Friday, May 30, 2008

Across the Street

I awoke on Sunday with an awful hangover. I spent the previous evening enjoying the visit to my Alma Mater irresponsibly, and as a result my body was tired and racked with pain. Instinctively, I made a phone call to a friend to set the wheels in motion to recover from this awful state.

The plan was to eat at Highland Bakery, a very prestigious and delicious restaurant near Midtown Atlanta which I have previously and satisfactorily patronized. Upon our arrival, we found a 30 minute wait to be seated. With nothing else to do, we accepted our fate, and resigned ourselves to having a mimosa. Alas, Highland had no bar. With no qualms, we simply left our name to be seated in 30 minutes, and walked across the street to another newly opened restaurant appropriately titled “Across the Street”. What happened next will go down in foodie history as an example of the rewards bestowed upon the open-minded, spontaneous and flexible.

We sat down in a rustic, Mexican-themed bar and ordered 2 Mimosas and a Bloody Mary. My cohort in this journey struck up mild chit chat with the bartender, and after exchange of a few light hearted jokes, commented on his friendliness and open mindedness, especially given our Bible Belt location. Credit is due to Max (our distinguished bartender) for engaging us in the following 2 hours of pleasant and intelligent conversation, ranging from politics to NASCAR, international travels to favorite stocks, and so on. An exemplary bartender must be capable and willing to engage in fruitful conversation, and in this category Max received 5 stars.

After realizing we had blissfully surpassed our 30 minute wait time at the other location, we asked Max for brunch recommendations at his establishment. He recommended the French Toast and Crab Cakes. We supplemented this order with Rancheros and a Cowboy Steak. The English vocabulary lacks the passion with which to appropriately describe the exhilarating food that was delivered to us. But I will attempt.

  • Mimosa – The culprit in keeping us planted to our seats, their Mimosas are a little variation of the standard, with Champagne, a dash of vodka and Triple Sec, and OJ, on the rocks. Quite an appetizing and fulfilling drink!
  • French Toast – Cavalier in its simplicity, this toast was made with Challah bread, and served on a plate with fresh berries and light syrup. The toast was semi-sweet, and was moist like cake. Exquisite.
  • Crab Cakes – Served over an English muffin, topped with a poached egg. It was drenched in a delectable hollandaise sauce, which added just the right tang for the crab. Fresh crab meat was featured, with minimal other distractions in the cake. The crab cakes were amazing and even better with potatoes lightly fluffed to the texture of grits. Delicious.
  • Rancheros – Two flautas stuffed with “divorced” eggs, affectionately titled as to characterize the way they are served on opposite ends of the plate. One comes topped with a red tomatillo sauce, the other with a green. Decent, though not the best.
  • Cowboy steak – Semi-lean cut of sirloin served with hash browns, cooked medium. Quite what you would expect, a standard steak for breakfast.

All and all, no disappointment on this menu. I had the pleasure of meeting Ali, the chef whose magical hands created the works of art to which we were privileged to enjoy, and thanked her profusely for giving us a memorable meal. Max stands as a testament for how amiable service can convert into revenue for any restaurant, especially after the patrons share a few fine tequila shots with their host!

For a good environment, delicious food and praiseworthy service, I encourage you to try
Across the Street!

-The UE

1 comment:

wild cowgirl said...

crazy man...atlanta is changing soooo much.
i used to live in the apartments adjacent to the highland bakery...

i have a feeling that the immediate area
(virginia highlands/little five merge) has
changed quite a bit.