Ramblings Post #2
The return of something I really liked to do, go new places and see what the food is like. Sure I generally order the same things, but it's off a different menu. And just like your scrambled eggs don't taste just like your mom's scrambled eggs, it's all a little different. I like to think of it as finding the variations. Don't snicker.
It was Saturday, I needed to do two hundred things and work on the first draft of my brief, but I'd promised Schmoopy we'd have brunch this weekend. I had not seen her in the new year, so it would be a treat. When I asked if we were still on Friday afternoon, she already had the spot picked out. One of those hidden Atlanta gems that you almost have to be from here to know about, a spot called Gato Bizco.
The spot is over near Little Five points, actually right across the street from another Atlanta gem, the Flying Biscuit.
It was odd. There was a line outside of the Biscuit when I walked into Gato, but I've eaten both and food and service is much better at Gato. First, however, let me say this: It is a closet. Four or five booths, and maybe 10 stools at the bar. That's the whole place, all of it. The staff is comfortable cool, with piercings and tattoos, but friendly as all get out.
We arrived right on time, as three booths opened up and all three waiting parties, we were the third, sat down less than five minutes after we got there. I watched through the window as people stood waiting in the cold for Flying Biscuit. I know the Biscuit is good, but is it that good? Then I got the look that told me I was in the right spot. That look from a regular patron that says they're scared the word is getting out.
The menu isn't deep, but then they only have the one cook and she needs to focus on what she's doing. Schmoopy had the Huevos Rancheros and a Sweet Potato Pancake. I tried a bit and it's good, with a just a hint of cinnamon. I went with the grits and eggs, a side of bacon (you gotta order meat separate) and a regular pancake.The food showed up quickly and the Ranchero(s) was/were huge and as usual, my lil buddy was stuffed after eating only half of her plate. Not that she didn't stop trying to eat the other half. Let me tell you now, three of these pancakes and you'll have to just go back home and go to sleep.
Two more things. The orange juice is fresh squeezed. I mean like from actual oranges so don't expect minute maid flavor, expect Orange Juice. And they do know how to make sweet tea.
Schoompy claims she has no prospects on the romance front. I found this hard to believe. She had the puppies out for some reason, and - so she can read this - they were very, very distracting, so that idea that no acceptable guy is interested is highly unlikely. She claims she'll be joining e-harmony soon, as she's tired of the same old dating scene and the younger men who keep trying to date her. I'm not sure why she keeps acting like she's so old, her young ass, she looks all of twenty three. Other that, she's just holding it in the road so to speak - work, work, work. She also told me two things I'll need another woman to explain - she feels fat AND she's a size zero. I don't get it either.
My old soul and good table manners had me bussing the table to help out the servers. They brought me a wet cloth from the back and told me to help myself. They even offered to let me wash dishes if I wanted. You don't get that in every restaurant.
Also, across the street from Gato, just down from the Biscuit is this little art store that everybody needs to stop in after they eat at either place. Had to toss that in, as the lady there treated us like old friends. I can't remember the name of it though, but I am going back.
So Gato is a definite plus. I read up on it afterward and people who love the biscuit try to down play it's homey charm, but as I've said, I've had both and whereas it doesn't knock out it's larger competitor on it's butt, it's a definite, welcome, slightly better, change of pace.
Barkeep. Some of that fresh squeezed OJ.