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Talk of the Town - Revamping the 'burbs August 12 2004

Vamp replaces camp in Sandy Springs



From nine to five, Leigh Tyson is a corporate lawyer for a Buckhead firm. While her days are filled with lengthy legal briefs and court cases, the twentysomething passes her nights cross-stitching, snuggling with her four dachshunds and dining with S&M photos. Tyson recently took pity on a Sandy Springs house and has since gone all "Queer Eye" on its ass. By putting in a few distinctly naughty, Fab-Five-approved decor twists, and lighting a funeral pyre for the previous owners' decorating missteps, she has added a bit of taste to the OTP 'hood, even if it is a smidge off-color.

Creative Loafing: So, what's with all the porno pin-ups peppered about?

Tyson: It's not really porn. Most of my pictures are of people with their clothes on, I just have a few who seem to have misplaced theirs.

She points to a photo of a woman covering herself with only a hand mirror revealing the reflection of her suitor.

While I like the contrast of these pieces compared to my other art, I really have the photos hanging around exclusively for horrifying my mother. Well, her and my republican friends.

It took you a year to revamp this house — why did you choose it in the first place?

I don't know why — it was the ugliest one I saw. There was wallpaper on every possible surface, a hateful teal trim and it was where pink carpet came to die. But it had good bones, so I figured it could be a cool house.

How did you turn such a train wreck of a house into your home?

We knocked out a bunch of unnecessary walls to open the space up, laid new floors and extended the staircase — now that was a bitch. Three different teams had to come in for that one. And of course we repainted the inside. The place has come an exceedingly long way.

What was your motive behind the decor?

I wanted to keep things minimal and clean. The idea behind the house was to create a backdrop for all of the art I've been collecting. I chose neutral wall colors so the art could be the focal point of each room.

Do you have a favorite piece?

Probably Robert Hekes' web-banner painting hanging over the fireplace in my family room. I like how unusual it is and it adds to the contemporary feel of the room.

Which room is your favorite?

The family room is the most comfortable but I like the dining room the best. It fits the theme of the house perfectly — neutral walls and tons of art. It's where I keep most of my black and whites. And yeah, there's porn in there too.

She alludes to the bondage photo that proudly hangs in the room. Nothing says good eatin' like S&M.



More By This Writer

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Anybody seen my baby?: Caliente Cab has always been one of my favorite Athens' haunts, so I was startled when I learned that its name had been changed. I worried that its magic had changed, too. Thankfully, it hasn't. Despite a recent name change to Salsa Rock Cafe and modifications to the restaurant's layout, nothing was done to dilute the spirit of  the eatery. Its pseudo-beachfront atmosphere and rich Cuban offerings continue to court the affections of both Latinos and gringos alike.

Qué Rico!: On the night that I went to Salsa Rock Cafe, the place was not as busy as usual. The fullness of the tip jar, though, indicated that I had just missed the dinner rush. The menu at Salsa Rock is user friendly — thus eliminating the guesswork for its American clientele — and ranges from Cuban sandwiches to chicken-stuffed tacos dorados and bistec palomilla (grilled steak with rice).

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El Rico Tamal ($5.95) with pork is one of my favorite dishes: Luscious, supple pork and wilted green bell peppers are engulfed in a moist cornmeal skin. The tamale is served with a salsa verde whose initial smoky flavor is soon followed by a rich, spicy aftertaste. It makes a perfect match for the steamed pork and the somewhat bland cornmeal casing.

The vegetarian offerings at Salsa  Rock present their own appeal, though the cooks are better with meat. The Veggie Cuban ($5.95) is stuffed with sauteed onions and mushrooms smothered in melted mozzarella. The grilled sandwich is worth a try, though it would be even better without the withered, slightly chewy cooked lettuce that mars its texture.

Cuba 101: The hamburger ($5.95) is one of the few items on the menu that deviates from the strictly Cuban inspired lineup. Despite its American essence, Salsa Rock's version is one of the best I've ever had. When the grilled, juicy patty is paired with the addictive maduros, it feels just as Cuban as the rest of the menu. And that's just what Salsa Rock Cafe does best: It takes the heart of Cuban cuisine and immerses it in American culture. The mix tastes delicious.

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__Anybody seen my baby?: __Caliente Cab has always been one of my favorite Athens' haunts, so I was startled when I learned that its name had been changed. I worried that its magic had changed, too. Thankfully, it hasn't. Despite a recent name change to Salsa Rock Cafe and modifications to the restaurant's layout, nothing was done to dilute the spirit of  the eatery. Its pseudo-beachfront atmosphere and rich Cuban offerings continue to court the affections of both Latinos and gringos alike.

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El Rico Tamal ($5.95) with pork is one of my favorite dishes: Luscious, supple pork and wilted green bell peppers are engulfed in a moist cornmeal skin. The tamale is served with a salsa verde whose initial smoky flavor is soon followed by a rich, spicy aftertaste. It makes a perfect match for the steamed pork and the somewhat bland cornmeal casing.

The vegetarian offerings at Salsa  Rock present their own appeal, though the cooks are better with meat. The Veggie Cuban ($5.95) is stuffed with sauteed onions and mushrooms smothered in melted mozzarella. The grilled sandwich is worth a try, though it would be even better without the withered, slightly chewy cooked lettuce that mars its texture.

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Deviating from my usual maduros ($2.25), Salsa Rock's sweet, slightly salty fried plantains, I got the  deep-fried yucca ($2.75) as a starter. The fried yucca was golden brown, and within the first bite its crisp exterior gave way to a starchy yet creamy interior. No question that these yucca fries could strong-arm any french fry, any day.

El Rico Tamal ($5.95) with pork is one of my favorite dishes: Luscious, supple pork and wilted green bell peppers are engulfed in a moist cornmeal skin. The tamale is served with a salsa verde whose initial smoky flavor is soon followed by a rich, spicy aftertaste. It makes a perfect match for the steamed pork and the somewhat bland cornmeal casing.

The vegetarian offerings at Salsa  Rock present their own appeal, though the cooks are better with meat. The Veggie Cuban ($5.95) is stuffed with sauteed onions and mushrooms smothered in melted mozzarella. The grilled sandwich is worth a try, though it would be even better without the withered, slightly chewy cooked lettuce that mars its texture.

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foodanddrink@creativeloafing.com
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Article

Thursday August 19, 2004 12:04 am EDT
Despite a name change, Salsa Rock Cafe is still caliente | more...
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