Monday, March 17, 2014

Paisano Pouch

A new visit and a re-visit to a couple newish Eyetalian joints..

Villagio.
So, stopped by finally to see what this joint was all about... Heard decent things about the grub. They have some chef's prix fixe menu nightly after a certain time for like $15. I was interested in a few other dishes on the regular menu but I wasn't super hungry and wanted a light snack. I was tempted to get the "personal 12"" which is their normal size Margherita pizza but I had a feeling that would be a major fail and ammo for a massive ass ripping. So, it was back to the prix fixe for $15, how big could these portions be? Well, the server said they were full portions. Sold, bitch.

 
Caesar. It's a standard issue Caesar with a nicely made dressing but the crouton made me laugh. Am I suppose to put a little of the salad on the slice of crouton and eat it bruschetta style?

Minestrone. I ordered another Caesar initially because of my girlish figure but then changed my mind like an entitled daddy's little princess skank whore that I am after the server put in the order. Yeah, because I can do that. But I'm sure glad I did... This was pretty good, just needed more flavor in the broth. It was nice to see that they included pasta (bowties) which many places don't give you that added value whether it's pasta or rice in this dish.

Butternut Squash Ravioli. Nice looking dish full of color and hominess. The raviolis were tasty but something said to me they weren't made in house, they were bought from an outside source. While they were plenty of ravs in bowl, there were also plenty of oil and butter.. Like a full cup of it at the bottom. I had to stick the little bread plate underneath one side of the bowl so all the oil could drain off the ravs. Even the server said it was overkill and he came back to the table and said, the chef prepares it that way which is the correct way. Come again? No, it's not the proper way for ravioli to be drowning in a fatty butter oil soup concoction. Just don't fucking do it because not everyone is a bobblehead who will nod at everything they're told.

Lasagna. This picture doesn't do it justice to the enormity of this exhibit live in person. It was the size of a cinder block. It was a decent tasting specimen but the meat was a bit pasty, the texture was too smooth like in a pate. It also had way too much cheese on top, masked the overall taste. It didn't have that ancient Italian grandma recipe taste to it but I did enjoy it, for the most part. I think the problem was that it was made a few hours back and had been sitting around for awhile.

Some coffee gelato scoop thinger. It had small bits of ice chunks inside... You know what that means. I ate it anyways.


Don Antonio's by Starita.
So, I made a quick drive-by to see how they were doing since my first visit... A couple of hits and misses on this redux but it's showing some promise.

Montanarine Genovese. It's almost like a street fair doughnut but with onion, pancetta and pecorino romano. Cute but it's so similar to all their other fried dough puff thingers.

Montanara. Lightly fried dough with smokey buffalo mozzarella which was pretty smokey but the "Signature Starita tomato sauce" was still too tart and acidic. The dough has improved, though. I did like the lightly fried dough, it wasn't greasy or fatty which will prolly disappoint the pouch. I'll make it up to him later with a visit to Popeyes.

Margherita. They got the whole Basil leaves in the center of the pie correct but I still don't like how they cook it with them on. The pie has gotten better but the sauce still needs work. Overall, it was steps up from my first visit but still far from great.

I'm still waiting for Varuni to open because I have a feeling they will crush the competition with Luca's talent. I haven't been to Antico for over 2 years because of the unbearable wannabes there and I don't miss it a bit because there's Sapori di Napoli and even Ammazza will do but Don Antonio has the look but the feel just ain't there yet.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

To the tick tock you don't stop...

Come inside, take off your coat, Pops will make you feel at home.
Now let's pour a glass of sweet tea 'cause now we're all alone.
I've been waiting all night so just let me hold you close to me,
'Cause I've been dyin' for you Pops and make love to pouch.

Pops, you make me feel real good.
We can eat it 'til we both pass out.
Pops, you know I'm hooked on you,
And this is what I'll do...

I wanna fry you up.
All night.
You make me feel real good.
I wanna eat you out.
I wanna fry you up.

Let me take you out of the oversized bag.
Disconnect the webcam so nobody knows.
Let me dust some Cajun Sprinkle,
So that we can make it better.
Eatin' cheekan until we drown.

Dig.

Pouch, you know it tastes real good.
We can eat it 'til we both pass out.
Pops, you know I'm hooked on you.
And this is what I'll do.

I wanna fry you up
Eatin' cheekan until we drown
I wanna fry you up

Pops, you just taste so good
I just wanna, I just wanna look at you
Don't say anything at all
Just lay in the box, and enjoy the ride, yeah

Eatin' legs and thighs all night long...
(I wanna fry you up)
Tastes so right it can't be fattening...
Don't be shy pouch just feed me...
(I wanna fry you up)
Open up the box and I'll set you free...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bo Bo Garden vs. Sobban

Ok, this is not really a battle.. The pouch is just fat and likes to talk shit when it's in a food coma. I haven't been back to Bo Bo Garden for a bit because the last time everything tasted like raccoons crapped in all the casserole bowls. Sobban has always been tasty and never disappointed me so far. So, it was time to do a back to back taste test... Well, I just went to both restos in one weekend.

Bo Bo Garden.
Pork Belly Stewed with Pickled Mustard. These Chinos were not chintzy with this classic hot pot. There were tons of pork belly in it, half fat and half meat. Verra tasty but you do not have to eat the fat parts, unless you want to custom design your own badonkadonk.

XO Tofu Egg. Those round things looked like some regular old fried tofu but they were not. They were a cross between an egg custard and soft tofu. The XO sauce got me. It was an interesting dish but I think I'll stick to the classics next time.

Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs. This was like Chino McNuggets... You just keep popping them in your piehole like there's no tomorrow. Pretty tasty but do not eat the bones. Well, you can, just don't bitch about it afterwards when you're trying to take a dump.

Crispy Mapo Tofu. No one does this dish in this town and let me tell you motherfuckers that this dish was pretty fucking radical. It was not spicy as mapo tofu is known for but it was more like a sweet heat. The real star of the show was the lightly breaded tofu cubes fried to a thin and crispy crust which was friggin delish. Shit was gone in 2 minzies.

Bo Bo, you have redeemed yourself. Fuck yeah, Chinbro.


Sobban.
Mandu and Pepper Wings. House made mandu were killer. The pepper wings were new on the menu and I skipped the kickass KFC wings for them (yeah, I still can't believe I passed up the best wings in town). They were not bad at all, I couldn't stop eating them so that tells you something, almost ate the bones.

Kimchi Devil Eggs. Cute and fun but not worth $6 for 2 eggs. Just make them at home. You slackers know how to boil an egg, right? Throw some kimchi bits on top and voilĂ !

Fried Kimchi Bologna Sandwich. It is usually only available at lunch but they were nice enough to make me one since I was soiling my underpants to try one... Oh, it was worth the hype. Time to change underpants, only if I had wore any. Whoops, I did it again.

Cured Sausage. A special sampler that I got to taste. It's similar to Chinese sausage. Good stuff. The broads will like it.

Japchae. This has too much healthy crap on top but it sure is purdy isn't it? Guess what... This vegan crap was really good. I can't remember if it had meat in it because my eyes rolled back like a shark when I was shoveling that stuff into my mouth. Coulda been meat in there, cut the pouch open and you will find out.

Chicken Thighs and Kimchi Rice. I love the kimchi rice here and the thighs were fork tender. The meat literally falls off the bone effortlessly. I like that because I'm a princess and don't like to work that meat off the bone. I just like meat in my mouth. The thighs were seasoned nicely and had good flavor. I wonder if they could fry this? Hmmm...

So, both places were a success and the pouch was happy. I need to find some dumps next time, so I can bitch about it. I'm being way too nice lately. Snap out of it, Pouchito and do your job! ...For the children.

Winter Pouch

Snowpocalypse #2 was just upon us... What did the pouch do to prepare for it? Screw milk and bread, those are for suckaz. The pouch chose to CARB up for hibernation, that way you won't get hibernation sickness... Carbs is where it's at for tasty morsels. If you're gonna eat, eat well, life is too short to cut corners on taste...Well, maybe not at some of these joints.

Augustine's.
Shrimp and  Pork Belly Fried Rice. Are you fucking kidding me?! I had to order it just on principle... For the children. So, all my non-Asian friends say this dish is the bomb... Yeah, maybe after they are bombed. Seriously, is this some racist joke or liberal agenda for cuisine equality? If this dish was gay, no one would want it to come out... Especially, out of the kitchen. It was so salty from the quart of soy sauce used that it would make a deer salt lick seem under-seasoned. It tasted like some frozen fried rice thing in a badly designed Chino take out box made by some ching chong brand in Ecuador you find at 7-Eleven and microwaved at the filthy counter on a road trip with 40 miles of bad road... Sadly, that nuked shit would taste better than this slop. Stick with the fail-safe cracker items on the menu like wings and things with ground meat between bread. Beers here are great, though. I'm still laughing at the egg, it's like they threw it against a wall and watched it ooze down like a Wacky Octopus Wallwalker into a lightly heated saute pan.

Community BBQ.
Brisket and Pork Combo, mac n cheez, brunswick stew. When it's good, it's good. I need to get here more often. They don't chop up the meats into unidentifiable pieces, I know what I'm eating. The B-stew and mac are great as usual.

Redneck Chicken Salad. Banana Pudding. You think you don't see any carbs here but I used one of the thick pieces of toasted bread from the combo and made a cheekan salad sando... So there, carby carbs. Their tasty redneck chix salad and the banana pudding are always the tits. Suckle, suckle.
 
Noni's.
The Noni. This is just a great sandwich, the bread, the meat, the filler... Period. The fries are addictive. That's all she wrote. Pouch out.

The Patricia. This half and half sando with Caesar salad makes a nice light snack. Who am I kidding, this is a hefty portion. Like the Noni, all their sandwiches are well made and verra tasty.

No. 246.
Margherita. I went late one friday night for some cocktails because a pal bar tends there... The plus of the night was the $6 AYCE 'Za. Of course, I had all three options available... Naturally. Ok, so this is not the best pizza in town nor the prettiest but for $6, who the fuck can complain? Suck some cocktails down and soak it up with some high gluten dough. Boom.

Salumni. This was totally acceptable, it had meats on it. I lurv man meats in my man hole.

Mushroom. Ok, I asked for extra crispy on this one because the other two were a little under. The crust made this weird shape like it was some off-road mudding tire. Nice fresh shiitake shrooms on top but they over doused it with the EVOO on top. A little too wet for my taste but still edible. Squirt.

Noodle.
Sampler. Steamed pork dumplings, curry beef spring rolls, veggie spring rolls, and shrimp basil rolls. Ok, you're asking yourselves, why the fuck is the pouch even attempting to consume here. I mean, this is the whitest Asian fusion joint in the entire city, ok, maybe Tin Drum could be worse. But I must admit, this sampler bento box thinger was not half bad. Everything was freshly fried and crispy, the pork dumps were nicely steamed, the only gripe was the basil rolls which were ice cold in the middle.

Pho Nam.(thin beef, meatballs, and brisket). Yes, I fucking did it. I ordered a PHO in midtown! How blasphemous and profane! The broth sucked, the noodles mushy, the meats were decent, meatballs didn't have that toothiness like the real ones that are whipped violently when they are made to get that density. These were too soft. But overall, it's just a low rent beef noodle soup, not Pho. It's edible, though.

Thai Peanut Noodle w/ Shrimp. Rice noodles, onions, carrots, scallions, cilantro, sprouts, peanuts. Gummy noodles make it hard to mix and incorporate all the ingredients evenly. Add some of that beef broth from the Pho and boom, now it mixes easier. Everything is pretty cheap up in here, so it's not really a big loss if the food you got was subpar. Now, I know why I avoided this place for years.

Pouch full... Time to snuggle with my Wampa.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Abattoir

Abattoir has been on a kiddie roller coaster ride since the beginning... Sometimes it was good and sometimes it was kinda lame. And that goes for both the kitchen and the bar. Food menu and cocktail menu were either hit or miss on every visit... But I still liked this joint no matter how many mistakes they made. The last time I went, half the dishes were good and the other half, I was scratching my head like did this come out of the same kitchen... But the cocktails were decent if you knew how to order the right ones depending on the barkeep back there. So, it's about time to make another visit and see if Hector Santiago has made an impression on this meat/offal centric spot... I have a feeling he has because that boy is good.

Grilled Chorizo Spiced Octopus, taters, olive mayo. I always think restos should give you at least 3 tentacles for the price. But since this was so tender and damn tasty, I'll let it slide this time.

Oxtail - Butcher menu. These oxtail bits were almost as tasty as my version. Nice flavor and texture. It would be even nicer if there was a little broth in there.

Gulf Crab Fritter, carrot puree, bisque foam. You would think this tennis crab ball would be all breading and a golf ball size of crab inside but this was 95% crab. This ball rocked out without any cocks out... And I'm ok with that.

Chicken Livers - Butcher menu. I like to play Walking Dead with this dish and plow my face through it without any utensils. The puffy rice almost looked like maggots, Michael... Yum.

Jamison Lamb Tongue, gnocchi, roasted poblano slasa. I knew Hector wouldn't disappoint me with his bag of tricks of offal. I love tonguing anything that's pink, furry or wooly... This lamb tongue was spot on, tender, juicy and seasoned just enough. 

Wagyu Culotte, chilean pebre. Not much else to say about a perfect piece of cooked meat with a little salsa. Gone in 60 seconds. Vroom vroom.

Goose Breast, dill, orange, pistachio, tart cherry. Love it when I see goose on the menu... Which is not on many around this town. I stuffed as much of his meat in my mouth as possible because it was that tasty... Talk to me, Goose.

Sauteed Crimin and Oyster Shrooms. Love these shrooms but easy on the salt, ese.

Roasted Butternut Squash, savory crumble. What's not to like about B-nut squash? Not enough butter and sugar in this... Not. Still pretty tasty.

So, this last visit was pretty successful overall, but the cocktails on the other hand were just ok. I guess the kiddie roller coaster ride continues on. But I still like it. So there.

1170 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 892-3335
http://www.starprovisions.com/abattoir.php 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

St. Cecilia

Let's take a first look at this quasi fancy pants joint by the JCT et al people. I'm not a fan of all their restos but "Italian" cuisine is pretty easy to execute well no matter how long they have been opened. A lot of their restos are more places to see and be seen, people can care less what's on their plates, that's just for conversation... You know, it's the more aesthetic than substance kinda joint. The space got a nice bright make over but still a lot of Blue Pointe's vibe remains intact. This place was not high on my list of new openings but when a couple of friends wanted to go... Who am I to say no to food?

Salt Cod Beignets. I lurv fried shit in the shape of balls and this didn't disappoint. The saltiness of the cod was spot on, not too much and not too little. Very nice.

Burrata. Nice and creamy, not too shabby.

Chilled Oysters. Not too bad... But oysters are such a ripoff in this town at places like this. Go to Kimball House for their oyster "happy (2) hours" during the weeknights for some great oysters.

Cobia Tartare. Pretty fresh and texture was firm. It had a nice bite to them. The chips were low rent.

Ravioli. Apple, mascarpone, lobster. This was just sloppy looking... Almost like some old cow's wrinkly vag with herpes on it. The raviolis were decent tasting but what disappointed was the chintzy lobster bits sprinkled on top, along with the amount of raviolis on the plate. Maybe four? Who can tell in that mess.

Hen of the Woods Mushroom Risotto. Even though we didn't order this (ordered the cockle risotto), this risotto was pretty much spot on. Woody, earthy and tasty.

Cockle Risotto. The server fixed the problem and got this order in but this risotto was awful. Sitting in a pool of olive oil, rice was mushy, there were cockle shells to be seen but only 3 tiny pinky nail size cockles to be had, the chorizo tasted like premium SPAM (not that there is anything wrong with SPAM). How did the shroom risotto turned out so major league and this came out like some little league gag.

Skate Wing "Milanese". I guess the quotes mean it's kinda like Milanese because this was more Asian with the panko crust. You don't find skate wing prepared in this style on many menus because most restos know that skate wing is delicate and delicious enough alone and pan fried with a light dusting of seasoned Wondra, but pan fried with bread crumbs that was nearly burnt didn't give it that flavor explosion I was seeking. At least separate the two pieces before breading. Another decent piece of skate wing wasted.

Triggerfish. Nice looking piece of fish, great color on the sear but it was a bit overcooked and dry from finishing it off in the oven a tad too long. The wood roasted calamari didn't taste like it was and seemed microwaved by the texture. Coulda been a nice dish, almost.

Brussels Sprouts. Hey, it's b-sprouts, it's always tasty. If a resto in the south can't get this right, time to close shop because no one has time for you to work out the kinks on brussels sprouts.

Cavolo Nero (black kale), soft baked egg. Not a bad side dish but the "soft" egg had this harden shell over the yolk like it has been sitting out for awhile. Yeah, not a good sign of cook to order. The black kale was gimmicky but passable.

The appetizers were better than the mains... Especially, execution wise. Some of the dishes seemed like they were cooked way in advanced and reheated. It's an old resto trick that even high priced places like this seem to still can't kick the habit of. You may trick most of the people most of the time but you can't trick the pouch any time. The service was attentive but semi oblivious... Like with entering in the wrong risotto when we were her only table. The other really amusing faux pas is that they don't have a "spirits menu", just a wine menu according to the server (I guess she missed that day of training). I opened the "wine menu" and boom, there was a list of booze page after page (stay away from the specialty cocktails on the food menu, I learned the hard way).

The place still needs work (like with most of their restos it's more style than substance) but maybe in a few months they can cook a proper sunnyside up egg (I have confidence they will)... Or they can always turn it into a tapas bar. But in the mean time, go ahead and swill away at the bar, you can't screw up booze from a bottle. Well... Just don't ask if they have a liquor list, just point and grunt as if you were in a foreign country.

3455 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 554-9995
http://stceciliaatl.com/