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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: July 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Kabob Madness at Rumi's Kitchen

After recent favorable reviews of Rumi’s Kitchen by both the AJC and The Blissful Glutton, I knew I needed to pay a visit to this Persian eatery in my backyard of Sandy Springs. We arrived at 6:30 on a Saturday night and the initial indications were very positive- a valet stand parking a steady stream of Mercedes, Lexus (is the plural Lexi?), and BMWs, and trouble being seated if you had no reservation. The positive press was definitely having an impact.

Although we had no reservation, the staff did find room for Lady Steakhead, Baby Steakhead and myself in the already crowded dining room. The restaurant is relatively new at 6 months, and the décor takes Persian to a more upscale, trendy level than other Persian options I have been to on Roswell Rd. (a haven for this type of cuisine). For starters, Lady Steakhead can never turn down stuffed grape leaves (Dolmeh). The meat seemed slightly more seasoned than the typical Mediterranean variety, which I found to be a plus. On the lighter side, we also split a Shirazi Salad, which entails diced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions.

Persian cuisine is heavenly for meat-eaters like myself. Kabobs dominate the menu. Now when I think of kabobs, I think of diced cuts of meat, on a stick, interspersed with vegetables. Persian kabobs are more Steakhead's style- large strips of meat, no stick, and most importantly, no vegetables! I decided to go with the Soltani Kabob- a combination of a seasoned ground beef kabob (Koobideh) and the tenderloin kabob (Barg). I am unfortunately pre-programmed to believe 2 universal truths- Tenderloin is better than ground beef, and More Expensive tastes better than Less Expensive. This simplistic thinking has gotten me into trouble before, and again did not serve me well this night. The tenderloin kabob is cut very thin, and cooked too well done for tastes. Good, but not something I would order again. However, I loved the ground beef kabob. And for only $11, a plate of Koobideh Kabobs may be one of the best deals in the city. Lady Steakhead had the lamb kabob, which was also outstanding.

The service at Rumi’s is also a big thumbs up. They definitely go out of their way to make you feel welcome, and help you navigate the menu (and which rice to get with which dish). So what did I learn in my trip to Rumi’s? 1) Make a reservation, as this is one of the better restaurants on the Roswell Rd. corridor in Sandy Springs. 2) Sometimes, maybe the tenderloin isn’t the best option on the menu. About Less Expensive tasting better than More Expensive…well, I may still be a work in progress here. But at Rumi’s, I will admit its possible.

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Price: $$

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Sides Take Top Billing at Swallow at the Hollow

The Swallow at the Hollow in Roswell is everything a good barbecue place should be. Housed in a glorified wooden shack. Near "fall-off-the-bone" ribs. Packed house filling the picnic tables both inside and outside. And even live music on weekend nights featuring blues, folk, country and bluegrass after 10pm. It really resembles a slice of Americana that seems to have been lost, especially around Atlanta. But, unlike most barbecue places I have ever been to- the sides at Swallow are fantastic.

Aprt from the usual brunswick stew, fries and cole slaw that most cue joints offer, Swallow takes great pride in their regional southern ecoutrements. First, each dish is served with these awesome homemade bread and butter pickles. The Mac and Cheese is by far the class of the selection. When we went on Friday, Fried Green Tomaotoes were a special of the house and outstanding.

As for the main course, Lady Steakhead and I each had the baby back ribs. The meat was close enough to fall-off-the-bone to satisfy the cue lover in me. There are several different sauces that sit on the tables- a traditional thicker bbq sauce, a vinegar-based sauce, and a mustard-based sauce for the South Carolinians. Unfortunately, the ribs are not the best choice to sample the sauces, so next time, I'll go with the pulled pork.

The Swallow fills up early, as it is a big hit with families for dinner. We arrived at 6:45 on a Friday night and the gravel parking lot was filled to capacity. While we didn't stay for the music, it is a popular attraction, and I am sure people look to get there for dinner and stay for the show, so I wouldn't expect a lot of turnover after 9pm.

The Swallow at the Hollow is definitely worth the drive to Roswell. The barbecue is good, but it's the sides and atmosphere that take center stage here.

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Cost: $

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Atlanta Downtown Restaurant Week- July 24-30

The annual Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week is slated for July 24-30, where diners can enjoy a three-course dinner for $26. For more info on the event and a list of participating restaurants, go to

Being a downtown workerbee, I definitely want to take advantage of this event. But, as nothing is jumping out at me as to where to go, I could use a little help. There is a part of me that wants to experience B.E.D., given the theme and all. But is that really where an out-of-shape, married 38-year-old really needs to be? Besides, I heard the food was iffy. I am also disheartened that most places fall into one of the following three categories: A) a chain I have eaten at way too often (McCormick's & Schmicks), B) overpriced hotel restaurants (too many to mention), or C) are places I would never spend $26 in to being with (Mick's). Please tell me there is a gem in this list that I am glossing over.

Why can't there be Buckhead Restaurant Week with Nava, Chops, Pricci, NY Prime, Blue Pointe and Hal's. How about Midtown Restaurant Week with Oceanaire, the Globe, One Midtown Kitchen, Mid City Cuisine and Table 1280? Or "Not Quite Midtown" Restaurant Week with Bacchanalia, Two Urban Licks, Rathbun's, and MF Sushi. Someone really needs to get on that one.