Monday, November 8

Chickin' it in the ATL: Part 4

Special Note:
Until now, our quest for the best fried chicken in Atlanta has only covered classic down-home institutions. But these days fried chicken is perpetually popping up on the menu pages of upscale eateries. Serious grub pundits suggest that the recession is the reason behind the recent profusion of these in-vogue comfort foods. I, for one, find it ironic that a historic economic downturn could somehow inspire an $18 plate of fried chicken. Now, without further ado:

South City Kitchen is nestled in the heart of Atlanta's faux-hawk district on Crescent Avenue, housed in a historic bungalow amongst the pseudo-glitz of Midtown's under-occupied condo ghetto. Appropriate trappings for a restaurant so tied into all things "New South".

So yes, I'll admit that I went into this tasting a bit biased. The notion of upscale or contemporary southern cuisine has always struck me as a ploy to trick patrons too pretentious to visit unrefined eateries into paying too much for a cheap plate of food.

Those misgivings aside, what arrived at my table was an utterly delicious, albeit slightly arrogant, example of the dish:

The adjective that best describes this bird would be "succulent". The quality of the cut is second to none. I imagine this chicken preferred to called a fowl and clucked with an affected British accent.

VERDICT: 4.65 Napkins

Tuesday, November 2

Man Bites Corndog

Captain Ahab and his white whale. Sir Lancelot and the Holy Grail. Harold & Kumar and White Castle.

Much like these men I too have found myself intrinsically drawn to an elusive and mythical object. Mine was the Pallookaville Corndog Cart.

This fabled Atlanta food truck miraculously materializes at local events, serving up legendary gourmet corndogs. And it's notoriously tough to track down. For ages this roving vendor of fair fare has taunted my taste buds.

After months of idle yearning I finally received an anonymous tip that the Pallookaville cart would be making an appearance at the Decatur Book Festival. I knew what I had to do: I had to go eat a giant corndog and then spend the rest of my Saturday in the fetal position on the couch while watching college football in a fried-batter induced food coma.

So fellow Pallookavile apostle Melissa and I, along with Neil for moral and gastronomical support, left Atlanta on our sacred quest. We knew we may have to fight off hordes of bespectacled Decaturites at the Book Festival, but if we could only reach Pallookaville everything would be all right. We would then be able to use the leftover wooden corndog sticks as rudimentary stabbing weapons as we fought our way back to Neil's Jetta.

Luckily, we would encounter no violence along the way. Instead we followed our noses towards the smell of fried, impervious to the literary bounty that surrounded us. Suddenly the skies parted and a light from the heavens shone down upon the object of our odyssey. One final tribulation stood in our path, the cart was apparently guarded by a heavily-tattooed, gargantuan-bearded man beast.

[Would you buy meat on stick from this man?]

As fate would have it, this was a gentle giant. And he came bearing corndogs. Sweet, delicious corndogs.

The first step is choosing your meat: an American all-beef frank, keilbasa, or Italian sausage. Next pick from 4 homemade cornbread batters: classic, cheddar, jalepaño or bacon. I opted for an updated classic: all-beef frank double-dipped in cheddar AND jalepeño batter.

I figured that would be a good jumping off point and I could sample the other offerings from there. It seemed reasonable enough at the time. After all, I did take down a full yard of corndogs at the fabled Florida State Fair of '99.
An event which still lives in infamy.

What I was unprepared for was the sheer monstrosity of this double-dipped dog. It took two solid and delicious bites to make my way through the cornbread before I could attain the frankfurter. But alas, I persisted. By the end I was rendered essentially comatose. With warm grease coursing through my veins, it was all I could do to clumsily totter back to the vehicle. Triumphant.

[I am not known for having a small head.]

The Captain is Back!

Like a fryery-phoenix rising gloriously from its ashes, Captain's Blog is back to blow your mind.

There have been major changes underway, including a relocation of our headquarters to New York City. Atlanta was no longer large enough to contain our operation, and it only made sense to move to the global center of media.

The next few days are going to be pretty bonkers. In fact, our insurance company has mandated that all readers wear helmets while reading Captain's Blog from now on. Unless you want this to happen to your melon:

Wednesday, August 11

Chickin' it in the ATL: Part 3

The 3rd installment of our milestone chicken critique finds the Captain's Blog Meat Team checking in at the renowned Gladys Knight (and some other guy's) Chicken & Waffles. To the uninitiated, the combination of fried chicken and waffles may sound like a culinary abomination. Well open you minds, and your mouths, because this is a mouthwatering merger.

What makes Gladys' take on this soul food classic unique is the fact that they serve the dish solely with jumbo chicken wings. At first I was a little skeptical, but these freakishly large pterodactyl-esque pinions more than hold their own. The waffle itself fails to be spectacular, but at least it provides an excuse to pour syrup on fried chicken.

Verdict: 4 Napkins

Thursday, July 22

More to Love

The Captain's Blog extended Summer hiatus is beginning to wind down. That means we'll be back with the hard-hitting fried chicken journalism and butthole puckering technological innovations you've come to expect.

In the meantime check out our new pet project, "Emo Cows":

Thursday, June 3

Chickin' it in the ATL: Part 2

The second installment of our ongoing series finds the Captain's Blog meat team checking in at the venerable Mary Mac's Tea Room. Mary Mac has been holding it down in the shadows of downtown Atlanta for 65 years. Jot down your order and get ready some deep fried goodness.

Holy moly. This is some seriously fly bird. I had mine with a side of cheese grits and sweet potato souffle. And the fried green tomatoes are so good you'll want to punch Kathy Bates in the face.

Verdict: 4.5 Napkins

Monday, May 17

Chickin' it in the ATL: Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of a new ongoing series here at Captain's Blog, "Chickin' it in the ATL", where we'll attempt to de-bone the crowded Atlanta fried chicken landscape. We're not talking any jive drive-through turkey here, we're only going to tackle Atlanta institutions famous for flipping some tasty bird.

The Captain's Blog "Department of Assessing And Assigning Numerical Grades" (or "DAAANG" for short) has developed a fail-proof rating system. Each restaurant will earn anywhere from 1-5 napkins, with 5 being the highest mark. As a control, it has been determined that Publix fried chicken is 2.5 napkins.

So without further ado, entry #1 of "Chickin' it in the ATL":

The Colonnade is an Atlanta tradition, dating back to 1927. But you didn't come here for a history lesson. You came for the chicken. And here it is:

The standard fried chicken dinner includes 4 hefty pieces. I opted for the breast, thigh, wing & leg combo. For those keeping track at home that's half a bird. The skin was light, politely seasoned and fried a delicious golden-brown. Very tasty. I give it high marks, but I know that somewhere out there a finer frier exists.

Verdict: 4 Napkins