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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: November 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Introducing fanBunker!

While this is first and foremost a food site, I wanted to let you know of another project I have been working on for the last year. Some of you may know that along with being a foodie, I am a die hard sports fan. A Mets fan living in Atlanta...not an easy life :). Just like restaurant reviews, the blogosphere has completely changed the way fans digest sports content. Whereas in years past, there were only a handful of sources to get sports content on your favorite team, now there is a seemingly endless supply of relevant (and not so relevant) sites that try to fill that need. Who has the time to figure out where all those sites are?

That is where fanBunker comes in. A one-stop shop for all the best content on your favorite teams. The local beat writer side-by-side with your team's best bloggers. I have included the fanBunker links to the Atlanta teams in the side bar for you to check out.

But now back to the business of this site- food! Although I am travelling this week, I am looking to hit the new restaurant STATS this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Plenty of Room for a Good Downtown Steakhouse

The maitre’d at Room must have known what he was dealing with. Every year, my buddies and I go out for a real “guy’s night” of steaks and a Thrashers game- Steaks and Skates we call it. This year, our steakhouse of choice was Room at the new Twelve Hotel Centennial Park. With one look at our motley crew, he sat us in one of the three semi-private rooms in the place. Maybe he was scared others would hear us, maybe he was scared that they would see us, maybe it was a little of both. But it was an excellent decision for all involved!

Room is the steakhouse concept from Bob Amick of Concentrics Restaurants. The area around the Twelve is nothing to speak of at the moment. It’s situated in this no man’s land between downtown, midtown and Centennial Park. But there is ongoing construction all around as a new W Hotel is being constructed, and there is continuing work on the Twelve towers. So maybe in time, this area will be a destination site or at least well connected to the other major destinations around downtown.

We started with a Chef’s choice sushi platter for the table. This was no ordinary chef’s choice, as this platter included Toro amongst other fine items. I don’t remember the cost of this dish, but my guess was it was over $100 (there is one on the menu listed for $80 for 4, but we had 6 in our group). Indulgent, yes. Good, very!

The steaks on the Room menu are fairly standard: two different sizes of filet, bone-in ribeye, NY Strip. Prices are fairly consistent with other steakhouses around town- in the upper $30 range. I had the filet and you could cut it with a butter knife. Everyone commented how the chef cooked each steak to perfection.

You could get a number of different sauces with your steak, which are served on the side in a small pouring cup. If you like this sort of thing, it’s not a bad way of going about it, because two people can easily share one. We got 3 for our table- the peppercorn brandy, the chimichurri verde and the home made steak sauce. I am usually not a sauce person, but I do like a good au poivre. The peppercorn sauce did not meet my expectations, as it was pretty bland. The chimichurri sauce, while good, didn’t really complement the steak very well.

So how does Room stack up against the other steakhouses in town? Well, there was nothing that I can say it has done to give it a leg up on Bone’s, Chops, or Rathbun’s. But it does have one thing going for it…location. In the Downtown and lower Midtown area, they don’t have a lot of competition. Our night here blew away our night at Ruth’s Chris last year. And for a real steakhouse, you cannot include Fire of Brazil.

Room can get pretty expensive. By the time we drank 3 bottles of wine, ordered a round of top shelf tequila for 3 people, the sushi, the steaks, 4 sides, and one dessert, we were at $110 per person. Now that I write this, that doesn’t seem as shocking as it seemed Saturday night. Oh well, one night per year, and it was full of belly-aching laughter, so it was well worth it!

Steakhead Recommends: Yes, if you are Downtown and looking for Steaks
Price: $$$$

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

BrickTops Isn't Tops in My Book

A constant dilemma that I have is finding decent places to eat where we can take Baby Steakhead. ElAzteca and Meehan’s get old, but getting a sitter could add 50% to the cost of the meal, which isn’t sustainable every weekend. So in my never ending search to find good places, new places, where we can take the kid, I wound up at BrickTops at the Terminus building in Buckhead last night. BrickTops had assured me that kids are welcome at the restaurant, and to their credit, they have a special kid’s menu and even an “etch-a-sketch” type device for kids to draw on. Actually, this was a nice touch. Baby Steakhead had a grand ole time. I wish I could say the adults did.

BrickTops is a new chain started by the founders of Houston’s. There are currently 4 locations, all in the Southeast. You can definitely tell the Houston’s influence on the menu, which is to say relatively simple meat and fish offerings. We wound up sharing a couple of appetizers- the chips and guacamole and the smoked salmon flatbread. The flatbread, with warm cream cheese, capers and dill, was cut into individual squares, and only a small dap of salmon adorned each square. For $15, they could have been more generous.

For her entrée, Lady Steakhead went with a cup of the soup of the day, which on a Friday is Lobster Bisque. This had a much stronger tomato taste than a lobster taste. Given I just came back from three days in Boston where I had chowder (or chow-duh as the locals would say) every night, I found this to be disappointing. Same thing can be said for my crab cake entrée, just not a lot of seafood taste. There was plenty of crabmeat in it, so I wonder about the quality of the crab they are using.

The clientele at BrickTops was noticeably older. The interior is pretty bland, and as my wife accurately pointed out, it sort of looked like a diner inside. The bar seemed to do decent business, so maybe this will be more of a lunch/happy hour place. For dinner, they seemed to be caught in restaurant “no man’s land”. We had three appetizers, one entrée and 2 glasses of wine, and the total tab was almost $120. For that kind of change, I would have rather spent a little more, gotten the sitter and gone to Chops or Rathbun’s and had a nice leisurely evening. Or conversely, I could have gone to Outback and spent half this much, with just about the same quality. And had a Bloomin’ Onion to boot!

But all is not lost for the Terminus complex in Buckhead. Lola, a Here to Serve Restaurant, is now open. I stopped in after dinner last night, and the place was hopping (and it looks like it may be possible to take kids there-it’s certainly noisy enough that you would never hear them). MF Sushi is also opening a Buckhead location at this complex, and Aquaknox, a concept from Las Vegas, looks to open soon. If you can navigate the parking situation, which at the moment is a complete disaster with all the construction, this may become a popular destination for Buckhead dining.

Steakhead Recommends: No
Prices: $$$

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