So, last week I raved about Trader Vic’s and their famous Mai Tai cocktail.
This is not that kind of post.
PItty Pat’s Porch, in Atlanta, Georgia, is more gimmick than gourmet, and not necessarily in a good way. For those who don’t get the reference, Pittypat was the Aunt of Charles Hamilton, Scarlett’s first husband from “Gone With the Wind”, and in whose home she stayed during the War before running home to Tara as Atlanta burned. Anyway, the place is memorabilia central and I have to give them credit for the overwhelming theming: the tables are set with pewter goblets and chargers, the chairs have cane seats, there’s china everywhere and the menus are actually wooden-handled church fans. Not bad.
Unfortunately, the food was mostly underwhelming. We started with drinks. I ordered Pittypat’s Pitch which was eh on taste and whose garnish was a sloppy orange slice and maraschino cherry, the pith of the former souring the drink a bit. Todd had Melanie’s Lemonade which was actually pretty good. The drinks are pricey but you get to take the glass home, so keep that in mind. The Pitch came in a small mason-jar with handle but the Julep glass from the Lemonade is very curvy.
The Sideboard is their version of the Salad bar featuring a mix of greens with various dressing and then half a dozen or more prepared salads. There was a very tasty macaroni salad with sausage (and maybe barbecue sauce? hard to tell) along with an awesome cucumber/green pea salad and some watermelon rind pickles. Honestly, the sideboard was the best thing about the dinner and you can order it only. If I went here again, that’s what I’d do.
For appetizers we had the Hot Crab Dip (Todd) which was pretty good and the Pecan Crusted Catfish Fingers (Jenn) which was recommended as one of the best things on the menu. See, he set it up too much because not only were the fingers kinda scrawny, they were over-fried. The plus side was that you could really taste that it was honest-to-goodness catfish but the crust was too dark (sign of frying too long) and almost a singed taste. They were also dry so thank heavens for the remoulade… but a sauce should compliment–not save–a dish.
Dinner was the Fried Chicken for Todd which he reported to be a bit dry but at least the mashed potatoes were tasty. My Beef Tenderloin on a Spit was smothered in some goopy mushroom sauce and topped with julienned red and green bell peppers that tasted like they hadn’t completely thawed in the skillet. The rice was strictly “Uncle Ben”-style. And then there were the sides served family style: greens and black-eyed peas. Now, normally I’d be all over that except they were both a little bland for my liking, and not just in the needing a smidgen more salt way. It was just off. The cornbread was on the dry, unsweetened side (not my preference, but I know that some people prefer it that way), a very hard biscuit and a chocolate chip mini-muffin. Yeah, I know… not really sure about that one either. We skipped dessert.
For the quality of the food, I think the overall experience was over-priced and over-hyped, but if you like GWtW stuff and prepared salads, go and have a look, have a bite, and then head up the street to the Mexican restaurant that smelled oh so good on our walk back to the hotel 😉
Now, since I wasn’t truly fond of my own drink, how about we close with a class Southern cocktail:
The Mint Julep
7 sprigs of mint
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. bourbon
Crush 6 mint sprigs into the bottom of a chilled double Old Fashioned glass. Pour in the simple syrup and bourbon. Fill with crushed ice. Garnish with the remaining mint sprig and serve with two short straws. Sometimes a splash of club soda is added.