My friend, we will call him “Food Guy,” loves food. He loves it in a spiritual, ecstatic way. Great restaurants are his church. He wants to experience all the exceptional foods Atlanta has to offer, trying everything from hole-in-the-wall burger joints to the fancy foodie Buckhead bistros.
His girlfriend is a vegetarian, and six days a week so is he. On either Saturday or Sunday of each week he has what he calls an “invisible” day. It is invisible in that his girlfriend does not see him eat meat. Of course she knows he does it, but she doesn’t go with him on these food adventures. He can’t go to a restaurant alone of course — he would look a bit crazy ordering all the things he wants to try, which is how I got the job of food buddy. I go with him, as an extra body across the table, a blow up doll so you can use the carpool lane. I don’t order my own food; sometimes I don’t even look at the menu. I am just there to try all the foods he buys.
This works well for me, because as a struggling writer I don’t have the funds to go to all these places on my own. As such, I realized I might as well write about all the places we go. That makes it more like a real job.
Sunday we went to “American Foods and Beverage” at 250 Buckhead Ave. First of all, I want to talk about the name. Ok, it is descriptive, kudos. They are a place that provides American foods and beverages. So do half of the restaurants in Atlanta. I feel like they should have tried a bit harder with the name. This is the second location of this restaurant, the original being in Fort Worth, Texas. Maybe the name is cute there with all the Mexican and Tex-Mex places, I don’t know. However, it is not a cute name here.
The location is overly fancy. When Food Guy said we were going to a place with house-cured bacon and sandwiches I had an image in my mind. This was not it. I felt underdressed. I felt really underdressed when the server informed us that they had “complimentary water service, flat or sparkling,” like that was a big deal. I have Atlanta tap water at my house and a SodaStream – you are not doing me any favors here. This is not the first place I have been to that has done this, but they were the most proud of it. Dear restaurant owners, pointing out complimentary water is dumb, please stop. If someone is so wealthy that they are eating in Buckhead then odds are if you charged something for water they might not even notice. But telling them “Ohh, free water” seems to imply that this should make a difference. If the cost of water was the financial tipping point of eating there, then a person could go someplace else, like maybe Waffle House, which by the way has a complimentary water service and cherry syrup for their Coke.
We only had one beverage. Food Guy’s friend, L, got the Bloody Maria. It’s a bloody Mary except with tequila instead of vodka. I am not a fan of Bloody Marys in general, but this was pretty good. I would share one, but not want one of my own.
Time to tell you about the food. My friend ordered for both him and me. L ordered as well. Between us we had:
- House made bacon BLT: Thick cut, in-house smoked and cured bacon, with a runny egg, lettuce and tomato. This was good. The bacon was a little thick for my tastes, but Food Guy and L loved it. I think the egg was a nice addition. I would eat this again. This came with fries, which were average thick-cut fries. The bacon is their “thing,” the reason we were there in the first place. I was not disappointed.
- Corned Short Rib Reuben: This sandwich wins. Corned short rib has all the delicious flavor of corned beef, but it is so much better. Corned beef is often chewy and fatty, but short rib is a much better cut. It was perfectly cooked with perfect texture. Also instead of sauerkraut they used shredded braised Brussels sprouts, and the sauce was very good. I could eat this sandwich every day. It was served with fresh made potato chips, which were meh. Not enough salt for me and a little too greasy.
- Scotch eggs: The gimmick here was they were made with chorizo instead of sausage. The great thing about them was they were nicely soft-boiled. Other than that, they were just like you would expect scotch eggs to be, but a little spicier. Not bad, but not special.
- Steak tartar: Not the best I have ever had (I say all fucking fancy, like this is not the third time I have had it in my life), but not bad. The meat was not great enough to be the star of the show, and the other players were boring. Better beef and less presentation would be good.
- Fried chicken, with rosemary biscuits: Sorry guys, you are seriously going to have to up your game on this one. You are in Georgia; we know what good fried chicken tastes like. This was not it. It was OK, I ate it. But I wouldn’t take it to a family reunion, if you know what I’m saying. I would feel ashamed taking this fried chicken to your house after your grandma died. The portion was too small to make it at all worth the price. The biscuits and apple butter were very good, however, perhaps they can be ordered by themselves.
- A side of the special bacon: This was thinner cut and longer-cooked than that in the sandwich. It was my kind of bacon. I have nothing bad to say about this bacon. Good job, person who made the bacon.
- Devil’s Food Cake: Good cake, maybe better than average, but not the best. Then again my mother was an award-winning southern baker, so maybe I just can’t be impressed by a slice of cake. The ice cream that came with it was quite good.
The deal that gets me wonderful free food is that Food Guy orders it all. Had I been ordering myself, I would have tried the rigatoni with cheddar or ricotta pancakes, or was it French toast? I would check the menu, but it seems that they must have spent too much money on the location and fanciness, because the only website I can find is for the location in Texas. But here is their Facebook page:
Speaking of fancy, all the food was a little on the messy, drippy, or greasy side, which is great, but fuck you for making me feel underdressedwith your fancy tables, water service and Buckheadness. If I had dressed up I might have ruined some nice clothes. I guess rich people can just get their clothes all greasy and go buy more clothes. Average people like me don’t do that. They should either make an effort to be a bit more casual or a bit less moist.
I would eat here again and try other things if Food Guy or anyone else was paying. I would only pay my own money for the Short Rib Reuben or a side of biscuits and crispy bacon.