Monday, January 9, 2017

Brush Sushi Izakaya Revisit

When Brush first opened, it was Decatur's little best kept sushi secret... No one likes going to Decatur from midtown or the westside because it's such a fucking pain in the ass to get there. So, the locals around these here parts kept this amazing sooshee joint all to themselves. Who the fuck am I kidding, Decatur don't know jack shit about decent sushi... They have been jaded by Sushi Avenue's subpar sushi all these years, this is the only sushi they have ever known. My last visit and final one was god awful... The "chef" behind the sushi bar that made my "food" shoulda been making tandoori chicken and naan bread instead of sashimi and nigiri... Let's just say, I rather eat chum from a bucket at a bait shack than the sushi there. But with Brush's opening, the entire sushi scene in Decatur changed from low rent to Madison Ave. I like this place a lot, and I like that people in midtown and elsewhere do not like to drive to Decatur... Even though this joint is considered a destination spot in my book. But enough talk, what has the pouch been eating here lately... Anything new to report? Let's go find out what's on their menu lately...

Crab and Roe. Holy fuck. Look at this thing of beauty... Look at it's beady eyes... I'm gonna eat your fucking eyeballs. How fucking sick is this creasture... The entire shell is full of hand laid crab meat with roe mixed in... Then there's that giant ball of tiny roe. What a ridiculous and dericious sight to behold. This thing ain't cheap at almost $30 but for what it was, it was pretty goddamn amazing.

From the back side... Rock (crab) and Roe! How fucking cheesy was that shit... Jesus, I am such a loser. And I will eat the shit outta this all by myself at the sushi bar... Just like how I go to the movies by myself. I ain't sharing this motherfucker with anyone. It was so goddamn good.

Sweet Shrimp. This is the most amazing idea I have ever given to Jason... And he fucking nails it. The whole deep fried shell is a work of edible art. Eat the tail nigiri first, then finish it off with the crunchy body, eyeballs and all... So, goddamn guud. I'm suppose to get royalties for each order sold but I have yet seen a penny. Give me another sweet shrimp and I'll forget about it for tonight.

Nut Sack of Deep Fwied Sperm. There was a recent new article that said swallowing the white jizz juice is extremely healthy for you, it cures cancer and warts or some shit like that... Who the fuck am I to criticize science. So, pump pump me some of that baby gravy! Relax your throat and swallow like it was a bottle of Guava Jarritos... Gulp gulp... My tumor is gone, mofos... Fuck tumor! Wait, it's not a tumor, just my fupa... Dammit.

Kushiyaki. It's your standard mix of grilled meats on a stick... I like kushiyaki but it pales in comparison to all the other goodies they have in their arsenal.

Lionfish. This is what I'm talking about... The predator becomes the prey... Fuck poison! Wait, they're venomous... Who gives a shit, the pouch has an iron stomach. I fucking drink Alien's blood and french kiss their multi-extending jaw on the mouth... I ain't scared of a piece of shit lionfish. I loved this fried dish, from the crispy flaky white flesh to the crunchy fins and skeleton. Just an adventurous dish to sample.

Ankimo. Jesus, I always get this monkfish liver dish no matter what sushi joint I'm at... If it's on the menu, it's going into the pouch. This version has never failed me, it's just velvety and dericious.

Soba. Yeah, yeah, how boring can you get with plain old soba, right? Well, shit, this even surprised me when it came out... Ice cold soba in a light sweet dashi sauce topped with roe was incredibly tasty. I don't know if it was the crushed ice in there but I couldn't stop gobbling this up.

Scallop. When I saw the quality of the scallop, I just couldn't pass this up... Damn it was good. Firm, toothy, tender, fleshy and fresh all come to mind.

Soft Shell Crab Roll... AKA Spida Woll. Another low rent gaijin dish that I can't say no to... Yes, it's deep fried soft shell crab inside a friggin makimono or as crackers like to call it, a sushi roll... And it was da tits. It's like breast feeding in public when I eat this... I really don't want people to see me eating this but I'm also not ashamed to be seen eating this.

Sweet Shrimp. So damn good that I had to have more... Why am I obeast, again? I forget...

Brush Platter. Look at this fucking amazing tray of seafood shit from the abyss... And it's all going down into the pouch's abyss, never to be heard from again until 3 hours later when nature calls. I'm not gonna go into detail but every sample on this plank was fresh and firm, the colors were vibrant and eating it was like a religious ritual, a true mystical and magical experience... Wait, was there liger on here? I was slowly savoring every bite and morsel. The different levels of omakase available here are great options, too, but if you are on a diet like me, I would do the sampler platter... Like anyone believes that I'm on a diet after eating all that other shit before this.

Tamago. The tamago has always been treated like some red headed stepchild because it seems like it's for kids... But there is an art to make this correctly. This may not be the ultra traditional way of making a tamago but you don't expect them to here... And I really like their version. It kinda reminds me of a Japanese style genoise sponge cake... Shit, I kinda wanna soak it with some brown juice syrup on there... Everything is better with whiskey. Hell, everything is better when I'm liquored up.

Brush has been getting more and more recognition by the local rags but it's still not packed by any means... Like I said, people don't like to drive to Decatur, I was one of them when I lived in midtown... But their menu, quality ingredients and talent behind the knife is absolutely killing it in my book. This is my go to place for higher end sushi right now... It is a destination spot on da pouch's list and that list is quite short... And also their brown juice menu is not too shabby, either. I'm totally ok with people not wanting to drive all the way to Decatur. Midtown millennials need not apply... They don't do California rolls. Just saving y'all an unnecessary trip to save gas, the environment and all those other earthly causes.. And take a bath you filthy hairy hippies.

316 Church St
Decatur, GA 30030
http://www.brushatl.com/

Friday, January 6, 2017

Scout

The semi-highly anticipated Scout has recently opened in Oakhurst... This area needed a boost of something new... Not that it was garbage before but the same stagnant handful of places gets old pretty quick when you have ADD and BED (binge eating disorder) like me. The Scout is a spacious lair, it's open concept help create an airy feel to the place. The joint took awhile to open but I think it was worth it. The local mossbacks around these here parts seem to enjoy this new and shiny noshing and imbibing spot... Me too. I know the bar crew won't let me down since they are coming from P&P, but the kitchen, also veterans of the Georgian Terrace, will be dishing out a new menu that should cater towards the locals and the funky neighborhood... I assume it will be more family friendly but who knows... After a few rounds of brown juice cocktails, I was ready to nosh... Let's check it out and see what they got up their sleeves.

Bangs Island Mussels. A nice heaping bowl of mussels supplied with enough bread to sop up the broth and the broth was quite decent. It's a good start... 

Wood Smoked Chicken Wings. I love whole wings, it's the new trend nowadays in this town. The menu says 3 wings but there was 4, perhaps the 4th one was to make up for the smaller size... Who knows, I ain't complaining. The wings were kinda smokey, the rub was pretty tasty but the inside was kinda dry. The jalapeno ranch sauce was so watery and devoid of flavor that it was kinda useless... It just dripped right off the wing. I would pass on this until they work it out... It was kinda forgettable at this stage.

Chubbies Clam Roll. I fucking love clam rolls, lobster rolls, oyster roll, shrimp rolls... Any kinda roll with fried sea nuggets in it, I will eat it. The top split bun was correct but it wasn't even buttered or toasted/grilled. C'mon, any roll needs to buttered and toasted, that's like cooking 101. Besides the fail on the bun, the fried clam strips were passable... Even though it was more batter than clams. I get it, the clam strip shrinks when it's fried. At least the batter was light and crispy. I really wished there were clam bellies in there... That woulda been fucking sick. But I will have to monitor the development of this dish.

Pabst Battered Cauliflower, gruyere, horseradish sour cream. Ok, $7 for this... Talk about getting fucked in the ass. While it tasted as expected, nothing ground breaking or addictive... The 3 1/2 or is that 4 cauliflower, just looks chintzy... Seriously, cauliflower, the cheap red headed stepchild to the broccoli and they couldn't give you more than 4 florets. I would get more cauliflower in a MMA cage match... Get it? Cauliflower ears? Nevermind... Let's just skip this and go to the next dish.

Shaved Carrot & Brussels Sprouts, dates, barrel aged feta, pear dressing. Ok, first off, does the dates look like fried intestines you find at a Chino joint on Buford Hwy? It could be just me because I love that offal shit... No one eats that shit except me, literally, sometimes there's shit in there but after it's fried, it's amazing. But anyways, this salad looked so sad and boring... It's like something you make on the first week of culinary school. This was a real snoozer.

Twice Fried Chicken Quarters, savannah rice, pepita, baby bok choy. The idea of 2 whole leg quarters floured and fried sounds amazing on paper... But the logistics of eating a whole fried leg is quite a challenge in real life. You are going to cut that mother clucker in half anyways, so why not just do quarters... Plus, 4 pieces of fwied cheekan on a plate looks so much more value added to the paying customer. The crust/skin was really nice, great color, good crunch on the thin crusty skin... It could be seasoned a bit more but it worked. The flesh inside was half way between dry and moist... I don't know, maybe it was fried in advance and held in a warm box until service. It just didn't tasted made to order. See, if they did it in quarters (4 pieces), they coulda made this to order... Shit, do it Korean style, fried it once and hold it, then refry it a second time to order. The mushy bland "Spanish" rice was silly and the bok choy doesn't even work with fried chicken... Just stick with taters or mac with a simple country greens.

Roasted Salmon and Corn Cake, Pearl Couscous Souffle. Again, another dish that sounds great on paper but just didn't work as hoped in real life... This salmon corn cake "burger" was a tepid mess and didn't even taste good. One bite and I was down for the count. There's just something about chopped up salmon formed into a patty that's just weird. The pearl couscous souffle was flat and barely warmed. 

5 Hour Hanger Steak, spicy fries, blue cheese aioli. No one fucks up a steak, it's like the easiest thing to cook... But was I surprised that the first attempt at this didn't go as planned? Nope. Ok, first off, who puts skinny fries in a pool of jus or sauce... Second, that said sauce tasted like seafood, actually tasted like reduced lobster stock. Wait, was this a surf and turf... The steak looked well executed with the nice char and beet red interior, until you took a bite of it... It was chewy as fuck. How can that be... It looked so good. I don't know what happened to this but it was like some Twilight Zone shit. The server was nice enough to send it back to do over... The second attempt worked out a lot better with the sauce on the side... Which was some juniper berry sauce, perhaps that's what tasted "fishy". The fries were dry and crispy and the steak was nicely executed. So, it wasn't a total loss.  

I ain't rushing back for the food here but hey, they just opened... You can't expect them to get this cooking shit down yet but the bar side was on point with the cocktails and drinks. Even with all the misses on the grub, I still like the vibe and space... The service was pretty good even with a small staff on hand in the beginning. They got a good foundation to build upon but I think they should really reduce the menu and keep it simple in the beginning and focus on making a few items really really good, get that shit down and then be a little bit more adventurous later on. It's Oakhurst, no one is expecting fine dining here, but they are expecting fun dining. The place has a lot going for them, just try not to do everything for everybody on the first day, month or year because you know you will fail. But I have a feeling the locals around here won't even care about the food, it's a hip space that they can bring their kids to while feeling trendy and fashionable at the same time because they're just happy that they are out of the house.

321 W Hill St.
Decatur, GA 30030
http://scoutoakhurst.com/

Shoya

Shoya has been consistently busy and consistently pushing out very respectable ex-pat vittles over the years. I think I had like one bad dish since I have been coming here on the regular. This joint is packed almost every single night... And for good reason. The shit is legit up in this piece. Let's make another revisit and see how they're doing these days... Don't fucking fail me, yo...

Someone is getting a little frisky with wisky tonight... Their house whisky is some risky bottom shelf scotch called McIVOR Finest Scotch Whisky. But I still tried it anyways, the server gave me a triple pour... Shit was like 5 ounces for $6. But does that really matter when they get it for under $10 a bot? It's all profit to them. It's a very younger scotch but it didn't taste half bad when you eating a shit load of grub with it. 

Japanese Tater Salad. I still don't get this scoop of tater salad, it's not necessarily bad but it ain't great either. Why waste money to fill yer pouch when there's much better things on the menu to be had... Skip it with extreme prejudice.

Koebi Karaage. Fwied baby skrimpz... Always a must have, but they have gotten chintzy on the portion. Still a tasty lil dish.

Eel. Clean and simple. Just a nice looking, good tasting piece of sweet eel. Git ya some.

Soft Shell Crab. It's real tough not to order this every time... So, don't think, just order the fucking thing... Tis real guud.

Chicken Soft Bone. Another dish that I have come to enjoy more and more... Shit, the soft bone is good for you. Make bone strong and hard... Yes, my bone is real hard right now, it was soft earlier but now I got a good blood flow going from these little bone nuggets.

Grilled Oysters. I like them plump and juicy... Besides my wimmen, that's how I also like my oysters.

Ankimo. One of my all time favs here... Monkfish liver is so soft and velvety when done right and they do it right here every time... It's a must on every visit.

Hamachi Kama. So, they are going by MP (market price) now, depending on the size of the collar. Which is a good thing... You get what you pay for. And this was done as well as any other time I have had it. Crispy on the outside and steamy and flaky on the inside... Remember, don't forget to nibble on the crispy fins, some of the best parts.

Sashimi Deluxe. They are killing it with the sashimi deluxe on this visit. Look at the compilation on this platter... It is literally the greatest hits and had everything that I wanted on one tray. The sweet shrimp, scallop, otoro, hamachi, etc etc... Just an amazing selection tonight.

Fried them skrimp headz! This is literally one of my favorite things to eat, the brains, eyeballs, skeleton, mmm... I could be a zombie in training.

Udon Tempura. This was a good palate cleanser... Wash down all the other goodies for the next round of goodies. Pretty standard issue udon and broth, but the tempura was spot on, crispy crunchy and just so good chomping around in your facehole.

Tonkotsu Ramen Black. So, what makes it a black ramen? It ain't the noodles or broth but the black sesame oil.. So, it kinda looks black but it ain't. It's just a standard tonkotsu with the black sesame oil. And how does it taste? ...Fuck me, yo... Tis was pretty damn good. The broth was not super rich but rich enough with the black sesame oil. Most of the ramen here were all more than acceptable, but will it win any contests... Prolly not because it's not a full on ramen joint but they do it better than most places that only focus on ramen in this one horse town. I would totally get this again for $11.

Taiyaki Ice Cream Dessert Thingy. I'm not a fan of desserts overall but I'm a fan of this fish cake filled with red bean paste. I think this is the first time I have ever ordered this and it was surpisingly tasty... Like everything else on their ginormous menu which is quite impressive to have such a large menu and the execution is still on point.


Shoya has done it again and again... This joint is one of my favorite spots in this town, no matter what the cuisine is. No wonder they had to open Ginya... Their shit is more packed than Blake's on the weekends.

6035 Peachtree Rd A101
Doraville, GA 30340
http://www.shoyaatlanta.com/

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Federal

The Bantam + Biddy mini chain has been pretty popular with the masses with their diner style grub... I liked it the couple of times I have visited but nothing really stood out to be on my rotation. Diners are great and are an American institution... In NYC, but here in da ATL, the "diner" style concept has become tiresome to me. The B+B location midtown just didn't draw the family crowd because the Crescent area has really been known for clubbing, drinking, and rowdy bar scenes. Yes, it has toned down a lot over the years but you still get a lot of riff raffs in this area during the weekends. I'm glad the B+B crew decided to take another direction and bring back the spirit of Shaun's from the dead... I think a mini-Shaun's will fit much better in this area of midtown than a family-esque "diner" concept. Let's face it, there are no kids or families in this area, and they got limited traffic and street presence... The location is walkable but not with kids. Let's just bring the grown up thing back here... And bringing back the Shaun's concept with a modern Fronchy bistro twist will be a nice change from all the half-assed concepts drowning midtown over the last few years.
Let's go check it out and see if Shaun Doty still has what it takes to make the pouch swoon... Can he still cook like a real man or has frying up cheekan fingaz for bratty kids has killed his will to live and cook? We all know parking sucks a big motherfucking cock around midtown and especially with the Park Atlanta bullshit people had to deal with over the last few years, but they do have a parking lot right next door with 2 hours free. Shit, I better order as much as I can and eat as fast as I can...

Sardinian Flatbread, simple salad, vella dry jack cheese, argan oil. One of Shaun's signature dish... It's changed a little bit with the toppings and garnish but it still retained the flavors and essence of the original dish. It's a cute dish, the broads will dig it.

Antipasto, iowa prosciutto, mozzarella, ligurian olives, deviled egg, duck. It's a nice bistro style plating of assorted morsels. It ain't a work of art visually but when you stick his meat in your mouth, you just want to hum. It was orally satisfying, I would do him, err, it again.

Beef Tartare, belgian style, fries. I can't say no beef tartare, especially, at a Fronch style bistro... I'm glad to see no raw egg yolk on top, did I ever mention that the egg yolk was a gimmick that some hack chef made up decades ago to differential his tartare from the sea of others... But anyhoo, after a taste of it, I suspect there was prolly some egg yolk involved as a liaison to bind the meat and other garnish together. Luckily, it was not overwhelming like in most restos... This version was light and airy with a hint of a mustard finish. It was actually very good, not heavy at all... But my version back in the old resto days is still superior. The fries were as addictive as the original version. This was a good showing of old school Shaun's.

Duck, Jaworski pierogies, cabbage. It doesn't look pretty after the server has been swirling this all around... But look at the size of that portion... That's like 2.5 duck breasts on there. Stop trying to impress me like we're on a first date, Shaun... You had me at 2 hour free parking validation. The execution also looked spot on by the rosy color of it... It was and tender and juicy as fuck, too. He did done good on this dish. The famous Jaworski pierogies did not disappoint either, fat and plump. There's some cabbage underneath all that fowl, too, but who cares about the kraut when Daffy was so tasty.

Pork Schnitzel, onion salad, peanuts, italian parsley. Another famous signature Shaun's dish... The much lauded pounded pork schnitzel... Shit, he can pound me with his porkhood anytime he pleases... Did I say that out loud, again... It's a hefty piece of Ms. Piggy, even when she's been pounded hard. Crispy thin crust, basically it crackles when you bite into it, and a juicy meaty pork flesh inside. It was seasoned spot on, nothing needed except for a quick squirt of lemon juice. The lemon test can be used in so many different oral ways... I also like to use the lemon test on unsavory broads I pick after a round of High Life, they don't know the difference between the champagne of beers or a Zima when it's served in a flute, it's all champagne to them and it makes them feel special and spoiled. I love socially challenged chicks, but the lemon test also comes in handy to see if they are repugnant downstairs, if they squeal like it stings, then you know it's got some open sores, so get your face outta that fucking bush ASAP... After you pump and dump, of course. Is that TMI? Schnitzel always give me a blood flow... I wished Willy Wonka would make this in bubble gum form, it's a lot less noticeable than those little blue pills... Like Jack Black's fucking jelly beans.

Steak Frites, sunflower sprout salad, maitre d’ butter. You can't go to a bistro and not try the clasic steak frites... The steak was spot on mid-rare and seasoned perfectly. Nothing needed except to put Shaun's hot beef injection into your mouth and swallow... And swallow I did, all of it.

Skate Wing, mashed fingerling potatoes. People fuck up skate wings all the time, they break it into pieces while cooking it or trying to plate it. But on this visit, they got it all correct. The skate wing was tender, flaky and had a really satisfying taste to it... That's prolly from the liberal use of butter on this sizeable piece of skate. Why is butter so damn good...

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe. I thought the sides going for $8 a piece was a tad bit high when I first read the menu... Then this came out. A rather sizeable bowl of rabe and garlic that was so fragrant that you can't stop scooping more and more on to your plate.

Sauteed Hen Mushrooms. Another ridiculously aromatic and woodsy mushroom side dish that was filled to the brim. This was totally worth the $8 for a big bowl of hen shrooms... This would be like $300 in Amsterdam... Wait, wrong blog.

Sticky Toffee Pudding and Key Lime Tart, coconut mousse. Another dish that has made it's way back on the menu was the sticky toffee pudding and for good reason, it's a fat ass' wet and sticky dream. I usually eat like one bite of any type of dessert but with this toffee pudding I had two bites, it was that good. The key lime tart was fine, delicate and tasted good.

Overall, Shaun and Lance (sadly, he was not there on this night) have not skipped a beat since Shaun's closed their doors oh so many years ago. The menu is the classic modern bistro greatest hits but it's not without fault, either, some dishes, while tasted good, were a bit rough around the edges and a bit messy on the plating. But those are just the little things that comes with a new concept, a newish menu and crew... Which I have no doubt will be fixed in no time. I'm still getting used to the name but it's good enough already that I would even bring rent-a-friends here... You know how you can tell if a chick is an escort? They're always with a fat guy. So, what... Fat guys need loving, too... Just make sure there's a good supply of lemons in here.

1050 Crescent Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
http://www.thefederalatl.com/

Friday, December 23, 2016

Cast Iron

Ever since P'cheen closed up shop, this location has become a curse of sorts... Last Word had good press because of the owner's history of success from the Woodfire Grill. But it had major growing pains right from the start, there was too much turnover in the front and back of the house, it just couldn't find an identity within the surrounding community... It came to be known more for a pop-up venue which helped local cooks spring board into other ventures from the publicity they received. I liked the place a lot even though I have never really had the food because the kitchen was such a shit show and nothing ever showed up at my table... But the cocktail program was very respectable. I have had very decently executed drinks many a times there. Sadly, the cursed location had the last word for that place.
But now comes another concept that is toned down a bit more and they're trying to get the feel for the neighborhood but the flux of outlanders jamming into the over commercialized Inman Park area isn't helping define the community. The Inman Quarter retail strip has become such a shit show with OTPers trying to be hip and jiggy with it. It's actually doing a disservice to the area that the locals have created over a long time... It's like a mini-Buckhead now, all you have to do is look at the people loitering around there in their Buckhead army outfits. But luckily, this new joint is not within walking distance of those BMW drivers.
On a recent weekend visit, the place was quiet but not dead... It felt cold and lifeless inside. I had to move from the back table they put me at near the bathrooms because of the intense cleaning liquid aroma that smelled like embalming fluid... I thought I was in a morgue. The front booth was no better with the narrow space between the table and back of the booth... I'm fat and I could barely slide my fat ass into the booth, imagine someone bigger than me trying to squeeze in there... All I can envision is Ms. Piggy putting on a pair of yoga pants, please don't bend over... I'll even pay for your food. Speaking of food... The menu looked like a good start for the initial opening... Let's see what will stay and what will be 86'd. The more I read into the menu the more I was like "meh"... Only a few dishes stood out enough for me to be interesting to test out...

Gotta start the festivities with some brown juice and oyster stout... An industry standard practice. The staff might want to brush up on their liquor inventory since they're so proud to say that they have been working in the industry for so long... Don't be a fool and tell me you have something when in fact you don't even carry it. But what do I know, y'all are long time industrial professionals. Just sayin', yo. But I got my black and brown, so, I'm good for now.

Duck Confit Gaufrettes, pickled onion cream, cherry mostarda, duck skin. The word confit always sounds so fancy and Fronch, but in reality... It's basically cooking meat in it's own body fat. This shredded duck confit looked so sad and dry... It must have cried all night and ran out of tears for moisture. The gaufrettes were thin and bit soggy... I mean shit, if you're really gonna give me four fucking chips, at least make them thicker like Chick-fil-A's waffle fries and make me feel like I'm getting my money's worth, even though, at the same time I know I have been had. I wouldn't even serve these hors d'oeuvres at a frat party... Maybe perhaps at a sorority and try my luck with one of the babes rushing... Hey, I still have 2 roofies left from college, they don't expire right? Don't hate.

King Trumpet and Oyster Mushrooms, sherry, balsamic, chili bread crumbs, egg yolk. This dish looked like a piece of art... Real Alinea type of shit. But once you start dissecting it and tasting it... Nothing really came together as a single composed dish. Don't get me wrong, the mushrooms were great but that's all you will take away from this dish... The accoutrements were just tasteless plate filler. Why the fuck would anyone spend $11 for a few slices of shrooms...

Sweet Potato, leek, apple, mustard greens in warm mushroom broth with pumpkin seed oil. Another very artsy fartsy contemporary style dish... Yeah, great, I saw how that first one came out. It's all a gamble from this point. There is barely any broth in there, serious, how difficult is it to make shroom broth... I understand that you don't want to cover up all the goodies underneath the dark broth but shit, bro, a lil mo' broth ain't gonna kill ya. But this hybrid soup/veggie/fruit bowl was not too shabby... It was tasted pretty good as an experiment. But it ain't good enough to get it again. It's cute, though, I'll give you that.

Cider Brined Pork Ribs, cabbage, white sauce. What a lovely piece of manmeat staring me right in da face. My facehole is getting wet... My facial orifice is getting all lubed up in anticipation of this hunky piece of meat... Do I, should I, take it in whole or shall I tease it and swallow it a little bit at a time... I'm a southern belle, so I'm dainty like, I will put this meat in my mouth like a lady... One morsel at a time. So, I start cutting this gently because it looked tender enough to cut with a fork but then the cutting became a sawing motion, then to a violent hacking movement. This shit was tougher and more leathery than Danny Trejo's face. Jesus, it even looks like him if you squint your eyes from afar. What a gorgeous piece of rib but what they did to it was a crime. They shoulda just pressure cooked it and then finish it off on the grill or in a salamander. I'm still having nightmares of this tough and chewy specimen... And it reminds of a Star Wars joke...

I love this joke! Now, only if this rib can fly the Millennium Falcon...


Seven Ounce Patty, bacon, Tillamook cheddar on chili cornmeal bread, "burger salad". I was going back and forth on this or the monkfish or the shrimps and cold noodles.... I saw the monkfish at another table and it was chunks on a plate, wtf, yo. I didn't see the shrimps and cold noods but for $12 I guarantee you that I can find this Asian inspired dish on Buford Hwy for $6 and it would be spectacular... So, I guess it's the burger then. This entire concoction was all gimmick... The cornmeal bread is like the southern counterpart of a ramen bun. The "burger salad" is prolly the dumbest idea on the entire menu because no server can explain what it was to any customer. It was basically a sloppy ratatouille. But let's just get to the good part... The burger. Asked for mid-rare like usual...

First try... Well done. Well, not well done as in a good job but way overcooked into a gray matter patty. I was over it, just left it on the side uneaten and waited for the server to take it away. She's like, is there something wrong with it... I'm like, I have seen hockey pucks with more blood on it. This was so overcooked, I woulda tossed it into the woods if I was at a backyard BBQ but I was stuck... In this narrow ass bench, that all I can do was push it off to the side. I was over it and I didn't really want to make a stink about it but the server was adamant about having the kitchen redo it because one of the line cooks was new. The server did done well there...

Second try... Spot on. Now, that's what I'm looking for... Blood oozing from the patty like a puck to Gretzy's face. I wouldn't eat Wayne's face between a cornmeal bun but I would eat the shit outta his daughter's meat flaps between her buns... That skank is hot as balls. What was I talking about before? Oh, yeah... The burger, I got off track there for a second. The burger was nice, seasoned well, juicy and tasted good... But I could forgo the gimmicky cornmeal bun, why waste your time making this silly thing. A really nice potato or a King's Hawaiian bun woulda done the trick. This dish was tasty but just stop with the gimmicks already.

I don't know if I like this place or not yet, it doesn't feel neighborhoody just yet... I like that another small business owner opened up shop in this corner location but they got some work to do still. I would tweak the menu a bit and dispense with the trendy food gimmicks, a neighhood joint is about getting solid food, solid execution and a good value, consistently. The booze station is acceptable for now, nothing really stood out for me on the cocktail menu or drinks. They got the right location, now, they just need to make that connection with the community. I won't be rushing back anytime soon but I wouldn't stop anybody from checking them out either.

701-5 Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30312
http://castironatl.com/