South City Kitchen Midtown
1144 Crescent Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30309 USA
*Whomp* (sound of my hitting the couch after eating here)
Oof. A large amount of very good grub. Bacon? Check. Breading? Check. Butter? Check. Waist? Um, need to check that…
Some ex-Berkeley folks (and partner) descended. And ate. Rather a splurge, but worth it. Their cocktails looked and smelled delicious. The chicken liver appetizer satisfied that craving that settled in as soon as I saw the menu… And I really enjoyed the oysters Rockefeller gratin, a combination of things I typically do not like. Both had a delicious breading that pulled together the flavor. The corn with the liver seemed a bit of an afterthought, but perhaps I just inhaled the liver too quickly. The oysters were salty, but hey, they're oysters.
The shrimp purloo is almost shrimp & grits and almost risotto but stands on its own. The country ham is a fun touch. Again, quite salty, but no more than expected. I ended up bringing half home; it's that filling. My friends shared their beef brisket (oooohhh yeah) and special-of-the-night grouper. The grouper obviously was a tad overpowered by the time I tasted it, but the browned potato served with helped carry the flavor. And after all this, I could handle only a spoonful of the pecan pie. Five of us split the two desserts… The food is that rich.
Pricey, splurgy, and fun. Not as pricey considering I have another meal even after eating 'till I was about to burst.
The servers were more attentive than we were. Our group came in split, yammered away about obscure topics, and kinda ignored our waiter a few times… But they were gracious and always available.
Definitely will remember South City Kitchen for special occasions.
1 Page Ave
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
It was a dark and snowy night. Cold. Dreary. My normal quick stop in Asheville was closed. A few doors down was bright and cheerful, so why not? A bit more expensive than I had intended, but it ended up satisfying me far more than I expected.
The pork enchilada appeared quickly as a large, colorful serving. The enchilada's not what I'd call traditional. The pork was between flat tortillas topped with cheese. Delicious. The salad was fantastically colorful and crunchy.
Oh, and to those who agree that cilantro is icky, the salsa is riddled with it, alas.
None of the food was light, but the overall brightness of the food, the place, and the people kept it far from heavy. The bartender seemed really to enjoy variations. If I'm ever not just driving through, I'll want to try their margaritas.
Civic Center Parking Garage
74 Rankin Ave
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
Yes, I'm reviewing a parking garage. Why? 'Cause it's great. The first hour is free (with a caveat, later). That is *PERFECT* for someone passing through for lunch. It's large enough that I've never found it full (same caveat). It's incredibly convenient to reach coming from the north or south.
There are street-level exits onto Rankin and Walnut, and apparently a bridge over to the Civic Center on Haywood. The Rankin exit is a block and a half from plenty of good food and coffee on Lexington. The Walnut exit's half a block from Malaprop's & Chocolate Fetish, a block and a half from the Woolworth Walk, and roughly two blocks from Grove Arcade, College St., and Wall St. with all sorts of great food. It's conveniently a little farther from the Thirsty Monk, Jack of the Wood, etc. The chill in the winter might help if you're visiting those. The location is great for a quick lunch & coffee stop.
Ok, the caveat. This is the Civic Center's garage. If there's an event going on, event rules apply. The price is higher, and the garage will run out of spots. But that's understandable. I've only encountered that once, and it was later in the evening than I'd like to admit.
Publik Draft House
654 Peachtree St
Atlanta, GA 30308 USA
First off, Publik's location is fantastic. Next to the Fox and on a busy corner, there's always plenty to watch. My second time here, the Rockettes were hanging out… That's good. Very good. Seriously. The Rockettes. Wow.
Beer list is sufficiently populated. Harder drinks definitely are available, and there's a sufficient spread for most tastes. I've overheard funky cocktail orders. The food is pretty darn good even without a serious local / organic bent. The fries are *great* with both texture and flavor. The staff is fantastic. They have live music on some Fridays and Saturdays, and other events on other days. (Note to self: I'm a detriment to any trivia group.)
There's a self-serve coat rack behind the greeter, which is a nice touch. I haven't managed to partake of their end-of-week freebies, but I haven't really tried.
And yes, the draft beer *is* cheaper than the bottled water. The house beer is Miller High Life, so, well, yeah… But the local Sweetwater 420 still is cheaper than the bottled water. I *hate* bottled water, and Publik provides a handy excuse.
The bad? Publik's on my walk home. I've been good and only visited a few times, but it always tempts.
554 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308 USA
Yes, a rapid update. I just watched Erin handle a really distasteful (and new) crowd with aplomb while making it clear to the regulars what's going on. Impressive and *exactly* what you want from a neighborhood joint.
Midtown is a local joint. *Local*. Seriously local. But makes everyone feel at home, even if you're boorish.
I feel badly not giving other local establishments a similar chance, but I don't go out much. Midtown is comfy and large enough that I can sit away from the smoke.
I have a tough time reviewing Midtown. It's walk/stumble/crawl distance from where I'm living right now, so I definitely have a bias in favor of Midtown. I've avoided reviewing it because it *is* so close to me, and I'm never quite sure how I feel.
Nights can be crawling with fratcritters. Their behavior is atrocious, misogynistic, and tolerated by their sorocritter companions.
But other times, Midtown is a very good neighborhood bar. I'm sitting here watching the gold metal men's hockey match. We pretty much all recognize each other. Everyone's chatting and cheering and having a damned good afternoon.
Isn't that the point? This is a neighborhood place. Not just by locale, but because this is how you build a neighborhood. People hanging out. Talking. Enjoying an afternoon. Good brew, reasonable food (this is a *bar*, so very good for a bar), and a full bar for when things aren't going so well.
*And* they have live music on Saturdays, karaoke on Fridays, and host other events. And wi-fi for when you are working from, ahem, home. I haven't looked for plugs, but modern battery technology renders plugs less necessary.
1845 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30309 USA
Perhaps writing a review while I'm in a bad mood isn't wise, but, well, Cafe Intermezzo made a fatal mistake. A macchiato is espresso with a dollop of foam. It is not a cappuccino or latte.
Beyond that, we entered from the parking lot through the back entrance. It's a little confusing. That alone isn't a problem. Having an employee see us, walk to the front of the restaurant, pick up menus, and silently wait for us while we stumble around was, um, annoying.
The servers made a partial effort to accommodate our being in a hurry. Took quite a while for them to remember they were out of coffee cup lids. They all seemed a bit dazed. We were after lunch, so perhaps they had a huge rush and had yet to recover.
The sandwich was good. But seriously, if you have sayings about coffee plastered all over, don't get the standard coffee geek drink wrong. If it weren't for that, it'd garner a good three star review with hesitation about the slightly spacey service.