by jonny mack - 8 Reviews - 3 List
When I started working on this list I wanted to put together a `best dishes in Atlanta? list. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that a best dishes list would only be a snap shot in time as a lot of menus are constantly changing and evolving depending on the season and the chef's creativity. So instead I've put together a list of regularly and always available menu items that simply rock and which I encourage you to get out there and try.
Updated: January 31, 2010
The truffle fries at JCT Kitchen ? damn are these things good! Anybody who knows me knows that I?m addicted to and bordering on in love with these fries. I tweet about `em, post on facebook about `em and am now putting them on my `5 to try list? so what is it about these fries that makes them so gosh darn good? Well, lets just think about it: there's a perfectly cooked fry (moist on the inside & nice and crunchy on the outside) which by itself is a thing of beauty, I mean who doesn't love fries?!?! Then mix that perfect fry with what I think is one of the nectars of the gods: truffle oil and holy cow you have got something that is just spectacular! Trust me if you haven't had `em, get your butt over to JCT and order a bowl of truffle fries; you won't be disappointed. And lastly, no dipping these fries please.
The beef short rib at Fox Bros. ? all right, I?m born and raised in North Carolina and thus consider myself as having at minimum an educated opinion on barbecue. Now, I'll admit that my expertise is more in the pork genre, as that's what I grew up on, but I've eaten enough bbq in my day to feel that I can judge when its good and done right, even if it is beef. So that brings us to the beef short rib at Fox Bros. Hands down this is THE BEST bbq item in Atlanta. It's a massive piece of meat that is slow smoked for 12-14 hours and served on the bone? almost looking like something Fred Flintstone would eat. It comes out with a really nice dark bark on the outside and smelling like it has indeed spent the long hours in the smoker? the smell alone is just infectious. Then you tear into it and are immediately in love with what you're eating. There's the nice texture of the bark, followed by extremely tender meat that has this awesome, awesome smoke flavor running through it and then just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you get to finish off the bite with a little bit of the fat. It is one delicious bite from start to finish and it is truly barbecue heaven. Now make note folks, this thing is so special that it's only available on Thursdays & Saturdays, so plan ahead.
The adobe chicken burrito at Willy's ? Willy's is another one of my shameless addictions and something I've been known to eat on a regular basis. It's simplistic and very straightforward, but Willy's abode chicken burrito is indeed a must try food in Atlanta. The chicken is marinated in a blend of spices that give it the perfect mix of heat, sweet and smoke. Its then grilled to perfection and served anyway you like it from the array of other ingredients Willy's offers. Yeah, I know its just a burrito, but believe me, Willy's adobe chicken burrito is in a league of its own.
The deviled eggs at Holman & Finch ? yeah, I know what you're thinking? deviled eggs at Holman & Finch? Come on now Jonny Mack, the thing to try there is the burger! Now, while I agree the burger at Holman and Finch is excellent and you should definitely try it if you haven't, its time some of their other menu items get the pub they deserve. So you should know that if deviled eggs are ever on a menu, I?m gonna order them. I love them and enjoy the different spins chefs can put on an old southern staple. H&F serves theirs as a set of 3. You get one each of sunchoke, siracha and lastly bacon. Now all three are good in their own right, but the one I want to focus on is the bacon one as it is my favorite deviled egg in town. And word to the wise: if you ask nicely your server just may let you have an order with all bacon. This deviled egg brings all the elements of what a perfect deviled egg should be. An egg that is perfectly cooked and tender, a lusciously creamy and smooth yolk, and then there's the smoky, fatty, porky goodness of the bacon that's mixed in with that yummy yolk. It is truly how bacon and eggs should be done! So while you're waiting on the burgers to be released, nosh on the deviled eggs. Cause I?m telling you, the next time you go back, you might just go for the eggs instead of the burger.
The thin & raw beef sirloin at Rathbun's - Now lets be honest, everything at Rathbun's rocks, so finding one item there to specifically highlight is a challenge; but I?d be totally remiss if I didn't include at least one thing from Rathbun's on this list. So I?m going with their version of beef carpaccio. As carpaccio is raw, a restaurant is truly forced to come up with an interesting and flavorful accompaniment to what would otherwise be a rather bland and boring dish. And trust me kids, Rathbun's succeeds at this. They serve theirs with smoked salt & a truffle mustard aioli. I've thought of how to describe the flavor of this dish and the first two words that came to mind were: awesome & delicious. There's this wonderfully thin sliced and incredibly flavorful meat which is seasoned perfectly with the aforementioned smoked salt. And two things I love are smoked foods and salt, so smoke some salt and I?m all in. Then with each bite you get some of the truffle mustard aioli. Its this creamy, slightly piquant accompaniment that has a wonderful undercurrent of truffle flavor running through it and it goes absolutely perfectly with the beef. Again, I?m almost lost in terms of describing the flavor other than to say it is awesome and delicious.