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Everything posted by Voodoo

  1. Add Nam to the list of very good restaurants not quite in downtown but close enough to drive. I had an excellent meal there Saturday night. It's definitely a top 10 restaurant in my book.
  2. The a la carte prices at his restaurant in Atlanta were the same, which is one of the reasons people were so excited about the multi-course prix fixe. We considered it a splurge restaurant (despite non-existent decor and generally inept and slow service), particularly when we took our kids (so of course it was the kids' typical birthday choice). ← The one time I did the omakase, it was the most expensive meal I ever had at Soto. There were several times at Soto that I got everything I wanted off the a la carte menu (within reason - could've just ordered a dozen pieces of toro) and came away spending less than the omakase. My point here is that I preferred a la carte to the omakase, especially since I had the ability to pick which specials I wanted. Hint: every special with lobster is amazing, especially the lobster/mango/ portabella cake.
  3. I like Flying Biscuit a lot for breakfast. For something a little fancier, Murphy's is very good for brunch. Sun in My Belly in Decatur is good as well. All are very different. Flying Biscuit is bohemian. Murphy's is yuppie. Sun in My Belly is ecletic. I hear Babette's Cafe is good, but I've never been.
  4. As an Atlantan and long-time Soto fanatic, it broke my heart when he left. Perhaps I don't fully appreciate the level of the NY dining scene, but I think his Atlanta operation would have been a top 5 NYC sushi joint. He is an uncomprisining perfectionist who already has a terrific stable of fine dishes. With his increased access to top notch fish and his ability to charge more, he'll be able to take his game up to another level. Perhaps never to the Masa-level in price, but maybe in quality. Not sure. Never been to Masa. And now that Soto is in NYC, I never will. I'll be interested to see where Soto's price point is in NYC. See you Sotophiles in four weeks!
  5. I have lived within a two mile drive or so fo Dusty's, but I've never been. No one I have ever been around has ever suggested it either. Considering how many hundred times I must have driven past it, I think that's a bad sign. Jaggers became Park Bench in 1999 or so. Park Bench became an empty building in 2004 or so. It's a shame that location can't keep a bar in business. That dump Maggie's stays in business but not a bar in the Village? Terrible. Pretty much everything in the village is marked for death. That spot at the bottom of the hill closest to Lullwater has seen tremendous turnover since I've been around. Successful franchies like Planet Smoothie and Jake's couldn't even survive there.
  6. To modify a coach by UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, ITP'ers have to drive by too many good restaurants to go to a restaurant in Kennesaw. Why drive 30 miles when there are plenty of good restaurants within a 5 mile radius? Oh, I'm sure I'll go, but not often. I don't think this restaurant will rely on much ITP business. We'll see how suburbanites take to Blais' style.
  7. How much is a single knife? How often do ya'll get them done?
  8. I used the last two recommendations in this thread when I went last week. God, I can't believe it's been a week since I had those sandwiches. Seems like an eternity. After I had first had them, I was sold on Nerbone as being the slightly better sandwich. Upon further reflection, I enjoyed the I Fratellini experience more. There's nothing like leaning up against a wall 20 feet from a main thoroughfare but in an otherwise quiet alley, munching on a delicious sandwich that took 20 seconds to make, drinking a glass of a wine sitting on a wooden rack affixed to the wall behind you, overhearing an accordian player from a couple of streets over. It was my favorite experience in my 10 day trip to Italy. That said, neither is to be missed. Nerbone rules, too. I had two sandwiches at each place for lunch. Also, I would say Vivoli is the best gelato in Firenze. I had gelato maybe 10-12 times in my 9 days In Italy, and I would say Vivoli's only real competition for best gelato that I had would be Roma's Giolitti. If you have some extra money in your pocket one night, ask for a place that serves good Bisteca a la Florentina. One of the top three steaks I've ever had in my life.
  9. Unless I'm mistaken, One.Midtown.Kitchen was doing quite well with Blais at the helm among foodies and the masses alike. They were churning out both great, interesting food and filling up the dining room. All in a somewhat peculiar location. Can't comment on Blais' eponymous restaurant since I had never heard of it until after it closed. If Blais has more success in Kennesaw than in Buckhead, I doubt it has anything to do with the clientele in the area. More likely, it will be because of his fame and name recognition as well as increased business savvy as a result of his ups and downs over the past five years.
  10. So I went to Highland Tap last night. First time. Definitely a throwback menu and atmosphere. I liked the burger - big and juicy. At the end of the day, though, Vortex still has my nod for best burger in Atlanta. For starters, it's around 40% cheaper. Second, there is a variety of burgers you can choose from at Vortex, rather than just the one at Highland Tap. I still have yet to try this famous Ghetto Burger that has gotten national acclaim recently.
  11. Highland Tap has a better burger than Vortex? The same Highland tap that is within a 5 minute walk from my house? What have I been doing with my life? Why is this post all questions?
  12. By interesting location, I assume you mean horrid (for us ITP'ers anyway). So is Blais going to be cooking here or just managing? Any chance for a return of his famous tasting menu?
  13. If you want great local food, you might want to pass on the Varsity. If you want a mean burger, head over to Vortex in Little Five Points.
  14. I tried the new pork (Berkshire Farms) the other day. I have been making the same pork chop recipe for a while now, 90% of the time with Farmer's Market chops. I noticed the difference immediately when I cooked up some Berkshire porkchops, and I wasn't even looking for it. It's pretty dang good. YDFM is the best.
  15. I love the meat at Dekalb Farmer's Market. Seems like they have every cut you want, but I've never asked for pork back fat. Give them a call. Better yet, go in person and check it out. Worth going to whether they have your meat or not.
  16. Why is everything in this city always behind schedule? I am dying for Tamarind to reopen.
  17. Here is a link to some guy's opinion on one of Atlanta's best restaurants. I'm not sure that guy knows what he's talking about, but the thread has pictures of food so it's not all bad. Restaurant Eugene The only restaurant I can safely say is in Restaurant Eugene's class is Bacchanalia.
  18. March 23rd! OTP'ers have had Trader Joe's for months now. This is all backwards.
  19. Les Fleurs de Lis is one of my favorite places to eat downtown. It's got good food, but the service is slow and unattentive at times. I love the atmosphere though. That's what every downtown place should be like - small, quaint and intimate. Unfortunately, we have five food courts for every one place like Les Fleurs de Lis, though. The best place I've been to downtown for a quickish meal is right next door to Les Fleurs de Lis at Loaf and Kettle. Very good soups and sandwiches. Seriously, they serve some amazing sandwiches. More Alon's/Star Provisions-type places would be very welcome, especially after the unexpected closing of EatZi's. I am a Highlander, so I frequent Alon's quite a bit, but I loved having the option of going to Buckhead to check out the larger and different selection of items that Eatzi's had. Flying Biscuit in Atlantic Station is an abomination. Does anyone know the status of Tamarind and the Monroe St location of Trader Joe's?
  20. Soooooooooooooooo worth it Don't really see a need to go anywhere other than Nuevo Laredo for mexican food. ← Been to Nuevo Laredo. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. I'm sticking with Taqueria Del Sol and those delicious carnitas.
  21. If your flight landed at 12:00 and you were off the plane by 12:10, you could be in downtown by 12:45 without any problem. Order and eat within an hour and a half, which is none too rushed for lunch, and you could be back to the airport by 2:45 provided you were prompt with calling a cab in advance. Traffic to and from the airport is negligible in the middle of the day and should only take 20 minutes, 30 minutes max barring an unforseen accident of some sort. Honestly, I think 4 hours is plenty of time to get into the city, have a meal and back to the airport if one were so inclined. You'll want to avoid Buckhead, but you could swing Midtown perhaps, though downtown would be safer. The aforementioned Ritz Carlton, Rathbun's, and City Grill are the best places downtown. Never been to Bacchanalia for lunch, but if you could get in and out of there in an hour and a half, it'd definitely be worth the trip. It is perhaps 8 minutes further to travel away from the airport, but it's one of Atlanta's best restaurants.
  22. If you had four hours, you could make it to Midtown, eat a great meal, and be back in time for your flight. 3 hours would keep you close to the airport, where there is nothing of note though someone who lives down there might be able to point you to something respectable.
  23. Zing! The OTP'ers felt that one.
  24. I'm back, this time with better pictures but with the same mostly butchered course descriptions. I went to Eugene a few weeks ago for my birthday and opted for the five course menu this time. Instead of eliminating a course entirely, the waiter proposed that we combine the cheese and dessert courses - half the table gets a cheese plate, half gets dessert. We went with that. Two of my family members also chose the foie gras supplement. Here we go. They started us out with the same amuse bouche that I had last time: Kumomoto oysters on the halfshell with pickled ginger, lime and vodka granita. Not quite as amazing as last trip, but still really good. When we put our order in for the tasting menu, I asked the waiter specifically if the hamachi collar bone was on the menu that night. He laughed and said he knew where I was coming from and would ask the chef. We did get a hamachi collar bone thanks to my asking, but it was not the featured dish and was more of a throw-in as it was not served with ponzu and lime like last time and there was one collar bone for the entire table of four rather than one per pair. The feature dish was hamachi tartare with some sort of gelatin square on top served with soy sauce. I must say, Chef Hopkins gets very, very good fish, and his preparation of these dishes rivals the best Japanese restaurant (Soto) I've been to. Very nice course featuring both excellent raw and cooked hamachi. That hamachi collar bone is to die for when it's served with the proper condiments. Hamachi collarbone with ponzu The second course for me was a small pot of scallops with Benton bacon and a small onion served over some Italian barley-like pasta, whose name I forget. It was rich and delicious. Hard to miss with scallops and bacon. Very hearty. The second course for others at the table was seared foie gras served with pineapple and some sort of pomegranate sauce. Very interesting. Didn't try it, so I can't tell you how it was personally, but they both seemed to enjoy it, especially when the foie gras and pineapple were eaten together. The next course was the fish course. Last time, the fish course was by far the most forgettable course. Not the case this time. Grouper served over brussel sprouts. Perfectly cooked, the fish just cut so beautifully. My parents both thought this was the best course. The third course was followed up by a palate cleansing bowl of green apple sorbet. Not a big of green apples, but I'd have eaten a lot more of this stuff had I not started getting full. Steak with jus served with potatoes gratin and bok choy. Yum. The steak was sooo tender and the potatoes were so buttery and tasty. The bok choy was a simple, nice vegetable compliment, but clearly this dish was all about the meat and potatoes, and it delivered them most excellently. I think this was my favorite course. The hamachi would have been the best had we gotten just collar bones. On to the final course. As I did not have the cheese plate, I cannot really comment on it much, but Chef Hopkins did stick with the blue cheese/honey comb combo which I absolutely adored last time. It was not Roquefort, though, unfortunately. And my dessert. The plate got a little bit bloodied by the melting raspberry ice cream, but it was nice of them to acknowledge my birthday (even if they did give the dessert plate to my brother instead of me). The dish on the left was chocolate chunk espresso ice cream served over some really rich, warm brownie. Oh man, that was good. The dessert on the right was a raspberry sorbet served over a pound cake and , I think, a pinneaple something or other. Also good, but I am a bit of a chocolate addict so it could not compare. They wouldn't let us get away without giving us some homemade French gum drops (they didn't call it that, of course). I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, but after my second experience at Eugene, I am going to recrown Bacchanalia as my current city champ as this experience at Eugene was not quite as awesome as my last trip, which I considered on par with Bacchanalia food-wise. Service-wise, Bacchanalia wins easily, since Bacchanalia's service is top shelf and Eugene's is just good. That said, I am ready to go back to Eugene at the drop of a hat. I want to try this Sunday Supper they do. Looks good.
  25. It's because Atlantans are not truly serious about food. Most of the time, if I mention a really great place like Soto, Restaurant Eugene, Sotto Sotto, or even Bacchanalia, I get a "where is that?" or a just a dumbfounded look like they've never heard of the place despite the fact that these are (or were, in Soto's case) some of the top places in the city and, in some cases, Southeast. But everyone knows where Ru Sans, Maggiano's and Cheesecake Factory are. Atlantans rely too much on word of mouth and are easily too easily convinced of a restaurant's quality. If I handed 10 Atlantans $250 each to go take a date to the best restaurant they knew, half of them would go out and come back with $150 in hand because they don't even know where to find any of the best restaurants.
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