go with it. The dough was crusty and flaky and the lamb mixture inside was pretty damn tasty... I couldn't believe it, did they learn how to cook after all these years? The chimichurri was garbage but the emps didn't need it. I would get these, again.. Did I say that out loud?

Pollo Frito (half), Peruvian spiced fried chicken, lime wedges, $12. I didn't want to risk the regular rotisserie chicken, again... But when there's fried chicken on the menu it will always trump any other chicken all the time. I must admit, this looked incredible. The crust was near perfect with a thin crispy skin. The golden brown color was gorgeous. Seriously, how can this be? This must be a dream... I better pinch my sack to see if this is real. Yes, it was real (in a high pitch)... Let's take a closer look...

I'm still in awe of this fine specimen in front of me... But looks are one thing, taste is another. Time to give this honeypot a lick. Split the thigh from the leg and took a bite... Damn, mofos! This shit was guud! The thin crust had a nice crunch, the flesh was moist and juicy and seasoned nicely... This was light years ahead of the rotisserie chicken I last remembered. It pains me to say this, but this was one of the best fwied cheekan that I have had recently and most surprisingly of all, at a place that left me disappointed many many moons ago. They have redeemed themselves in the chicken department once again. I may even come back to try the rotisserie... But this fried chicken is hard to pass up if I step foot in here, again.

Lomo Saltado, beef filet mignon, roma tomato, red onion, house fries, pisco, balsamic, soy & aji panca, $18. A classic Peruvian dish... It could use a bit more garnish of freshly chopped cilantro on top for color, but this was pretty close to it. I asked them to not over cook the filet, even a bit rare if they could so it's not chewy... And it came out pretty good. The red onions and tomatoes were toothy but the fries were a bit soggy, not that it made the dish any less appealing. It's a good dish and a good portion, easily shareable.

Chaufa Pollo, rotisserie chicken fried rice, egg & spices, $12. Asian cuisine has been very influential in Peruvian street food... And for the better. I have made this dish in a number of different varieties using different proteins... Chicken is classic but any leftovers will do like pork, steak, seafood, hot dogs or SPAM which is a personal favorite.

It's a generous portion but rice ain't expensive and fried rice should never be pricey in any language. Uh oh, I don't see much chicken in there... Stir it up, Pouch, you big dummy. And it revealed a plethora of chunks of rotisserie chicken. Jesus, I hope that shit is not dry as particle board. Took a bite and it was totally acceptable... This was a pretty tasty arroz chaufa, it might need a little bit more seasoning but the Pouch was putting this away bite after bite.

This was unreal, everything I have sample on this visit was more than acceptable. What kinda sorcery is this? How did these motherfuckers get their mojo back after such a disastrous display in the beginning? Well, I really don't care because that pollo frito had me at cockadoodledoo, ese... I would definitely go back for it again, but it still ain't no Popeyes!

Pump and a Burp.

614 Church St.
Decatur, GA 30030
https://www.lasbrasasdecatur.com/