Atlanta Journal and Constitution Mention

When Foodies was in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution!

(Mentioned in list towards the bottom. A screenshot of our Bacchanalia review accompanied the original article)!


Reviews and reaction stir the pot
Published on: 03/01/07

Readers of the Feb. 21 Dining In/Dining Out section of The New York Times got an extra something to read a full-page ad in which restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow took the Times' lead restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, to task in an excoriating 1,100-word letter to the food editor.

The back story, briefly, goes like this:

Chodorow is best known as the financier behind the short-lived Rocco's on 22nd, the opening of which was documented on the NBC reality TV show "The Restaurant." But he also runs a couple dozen big, splashy restaurants from L.A. to London.

His latest baby is Kobe Club, a Midtown Manhattan draw for wealthy beef fetishists who would consider paying $190 for a tasting of wagyu beef raised on three different continents. Bruni gave Kobe Club a majorly harsh zero-star review — he complained of "insipid or insulting dishes" and compared the decor to a "torture chamber" — and Chodorow hit the proverbial roof.

Chodorow's assertion that Bruni lacks the "food background" and thus the credentials to review restaurants is what got everyone talking. But the part I found most fascinating is where Chodorow announces — catch this — a blog (http
www.chinagrillmgt.com/blog in which he promises to follow food critics in their steps.

Chodorow writes that his blog will contain "a special section entitled Following Frank [Bruni] and After Adam [Platt, critic for New York Magazine], in which I will make a follow-up visit to restaurants they write about for the purpose of reviewing their reviews."

Love it.

I've never met a restaurant critic with a hidden agenda or a closet full of axes to grind. But I imagine they exist, and anything that exposes them is good.

Rather, most critics see their reviews as salvos launched into a public debate and strive to be accurate with fact and honest with opinion. No more, no less. If Chodorow really has the time, the energy and the stomach to parse two restaurant reviews a week, his efforts will only deepen the meaning of the review.

Chodorow will also find that his is one of many voices. Nowadays, when general-circulation publications come out with restaurant reviews, blogs and message boards everywhere light up. The review itself becomes a list of talking points around which conventional wisdom collects.

Alternate reviews have also started to proliferate on personal blogs. Some are dashed-off paragraphs; others thoughtful, graded looks at the food, decor and service at a particular restaurant. Many begin with the phrase, "After reading about ..."

In Atlanta, there is no shortage of people who follow restaurants and want to get their opinions heard. Often, these opinions are expressed pointedly in response to reviews written by the city's troika of food opinion: Meridith Ford here at the AJC, Besha Rodell at Creative Loafing and Christiane Lauterbach at Atlanta Magazine.

Here's a sampling:

http://www.atlantacuisine.com/: Far and away the most active local site, this board features reviews, coupons and a lively discussion board where local print reviews are often parsed as a jumping-off point for a thorough, often intelligent, sometimes mean-spirited back-and-forth. Reading the posts reminds me of crashing a cocktail party where everyone knows everybody else, has had a couple of drinks and talks loudly. The site has spawned a fun free paper, published monthly, called Atlanta Cuisine.

www.accessatlanta.com/restaurants/content/restaurants/talk.html: This is AJC's board, where people can post their restaurant experiences.

http://www.atlantafoodies.blogspot.com/: Formatted reviews (i.e., questions with answers) of both upscale and casual restaurants. The writer identifies herself as a native Atlantan and dyed-in-the-wool foodie.

http://www.blissfulglutton.blogspot.com/: Nice diary of the writer's food amblings, with plenty of photos and terse reviews that don't stint on opinion. Lots of appealing ethnic finds. The writer identifies herself as a former chef.

http://www.chowdownatlanta.com/: A new site that promises to offer a good mix of cooking, dining, carryout and deli-case dinner ideas. The writer is a woman who abhors leftovers.

http://www.atlantaeats.blogspot.com/: An opinionated, guy's-guy food blog written by a writer who calls himself "Steakhead," won't eat foie gras and lists "Animal House" among his favorite movies.

http://www.runningwithtweezers.typepad.com/: This is a local cooking rather than restaurant blog, so it doesn't quite fit with the others. But I include it because it's the best written, warmest of spirit and most visually appealing of the bunch. If this writer (a professional stylist) turns to restaurant reviews I, for one, would be tempted to follow her advice.


Mezcalito's Cantina

Mezcalito's Cantina

(404) 687-0007
653 E. Lake Dr.
Decatur, GA 30030

Becca and Kristy went to Mezcalito's on Saturday, April 21st, for lunch during the Earth Day Festival.

What did you order? How was your food?

We ordered the same thing - Mojitos and Green Salads with pumpkin seeds, roasted tomatoes and cheese with lime vinaigrette. I added steak, and Kristy added chicken.

Mezcalito's Green Salad is a generous portion with plenty of meat if you request it to be added. The dressing and ingredients are delicious and fresh-tasting.

The mojitos were tasty and strong - just enough mint flavor.

Describe your impressions of the service.

The server was a very pleasant woman who came right over to our outdoor table. Another server engaged us in conversation and made us feel welcome as well.

Also, the owner of the establishment, Vladimir, was friendly and down-to-earth. He spoke to us and other guests, making sure we were enjoying ourselves.

What do you think of the decor and atmosphere?

We ate outside. Our mosaic-topped table had a great view of Oakhurst Square, where there was live music for Earth Day. The interior of the restaurant was beautifully-decorated.

The bathroom was hand-painted with a humorous blessing in Spanish. (I saw the word "borracha" which means drunk anyway). Gorgeous framed pictures and Mexican-style decorations adorned the walls of the establishment.

Was this restaurant a good value?

Yes, but if you can't spend much, watch your specialty beverage consumption (aren't all restaurants like that, though)?

We ended up spending $77 for two, but that was only because we drank and talked for a couple of hours. If we had only had the salads with the pitcher of mojitos, we would have escaped after forking over about $54. (A pitcher of mojitos costs $24). Still, it was worth it! We had a GREAT TIME!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this restaurant compared to the other restaurants you visit on a regular basis?

10 for Mexican restaurants and for salads

This restaurant is best for?

Good food, Quick bite, Family-friendly, Outdoor

Mezcalito's Cantina on Urbanspoon


Review of Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under

Grant Park Location
415 Memorial Drive SE, Ste. E
Atlanta, GA 30312

Scott went to Six Feet Under for dinner on April 12th, 2007 with one companion.

What did you order? How was your food?

We shared a Six Feet Under Steamer Platter. The Platter includes steamed oysters, peel 'n' eat shrimp, snow crab legs, New Zealand Green Lipped mussels, steamed clams, andouille sausage, corn on the cob & new potatoes. It serves two to four people. Price is only 31.59. We also ordered a dozen raw oysters and a side of hush puppies.

Describe your impressions of the service.

Great service.

What do you think of the decor and atmosphere?

Old bar feel - warm atmosphere - very casual.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this restaurant compared to the other restaurants you visit on a regular basis?


This restaurant is best for?

Good food, Quick bite, Family-friendly, Outdoor (rooftop dining), Romantic, and Special Occasion.

Six Feet Under on Urbanspoon


Review of The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory
Perimeter Location
4400 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., Ste. 3005
(Attached to Perimeter Mall -
facing Ashford-Dunwoody Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30346-1513
(678) 320-0201
Valet service available.

Monday - Thursday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am - 12:30 am
Sunday: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm

Becca visited The Cheesecake Factory – Perimeter location for dinner on April 6th, 2007 with her mother, Pattie.

What did you order? How was your food?

I ordered a Singapore Sling cocktail from the “Classics” selections. The menu says, “From the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. An Authentic Blend of Bombay Gin, Cherry Liqueur, Lime and Grapefruit.” This turned out to be a bad choice to accompany my meal. My mom, Pattie, ordered a Bikini Martini - “Malibu and Cruzan Pineapple Rums with Pineapple Juice. Delicious!” She liked it, and my small sip of it confirmed that the Bikini Martini is indeed delicious.

My entrée was the Kobe Burger, “American Kobe Beef with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions on a Toasted Brioche Bun. Served with Fries,” and my mom’s was the California Omelette, which contains avocados, sautéed mushrooms, green onion, tomato, sour cream, a bit of garlic and shallots, and jack, cheddar, and swiss cheese. For dessert, we shared a slice of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, described as “Layers of Flourless Godiva Chocolate Cake, Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse.”

Everything we ordered was good, especially the delicious cheesecake. What else would you expect from an establishment called “The Cheesecake Factory?” However, there were two items we would not order again – the Singapore Sling was fun because it is a vintage drink, but it was much too sweet to compliment my burger. It resembled cough syrup. Also, my mother did not enjoy the home fries that came with her omelet. She thought they had a bland flavor.

The Kobe Burger was very good and cooked to a perfect medium, but it was not as flavorful as my very favorite burgers, and I was surprised that the Kobe beef was not noticeably different than ordinary beef. Even though I enjoyed it, I would try a different entrée next time to experiment. I think that my mother would be happy to eat the California Omelette again, though, because she loved it. (Anything with avocados is scrumptious, right?). But again, the best thing about our dinner was… CHEESECAKE! I want to try them all!

Describe your impressions of the service. Was anything exceptionally good (or bad) about the quality of service you received?

Service was wonderful, especially for Friday dinner when the restaurant was crowded. There were three hosts at the entrance, each with their own computer, and we were seated immediately. Our server was a pleasant young woman who never left us alone for too long, and other servers assisted in bringing extra condiments and joked with us. When we left, another server and a manager said goodbye to us. The great service made us feel at home, and one especially friendly male server was hilarious.

What do you think of the décor and atmosphere?

The Cheesecake Factory is a family-friendly restaurant, but it’s more upscale than Ruby Tuesday or Chili’s - perhaps a half-step up from Outback, Copeland's or Carrabba's. It definitely has a themed, Disney, theatrical feel inside. The décor is dominated by massive obelisks and Egyptian sculptures. Everything is a warm cream color resembling cheesecake, with hand-painted accents on the King Tut busts and papyrus leaves. In addition, the bar is topped with a metal, whimsical awning in coppery colors, and the windows and glass partitions throughout the restaurant are decorated with etched swans and elegant designs.

The music has a modern R&B feel. Selections included Michael McDonald and an R&B cover of Don Henley’s “The Heart of the Matter.” We were seated in a small booth. It’s casual, but if you dress up you will not feel out of place. The crowning feature is the bakery at the entrance where cheesecakes and other delights are sold. Overall, the atmosphere is pleasant and fun. It's not very romantic because of the volume of the crowd and the lack of intimate atmosphere, but it's perfect for families or groups of friends. There is also an outdoor patio where a group of diners were braving the frigid, hurricane-like winds.

Do you consider this a good value for the money you spent? If no, why not?

Yes. We ended up spending about $50 without tip for dinner for two with dessert, including cocktails. That’s a fair price, especially with the excellent service and the strong cocktails.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best), how would you rate this restaurant compared to the other restaurants you visit on a regular basis.


This restaurant is best for (Choose all that apply)

• Good food
• Quick bite
• Family-friendly
• Outdoor

Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon


Review of Quattro

1071 Piedmont Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30309
(Located at the 12th St.
entrance to Piedmont Park).


Scott visited Quattro for dinner on 3/22/2007 with a friend.
The Quattro website says that the menu "features a selection of Neapolitan-Style pizzas, mouth-watering paninis, fresh salads, and out-of-this-world gelato."

What did you order? How was your food?

Both of us had Mediterranean salads and split a BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Describe your impressions of the service. Was anything exceptionally good (or bad) about the quality of service you received?

Service was good.

What do you think of the decor and atmosphere?

It was a great night to sit outside, and Quattro's patio is great, with huge flowerpots integrated into the fencing. Very nice touch!

Do you consider this a good value for the money you spent? If no, why not?

Yes. It is an excellent value for a casual dining experience.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best), how would you rate this restaurant compared to the other restaurants you visit on a regular basis.


This restaurant is best for (Choose all that apply)

• Good food
• Quick bite
• Outdoor

Summarize your experience.

I will definitely go back... actually, I have already been back. I was there for lunch three days later, and had another Mediterranean salad, this time with dressing on the side.

Quattro on Urbanspoon