This past Saturday my girlfriend and I decided to venture out into the city and try a restaurant we had not yet been to. With a handful of Scoutmobs to use, we were going to try Wisteria or Il Localino but after a quick call I realized both only opened for dinner. Based on previous recommendations we decided to try Empire State South. Just like with the others I called to be sure they were open and was delighted to find out they were serving brunch (I absolutely love brunch).
We started off with cocktails. I opted for the Bloody Caesar (Clam & Tomato Juice, Worcestershire, Olive Brine, Tabasco, Black Pepper, Lemon) and my girl friend went with the Corpse Reviver #2 (Blue Coat Gin, Triple Sec, Cocchi Americano Appertivo, Lemon Juice, Absinthe Rinse). Two very different drinks but equally delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day.
We decided to split a starter and of course the first thing that jumped out at me was the word BACON. She let me decide what to order and I just wouldn’t be satisfied if I didn’t try their pimento cheese with bacon marmalade. Yes, bacon marmalade. I wish I had a photo because it was pure bliss on toasted bread. We didn’t leave one bit in the small jar it was served in. I could eat this every single day.
Already pleased with our cocktails and starters, we were excited to move onto our main entree. Everything listed was so enticing we had trouble deciding. When going to brunch, I have a hard time not ordering steak and eggs when it is on the menu and this time was no different. But this was not your ordinary steak and eggs.
It was grilled hangar steak with a root vegetable hash and a perfectly basted egg. I savored every single bite. I took my time because I did not want this food experience to ever end. The steak was cooked perfectly and was succulent and juicy. It was minimally seasoned so that you could really appreciate the natural flavor of the steak. I ate the root vegetable hash with the egg on the toast and afterward sopped up every bit of egg yolk with the remaining toast.
My girl friend and I could not stop commenting on how good the food was (she had the duck confit which was also devine). Just when I thought our experience was over, our server asked if we needed anything else and I saw a twinkle in my friend’s eye. I knew this meant she wanted dessert. He brought us a menu but when he mentioned a dessert table we were more intrigued by that.
He walked us to the other side of the restaurant where there was a dessert table that was reminiscent of one you would find in an old country store. My palette was not craving anything sweet but there were a number of delectable choices that I couldn’t leave empty handed. I grabbed a small to go box and left with a phatty pie (sweet mascarpone filling sandwiched between 2 ginger cookies) and a ginger cherry scone.
Kudos to Executive Chef Ryan Smith for delivering such a unique Southern brunch menu. It was hands down the best brunch I have ever had. I can’t wait to visit them for dinner.
Atlanta is giving love to food truck and street vendors in a major way. Every Tuesday from 5-10PM go get your fill of some of Atlanta’s favorite food trucks. This weekly event just launched on May 31st so I have yet to go but I plan on doing so in the near future and will report back!
Visit their Facebook page for further updates.
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Empire State South’s chef takes it slow with tripe and pig ears
I have had Yoforia a few times and have always been pleased. When I heard that Pinkberry was coming to Atlanta I was pretty excited. So many people rave about Pinkberry and I wanted the opportunity to try it. However, when I found out the location of the first Pinkberry here I was not pleased and was not willing to drive out that far just to taste froyo (frozen yogurt).
Little did I know, a Pinkberry has been opened in Buckhead. I was driving down Peachtree yesterday when I saw the Pinkberry and had to stop. I was a Yoforia fan who wanted to see what the Pinkberry craze was about.
Upon walking into the store I already preferred the Yoforia set up. At Yoforia it’s self serve. You sanitize your hands, grab your cup, choose your froyo(s) and add your toppings. You have the liberty to choose how much (or little) of each you want. At Pinkberry, you stood in a line waiting to be helped. An employee would dispense your yogurt and add your topping to the side of the cup circling the froyo. Not so much input as to how much topping you get and where they are placed. There’s something fun about making your own froyo creation just the way you want it and Yoforia offers that.
Before I move into taste, lets discuss pricing. At Pinkberry I had a small pomegranate froyo with kiwi,strawberries,almonds and mango. This small froyo with small quantity of toppings cost me $5. A bit pricey considering what was in my cup. My trip to Yoforia last week I had both pomegranate and mango froyos with almonds, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. The size of this yogurt creation was probably double that of my Pinkberry one. The price was less than $4! Yoforia charges by the weight (which can probably be a bad thing if you are heavy handed with those toppings!). For what I got, I was surprised at the reasonable, affordable price as opposed to Pinkberry where I felt like my small froyo was overpriced.
Onto taste… the Pinkberry employee did tell me that their froyo has a distinct yogurt taste and she was right. The consistency of the yogurt was great but the taste was more “yogurty” than I would have liked. I wanted to taste the pomegranate flavor a bit more. I personally prefer Yoforia’s froyo. It doesn’t have that “signature tang” like Pinkberry and I can taste the flavor of my flavored yogurt more.
Final verdict (if you havent already guessed): Yoforia is where it’s at for me. Pinkberry is overrated. I’d eat at Pinkberry again but if I had a choice I’d choose Yoforia.