Saturday, May 30, 2009

Food-Lanta

Finally we get to the much anticipated Atlanta restaurant review from last weekends travels. Now, I love many of my local restaurants, but I had some unique dining experiences in Atlanta. In order of appearance: (links provided)
  • OK Cafe (lunch Saturday): This diner-like spot near my nephew's place appears to be busy all the time. The food is typical diner food, maybe kicked up a notch with sweet potato chips and a blue cheese dipping sauce. And the waitresses are all dressed in outfits similar to the old Alice TV show, you know, just like a diner. Overall, good, but not memorable.
  • Alfredo's Italian Restaurant (dinner Saturday with my nephew and his new sweetheart Jill): This is an old-style, red sauce, Italian restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road. It has been in operation since 1974. While we had a very nice meal, the wait staff has probably been working there since opening day, and the decor has changed little over the years. (That is just my food snob talking). Nice, but not remarkable, and does not come up the the standards of Vino e Pasta, Buena Vita or Primi. The best part was spending an evening with my nephew and Jill - fun time.
  • Skipping by Sunday breakfast at the High Museum (croissants) and lunch at the Botanical Garden cafe (sandwich) and moving on to...
  • Atmosphere Bistro (Sunday dinner): If it says "bistro" it catches our eye. While I tried to make reservations at Rathbun's Restaurant a great space and equally great restaurant in a converted warehouse space (Stoveworks) only to learn they are closed on Sunday. So Frank turned on the research mode, and located Atmosphere Bistro which looked promising. Thanks to my phone GPS, we located the restaurant with only one wrong turn. This small French restaurant is located in an old house with small rooms ala Circles in South Tampa. For added authenticity, our server was a young lady from France. OK, on to the food. We started out by sharing a Plateau de charcuterie (assorted meats etc) which was very good. I had the Confit de Canard (Roasted Duck Leg) served with a Dauphinois gratin. Oh, it was so good!. Frank had the Hanger Steak and Fries. The steak was perfectly cooked and very tasty. We finished with a rustic apple tart. This was a lovely French meal, in a nice setting, and was enjoyed with a bottle of Chateau d'Aigueville Cotes Du Rhone.
  • Goldbergs' Bagel Company and Deli (Monday breakfast with my nephew): With a name of Goldberg how can you go wrong. I had bagel and lox, Frank had an asiago bagel with olive cream cheese (something we had never seen before) and Monte had Eggs Benedict. Good breakfast fare
  • Six Feet Under (lunch across from Oakland Cemetery-see prior blog): This was a fun, funky spot located directly across the street from the Cemetery (hence the name). It has somewhat of a sports bar atmosphere, but better. The service was superb and our food was above average. Frank had Combo Tacos, one each of Fried Catfish, Blackened Shrimp, and Fried Calamari. The catfish won the competition for the best of the three. I enjoyed a Fried Catfish basket. A fun place, as Monte's daughter, Summer, comments on in the prior post.
  • Pura Vida (Monday dinner with Liz and Henry): Pura Vida is a cool (i.e. funky) tapas restaurant that takes tapas well beyond the norm. We shared the following: Malanga Root Chips with a Cremini Mushroom Dip and Truffel Oil (very good); "Melted" White Asparagus (could have used a little more punch in my opinion); Diablo Shrimp Coctel (yummy); Duck Confit with caramelized ripe plantains (nice combination of flavors, with a hint of sweetness from the plantains); Empanadas (Henry's favorite); and finally (I think) Los Riburgers, (see menu for details). The Riburgers and the Diablo shrimp were my favorites. Great food, great space, and great friends sharing a meal together - it doesn't get any better.
  • Flip Burger Boutique (Tuesday lunch with Liz): OMG !. If ever in Atlanta go here!. But as Liz pointed out you have to go early; the place fills up fast with a hungry lunch crowd. We arrived about 11:30 and had no problem getting a table. The space is very contemporary, with a mix of long white hi-top tables in the center, booths on one side, and butcher block topped tables along another. There is even a bar in the back where you can eat. But the highlight is the menu - click the link to check out the burgers, milkshakes and other items. Our choices were Flip Burger (Liz); Tuna Burger made with yellow fin tuna (Frank); Pâté Melt made of veal and pork, with Swiss cheese, cornichones, and lingonberry for a touch of sweetness (me). We shared a starter of Asparagus Tempura (yummy), and an order of French Fries (very good) with our burgers. This was a unique experience. 
  • One Flew South (Tuesday dinner at Hartsfield Airport - Terminal E): We all know that airline food is non-existent these days, and that airport food is usually left to the chains like Chili's, sports bars, and the like, but at Terminal E, Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, you can toss out any preconceived ideas about airport food. This had to be, without a doubt, the best meal I have eaten in an airport. The decor is great and so was the food. The inventive menu options made final selection very difficult, but decisions were made. Frank had papperadelli with butternut squash, pearl onions, spinach, raisins and Brussels sprouts. (I got to taste it and it was great, the pearl onions were caramelized perfectly and all the flavors complemented each other. I enjoyed Sweet potato and spinach gnocchi with clams, speck, and sweet peas and their tendrils. This too was an interesting combinations of flavors - sweet, savory, and salty. As we were leaving the restaurant there was a couple looking over the menu. Frank told them to go in, the food was great, and they would not be disappointed. We didn't wait to see if they took our advice, but it they did not, they missed out.
To the gate, board the plane, wait forever for delayed connecting flights to arrive and their passengers to board, fly home, arrive over one hour late, get home, and sleep... remembering the fine food we enjoyed in Atlanta. 

That's all I'm Saying !

2 comments:

Liz L. said...

Geez, Simpson. How did you remember all that stuff? I was with you at Pura Vida and I don't remember half of what we consumed! But - you failed to mention the smoked mayo at Flip!!! I'm working on recreating that one!

Dick said...

Liz my dear. My memory isn't that good, but I pulled up the menu on the web for assistance. (I just gave away my secret)

Oh, yes, the wonderful smoked mayo - how did they ever do that. Hope you can re-create it.