Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eats and Memories in Atlanta

We had dinner yesterday evening at the Woodfire Drill in Atlanta on Cheshire Bridge Road.

We have had dinner on Cheshire Bridge Road before, over 40 years ago. The place we went to then, in the early 70s, was an Italian restaurant. It was the first time that I remember that we used a coupon for buy dinner and get one of equal or lesser value free.

From that meal so long ago I remember that the prideful chef felt insulted that the restaurant had to lower themselves to offering coupons to draw business in. I think we were the first ones there that evening and maybe the first ones to try out their coupon. The chef came by and asked her how did we enjoy the meal and we said we did and he, sarcastically, said, “Can I get you some catsup?”

We got his meaning instantly, that the coupon stooping would bring in less gourmet-minded customers.

Last night was our second trip to Cheshire Bridge Road for dinner and the restaurant staff were totally congenial.

Our son recommended the Woodfire Grill on Cheshire Bridge. They have dined there several times and enjoyed it thoroughly each time. Anna got us reservations.

We wrote down the directions and at one point on Lenox Road we should have turned right but the directions directed us to turn left, which we did. We ended up at Lenox Square. We turned ourselves around and got snarled up in Friday afternoon traffic and lost about 20 minutes.

That is why we like to leave for our destination early. In case we make a wrong turn or car trouble. Although we lost about 20 minutes backtracking ourselves we still arrived at the restaurant early. We arrived 15 minutes early for our reservation, and as usual, were the first diners to arrive so we got to watch the staff set things up, light candles, etc.

Our son recommended the Taster pick. It is a system that is not on the menu. The waiter and the servers bring you morsels of things to eat. On each trip the deliverer will explain what it is and what is unique about it, and maybe even a little history on it.

I did not know until this week that the Taster System is used a lot in the finer restaurants in Atlanta.

There is a five course tasters dinner and a seven course taster dinner. We chose the five course.

The waiter and the others were very congenial and knowledgeable.

Their wine list did not prices, but some did have the year. We chose water.

The meal started out with some bits of a various veggies to cleanse our pallets. We then were given a small salad, and after that was various interesting unique foods for example: quail, pork belly, and a big scallop.

A lot of what they served came from the Georgia Coast, such as the scallop. Also to complement one of the courses were red peas that grow on Georgia’s Sea Island which were near extinction not long ago and with the right care they are again a crop.

A couple of times they served us stuff in a porcelain over-sized spoon to cleanse our pallets.

It was Anna’s birthday. They knew that. When Anna made the reservation they asked her if we have dined there before and more or less was it a special occasion or what. Anna told them it was her birthday so when they served dessert she had burning candle on her little dessert pile that she got to blow out which is in the video.

Speaking of the video, I wished I thought earlier to do it, but I put my hand by two of the courses, to give you an idea of the portion size.

The music was probably CD. I heard Dylan singing and several selections of Old Crow Medicine Show. It was nice background music,

The food was delicious. Our son told us the servings are small, but good. There are so many you don’t go leave the table hungry. You don’t leave the table with a carry-home box either.*

It was a delightful dining experience.

On the way home I decided to drive up Piedmont Road in Atlanta. I haven’t been that way in many years and was just curious how things have changed. Because of the high buildings it was hard to pick out where Broadview Plaza was. We used to go there to see people on their way up perform at the Southeastern Music Hall. We saw Steve Martin perform there with brown hair. We saw Joan Baez's sister perform there and others I don’t remember. In the parking lot of Broadview Plaza Billy Joe Royal, Joe South, and Ray Stephens once performed on the back of a flatbed trailer.

Also across from Broadview Plaza was a Shoney’s with the “Big Boy” statue out front. Next door was a closed Sinclair Service Station. In about 1968 a truck driver with the last name Partain, I forgot his first name, was sent to the closed service station to pump the gas out of the underground tanks. While there working something happened that Mr. Partain caught on fire and ran through the Shoney’s parking lot completely on fire, until he fell dead. He was a very gentle little humble man. Something happened that shouldn’t have. He was one of my co-workers then.

The only thing that hadn’t change on that section of Piedmont Road was the old railroad bridge you have to drive under.

While in the neighborhood we drove by the Governor’s Mansion. The mansion, the iron fence, and a huge tree were all lit up with beautiful white lights.

*The day before we had lunch at Marietta Diner’s Pasta Bella on Austell Road in Marietta and left with two carry-home boxes that got us through another meal. Quantity in lieu of quality?

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Anonymous Skip H. said...

Those parking lot concerts were great!
In the early 80's my uncle was managing the Shoney's on Piedmont until one evening an assistant ran out with the cash and took off with her boyfriend waiting outside. He decided that was enough of the problems at that location, and resigned soon there after.
Remember Mooney's Lake that used to be behind where Broadview Plaza is now? Also in the late 60's there was a small amusement park on the backside of the Plaza.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Skip, I don't blame your uncle. I think that was almost next door to the Lovable Bra company which I think was owned by Clark Howard's parents. I only vaguely remember the small amusement park there and I don't recall Mooney's Lake.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Mooney's Lake said...

Here is the link. I guess they routed the stream through a pipe when they covered it over.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Skip H. said...

Oh well, this happened once before. The link got cut off by the text window. So just click on the underlined link. Sorry...

5:10 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

I think Skip sent the link to Mooney's Lake. I doubt if Mooney's Lake did it. Thanks for the link, it is interesting.
I'm certain I haven't heard of Mooney's Lake before now. It laste until 1955 and I don't think I knew of the area until about 1960.

12:58 PM  

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