Thursday, November 8, 2012

King of Pops Pops Up - Queso King

I managed to drop into King (or is it Kings? I swear they're cloning tall blonde dudes with aviators) of Pop's new pop up, Queso King today. They're setup on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Lawrence during lunch hours and seem to have a new cheese based concept each week - this week grilled cheese and soup, while last week was quesadillas and salad.
It's hard to beat the deal as it's a choice of sandwich, soup, drink (including Miller High Life) and popsicle for $8. They post their menu on Facebook shortly before opening.

The food was pretty darned good - all the bread is from H&F and everything appears to be scratch made. The turkey on my Grilled Thanksgiving (brie, turkey, cranberry, sweet potato) was off the frame (and chain) and completely tender and delectable. The only unfortunate part of the sandwich was that the King went overboard with the cranberry which entirely masked all of the other ingredients on the sandwich. I happen to like cranberry, so it wasn't offensive, but I wish I could have tasted more of the individual components. The soup, while not transcendent, was also very good. 
Again, it's hard to beat this deal from one of Atlanta's local street-food mavens. Give it a try on Thursdays and see for yourself.
Apple Pie Pop
Queso King on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bantam & Biddy - Opening Review

I made it over to Shaun Doty's latest venture last night - Bantam & Biddy. Batnam & Biddy is a rotisserie (humanely and healthily raised) chicken concept in the Ansley Mall shopping center. It just opened this week, so I realize that a good bit of my complaints may be ironed out in the coming days but I left extremely unimpressed and disappointed.

I love me some rotisserie chicken so the menu reads like a great fast casual concept. There are some holdovers from Shaun's - duck fat fries, pork schnitzel and a couple of the sides but the focus seems to be on the chicken. You can order a quarter or half chicken with two sides, like your standard meat and three, or choose from a handful of entrees. 
Not being able to resist poutine, we got an order to start out the meal. Poutine is hard to mess up and this rendition was delicious, as expected. By the way, if you haven't had Fry Guy's poutine, I'd go as far as to say it's the best in the city.
We also went with the 1/4 chicken and the Chicken Penne. The rotisserie chicken was drab. There was no color or texture to the skin, much of the fat hadn't been rendered and the chicken was essentially flavorless. 
Lifeless Chicken Skin
The mac and cheese side was reminiscent of Mary Mac's version and that's not a compliment. It was completely separated with a puddle of grease at the bottom and no creamy, rich component. It was more crumbly than anything. The pickled beats and goat cheese were an excellent side, however I'd highly recommend it as an option. There was also a slice of jalapeño and cheddar (?) bread which was a welcome improvement to the typical white slice.
The "Rotisserie Chicken Penne Pasta" was also a let down. While the flavoring of the dish was good and the pasta was cooked well, there was virtually no chicken in the dish - literally about three pieces. 

As mentioned prior, I realize this is the opening week and they could easily tweak a few things and have some more successful food. It's with this review that I hope they do, because I do like the menu and concept. Kins summed it up best after we finished, "This is all stuff we could make at home, but better."
Bantam & Biddy on Urbanspoon