Thursday, February 22, 2007

A couple of reasons Atlanta's not so bad

Inspired by MB's food week I decided to write a short description of every restaurant I've visited since I moved here.

Grant Park/My neighborhood/Westside
Daddy Dz
Kinda like the lush version of Harold's, my favorite BBQ joint (between the federal pen and Turner field). Whereas Harold's serves one amazing item (besides the amazing cracklin' cornbread) Daddy's branches out a bit and features an array of vegetables, all of which I've found worth ordering. It borders a shitty part of town but basically always has at least one cop in attendance. Fuck Fat Matt's.

Village Pizza
My favorite pizza...ever. They understand and practice that formula for the subtle proportion of sauce and bread that can easily fuck up a pizza if misappropriated. But they never really misappropriate. And they deliver pizza to my neighbors on bikes with little baskets!

Carrol St. Cafe
2 minutes from my house. Pudge and I spent many a Saturday morning sitting on the sidewalk with the newspaper and the dish I basically order every time, Crab Cake Benedict (under $10). The dinner menu is nice as well.

Zocalo Tacqueria
As close to what I think of as "real Mexican" as I've had here. Not that I know "real Mexican." But all my friend's who've been to those little roadside tacquerias in Mexico swear by it.

Six Feet Under
6FU aspires to be that cozy wood paneled restaurant your parents took you to as a kid, and succeeds while adding things that those restaurants would have never thought of. The wasabi dressing is such I might actually break in to find the recipe. The grouper wrapped in overcooked cheese is something certain to end the fasts of those fleeing cholesterol. Try the fish tacos as well while sitting on the roof overlooking the graves of Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones.

In the warehouse/art gallery district (Castleberry Hill) that may be my new favorite neighborhood in Atlanta and which may have influenced my feelings on what W deemed "not any better than Harry and Sons." The $25 raw sampler I ordered, though, as I watched Auburn beat Florida on the plasma, was as good as anything I've had outside of Japan.

MF Sushi
Perennial readers' and critics' choice for best sushi. I enjoyed it, but found it a bit disappointing when mixed with the hype. I also found it strange that they didn't have any green tea. Good stuff, but worth the inflated prices? Hmmm.

Las Palmeras
7 years ago this place was great. A little spot, hidden away amongst pricey houses, with an adjoining store in which you bought your liquor. Last Thursday it was the start to a shitty post-Valentine's meal, featuring an overpriced appetizer, a salad my high school cafeteria could have made and a chicken breast that I'm still mystified they served as any kind of item on the menu.

Righteous Room
Get the Mediterranean Platter and watch the parade of heroin heads head to the back booth.

Pura Vida
Tapas! I fucking hate tapas. In Atlanta at least.

Cheshire Smidge
This is the kinda place that still thinks it's classy, or charming, to put pictures of celebrities who have visited on the opening wall--Joe Torre, Tommy Lasorda, those kinda guys. It's one of those pricey, family run Italian places you may have visited as a child, where everyone that works there is a daughter or a cousin or something of that sort and the father/head chef makes regular visits to the dining room. I felt like someone was gonna get offed while I was there. And the food was great.

Buford Triad
Hae Woon Dae
I always heard how great it was but on the Saturday I visited I found it to be atmospherically lacking and also just kind of uninspiring in the food department. There's a huge adult theater next to it where couples get in free.

Tofu 88
24 hour Korean in a little freestanding building that probably used to be a chicken or bbq restaurant. The pre-entree dishes (ponchon?) were as good as any I've had and my tofu hash with grilled fish was something I'll definitely come back for.

El Rey Del Taco
I've been here twice in the past week, on Sunday with JF, W and MB for a whole fish El Rey style while watching Mexican soap opera, and on Monday with JC for three Mexican tacos (1 pollo, 1 mushroom) and a side of rice. It's open 24 hrs so I'm sure I'll go back in the next three days or so.

Little Szechuan
Just go there.

Maybe better than the actual Malaysian food I had in Malaysia but maybe I just wasn't eating real Malaysian food.

El Norteno
I get the idea this is kinda the lunch destination for Mexican construction gents. They have a huge buffet with lots of goodies like limes, and salsas and chips and chives and onions and other assorted stuff to put on your meal. One of my Latino students says it sucks so maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about.

Hong Kong BBQ
In the Chinatown Mall foodcourt. On a recent visit with MB and W, W ordered something that seemed safe but looked like vomit on arrival. MB ordered a soup that led us to suck the meat off an assortment of duck claws until I noticed a line of Asian dudes staring at us in disbelief. I got the BBQ sampler, which was kind of the pussy thing to order, but also some of the best BBQ I've ever had. Duck, chicken and pork.

Bangladeshi food on Buford Hwy. Go on a Friday for your birthday, or someone else's, or just bring a lot of people and you'll feel like some snooty British diplomat during the Great Game in South Asia with the royal way in which they treat you. Tastes like Indian food, which makes sense.

Marisqueria 7 Mares
W, E and JF in attendance, we dined on ceviche, burritos and huge fucking fish with eyeballs while being entertained by a mariachi band.

That Vietnamese Sandwich Place in Asian Square
$2.95 for one of the best combinations of French bread, pork, and green onion I've ever had. Wash it down with an avocado shake.

Little India/Decatur
Madras Savarana Bhavan
Probably my favorite Indian, in what probably used to be a Po Folks, or something equally racist. Everything I've had here has been awesome. The Dosais (rice and lentil crepes) stuffed with pretty much whatever you want, within reason, are like Indian burritos, and are deceptively filling. All of the appetizers are good though I'd probably stay away from the Bombay jalapeno poppers which, of course, are listed under a different name that I can't seem to remember.

Great lunch buffet though you might want to go with someone rather than by yourself (as I did) as the sheer space can make you feel kind of alone.

Bollywood Masala
Probably not as good as MSB, but you get to watch uncut Bollywood movies that make those old lush and lavish Hollywood pics look like a Jim Jarmusch movie, while you stuff yourself with nan and chutney.

Cafe Alsace
Cozy little Alsatian place in Decatur. I had the rabbit and JC had the pork loin. Hers' was better. I took great joy in ordering the Tour of France by name, in English, more to my amusement than that of the waitress, I'm sure. To get to the bathroom you have to go through the kitchen, which I found really cool.

Tacqueria Del Sol
Kind of like my new standby, my new La Parilla, that I opt for whenever I invite a lot of people out. The tacos are always reliable, from the brisket to the veggie to the fish. The salsa sampler, with a green sauce and two red sauces, is something I usually order in quantities of 2. And the turnip greens are amazing. Weird.


Blogger mcsquared said...

I forgot to mention Chef Liu's (Chinese breakfast noodle soup, dumplings, pastry type stuff, etc) in a free standing charmingly ghetto space that is well worth the suspect air conditioning. And Canton House, kind of the evil stepmother, or stepsister, to Little Szechuan's Cinderella, or Snow White...

2/22/2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger christa t said...

have you been to 57th Fighter Group yet?

2/23/2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

this is awesome.

2/23/2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

Sadly, 57th Fighter Group is now closed.

Since you like Madras Saravana Bhavan, you should venture a little over in the parking lot and hit up Bollywood Masala Grill House. Also, the Pakistani place that was a Captain D's (I forget what it's called now) and Bamboo Garden, which is real spicy Indian version of Chinese food. All within a pretty small area. Oh, and Royal Sweets bakery, which has bestest, cheapest samosas ever. Hells, and the Turkish place (Cafe Istanbul). Too many good restaurants in that area.

2/27/2007 7:49 AM  
Blogger cocaine bref said...

Panahar is a gem, good call.

For the best sushi, you gotta try this place. SUSHI HUKU - its on the top side of 285 between Roswell Rd. and 75. Seriously not to be fucked with, its soooo good. Owned by the coolest couple from Japan who are so gracious and love that you are there. Samurai Roll will slay you.

2/28/2007 11:31 AM  
Blogger mcsquared said...

thanks hillary and bref. i'm on the way to bamboo garden in an hour actually. and i may try to make it up to this roswell sushi place this weekend. btw hillary, i passed one of your bbq recs on chowhound today. i hadn't looked at that site in awhile and i think it's gotten even more amazing.

2/28/2007 6:45 PM  
Blogger mcsquared said...

i think 57th fighter group closed, according to cliff bostock, who also claims, apparently, that SOTO IS MOVING BACK TO ATLANTA!

2/28/2007 9:14 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

Hmm... I've heard that before. The thing is, Soto, like Seeger, does not have bidness chops yet, at the same time, is a total control freak. If either of them could ever win the lottery, things would be great, but that's not too likely.

Hope Bamboo Garden burned your lips off in a kickass way! Spicy cauliflower so yum.

3/01/2007 8:20 AM  

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