Sunday, January 29, 2017

Red Snapper Seafood Restaurant - Cheshire Bridge

You can find the Red Snapper Seafood Restaurant at 2100 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30324 - this is a two-story brick building that looks like it would house some insurance or realty company and not a restaurant. Parking is a bit weird and constrained - the lot in front of the entry gets filled up quickly - there's some additional spaces in the back but I'm not sure if they're supposed to be used or not - it may be a weekend thing (meaning if you take up all the spaces during regular business hours you may be at risk).

I've visited this restaurant many, many years ago - it's unclear to me if it had the same owner. I've always made fun of the name due to the unsavory location along Cheshire Bridge Rd, better known for strip clubs than restaurants - "Red Snapper" seemed to fit a different context, no? In any case, I don't have much of a memory of my previous visit. What got me thinking about this place again was  Jim Stacy's Get Delicious program where he featured the restaurant. I basically liked everything I heard - from Jim's dad extolling the fried shrimp on the traditional fried seafood platter to the interview of owners Jimmy and Somporn Veeranarong, Thai ex-pats that have brought a unique approach to seafood and Cajun cooking. After that I've been eager to try the ginger snapper, gumbo and fried shrimp and Red Snapper did not disappoint!

The exterior as mentioned in red brick with a wrought-iron railing, "The Red Snapper" in neon and a dark red awning with the address "2100" in white. It's a bit reminiscent of some of the restaurants you see in the NOLA Quarter. The interior has an cozy traditional bar (the only part of the restaurant that was familiar to me) and a dark dining room with traditional finishes, cloth napkins and tablecloths - it's not at all what you would expect. I started things off with a Moscow Mule, served in an appropriate metal cup. The menu has seafood, steak and chicken with combinations along with the traditional mix. I opted for the gumbo which I thought quite good if not exactly traditional - this is a peppery gumbo which I loved - don't expect the traditional sassafras earthiness you'd find in Louisiana.

We ordered various fried items - all were quite good. The batter here is more like a beer batter with the expansive breading found in tempura cooking - much lighter than you might expect. My Ginger Snapper was just delicious - everything from the tartness of the fish to the perfectly cooked sauteed shrimp makes this one of my favorite seafood dishes in Atlanta. In all we had a great time and everyone got their fill. I think this place is very solid with a few standouts - well worth trying.

-- John

(also posted to Yelp)
The Red Snapper Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Barbecue Street - Kennesaw Georgia

You can find Barbecue Street at 3895 Cherokee St NW, Kennesaw GA 30144 - in the Kroger Shopping Center at the corner of Cherokee St and Jiles Rd not too far from Shiloh Rd.  Facing the shopping center from the St (Kroger will be on your left), the restaurant is about in the middle of the row of buildings. There's plenty of parking out front.

The dining room is cute with a homey-woody interior and stamped-metal ceilings. It has this wood-both thing going on to the left, I'm guessing to make it look more like a "street" from the name. There's a scattering of tables in the middle of the room then more along the right side. You're seated and will pay at the front counter when you're done. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Barbecue Street - the menu includes many of your classic barbecue items at really standout prices. We decided to go "Full Monty" and order an assortment.

- Barbecue Sampler - this included chicken, pulled pork and pork ribs, Texas toast and choice of two sides - I ordered the Onion Rings and "Killer Green Beans." Price was about $15

- Catfish Dinner with two filets - this included hush puppies and two sides - my dining companion, Crystal H, choose the Collard Greens and the Mashed Potatoes with Gravy. Price was about $10.

- Fried Green Tomatoes - we ordered these as an afterthought and really there was way too much food so we could have deferred.

Of all the items I tried, the catfish is surprisingly good and unexpected for a BBQ restaurant, tender and delicate with a classic corn meal breading. The "Killer green beans" are interesting with great smokey flavor, bits of crispy bacon and a bit of sweetness from the caramelized onion. The only thing I found odd was the overall texture - more like those "French-style Green Beans" you find in a can - I think those can be improved a bit. I also really enjoyed the fried green tomatoes - the peppery batter worked well with some type of mildly spicy, paprika mayo.

Least favorite was the onion rings - appear to be a cakey beer batter and too bready for me. Also I thought the smashed potatoes underwhelming - they could have used more butter and spices like pepper - I'm sure that people that like mashed potatoes would like then though.

I had mixed thoughts on the BBQ itself - I have some fairly strong opinions on BBQ and prefer it to have more smoke rind than what I saw here - the chopped pork - I was a little confused with this and initially thought it was chicken. The ribs I think need a different rub - either that or a different sauce before serving - they tasted very ketchupy to me but then again all three of the sauces I tried tasted a bit too ketchupy. I didn't think to ask about a mustard based sauce (didn't really get to the chicken) but I would have liked to try it if they have one.

The service was excellent with the server coming by frequently to check on things and refill glasses. The owner? came by also to make sure we were happy. The prices were super reasonable, especially for BBQ. Overall I'd say that this was a 3.5/5 experience but I'm rounding up to 4 stars.

-- John

(also posted to Yelp)
Barbecue Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato