Friday, February 26, 2010

Tofu Village Korean BBQ

Last Sunday was the perfect day. Perfect in the sense that it included:
  • No waste of daylight (I woke up early)
  • 100% use of the gorgeous weather (we hiked Stone Mountain)
  • And the most unexpected delicious feast at the Tofu Village Korean BBQ in Marietta.
Now, I'll admit it, I didn't think I was a tofu person. Not only did I discover that I'm totally a tofu person (it just needs the right preparation), I also discovered that despite it's name, the Tofu Village is a carnivore's dream restaurant.

It was 3:00 in the afternoon, and our tired selves ate the following (probably two meals worth of food for each of us):

  • The Tofu Appetizer: Tofu bricks, grilled. Serve them up with some sesame seed soy sauce mixed with scallions and other ingredients that I couldn't decipher.
  • The Five-Course BBQ Experience: (1) Shrimp (2) Chicken (3) Steak Strips (4) Ribs (5) Pork (6) Keel over into a food coma. This is grilled over hot charcoals that sit inside of the table. Our server was a ton of fun, and don't worry, they take care of the preparation for you. Much like a hibachi bar, you sit back and watch as they prepare your masterpiece. Make your own wraps with rice paper or some romaine, either a hot or mild "sauce" and rice. Don't forget your chop-stick skills, you'll be using some nice metal chop sticks.
  • Kimchi- It wouldn't be a Korean meal if it didn't include some kimchi. My low spice tolerance limited my consumption, but the few bites that I did have (followed by a glass of water) was very enjoyable. I'll work up a tolerance eventually.
  • Veggies Galore- Cucumbers, seaweed (does this count as a vegetable?), onions, bean sprouts etc, etc...
Joe and Norm documented the experience, so here are some photos:

Joe and Jess about to eat Course 1: Shrimp
Rufus, Norm, and Kelly (on the other side of the table)
The Final Course: Spicy Pork

The Bottom Line: Tucked into a strip mall off of 75 in Marietta is a Korean BBQ oasis. Stop by, you won't be disappointed!

Tofu Village on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Where have you heard of this place before? It's killing you, isn't it? Well, let me give you a hint:

(1) It was on the Travel Channel
(2) It was probably really difficult to watch
(3) You most likely heard it first from Alan Richman

That's right --- the famous Vortex Bar & Grill was featured on Man vs. Food in one of the earlier episodes (before each episode included a challenge). Having gone to school in ATL, we can bet that this place was one of Alan's old stomping grounds. I visited the Vortex Version 2.0 in Midtown on Saturday with some new Atlanta friends from Norfolk Southern and the Weather Channel; the original Vortex is appropriately located in the eclectic Little Five Points (AKA: L5P --- stick it in your acronym vault, it's one of my favorites).

What made this burger joint Man vs. Food-worthy? It's the Double Bypass Burger (don't read this on an upset stomach - I copied directly from the menu): "Twice as big as the Coronary Bypass! Topped with two fried eggs, six slices of American cheese, and eight slices of bacon, all served between the two grilled cheese sandwiches that we use in place of the regular hamburger buns." Basically it's a heart attack with a side of tater-tots.

Our visit did not include the Double Bypass Burger, it did however consist of the following (easily broken down to the drinks and the food):

The Drinks: Bringing this blog full circle, I ordered the Laughing Skull Ale brewed by, you guessed it, the Atlanta Brewing Company. This quickly rose to the top of my ABC beers list. They also brewed a mean sweet tea. Yes, it only took me four weeks in Atlanta to become a sweet tea drinker. Just typing it is making me thirsty!

The Food: I went with the Pesto Burger, a new menu item that is sure to be a hit. Take one part burger, 1/4 part pesto, 1/2 part provolone, and 2 parts toasted buns. Stack in a logical manner to create a blissful combination. Add tots (or one of the five other available side items), but I recommend the tots.

I must give a shout out to Amanda back in Pittsburgh who's gift card I used during this meal. As a going away present, Amanda researched the best restaurants across Atlanta and sent me gift certificates to help with starting the Atlanta SK&MS. It's just about the most thoughtful present I've ever received --- thank you again, Amanda!

The Bottom Line

The Vortex knows burgers - the experience is delicious.
Atlanta knows the Vortex - so be prepared to wait for a seat.

I'm excited to hit up the original L5P Vortex soon!

Vortex Bar & Grill (Midtown) on Urbanspoon