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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: No Bull- Taurus Has Growing Pains

Sunday, October 02, 2005

No Bull- Taurus Has Growing Pains

I really wanted to like Taurus. Honest. The location and the view, the focus on meat, supposedly reasonably priced. And to top it off, owned by Greg Mennie, the previous executive chef from Canoe. However, the night was full of ups and downs, and unfortunately, there were too many problems that could not be overcome.

Taurus is located in the Brookwood shopping center that also houses Borders, Kroger and Wolfgang Puck Express. Upon hearing about the great view from upstairs lounge, we arrive a full hour ahead of our reservation to comfortably enjoy a drink while looking upon the Midtown and Downtown skyline. The deck gets an A for view, although the service outside could be more frequent. This wasn't the end of the world for us as we were hoping our early arrival will get us seated a little ahead of our 9pm reservation. However, we were not seated until 9:30. And when we were called, they brought us to what I would describe as the worst table in the restaurant. This table was situated along the main corrider that divided the bar from the dining area, and was configured so that we were sitting next to each other, instead of facing each other. Instead of viewing into the eyes of my beautiful wife, I had a great view of the bar and two TVs showing the Notre Dame/Purdue game- not quite my idea of a nice night out with the honey.

I decided that this was not acceptable and went to the hostess asking to find another table. And they obliged. Within 10 minutes they managed to find the only other table in the restaurant where we could not sit facing each other. And when the hostess asked, "Is this one okay?", I just shook my head in amazement. Lady Steakhead by this time was rather famished, so we took it.

The next knock on this place was our waitresses lack of knowledge regarding food in general. Don't get me wrong, she was nice enough. But when I asked if she would recommend the Ribeye or the Veal Chop, her response was "It all depends if you are in the mood for beef or pork". It took everything I had not to laugh at this one.

So how about the food you say? The menu is rather bold on the meat selections and the prices are reasonable. The ribeye, veal chop and filet all go for around $23. There is also a healthy selection of seafood entres as well. Lady Steakhead had the crab fritters to start with and I had the PEI mussels. Both were rather good, but within moments of taking my empty mussels bowl and broth away, a server comes by with the bread for the table. This would have been very useful with the mussels instead of after as I love to sop up the broth with bread. Its a small thing, but a mistake that a more polished restaurant does not make.

On to the main course. Sticking with the chophouse motif, we each went for cuts of beef. Myself with the ribeye and LS with a filet. Both were tremendously undercooked. My medium rare was rare, and LS's filet, which she ordered rare, was, well...raw. And I am not sensitive to these things. My usual concern is non-steakhouses overcooking medium rare.

So as you can see, it was a tough night for Steakhead. I have been trying to figure out how much of these issues can be overcome with time, and how many are inherent with the place. In my mind, Mennie will have an uphill battle with this place. The staff may need extensive training (or retraining)- from the hostesses to the waitstaff. The only bright spot was one of the hostesses remembered my name as we were leaving. Thumbs up on that. But an even larger problem for Mennie may be that this place does not have a true target audience. The true chophouse afficiando will dismiss Taurus. The younger and more female crowd may not gravitate toward the heavy meat focus of the menu. And when the newness wears off, will people that suffered through an evening such as I had, go back? Grade: D.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what is wrong with watching Notre Dame beat up on Purdue?

1:39 PM  
Blogger Steakhead said...

Nothing per se, but such activities should be relegated to places like Wing Factory or perhaps the comfort of your living room...

7:43 AM  

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