Thursday, June 30, 2022

A Quick Restaurant Review - Snooze: An A.M. Eatery

Snooze was a nice little surprise.

I haven't been out much lately, that virus thing and all, but my cousin wanted to do brunch. And while I'm not up for anything much, I figured since I hadn't seen her in months and it would be relatively low key, I would go out and enjoy myself. A bit. (That and in looking back to check the format I just realized it's been FIVE YEARS since I did one of these. WOW.)

So she picked this new spot, well new to me, called Snooze. It's a little diner-ish kinda spot over in the super fast growth area of Atlanta called Westside. Not to be confused with the actual west side of the city where I live (as I've pointed out before), this is a super trendy little area that used to be half abandoned buildings. Now it's trendy boutiques, swank apartments and hot restaurants. And yes, I wish I lived there but no, I also don't even want to fork out the loot for the rents. Whooosah. The spot seemed like a winner to me, because again I've been in the house for a  long minute so we agreed to sit eat and talk.

I apparently haven't been over that way in a while, and it's maybe ten minutes away from the house. Working from home as really spoiled me. I think I put gas in my car six or seven times all of last year. But apparently everyone else has been working throwing up brick and mortar, and not just in my neighborhood. It took me a moment to remember that the last time I'd been at that corner - 10th and Howell Mill - that I used to pass nearly everyday on the way to work. The spot where Snooze was located just two years ago an industrial art installation, and I know I'd parked on the street right by there a time or two to walk to a club in that area. Now it's a whole apartment building. Whoa.

Snooze is itself is like any other brunch spot on a Sunday - BUSY. Just like in the way back, they had a group of folks milling about on the curb, but my cousin had gotten a reservation, so I steered clear until time. Well, maybe it was kinda busy. Maybe it's still the pandemic, but the waiting group seemed smaller the usual. I remember once arriving at West Egg Cafe right up the street for brunch with Spanky, putting  our name on the list, going over to Atlantic Station and getting a new phone and coming back just as they said our table was ready. This seemed to be a relatively quick five or ten minutes for walk-ups. But it wasn't stroll in and seat yourself, let me put it that way.

The inside is bright and airy, with early green and brown walls, gold light fixtures, tall dividers and higher than diner ceilings. There is even a bar in the back left corner. The staff is friendly, everything is digital and they do this thing where they seat you even if your whole party hasn't arrived. Which was cool because my cousin was running late. Oh, one other thing...everyone that works there was black. The host and hostess, the waiter, the bus...guy, everyone. Which is and isn't odd. It's Atlanta, an all black establishment isn't unusual. But it's the Westside where you can get three kinds of artisanal water in some places, so it didn't really seem like "we" would be over there considering what I know they must be charging for per square foot for the lease. Maybe it was just the staffing that day, but it didn't matter, I liked it.

Now when I say everything digital, I mean, everything digital. You pulled up the menu on your phone using a QR code on the table. Which meant my usual phone etiquette rules when I'm out with someone have to be partially suspended. The menu looks properly brunch diverse, but I still went with my old standard for new places - Scrambled eggs, hash-browns or the grits, bacon. I mean, if you can't get that basic staple right, the idea that I would trust you with Eggs Benedict topped with a Habanero Pork Belly or a French Toast is out of the question. Well, I did get a pancake instead of the toast, but hey, I hadn't been out in a minute. My cousin went simpler, with hash-browns (get them flattened and they're just like Waffle House) and a flight of bacon. Yes, like a flight of wine, it's a flight of bacon. Pure Genius.

My cousin and I chatted about careers, she's a lawyer too, and about life and Atlanta and getting older and things we should have done instead of things we did. Sometimes you just need a friendly face, a quiet body to bounce some things off. I think that the pandemic has us all re-evaluating our priorities, and I have two or three things that I need to go ahead and kickoff and stop standing around dreaming about. ONE of which is the writing. Which I will definitely be re-engaging shortly. Finishing the second draft. So yeah, working from home all this time has been great, except when you need a voice to remind you that time is actually moving. I may have gotten too comfortable with all that silence.

The food was good, although the pancake was a little "bready" for me. I like mine a touch thinner, but this was still good though. They could blot the bacon a bit, but it was still tasty, and a generous portion so I can't complain. I will note that the idea of free refills hadn't caught up with them yet, so get a water to start and save that juice for when the food arrives. By the way, you pay digitally as well, through your phone. What are old cash guys like me supposed to do?

All in all, good experience. Not just the getting out of the house, but the food and atmosphere as well. It's a good spot. I'll have to go again.