Monday, June 25, 2012

Genki Noodles & Sushi

I haven't been to Genki in years... The last time I was at the original location, Buckhead was actually fun and the murder rate was at zero. That's how long ago it was. The food was a loose translation of Japanese cuisine... Kinda like some of the girls I hooked up with back in the days. They always seem like a good idea when you're drunk as a fucking monkey... Until you wake up next to it the following day. Getting them out of your place wasn't as simple as sticking 2 fingers down your throat and flushing away the evidence. I associate Genki with the "just graduated college, now I know what real sushi is because Ru San's was so sophmore" crowd. Then Genki busted a nut up in Sandy Springs at the Prado with a douchy rave techno theme thinger... No fucking thanks, I don't want to get a case of the Afflictions. Then about a year ago a third location popped up in Virginia Highlands in the old Everybody's Pizza space. Everybody's was pretty bad but the location is prime real estate with foot traffic and high visibility galore. Every time I pass by it, Genki is almost always empty. Why? What was the reason a sushi joint can't garner mad crazy biz in the heart of Va-Hi? I know these yuppy wannabes in this hood love Harry & Sons and Mali... So, why can't Genki get that same draw. I couldn't resist, I had to find out for myself.

The renovation job was pretty decent. The big seller, of course, is the new garage door contraption in the front where you can drink and dine looking out on to the street. The sushi bar and rest of the space is pretty standard stuff. Let's check out the grub...

Cheese Kari Kari - House made blend of imitation crab, cream cheese, red peppers and scallions, wrapped in a light pastry and served with wasabi cream and sweet soy sauce.

For the love of baby Jesus... Don't fucking look at me, I didn't order this unholy demon spawn... Ms. Piggy at the table did, even after multiple warnings. This could very well be one of the reasons why no one comes here. But I got to admit, it gave me a good laugh and cheered me up. Especially, the "House made blend of imitation crab, cream cheese..." on the menu description. They might as well call it a "Cheese Enema". Took one bite and I had enough but I did like poking at it with the stix, it was squooshee, like my muffin top.


Nigiri Assortment - Actually, didn't look too bad... Until, I spied the Inarizushi (the fried tofu). These lazy fuckers didn't even fill the pouch with the rice, they folded it and wrapped a strip of nori around it! I didn't know if I should laugh out loud or piss my pants.One can only imagine what is going through these Mexicaneses' brain back in the sushi prep area. Fumbling around back there trying to figure out how to stuff rice into a flat piece of tofu. We don't need no stinking pouches! Speaking of rice... Holy shit, there is something amidst up in this piece. It tasted really weird... Like it was days old and over seasoned with not only rice wine vinegar but something else... Fromunda? If that wasn't bad enough, the glob of wasabi was grossly liquidy like they gathered up all the unused bits from other plates to form a mother wasabi ball... That might work with a dough but not with wasabi. But I could not get around this funky rice, so I ate it sashimi style. The sake, hamachi, tako, tai were fine, well as good as it gets here but the maguro had been frozen, thawed, frozen, thawed once too many times, and the unagi was falling apart from sitting out way too long in room temp. Mebbe it was a good thing the eses in the back didn't stuff the inari with rice after all! Domo, er, I mean, gracias el concineros!  


Spicy Tuna Roll. Oh, dear... Why do chicks love rolls so much? I mean it's like they are on auto pilot on this stuff. Nothing says freshness to me when you're eating raw fish than spicy tuna roll, made up of hacked up leftover debris on the side of the cutting board and mix in with Sriracha. It's almost as appetizing as a bowl of warm hamster vomit when you break it down to the basics. But the fun doesn't stop there... Remember the funky tasting/smelling sooshee rice? Well, you get double the prize here when they roll that spicy tuna mix inside that rice. The technique was so pitiful, they came out not round but egg shaped and started to unravel itself. You would think they would know how to roll it better because sushi rolls are basically another form of taquitos. Am I wrong?

Genki hasn't changed one bit, awful as the first time... And that was like 10 years ago. At least they're consistent. I tried their house beer which I found out later to be Genesee from upstate NY! Holy shit, we didn't even drink that crud in college, that piss water makes the Beast taste like Hitachino. I couldn't finish it... I know, I committed alcohol abuse. But is it really considered alcohol if it's under 2%? Anyways, I think I know the answer to why this place is empty most of the time... And it isn't because of the competition nearby. Which I would gladly take Ru San's anytime and that is pretty much sad in itself.


No Rating.

1040 North Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA
(404) 853-3315
http://www.genkiatl.com/

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gino's NY Pizza and Bar

The defunct Franco's has been replaced by yet another NY style pizzeria... And we all know how many have tried and how many have failed miserably. Just because you put NY Pizza on your name it doesn't mean it is. Yeah yeah, I know you think Atlanta is full of rednecks that don't know the difference between NY 'Za and Pizza Hut and you could probably pull the wool over most people's eyes. Wait until they get a load of me. Squirt.

So, supposedly they were the owners of the long gone Uncle Vito's up in Norcross. It was some pretty awful stuff as I remembered, it's no wonder why they didn't make it. Then a year or two later they reopened under the name Gino's on Peachtree Parkway where they got mixed reviews. It was pretty surprising to hear that they were opening another location and in town for that matter. I haven't been to the one in Norcross but I was pretty curious about them since they're intown and especially NY style 'Za.

The interior has been minimally renovated since the days of Franco's which is a little nicer. The patio area is pretty sweet but I don't know if overlooking the intersection of Piedmont and Cheshire is that desirable. But who cares about that... The food is what I'm here for.

Some giant arancini balls, a pan pizza and some dried out looking pie I assume used for orders of slices. Lovely. Looks like we're in for a real treat!

 Some dessert stuff. Looks like from a 4th grade bake sale.

This place is not even a week old and these plates look like they were from a 60's diner. It seemed like they put it out for service right out of the box from storage without cleaning them first. They were obviously heavily used throughout the years and filthy as fuck. The black shit on the side of plate rubbed right off on to my hand. Mmm, yummy. How the server didn't even notice this filth is beyond me because the plates were covered with this nasty film as well. Ridiculous.

Jamaican Beef Patty. What the fuck, yo??!! This is a first for me.. A Jamaican patty served in a pizza joint. Well, except for that ghetto ass 'Za dump in Queens years ago that I'm still struggling to suppress. Oh, you know I had to order it for shits and giggles. They conveniently called it a "meat pie" for us dummies who don't know what real Eyetalian cuisine is. Come to think of it, I swear I saw General Tso's cheekan on the menu, too. That is so kickass!

The horror, the horror. This dried out store bought patty seemed like it has been sitting under a heat lamp for days. Maybe it was the leftovers from their house? Don't get me wrong, some store bought patties are actually pretty good... But the inside of this creasture looked like the bottom of a Johnny of the Spot and tasted like it, too. How they could charge $4 is beyond me, let alone charging anything at all for this pathetic display. Just awful.

House Salad. Nothing says passion for cooking than throwing scraps on a plate haphazardly. The take out portion sized balsamic in the plastic tub thinger is real classy, too. Looks like everything is premade, prepackaged and pretarded. I've had more appetizing and better tasting salads from Wendy's.

Cheese Pie. The main event, the test of all tests... The simple NY cheese pizza. The server asked me 3 times if I was sure I didn't want any toppings on it (lame attempt to up sell me). What? And cover up the incredibly fresh top quality ingredients and talent of the pizzaiolo? So, how was it... Was it a true NY pie? Let's just say Fellini's would be considered the Lombardi's of Atlanta compared to this specimen. Shredded cheese from a bag, sauce from a can doctored up with some dried spices and a dough that had no rise. The crust was barely cooked through, doughy at spots, zero char, unseasoned, flat and cracker like consistency. It almost tasted like the premade dough from Trader Joe's... But TJ's version is much better. This was a very poor display of NY style pizza... They would be laughed out of NY for serving this slop to paying customers. Wait a minute... Maybe that's why they're down here. Hmmm.

Veal Parmesan Sandwich. Who made this? A sperm whale? Because something jizzed all over my sandwich. What's under there is anyone's guess. It's like a recurring theme with restos of this level. Hacked up pieces of veal like substance, over loaded with mozzarella and generic sauce. It was as bad as that chicken parmesan sandwich I had recently at Olde Towne Tavern & Grille. The fries were cold and raw inside. If you can't cook pre-blanched frozen fries from a bag, it doesn't give me much confidence in your skills with anything else on the menu. And it shows with everything else I tried.

This place has given up before they even got started. Everything was piss poor... From the service to the food. There is zero attention to detail and the staff don't know if they're are coming or going. And having a valet for a junky pizza place is even more absurd. They must have gotten that idea from Tartufo's. Sometimes, restaurants truly baffles me but I think the staff here is even more baffled than I am. I don't know who is running this joint but this place is as Eyetalian as I am. If they ever wanted to hide Henry Hill via the witness protection program, I got the place for him since he loves egg noodles and ketchup. No self-respecting mafioso would ever look for him here. This is just a reincarnation of Franco's, nothing more, nothing less. This space is now cursed.

Flush.

No Rating.

1740 Cheshire Bridge Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30324
404-874-4466
www.ginosnypizzashop.com

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back to Back Revisits: Gu's Bistro & The Lawrence

I'm kinda glad that dick, Peter Chang Cheng Chung or whatever it is these days, has left the state (he's supposedly in some hick town in Virginia)... He was good in the beginning but went downhill fast. All these numbnuts sucking his dry fried eggplant gave him an ego the size of Yao Ming. Tasty China was good but when he opened his namesake joint, the shit hit the fan. The food was garbage and prices went through the roof. Fuck that place even if it was the only semi authentic Sichuan resto. But thank God, Gu's opened a little Sichuan bistro around the same time PC did in a shithole dumpy ass strip mall. It's never crowded and the food is consistently good... I always have to tell them to make it Sichuan ma la fuck me in the ass, kick me in the balls and skull fuck me hot. So with that said, let's get going on a day of gluttony for the pouch...

Chengdu Style Cold Noodles. Cold noodles always remind me of that shitty sesame noodles at hole in the wall Chino joints that uses spaghetti and watered down peanut butter "sauce". But get that image outta your head because these cold noodles are pretty fucking good. It's a little spicy but they are addictive.

Zhong Style Dumplings. These are some of my favorite dumps in Atlanta. Period. The sauce is wonderful, a little spicy and savory and sweet. The dumps have that nice bite to the skin and the pork filling inside was juicy. These little fuckers rocked.

Mapo Tofu. I love this dish but been rather disappointed at nearly every place that I have tried their version. I have resorted to making the damn dericious dish at home most of the time when I have a hankering for it. I like my Mapo ungodly spicy, I add shit in there that would make Nair look like child's play... My shit will remove not only hair but flesh as well. Ok ok but how was Gu's dish? It was good, not great, it wasn't spicy enough, a little too oily and needed a tad bit more of ground pork bits. I liked it but prolly won't ordered it again. Like I said, no one in Atlanta can do this dish correctly... But it's a start.


My stretched marked ass didn't stop there at Gu's... Went back to The Lawrence to see some friends and picked up some bites and libations later that evening...

Crispy Pig Ears & Globe and Patty Pan Squash. Ears were crispy as adverted and addictive like a fat chick to a box of Bonbons. The squash were great, seasoned nicely and cooked/grilled spot on, not mushy, not crunchy, just the perfect bites to go with a few glasses of booze at the bar.

Local Root Vegetables & Deviled Eggs. Liked the Asian-y take on the D-eggs... They soaked them in a kinda sweet poaching liquid (balsamic? I forgot, was focused on my drinks) like the Chino tea eggs. Gave them a nice color, texture and flavor. The root veggies were surprisingly good and fresh, great color on them... I even ate some of them.

I was boozing pretty hard by now and didn't want to order more food because Eric Simpkin wanted to goto Hong Kong Harbor for some Chino grub afterwards... And what did I say? Oh, hells to the fuck yeah. We ordered like 5 dishes at HKH but by then I didn't give a fuck about snapping pics, we slobbered down like pigs in shit. And then after all that mess was over... We went to The Pinewood for even more food (fried bologna sandwich, fwied cheekan hearts and a burger me thinks) and a handful of drinks. And that is why we are so fat.

True story.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Olde Towne Tavern & Grille

They say curiosity killed the cat... So, I wanted to test that old proverb. This location has been the kiss of death for countless contenders that thought they had the perfect concept that Atlanta would eat up like bad tacos at Taqueria del Sol. The last known sucka in this space was this "wild game" restaurant that was so sure they had a winning idea that they spent tons of money on PR but almost nothing on the product they pitched. We all know where this place went, the same place as their food... In the garbage. So, does this local chain in upstate GA have what it takes to make it? I don't know if they will work out but what I do know is that when a place adds an "e" to the word "Grill", it will be fancy... This joint uses not one but three, yeah that's right, 3 fuckin' E's in their name!!! It must be dope as hell, then. One can only imagine how amazing this place will be. Let's go check it out...

Jumbo Wings, lemon-yaki. Crispy but the sauce was straight from a plastic gallon jug. How do I know you ask? Because I walked into the kitchen and took a survey of everything I saw. It was jug after jug of super HFCS sauces. It was wicked salty and after attempting 3 of these things, I was done... The limp and rubbery celery and carrots were at least a week old. Here's a tip, store them in ice cold water in the fridge to keep them snappy. Their super hot sauce on the side was similar to that weak shit, Crystal's but I can't confirm that. It woulda been decent if it wasn't for that nasty ass sauce.

Caesar Salad. Warm romaine, jar dressing, and stale bagged croutons. It was awesome as expected, how it could not be sitting under a heat lamp? No, really, it was prolly the best thing I ate all night among the things to come...

Chicken Parmesan, "Skin-on Steak fries". First off, the frozen brown bag steak fries did not have any skin on it, I mean none at all, a non-gentile has more skin. It was such a joke because they plastered it all over their menu like they were so proud of it because it sounds so gourmet. It was fried at least 2 hours ahead and kept under the heat lamp and it was still ice cold and starchy in the middle... How that fuck does that happen? The chicken parm was deep fried and hacked up into bite size pieces and hidden under the tomato paste-like sauce that tasted like it just came out of the can that opened last week and left in the fridge uncovered... Guess they were hoping the shredded bagged mozzarella will turn the toothpaste into a red sauce from the grease of the barely melted cheese. Add the dried out stale and dreary hoagie roll to this concoction and you got yourself a hot mess... Oh, and don't forget about that anorexic pickle hiding on the side that tasted like rat piss, revolting. Where the fuck did they learn how to cook in this kitchen? From the microwave directions on the back of a box of Hot Pockets? This is one of the easiest sandwiches to make ever, just have fresh ingredients and you're golden... But they can't even make it half way edible and people are paying for this shit.
 
Baked Italian Hoagie. Salami, ham and pepperoni. Surely, they can execute a simple sandwich made up of cold cuts... Or can they? Just one look at this thing and there is just a whole lotta wrong with this thing already. Sure, at the end of the day all these ingredients will end up in your pouch in no particular order but you have to get it down your gullet first. What is wrong with the roll and why is there 2 inches of bread on top and a quarter of an inch on the bottom? It also looks like a couple of mice nibbled on the side of the bread to give it that rodent saliva flavor. What's even more baffling... Who the fuck decided to put an entire bowl of over dressed side salad on top of this slop? Is this a restaurant or a grade school Home Ec class? And what exactly makes this a "baked" hoagie... It looks less toasted than the Chicken Parm. I wouldn't even serve this at Occupy Woodruff to the 99%ers for free... It was that bad.

Looks like the curse lives on... Would someone get a priest in here and exorcise this place for fuck sake? It is almost empty every single weekend (imagine the weekdays) and it won't be long before this place goes kaput like all the other victims before it. This place is bleeding money from every orifice and there is not enough stale hoagie rolls even up in this place to plug all the holes. The service is almost non-existent, the waitresses and bartenders rather do shots at the bar then work... But I would prolly do the same if I were them, too, because if you're not making any money you might as well drink up the booze as compensation. The food was a shit show, the kitchen crew looked like they just stepped off the set of "Waiting" without a single real cook in the house and the hostess was just way too self absorbed talking to her friend on the phone about weaves and nails than to greet customers... C'mon, everyone knows you don't ever bother a sistah in mid-convo about weaves because you never want to hear the words "You don't know meeee!", by then it's too late. You will be sporting a nice new Colombian necktie. This joint is a sinking ship, the Titanic had more of a chance for survival.

Flush.

No Rating.

360 Pharr Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 554-0360
http://ottavern.com/

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cardamom Hill

Indian food in Atlanta is pretty much monotonous across the board. I have eaten at most if not all of them and while they're are good for their bargain lunch buffets to sample different dishes and stuff yourselves silly with heavy sauces and what not... Truth be told it's all the same shit everywhere. Their dinner menus sometimes are better but overall nothing to be that excited about... Until now. Kerala cuisine is not very common even in big cities like New York or even London, so it's a nice change to see something different in this city. The highly hyped and praised Cardamom Hill spawned from the Spice Route Supper Club. I never had an interest in these dinner parties because they are always so polite at these things. Criticism (constructive or otherwise) is usually not a topic of conversation, so I tend to stay away from these types of dinners. But since they have a resto now... It's fair game.  

After all the hype... All I got was this stinking rice dish for lunch (no Thali or any other options were available), it was like a soup kitchen but with a fine dining price tag. $40 poorer and a few weeks later, I'm still banging my head against the wall on this very pedestrian lunch visit for two that left me even hungrier afterwards. It was one of the biggest jip I have ever had the pleasure to be ass slammed during day time.

Biryani with meat or without... who knows. The rice took up about 1/3 of the real estate.

Biryani with veggie or without... who knows. The Guruvayoor Pappadam took up 1/3 of the real estate.

Seriously, it looks like it should be on Sesame Street with that creepy "One of these things is not like the other" song. You could not tell which one was the meat or the vegetarian one, let alone the plate was not even half full. There were so many Star Anise pods in there it overwhelmed the dish (it would help if they removed it before serving). Don't get me wrong, I love Star Anise as much as the next Chino but I don't need 15 pods in 1.5 cups of rice... Even with all the different ingredients in this dish, it was still bland... How does that happen? Don't give me that gentle spicing of Kerala shit, I'm not white. It's just trying too hard to be fancy pants (all bark, no bite) from such a common simple everyday dish. The pappadam which is native to Kerala was decent (imagine that from a cracker) but it reminded me of the prepackage ones they sell in the Indian markets and microwaved. I seriously hope these weren't... But I am not giving up on them just yet.

So, a few weeks later I wanted to give them a chance to redeem themselves. They have been opened for awhile, so they should have their shit together by now. Let's move on to the dinner menu... And hope they will wow me with their more over-hyped food of "Kerala".

Bajia (aka Bhajia or Pakora), sweet potato and onion fritter, tamarind sauce. I have tried a few different versions around the country and in London and I prefer the regular old spuds instead of the sweet potato. I can understand why they used the sweet potato because we're in the South blah blah blah but it just didn't work. The donut shape is cute but this oversized Fruit Loop was over fried, dried out, rock hard and tasteless. You have to dip it in the tamarind "sauce" with every bite just to get it down. Hoped for more but got a real snoozer unfit for even Harijan consumption.

Beef and Potato Croquettes, green papaya salad. Nice presentation, looks so professional! These 1 biters were decent and had hints of flavor but needed salt. The papaya was just plain old garnish, did nothing for this app.

Pork Vindaloo, vinegar-tinged sauce, appam. Not your traditional vindaloo, not even Portuguese influenced as stated... But it was one of the better snacks. The appam was nicely done, a tad spongy in the middle but it was fine.

 Kerala Fried Chicken, vegetable pilau. Aaah... Da Pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance! The fried chicken that people oooh'd and aaah'd about... It was decently fried, flavors were subtle but there, and a tad bit dry inside. A fried chicken tis was not, but just a fancy chicken tender. Any chicken that is boneless is NOT fried chicken. Truth be told, I rather have a Double Down than this any day. The pilaf, oops, I meant pilau was basically a foundation for the tenders to sit on, it was dull and tiresome after 3 bites. Not terrible but disappointing for $19... You know how much Popeyes I could get for that much loot? ...Jesus Christ, I would be in cheekan heaven.

Was this resto that bad? No, it wasn't but I think I've had enough of it. This is just a watered down version of true Kerala cooking (which is influenced by other cultures but has their own identity), it's that word that we all cringe when spoken... Fusion. It's so taboo! But if you look at all the praise, hype and reviews for this joint, they're all by non ex-pats... Not a single brownie in the bunch that loved it. Asha played Atlanta like Sherman did from the days of yore. The service was amateur at best. Her staff was untrained and green as hell even after months of service... She was no better. Standing around aimlessly and no clue nor control over her staff or the resto itself... Food orders not getting to the kitchen, food coming out to the wrong tables, food sitting in the kitchen, entrees before apps, etc etc etc. Running a resto is nothing like having a dinner party, huh? People calling her a "Chef", especially when she considers herself one, is an insult to all the hardworking cooks on the line... Even at Applebee's. The title of Chef has been tossed around like it's entitled to anyone who has cooked at home... If you don't have 10 or more years on the line, you are not a chef. Period. It's like a Private calling himself a General just because he's in the army.

I thought the worst was over when I stepped out those doors for the last time... That is until I saw my credit card being billed twice as much on the tip that the bartender so liberally gave himself as an extra bonus (40%) for coming into work. It was no mistake because I always pay in whole numbers so any odd number billed is a red flag. Unscrupulous business practices like this can only come from the top because an owner who isn't aware of every bit of their business is only an enabler... Consciously or unconsciously.

I'll stick with the junky buffets... At least I'll get kissed before I get fucked.

No rating.

1700 Northside Drive NW,
Suite A-6,
Atlanta, GA 30318
404.549.7012
http://www.cardamomhill.net/

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Southern Art & Bourbon Bar

This "celebrity chef" hotel restaurant never really gave me a blood flow when it first opened. Come to think of it, no celebrity chef rarely, if ever, gives me a stiffy. To me, this was just another over the top big budget pet project from Oprah's personal ex-chef and Chicago restaurateur, Art Smith. I'm sure he's a wonderful personal chef but anyone who has more than 2 restaurants can not be a proper chef, they're a restaurateur. It is not possible to be at more than 2 restos to keep the quality and execution up, especially, when your name is on it. A chef cooks, a restaurateur opens restaurants. So, after 6 months, I decided to check it out. I guess that's about enough time to work out the "kinks" with the daily kitchen crew and get the execution perfect on every dish on the menu. Art was at the restaurant (more in front of the house than back) so I expected nothing but the best on this visit.

Let's take a look and see how they're doing these days... It was pretty empty on a Saturday night given his celebrity status. But whatever, that means more attention to details on every dish that comes outta the kitchen. First off, the ham bar out front is impressive and contains some really nice regional piggy legs. Oink oink... I just wished they had some black footed Iberico ham.

Buttermilk Biscuits. Light and fluffy mini biscuits with pickled veggies (carrots, cauliflower and pickles) and a honey sweetened butter (just watch out for bugs in the butter). Pretty tasty and addictive. Do not overload on these, you will regret it later.

Beef Tartare. Gorgeous color on the tartare but needed a little seasoning to bring out the natural flavor of the beef. But not too shabby overall.

Shrimp & Grits. All around a nice dish, good flavors and nicely executed.

Duck Liver Mousse, Caw Caw Creek Ham, Olli Salumeria Berkshire Ham. Duck liver mousse was way too dense to be considered a mousse, Caw Caw was a bit salty and hand carved a bit too thick and Olli was just right.

Roasted Salmon. Cooked well and a pretty much standard issued dish. Salmon is one of those dishes that bores me in restaurants because they all taste so monotonous. Not saying it's bad but it's just tiresome.

3 Cheese Mac & Cheese. Wonderful Gemelli pasta but the 3 cheeses were a bit liquidy, lacked that savory cheesiness and needed more seasoning. At least the cast iron skillet was hot.

Roasted Half Maple Leaf Duckling. Confit of duck leg was nice but the medium rare breast was way overcooked and rubbery. Kitchen refired another one and it came out spot on but it was sliced a tad too thick. 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The Chef's signature dish as so proudly stated by the server more than once, so it better not disappoint the pouch. Well, it didn't disappoint but it didn't wow either. Just a very ordinary fried chicken. The potato puree was so thick you can use it as motar to put up a brick wall. Have they never heard of cream and butter? Gordon Ramsay would have a shit fit.

 Niman Ranch Pork Shank. Look at this fuckin giant Fred Flintsone size bone-in shank... Impressive. That's what she said. Too bad it wasn't braised long enough, it was a little tough, chewy, dried out on the inside and charred on the outside a bit too much which became a little bitter and made it difficult to cut into. A big waste of a beautiful piece of pork.

One of their strong suits is probably the dessert stand with a good amount of tasty offerings...

 Buttermilk Chocolate Cake.

 12 Layer Red Velvet Cake.
 
 Fat fuck's wet dream.

 Fat fuck's mouthgasm.

 Banana Coconut Cake.

Ginormous 12 Layer Red Velvet fuck me silly Cinder Block.

We tried a majority of the menu so it was a good gauge on what this kitchen can do... Overall, it was a fairly decent meal but it was not nearly in the same league as with the other celebrity chefs across the country. Compared to other Atlanta celeb chefs, he was pretty much on par. Just because you were on some TV game show, it doesn't mean you can cook. And I have never been impressed with the celeb restos in this town, some rather disappointing. This celeb hotel resto is decent for what it is (it still needs attention to proper cooking techniques and execution) and it was a bit overpriced but not obscenely given the generous portion size of each dish. It won't win any awards but it is good enough for a Buckhead hotel resto.

PS- the bourbon selection was nice and so was the Sazerac but the Moscow Mule was crap.

1.5 Stars.

3315 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

(404) 946-9070
http://www.southernart.com/

Friday, June 8, 2012

Curly's Fried Chicken

I've been on a fried chicken kick lately... Shit, who am I kidding, I'm always on a fwied cheekan kick. So, I decided to make a revisit to Curly's. This place seems like it's been changing a few things around since they first opened.

The first thing I wanted to know was if those pressure deep fryers left over from LeRoy's FC were still in use...Those things produced KFC like specimens which were just too similar for my taste. I am not a big fan of KFC's original recipe cheekan, the soggy flappy skin and super greasy meat always seemed low rent to me, it didn't have any finesse. They reminded me of this old hag that just lays out by the pool all day long drenched in tanning oil. So, I was peeking through the windows to see if there were any shred of evidence of them and they were staring at me as if I were some stalker creep looking to nab some of their cheekan (don't flatter yourself, it wasn't that great the first time around). Luckily, they were all off the premises and only regular deep fryers remain. I decided to stay... That's a big win for them already. Now, make me some cheekan, biatch!
 
Menu board similar to the previous cheekan joint before it.

Shay's Combo, 2 pc cheekan, cole slaw, side and a drink for exactly $7.53. Not too shabby for a light snack or quick lunch. I got the Steve's Cajun Rice for the side. The thigh was average size but the drumstick looked like it came from a pigeon in Alaska. Dinky little leg with about 3 bites to it... Oh, well, not a big deal. What's more important was the taste... Did it stand up to the pouch's standards? I would say it was above average. The skin/crust was light and crispy, it was seasoned ok, the meat was juicy... But it seemed like the oil it was fried in was a little funky. Not that it was bad but for the amount of chicken going through the fryers, they may want to change it out a couple times through out the day. The slaw was run of the mill, c'mon it's friggin slaw... Wait, scratch that, KFC has some kickass slaw but that's because they put so much goddamn HFCS in it. The Cajun Rice was real nice, it was filled with clumps of meat, seasoned nicely and rice was fluffy, liked it a lot, thank you Steve. The surprise was the hot sauce... I couldn't believe they make their own hot sauce now, it was vinegary, oily and not really that spicy but I unconsciously liked it for some reason... Mebbe it was because it coated brightly on anything it touched, except the cheekan. I stuck a plastic white fork in it and it came out bright red, it was very amusing since it didn't come off. This shit would be great in a dye pack at a bank!

It seems like this cheekan shack is doing what LFC's couldn't... And that is staying in business. There is always a steady (but not heavy) crowd every time I drive past it. So, either they know a lot of people in their hood coming in to support them or they're actually doing something right. I think it's a little of both. Plus, it's also rather affordable to eat here a couple times a week vs. on a monthly basis with LFC (not that it was expensive but for cheekan it was)... And the chickie at the window was pretty cute, too. Oh, the things I would do to her with that batter and frying oil. Squoosh squoosh.. Squirt.

PS- their sweet tea tastes weird...like fromunda cheez.

Cuckoo cuckoo.

1.5 Stars.

1021 Howell Mill Rd
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 872-7888

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Proof & Provision

I love the Georgian Terrace Hotel in an architectural standpoint... The Livingston is ok but could be so much more and better than the mediocre grub they dish out night after night. I guess they really don't care to improve on things because this is Atlanta after all, routine routine routine... But, what's this? A new Speak-Easy-type-joint in the basement? Yes, I know, "Speak Easies" are so 15 minzies ago and there aren't any real ones out there anymore but I still liked the idea of this place. I've been watching this for awhile... And I really hope this isn't going to be another middling "Speak Cheesy". So goddamn sick of cheese dicks and their wannabe gimmicks pretending to be PDT.

Let's take a looksies...

P? Yes, please, I do need to take a leak... So bloated from all the cough syrup I drank this morning. What? It's the entrance to P&P? Werd to yer mutha... Love the gateway to this dungeon. Watch out for the gimp...


Rye Manhattan. I love anything with Rye... Especially in a Manhattan.

Southern 75. Nice little riff on the classic French 75. Very nice.

"When I was 8" Cocktail. A nice play on Momofuku's Cereal Milk cocktail. It was nice but not $11 nice. I stuck with the rye and rum drankz such as the Firm Handshake and Zombie Neck-Tai (bath salt not included) which were both tasty.

I have tried every drink/cocktail/punch they have to offer and more since my first visit and I'm still excited to go back and try more concoctions they can conjure up... The Firm Handshake is still one of my favs. Hell, any bourbon, rye, whiskey based drink is alright by me.

Cheekan Liver Mousse: Peach jelly and toast. Presented in a mini bathtub tin thinger... Mousse was like butter, spread well across the toast but the toast broke apart too easily, tale tell sign it was toasted way too in advance. Do it to order, toast doesn't take but all of 60 seconds. But a real nice little snack.


Last Season's Pickled Veggies: carrots and golden beets. Carrots were great, the beets looked a little pale. But tasted alright.

Meats: tongue and salumi. Tongue was great, the salumi pretty much standard issue.

Confit Cheekan Wangz: sweet and sour sauce. Seemed like they precut parts of it as if I was a child. The s&s sauce was ok, the white jizz (ranch?) was watery and bland... But the wangz were pretty good overall.
 
 Shaved Prime Rib: gruyere cheese, peppers and onions, dipping jus. It's a cute sandwich but I didn't like how it was basically minced meat. Shaving and mincing ain't the same thing. Thin slices would have made this 100% better but the flavors were there. A deconstructed prime rib? Let's not go there.
 
Griddled Prosciutto Sandwich: farmhouse cheddar, fig jam, arugula. And we have a winner winnah... Doesn't come with a cheekan dinnah, though. Booo. Griddled to a buttery golden brown color. Fig jam went well with the prosciutto but the stringy strands of fat were kinda rough and you coulda flossed while eating at the same time... Functional eating? This was still a good sandwich at the end of the day.

Chef Z's Grilled Cheese with fontina, pecorino spread, truffle butter. Grilled to golden brown but the cheese in the middle was barely melted, sent it back and they tossed it in the oven/toaster for a couple minutes and it turned it nice and gooey. No evidence of the truffle butter... But I guess that's ok for that price point. Still a nice grilled cheese.

I like the place a lot, haven't been this excited about a place in awhile even with all the new and shiny restos that recently opened around town, this place reminds me of NYC... The entrance and the space is groovy, the light bar menu is a good start for more improvements and creativity. I hope they keep working on it because there is no such thing as perfection in this industry but based on what I seen and tasted... These guys are gonna make me proud... They better, for fuck's sake. Werd.

Squirt.

2.5 Stars.

659 Peachtree St. NE 
Atlanta, GA 30309
404.897.1991