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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: January 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And the Winner of the Worst Clam Chowder in History Belongs To...

....Six Feet Under! I don't usually post something like this, but this was so bad, it was comical, and I wished I had my camera. The color was sort of greenish, and the consistency was more reminiscent of a gloppy white gravy, than soup. But the kicker was the entire surface of the cup was topped with a big scoop of canned minced clams! The actual soup appeared to have no clams in it at all, so apparently the recipe goes something like this: Make potato soup (not well), pour in cup, add heaping spoon of canned clams, serve. Progresso would give them a run for their money. The catfish po boy was better, although its size makes it impossible to eat with your hands. I got no further than 1/4 through before it disintegrated into a culinary explosion onto my plate and lap. Good times at lunch today.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yuraku- New Sushi Bar in Smyrna

Smryna's West Village is a good example of the new urbanism spreading across Atlanta. Sprawling at the intersection of South Atlanta Rd. and I-285, the West Village contains condos/townhomes all with numerous retailers, bars and restaurants. Yuraku Steak and Sushi is one of the latest entrants into this complex, and will probably do quite well.

As we walked into Yuraku, the staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming, which was maintained throughout the meal. They were great with Little Steakhead, constantly humoring her, and she responded with giving us an incredibly stress-free night out. I'll go out on a limb to say the service is amongst the best I have seen in a sushi bar in Atlanta to date.

The sushi menu is quite extensive, although its one of those that provides pictures of the food for each dish. This seems to be indigenous to Asian places, and my usual experience from places that do this usually don't have the best food. Yuraku doesn't necessarily reverse that trend.

We started with the Tempura Udon Soup, which I thought was quite good. (The picture of the Miso Soup with big chunks of mushrooms sort of turned me off...good thing they had the pictures!). We then shifted to what our waitress called their most popular roll- the Super Crunchy Shrimp Roll. If you can get past the presentation where it sits on a bed of rice krispies, this too was actually tasty. For our main course, we split the Sashimi Deluxe plate, which is easily enough for two when you add in everything else we ate. Here, we were somewhat disappointed. The presentation was nice (which can be said about most things at Yuraku), but it definitely doesn't stand up to other places in the city, including the nearby Tomo. The spicy tuna roll was nothing special.

Yuraku will not be a favorite amongst true sushi enthusiasts. But that is not to say the place will not find a niche in the growing Smyrna community. The price is reasonable, and the atmosphere is very inviting. I would probably stick with more pedestrian sushi and roll selections next time, and keep your expectations reasonable. And to me, there are times when that will crave the sushi fix. If in that area and looking for more, make the trip to Tomo.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

NHL All-Star Ticket Giveaway at South City Kitchen

If there is one thing Steakhead likes as much as food, its hockey. And South City Kitchen has a deal that brings those two worlds together. Here is the press release:

"On Wednesday, January 16 from 6 pm to 8 pm, guests who bring a canned good to South City Kitchen Midtown or Vinings will be entered to win two tickets to the NHL All-Star Game (on 1/27 at 6 p.m.) at Phillips Arena (one raffle ticket per can – no limit, so the more cans you bring, the better your chances). Canned food will go to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. A pair will be raffled off at 6:30, 7 and 7:30 pm; you must be present to win."

Call 404.873.7358 (Midtown) or 770.435.0700 (Vinings) for reservations. I will be attending!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Vintage Pizzeria- Good Atmosphere and Family Friendly in Chamblee

I needed to take MARTA last week when my car was being serviced on Peachtree Industrial Blvd, and was quite impressed by what I am seeing in Chamblee. It seems urban planners are doing something right on Peachtree Rd. across from the Chamblee MARTA station. There are numerous lofts already built and several more on the way for those looking to ditch their morning commutes for a more eco-friendly mode of transportation. And in the middle of this new enclave of housing density sits Vintage Pizzeria.

Vintage Pizzeria sits on the ground floor of a new brick loft building at 5434 Peachtree Rd. The place is a great combination of casual food, good beer list, and a good place to take the youngsters. In fact, when we went last Saturday, almost every table had at least one child. But, don’t get me wrong, this is no Chuck E Cheese. It would be just as comfortable for a couple of friends or young couple to grab some pizza and drink a few bevvies. The beer list boasts 14 brews on tap and another 20 in bottle. My wife and I were commenting how this had an “in town” feel to it, and was something we have missed since moving to Sandy Springs.

I will say that if you’re a really picky pizza critic, Vintage is probably not for you. We started with the calamari that included slices of jalapeno and okra. The spicy fra diablo sauce provides a little extra kick. But without the spice, the calamari was actually sort of bland. I’ll definitely skip that next time. The pizza was okay, and I definitely devoured my half, but I wouldn’t put it in the same class as Capozzi’s or Napoli’s. (Although these places are solely take out for me- the dine-in experience leaves much to be desired.)

Here’s the thing though, I enjoyed eating here. The atmosphere more than made up for the shortcomings of the kitchen. And I live close enough that I don’t really feel like I am going tremendously out of my way. So for those of you with young families in Chamblee and Brookhaven, you may want to check it out if you haven’t already done so.

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