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‘Savvy on Atlanta’ Category

  1. My First Look: Victory Sandwich Shop Decatur

    February 22, 2013 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    On Saturday, I checked out Victory Sandwich Shop's new Decatur location with some friends (right next to Raging Burrito behind the Square — on Church Street).

    Over lunch, natural light poured into the joint (it's a long dining room, with a huge wall of windows). The sandwich shop's vibe is industrial, simple, cool and hip (think subway tile, grey grout, lots of galvanized metal). The staff is equally hip and cool (almost feeling like they were transplanted over from nearby Little Five). Despite the place being brand new and there being no shortage of great restaurants around, the place was popping with people.

    (Darnit, I wish I'd snapped a picture of the interior.)

    We didn't know how ordering worked, so it was nice to be greeted by a server who explained that you order at the counter for lunch (regular table service for dinner). We found a spot at the end of a long, community table and pondered over the menu. Thing was, this was somehow a Victory first experience for all three of us. As we checked out the menu, we chatted about how unbelievable it was that none of us ever hit up the popular Inman Park location (which we hear is set to close to make room for a new building… but I'm having a hard time confirming this news online).

    Womp womp. On to happier things… like how the place is revived… but in Decatur!

    The menu works like this: sandwiches are half-sizes ($4 for a half), so most people order two along with a side ($3.50 or $4). So that means the average diner's food portion of the bill would be $12. 

    After much deliberation, I decided on a half of the Hambo (prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, reduced balsamic), half of a Castro (essentially a Cuban… slow roasted pork, ham, pickle, fontina, yellow mustard) and a side salad (mixed lettuces, radish, apple, parmesan, walnuts and sherry vinaigrette). The Hambo was a good balance of sweet and savory (i'm a sucker for the prosciutto/apple/cheese combo). The Castro's ingredients came together well (who doesn't love a Cuban?) but I did find the pork to be a little dry. However, in a restaurant's first week, I'll give them a break — and overall the sandwich was still tasty. The salad was a great sized portion and reminded me of the Farm Burger "Market Salad," which I'm a big fan of. Sandwiches came with kettle chips (peppery, delicious ones).

    Greg and Travis, my fellow diners, were happy with their choices as well. Greg had two halves (so, in other words, "a whole?") of the Mile High Club (smoked turkey, ham, avocado, dijon mustard, fontina cheese) — with a side of potato salad. Mr. T had a whole Castro sandwich, also with a side of potato salad.

    Since I can't or shouldn't drink at the moment (see last post), I admired the brief but fun/varied beer and cocktail list. If I could have ordered a beer, I would have grabbed a La Chouffe. I spotted several IPAs and pale ales (Dale's Pale Ale, Bells Two Hearted) that I knew the husband would like when we returned together.

    Service was attentive, even more attentive than I'm used to for a counter service setup.

    On my way to the restroom, I saw they have a ping pong table tucked away back there. Random, but cool.

    I'll be back, or we'll be back*. I could see grabbing some lunch here or maybe coming for just a beer and a snack before mozying on to another nearby restaurant for dinner.

    Victory Sandwich Bar
    340 Church Street
    Decatur, GA 30030

    (Check out even more Victory Decatur info on their Facebook page.)

     

    *Update: I did go back, on Monday, with Dan. He had a half Hambo and half Mile High Club. He thought both were pretty good, but that the "winner" of his meal was his "Fancy Nuts" appetizer (warm, spiced, mixed nuts with manchego cheese and dark chocolate for $5). After a bowl of the market soup of the day (creamy leek with veggies — creamy but not too heavy… I think I tasted parsnips), I had a half Mile High Club and the Beet and Goat Cheese Salad – mmmmmm. Salad was the standout with lots of fresh, cubed beets in a tangy dressing. Dan reminded me that while this was good, the best panini-style sandwiches in a mile-plus radius are probably still those at Java Monkey (which also serves beer and wine!). See my previous post about Java Monkey and it's delicious $7.50 sandwiches (with a side!) here. He has a great point… I'm hungry just thinking about that Java Monkey "Bella Prosciutto" sandwich.

    Total Monday night Victory bill including Dan's two beers was $44.
     


  2. “Pop-up Restaurant:” Hudson North

    October 28, 2012 by SavvyInTheCity


    Last week I had the opportunity to attend a media preview Hudson North, a "pop up" restaurant in Atlantic Station (in the empty former The Grape space). Thank you, Jewel, for inviting me to go with you!

    Honestly the whole thing felt like an episode of Top Chef (specifically a "Restaurant Wars" episode)… but maybe that's because Eli Kirshtein (Season 6) was hanging out at the bar.

    The whole idea behind a pop up restaurant really isn't much unlike Top Chef Restaurant Wars: a chef takes over a blank slate space for a limited time (three months in this case) — using a small budget and a lot of creativity to create a crowd-pleasing menu and pleasant ambiance.

    Billy Streck (who I didn't know was of Cypress Street Pint & Plate until after I went home) is the man behind this operation. He very enthusiastically and excitedly showed us around the temporary joint, which he describes as a "Farm to Tavern" concept. His budget? Seven or eight Gs (plus the items already in the defunct Grape space). They spray painted compasses on the table tops and hung candle-lit mason jars from the ceiling for a whimsical and not-so-serious vibe. The restaurants pop up storyline is literally written on the windows outside, attempting to explain to passersby what the space is all about. Inside, the names of patrons so far are delicately written on an accent wall (another creative, personal and inexpensive decor idea). I would have thought the decor cost more than it did — kudos to the team.

    The food. You're probably wondering about the food.

    We ordered the Fritters (ricotta-parmesan, asparagus puree, pickled mushrooms) and the Figs (amber ale, bacon, almonds, chile powder, parsley) from the "Bar Snacks" portion of the menu (to share). The fritters were moist while maintaining a little fluffiness. The figs melted in my mouth without being overcooked. The amber ale used to deglaze the pan almost gave the dish a sherry flavor (which I liked). Both starters had some heat from chili powder, which was nice on a cool night.

    For the main, I ordered the Seared Tuna — and Jewel picked out the Scallops. My tuna was tender and just slightly seared. The green olives were a nice surprise along with clementines. I sometimes skip potatoes in a dish (I'd rather save myself for dessert) but I found myself cleaning this plate. I had a taste of Jewel's scallops, which were cooked just right and downright tasty alongside a hash of bacon, creamed corn, chiles, cilantro and red onions (I also tasted some fresh lime).

    For dessert, we "split" the Apple Pie (served in a mason jar with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream). I used split in quotation marks because I think I ate 80 percent. Whoops. Great ratio of crust to apples to gooey goodness to ice cream. I would order again — and maybe not attempt to share.

    Other items on on the menu that looked tasty but we didn't get to included: Braised Chicken Tacos, the North Burger, Scallop Crudo, Portobello Salad with Root Veggie Slaw, Pulled Pork and Braised Short Rib and Banana Pudding. (Billy and crew play with the menu, so you may not see all these same items when you come in.)

    We found our servers to be attentive but not overly so (note: the restaurant wasn't busy, but that isn't always a sign that you'll get good service.)

    What's next for Billy? We're not sure, but he did mention that he's trying to get a feel for whether or not there's an appetite for the concept (sorry for the bad pun). The space will turn over permanently to Shaun Doty (of Yeah! Burger fame) January 7 — rumored to be a chicken concept (hopefully he learns from Leroy's Fried Chicken's mistakes?). I will be curious to see what becomes of this pop up establishment (and others that Atlantic Station tries out). The pop up concept could have big rewards for chefs and restaurateurs who don't have big budgets and want to make a name for themselves in a time crunch — or they could go unnoticed in a sea of other great Atlanta dining options. Time will tell. For a defunct restaurant space's owner, pop up restaurants definitely seem like a risk worth exploring.

    But in the mean time, go check out Hudson North and let me know what you think! Hudson North did bring me to Atlantic Station for the first time in more than a year, so maybe others will be encouraged to visit an area that's widely chains/commercial.

    Check out some pictures of the space and the grub:







    Thanks again to Jewel over at Eat.Drink.Shop.Love for inviting me to attend this preview with her! Check her review and commentary here. We had a good time!

    Hudson North
    264 19th St NW
    Atlanta, GA 30363
    404-747-2297


  3. Godiva Glambassador Event

    October 12, 2012 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    Jewely from Eat.Drink.Shop.Love was kind enough to include me in the Glambassardor Event at Godiva Salon earlier this week. It's such a treat to have your hair professionally blown out, and an equally great treat to hang out with some fabulous other bloggers/ladies.

    Image care of Eat.Drink.Shop.Love. (If you're curious, that's a Goodwill/thrifted dress ($5 – still had the Macy's tags on it!), a purple/gold Ann Klein watch via eBay ($39) and my new GlassesUSA glasses I still can't seem to take off!)

    Read more about the event over at the fantastic Eat.Drink.Shop.Love blog.


  4. HD1 Mini Review – Haute Dog!

    October 10, 2012 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    Checked out Richard Blais' HD1 ("Haute Doggery!") restaurant last night with two friends. Really enjoyed it. We each ordered a hot dog — then split two sides and one dessert.

    Here's a bite-sized and stream of consciousness review for y'all about our experience:

    Not crowded (easy to grab a table on this Tuesday night)
    Not as pretentious as sister restaurant Flip Burger
    Affordable (not counting adult beverages, meal/dessert was under $13 including tip/tax)
    Tasty
    Just the right amount of food
    Smart beer selection/cocktail offering
    Got my waffle fry fix (I've been kind of avoiding a certain fried chicken sandwich chain for the past bit…)
    Attentive wait staff
    Insane soft serve ice cream (current offerings: roasted fig and bourbon and brown sugar)
    Gluten-free bun options
    All-beef hotdog option if you're not a pork eater
    Husband would have been impressed with my "East Bound and Down" dog (quality weiner topped with pulled pork, slaw and honey mustard) paying homage to a show he loves…
    Casual but not order-at-the-counter casual

     

    In the words of the Ah-nold, "I'll be back…"

    East Bound and Down dog.

    L to R: Waffle Fries with "Maple-oy" Sauce (description doesn't do this sweet and sour, slightly spicy, maple-y mess of sauce justice. Mmmm); Plain HD fries with ketchup.

    HD1
    664 North Highland Ave, Atlanta, GA 30306
    (Poncey-Highland Neighborhood)
    (404) 815-1127

    Menu here

     

     


  5. Atlanta Style Bloggers Event: Free People

    June 30, 2012 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    The ladies over at Atlanta Style Bloggers (ASB) have been kind enough to have me on their blogroll for the past year or so.

    As if that wasn't great enough, now I get invited to neat ASB events! Tonight was a blogger event at Free People (White Provision) — over near Ormsby's and Bacchanalia on the West Side (Atlanta).

    The gals and the store hooked us up with pretty solid discounts at Free People (25% sale items, and 10% off our entire purchase) as well as tasty bevs, snacks (including some from JCT kitchen!), fingernail polish changes, gift certificate and more. I made a beeline for the complimentary chair massage from Spa Sentio (just upstairs in White Provision – FYI looks like they may be a decent spot for services other than manis/pedis). Days were busy this week in my "real job" (which is not blogging), so the shoulder rub was more than welcomed.


    The complimentary beer from Mirosa was legit tasty. The purveyors positioned it as, "like a Sprite, but mixed with beer." He was kind of right. Mirosa Lemon reminded me of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. It was refreshing, light and lemon-y without being overlight sweet. I didn't taste it, but I'm told the Mirosa lager is not unlike Heineken. Probably most fascinating is the beverage company's "Economic Stimulus Opportunity" promo. Allegedly if you buy a six-pack of Mirosa, which is available at Metro Atlanta Publix and Kroger stores, and e-mail a picture of the receipt (along with your name, mailing address and phone number) to MirosaBeerPromo@gmail.com, you'll get a share of Mirosa stock.


    Free People has cute stuff (a high-end Bohemian/hippie vibe), but over conversations with fellow bloggers about my blazer ($5 at Goodwill), I was reminded that most of the shop's goods were out my usual price range. What can I say? I'm a thrifty gal! (Though I must say FP had a wide range of goodies, with items like bracelets sometimes going for $15 or tops for $30, all the way up to dresses for $139 or handbags for $200. I do hear they have some pretty good sales as well).


    BUT I talked myself into these fun print, high-waisted, cropped pants ($49 on sale) and bright orange/coral tank ($19 on sale). Altogether my goodies were $56 once discounts came into play. I'm excited about the funky pants (I plan to wear them with a grey or white tank and a khaki blazer — and blue wedes) but I can already hear my husband saying, "are you sure those aren't pajama pants?" (See exhibit A below. Necklace is mine: picked up for maybe $8 at trashy ole Dots — they have good accessories, y'all!)

    And I got to meet a few other Atl blogger chicks!

    Miss Foodie Fash (L) is new to the blogging scene! Check out Dee Dee's blog here.

    This is Holly (R) from My Scuttle, who in her most recent post is wearing the same orange tank I bought! Holly's blog shows off her cute, sometimes edgy, feminine and deal-savvy style. I would describe her look as a more polished Betsey Johnson vibe (a little rock and roll, a little bohemian). Cute!
     

    These are some of the fabulous ladies behind ASB and the Free People event. (L-R) Diamonde, Mattie (of Mattieologie) and Kristen (of Lily Kai Vintage).