A couple of years ago I was trying to set up a lunch meeting with someone. When I asked them, they said they really didn't "eat lunch" - for them food was just fuel. I was shocked.

For me, food is an experience. A journey. And a quest. So here are my thoughts. If you eat to live, you may not be interested. If you live to eat, you may find some ideas for places here. I went back to the first of this year, as opposed to diving back multiple years and started there. These are my thoughts on everything except for burgers. They deserve their own page and it is here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The One Eared Stag - Atlanta, GA (April 2012)

1) Did you ever go someplace and when you got there felt like you've been there before?  As soon as we walked in to the One Eared Stag everything looked familiar (except for the eponymous animal head above the bar).  I started to wonder, have we eaten here and I just don't remember it?  Couldn't be.  It was on "To Go To" list, not my "Been There - Ate That" list.  Then it hit me.  Me: "Did this place used to be Shaun's?"  Waiter-guy: "Yeah, years ago."  Dilemma solved.

2) It was really easy to have this conversation, because there was NO ONE there.  11:45 on a Sunday for brunch and not a soul in sight.

They gave us the option to sit outside, which we took - kind of chilly, but at least we found other people there...
Okay, take my word for it.  There were actually other people there, you just can't see any of them in the photo.  Jo is actually in this photo, deep in the corner, but you can't see her either, so you'll have to trust me. The brunch menu seemed similar enough to their dinner menu to call this a fair sampling, so on to the food:

Jo ordered the shrimp & grits.  I love shrimp & grits, but she mentioned that she was ordering it AND we were heading to Charleston later that week where I was sure to have some.  When the food arrived, all we could do was stare at Jo's plate.
Isn't that the largest shrimp that you've ever seen?
There was one GIANT shrimp in the bowl. In talking with the barkeep, he said that they were tiger prawns.  "Most folks only let them grow to four to six inches", he said, "because as they get older, they get smarter and have to be caught by hand.  When they're thrown on the grill, they spread out like a lobster tail".  There was as much meat on this shrimp as on eight - ten large shrimp.  The grits were more of a grit stew, with a sweet andouille sausage, spinach and sofrito (a simmered mix of garlic, onions tomatoes and olive oil).  Not the shrimp & grits that I was looking for (I'm more of a fan of the Carolina Gullah style shrimp & grits), but Jo did the plate justice.

I went with the fried chicken, with black pepper biscuits and sausage gravy. 
As you can see, it was two biscuits with one giant chicken breast spread across them, covered in sausage gravy.  When I cut into them, I was amazed at how perfectly the chicken was prepared.  The skin was crispy without being burned and the meat was moist, tender and cooked uniformly.  
The black pepper biscuit was the most surprising thing of the meal.  As good as the chicken was, the biscuit was better.  

So good that every time I turned around Jo was stealing a bite of biscuit from my plate.  

So good that when the waiter came back and asked if we needed anything, Jo ordered a side of biscuits.  When the biscuits arrived, they came with pear preserves that were the perfect compliment.  
We each ate a biscuit top, covered in pear preserves for dessert.  We've already planned to return, and decided we could order an app and split the chicken and biscuits.  I'd also like to try lunch and dinner, in addition to another brunch.  What a great find.

One Eared Stag on Urbanspoon

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