ATL Eatin’ Round-up: Muss & Turner / Yakitori Jinbei / Sake / China Delight

January 19, 2009 · 0 comments

in atlanta, dining out

My family was in town for the 2009 Hardscapes North America show at the Cobb Galleria. The advancements in brick and block over the last few years are quite riveting.

Their being here for the weekend of course meant that we were in for some good food. Whenever in town my parents often try to eat at places that are different than what Greenville, SC has to offer. While Greenville has some great dining destinations, ATL definitely has a leg-up, particularly in the ethnic food category. Oh and they claim they like spending time with their kids. 

I have a bunch of photos so I’m going to dive right in to the food. Oh, but first! Good news…I finally got a camera yesterday, replacing the one I had stolen in 2003 so I can stop using my iPhone. You may or may not know this, but prices have really come down in the last six years. 

We got started Saturday afternoon at Yakitori Jenbei, which was right over by the Galleria, across from the Best Buy on Cobb Pkwy. It was funny because I had just read about this place on Yelp the other day and wasn’t planning on going here. Unfortunately, they don’t offer yakitori (think grilled meat kabobs) for lunch. They did have some great lunch specials. For $8.50 I got a salad, soup, two sushi rolls, steamed vegetables with rice, and teriyaki salmon. 

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The soup was awesome miso soup. You can see it wasn’t thin/watery and had great fresh miso flavor. I love ginger salad dressings and theirs was definitely worthwhile. 

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Above is the rest of my food. Definitely worth it, but I want to try out the yakitori for sure. One complaint – they brought out everything at the same time (soup, salad, rolls, etc). There wasn’t room on the table for everything. 

After lunch, we headed on over to The Colors of Wine for their free Saturday wine tasting at 3PM. The free tastings are every week, but on occasion they cancel so you may want to call before you head over. We found out that this tasting would be a cold sake and plum wine tasting. My sake knowledge is limited to sake bombs (when I say sake, you say bomb! sake! bomb! sake! bomb!) and we thought this would be a great learning experience. 

Our tasting guide was Koji, who was introduced as the “sake expert of Georgia”. Koji’s family are sake producers in Japan, he works as a distributor here in the US, and he also produces his own label of sake created in California. We had a lot of fun trying the 6 wines, but it was even more worth while to learn about the sake creation process and why quality cold sake is a special drink (and $$$$). We even tried what he called a “limoncello sake”, which after we tried initially, he then added some mint carbonated water to the sake, creating a fun and refreshing drink.

More information on the products Koji distributes can be found here

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Next up, Muss & Turner’s for dinner. I had not been yet, and surprisingly I didn’t even realize how close this was to my house. It’s almost next door to South City Kitchen at Vinings. 

M&T’s had a gastropub feel, but definitely not the same kind of vibe as Holeman & Finch. It had a much more open, bright, market feel. They had a counter where you can order baked goods, or you can pickup some prosciutto de parma by the pound. They also have a small bar where they can pour from their large bevy of beers or wines by the glass. The beers were the most intriguing part; they had some very unique offerings and the menu mentions that they often have beer tastings. I think it would be worth checking out. On to the food…

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We started with some appetizers of the charcuterie plate, some serrano ham, cheese, and pork belly. The charcuterie plate was good stuff, and the serrano may have been the best part of it. Good thing we had got a second plate with nothing but serrano on it!

The pork belly was disappointing to me. It was dry and didn’t have much flavor. 

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For his entree, my dad ordered the “Insult to Philly”; their take on a cheese steak. He said the roast beef was awesome and was shaved extremely thin, calling it “the best cheese steak I’ve ever had.” Strong words coming from a Pennsylvania Yankee.

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Some of the french fries, with my pommes frites in the background. 

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Katie’s stuffed poblano. I tried it and it was good, but not great. It was a little soggy and the black bean puree which surrounded the dish lacked flavor/seasoning. It was a lot of food. 

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Here is a picture of my duck burger. The bread was focaccia-like, fresh, toasted, and very buttery. It was served with thin pommes frites and a soy mayo. At the top of the picture you can see the sambal aioli that I got to go with the fries. I only actually got to taste the aioli once because the rest of the table took it down quickly. It was good stuff. 

My burger was cooked medium rare, and had great duck flavor that went well with the mayo and the cabbage, but overall it was too greasy for me. I had it with a big glass of dark Anchor Christmas Ale which helped cut through the fat. 

FINALLY, the last meal on Sunday afternoon….

We headed on over to the Chamblee area to China Delight for dim sum. I’ve been here before and this place is great. It’s deceivingly large and quite crowded on a Sunday around the lunch time, which is definitely the most popular time for dim sum. When eating dim sum, I’m a big believer in looking for a crowded restaurant that is turning a lot of tops, otherwise you have no idea how long what you are about to consume has been sitting in that cart. Bad dim sum is no fun. It rhymes!

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Poor little yummy crabs!

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Little clams in a tasty broth. 

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Green beans with large slivers of garlic, ala Paul Sorvino in Goodfellas. 

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On my plate: green beans, duck, cold pork salad, and some kind of awesome cabbage. 

We ate until we were going to pop for about $12 a person. Dim sum is fantastic because you get to try so many foods, it’s conducive to sharing, you don’t have to wait for your food, and you get to “take a look” to see what you want. Definitely worth the hike!

Phew…so that was a big weekend of eating, but I didn’t even mention the pizza I ate last night. Why didn’t I mention it? Check back tonight for that info!

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