Friday, August 31, 2007

Southern Fried

Last night was Midtown Restaurant Week visit #2 at South City Kitchen. I was very much looking forward to this stop on my restaurant week tour, simply because I've become enthralled with the concept of Southern food since our move to Atlanta. SCK is supposed to be some of the best in the city, so this visit was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, my three-restaurant plan for the week was foiled; we had wanted to do Re'past on Sunday night to begin the week. But alas, Esquire's Best New Restaurant 2006 is closed on Sunday. I suppose some must have a day of rest, much to my dismay. Hence, I had to settle for two restaurants for the week: the previously reviewed Ecco and of course, SCK. We've had quite a few summer thunderstorms this week in Atlanta, the latest of which delayed our arrival to South City Kitchen on Thursday night. As a newbie to this city, I know to expect a little traffic here and there. With that being said, I don't think Atlantans like to drive in the rain, because it took me 35 minutes to get from my office at 25th and Peachtree to the restaurant at 12th and Crescent, one block off P'tree. Ooooooh-k. Deep breath, no road rage. Martinis and vino straight ahead. For the most part, I have learned to live my life completely ITP, only going OTP between the hours of 10a-4p when traffic is relatively light. Really, I see very few reasons to go OTP except for the occasional work appointment. Although I have not lived here long, I will take this opportunity to congratulate myself on living ITP. Good choice. Yay Me! If I had to drive 60+ minutes to get to work in exchange for living a mere 12 miles from the city, I think my hair follicles would despise me for the havoc I would reak on my head from ripping mah hair out. But I digress. Back to the restaurant review. We had a large party, 10 of us from the office. Serving a large party can be difficult sometimes. Servers work hard for their money, and I believe time is money. (Read: listen up when they talk. Respect. They have valuable information regarding the money you're about to drop.) Our server was particularly charming and didn't seem to mind that we were 30 minutes late for our res due to the rain. He was very menu savvy, and indicated that he had been through extensive training so that he had a thorough understanding of the menu as well as the wine list... definitely a plus in my book. The restaurant week selections were tempting, but in the end I decided to go with a few of the reliable menu standbys. We all enjoyed the cornbread and biscuits to start... of which I preferred the biscuits, but would have appreciated a bit o' honey to accompany. The cornbread was disappointing -- a bit dry and not sweet enough for my tastes. My salad was fantastique... juicy summer tomatoes accompanied by pickled vidalias (so sweet!), cornbread croutons and cucumber green goddess dressing. It was delish - the nearly perfect summer combo. My only complaint was the salad was advertised with bleu cheese and came with goat instead. I'm not a huge goat cheese fan... I think it tastes a little dirty-socky. I know, I'm weird. It's one of the only foodie foods I don't like. However, the salad still gets a rave review from moi. Now on to my entree... the buttermilk fried chicken. I have a fried chicken obsession: I love it so. The best I've ever had was at a now-defunct gay bar in KC, Opal's Kitchen. We went there before the Elton John concert, how perfect! It was wonderfully juicy with the most flavorful coating: herbs, crushed cornflakes, and the rest of the goodies that go in to frying a perfectly beautiful chicken breast/leg/thigh. I was sooo excited to try SCK's because I've heard it is some of the best in ATL. I will say, the presentation was gorge. (I like to abreve.) Perfectly crisp, resting on a bed of tender green beans and mashed potatoes. One of my pet peeves is a dry breast, and SCK's was very flavorful and juicy. Not dry at all. Cooking white meat is an art... turkey or chicken. Don't dry it out people. It just ain't good that way. Anyway, the coating was quite crisp and flavorful, and the meat succulent. The accompaniments did not disappoint. However, it just wasn't Opal's Elton John chicken. It was missing that extra something... that perk that comes from a gorgeous bag, a fabulous pair of shoes, or the most ginormous pair of sunglasses you could ever find. The search continues. I will say though, I will return to South City Kitchen. The restaurant has been open for 13 years, and for good reason. The interior is simply charming as it is in a refurbished midtown house complete with subway-tiled fireplace. The dining room is clean, fresh and simple...yet surprisingly cozy. The flower arrangements are breathtaking. I'd definitely like to try the sauteed shrimp and scallops over creamy stone ground grits as well as the crab hash. Until we meet again...

4 Say It Loud & Proud:

Jessica said...

I mean honestly, you've got me drooling over fried chicken, and I don't even like the stuff...are you sure you haven't missed your calling as a restaurant review? hmmmm...
good news is (drumroll please)...I just got your album today! O my, it's beautiful. Can you email me your current address so I can ship it your way??

Leslie's Cooking Adventures said...

I love your new blog!
And now I want fried chicken dammit! Only thing is Popeyes is the closest thing to me...bleh.

atlanta social said...

Hope you get to go to Repast. It is soooo good.

And eventually, there is never a reason to go OTP if you can help it.

Mrs. STL Sarah said...

Wait a second. Elton John is GAY?!

Should I be concerned that my husband just bought an Elton John box set?