Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sushi House Hayakawa

After having god awful sushi at the last two sushi joints recently, I was depressed and drank myself into hibernation, then I woke up and wanted sushi again... This time I wanted quality sooshee but just in case it turns out to be shit, I'm gonna drink a shit load of booze before I go... Picking a place was the hard part and nothing came to mind except Sushi House because I was juiced up pretty well already and my brains wasn't working at full capacity. The place just had a make over and reopened recently... They don't like walk-ins, they prefer reservations... But I ain't got no time for that nonsense. Motherfucking 2 weeks for the sushi bar? Twoo weeks... twooo weeks... I kept hearing in the voice of Arnold in the fat broad suit on Mars. I will take my chances, creep up slowly in my '04 and do a walk-in.
The place was less than half full and I was feeling confident to get a space at the sushi bar... Then the dude at the front totally dissed me in front of everybody. No sushi bar for you but you can get a table... I was trying to get Art's attention but he totally ignored me like a red-headed stepchild. The table was prolly a better idea since I had a feeling that I might fall off the semi high stools at the sushi bar in my full retard state and make a tool of myself... Shit, I am a tool... And fat, can't deny that. Ok, I wasn't that drunk but I was in about 80% liquid courage mode... If there was a hot girl around I would prolly show her my wiener. Ok, just show me to the table, give me the menus and bring a Kirin STAT... Then bring another Kirin every 10 minutes, if I pass out then bring one every 5 minutes. I kept staring at the sushi bar and the fat slobs sitting up there pretending to know what's happening or what they're eating, just nodding their chubby faces with whimsical curiosity like a child or a timid lap dog every time Art puts something up to their snouts. What a waste... But fuck it, I'm here and I can still get almost everything on the menu. Let's get to motherfucking work up in this piece...

Shrimp Tempura Udon. This was a great starter when you're under the influence. If it comes out promptly, the crispy tempura doesn't get soggy from the broth. Eat that shit first, then finish it off with slurps of noods and broth. Simple and dericious.

Eggplant with Dried Shrimp. Looks like some potbelly pig took a turd on it... But it smells better than being down wind from the oinkers at the bar. I didn't love this but it was ok to try once.

Soft Shell Shrimps. I don't know why they call it soft shell shrimp because it's really not but once you fry it, the shell is soft and crispy. The only way to eat it is to eat it whole, head to tail with it's beady black eyes and all... So good. There was a bunch of tomalley inside, too. Squirt.

Beef Tongue. Thinly shaved and flavorful but it was a tad bit chewy. They should be giving you a lemon wedge instead of a thin lemon slice... This offal needs a lot of acidity.

Omakase Nigir. It doesn't look all that spectacular at first glance, quite generic looking to say the least... Until you put it in your facehole and bite into it. It's like heaven. Every single piece was fresh with a nice toothy texture and the quality was top notch. The tamago color was gorgeous with a hint of sweetness on the finish. It's a nice little nigiri sampler.

Hamachi Roll. Came with the nigiri combo... It's a roll, nothing special but the hamachi was quality.

Soft Shell Crab. It's one of the best versions intown... Made to order with crispy hot juicy soft shell crab and rolled tight and not falling all apart trying to get it up to your snout. 

Lobster Box Roll. I'm not a big sushi roll fan (except for the spider roll) but the box roll is such a gimmick that I got tourist'd into it. It's a decent tasting roll but not very lobstery. The pink reminds me of McDonald's burger slime before they are shaped... I kinda want to sear it on a flat top and see if it turns brown. Been there done that is basically the bottomline on this box roll... Spend the money on something else.

Plump Gaijins eating California rolls at the bar... Poor Art had to pretend to enjoy it with a smile.

I don't know if I like the new renovations, it ain't all that but I do know that I would not make a 2+ weeks in advance rez for the sushi bar because I don't know what I want to eat that far in advance. I could totally go low rent on the day of the rez and slob out on CiCi's pizza or get like 10 boxes of Popeyes and have a fried chicken bath... I just don't know. You never know what you're in the mood for.
Most of the dishes sampled were above average and the nigiri sampler was really nice but until I try the omakase, I just can't say if this is a destination joint these days, not just yet. I would come back and try some of the other new dishes on the menu, though... But I ain't rushing back, either. Has Sushi House lost it's charm from the days of yore for the pouch... Possibly because there were so many goddam tourists in here now but I still think there's some magic lurking around in these here parts.
Don't fucking die on me, Art... I will punch you in the uni.

5979 Buford Hwy NE A10
Atlanta, GA 30340
http://atlantasushibar.com/

Thursday, June 16, 2016

L'Thai Organic Thai Cuisine & Wine Bar

Most Thai restos suck in this town... They're mostly all dumb down watery bland shit. This joint claims to be the first true organic Thai resto outside of Thailand and awarded the "Thai Select" by the Ministry of Commerce Royal Thai Government for one of the World's BEST Thai restaurants... Oh, yeah? And I'm the sole heir to King Bhumibol Adulyadej's throne. Seriously, did they make that shit up? It sounds so fucking damn preposterous... Because this joint is in upstate Georgia. I have been to their Smyrna location once or twice in the last decade, nothing memorable except the really fobby decor... But I totally forgot about their location in Tucker. Yeah, most people want to forget about Tucker. But let's take a look anyways and see if there's anything to fuss about in the middle of nowhere...

Isaan Fermented Sausage. I was pretty surprised to see some street snacks on the menu... So, I had to try it. There are many different ways to spell Isaan, Isan, Esan... But the street grub is all good in northern Thailand. First impression, hmmm.. they are a bit too thick and long with no casing... Why do I feel fucking jealous all of the sudden? One of them broke apart already before it even reached the table. The classic fermented sausage mixture of pork and sticky rice was heavily more rice than pork, that's prolly why it broke apart so easily with no casing. The taste had hints of fermentation but it's subtle because there wasn't much pork in there. The sausage was just ok but I do give them credit for doing this street snack... It did surprised the fuck outta me when I saw it on the specials menu.

Papaya Salad. The good thing about this som tum was that it had a nice spicy kick to it, not spicy spicy but they did try... The bad thing about this was that it looked and tasted like it was prepared way too far in advance and it sat stewing in it's own slop for way too long... Shit, I wish they fermented the sausage as long as they did with the som tum. Overall, it's not terrible, I liked the little taste of heat and portion size but the mushiness turned me off a bit on this visit.

Pad Thai. The national dish that is used as the litmus test for a respectable Thai joint. And this specimen was top notch. It was not overly saucy, the vibrant color was spot on and the rice noodles were not overcooked... This was a really nice and surprising sample of a proper Pad Thai to be found anywhere in metro Atlanta. Did I really just say that? That this dish met the pouch's standards? Fuck me, I must be dreaming it was good... Jesus, I admit it was good and I wasn't even fucking drunk. Get this dish if they are consistent with it.

Green Curry. I ordered the Wild Jungle Curry, fatboy server comes back 10 minzies later and says we don't have jungle curry anymore. What the fuck, yo... He says, the green curry is really good and spicy. I'm like, I want motherfucking Thai Hot and no one can do a proper Thai Hot green curry because the green chilis are not available around here and the short cut for most restos is to dump a shit load of red chili flake or paste into the green curry which turns it a disgusting pink goo. Fatboy unslim says no no we don't use red chili paste... You will like it. I said, can you do Thai Hot Hot Hot? He says of course, naturally. We'll see, my fat padawan learner, we'll see. It looked OK when it came out but the rice was inside a fucking tea cup. No way there was enough rice for all this curry juice, I like my green curry soaked with rice, so damn good like that. I put a spoon in the curry and it was watery as fuck and then I noticed all the little red specks of chili.... I told him, y'all did use red chili flakes. He replies, no no not red chili flakes, we use red chili powder.... Motherfucking touche, touche big boy. The green curry itself was pedestrian as fuck and lacking the heat I was looking for but the ingredients in it were pretty decent, especially, the real Thai eggplants. If they work on the green curry and able to make it Thai Hot, like spicy as fuck, then I would get it again... If not, then try for the jungle curry, if that is out again, then you're stuck with the regular old red curry... But at least, you can get them to dump in as much red chili powder as you want to get it up to your desired Scoville units. For the time being, skip the green curry... And Thai Hot is still elusive in this town.

Thai Tea. A pretty decent exhibit of the classic refreshing drink.

Is it the World's BEST Thai joint in Atlanta? Fuck no, bro. But it's better than average compared to all the other Thai restos in this one horse town. You can forget about getting anything Thai Hot anywhere but their Pad Thai was a great example of how all the other Thai joints should aspire to. I would reco the Pad Thai here and that's a ballsy statement from da pouch. And what about their wine bar? Skip that motherfucker, too.

4880 Lawrenceville Hwy
Tucker, GA 30084
http://lethai.org/

Friday, June 10, 2016

Spice Root

I have been watching this place being built out since the beginning, went in once after they were finally open for business to check out the menu, it had promise but I left because I wanted some dericious Caribbean cheekan and fish goodness down the street.
I continued to monitor the action of this joint for awhile and finally made the move to try it because I was craving some naan and biryani... Who doesn't like a properly executed biryani with aromatic spices and seasonings. This place is FOBBY fresh like most Indian joints around this area of Mumbai, GA. But this joint is special, it's like the Mickey D's of Indo Pak fast casual grub. They got this creepy mannequin behind a make shift host stand in what almost seemed like a vintage McDonalds uniform with a sign that says ring if you had good service... Very a la Arby's chic. It's a clean, simple, sterile place. You order at the counter and they give you a pager... Where are we, LongHorn? So weird, it's like they have a copy of every resto's operator's manual and taking bits of each resto and making up their own concept. If you dine in and order a bunch of stuff, some will come out on real plates and bowls, others in styrofoam and plastic take out containers. It's just an adorable fobby trait... They're so oblivious and I love it. They have a Square POS system which surprisingly works very well here as it does everywhere else. Ok, enough with the boring ass chit chat... Let's get to the finger licking gruel.  

Chicken Frankie, paratha roll. It's pretty funny that these rolls come with fries and a can of soda. It's a tasty little lunch if you don't have much money or time... For $5, it's a lot better than a Happy Meal. I liked the chicken 65 inside the crunchy and falling apart paratha. It's not gonna blow your mind but it's worth a try once.

Ragda Patties. I wished they had vada pav which are fried tater patty sliders, so damn good... But since they don't, the ragda patties are usually a good substitute for a nice little chaat, a street snack to tie you over until the main dishes come out... But this came out, instead, a giant bowl of it. This was no snack, it was basically an entree. It's soft tater patties on top of a mixture of chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, taters, garlic and a bunch of sweet and tangy spices... The flavors were there but it was too watery, they didn't cook it down enough, it should be thicker. But it was still pretty good after you mix it all up real good to thicken it.

Veggie Biryani. This dish came out in a nice white porcelain bowl unlike the plastic take out container for the ragda. This was hefty portion of biryani and the color was bright and smelled wonderfully with spices. It's a nice dish and tasted good, totally worth the $7 and change paid. I would try the goat biryani next time with a side of goat brains.

Palak Paneer. Creamy and a tiny bit spicy which hits you on the finish. The color is vibrant and it tasted pretty good. Spoon some of this over the biryani and it's a nice pair in your mouth. I would get this again... But the okra sounded good too. Choices choices..

Chicken Thali, butter chicken, curry chicken, dal tadka, rice, naan, raita, pickle, papad, dessert- tiny piece of chocolate cake. For the price, this was a deal... It may not look like a lot of food here but looks are deceiving. I was kinda full after plowing halfway through this. The curry with the bone in chicken was not very spicy but had decent flavor, the butter chicken was creamy. It's not a bad thali but when it's served in this cheap presentation vs. the traditional on a metal tray and bowls, it loses that luster and the essential ethnic playfulness to it.

Garlic Naan. Naan comes with the thali but I asked them if they could do a garlic naan, instead... They did and it was only a small upcharge, I think like 50 cents. This was a nice specimen, nice color on the bottom and a few char bubbles on top but only on one side, though. Of course, everyone loves the charred parts. Overall, it was a pretty tasty naan with a decent amount of garlic and it had a really nice pull to it.

The samples I had were totally acceptable, nothing was offensive... A little dumb down on the spices but nothing shitty enough to pwned them. I like the place and the set up here, even though they are a bit unorganized but you have to expect that with ethnic family run places like this... They know how to cook but they don't know how to run a fucking efficient cost effective business. They don't need to, they're not looking for the mass pedestrian demographics found at Ponce City Market, they're counting on their community around here.

2883 N Decatur Rd
Decatur, GA 30033

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sushi Avenue West Ponce

I have been to their square location a couple times before and it's aight, average at best... But my last visit to the West Ponce location was many many moons ago and I don't remember it at all... So, it was time to make a revisit and see how they're doing these days. Ok, I admit my first choice was to go to Sushi House Hayakawa but I was putzing around and it was getting later and I didn't want to drive all the way up there... So, this joint was like number 29 on my list, but since it was closer and given that I'm fat and lazy, this became my runner up at 9:45 PM on a Friday night. Jesus, how fucking lazy can I be to settle for what could be a very mediocre meal...
Walked in and there were still a handful of people in there (good sign), I went straight for the sushi bar like I usually do, so I can get the fuck in and out quick without all the mindless chit chat with the server and waving her down at the end looking for my check. Things started ok, I scanned the sushi selection and it was acceptable... That was until they started to break down 2 of the 3 sushi cases. WTF, yo! They left only a few selections in the last case but if they did it right it could be fine. I also hate when they start cleaning the cases while there's customers still sitting at the sushi bar... Listen motherfucker, I don't want to watch you scrub down the fucking case right in front of my snout with all that cleaning product smell while I'm eating. Is that ok with you? I gave them the 1000 yard stare from 15 inches away and it had no effect, he just kept squirting his water hose all over the case splashing a few droplets of fish tainted water in my eyeball. Stop it already, fucker. So, manning the last case was an old Indian dude that looked like he just came off the boat with a stack of tiffins in each hand... Oh, fuck, here we fucking go... Put on your seat belt, my one dedicated reader... It's gonna be a bumpy ride and I'm fresh outta blow. Wait a minzie, it's just a quick bite of some sooshee... How bad can it be? It's not like I'm trying to do a 11 course omakase...

Mixed Tempura. I wanted some fried shit... So, I got this standard issue assortment of veggies and skrimpz. It was generic, nothing memorable... But at least it was hot and crispy when it came out. Tempura is an art form, it could suck ass or become a zen experience... There's a resto in NYC that is dedicated only to the art of tempura frying, Tempura Matsui, and it kicks some serious ass crack.

Spider Roll. Fuck, I can't resist this damn roll... Wait, strike that, I can't resist that fucking deep fried soft shell crab. I know it's gringorized as fuck but there's a special place in my nether region for crabs... Inside the pouch. This version was just so-so. The fried crab seemed like it was prepared ahead of time and lacked the crispiness and juiciness of a freshly fried one. The sushi rice was bland and unseasoned, throwing some sesame seeds on top doesn't season it or give it that rice vinegar hint to it. Overall, it was very middling and I have no cravings to have another here ever again made by Gandhi-san... Unless it's baked in a tandoori oven.

Miso Soup and Carrot Ginger Salad. Your standard instant miso and the cracker ass cracker salad that has nothing to do Japanese cuisine but somehow it has become the new normal because the dressing has ginger in it.

Sashimi Nigiri Combo. Look at this depressing assortment... You got your basic tuna, salmon, what looked to be yellowtail, ebi, surf clam, escolar and some mysterious fish... Which turned out to be sea bass. First of all, 1. the selection was total generic garbage and B. the knife skills were just amateur, shit, not even amateur, it was trainee level... And III. it all tasted like warm shit. No one needs to cut 1.5" thick slices of fish for sashimi or nigiri. They were so thick you just keep chewing and chewing like pinching wads of Big League Chew. Thicker doesn't mean better, it made me mad instead. Then there's the mound of fucking escolar which no respectable sushi joint would serve unless you like to shit your pants on the way home. Escolar is a cheap ass piece of waxy fish and cheap sooshee joints serve that shit because they know they can get away with it with their demographics. I've seen "sushi connoisseurs" eat that shit by the pounds and declare it's so fresh and so clean clean... Except your underpants, pal. Then came time to sample the "sea bass"... It was the most horrific looking piece of fish on this plate. Shit had bruise marks and black veins running all through it like a dead hooker in the trunk of an Oldsmobile. I sniffed it and something was definitely off but I was no stranger to eating smelly fish before but that usually happens in the basement of a fraternity party... I had to do it for my one reader, so I took a small bite of it and the shit was disgusting... The smell, texture and taste to it was god awful it made dry heave like a guppy out of water. How fucking dare they serve this shit to people... Then I looked at the clientele around the joint and understood right away why they could get away with this. I actually watched Gandhi-san slice the fish and plate this dish... I knew it was gonna be bad but not this bad. Why was this motherfucker working at a sushi joint? He had zero skills or training as a sushi chef which was obvious. At least put him in the fucking back kitchen out of sight and let him work the fryer, but definitely not on the front line where the customers can see this curry goat rodeo of epic proportions... It was a fucking travesty. He was so proud of his creations... Jesus, he had the same shit eating grin on his face like a child just finished making sushi out of Play-Doh for his parents to see. As for the tuna, it was passable and the color was not revolting... The salmon on the other hand tasted like they were beating it with a Whiffle Ball bat, shit was all broken up and mushy. Oh, and there were also some Cali roll on the side which we all know are just cheap filler to make you think you got a deal. The sushi rice here was just poorly prepared sans vinegar, I don't think they understand how important the sushi rice is vs. the fish. The sushi on this visit was so hideous that it wasn't even fit for chum... Which reminds me one time I took this blind date to the beach, she was so ugly people came up to me and asked me what I used for bait...

There was a reason why I haven't been back to this location in so many years... The pouch's instincts are undeniable, that motherfucker has a sixth sense. And this dump makes no sense. If you're forced to come here, stick with the cooked shit, don't even dare to think about having the "sushi". Do yourself a favor and get some Play-Doh over at CVS across the street and make yourself some sushi out of it... It will taste a lot better.
So, I know y'all are wondering if  I shat my pants from the escolar? No, but I went home right after this shit show and straight to the toilet for some two finger diet action... I was finger banging my facehole until I squirted it all back out... Because I refuse to wake up with hives all over the next morning.

Flush.

308 W Ponce de Leon Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
http://www.sushiavenuedecatur.com/

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Holy Cowfish, Fatman! This joint was as cheesy as Burt Ward's one liners in Batman from the 60's. After eating here, you too will look and feel like Adam West struggling to fit into a onesies with a bulge not only in your pants but above your pants as well. Luckily, dadbods and muffin tops are so hot right now. This overly gimmicky chain combines sushi and burgers under one roof... We all have stupid ideas but no one really puts up cold hard cash to open a place like this. This would be something a theme park would do... For the children. 
So,why the fuck is the pouch doing this? Does it have a death wish? Maybe it just wanted to experience the glamorous lifestyle of an OTP douche nozzle dining at gimmicky chain restos and then embarrassing themselves on Yelp talking about how amazing it was. All the 5 star reviews made this visit a no brainer by these critically acclaimed food critics. Jesus Christ, that site is full of cheap toolbags... Musta been a sale at Harbor Freight Tools. I have not been back to perimeter mall in over a decade, no need to... What dumb fuck would? Well, you know who... This fat dumb fuck did. I had to sample this sham marriage of convenience where East meets West... Sounds like such an abomination, I'm sold!
Walked in and first thought was this dump looked like the after birth from a Cartoon Network pilot that failed to deliver. It was a miscarriage and a travesty... Don't forget about the total cheese fest all over the walls, everything about this place seemed so CAD generated. The tacky custom parody artwork looked like it was picked out by a member of a boy band. The space is large and there's a lot of staff but getting them to notice you was another ordeal. The place was barely half full and you just sit there and wait and wait for someone to come over. Took about 15 minutes to even get a glass of water... But the table two over received non-stop attention because they were friends with the server. She was literally there every 30 seconds just to hang out. When they left, she pretended to work and reorganized the condiment tray 2 or 3 times, switching the mustard and ketchup bottles back and forth for 15 minzies. Another server dropped a bunch of chips from the Crab Rangoon Dip on the dining room floor on her way to her table and just left it there until a manager mentioned it. It was a total goat rodeo with the staff training and awareness but let's get to the good stuff already... The Frankenstein cuisine. The pouch is a bit skeered about this rather lengthy and extensive menu... The things I do for my one reader...

There is just something wrong with the words sushi and burger next to each other... But the word bar goes with anything, especially, an empty pouch.

The beer/booze list was pretty much standard issue but I did notice Hitachino... Sold!

Big Al's Yellowtail. The most ripped off sushi dish in the entire industry... But this version was so far off the mark from the original Nobu classic that I was even baffled about their menu development stage. Is that yellowtail? Even they wouldn't dare to use the word "hamachi". Why does it look like Scotch tape? Why is it sitting on top of a giant bowl of ice? Picked up a piece of the translucent "yellowtail" that looked like they used a drywall saw to slice it and dipped it in the "ponzu"... And it was totally tasteless, even the jalapeno. How the fuck can this be? Scotch tape has more flavor. Maybe all the ice numbed the flavor of the bluegill, err, yellowtail... I laughed on the inside when they told me they source the best sushi grade fish in the biz... Must be from Tsukiji, Ohio. I must admit, one of the manager was very nice and replaced this bowl with another properly prepared one... Sadly, it wasn't any better. At least it didn't smell like chemicals.

Sweet Shrimp. Asked the server if they had sweet shrimp which is one of my favorite sea creastures to eat... She replied, I don't know what sweet shrimp is but we have cooked shrimp... Eddy shrimp. You mean ebi? I didn't know they started to name their sooshee like it was a cartoon show. I literally went up to the sushi bar to see if they had it, yep, a big box of it filled to the top... This was obviously not a sweet shrimp type of crowd. It surprised me when it came out, it looked quite impressive actually... The only fuck up was that they used a heavy tempura batter on the heads instead of dusting it with a flour/cornstarch blend. But the tomalley inside the heads stayed intact and gooey good, a plus. The shrimp itself had a slight off putting smell to it but it tasted fine. I wasn't expecting proper execution here but it was passable in a suburban pedestrian kinda way.

Premium Combo Platter. 7 piece mix of seasonal sashimi, 4 pieces of seasonal nigiri, 4 piece Mrs. Woodbury’s Fresh Find and spicy tuna poke with salmon and yellowtail. If I'm making the trek all the way up to upstate Georgia, you know goddamn well I'm going for the prized platter of sashimi and nigiri. Too bad when it came out, it turned out to be a real snoozer... I coulda got a couple boxes of sushi from Publix and arranged it the same way on the same square plate... Sans giant ice bowl. Funny, this plate shoulda been the plate to use for their Big Al's Yellowtail. Ok, the bright color of the tuna and salmon were the standouts because it must be their prime "season" but the selection of sashimi and nigiri was the exact same thing, no- variety, selection, toro, octopus, shrimp, shima aji, scallop, mackerel, unagi, snapper, halibut, etc etc... Did I order the kid's premium combo of the safest child friendly fish ever? The entire premium plate had 3 fish on it and some avocado... But the "yellowtail" here looked a bit healthier this time around. The sushi rice was unseasoned and bland, I had to load it up with the wasabi for any kind of flavor. Once again, the fucking sashimi is frozen on ice again, rock hard... Shit, at least put a popsicle stick in the sashimi so I can lick it like one. The poke was just a slimy semi-spicy mess... Reminds me of the stuff I used to clean out on the bottom of my aquarium when I was a kid... Those motherfucking goldfish can shit like a baby. The Mrs. Woodbury's Fresh Find roll looked like it was stored up her vajayjay a bit too long and it has turned for the worse. How this was a premium combo platter is beyond me... I really didn't expect to find superior sooshee in this cartoonish chain but seriously, Publix sushi destroys this place.

Fusion Specialty Bento Box. Mini-burger of the week, sweet potato fries, Thai cucumbers, edamame and choice of a 4 piece eeZ Rainbow. Fuck, y'all knew I had to do this... To get a feel for their skillz across their broad spectrum of cuisines. Look at that fucking burger or slider, whatever the fuck that is... Perhaps a dachshund's turd on a King's Hawaiian. That peanut shell shaped burger was overcooked like a lump of coal with a squirt bleu cheese on top. The edamame was cold and salt-free, the Thai cukes were drown in sugar watery vinegar, the sweet tater fries woulda been 100 times better if they gave you Arby's curly fries instead and the eeZ Rainbow roll was covered in this tasteless jizzlobbery mess, it was like eating a half melted giant marshmallow. This was a very special bento box in a Corky kinda way... Only a demented genius could dream up something like this where nothing actually worked together... I have seen meals at a soup kitchen with more thought and talent. Where is Jamie Oliver when you need him... He wouldn't even serve this at an elementary school lunch. Do people really think this was a good idea? I felt like I was back in jail when this came out... Shit, whoever came up with this should be in jail and fed this everyday for a month.

This joint may be the final nail in the coffin for me and the perimeter mall restos... They all sucked before and they all still suck now. But they do have their fans, though, and in droves... Pedestrians love mall chain restos, they really fucking do. If you sit back and watch from afar, it's like a slaughter house, they all stand in line huddled up in packs waiting to be axed off one by one. The staff training here was either non-existent or the staff just didn't give a fuck. The handful of managers running around the place had their hands full even with walkie talkies so they can stay on top of problems... They were doing their best and after speaking briefly with them since we had such bad service, they asked me if I knew any good servers they could hire which was kinda funny. The sushi cooks and line cooks were in the weeds constantly, running all over the place, I kinda felt bad for them because they had to make such fucked up looking dishes. When the check arrived, it was all taken care of on behalf of the managers... I said, this was not acceptable, I pay for all my meals. The manager replied, it's done and don't make me go back there and push a bunch of buttons on the POS, again. I don't know why they did it and while I appreciate their gesture, I don't like taking free shit... So, I left about the same amount of the meal in tips and handed it over to the manager. Nothing will stop me from giving my one fan the truth! For me, the food was just not worth coming back for again, but it doesn't matter what I think, they will still have their dedicated demographics (aka people with the palate of a billy goat)... Go for yourself and you will see what I mean. #cowfishlivesmatter.
Anyone want the free gift card I got on the way out? *crickets* ...I thought so.

4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346
http://www.thecowfish.com

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Asian Supermarket

Ranch 99 was the king of the shit in this Buford Hwy landmark called Asian Square for many years... Then it quietly disappeared from all the formidable competition. For years, this large space sat empty until recently it reopened as Asian Supermarket. The market itself is nothing that great, it's clean but looks old and worn... But they have a small food court. So far, only two food shacks are in operation, Red Pepper and China Kitchen which seem to be very similar to the China Kitchen in the Chinatown food court. There's also a third shack, Best BBQ, which looks like it will be opening soon... And seemed to be by the same owners from the one at the Great Wall market but this outpost will not have dim sum, just plates and BBQ. There's also a bakery/bubble tea shop that is semi-part of the food court... It's ok but anyone opening a place like this will have a hard time competing with Sweet Hut in this strip mall. My main interest here when they first opened the food court was Red Pepper... Shit, anything spicy gets my attention. If they can do it right and tickle my taint with their fiery hot concoctions, I will be their biggest cheerleader for free... If not, well, y'all know I'll be shitting that slop out like Pepto Bismol on steroids.
Let's try out a few dishes from this tiny food court and see if they will last... I have a special feeling already but I shouldn't judge so prematurely until the pouch has it's final say.

China Kitchen.
Scallion Pancakes. For $2.50, it's a decent portion... They look housemade but they are just so thick and barely have the flaky layers that one expects from a well made one. They're doughy, chewy and just didn't have that nice crunch to it. I would skip these until they have made major improvements.

Soup Dumps. Looked impressive when it came out in a bamboo steam basket. The dough look semi-thin and they were pretty sizeable. Took a bite and the dough was a bit thicker than it appeared and there was barely any soup in there. The small marble size pork ball inside didn't have the correct amount of fat in it so it was a tight dense meatball vs. the velvety juicy fatty meatball you expect to find in a proper soup dump. They are not horrible and would work for a quick hunger fix but these are not crave-worthy enough to be on my list or any list for that matter.


Red Pepper.
Jajang Dry Noodle. I love this dish but not every place can make it correctly. First thing she ask is if I wanted rice noodles or ramen noodles with it... What the fuck, yo. I'm fucking boiling already and I haven't even ordered the spicy chongqing noodle soup yet. I calmly said, "ramen, pweez"... Because she was really pushing my buttons trying to tell me what the different between the two noodles were. She said rice noodles is what they use in pho noodle soup. Thanks, Nancy Drew, even Raymond Babbitt can figure that one out. This was the strangest bowl of jajang mein I have encountered thus far on Buford Hwy. It's topped with so much veggies and the fermented soybean paste was too liquidity. Mixing all that shit into the thin ramen noodles made it a difficult task. I can't believe they didn't even get the noodles right in this classic comfort dish. They should be thicker noodles, is that so difficult to do? It tasted ok but nowhere near the standards you would expect from a wannabe "authentic" Chino joint. I would skip this and stick with the spicy stews or noodle soups. 

Spicy Chongqing Noodle Soup. Sounded great on paper and the lady said it is very spicy... "Hope you like spicy." I said, you have no clue wimman. Once again, she asked if I wanted rice noodles or ramen noodles... Jesus fucking Christ, don't fucking start that shit again. Is this a bowl of pho? No? So, don't fucking put rice noodles in my spicy chingchong soup, biatch. I was anticipating a hot spicy bowl of noodle soup to nurse a night of heavy drinking and chasing raccoons... Well, I think they were raccoons. I saw one of them get into a car. But let's not talk about that nightmare... The noodle soup is our focus here. It looked pretty good when it came out, it was steaming hot and the chili aroma was wafting up my nose clearing it out. I didn't mind the "ramen" noodles in this bowl because it still worked in this style of soup. The broth was a light beef bone broth that didn't have much flavor or complexity to it alone... But after mixing it all up, the broth even out in flavor with the chili oil... It still wasn't that spicy. I guess I coulda asked her for more chili oil/paste but it still wouldn't make much difference. It's an ok bowl of noodle soup, not very spicy and not very interesting. I would not get this again no matter how fucked up I was.

First impression of this food court was disappointing but I have not written it off yet because Best BBQ is opening a shack there soon. So, there's still some glimmer of hope. China Kitchen has beef chowfun and until I sample that, it's still on my radar. As for Red Pepper, they would be my last choice... Before the earth blows up. 

Asian Supermarket 
5150 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30340

Grindhouse Killer Burgers Decatur

Their new freshly built out stand alone location in Decatur looks impressive with the second floor bar and deck over looking Chick-fila and the high school... The view may sound like a joke but they will prolly kill it here. Their Piedmont location started out pretty good but the quality kinda went down over time and the tiny Sweet Auburn Market location is such a pain in the ass to get to and parking is a nightmare... Maybe opening a third intown location will invigorate their energy and passion for this all American staple again. I like this location a lot, not just because it's new and shiny but also in a great walkable area in Decatur. They need to do a bike night here, they have the space and would totally kill it... Victory sure is raking in the biz on their Twos-day bike nights. We all know how the food tastes here but we will confirm it again just for shits and giggles... Plus, the pouch is hungry.

Euro-Style Double Burger. The shrooms and swiss cheez are great on a burger but never let them put on the mayo and mustard because no matter how little you tell them to put on, they usually just drown the fucking burger in it and make it all soggy. The burger is good, a single is usually more than enough but I haven't had a double in awhile and needed my monthly intake of fat and grease. There's no temp request on the burger but they're usually pretty good about not over cooking it to death.

Fried Green Tomatoes. I never had the FGT here before, so, might as well try it. They're not bad except that it was slathered in chipotle ranch. Anything that has sauce here, you should get it on the side. The sauce made the otherwise crispy batter crust mushy and really, who needs that much sauce on this.

Fried Pickles. Served with the same chipotle ranch sauce, at least this was on the side. Without the sauce on the fried pickles made it so much more appealing and tasted much better with a crispy crunchy crust and a briny finish. A little dip into the sauce is really all you need. These were pretty good overall. I would get them again.

There's no doubt in my mind this place will kick ass here in Decatur, it's about time they opened one in a high foot traffic area. I think it's funny that they opened right next door to a Chick-fila... Those cow billboards should be coming up soon.

433 N McDonough St
Decatur, GA 30030
http://www.grindhouseburgers.com/