Tom’s Folly recently opened up in the space on Howell Mill across from Mr. C’s (my eyes! the smoke, oh Lord by eyes!). It used to be Khima, a Moroccan restaurant with a friendly owner and pretty good food, but it just never caught on. Since my first visit to Tom’s Folly, a couple of weeks into their opening a few months ago, I’ve wondered if they would suffer the same fate. I had a fine roast beef sandwich, and met the new friendly owner, who bought me a beer for being a first time visitor.
To be candid, I never went back for the same reason I didn’t visit Khima often – it sort of makes me sad to see a place so empty. I realize this may be backwards logic (if I visit, it will help them succeed, no?) but it makes me sick to think about how much money and sweat equity can be lost in restaurant ventures. Sometimes I don’t have the stomach for the restaurant business.
Well when I read Christiane Lauterbach’s positive review in the recent Knife & Fork, I was given the little push that I needed. Plus, it’s just down the road from my house and I pass it nearly every day. No excuses.
I’m glad I went – the corn and potato chowder with bacon was just what I needed on a brisk day, and it was wonderfully filling and had that you-know-it’s-homemade consistency.
Another special of the day was the slider trio – one pork belly, one meatball, one burger slider with their homemade tater tots. The seared and slow braised pork was really good – tender enough to not slide off the bun with each bite, but still firm enough to constitute a sandwich. The meatball and burger both utilize spicy homemade pork sausage, though the burger doesn’t use much. But the use of sausage still means they cook the burger medium-well, an unfortunate requirement even though I enjoyed the spice, as I found it to be a bit tough. The bread is too large for the filling, and I prefer a steamed bun on a slider, but I was happy with my order overall.
The “tots” aren’t exactly what I expected, they’re really more like mini potato, cheese, and chorizo croquettes…and they are fantastic. There’s only a few of them on a side order, but they are filling and my arteries thank the kitchen for their portion control.
I was told business had doubled since Christiane’s review, and I was happy to hear that. Sometimes a little spark is all that is needed.