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Our weekend in Montreal..um I mean Atlanta


NYC Mike
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The wife and I got the new Gourmet Mag in the mail and Montreal had been on the places to see list for way too long so we made all sorts of plans and juicy reservations based on the always helpful, expert advise of fellow eGulleters. Then work called on Thursday morning with a special request (far outside of my normal territory) meeting Thursday late in Buckhead and Friday AM in the lovely Atlanta suburb of Roswell (it really was lovely). Funny enough, to twist the knife a little bit, right near our hotel in Buckhead was a restaurant called Au Pied de Cochon :sad: . So it wasn't a total loss I dragged the Mrs. with and we made a weekend out of it.

We had three meals together, 1 in Roswell and 2 in Midtown.

In Roswell we ate at Pastis. This place was packed at 2ish with a ladies who lunch crowd. We shared 3 aps and has a dessert each. The twice baked cheese souffle was amazing, we fought over last dibs, the charcrute plate was also great and the chicken and blue cheese salad was ok for me but my wife liked it. I am not really a fan of salads or pounded dry chicken breast on anything but the quickest way to get my wife's attention is to say chicken ceasar. :biggrin: Desserts were excellent, I had tarte tatin and she had creme brule. The place is really very loud, those ladies who lunch know how to party! What a very nice surprise and a very nice lunch.

We had dinner at South City Kitchen. I should have come to eGullet before going here, I bet not many of you eat here! This meal was not good at all but surprising enough the place was packed tight with people waiting to be seated. In general everything, including the nightly app and entree special was grossly overseasoned which might have been ok had our waitress asked just once if I wanted another beer :shock:. The only thing we thought was decent was the fried green tomatoes until we had Mary Mac's and realized we had been fooled the night before!!

Thank god for eGullet, after the SCK disaster I got our next and best meal recomendation here. Mary Mac's Tea Room! Now that is grandma's cooking at its best. The fried green tomatoes and newbie on the house potlikker were great. Chicken fried steak with biscuts, gravy, grits and cream corn for me and the smothered pork chops with baked apples, veggies and cornbread for the Mrs. It was the best of each we had ever had. Peach cobbler for dessert was a perfect end to a perfect meal. Mary Mac's is a must see for anyone going to Atlanta.

Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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Guessing that two out of three isn't too terrible ... sorry about your experience at South City Kitchen though ... have never been there but from the looks of their website and the accolades, I would have expected something considerably better:

South City Kitchen

Awards & Accolades

•  Best All Around Restaurant - AOL Digital City - 2002-2003

•  Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA) - 2002-2005

• "Award of Excellence" - Wine Spectator Magazine, 1998-1999, 2001-2005

• "If this is the direction that new Southern cooking is taking, it's on the right    track" - New York Times

• "South City Kitchen became a mecca for low country cooking the minute it    opened in 1993" - Where Magazine

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Guessing that two out of three isn't too terrible ... sorry about your experience at South City Kitchen though ... have never been there but from the looks of their website and the accolades, I would have expected something considerably better:

South City Kitchen

Awards & Accolades

•  Best All Around Restaurant - AOL Digital City - 2002-2003

•  Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA) - 2002-2005

• "Award of Excellence" - Wine Spectator Magazine, 1998-1999, 2001-2005

• "If this is the direction that new Southern cooking is taking, it's on the right     track" - New York Times

• "South City Kitchen became a mecca for low country cooking the minute it     opened in 1993" - Where Magazine

DiRoNA is a complete joke. While I've certainly been to plenty of great places that have that distinction, I've been to at least as many bad ones. They may as well drop the "D".

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Guessing that two out of three isn't too terrible ... sorry about your experience at South City Kitchen though ... have never been there but from the looks of their website and the accolades, I would have expected something considerably better:

South City Kitchen

Awards & Accolades

•  Best All Around Restaurant - AOL Digital City - 2002-2003

•  Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA) - 2002-2005

• "Award of Excellence" - Wine Spectator Magazine, 1998-1999, 2001-2005

• "If this is the direction that new Southern cooking is taking, it's on the right     track" - New York Times

• "South City Kitchen became a mecca for low country cooking the minute it     opened in 1993" - Where Magazine

Yes, Mary Mac's more than made up for anything else we might have had. I can still taste it. South City reminded me of an Italian place we have in NYC called Tony's, they get great press and are always packed to the gills but the food is poor quality compared to other places in the city.

-Mike & Andrea

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  • 4 weeks later...
We had dinner at South City Kitchen.  I should have come to eGullet before going here, I bet not many of you eat here!  This meal was not good at all but surprising enough the place was packed tight with people waiting to be seated. 

Yep. South City Kitchen's been around for years, and is part of a restaurant group that's historically been pretty good (including Food Studio and La Tavola) but has been a bit uneven of late. That said, South City Kitchen's my least favorite of the group. Except that I've not been there in at least five years so maybe I just shouldn't talk about it.

Anyway, a lot of the people packing the restaurant were likely from out of town (yes, Mike, I mean you) because visitors to Atlanta always ask for southern food and southern food (to the extent that such a thing can be defined) just isn't really suited to upmarket dining and there aren't many places that serve it so South City can get away to serving bad food to visitors. When Atlantans want southern food they mostly eat at home, or head out to Mary Mac's or the Colonnade.

For upmarket southern I recommend Watershed and, on Sunday night, Restaurant Eugene for the Sunday supper prix fixe.

Thank god for eGullet, after the SCK disaster I got our next and best meal recomendation here. Mary Mac's Tea Room! Now that is grandma's cooking at its best. The fried green tomatoes and newbie on the house potlikker were great. Chicken fried steak with biscuts, gravy, grits and cream corn for me and the smothered pork chops with baked apples, veggies and cornbread for the Mrs. It was the best of each we had ever had. Peach cobbler for dessert was a perfect end to a perfect meal. Mary Mac's is a must see for anyone going to Atlanta.

Okay, my grandmother's rolling over in her grave at the idea that restaurant food could ever be as good as home cooking aside, Mary Mac's is pretty good. I'll point out that your meal of chicken fried steak etc. was rather higher than ideal on the carbs, but at least you got the pot likker.

Next time ask here first. Lots of excellent food here in the ATL.

Oh, and don't worry about having missed the Atlanta version of Au Pied de Cochon: it's nothing to do with the Montreal restaurant, but rather belongs to one of the big brasserie chains in Paris. It's located in the Intercontinental and the food on our one visit (admittedly soon after it had opened) sort of sucked. We've not been back, as subsequent reports from friends and acquaintances have not been glowing.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Should you get called back to Roswell in the future, I would suggest you try Greenwood's on Green Street for southern cuisine and Swalow at the Hollow, which is directly across the street, for barbecue. Both are very good. I would suggest fried chicken at Greenwood's and ribs at SATH. The veggies at both places are way above average and Greenwood's pies (which I seldom have enough room for) are very tasty.

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