October 25, 2013

Randomness and Ramen

Haven't updated the 'ol blog thingy lately. No reason. No silly excuses. Just haven't. But, I still can't seem to let it die...so here we go...

Had some very tasty ramen at chef Mihoko's lunch ramen service in the SoBa space in EAV. Pictured above are the three ramen on the menu: traditional Tonkotsu (pork), Chicken Shoyu (chicken and lobster), and Mabu Nasu (Spicy miso-chicken).
Chicken-Shoyu: made with chicken and lobster stock. A delicate broth with a nice touch of lobster flavor in the back ground. The slightly crunchy and charred Brussels sprout leaves on top are a perfect little addition of texture and flavor contrasts.
Close up of the Tonkotsu. Yum on the soft-boiled soy egg. Gum Creek Farm pork belly. Another delicate broth with some complexity and depth. Tasty. The Tonkotsu was perhaps overshadowed by the complex and bold flavors of the other two on this day, but it is a winner in its right.
Now the randomness...I made this tasty short rib dish. Braised the ribs for 4 hours in red wine and stock. Served on top of pickled chard (I'm pickling all kinds of shit theses days!) and Logan Turnpike grits. This dish did not suck on the first really cold night this fall.
Hippie beer! The good folks at DogFish Head Brewing have payed an homage to the Grateful Dead
with their new American Beauty Pale Ale. (American Beauty being the title of what is considered by many to be the best studio album by the Grateful Dead). The recipe, with plenty of oatmeal and hops, was submitted by a fan as part of a contest, with the winning brew being chosen by the band and brewers.
I was also spoiled by these two great wines a couple of weeks ago while celebrating my brother's b-day. 1989 Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle and the 1973 Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva. There is nothing like great wine that ages well. Nothing! Two great wines that I wish I could afford to drink more often!

October 10, 2013

First Taste of Sobban

I finally made it over to Sobban for lunch this week. Though, I suppose I needn't say finally, since they've been open just over one week. Too many new eats to try lately, and just not enough time.
In case you missed it, Sobban took over the spot most recently occupied by Kitch'n, and had previously been an Athens Pizza express and an Arby's. It's located in that sort of no-man's (person's?) land on Clairmont between North Decatur Road and Druid Hills. Sobban, the latest restaurant from the team behind the kickass BBQ at Heirloom Market BBQ, chefs Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor, is billed as a Korean-Southern Diner. Here are a few pics from lunch.
Kimchi Gogi Mandu--filled with local ground beef, kimchi, chives. Spicy dipping sauce.

Salad with crunchy rice-cake crouton, sesame leaf ranch dressing, and spicy pepper. I really liked this salad. Great flavor in the sesame dressing and a good contrast in textures. Simple, but tasty start.
Fried Kimchi and Bologna Sandwich with Korean mustard and sticky-glazed white sweet potatoes. This dish was strong. House-smoked bologna was tender and showed a good bit of smokiness. I want more of this one.
Nori Corndog with hot mustard and spicy bimbop sauce. Playful. Tasty, but maybe a bit unremarkable. Below was one of the lunch specials, bulgogi roll with kimchi remoulade and pickled veggies.

No complaints on anything we tasted and nothing I wouldn't order again. The bulgogi, house salad, and bologna were standouts. Take note, if you want to try Sobban, get there early as they have been drawing huge crowds from day one and you could very well find yourself waiting for a table at both lunch and dinner.
Sobban on Urbanspoon

October 1, 2013

Kimball House Opens

The much anticipated Kimball House opened recently in the old train depot on the tracks near Agnes Scott College on the south side of downtown Decatur. You can read about the history of the name and the folks behind the project here (the Brick Store and Leon's team almost guarantees success!). The menu speaks to a bygone era of hotel menus; there is a large selection of raw oysters and other raw bar treats, and an expanded menu that features fish, meat, and veggie sections that go from small to large plates. I only got a few pics before sunset as it gets Paper-Plane-dark inside later in the evening.
We started with a variety of oysters (half price raw bar items M-F from 5:30-7:00!) and then the cold smoked hamachi with beet puree, lime vinegar, and greens pictured above. This dish could be awesome, and it sure is pretty, but it lacked some punch and fell kind of flat in the end. However, being that the place has only been open for five days my comments are really just my observation of one moment in time at a very busy and very new restaurant.
Parmesan cheese straws. Fun stuff. Think gougeres in straw form. Not easy to refrain from quickly shoving these in one's mouth. We also had some mussels escabeche which were excellent, and grilled lamb leg, that needs some attention to be memorable.
A real strength at Kimball House is the bar program with Miles Macquarrie, previously of Leon's, at the helm. We tried a number of cocktails, one being the The Mexican Razor Blade pictured above which was tasty concoction of alma blanco tequilla, east india sherry, lime, coconut, cinnamon, cayenne. While there were some lapses with the food and service, the place was jammed on a Monday night, five nights into service. I'm sure things will only get better and Kimball House is yet another great new addition to Decatur's food and drink scene.

Kimball House on Urbanspoon