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Page history last edited by Mark P 15 years, 4 months ago

Background on Atlanta Restaurants

As part of my trip to Atlanta, I did much research on Chowhound, Yahoo travel, and numerous guide books for recommendations on good restaurants nearby. I knew I wanted to eat at places serving food I couldn't get back home. That meant I was going to avoid sophisticated restaurants serving contemporary food -those are pretty much the same everywhere-. That also meant I'd avoid most cuisines from particular countries like Mexico, Thailand, India, Japan, etc. -- I couldn't imagine Atlanta having better renditions of those cuisines than I can find in the bay area. (My research, although it pointed out good restaurants of each of those types, generally seemed to support this conclusion.) Thus, Southern cooking was the main style of food left on my list. Thus, I was seeking comfort/soul food like fried chicken and barbecue.


I occasionally found myself violating my policies by heading to some non-Southern restaurants, mostly because I can get sick of eating fried food.


Context for this Particular Restaurant

There are only a few restaurants often cited as doing traditional Southern fare well. (One guide book I have complains that Southern food is becoming harder and harder to find in Atlanta.) As Southern food was a priority, we decided to hit it on this evening of our first full day in town. Of these few recommended restaurants, I selected Colonnade simply because it was close to where we happened to be at the moment.


Colonnade Restaurant Review

Colonnade also provided us good, fried food and decent sides. It was our first experience dining at a so called "meat plus three," meaning you choose three sides along with your entree.


We began with warm rolls. I liked them; they were exactly as they should be: light.

The rolls came with pads of butter. Know what else came with butter? Saltines. How odd.


Breaded Cajun fried catfish served as one entree. It was very tender and quite tasty and accompanied by creamy tartar sauce and cocktail sauce, both of which seemed homemade.


Along with the catfish, we had stewed corn, which Di Yin called "fantastic" but I said was merely good, nothing special.


We also had paste-y black-eyed peas; they didn't appeal to us at all.


For our other entree, we had Southern fried chicken. It was good. Not oily. I liked the batter. The white meat was a little dry.  The dark meat is more oily. The batter is better than Nellie's in Oakland, but the meat isn't as good. Di Yin thinks Nellie's brines their chicken.


With this entree, we selected collard greens. Di Yin says the vinegar mixed with them made a big difference.


We also ordered a (Bartlett) pear with cheese. I was expecting a high-class dish: a thinly sliced fresh pear accompanied by a cheeses worthy of a cheese plate. Instead, we got a pear from a can and a pile of tasteless shredded American cheese. And a little bowl of mayonnaise, presumably from a jar. What a funky dish. (No, it didn't work.)


Nearly everyone in the restaurant was over forty.


Di Yin observed that two men appeared quite friendly and familiar with each other and deduced they must be gay. I trust her gay-dar. I found it a bit surprising to notice something like that in Atlanta -it being the South-, but Di Yin's hypothesis is supported by some reviews in guide books which comment that Colonnade is a gay-friendly place.


The decor was fairly standard for a decent restaurant: booths and tables, lots of wood. The exterior isn't remarkable.


The total was around $30 for the two of us, including tax and tip.

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