The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

Hudson Grille

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on November 21, 2009

I got back to the hotel late one night while in Atlanta.  I was exhausted, but hungry.  As I checked in with one of my co-workers, he said that young man at the front desk, Xavier, recommended the Hudson Grille at the Perimeter Mall.  It wasn’t far from the hotel, so we considered giving it a try.

What sweetened the deal was that the hotel had “get a free award winning dessert with the purchase of an entree” coupons.  How could four mildly-overweight men resist!?!  So, four of us packed up and headed over to the mall.

When we got there, we thought it surprisingly busy for a Wednesday night.  We were able to get a table right away, with no problems, but it was the only open table I saw.   It was clearly as sports bar, with TVs all around.  It was dim, but not dark.  It was trivia night, so there were plenty of people playing trivia with a live D.J.; gift certificates to the winners.  It was a fun environment, and we had high hopes for our evening meal.

Our friendly waitress, Jessica, told us about the specials, to include lobster bisque.  It was also “take home your pint night”, featuring one of my favorite beers, Terrapin Beer Co.’s, Athens’ own, Rye Pale Ale.  I ordered a beer, both so I could enjoy one of my favorite’s, and have a pint glass from one of my favorite breweries.

Now, I really like the Rye Pale Ale.  I’m not sure if our reader is aware, but I’m a homebrewer.  It is the Terrapin Rye beer, which I first had in Raliegh, NC, on our road trip to get married, that caused me to attempt multiple Rye Ale brews.  I know what the Rye Pale Ale tastes like, and I’m not sure that THIS beer was the Rye Pale Ale.  Something didn’t seem quite right about the taste, and the color seemed a little dark.  To be fair, the restaurant was dark, and I had oral surgery last week, and some of my tasting has been a little off.  I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and managed to choke it down.

The menu was full of tasty options, but as it was after 9:30, so I opted for the spicy shrimp salad, but I just couldn’t resist a cup of the lobster bisque.

The salad was good, although the dressing was a little thick.  It WAS spicy.  I like spicy food, and have a substantial (but not insurmountable) spice tolerance, and this salad made me sweat.  It was good, though.  Interestingly, aside from all the tasty toppings, the shrimp were sliced laterally into thin, thin slices.  This made it so that almost every bite had a slice of shrimp in it, and it was well-complemented with the rest of the salad, dressing notwithstanding.

Finally, it was time for our dessert.  As we looked at our coupons, we realized it was for a dessert “one per table.”  We were disheartened, but though we might ask Jessica, who had otherwise been a stellar server, might have been able to work a little paperwork magic to ensure we could all enjoy more dessert than we were entitled.

She told us flatly, that there was nothing she could do.  <sigh>  I ordered some banana-type dessert for the table (it’s amazing how simply writing a blog somehow gives you peer credibility about whether a dessert may or may not be good), and asked her what she thought of the dessert.  Evidently, Jessica was a chocoholic, and had no need for the banana dessert, but countered that the white chocolate mousse cake was good.  Being a chocoholic myself, for just a split second, Jessica had just managed to leap to the number three woman in my life; right behind the Wife and Mom, respectively.

Uhhhh… I’d like to change my order, please?  White chocolate mousse cake, it is… on three plates (one of the guys copped out on dessert).

Now, the picture above is not a picture of the table’s piece of cake.  It’s a picture of MY cake.  The piece was huge, and it came out with two other, equally-large pieces.  I’m not sure if she just cut a big piece for us, and split it, or if she just took three pieces, but she took good care of her, despite her bureaucratic quandary.  The cake was as wonderful as the generosity, and her effort was duly noted by the table, and netted her a 30% tip.

As we walked out the door, doped up on chocolate.  I took a couple pictures of the front of the store, and realized I forgot my new pint Terrapin glass. I ran back in, and our waitress had it sitting aside, as the table was being bussed.

The food was good, the environment was great, but the service was exquisite.

Hudson Grille on Urbanspoon

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Just Around the Corner

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on November 20, 2009

As I was driving around downtown Atlanta, I saw this little hole in the wall in the Southwest corner of Centennial Park.  The moment I saw it, I thought, “I NEED to get down here and have lunch at some point.”  It looked like a little greasy spoon with lots of personality.

It had personality, but it wasn’t the diamond in the rough I was looking for; more like a lump of coal.

It was everything I dreamed it could be.  I walked in, and checked out the menu. It reminded me a bit of Primanti Bros., but not as branded.

There’s actually more to the menu, but the store is so narrow that this is all I could get into the shot!  It took me forever to decide if  I wanted a burger or cheesesteak.  After deliberating the pros and cons, as if I were deciding between renting or buying a home, I decided on the cheesesteak.   I also added a side of chili cheese fries.  My co-worker ordered a burger.

The fries were yumtastic, as one might expect for fresh fries with canned cheese and chili loaded on top, but the cheesesteak was awfully lackluster.  The meat was pretty dry.  I didn’t really find any cheese, and I think the “special sauce” was so lightly applied that I couldn’t really tell if the sauce was any good, or if the meat had been seasoned.

Just Around the Corner on Urbanspoon

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Stats of Atlanta

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on November 19, 2009

While in Atlanta, one of my co-workers, knowing I’m a beer guy, recommended a local sports bar to see while we were in town.  The restaurant is called Stats, and it’s known for providing beer taps at the tables for customers to pour their own beer.  I was sold.

We were trying to figure out when we were going to go, and he suggested going there on Sunday to catch some football games, but we all agreed that it would probably be so packed that we probably would have a hard time getting a seat, so we waited until Monday for lunch.  It was generally empty, but you could tell that it filled up in the evenings.

This was just one of the rooms, which included another large dining room, a sizable bar area, and a nice rooftop deck.   There were large banks of TVs, projectors, and even a flat screen available at our table.  This TV was right at our table, located on a boom right above our table.  A switch on the wall lowers the TV into place adjacent to the table, directly above the taps.

As promised, our table had beer taps on the table.  When we asked “so… how does this work?”, our friendly waitress, Courtney, told us that we pour what we want, and she charges us on a per-ounce-poured basis when we get the check.

They had a great lunch menu, and I had a hard time picking out my meal.  As our reader knows, we love mac and cheese, so it was a must for lunch, but the spicy grilled cheese with tomato bisque was just too much to pass up.  The mac and cheese was listed as a side, so I ordered both.



The grilled cheese was every bit as good as it looks, and the tomato bisque was excellent.  Actually, I was shocked at how good the food was.  I have generally found that when a place has a great, well-defined atmosphere, with moderately-priced food, you end up paying for the atmosphere, and the food quality suffers.  Not so at Stats.  The food exceeded all of my expectations.

The mac and cheese was exceptional, leading me to tell Courtney how I felt.  She conspiratorially confided in me that the staff calls it “crack and cheese”, and most of the staff find it to be one of their favorite items on the menu.  I could see why.  The cheese sauce was flavorful, but not too thick.  It’s clearly baked, and not just cooked on the stove.  To put it over the top for the Wife, the pasta is cavatapi.   It was outstanding.

To top off our afternoon, the waitress was top notch.  She was friendly and engaging, but not intrusive.  Thanks, Courtney!

Stats on Urbanspoon

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »