Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Snackboxe Bistro Lao Street Food

What the fuck is going on in this strip mall all of the sudden? It's been pretty much empty for years with only two major anchors, H Mart and Shoya... Which Shoya has been a favorite of the pouch since the beginning and still is. Now, there's Conch Heaven, Miss Gogi, Kula, Yebisuya for the last few months and more restos are opening up. The two newest ones are Champion Snack House and Snackboxe Bistro Lao street food. Since, some people have been raving about the Lao grub here (not counting the Yelptards, they fucking like anything), it made me curious enough to stop by before I went to H Mart to get some more 2X spicy hot chicken ramen... That is the spiciest instant ramen I have ever had and it's fucking impressive even for the pouch. Hopefully, this joint's grub will be more impressive than a bag of ramen.
Walked in and looked around, the interior was decently built out... Wasn't expecting anything fancy, but it was clean. You order at the counter and they give you a number. The Laos street food menu read well until you notice the prices... $7 for 3 wings? Come the fuck again? I was tempted to order them just so I could rip them a new asshole if they sucked ass but I just had some killer fwied cheekan the other night at Fork in the Road, 6 piece dark with 2 sides for $8.99... And I just couldn't justify spending $7 for 3 whole wings at this supposedly oriental street food joint. I know what y'all are saying, this fat fuck is passing on motherfucking fried chicken? Someone call a doctor, the pouch must be sick in the head. The wings aren't what you come here for anyways... It's the grub that you can't get anywhere else that interests me...
Let's go take a look and see if the Yelptards were right about the food or just spewing the same old shit outta their brown eyes in exchange for free grub... I think we all have a feeling about how this will go...

Khao Chee, sticky rice omelette cakes, pan fried crispy topped with seasoned egg wash, $5. Sounds so fucking good doesn't it? Yeah, until these cow muffin came out... I had these before and I was hoping they were on a stick and grilled with nice bits of char around it. Instead, we get these lightly brushed eggwash sticky rice cakes. There weren't much egg wash or seasoning to these bland ass patties... I had to dip them in chili paste just to wake myself up while eating them. If they were more seasoned I wouldn't have been so disappointed... No wonder no one was ordering these things. Skip these unless you're craving POW scraps... I can't even use the leftover rice to seal my envelopes.

Beef Jerky, Sticky Rice, $8. The jerky looked gorgeous and it tasted as good as it looked. But it doesn't come with sticky rice, that's an extra $2 for a small bag... That's just fucking wrong, mofo, everyone knows oriental jerky should always come with rice. It's like charging extra for rice when you order fried rice. So, this quick street snack will set you back $10... Fool me once... Fuck that noise. It was tasty but not worth it for a few small bites. I. Want. My. Two. Dollars.

Spicy Thum, green papaya salad, $6. I was pretty skeptical on getting a proper papaya salad at a fast causal Lao joint, but I was pretty impressed when this came out. It looked damn decent and not all Americanized. Even some Yelptards who says they can't find real Lao street grub in Atlanta were complaining about how spicy it was... Maybe they should read it first. Yeah, they're "foodies"... Fucking twats. Those numbnuts don't know what spicy is... This had a hint of heat, but just enough for the common palate. For the pouch it wasn't even at 10%. Besides the spice level, the flavors, colors and textures were all in there... I liked how they threw in a few pieces of Thai eggplant. This was a pretty nice specimen of a proper green papaya salad and may be one of the best executed version in this town.

Khao Poon, red curry pork noodle soup, $9. I like poon... Shit, who doesn't like poon. Well, it was either this or the chicken noodle soup... And I'll pick whatever is spicier every time. It's a pretty good portion, prolly one of the few things that feels like you got your money's worth. The best part of this bowl was the little pork on the bone nuggets hidden in the curry broth... The meat literally melted off the bone when you put it in your mouth. The rice noodles and broth were plentiful and once again the flavor, color and texture were all present... But for a red curry broth it was kinda weak... You can always add in some of their special chili paste in there to amp it up a bit. This noodle bowl alone can fill you up... But the marsupial pouch can not live on just one menu item.

$30 for 4 snacks isn't exactly the street food model... It ain't cheap to eat here, especially, when half the dishes I sampled were just average. I know what y'all are thinking... Why didn't you try the LARB, pouch? That's because the word larb is too close to lard... Like my ass. The spicy thum was the best thing I had on this visit and it may get me back in here to try some other pricey snacks... Maybe even the larb if I get properly lubed up with some, no, a lot of brown juice.

6035 Peachtree Road
Doraville, GA 30360

Wait... There's more!

Ok, I couldn't resist stopping by Champion Snack House to see what's going on in there... And it was dead as fuck. The place had a strange feeling and the pouch's spidey senses kicked in. I looked at the menu and pretended to be interested... It was basically Taiwanese style snacks and bento boxes. Since, I already ate a bunch of shit, I didn't want a  fake bento box to depress me any more than I was already... But there's always room for fwied cheekan nuggetz to make me happy again.

Salt & Pepper Popcorn Chicken. They looked pretty decent... The sweet potato starch coating looked a little light on the color, it coulda used another minute in the fryer to give it a little more crunch but it wasn't bad. Shit, I can't say no fried cheekan nuggets... I inhaled these within 2 minzies. Jesus, pouch, you really are a fat fuck... True story.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thai Express

This area has been kinda run down for a long time... Not that it was a bad area, it was just ignored by the hipsters and city slickers because it was kinda out of the way with no destination joints around. The whities went to Decatur square to live and hangout because it was the "it" area the last few years and still is... The brownies were the only people putting roots down and turning this area into a major Indian hub and community. I was happy that I could get some serious untainted Indian grub on the cheap... And you still can but you're gonna pay a bit more these days since developers bought up a few car dealer lots and turning them into those all too common live-work-play mini communities. So much shit has been built and opened for business around here already and there's a shitload more to come... But why here now, pouch, why? Well, my one loyal reader, I'll tell y'all why- As time passed and the population of this one horse turned to two horses, a pig and a donkey... Atlanta proper was running out of hipster space, so, the only choice was to spread out. You would think that could be a bad thing but I kinda like it... The area has exploded with new shops, restos and facelifts for existing businesses which is making this area very desirable.
It's kinda crazy how many new chain eateries have been popping up around here for the roundeyes, MOD Pizza, City BBQ, Tropical Smoothie, Zoe's, First Watch, Chick-fil-a, Smoke + Duck Sauce, Louisiana Bistreaux and of course, now, we gotta have a Chino or Thai joint... I was kinda excited to see a Thai joint opening up around here. Perfect when I need a quick fix while boozing alone in the dark. Thai grub is great drunk food... And if y'all didn't know I like to drink, a lot. So, it was time to test it out after slamming down a few cocktails. Walked in and it was like any other mall type food concept. They have an "open" kitchen, if you want to call it that... But it's nice to see them cooking the food in front of you, so, you know they ain't putting boogers and cum in your food. The menu is pretty typical of the generic Americanized Thai dishes. I was so fucking tempted to get the green curry but the pouch instinct was punching my muffin top as a warning not to. I had no choice but to agree or else the pouch would have initiated instant IBS as a defense mechanism. C'mon, we all know that the green curry here would be wack as fuck with little to no heat. And you know they would just put sambal oelek in there if you asked for Thai hot and turn it into a pink goo. So, just get it out of your tiny head, pouch and forgettaboutit. Pad Thai was on my list but I gotta try something else... Hmm, what to get while I'm holding up the line. Then the owner/manager says you should try the General Thai, it's very very good and people love it. I don't know if he was serious or just wanted me to finish my order and move the fuck outta way. I couldn't think of anything else so I said yes and had that sinking feeling in my pouch right after I paid. Ah, fuck it, how bad can it be... Famous last words.

Cute design on the take out boxes... I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

Chicken Wings. I looked at this and said to myself, what is so Thai about this? Fucking nothing. They literally just threw plain old wings in a fryer... Not that there's anything wrong with that and they did taste pretty good, but this was supposedly a Thai joint. I guess they can pass it off as Thai wings if they place them on a bed of lettuce and include some Mae Ploy sauce on the side. Skip them and save the money for something else. I also got their mango salad which was a few slivers of mango with iceberg lettuce and some fish sauce but it was so small that I forgot to take a pic of it... Don't worry, it wasn't worth it anyways. Skip that, too.

Pad Thai with Tofu. Jesus Christ, I didn't know Trainspotting came in a box... Looked like someone had explosive diarrhea in the back and couldn't make it to the shitter in time and just used a takeout box instead. How fucking unappetizing does that look... Fuck, why do I do shit like this... Oh, yeah, for my one reader. They didn't even fill the damn box up... Oh, well, maybe it's for the better. Bless my bowels... I'm going in. Mixed in some chopped peanuts and lime juice, stirred it up and took a bite. The tofu was fine, the noodle was thin and round and the entire thing tasted nothing like Pad Thai. The manufactured tamarind sauce was a bit too sweet but hey, you know who they're catering to. It was not terrible but it was basically a Thai inspired lo mein.

General Thai. How cute, a play on the popular General Tso's cheekan. I like fwied cheekan but this was more like General Grievous... Because one look at this and I knew my bowels will be in a lightsaber duel shredding my innards apart. Why the fuck did I listen to this guy... I asked for super spicy and of course, they just put in a few spoons of sambal. I think they sourced the factory made chicken nuggets from the same purveyor as Panda Express. I guess they were crispy in the beginning but the cloying fake sweet sauce turned it into a chewy doughy taffy like texture with little to no chicken in them. The portion was pretty small and the box was half full with rice. Even hole in the wall Chino joints separate the rice and the chicken... It's kinda like the microwaveable crap you can get from the fridge at a gas station.

Overall, this was pretty much slutty pedestrian mall food. It will prolly work for the people who love fast food, people with kids and borrachos... Ok, I prolly wouldn't say no if I was drunk either but I would prolly hate myself when I wake up in the afternoon. It ain't Thai food but Taco Bell ain't Mexican, either... And people eat that shit up like a motherfucker... And so would this inebriated fat fuck by mistake again. Don't judge, only the pouch can.

2502 Blackmon Dr
Suite 830
Decatur, GA 30033

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tasty China Smyrna

Years ago, the original Tasty China was a relatively unknown Chino joint until Peter Chang was plastered all over the interwebs about his Szechuan culinary prowess. That motherfucker was a good cook but he was also a magician, too. He would pop up at random Chino restos around the country and create a cult following status... And then he would mysteriously disappear without a word and reappear at some hole in the wall Chino dump in the middle of no where USA. The last place that chubby Chino was spotted was somewhere in fucking Virginia... I think he's still there, possibly against his will, it is Virginia after all. But enough of stroking his ego... Let's turn our attention to TC's newest location a little closer to town on Atlanta Road. Both the original and new location are still using his name as a PR gimmick even though he has been out of this one horse town for years. I gotta admit, I haven't been back to the original TC in a long time because I really didn't buy into the hype like the whities did... Like they discovered some new cuisine from outer space or something. And Jia in PCM didn't help to win me back, either... Jia is fucking god awful. How anyone can say it's good is beyond me... It's prolly the same dopes that says Gu's Dumplings in KSM is good. It didn't look that far on the GPS but once you get to this part of Atlanta Road it feels like you're in the same town as Jeepers Creepers in rural Florida... It is fucking dark and scary up in here. Maybe Peter Chang will magically show up in this tiny strip mall one day since he loves weird hillbilly locations so much...
Walked in and the space is pretty modern looking and they fucking serve booze up in this piece (ok, just beer and wine but I'm alright with that)... Is it me or does anyone find it strange that a Chino joint has craft beers on tap? Fuck yeah, who cares, I'm loving it already. Ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, pouch... Doesn't take much for me to get excited these days when you have a BMI over 32. Ordered a couple beers right away to lube my innards for the imminent ma la experience... While I perused the menu. It's pretty much the same with the classic hits. Enough talk, time to eat, motherfuckers and see if it's still the same old same old or perhaps they amped up their Szechuan game without PF Chang... 

Szechuan Black Vinegar Peanuts. This little appetizer is not rocket science by any means but the roasted peanuts swimming in seasoned sweetened black vinegar with diced jalapenos and green onions are pretty damn tasty.

Dry Fried Eggplants. Their most infamous dish in all the lands... And it's still pretty good but the portion was smaller and the ma la heat was lighter than I remembered. You can see the Szechuan peppercorns sprinkled around on there but there was barely any heat in them, maybe they were old peppercorns, who knows. But the eggplant was crispy and had a nice bite to them as expected.

Braised Fish in Red Chili Oil. You can't not order this if you come to this place... This cauldron of lava fish has been spot on every time I had it in the past. But today is the future and PF Chang ain't cooking here no mo... Let's see if it still lives up to my memory. And... It does, somewhat, but like the eggplant it needed to be a lot spicier. That's the whole deal with this dish, it must be spicy as fuck. The fish was tender and melted in your mouth like it should but you need that heat on the back end to make you sweat... And it wasn't there. Perhaps they may have dumbed it down for the roundeyes.

Mapo Tofu. This dish is the lemon test of a true Szechuan joint... And I was excited for this to come out from what I remembered from the days of yore. And then this came out... It was a bowl of red grease. They should call this Braised Tofu in Red Chili Oil. I make mapo tofu at home a good bit and it should never be this oily. I don't even see any minced pork in there, it's just tofu cubes, chili paste and castor oil. The only saving grace is that the rice soaks up all the grease and makes it look more appetizing to eat. It was acceptable but I would not get this again.

Xiao Long Bao. I was on the fence on this one but the roundeyes were all clamoring for it. I was vetoed. All I needed was one look at this specimen and it was game over for these soup dumps... The pouch's instincts were right again! You can't miss that thick ass dough even if you were blind. Even with the thick armor skin there was no soup in these dumps. Did they evaporate while being steamed? The answer was reveal when I picked one up and the skin had holes on the bottom... Why even bother with the spoons? Fuck me, these dumps were so dry, doughy and chewy with no flavor whatsoever... I've had better soup dumps from the local grocer's freezer. The truly sad part of this specimen was how long it took to get to the table... They basically came out last. And the last impression is usually how you define the quality of the place.

Szechuan Beef Flank Noodles. Yes, it looked oily as fuck but I was ok with this noodle dish being a bit greasy if the broth was flavorful. There's a decent amount of noodles on the bottom and a handful of tender flank as well. Get it mixed up pretty well and this spicy beef noodle soup wasn't half bad. I thought the heat level would be more intense after a few slurps but like the previous dishes, it had the appearance of ma la but the taste was ma ma... aka so so. The overall construction of the bowl was fine but the heat level was just not there.

Braised Flank with Dry Persimmon. Sounded good on the menu but it looked like it came from a can of Dinty Moore's beef stew. But looks can be deceiving and this exhibit looked like a toilet at Taco bell at 2AM but it ended up tasting pretty good. Mix it in with a bowl of rice and you got yourself a tasty comfy dish that you would like to eat in your pajamas and then pass out on the couch with the empty bowl resting on top of your fat belly... Not that it has happened to me or anything.

Szechuan Chicken. Sometimes the most boring sounding dish on the menu can surprise you... If the cheekan ain't fried, it can't be good, right? Fuck that noise, this bloody red cheekan bowl was prolly the spiciest dish of the night and I kept picking at it over and over again with my grubby chubby sausage fingaz. Yeah, it was pretty good.

It was pretty acceptable overall but nothing craveworthy enough to bring me back here on a regular basis... Just like the original location. I just don't know why people buy into the hype so much about this place. It's good enough for the masses that wants to pretend to be adventurous eaters but even dish after dish of supposedly spicy items, I was barely breaking a sweat. I prefer Good Luck Gourmet if you're looking for a higher ma la level in your food and they also have a better variety of dishes. Tasty China may be good enough for this area in upstate GA but I think I will just stick with the Szechuan and Shaanxi joints on Buford Hwy any day. If anyone mentions Jia, I will cut you with a cheekan wing bone from the parking lot at PCM.

1860 Atlanta Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Honey Pig Revisit

Back in the day, Honey Pig was the premier Corean BBQ joint... People waited in line for dozens of minutes for a table because it was hip and funky and there were really no other options around. Nowadays, there are dozens of options for quality Korean BBQ all around town. I was jonesing for some AYCE oriental BBQ, so, I drove to upstate Georgia to chow down on some unlimited manmeats and K-Pop at Iron Age, but it was an hour wait... Fuck that noise, the pouch was starving and there was no fucking way I was gonna sit there and watch FOBs eat plate after plate of bulgogi, pork belly, cheekan and octopus while I pulled on my baby turtle pud in the "bar" area... What was I gonna do after two pumps and a squirt? Breakers was an hour wait also and I was just at K Factory recently... Since, I haven't been to Honey Pig in a very long time, I was curious how they were doing these days... Plus, if there was a long wait, I would had no problem chowing down at Thank U Chicken next door... Because I like KFCheekan.
Pulled into the parking lot and it was packed... WTF, pouch?! You are never gonna fucking eat tonite, you fat fuck. Found a spot at the end of the lot and Honey Pig looked so far away... You mean I gotta fucking walk 25 yards to get some AYCE manmeats? Jesus, fine, this will be my exercise for the week.
Got up to the door and there was no wait... Why was the parking lot so packed? Ah, all the millennial FOBs were hanging out at Thank U, MJ's and Kung Fu Tea... And of course, they each have their own car... Thanks mom & dad. Spoiled lil fuckers.
Walked in and got a table right away in the corner. I was like fuck yeah and then I looked around the room... I sense something, a presence I've not felt since... I was at Golden Corral last. You couldn't have said it any better Vader. The place was like a hive of scum and villainy... They only Koreans in here were the staff and that's even pushing it. Did this place become a Tex-Mex joint for gringos recently? And they were blasting really really awful thuggy hip hop. I want my K-PopTV, motherfuckers! I wanted to get the fuck outta here STAT but the two gwailos with me weren't having any of that shit after the long journey upstate, these merkins were ready to face pound some AYCE manmeats. Fine, I'm game if y'all are ready to accept the consequences with your sensitive Euro-trash-pouches. 
We all got the unlimited as if there was a choice if only one person at the table got it... Then I ordered a booze combo they had on the menu of soju and 2 beers for like $20. Our server who was on his 3rd week on the job comes back and says they don't have that soju/beer deal on the POS system, there is no button for it on the screen he says. But it's printed on the fucking menu I says... He says I can still put it in separately but it will be like $2 more. WTF, yo?! He made it sound like he was doing me a favor or something... You know what, motherfucker? I. WANT. MY. TWO. DOLLARS! He stared at me like a deer in headlights... He got nothing, never seen Better Off Dead. This chode was literally fresh off the boat. Whatever, brode (a mix of bro and chode), just give me some booze before I back hand your sloppy fat face and fart in your general direction after inhaling 3 lbs of bulgogi.     
The banchan started coming out and it stopped like after 4 things... If you don't ask for it or don't know about banchan then you ain't getting it... What a great money saving scam. I had to ask for the steamed egg and spicy beef soup and sesame oil and daikon wrappers and spicy rice cakes but they supposedly just ran out. So, we're off to a good start... Let's just get to the meats.

The $27.99 Unlimited AYCE manmeat deal sounded good until you saw the limited selection of just pork, chicken and beef which made Iron Age's $23.99 AYCE deal with a plethora of options that also included seafood a much more value added package... No wonder that place is always packed, you get the whole package of sight, sound, taste and ambiance... Here at Honey Pig these days, not so much anymore. They give you so much kimchi and bean sprouts that it takes up half of the cast iron drum shaped grill pan... But I still love that great piece of cookery. The meats were average at best and most of them were flavorless even when drown in a spicy marinade. Brisket, beef bulgogi, pork shoulder, assortment of pork belly (spicy, garlic, green tea, bean paste, Berkshire) tasted the same and got tiresome after awhile... But the chicken bulgogi was the main attraction of the night, not because it tasted great but it was wrapped up in a make shift tin foil pan that took all night to cook. You had no choice but to stare at it all night long waiting for that shit to cook through thoroughly. By the time it was ready to eat, you are already having the meatsweats... Not because the meat was so delicious but because you wanted to make sure you got your $28 worth because I have no plans to come back anytime soon within the next decade. What about the chicken bulgogi, pouch? Oh, that thing... It tasted like it was cooked in a crock pot, it was mushy and lost all it's texture, but the flavor was not too bad. Shit, it had all night to absorb the marinade while it slow cooked. And to end this Kordestrian BBQ was the classic kimchi fried rice but without the dancing octopus wrapped around the stem of the cast iron grill pan. The fried rice tasted just as good as I remembered... Maybe it was because I mixed a bunch of left over pork belly into it. Why can't they just serve the kimchi fried rice first and the meats last.

The service was attentive for the first 15 minzies but after that you will be pushing that button over and over again to get them to come over to refill water, banchan or meats. I don't know what happened to this joint but this will not be on my radar ever again. The young staff seemed untrained, perhaps due to a higher than average turn over rate here. The entire joint basically felt like they were doing you a favor by coming in and taking your money for this poorly prepared slop. Now, I know why there wasn't a line out the door waiting for a table. The AYCE competition around here is fierce. Most of them have upped their BBQ game and have taken some serious market share from the former king of yore. Live is too short for middling K-BBQ... But this fat fuck will still eat the shit outta it to get my money's worth. Thanks fat Murica, you did it to me again!


3473 Old Norcross Rd
Duluth, GA 30096

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Porch Light Latin Kitchen

I know what y'all are saying... What the fuck are you doing up here, pouch? Aren't you deathly afraid of mossbacks and country bumpkins in upstate Georgia... Yes, motherfuckers, I am... But there was a sale on HST 124 grain 9mm ammo at this local yokel gunshop that I couldn't pass up. You can't find that shit anywhere and when you do, you will drive OTP for it... Well, at least this fat dumb fuck would. So, since I was so far away from home anyways, I might as well do the touristy thing and grab a bite to eat at this hyped up Latin joint in cracker Cobb county. I heard good things about this joint... And so has the entire county. The place was packed on a recent weekend lunch rush... Shit was out da door. But the wait wasn't too bad, got a seat at the end of the bar which was great so I can see the line at work. They don't fuck around here, slaying it and pumping out a ton of grub... And of course, the ginormous PR fried pork chop can-can was in full effect. It was a sight to behold and so was the rotund creasture gnawing on that beast in the seat next to me... I swear if he farts in my general direction I will gut him like hogzilla. Wait, isn't he committing cannibalism? Oinkers really would eat their own if it was deep fried... Shit, so would I.
Ok, enough oinking and open up your snout, pouch... And show us what all the fuss is about here... I'm on a diet so I decided against the can can for lunch but I did sample a few things...

Plantain Empanadas, braised pork cheek filling, avocado aioli. When it first came out, I was like two  fucking Chihuahuas just took a shit on my plate... Then I realized it was the plantain dough that looked so unappetizing... True, it may not look purdy on the plate but it tasted purdy in your mouth. But that doesn't say much since dogs do eat their own poo. The pork cheek filling was savory and dericous but the aioli wasn't very avocado-y... It didn't even have a hint of green in there. I wouldn't get them again until I have tried all the other snacks on the menu... But that might be awhile unless they have another ammo sale up here in Deliverance country.

Confit Duck Fried Rice, soyfrito, farm egg, coconut yum yum sauce. I am such a fucking gringo sucka for this... Not because of the fried rice but because of the confit duck. I just can't say no to greasy fowl... Cheekan, yardbird, ghetto pigeon, duck... My bowels get weak just thinking about it. Look at that egg, it's a perfect circle just like George Michael's ass... Scientist can use that to calibrate their instruments. Now, I need to get that tiny frying pan made just for eggs the next time I'm at Marshalls. Break that yolk up and mix it all into the fried rice but don't you dare mix that coconut yum yum jizz anywhere near the rice... It ain't that good. The tiny pieces of duck confit were sparsely spread around. Not much in there but it still tasted pretty good. The portion was pretty small for $9... But the hicks up here were ordering this like crazy.

Pressed Cohiba, roasted pork collar, gruyere, hot dill pickle, cilantro mayo, mojo mustard, grateful bread. This was basically the Puerto Rican version of a Cuban sando. I should be upset about those panini press grill marks but I was ok with it since the bread looked pretty rad. This sando had me at pork collar... I like the play off a hamachi kama like at a izakaya. It's a nice looking sando and tasted pretty good, too... Savory, gooey and flavorful but it wasn't spicy at all even with all the spicy ingredients listed. If this was spicier, it would be on another level.

I only had a small sample of the menu but this joint is obviously pretty popular and I can see why... This Latin spot is pretty good and light years ahead from the Moe's and other shitty Mexican't joints a few doors down where flour tortillas and soccer moms rule. And also, you ain't gonna find many PR joints around town let alone around here in rustic God's country. I like the menu and the execution is pretty consistent and I need to try that beast of a can can next time... But getting up here for those who live intown may be a logistical nightmare. These bushwackers up here got a good thing going here and they know it... Lucky basturdz. Hector needs to do a can can night at El Super Pan... Por fav.

300 Village Green Circle SE
Smyrna, GA 30080

Tortas Factory Del DF

This corner strip mall is pretty much overlooked with all the other stuff going on around here... Most people aren't looking for Mexi-grub, they are figuring out which Korean/Asian joint to eat at. I don't remember what was here before but I have been watching this place for awhile since I drive by here on a weekly basis. Any time I see the word "Torta", I get a small blood flow in my chode... Not that anyone would notice, even if I was nekid. They finally opened not too long ago but I wasn't rushing all the way over here just to get a torta. I kept saying I'll get here when I get here... But I drove by it like 3 separate times forgetting it was now open since it always looked closed because no one was in there. I finally made it a point to go inside and see what the fuss was about.
The space is clean and modern but it feels empty and not fully finished on the build... But the pouch doesn't care about ambiance, it cares about what it can stuff in it's snout. They got tacos, sopes, flautas, huaraches, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos and pambazos... That's a handful of options for a small place that just opened... But I was here for what the joint was named after... Tortas, motherfuckers. Pouch needs comida pronto...

Al Pastor. This $2 taco is pretty small but the flavor packs a big punch... Well, that was also due to the salsa roja where the heat sneaks up on you after a few seconds. The double ply corn tortillas kept all the goodies intact even if the taco was only about 3 bites. It's a decent taco but I still love the taco joint in Plaza Fiesta where most tacos were under a dollar for years and now they are $1.50 but still a helluva deal. I got this taco as an appetizer to get the pouch properly lubed and in da mood before the main event...

I ordered a torta but it looks like a giant baked potato... It's so shiny. Time to unwrap this motherfucker... Don't fail me now, cabron!

Torta Cubana.This beast was glorious and all this was just $6... Not too shabby. They make the bread next door at Panaderia del Valle Bakery which were pillowy footballs. They stuff these bread pouches with a good heaping of goodies inside and the pouch will soon be stuffed inside as well. This torta was pretty legit and I will be back to try the other tortas, especially, the pambazo on the next visit... The tacos not so much.

5781 Buford Hwy
Suite 101
Atlanta, GA 30340

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bar Mercado

The Cockentrice was one of the first original tenants to go into the KSM... I liked their meat market/butcher shop, The Spotted Trotter, a lot and that's what they should have been focused on always and nothing more. But they really wanted to showcase their product in a full service resto setting and sadly it didn't translate well with this one horse town's palate and demographics. Sure, a lot of people went to see what the fuss was all about and to satisfy their curiosity but the avant garde meat-centric menu didn't make it back on most people's rotation. They were way ahead of their time with their menu which was made up of mostly charcuterie. Then they quietly closed everything down and decided to just focus on their shop in Kirkwood, which they should have done all along.
The large space sat empty for awhile until the Castelluccis took it over to bring their Spanish tapas concept  to the tourists rich KSM. Shit, if bad Tex Mex can make a killing there, imagine what good tapas can do... The Iberian Pig and Cooks & Soldiers have been very successful tapas joints for them, so why change a working formula... We all know that tapas was trendy a few years ago and the hype has died down the last couple years but it's still good eats every once in awhile if it's done right. Let's sample a few dishes and see if they will have staying power in this high turn over food hall. 

Alcachofas, crispy artichokes, lemon garlic allioli. Brussels sprouts is so 15 minzies ago, the new gimmick is artichokes these days... And this is a winner. The lightly charred hearts really brings out the flavor of the artichoke. The aioli added just a hint of creaminess without masking the artichoke overall flavor. Good stuff.

Empanadas, pork cheek and golden raisins. Look at these little beauties... Brilliant golden brown color and perfect plump shape. The filling was pretty tasty and I coulda used more pork cheek... Couldn't we all?

Boquerones, white anchovy. The presentation was kinda weak looking but the anchovy was delicious.

Setas Salteadas, oyster mushrooms, sherry, herbs. They were earthy, juicy and meaty and seasoned spot on.

Arroz De Tomate, bomba rice, roasted tomato, red pepper, broccolini, eggplant, shiitake. Mix it all up and you got a comfy creamy dish that you can't stop eating.

Estofado, pork belly, bean stew, potato, carrot, swiss chard. Crispy cubes of pork belly... What else do you need? A classic dish.

Berenjena, seared eggplant, saffron yogurt, black olive caramel, crispy chickpeas.Nice presentation and everything paired well together, make sure you get a little of everything with each bite to get the full flavor bomb.

Tortilla, spanish omelette, manchego. Egg and cheese, what else do you need? The picture pretty much says it all... And it was dericious.

Pulpo a la Gallega, braised octopus, potato, pickled red onion, chive, vizcaina sauce. It was tender and full of flavor. It was just plain good and well executed.

With all their experience at their other tapas joints, this smaller version will do well in KSM. Let's face it, tapas is way more approachable with the pedestrians than a meat-centric charcuterie heavy menu. The prices are reasonable, the menu while small is diverse and the portions are spot on to keep the foot traffic and tourists coming in for more. The cocktails were pretty decent as well... You can always start off here and end the night at Ticonderoga with more food and drinks... Y'all know that's what the pouch did on this night and the nights to come. Jesus, I am such a fat fuck...

99-V Krog Street
Atlanta, GA 30307