August 31, 2015

Nerds Rule at My Parents' Basement in Avondale

 My Parents' Basement opened recently in Avondale Estates in the space once occupied by the James Joyce Pub. Billed as a Nerd's paradise, it's part comic book store, part video arcade, and part pub with a large selection of local and regional beers on tap.  One of the wall of comics is pictured above.
There's a very workable and affordable menu with close to a dozen sandwiches and several sides and small plates as well. Pictured above is the South Philly-style cheesesteak with shaved ribeye, caramelized onions and Cheese Wiz. It's not going to win any best cheesesteak in the city awards, but it might scratch your cheesesteak itch. And it is a substantial sandwich that comes with a side for $12. The side dish of farro salad with radish was actually one of the best dishes of the night.
"Chicken and Waffles"is one of the small plate appetizer offerings. Fried chicken piece are baked into the waffles, which is a nice idea, but I wanted more of a salty-fried chicken presence to balance the sweetness of the waffle. Pickled mustard seeds are a nice touch. We also tried the Pine Street Market salami and butter sandwich and the breakfast sandwich on runny egg and bacon on white bread.
Plenty of space at the large bar. Lots of good local craft beers on tap from the likes of Three Taverns, Second Self, Orpheus, Monday Night, Creature Comforts, an so on...
There are only three video games right now, but the games are a fun way to kill some time while having a beer or two before or after dinner. And they have Centipede! I would imagine that My Parents' Basement will do well, and judging from the big crowd gathered on the patio on a recent Thursday night, they appear to be off to a good start.

August 26, 2015

Good Luck Gourmet

Here's a quick update on a couple of recent visits to Good Luck Gourmet on Buford Highway. A few months back, Sichuan star, Gu's Bistro departed their Buford Highway location to concentrate on their Krog Street Market outpost. Without much fanfare, Good Luck Gourmet moved in to the old Gu's space and is doing a good job carrying the Sichuan torch. Raves for Good Luck have rolled in recently from local publications. It's definitely worth a quick drive from Decatur, though get the on the early side for lunch as the place gets packed. Pictured above is a plate of Good Luck's red chile oil dumplings; perhaps the best in town right now.
Another Good Luck standout: Eggs and Black Fungus. Think scrambled eggs and black mushrooms covered in leeks. Not pretty, but delicious.
Chengdu style cold noodles. Pretty standard, good and spicy and quite tasty. Yum.
 Pork in spicy garlic sauce.
The spread on a second visit recently. Spicy chicken and dry-fry green beans.

August 9, 2015

Revival, Decatur

Some pics above from my first visit to Kevin Gillespie's Revival in Decatur. The restaurant is an homage to Gillespie's southern roots and Sunday suppers at his grandmother's house. Set in a historic old home at the southernmost end of Church Street in Decatur, everything about Revival makes you happy to be in the south. We tried a number of things off the including the bacon-wrapped meatloaf and fried chicken. Being as how I am a Yankee by birth, and am not a pedantic student of fried chicken, I'm not going to deconstruct Revival's chicken. It had an exceptionally crunchy exterior with juicy and flavorful meat throughout. As good as any fried chicken I can remember. Dinner comes includes a basket of cornbread for the table that will become your favorite-ever cornbread once you try it. The trimmings shine, too, including the fatback-cream corn and mac and cheese, both soul-comforting in their richness and layers of flavor. The Revival bar program features some old drink favorites from Gunshow like the Toasted Old Fashioned, as well as some classic southern punches and cocktails. Revival has come along at a perfect time in Decatur's evolution as a dining destination and it fills one of the few remaining voids in Decatur's food scene. I'm already planning my next visit.

August 2, 2015

Cooking Things and It's Still Hot

I guess I need a sexier excuse than, "I've been busy," as a reason for not really updating blog anymore. Seems I get my, "Hey, look at pictures of food I cooked and/or ate"-itch scratched in real-er time by Instagram these days. I've left this remnant of the oughts behind in some ways...Since it's August, and it's hot out, and I'm cowering inside with the AC cranked, I figured I'd check in here with some recent cooking exploits. Above is szechuan-style green beans that I've made a handful of times this summer. I use Kenji's method, of broiling the beans, then dousing them in a sauce of ginger, garlic, Szechuan peppercorns, and whole chile de arbol. Spicy? Yep.
Homemade pizza using the skillet-broiler method. I swear, I don't have a weird thing for Kenji, but I am considering burning all my cookbooks and just following Kenji. Pizza is good.
Smashed fried potatoes, Waxman-style. These are some yummy potatoes and a nice alternative to french fries. The master, Jonathan Waxman, crushes parboiled, whole Russets and then deep-fried them in large chunks. My chunks could have been bigger, but the potatoes do fall apart a bit when you crush them in your hand. Still awesomely delicious.
95 degrees and sunny calls for white wine, like this zippy Weszeli Gruner Veltliner I got for $25 from Le Caveau Fine Wines. This wine just works in the summer. Drink it with anything. Spicy, szechuan green beans, for example.
More white wine goodness from Lopez de Heredia. I've professed my affinity for LdH here before. Unique and singular wines that age remarkably well and aren't like most wines most people drink. So there, go find some.