Devils Workshop

has been moved to new address

Sorry for inconvenience...

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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays!!

Thank you very much for visiting the Atlanta Eats blog over the past year. I hope you have enjoyed reading it even half as much as I have writing it. May your holidays be safe and filled with much happiness, cheer and great food. We will be taking a few weeks off, but we'll be back on the food trail again in early January.

The Steakheads

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Steakhead’s Top 10 of 2006

The end of the calendar year is quickly approaching and what a year it has been! Lady Steakhead and I joined the Parent Club in April with the birth of beautiful Baby Shea. The Sports Gods gave me a Mets post-season for the first time in 6 years, but then ripped my heart out in Game 7 of the NLCS. This blog celebrated its 1-Year Anniversary of providing restaurant opinions in the ATL. And, of course, another year of eating in some of the best eateries in the city.

My year-end recap is structured a little different this year. Because I want this list to reflect places I visited during the year, and that was not possible for me to visit as many places I would have liked, I will not do a “best of” by category. Instead, I am going to recognize and award places I consider to be my “top 10” joints in the city. It was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to 10, and I am in no way saying that these were the only good places I considered. But as the final list began to take shape, these places stood above the rest in that the mere mention of them got me excited and hungering for my next visit. Some are “once a year” places for special occasion. Some are ultra-casual, inexpensive joints where $10-$15 gets you one of the best meals in town. There is even one take-out place on the list.

So, without further ado, I present to you the Steakhead Top 10 of 2006 (in alphabetical order)!

Chops- Chops, and specifically the Lobster Bar for ambiance, continues to be my steakhouse of choice in the city. The bone-in ribeye is aces, and the tableside-prepared steak tartare is my favorite appetizer in town. This is where Lady Steakhead and I celebrate our anniversary every year.

di Paolo- Top-notch Italian cuisine in Alpharetta. Well worth the drive OTP. And I love the fact you can bring your own vino (with a corking fee).

Fogo de Chao- Ahh- the meat palace. This is Steakhead’s birthday dinner every year. How can you go wrong with gauchos carving meat off a spit until you scream “uncle”? There are a number of imitators in town, but from an experience perspective, this place is second to none.

Little Bangkok- This Cheshire bridge location is where to go when you want unpretentious, very spicy Thai food in Atlanta. And, they are one of the few places that serves Papaya Salad- a Steakhead favorite.

Paul’s- Paul Albrecht’s restaurant in Peachtree Hills became one of my favorite places after only one visit. A little pricey, but the deep fried lobster tail is worth trying if you haven’t already done so.

Real Chow Baby- This ever-popular take on Mongolian BBQ is fun, tasty and inexpensive. You are in charge, as you mix your own ingredients of veggies, meats and sauce. I have been many times, and still make a different concoction each time.

Rumi’s Kitchen- Props given here to a local restaurant in my home hood of Sandy Springs that isn’t a chain. Great tasting kabobs, in an upscale environment. The cars outside may all scream expensive, but the entrees are in the low-mid teens.

Sam & Dave’s BBQ1- The best BBQ joint in Atlanta is actually a takeout place. Located on Lower Roswell Rd. in an older strip mall, these guys are BBQ aficionados (with many trophies from world-class competitions to prove it).

Tasty China- Setting the standard for Chinese fare in Atlanta. It has been a month since my last visit and I am having Hot and Numbing Beef Roll withdrawal.

Trattoria il Localino- Localino is all about the atmosphere. It’s a family-run business- the owner is this crazy-looking guy with wild gray hair sort of resembling Einstein- and they are dedicated to make sure your experience is a good one. ABBA and the Bee-Gees will interrupt ballads of Mario Lanza and Jerry Vale, as party hats are distributed to the guests. Weekends are best, as it’s more fun when it’s crowded.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Friday, December 08, 2006

RIP Imari- SushiHouse Takes Over

Lady Steakhead and I decided to meet for lunch yesterday at our favorite Sushi spot- Imari on Peachtree Rd. in South Buckhead. As soon as we walked in, we realilzed something was amiss. The walls had been painted a dark red, the furniture seemed new, and there was the thumping club-like music playing. Was this Imari- a place that would win no award for its simplistic, white interior design? Apparently, it was not. Imari had closed, and SushiHouse, an Orlando-based sushi bar, had taken over.

I was devastated. Imari not only served excellent sushi (and in my mind, the originators of the best spicy tuna roll in Atlanta), it was also one of the most reasonably priced sushi bars in town. This new menu, however, is adorned with numerous accolades annointing SushiHouse as the best sushi place in Orlando, so maybe all was not completely lost.

Well, that was wishful thinking anyway. SushiHouse does offer a lunch menu, but it completely misses the mark. The only sushi available on the $10 menu are rolls. If you want Nigiri, you have to move to the standard menu. There is a sushi combo plate with Nigiri, but even at the lunch time $15 price, it is no bargain. We substituted the California Roll that came with the combo for a Spicy Tuna Roll. What a disappointment. The tuna had little taste, completely overpowered by a huge chunk of cucumber, that was so cold, it may have just come out of the freezer. We also sampled one of their signature rolls- the Happy Sumo. This was a warm roll with avocado, cucumber, crab, tuna, salmon, cream cheese, and fried tempura style. This was good, no argument there, but its certainly isnt the kind of roll that would make me want to make a special trip. And that really can be said for the sushi itself. Okay, but in a town with so many good sushi bars, nothing stands out here, with the exception of the price. Two $15 sushi plates, one $10 roll, no drinks (not even a Diet Coke), and add tip and tax, I spent over $50 for lunch. Ridiculous.

Imari did it right. Forget the clubby atmosphere and fancy decor. They served very good sushi at a very good price. You will be missed. SushiHouse- no thanks. Taka may have just moved up to #1 on my list.

Steakhead Recommends: No
Price: $$-$$$

Sunday, December 03, 2006

High Cotton: Good Food and Family Friendly

We went out with friends for dinner on Friday night, and when asked where we would like to go, we had only two requirements- we needed to go early and someplace that is somewhat baby-friendly (these are pretty much standing requirements for us). Their recommendation was a spot they have been talking about for months- High Cotton in Dunwoody.

High Cotton is located in the Publix Shopping Center on Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., and is quite the popular spot. They do not take reservations, but you can call at 5pm for some form of call-ahead seating. This is definitely recommended, as even at 6:30, the small bar area was packed with waiting patrons. I was happy to see several small children and at least 3 babies in the restaurant, all on their best behavior (they were seen, not heard).

The menu is fairly standard- pastas, chicken, steaks, tuna. I wouldn't say it was the most creative menu, but then again, its better to do simple dishes well, than creative ones poorly. I went with the a rare ahi tuna dish, that was sliced and served with ginger, soy sauce and wasabi. Lady Steakhead went with the Firecracker Pasta with assorted shellfish. Both were very good. While I shied away from the steaks, one of our friends ordered the filet, which was a more generous cut than I would have expected.

I was definitely impressed with High Cotton. It's a good. "comfort food" destination, comparing favorably to places like Food 101. Most dishes were priced in the $18-24 range, so it won't break the bank. But the big draw was how easy it was to take Baby Steakhead. Pizza and Tex-Mex get old after a while, so its good to know of other local options.

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Price: $$