Friday, December 2, 2016

Hawkers Asian Street Fare

I have never been to Jacksonville, Florida... But it looks like a decent size city with a decent list of restos. Too bad I was only driving through and only had a couple hours to kill here during lunch hours. Met up with a friend here and suggested we get some Asian street grub... I'm like fuck yeah, bro. But he never mentioned the place until we got into town. Hawkers was the name and I'm thinking to myself- where the fuck am I, I'm in a southern town that has no ethnic cuisine or population here. Then I remembered my bro in Orlando saying that his little kids love this place called Hawkers down there. Fuck me, it's a goddamn fake Chino chain for whities... Jesus, what have I done to deserve this... What is this place all about? It's kinda a demeaning mashing up of every single Asian cuisine into one location... When will this type of fusion brutality end?  This cultural appropriation is unacceptable... But I'm gonna eat the fuck outta it anyways because this place looks so promising for amazing beat off material in my next review... You know everything is gonna be so sauced up because they have an unlimited supply of hoisin and oyster sauce in bulk cans lining up the shelves in front of the open kitchen as if they were decor. No one in the place had a clue what those cans were except that they were cute looking and so Asian inspired... Even the lights had woks as lamp shades. Fucking shoot me now, here's my .45 cal. and end my suffering.
The place was packed for lunch on a Sunday, not one Asian in sight except this one mud baby that looked kinda like an eskimo hipster... I couldn't tell with all the hair in his face. It was full on mall pedestrians up in this piece in supposedly the hip area of town called Five Points. I figured out why this joint was so packed, because nothing was opened on Sunday around here, it's like their big day off or something, only a handful of other places were opened. 
Ah, fuck it, how bad can it be? Famous last words...

Chicken Egg Rolls. HAHAHA... C'mon, bro, stop fucking with me and bring out the real plate. What? This is not a joke? Jesus, look at that, it's like something you would on the wall with a number next to it. Ok, it wasn't god awful... It's like something you find on the children's menu.

Coconut Curry Shrimp. This is a not a food trend, the whole Freezer to Table movement has been in play for decades... And this is a perfect example of it. Once again, it wasn't terrible just really low rent on the culinary skill level here. The curry dipping sauce was disgusting, though... All from a can filled with HFCS.

Curry Meatballs.Oh, look, the same curry sauce from the coconut shrimp, but now, I have no choice in the matter of dipping my balls into it... My balls are already bathe in the diarrhea juice. The kitchen knows best, thanks. The meatballs were kinda dry, grainy and chewy. Mmm... Tasty. Where's a spittoon when you need one.

Bulgogi Beef Skewers. The plating here is just top notch, first class all the way... Skewers placed far away as possible from the kimchi. Now, I know why... Because they are in a turf war. They both clash in appearance and taste. But if you eat them separately at different times, it's actually ok. The kimchi was kinda a joke, nothing kimchi about it except in appearance.

Crispy Roast Pork "Siu Yoke". This shit made me laugh... The Engrish spelling of "Siu Yoke" in Chinese for the "grilled meat". There is nothing siu yoke about these pork belly cubes.... They just deep fried the shit outta them. Don't get me wrong, they tasted good as anything deep fried should but calling them "siu yoke" is an embarrassment to the real thing. I ate it all still.

Roast Duck. Wha da fuk is this? Where is the duck? Looked more like what a duck dropped off flying above than what the kitchen put out. I mean this plate looked like pure duck shit. Remember all those cans of hoisin and oyster sauce? Oh yeah, this is where it went. The shredded pieces of duck were drenched in the brown sauces, totally blanketed the taste and look of the duck. If it wasn't for the green scallions, this plate would look like something that came out of a shark's stomach.

Wok Fired Green Beans. For what it was, this wasn't half bad except for the liquidity sauce coating the entire thing. It just destroyed the crunch of the green beans when you bite into them and that's the best part of wok fried green beans. Overall, it's a decent effort from the kitchen... Even though they have no clue what they're cooking.

Chicken Lo Mein. Hahaha... C'mon, bro, not again. They really fucking love those two sauces. Just drown everything in it and call it a familiar dish and no be the wiser down here. There was nothing Lo and Mein about this... Wrong noodles, wrong sauce, wrong ingredients, just plain wrong.

Beef Haw Fun. Their spelling of the name of the dishes are material enough for a write up... But their version of the beef chowfun was very surprising. It was actually their best dish that resembled the name of the dish. It ain't a spot-on beef chowfun but it tasted pretty good... Even with a heavy handed amount of the "sauces". The rice noodles were acceptable and the ingredients for this dish was pretty close... The slices of beef were a bit overcooked and chewy but shit, it was kinda close enough. The best dish so far in this cartoon world of Asian grub.

South Asian Shrimp Curry. Goddamn it, that fucking curry sauce again. South Asian? Come again? It's more like West Asian shrimp curry... That part of Asia where the cuisine hails from the Gwai Lo distict of western Asia where Panda Express was founded. This dish was so dumb down that it could Indian food.

We also had a few plates of the Roti Canai... While the flatbread was good, the curry sauce was once again that nasty shit found in all the curry dishes... If they put a piece of potato and chicken thigh in it, I woulda been ok with it.

Mango Sticky Rice. This was quite surprising... Surprisingly decent. They used a mix of wild and black/purple Thai fragrant rice which was actually good and the mango sorbet was standard issue. For what it was, it was quite acceptable. Unbelievable, I know...

I have mixed feelings about this joint... While it serves a purpose in towns where there is zero ethnic cuisine or culture, it also dumbs down the actual cuisines they are trying to represent here to the people. Appropriation at it's finest. It gives these Florida crackers a false sense of what they're eating... Because they will think this is what the food is actually like. I know I'm a total asshole about the food here but I'm gonna give them a pass here at the same time... The crackers in the place were all consciously aware of what they were eating and seemed to enjoy it. And that is enough for me that they were having a good time... Even though, I laughed out loud many times as each dish came out. Y'all know that I have to put in my 2 cents and always have to have the last word. Suckaz! It is my stupid blog after all which only two people read... And that includes myself. Fucking sad state of affairs right there. Until next time, suckaz! ...I got a diet date with a toilet that involves two fingers.

Flush.


1001 Park St
Jacksonville, FL 32204
http://eathawkers.com/

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pizza Time

There's no fucking way I will be able to find a decent 'ZA in mossback country down in FLO-Rida... Especially, a NY 'ZA... No fucking way. So, I'm down here checking out the oldest city in the nation and the St. Augustine Distillery because they just released their first batch of Florida Double Cask Bourbon (I know, how dare they call it bourbon in Florida but I bought it anyways)... And a NYC friend tells me about the fucking sick pizza at this ridiculously named joint called Pizza Time... I'm like what the fuck, it sounds like a Upchuck N Cheez family dump with shitty pizza for kids. But sometimes, the whole "you can't judge a book by it's cover" actually becomes reality... Lucky for the pouch, it doesn't give a shit what a place looks like or what it's called, it will eat the shit outta it and give his one fan the scoop...
So, the place is on touristy St. George Street, it's a cute historic street filled with shops and restos... Why on earth would they put a NYC 'ZA joint on this street (owners supposedly from Brooklyn but they speak or yell Eyetalian at each other)... Because it's a fucking gold mine with all the foot traffic around here. Ok, enough talk, let's see if this dump really has NY style 'ZA... Oh, boy, I can't wait to rip this one a new cornholio...
The ordering process has totally gone full retard... You basically order at the counter right when you walk through the doors... You know what that means, it creates the illusion that the place is hot and popular with the line literally out the door and around corner. And then you scoot down a few steps and wait for your slices or whatever to "reheat" in the oven, so the line is never constantly moving. Once you get your paper plates of food and throw them on your school lunch trays, you scoot down some more and pay... CASH ONLY. This is the biggest racket I have ever seen in Florida, looks like they brought down more than just the pizza recipe from NY... Let's see if their pizza is as good as their money making schemes...

Plain 'ZA. Yous gotta get the plain slice to see if it's the real deal... The crust looked damn good. Thin on the bottom with nice spots of char and the crust had the correct 1" width from edge of crust to the sauce/cheese and just enough rise and bubbles as it should for a NY slice. The cheese blankets the slice and just enough of sauce spots peeking out. Could this be true? A real NY slice here of all places? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves here... There's still the fold test. And it folded perfectly with a nice snap of the crust funneling the cheesy orangy grease down the center and let it drip on the wax paper on the plate... Jesus Christ, this had all the workings of a proper NY slice. The slice was hot as fuck but I was craving the pizza burn at the top of my mouth... I actually enjoy tonguing the burnt skin peeling off the roof of my facehole, I know, I'm a sicko... But who doesn't know that already. Dicks. The first bite was amazing, it had the crunch from the crust, the sweetness of the sauce and the pull of the cheese... It was all there. Fuck me, this was really goddamn good... Or maybe I was just really hungover and hungry.

Hawaiian. I know, I know... Why pouch, why? Because I wanted to be a cheesy fucking tourist and pretend I'm on vacation at some exotic tropical location. Look, the Hawaiian is cheesy as fuck for a pizza but so is the goddamn orange cheekan at Panda Express and they sell like a billion pounds of it. This Hawaiian was pretty boring, yeah yeah, the ham slices and pineapple were just ok but it prolly woulda been better with an apple and a pen... I just fucking invented the PPAP 'ZA... Pen Pineapple Apple Pen Pizza is gonna make millions. Fuck you, pay me!

Mushroom Pepperoni Salumi. Let's get back to reality here... I saw this slice and it looked good. I needed some ginzo meats in my mouth. And it was pretty damn tasty... Everyone needs a lil hot Eyetalian beef injection from time to time. I shoved half of this manhood in my mouth and took it like a boss... And swallowed it all... Whole in my hole.

Cannoli. It's made to order but the two cheesy fake Maraschino cherries were totally gay as shit. C'mon, it looked like a wart on the end of a pig's penis. Jesus, or a dog's red lipstick... C'mon, I don't want to suck off any other species than my own... Which I have no clue what species the pouch is. This cheese tube was acceptable, not great, not bad... It tasted like a mix of mascapone and ricotta and it was kinda bland, not a whole lotta fireworks when you put it in your mouth. Sprinkling 10x sugar on top doesn't do it that much justice... Needed to be mixed into the filling more. But overall, it's good for the tourists who don't know jack shit about a good cannoli... Leave the cannoli, take the gun.

The NY 'ZA here is legit... For Florida. It ain't as good as the old school NY 'ZA joints but for where they are and what they're pumping out of the ovens here... It's a winner. I would come back for the 'ZA and try a calzone next time... Oh, and the gelato looked pretty decent, too... Until I saw the worker take out a new box of gelato from the walk in and put it in the display case. But that won't stop me from trying it because I'm a fat slob.

124 St George St
St Augustine, FL 32084

Monday, November 28, 2016

McRib

The Thanksgiving feast is not over until the Pouch has ravaged the elusive McRib... You complete me. Now, show me the McRib! That motherfucker had me at High Fructose Corn Syrup and pork byproduct of ass and lips. But where can a fat fuck find one of these beauties... Don't worry, there's an app for that. The godsent McRib app to the rescue... I actually didn't use it, I wouldn't be caught dead and bloated with angel lust with that app on my phone... It's so embarrassing. My mama always tell me to wear clean underpants just in case something happens, well, after ingesting a McRib, I don't think that would make a difference. The app I used to locate the intangible McRib was with my gurgling pouch sense. I subconsciously turned around and saw a McRib sign out front of a McDonald's while I was getting gas at some god forbidden hellhole in south Georgia. Why the fuck do they always send the bulk of the McRib supply to rural ass locations... We all know that the McRib is soft, boneless and easy to chew, perhaps that's why they send them to areas that have a 34% teeth rate. With such a large supply of molded and pressed slab of ribbed sando meat, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to gum down some gamey yum yums... Let's continue the annual tradition of eating something that has been an UFO since it's manifestation... Not just because it's so scarce but it's also an edible Unidentified Fecal-like Object.

What the fuck is this? They haven't used styrofoam in decades... Or have they? Where the fuck did this container come from? I'm really intrigued with this 80's era food container but I didn't order a Sausage Gravy and Biscuit. But wait, have y'all ever heard of this before? Was this a dream? Why am I thinking about Trainspotting all of the sudden... Choose life or nasty sausage gravy. This item is actually on the secret menu. I never had it and never will... But obviously it doubles for a McRib container. And when they run out of this environmentally friendly box, they can always use an Apple Pie sleeve to put the McRib in... It's like a Hot Pocket then. It might actually not be a bad idea. Hmmm... And now, on to the beat off material we've been waiting for...

Behold! Release the Kraken... Wait a second, let me pull my pants up, I was thinking of a different Kraken. So, this mystery meat creasture hasn't changed one bit and prolly never will... They say it's all 100% pork filler but I've heard that before... It could be compressed sawdust and no one would be the wiser under all that HFCS BBQ sauce. The only thing real on here are the onions and pickles. The molded rib rack patty was totally covered in sauce on purpose, so you can't tell what it is and you won't dare try to dissect that with your hands with all that sauce on there. The McDonald's bread are made by wizards and sorcerers because they never die and will live forever, never mold, deflate or get stale, just like the styrofoam containers. I know what you motherfuckers are saying, how can you eat that shit, pouch? I really don't want to but I know secretly that y'all really want me to eat this specimen and report back with the findings like some science experiment with my iron bowels. Look, the bread is like eating a plane seat cushion on the moon, it has anti-gravity properties and tastes like nothing similar to space... The crunch of the onions and pickles gives you a false sense of organic freshness. And the HFCS drenched meat patty is so cloyingly sweet that it just blankets everything else after you take a bite in your mouth. It's almost like eating a giant McNugget dipped in BBQ sauce. Is it cheekan, beef, pork or cardboard? Who the fuck knows but it's not craveworthy by any means. Stare at it long enough and it looks eerily like a filthy hooker I met at a casino bar in Atlantic City once, it's not even worthy enough to stick your dick in it, let alone put your mouth on it... At least the Pretty Ugly Woman took nachos as payment, I had to pay actual cash for this smegma covered brown meat flap. And yes, I ate it all... To capture the full experience that only a McRib can provide. And it was something that I would wish upon my worst enemy. My bowels are fucking pissed off and demanding whiskey to drown the beast within. Don't have to twist my arm to guzzle brown juice down my gullet. You gotta be real stupid or real desperate to eat this, even just once a year... And yes, I'm desperate and stupid... And we all know you can't fix stupid and stupid traditions. I will prolly eat another one next year... Like I said...
Can't.
Fix.
Stupid.

Flush.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hajime Revisit

I like this place because it's intown, it's a fuck lot closer than driving to Umaido all the way upstate to bumblefuck Suwanee, USA.. I might as well drive to NYC by then. Ok, I don't just like this place because they're intown, I like it because they're in the old BJ Roosters space and the clueless twits eating in here don't even know an ounce of the bat shit crazy shit that went on in here back in the haaaay day. Ok, besides all that silliness, this ramen joint actually have some tasty vittles... And of course, their claim to fame is the ramen, tonkotsu ramen. It's not the best ramen in all the lands but I do appreciate that they make their own ramen noodles in house and semi-authentic tonkotsu broth. Let's face it, there's no fucking way they are making true tonkotsu from scratch for the volume they are doing... I'm sure they use some "instant help". Because that extra $1 for the rich soup isn't really all that rich. It's not bad by any means but it ain't the gold standard that the pouch measures the tonkotsu by. But I still like it, it's probably the least expensive bowl of ramen in the city but they don't also give that much broth... Based on how much broth the crackers waste at any and all ramen joints, I can see why. If you don't finish all the broth, it's kinda disrespectful, basically it's like a swift kick to their nads. I have been here a handful of times and each visit were all totally acceptable. It's been a few moons since my last visit... Let's see if their food have stood the test of time so far or turned to slop... Hopefully, I don't have to rename this joint to Slurp Slop or Slop Shop... Which sounds cuter?

The menu is still the same... Except sometimes there's an item or two that's off the menu... Like this catch your own protein snack free of charge. This little fucking twat, err, I mean gnat/fruit fly thing would not leave me the fuck alone to cry myself to sleep in the corner. Lil fucker just kept fucking with me, making fun of my muffin top.. So, I caught the annoying motherfucker under the water glass. You're fucking mine, now, bitch.

I was playing the cup and ball game with it, no, not that cup the ball game.. The other game, that shell game with the water glass and moving it around but I accidentally smushed it... Oh, well. Let's play the mistor Miyagi game! First one to pick it up and eat it, wins! ...Shit, this is a game where the winners are the losers... I fucking suck at life. Let's just eat...

Takowasa Don. I wanted something raw and natural, now, after that mini protein snack. The octopus was a bit slimy and fishy but the wasabi kinda covered most of it... Just mix it into the rice. I'm like a fucking hobo finding shit in the garbage and mixing different spoiled crap up... I can't even do eating right... What a lew zer. Ok, skip this shit, not worth it even for $4... Spend it on the extras because they fucking charge you extra for every goddamn thing... Even for a lil hot sauce/paste. 

Tori Karaage. I wanted to get the Tebasaki (wings) but they're always "Cook time Too long"... So, I settled for the regular karaage. My previous visits yielded some incredible specimens, crispy as hell and juicy as a horny Catholic school girl... This visit was just ok, it was still tasty but it wasn't as crunchy and juicy inside. I still ate the fuck outta it, let's not kid ourselves here.

Tonkotsu Ramen, extra rich for an extra dollar. Where the fuck is the broth, yo?! I paid for extra rich, so I expect to see some more broth. And look at the size of that piece of FAT slab on that roasted pork belly thinger... I mean they give you two fucking slices and half of it is pure fat. But the server was nice enough to exchange it for a real piece of pork with meat on it, good job, skank. Tasted the broth... Meh, it's ok, it's acceptable but it ain't rich, it ain't sticky, it was kinda watery... Nothing like when it opened. The broth was pretty average this time around... But the ramen noodles were nice and toothy, too bad the broth wasn't as rich as it should be so that it would coat the noodles better when slurping it up to your facehole. For $11, I would prolly be suckered into getting it again... Because of the intown location. Maybe I should just brave the OTP cracker ass tourists at PCM and pay the extra couple bucks for Ton Ton's rich tonkotsu... Yeah, that requires some thinking ahead and weighing the options when dealing with PCM... Looks kinda bleak.

Honey Miso Ramen, extra menma. This bowl has impressed me before, so, it was time to try it again and see if it will tickle the back of my throat again with their noodle in my mouth. The sweetness from the honey and miso, along with the corn kernels delivered like it has before. The slices of roasted bellied pork were spot-on in this bowl, just the right amount of fat to meat ratio. It's a pretty decent bowl. Needs more broth, though... Don't be those goddamn frugal Asians.

Menma. Extras are extras... Always ask for the extras on the side. If you don't ask for it on the side, they will chintz out on you and put like 5 slices of menma in your bowl to give it the illusion that it's full... Fuck that noise, get it on the side and they will put a shitload of it in a bowl like this... I like the menma here, even though it's prolly from a giant vacuumed sealed bag. Remember, extras are fucking extras up in this piece, so choose wisely like the grail.

It wasn't the best visit this time around but it was still pretty satisfying, the grub will fill you up and make you feel good and sleepy... You just have to be selective when ordering on this menu. Some things seems to be hit or miss, nothing is god awful but just not as good as it once was... Maybe it was just this day, maybe they were hung over as shit. Who knows, just don't stick your dick and pee in my tonkotsu, I really don't want extra rich dick cheese. But I would come back for a quick fix. Oh, they also have booze, so that would bring me back also... I miss Rooster's BJs up in this piece.

2345 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE #101
Atlanta, GA 30324

Monday, November 14, 2016

Royal China

There's no mystery that Chino restaurants up and down Buford Highway play a sick and perverted game of musical chairs with their chefs and cooks... One day, your standard go to dim sum joint is as good as expected like always, then the next week it sucks ass big time like their retarded kids steamed Play-Doh in the dim sum baskets. Oriental Pearl had it's ups and downs throughout the years but they were always consistent in their dim sum and menu items most of the time... But one day, OP, all of the sudden took a ginormous shit sandwich. Most of their staff quit and the cooks walked out, leaving an entire restaurant full of guests sitting there for hours without food or water. The owner said, don't worry, your is coming... Nothing did except water. So, we told them to fuck off and walked out and took a chance on the old average Royal China down the street. To our surprise they have up their game on the menu and food execution... The place still looks like a dump with the water stained ceiling tiles and gaudy decor but the food rocked that night. Was it a fluke? Was it a one night surprise that they were on top of their game? Did they get a new chef/cook and kitchen staff? I don't know what the fuck they did but the shit was good. So, I'm taking another chance on them weeks, perhaps months, later to see if that was truly a one time thing...
The place was jamming on a recent Saturday night, I'm like what the fuck... Am I missing something here at this dump lately? Oooh, there was a wedding reception going on in the main room, so they closed off 2/3 of the place which made the place looked packed with a line out the door. It was a 30 minute wait for Chino grub... C'mon, don't tease me, bro...
Let's just stare at the menu and signs around the front with these giant poster boards of dishes endorsed by none other than Bruce Lee himself...

Who doesn't like abalone with osyter sauce... Look at the little dragon, he's like FUCK YEAH, ESE!

Eggplant and Pork Belly Hot Pot. One of the classic comfort food dishes. They didn't serve it in a hot pot but instead in giant fancy modern white bowl. This combo has always been savory and sweet and damn straight comfort grub.

Scallops with Veggies. I don't know how Chino joints do it with the scallop dishes, they don't chintz out on the scallops like gwailo restos where they charge like $28 for 3 fucking scallops and a squirt of oily sauce. There was a good heaping of scallops up in this dish and with assorted veggies make this a very safe dish for the white devils but slants still love gobbling it all down... And it was like under $18 or some crazy price like that.

Seafood Hot Pot. It's just a plethora of tasty shit in here. Dude, more scallops and other sea creastures... Another sick comfy homey dish that warms da pouch and makes it go to sleep from a food coma and then wake up hungry again for more.

Walnut Shrimps. This is so friggin gwailo central... The flash fried shrimp with mayo and walnuts. Damn, they taste so good in the lowest of low rent ways... It's like that fucking rednecky coconut shrimp. Except the toothless hillbillies can't eat this, the walnuts are too crunchy for their gums... But they can suck a dick like there's no tomorrow, though. This dish is so low rent in name but the giant skrimps has high brow style when it's in your face gash.

Green Beans. Classic stir fry greenbean with pork bits dish... Always fucking tasty. Helps you shit efficiently, too.

Chinese Fried Chicken. Y'all motherfuckers thought I would let you down, huh? Shit... If there's fwied cheekan on the menu, it's going in the fucking pouch. I know this picture sucks ass because my shitty phone cam was protesting but I assure you this was pretty damn tasty... But it pales in comparison to a freshly fried spicy Popeyes.

Roast Duck. Gotta have the duck when you're feasting... Juicy, crispy skin, tender meat, and succulent... Jesus, it sounds like Daffy Duck... Suffering succotash. Just get the damn bird, it's good.

E-Fu Noodles. If you want to believe in the mumbo jumbo, hocus pocus, hokey religions that says eating long noodles will give you longevity to life... Then by all means eat it... The E-Fu noods are made for such suckers... I just like long noodles in my mouth and swallowing. I can't believe da pouch didn't get the beef chowfun on this visit, sack-religious!

Red Bean Paste Buns. They sent these little beauties out when they heard there was a birthday boy at the table... No it wasn't me. If it were me, it would be a box of Popeyes, instead... I'm easy like that. But these little buns were an unexpected surprise that were tasty as well.

Sesame Balls with Red Bean Paste. After the buns, they sent these balls out... What is going on here? Are they trying to fish for more tip or they had shit load of leftovers from dim sum earlier? Who knows, who cares... Just keep feeding me, pal.

I don't know what's going here but that's 2 for 2, now... Unless they're keeping track of my visits here, I gotta admit they have been kicking ass on the grub lately. This whole joint has changed for the better, the new fancy giant laminated menu, the fancy modern dishware that is so out of place here... But the cheesy scratched up plastic water cups and the filthy carpet are still garbage and humbles you right back down to earth. But hey, you need that balance right? The Yin and the Yang... Like the pouch on a scale pre-feast and post-feast... The scale must be broken... But this old ass joint is not. Yet.


3295 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Chamblee, GA 30341

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Spring

Don't y'all just hate it when you already planned to go to a joint and then some fucking rag (AJC) puts out their glowing review on the same goddamn day as your rez... Motherfuckers. Every friggin yahoo and hillbilly will be flocking over to this tiny ass joint, now... Nothing ruins my night of stuffing my fat face in peace than rednecks in Carhartts onesies and 10W30 stained Dickies. As if backwoods Marietta in upstate GA is not bad enough already, I don't need an entire clan of Appalachian mossbacks to be sitting next to me while I dissect the dishes and stuffed the pouch with the tasty morsels. Thanks for nothing, cocksuckers. But it's ok, I don't mind the country bumpkins up here as long as they keep their filthy nose picking fingers away from me... I can deal with the hillbillies, but will the pouch be able to deal with the much praised grub? I will be the fucking judge of that... It's OK, I'm a limo driver...

House made bread and butter. Pretty tasty morsels, that butter belongs in your pouch... For lube to slide that fresh bread down.

Apple and Endive Salad, pickled fennel, walnuts, Thomasville tomme, pomegranate. I don't do salads but I lurv me some endives and pomegranates. I can't believe I'm saying this.. But it's a good salad.

Crispy Pork Belly, cabbage salad, peanuts, poached quince. Who said pork belly is dead from menus... Not in upstate GA! I still love pork belly no matter what... This had a great crispy skin and buttery melty fatty tender belly meat. The poached quince was a nice unexpected addition that you don't see much on menus these days.

Shrimp Bisque, GA shrimp, butternut squash, navy beans. They really need to give you more because it's embarrassing when you're licking every drop out of that bowl. This was rich, flavorful, potent and tasted like the sea with nice contrast of textures from the beans and shrimp.

Grass-fed Steak Tartare, cured egg yolk, pommery mustard, lavash. I like this presentation a lot... The tartare was fresh and the color was vibrant. The cured egg yolk shavings were a really nice touch and a pleasant surprise how it worked so well... I hate egg yolks in steak tartare, some douche started doing that a long time ago in NYC and every sheep followed it like it was part of the original dish. Breaking up the lavash bread gives you an interactive experience while playing with your food.

Pan-Seared Striped Mullet, braised fennel, baby leeks, olives, citrus, radish. They were out of the goddamn sunchoke risotto which made me fucking mad but this mullet was on my list anyways so I had it instead and it turned out quite nice... Crispy skin, delicate flesh, seasoned well and the colorful and playful garnishes/veggies paired well with the fish.

Pan-Seared Duck Breast, roasted cauliflower and carrot, persimmon, butter lettuce. The duck is from D'Artagnan which is a good choice and a lot of restos use it... But executing it properly is another thing. Here, they did good... One piece was a bit over-cooked but nothing too damaging and still totally acceptable. The other piece was nicely seared and tender, the color was spot-on. The veggies is kinda standard issue but it worked fine overall.

This little resto on the edge of Marietta Square is a neighborhood gem... People are starting to notice it after the AJC write up. It's a bit fucking far for me to eat here every week but I do like the smaller menu where you can keep the quality up and the inventory and cost down. And the kitchen is fucking tiny as hell, so it kinda limits your dish count on the menu... Which is what I prefer. I like this place, I like the menu and consistent execution on each dish that goes out. The food is simple, clean and good quality but it won't blow your mind, it's like smart casual comfort food. I will have it on my radar even though it won't be in my rotation as much because of the location... But I need to go back and try that fucking risotto, though. We need more restos like this intown.

90 Marietta Station Walk
Marietta, GA 30060
http://www.springmarietta.com/

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Izakaya Ma Japanese Tapas

Izakayas are trendy as fuck right now in this one horse town... Shit, anything hip and Asian is trending right now (I'm looking at you, ramen and perhaps Todd Mussman in Chinaman costume). But the whole izakaya concept has been gaining traction for some time now since Miso Izakaya started the trend like 6+ years ago when Edgewood was just a shitty ass little hood. Shoya has been around just as long and caters toward the ex-pats more with an amazing gigantic menu, they have been kicking so much ass that they opened a sister resto, Ginya, in the old Cardamom Hill space, it's also kicking ass (don't worry, they won't close because they got so much business). There's also Craft Izakaya and Wagaya, both intown joints are respectable and worthy in their own right. But what about OTP? Way the fuck upstate OTP? Have no fear, the Iron Age peeps have opened such a place next door with a very well designed interior and menu that rivals those intown... Except the part where they use the word "Tapas". C'mon, dude, don't muddle up Spanish cuisine with Japanese cuisine prepared by Koreans... If you ain't got Iberico ham and churros, take that fucking word off the menu, brochujang.
You know what, I don't give a shit if Obama's half bro from Kenya is the chef here... I drove all the way fuck up here for some grub and I'm gonna get some... Izakaya vittles.

"Tapas" is really bothering the fuck outta me.. Turn the page, pouch, turn the page. They got a hefty selection of grubbery on their menu... Let's sample a dish or three...

Koebi Karaage. I love fried baby shrimp, the heads have the most flavor and are the best part. This version has a bit thicker batter but I still liked them. Just don't eat them head first or else you'll get pricked by their little peckers.

Ika Teriyaki. I always love seeing a whole grilled squid, it's such a gorgeous site to be eating tip to testicle or is that tentacle... It was soft and tender, not rubbery or chewy at all and the little char on the tips of the tentacles were spot on for that texture contrast. Jesus, it sounds like I just gave head or something...

Chicken Wing Karaage. They sounded good on the menu but I shoulda just stuck with the regular tried and true chicken thigh karaage. Not that these drumettes were bad, they just didn't give me the tingly feeling in my underpants like the regular karaage do.

Kushiyaki. $10 for 5 sticks of meat and veggies, I don't know if it was worth it but I had to try it and now I will divert that $10 to something else on the menu next time. I was curious in the kushiyaki because there was a plump girl working the grill but I couldn't see if it was infrared/heat element or real binchotan coals... Come to think of it, it was a heat element because the lack of char on the meats and sticks were a tell-tale sign it wasn't binchotan. Been there, ate that... Next.

Yakisoba Ma. They have like three different yakisobas... I had to stick with the classic one but the fried egg sold me on it. I fucking love eggs, all types of eggs, especially a balut... Wouldn't that be radical if this yakisoba had a cute half aborted baby chicken on there? It's ok, liberals approve... I can hear the crackers regurgitating like they were feeding baby birds in the background from that visual. It was a hefty portion of yakisoba and I don't usually complain about excessive portions of meat but this yakisoba really needed more noodles than sliced pork. It was very tasty but it was just too meaty for a yakisoba, the egg I loved.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen. Oh, snap, you done gone did it, again, pouch! Jesus, I have been eating ramen noodles non stop for the last week. No wonder I'm so bloated and plump, I need to go to a juicing room. I'm like on tonkotsu time this week... This version was not bad, the broth was pretty rich but they added a decent amount of sesame oil in there which amped up the flavor bomb on this broth. While it wasn't as sticky and rich as it could be, the flavor of the broth more than made up for it. The noodles were pretty good, tight with a springy bite, but they were not Sun Noodles. It still worked in this bowl. The char shu were nice sized pieces with the proper thickness and the thin charred crust on the edge showed me that they didn't boil it like a place I know. The runny egg was spot on. It's an acceptable bowl of tonkotsu but definitely not competition level. I would try a different bowl next time, I'm tonkotsu out... Ok, until next week.

Sashimi. Gotta try the sashimi quality and cut here to see their skills behind the sooshee bar... It was very nicely plated, looked very balanced and clean. Until... I tasted the maguro, the color looked a bit off to me already but sometimes the flesh is still firm and have a nice tooth to it... Well, it didn't, it was fucking mushy as all fuck. This was old tuna, no one likes old tuna in their mouth, especially, when it queefs dust and hairballs. This tuna was the end product of being frozen, defrosted, frozen, defrosted for who knows the fuck long. I had pencil erasers that tasted better than this block of tuna. I thought this would be all down hill from here but surprisingly the salmon, hamachi, clam, sweet shrimp and even the damn escolar were all of better quality and bite than the tuna. I should bitch about the sweet shrimp after watching them take out a big box of frozen shrimp in plain sight of custies and prying them out one by one... But shit, it tasted fine and my favorite part is frying the heads and tails...  

Fried Shrimp Head and Tail. That's what I'ma talking about... Crunch. But Brush still has the best fried shrimp skeleton in all the lands.

Hamachi Belly. The chef dude, gave this freebie to sample... I hope this wasn't the piece he picked up off the floor... 5 second rule applies to raw fish, right? Just run it under some hot water and it's all good. I'm just fucking with y'all... This was a nice gesture to make up for the shitty tuna (which they were still serving to other suckaz) and it was quite nice. Wrap the belly in the nori, dip and stick it inside your facehole. Dunzo. Tis was a good nibble.

It's not a traditional izakaya, even though it looks and reads like one... But I still like the place even with the hits and misses sampled on this visit. I think they will improve over time.. Well, the cooks at least. The servers are young, dumb and full of cream of sum yung gai... I told the little fobby girl server that the tuna was crap and she's like oh ok... She was kinda expecting the standard response, oh, everything was great, so she doesn't have to answer questions that she has no clue about... She's just trying to get through her senior year in high school and getting laid with the cutest white boy in the school but her parents wants her to learn what hard work is... So, it's prolly not a good idea to ask the pouch how everything was, you will get an answer in long form... While she walks away before I even finish. Bless her heart. The drive to upstate GA is quite the trek but if you're in the area shopping at the Asian markets for deer antlers and hog pizzle then it warrants a visit... But not after a visit to Iron Age next door. You will simply explode from the gluttony that can be had here.

2131 Pleasant Hill Road B4
Duluth, GA 30096