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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

I went to Mezza, a Lebanese restaurant, mainly because a friend of mine from Atlanta (who is Lebanese) told me that's where he brings guests.



Mezza Restaurant Review

Mezza served me decent but not very appealing small plates of Lebanese food.


Soon after I sat down, they delivered a basket of thin, fairly tasteless pita bread and an dip that, although it looked much more interesting, was really mostly olive oil.


The first and best dish to arrive was al raee, basically mashed eggplant topped with onions and tomatoes. It was good: cool and lively.


I also had some kibbi balls. Basically these are meatballs with a thin shell. The meat inside was juicy but still felt overcooked and the dish didn't appeal to me much. The tahini sauce that came with it, however, was good.


Here's a close-up a kibbi ball to show the contrast between the texture of the thin shell and the meaty insides.


To complete my meal, I had some shwarma. The dish of briskety beef and nutty rice didn't appeal to me much either.


For dessert, I had rice pudding with "rose water, miski (gum arabica), and apricot jam." It didn't feel like a traditional rice pudding, but I must acknowledge that so many different cultures have their version of rice pudding, I'm not sure what I mean by traditional. Still, this was a solid rendition. The apricot jam was nice and went well. But by far the best component was smoky spice given by the green flecks on top of the pudding. I asked and discovered these were ground pistachios.


With dinner, I had a glass of Lebanese wine: Chateau Kefraya La Dame Blanche. It was a fairly dry wine, a bit acidic.


Mezza is located in a nondescript strip mall in a nicely forested part of town.


The total was $37 including tax and tip and the $6.50 glass of wine.

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